We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

In my view…

Government is an institution that has evolved along with we humans as our best means of applying violence. When you want to break things and kill people, there is no better institution for the job. The problem comes when we attempt to use it for other purposes. Its true skills will out even when the goal is entirely different, as with the current attempts of States to ‘help’ the economy.

What I see happening in the US and UK and other places with maximally ‘helpful’ governments is much like what happens when you accidentally spill Nitric Acid on the rug. It steams, bubbles, gets hots and makes a bit of sound and for a short while it appears that ‘something is happening’. Then the smoke clears and you see that it has ruined your rug.

Government ‘help’ is like that.

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7 comments to In my view…

  • I fully endorse those statements. Oh for a people that would show some spirit. Still, Mandleson’s custard was a small gesture.

  • Rex

    Govt is a necessary evil, and the best govt is one that governs the least!

    for the proper role of Law and Govt, pls see:

    http://www.constitution.org/law/bastiat.htm

  • Government isn’t very good even at breaking things and killing people. Have you figured out what it costs to kill one enemy soldier? It’s just that government devotes lots of resources to the task.

  • The Hunted Mind

    “… much like what happens when you accidentally spill Nitric Acid on the rug.”

    As you do.

  • Paul Marks

    “Government is not very good at killing people” – yes it is, please observe the history of the world.

    Governments emerge either as the result of invasion, or successful resistance to invasion. To point at governments created by other governments does not refute this – for how did the creating governments come into the world.

    Either way Murry Rothbard style “rules of warfare” (never kill the innocent, do not damage private property…….) go by the board.

    One can obey all these rules – as long as one does not mind losing and being exterminated or enslaved.

    That is the terrible nature of the “Sword of State” and it used to be common knowledge.

    Contrary to Rothbard and co in this fallen world one can not do without the Sword of State – but it is by its very nature evil (for it exists to violate persons and their possessions – that is what it is for) and tends to corrupt anyone who uses it.

    Of course some people and powers are less corrupted than others – but to look for a good government is to look for something that can not (not just “does not” – can not) exist.

    As for using the Sword of State to educate the young, heal the sick, look after the old………

    Dale is correct – the absurdity is so great that is difficult to know where to start to explain the level of the absurdity involved in this form of thinking.

  • Read the rest of what I said Paul. When governments make war it is insanely inefficient and expensive. Even peacetime preparations for war are like this.
    I recently found out the costs of military pilot training in Australia. It costs something like A$80,000 for basic flight training to approximately Private pilot licence standard, something that would cost you, in similar aircraft, less than A$20,000.

  • Paul Marks

    I apologize for not making my point correctly Mike.

    I am not talking about “expense”.

    I am talking about life and death – victory and defeat.

    There is a way to prove me wrong.

    You and your friend take on the government of Australia in war and overthrow it.

    “That is absurd Paul”.

    Exactly.

    And even if you did overthrow the Austrialian government you would have to use methods that would turn you into another government (by definition).

    Again you are talking “they are so wasteful, I could save money in such and such a way” when the language of governments is piles of dead bodies.

    Government and business is not the same.