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The Fool
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PostSubject: What is a government?   Sun Dec 28, 2008 1:36 pm

What is a government?

Here is my definition: A monopoly.

Monopoly

1 : exclusive ownership through legal privilege, command of supply, or concerted action
2 : exclusive possession or control
3 : a commodity controlled by one party
4 : one that has a monopoly

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/monopoly


I like to describe a government as a monopoly of people manipulating other people for their own selfish benefit all the while they put up the illusion that they are fighting for everyone else beyond themselves even when at many times they don't.

What is your definition of government?
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PostSubject: Re: What is a government?   Sat Jan 03, 2009 8:49 pm

An authority established for the sake of order that people are habituated into following. Not a hard thing to define.
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PostSubject: Re: What is a government?   Mon Jan 05, 2009 10:27 am

Lucretia wrote:
An authority established for the sake of order that people are habituated into following. Not a hard thing to define.

What order? Why is order necessary? What does order look like?
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PostSubject: Re: What is a government?   Mon Jan 05, 2009 9:49 pm

The Fool wrote:
Lucretia wrote:
An authority established for the sake of order that people are habituated into following. Not a hard thing to define.

What order? Why is order necessary? What does order look like?

It's not necessary. It's the series of conditions necessary to maintain the quality of life we've chosen and created for ourselves. It looks like daily routine.
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PostSubject: Re: What is a government?   Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:23 am

Lucretia wrote:
The Fool wrote:
Lucretia wrote:
An authority established for the sake of order that people are habituated into following. Not a hard thing to define.

What order? Why is order necessary? What does order look like?

It's not necessary. It's the series of conditions necessary to maintain the quality of life we've chosen and created for ourselves. It looks like daily routine.

Yet quality of life is not somthing that is afforded to everyone, no?

It's not created for everyone equally. It only looks routine because it is enforced.
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PostSubject: Re: What is a government?   Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:37 pm

Government is an institution to resolve conflicts, set societal rules, allocate resources and has the power to enforce the above. That is what a government is. For some reason you put the definition of monopoly in its place. It seems you are implying that merriam-webster somehow got the definition for monopoly right, yet government's wrong. If you are going to debate semantics you probably shouldn't use a source that contradicts your argument.
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PostSubject: Re: What is a government?   Thu Jan 15, 2009 2:52 am

existentialist wrote:
Government is an institution to resolve conflicts, set societal rules, allocate resources and has the power to enforce the above.
I think he means to say that your definition and 'monopoly' are more or less the same. 'A fury animal that barks', and 'a four-legged mammal that's wags it's tail' are both dogs right?
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PostSubject: Re: What is a government?   Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:09 pm

Ivan wrote:
I think he means to say that your definition and 'monopoly' are more or less the same. 'A fury animal that barks', and 'a four-legged mammal that's wags it's tail' are both dogs right?

Not really. A "furry animal that barks " and a "four legged mammal that wags its tail" may describe a dog, but they are not necessarily always used to describe dogs exclusively. In regards to the topic at hand, a government has to be described as possessing a monopoly on some resource. "Government" would always be the subject and "possessing a monopoly" would be the predicate. Supposing that a government can be described as a thing which has a monopoly on something(s), what is the thing(s) that the government has a monopoly over; governing?
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PostSubject: Re: What is a government?   Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:07 am

existentialist wrote:
...what is the thing(s) that the government has a monopoly over; governing?
Resources. And their symbol: status.
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PostSubject: Re: What is a government?   Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:30 pm

Quote :
Existentialist says: Government is an institution to resolve conflicts,

Is it? Or is it an institution that creates conflict and profits by them.

Quote :
set societal rules,

So that the wealthy may have profit not that such rules put in place are necessary.

Laws exist solely for the benefit of those with power.

Quote :

Ivan says:
I think he means to say that your definition and 'monopoly' are more or less the same. 'A fury animal that barks', and 'a four-legged mammal that's wags it's tail' are both dogs right?

