I’ve made the following arguments:
- Government authority exists in its ability to exert lethal force.
- That authority is maintained by paying people to do the “wet work” (the actual killing, jailing, etc.). This usually is the police or military, but can also be hired assassins, other countries’ military and police, the mob, and who knows who else?
- That force is wielded by a sovereign authority, a person or group of people imbued with supreme, independent dominance over others.
- In the US, the sovereign authority appears to be the people. However, it is clear that behind that facade, it has been and continues to be a select few people and businesses that hold this supreme, independent dominance over the rest of us. This may not be the same in other countries, but the effect is the same: The masses are dominated by some sovereign authority.
- Government has built tremendous momentum that has preserved its dominance. Efforts to fight against it or change it in any way tend to cause government and its function to persist and grow, not change.
Now, I’m going to offer the final element in the case for eliminating government. Rather than a further critique of government, I’m going to offer a workable alternative to government that I argue is so compelling that the case for eliminating government becomes a foregone conclusion.
Take a look at business. I’m sure you notice a lot of things. Here’s something you’ll tend to miss: Successful businesses usually don’t work to destroy each other. Instead they find a niche to grow into. If they’re successful, they supplant the competition, not destroy them. Customer defection results in their destruction.
Do you see the connection?
Modernizing government, trying to get it to change, trying to make it more benign or compassionate to our wishes, is a fool’s errand. In the US, we’ve been trying to do that since our Declaration of Independence.
I would argue that government has gotten worse, not better, since then, and its ability to exert force over others’ freedoms has increased tremendously.
What if we found a better way to run human civilization, one that could be implemented in the midst of government, succeed on a small scale, and grow and grow and expand and succeed, one neighborhood at a time, until—like a business that has found its niche—this better way supplants government before government even knew what was happening?
Every year in business something is created that is better than the status quo and that causes the status quo to wither. Remember rotary phones? Picture tubes? The Commodore 64? Remember phone books, 8 track tapes? Encyclopedias? What’s remarkable isn’t the innovations that supplant incumbent technologies but the pace at which the supplanting is happening. This process isn’t restricted to technology—look at how dating has changed, how marriage is changing, how our culture has been changed by Rap and fast food, how our language has been changed by youth . . .
It’s fair to say that the supplanting is making life increasingly better. You may argue the point, but such arguments are hard to maintain in the face of general human progress measured on a narrow scale, the environment notwithstanding. So things are getting better, faster, and the pace of “better” is increasing.
All of which means momentum is building. Momentum, past a certain point, is hard to oppose. As I pointed out with government, opposition to it more than not increases government. So too with the “getting better” nature of the supplanting. Try to resist it and another innovation pivots off of your resistance.
Do you see what this has to do with making the case for eliminating government?
You can’t eliminate it! You have to create something better and allow government to be supplanted.
Let’s look at how we can harness this supplanting process in the next post.
Ericsson Dialog in green” by Diamondmagna – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons