Hello internet friends and enemies!
It has been about a month or more since my last posting, and I am not too happy about that. Today I woke up feeling pretty good, so I figured I’d give this another go.
My roommate and I were having a debate last night over a beer (or three) about the role of government in individuals every day lives. I proposed the idea that we have far too much government in our every day lives, while my roommate argued the opposite, saying this level of government is often needed if not necessary.
I eventually came to this question: If government does not perform a certain task, does it mean that task will never be accomplished?
I say of course not.
I truly believe that individuals, through mutual voluntary cooperation, can accomplish various tasks currently performed by government in a much more efficient and liberty-conscience manor. You see, when individuals share a common goal, they have an incentive to cooperatively accomplish that goal.
The result of this cooperation can range from a variety of things – bettering communities, helping the poor, building structures, trading goods, creating businesses, or dare I say it, build roads. Of course, there are endless opportunities for individual cooperation, but you get my point.
The counter argument to this point, which seems to stem from a perceived ugliness of human nature, states that individuals are too morally corrupt and greedy to ever accomplish anything without government oversight. Big Brother knows best, after all.
One thing to understand is that the “State of Nature” is only a hypothetical scenario in which individuals exist in a bare-bones world with no organizational structures or established morals. One school of thought argues that, in the state of nature, people only care for themselves and will do anything to maintain their own well being. Therefore, a powerful central government needs to be established to regulate the natural impulses of individuals in order to protect them and maintain a functioning society.
I reject this notion.
We now live in a time of endless accessible knowledge, tolerance, and sophistication. I believe the individuals of today have an incredible opportunity to accomplish mind-blowing things on their own or with others, without the oversight of government. Don’t get me wrong, I believe governments are necessary, but only in a very limited way that is tied to a very specific framework (You know, kind of like that old Constitution thing).
Governments should exist to facilitate maximum individual innovation while providing adequate national security and engaging in trade with other nations. The only way to accomplish this is to give the individual maximum economic and social liberty, which would require a MASSIVE cut in government laws, rules, and regulations.
Drug war – cut it. EPA – gut it. TSA – bye bye. Tax code – should fit on a couple of pages. Etc and so on.
My point is, we are constantly pounded with the idea that government is the ONLY POSSIBLE WAY to accomplish certain tasks, and this is an absolute lie. Look at the world we live in today; dominated by powerful governments who all have the stated goal of bettering the lives of the people they serve.
What do we get out of that deal? Massive debt, skyrocketing joblessness and homelessness, perpetual warfare, the murder of innocent people at an alarming rate, fleeting access to adequate health care, and a society under massive surveillance.
If this is the best government can offer, I say we try something else. Let’s give individuals the chance to tackle some of these issues and see if society is better off – I’m willing to bet all of my Federal Reserve notes that it would be!