That is exactly what I meant however the word government is merely the politically correct word to use instead of monopoly largely because of it's negative appeal.

It's so much easier to pretend that the government is a benevolent master than a monopoly built solely for profit of others and for controlling people by those who profit as well.


Quote :
Existentialist says:

In regards to the topic at hand, a government has to be described as possessing a monopoly on some resource.

Quote :
"Government" would always be the subject and "possessing a monopoly" would be the predicate. Supposing that a government can be described as a thing which has a monopoly on something(s), what is the thing(s) that the government has a monopoly over; governing?

How about a monopoly on the people themselves? There is a endless list of what it has a monopoly on but I think the people is a great place to start.


Last edited by The Fool on Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:21 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: What is a government?   Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:46 pm

I disagree that the government has a monopoly on resources. Just because the state has the power to allocate or confiscate certain resources does not mean they own these goods. In the same way that I may have the strength or stealth to break into my neighbors house and steal his couch doesn't mean I own his couch.

There may be some government officials that create conflict out of selfish ignorance and if a person only focuses on these negative individuals then their entire view of the government comes to be a reflection a few scumbags. Of course you don't hear about all the conflicts they resolve, because that's not news. A Governor selling a senate seat is front page news, resolving a water dispute between two neighboring counties is not.

"Law exists solely for the benefit of those in power." That is a strong statement. Have you never benefited from the law? You don't benefit from say, sound ordinances? You would rather be up all night listening to you nieghbors hip hop music? I could list hundreds of examples but I think you get the point. I have seen plenty of powerful people fall victim to the law, Blagojevich, Nixon, Enron executives, etc...

I do not view the government as my benevolent master, but rather my bitch, or the peoples bitch more accurately.

The government does not have a monopoly on me. Sure, I choose
to follow most of its laws because I see good things in our democracy. There are some flaws, but unless I am taking an active part in trying to correct them I cannot complain.


A monopoly doesn't accurately describe our government, or the concept of government, though parts of that definition may my apply.
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PostSubject: Re: What is a government?   Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:00 am

Businessman = Politician = Gangster

existentialist wrote:
I disagree that the government has a monopoly on resources. Just because the state has the power to allocate or confiscate certain resources does not mean they own these goods. In the same way that I may have the strength or stealth to break into my neighbors house and steal his couch doesn't mean I own his couch.
Yes. What is ownership but this government monopoly? Ownership is enforced by the gun, just because you don't see it in your face all the time.

Quote :
"Law exists solely for the benefit of those in power." That is a strong statement.

I'd say it benefits those who want to play master, and those who want to play slave.

Quote :
I do not view the government as my benevolent master, but rather my bitch, or the peoples bitch more accurately.
So you scorn slavishness but have not yet seen that the master is a slave of his own sort? Have nothing to do with this game. Walk away.

Quote :
The government does not have a monopoly on me. Sure, I choose
to follow most of its laws because I see good things in our democracy. There are some flaws, but unless I am taking an active part in trying to correct them I cannot complain.
If someone didn't want you alive, you wouldn't be. Attack helicopter drone missles would be coming down on your head if you weren't profiting someone, or at least keeping your head down. I'd say both.

Democracy is a form of tyranny.


Last edited by Ivan on Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:19 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: What is a government?   Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:16 am

Government: When a person or group of persons governs over another person or group of persons

Govern: To subvert the rational decision making process of a person by imposing factors that would not otherwise be present, such as additional rewards or additional punishments (positive versus negative government).

Legitimate Government: When someone uses their coercive powers to make people say 'You are legitimate in doing what you do to me'

The Mafia govern their territories, parents govern their children, and no motherfucker governs me.
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PostSubject: Re: What is a government?   Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:12 am

-Psychonaut wrote:
...no motherfucker governs me.
Possible. But I'd say you are helping the master-cast with supplies: money and status, and psy-ops against the under-cast. The guns don't pay for themselves.



