Monday, September 19, 2005


Today we'll go over what it is the government does. We're going to be very basic and take it to the fundamental. What does a government do? Ok, it helps us. Maybe it protects our rights. But not all governments throughout time have helped their people. Some nasty dictators have enslaved their people. So what power do governments have? What do they do?

To understand this, lets examine all types of governments. When there were feudal lords and serfs, what did the lords do? They gave the serfs' a plot of land in exchange for yearly pay. How did they enforce this? If they didn't pay, the government forcibly removed them from the land or killed them. Seems that this government owned everything and controlled it with force.

What about Britain? There are quite a large number of laws in Britain that define everything from property rights, to speech rights. But what do they have in common? If you kill someone in Britain, what happens? They force you into a jail cell (or the London tower) and then might force you to die (depending on the time period). The government thus controls your actions through force.

Let's look at slaves. They were owned by those who would whip them for not working. They were given almost nothing in exchange for immense amounts of labor. How did this work? If you (a slave) were to stop working, you would be whipped, and punished until you either work or they kill you. If you tried to run, they would kill you and/or rape your family. They forced the slaves to work by forcibly controlling their actions.

Let's look at America. Here we have Natural Rights to Life, Liberty, and Property. If someone else tries to forcibly take these rights from you (or govern you), you can find aid in the government. It protects you, by controlling other's actions through force. You can be electricuted to death for taking someone else's life. Even here, the actions are similar.

What does a government do? Clearly, it controls your actions, but how? With what function? It controls your actions through force. The government has one simple function: Force. It uses force to achieve its goals. We'll examine this further soon enough.


Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. – George Washington

No comments: