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What is the origin of government, and why do you think it's not necessary in todays world?

+4 votes
Be very specific if you can. I would love to know what this community thinks about this particular subject. Thank you in advance.


edited for tags
asked Mar 25, 2013 by anonymous
edited Jul 15, 2014 by dot

2 Answers

+2 votes
Being specific requires a longer answer than this site is conducive to. Personally I suspect that the development of the state (and hence government) is wrapped up with the development of agriculture and civilization in that people became more sedentary, had crops and excess food stores to guard (hence the rise of armies, which could also be used to expand territory to feed the population boom from sedation and increased access to food surplus). Government likely arose as more and more aspects of society needed to be managed, and as those with power went from being informal power holders to more institutional. With the development of institutional power and bureaucracy there also develops a desire to hold on to that power. In some cases the power holders were more like big men in a band society, gotten too big for their britches, in others it likely leaned more towards the priesthood (those who held shamanic powers, and later measured the passing of time and seasons). In most cases it isn't really clear cut, and it was sort of a combination.

How exactly it happened is probably a little different in each place that states arose, and I am not going to pretend to be able to cover that with any particular expertise (a good start would be checking out Perlman's "Against His-Story, Against Leviathan" http://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/fredy-perlman-against-his-story-against-leviathan).

As to why I don't think it is necessary in today's world? I don't know that I can answer that. Government is a reality of today's world, and I hate today's world. I want to destroy it and everything about it. Maybe government is necessary (I don't think so, but, /maybe/) that has no weight whatsoever on my desire to eliminate it.
answered Mar 28, 2013 by ingrate (23,770 points)
Another thing you might be interested in checking out is Harold Barclay's "The State" which is published by Freedom Press. I don't agree with it entirely, but I think it is at least worth reading.
+1 vote
i will briefly answer just the second part of the question ( why do you think it's not necessary in todays world?), as i think ingrate did a decent job on the first part.

unfortunately, i think it IS necessary in today's world. the primary reason for that is the scale and complexity of human social structures that have developed. mass society seems completely dependent on the institutions that define and control it (and vice versa), with government playing a/the central role in that.

the push towards a single, homogeneous (in many ways at least) society/culture is a necessity for capitalism, government, religion, and even civilization itself - despite all the rhetoric about diversity etc. a world where humans lived in much smaller, voluntary, informal and often transient "groupings" (better term needed) would NOT necessarily require government.
answered May 28, 2013 by funkyanarchy (12,300 points)
IOW you believe that Force via Government is necessary and good, while real People are prosecuted for acts of Force.  

You stand on "complicated" as tho some humans can become Rulers and wade thru the multitude of complexities, and therefor you will bow to their superior minds?
hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!

that comment belongs on @news, not here where even the @-caps seem to try to engage rather than... that ^^^

if you have a question that does not involve putting words in my mouth or imposing your condescending interpretation on my words, i am happy to try to address it. otherwise, you're wasting your time and mine.
interestingly FA, i think that striker might have single-question syndrome... if someone just read your answer and didn't have any other context for you, your answer could sound like you were supporting all the things you're against.
not sure how much any of us should cater to a propensity some people seem to have to just look at a single page or so, but that tendency is worth keeping in mind, it seems.
hmmmm.... interesting point, dot. now that you mention it, you could be right.

on the other hand, it is possible that you might be giving too much leeway in that interpretation. most of their comment consists of points i never made. extrapolations from their 1-dimensional reading of my post, perhaps.

but just in case, i will try to clarify:

@striker:
the fact that i think the complexity of mass society requires something akin to government (and all its inter-dependent institutions), does NOT mean that i support or want that, OR that i think it is "good". on the contrary. i despise government AND mass society, and i'd like them both GONE.
yea, i think you're right about me giving them too much credit (looking at their user page--sigh).
but it's still an interesting question - how to work for the one-pagers without being constrained by them.
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