But this is as nothing, we might as well let the wars rage, as the only truly important moral question of our time is whether or not to save the Earth. If we don't act soon and effectively there won't be any wars or exploitation to worry over anyways.
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PostSubject: Re: What is a government?   Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:30 am

Ivan, there is a difference between following laws because you agree with them and/or understanding why they are in place and being a slave. My statement about the government "being a bitch" was more of a normative statement about the ideal democracy and not necessarily a reflection of how our current government operates. The government has great power and unfortunately some officials act somewhat less than responsibly. I have never heard of any case where civil disobedience or any disobedience has been answered with drone missles, inside my own country. I am not saying someone could not kill me, unfortunately the government does show some restraint, and I hate to fathom the paperwork involved in offing people.

Democracy is not a form of tyranny. I will concede, though, that a wise tyrant, would make a better ruler than a fool elected by the masses.

Psychonaut, do you not have a job? Are you not right now being governed by forum rules? Also, as long as other people exist, can we ever have a pure (unsubverted) rational decision making process? Will our decisions not always be in the context of of how others might react? In an anarchic environment, would you not take in other peoples views before acquiring food? Surely you would think twice about taking food from a well armed person because they might kill you. You may even arm yourself heavily to protect yourself from others. You may avoid hoarding food because you know you might piss some one off, like wise you might take into account the fact that if you don't hoard food someone else will come around and take it, leaving you at a disadvantage.
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PostSubject: Re: What is a government?   Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:44 pm

Quote :
I disagree that the government has a monopoly on resources.

It does with the allocation of bank notes with it's grip that is the state of control it has on the local economy in that it regulates along with enforcing particular decisive outcomes.

Quote :
Just because the state has the power to allocate or confiscate certain resources does not mean they own these goods.

They certainly own people through taxation and other means.

Quote :
There may be some government officials that create conflict out of selfish ignorance

Just some? Suspect

Quote :
and if a person only focuses on these negative individuals then their entire view of the government comes to be a reflection a few scumbags.

Just a few? Suspect


Quote :
Of course you don't hear about all the conflicts they resolve, because that's not news. A Governor selling a senate seat is front page news, resolving a water dispute between two neighboring counties is not.

Water disputes that get resolved around profit margins you mean. Laughing

Quote :
"Law exists solely for the benefit of those in power." That is a strong statement.

It does. Read Plato's Republic under the character Thrasymachus.


Quote :
Have you never benefited from the law? You don't benefit from say, sound ordinances? You would rather be up all night listening to you nieghbors hip hop music?

Such ordinances merely exist to keep people pacified under control.

If such ordinances didn't exist you would see neighbors fight and killing neighbors.


Quote :
I could list hundreds of examples but I think you get the point.

Not really.

Quote :
I have seen plenty of powerful people fall victim to the law, Blagojevich, Nixon, Enron executives, etc...

And I've seen more escape and monopolize it.

Powerful people only fall victim under the law when it is the interests of other powerful people.

Quote :
I do not view the government as my benevolent master, but rather my bitch, or the peoples bitch more accurately.

You think the people control the government? Laughing

Quote :
The government does not have a monopoly on me.

Oh yes it does. It's called the status quo. You are only valued or worth anything only if you meet the expectations and standards of the economy that the government controls.

If you do not meet the expectations and standards of the economy one is deemed worthless and of low value where instead they become a lowly servant for the rest of their lives wondering how others come to own more of their lives then themselves.

Quote :
Sure, I choose
to follow most of its laws because I see good things in our democracy.

More like coerced. Oh I get that you choose to follow the law in that you like everybody else has been coerced long enough that it is easier to flow downstream by pretending to choose so than in contrast to fight against a raging current.

Quote :
There are some flaws, but unless I am taking an active part in trying to correct them I cannot complain.

Correct what exactly? There is nothing to correct. There is no directional progress or improvement in this world beyond delusional idealism and naivety.


