Why Should We Trust Goverment?

Anarchy cannot exist longer than 5 seconds.
In the real world, in the absence of goverment, authority and the rule of law, the law of the jungle kicks in and the strongest, most ruthless warlords are battling for control. Justice, rule of law and consent by the governed don’t exist. It’s pure tyranny.

That’s why we need goverment. The only question is, how much goverment do we need? How much power do we give to goverment?

Citizen Tom produced a series of posts (here, here and here), essentially dealing with the question: why should we trust goverment?
Five years ago I wrote in my post Death Wishes, Etatheism And Putin:

The Left does not trust the individual to run his own life because the flaws of the individual lead to all kinds of real or perceived problems like social injustice etc.
Therefore, in the view of the Left the state has to run and control everything.
But there is a fundamental error in this argument and it is this: Any state, no matter what kind of state, is run by a collection of individual persons with their own flaws and that is why no state can be the more just, better entity that the Left claims that it is.

To believe, as the Left claims that it does, that the state is better than the individual, it has to ascribe divine attributes of perfection that the individual lacks to the state, which makes the Left’s word view a religion. I call it etatheism (etat = state), the deification of the state.

Ironically, the people who have more faith in the state than the Americans, the Europeans, should have the least faith in the state because it was here in Europe, in Hitler’s Germany and in Stalin’s Russia where the state murdered its own citizens by the millions. It was in Mussolini’s fascist Italy and in Franco’s Spain where the state oppressed its citizens. It was in communist Eastern Europe where the state deprived its citizens of the most basic human rights and where it crushed the opposition with tanks and soldiers.
Flaws of individuals can have harmful and undesired effects but flaws of individuals who are collectively running states are magnified by orders of magnitude because of the state’s almost unlimited power and reach (compared to a single individual).

It is because of this great potential of the state to cause destruction and to prevent or diminish prosperity that the state needs to be as least powerful as possible and to interfere as least as possible in the individual’s affairs.
Leftists will, of course, counter my argument by saying that we can eliminate man’s flaws by creating a new system that will create a new man.

But again, the Left is stuck with the same problem. In order to create a flawless, perfect system which eliminates the flaws of the individual, the individuals who are creating the system have to be flawless and perfect themselves.
Again, one has to ascribe divine attributes of perfection to the persons devising such a system.

American political scientist Rudolph Rummel coined the term Democide to describe the killing of people by their own goverment. According to his definition in the 20th century, one of the bloodiest in human history, more people were killed by democide than by war.

Give an evil man a gun and he can kill tens, perhaps hundreds of people.
Put an evil man in goverment and he can kill millions and ruin whole nations.

People give power to goverment because they don’t trust their neighbour, envy their neighbour’s wealth and success or because they fear their neighbour.
Ironically, by giving power to goverment they are giving power to their neighbour because goverment IS their neighbour.
This is what the people who want to give all the power to the goverment don’t understand.

James Madison said “If Men were angels, no government would be necessary.”
However, the very reason why we need goverment is the same reason why we need to keep goverment as small as possible with as little power as possible.

9 thoughts on “Why Should We Trust Goverment?

  1. Good post! Interesting discussion.

    I try to tell people that the essence of government is force, not benevolence. Force is not necessarily moral or immoral, but it is still force. This one little bit of cognitive dissonance is playing out all over our country. It’s almost comical how we are chanting, “defund the cops” one moment and then shrieking, “somebody call the cops” the next moment.

    I hate to use the word “privilege,” but many who have grown up relatively comfortable in the US, within a system that has somewhat sheltered and protected them, seem to suffer from this kind of privilege, this inability to understand that force is all well and good when it is operating in your favor, but not so good when it isn’t.

    1. Perfectly stated,
      I’m of the opinion that, as part of one’s education, every American and European teenager should live for 6 months in one of those “sh*thole countries” but not as a tourist but in the same way the local people live. Appreciation for the rule of law, the equal application of the law and awareness of the dangers of too powerful goverment would defineltely increase.

  2. Here, from God himself, about the rule of kings:

    “11 When you have a king to reign over you, he will claim the rights of a king. He will take away your sons from you, to drive his chariots; he will need horsemen, and outriders for his teams; 12 regiments, too, with commanders and captains to marshal them, ploughmen and reapers, armourers and wheelwrights. 13 It is your daughters that will make his perfumes, and cook for him, and bake for him. 14 All the best of your lands and vineyards and olive-yards he will take away, and entrust to his own bailiffs; 15 and he will tithe the revenues of such crop and vintage as is left you, to pay his own courtiers and his own retinue. 16 He will take away servants and handmaids of yours, all the lustiest of the young men, all the asses that work for you, to work for him instead; 17 of your herds, too, he will take tithe. You will be his slaves; 18 and when you cry out for redress against the king you have chosen for yourselves, the Lord will not listen to you; you asked for a king.”

    1. Artaxes

      Thanks for the links.


      You may find this interesting.


      Thomas Paine quoted 1 Samuel 8 in Common Sense. The strange thing is that he did not understand part of that passage’s wisdom. Latter Paine advocated government-run social programs. He did not understand the logical progression that follows when we give men great power. We give those men the power to become people who rule us instead of serving us.

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