Quote :
A monopoly doesn't accurately describe our government, or the concept of government, though parts of that definition may my apply.

You'll have to forgive me if I bitterly disagree.

Quote :
Democracy is not a form of tyranny. I will concede, though, that a wise tyrant, would make a better ruler than a fool elected by the masses.

All governments are a form of tyranny one way or the other.

What is a Democracy but a tyranny by the majority anyways?
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PostSubject: Re: What is a government?   Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:28 am

existentialist wrote:
Ivan,... I have never heard of any case where civil disobedience or any disobedience has been answered with drone missles, inside my own country. I am not saying someone could not kill me, unfortunately the government does show some restraint, and I hate to fathom the paperwork involved in offing people.
The Fool answered several of your points, but, "inside my own country" is an important modifier here. The principal of force is the same anywhere; the function of prisons is to bring an insider to the zero point and hopefully they will see the light and come back into the fold. For outsiders, they don't usually get a second chance, BOOM!

Quote :
Democracy is not a form of tyranny. I will concede, though, that a wise tyrant, would make a better ruler than a fool elected by the masses.

It is a tyranny of the majority, one group forcing it's will into another.

Quote :
Are you not right now being governed by forum rules?
One has to choose one's battles. Live to fight another day. Discretion is the better part of valor.
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PostSubject: Re: What is a government?   Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:30 pm

I was being hyperbolic.

Obviously, there are numerous ways in which my decision-making process is subverted.

As a realist and an Anarchist I recognise that utopia is neither achievable nor desirable.

It is a geometric extrapolation, to act as a yardstick against what we currently have.

It is a direction, not a destination.

Identify the muck that holds you back, and pick it off.
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PostSubject: Re: What is a government?   Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:39 pm

-Psychonaut wrote:
Identify the muck that holds you back, and pick it off.
I expect that we agree on this point: to get the muck off, the whole cesspit has to be drained. A cesspit is a physical thing. The objection about not throwing the baby out with the bath water doesn't apply with cesspits, the objection that a baby has fallen in is no reason not to drain it. Destroy everything.
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PostSubject: Re: What is a government?   Tue Jan 20, 2009 7:16 am

Ivan wrote:
I expect that we agree on this point: to get the muck off, the whole cesspit has to be drained. A cesspit is a physical thing. The objection about not throwing the baby out with the bath water doesn't apply with cesspits, the objection that a baby has fallen in is no reason not to drain it. Destroy everything.
Excellent analogy here: Twisted Evil
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PostSubject: Re: What is a government?   Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:15 am

Unreasonable wrote:
Excellent analogy here: Twisted Evil
I can never tell if someone is being sarcastic, including myself. If the cesspit analogy is bad, then: burn down the barn (and hope it's not an ark).
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PostSubject: Re: What is a government?   Tue Jan 20, 2009 9:08 am

Ivan wrote:
I can never tell if someone is being sarcastic, including myself. If the cesspit analogy is bad, then: burn down the barn (and hope it's not an ark).
Me too. I like the cesspit analogy though!
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PostSubject: Re: What is a government?   Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:12 pm

Do you know where to find the plug?
Do you have a team of people to scrape the sides afterwards?
What will you fill it with afterwards?
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PostSubject: Re: What is a government?   Wed Jan 21, 2009 12:53 am

-Psychonaut wrote:
Do you know where to find the plug?
Do you have a team of people to scrape the sides afterwards?
What will you fill it with afterwards?
You can't control everything. Relax.
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PostSubject: Re: What is a government?   Wed Jan 21, 2009 12:12 pm

I always find it strange when people tell me to relax online, especially when there is nothing to indicate that I am not relaxed?
Generally I assume it is because they think it may provoke me, but not in this instance?

So anyway, I was just asking that since you think the only way to get the muck off is to drain the cesspool, do you have any notion of how it may be drained?

Or do you think it may be fruitful to pick off muck in the mean time?
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