The majority of us, even the most clueless, have an understanding that government uses force, at least from time to time. What few of us may realize is that, in fact, government is force. It doesn’t just use force once in a while, it’s very existence is predicated on force or at least the threat of force. Many will be tempted to dismiss that out of hand, without even considering the concept.
Do yourself, and the rest of us, a favor and truly stop to think through this for a moment. What happens in the most extreme case for any situation, when it comes to government involvement? Any. Anything, anytime, any place. If government is involved – and when isn’t it nowadays – what happens when push comes to shove? What does the government do when it doesn’t get its way?
It uses force.
What is Government?
We have become so conditioned to look to big government as our provider, our nanny, our savior, that any negative feelings are quickly swept away. In those moments when we may, like a petulant child, be angry we didn’t get what we wanted, we might think or say something unkind toward government. But, that passes quickly enough. After all, we depend on government too much to risk a strained relationship.
That is one reason government continues to grow and use ever greater force in an ever growing sphere of influence. Try to find an area where government, in one guise or another, is not active, with that threat of force ever present. It can be difficult to see this, we so don’t want it to be true. But, it is.
The following article takes us through a nice reflection on just what government is, the common ambivalence about that question and insight into how to acknowledge and admit it. A few excerpts:Apparently, practically everyone — dictionary makers, scholars, the man in the street — is unwilling to face the fact that government involves the use of physical force. What accounts for this widespread resistance? Click To Tweet
An Unconscious Pattern of Avoidance
“As I shared this forced-oriented definition of the term government with people, I encountered two reactions. A tiny minority readily agreed with it; they had no problem accepting the point that the use of physical force is the defining characteristic of government.
“The overwhelming majority of my contacts, however, refused to accept this definition, even as they remained quite vague about what the definition ought to be. As I explored their unease, it emerged that in most cases an emotional component swayed their thinking…
“Easton’s comprehensive effort to define government had a striking omission: in 320 pages, he never mentioned the use of physical force.”…
“The Blackwell Dictionary of Political Science illustrates the point. Its government entry fails to give any definition and begins with highly evasive language…Its 900-word commentary on government never mentions force, police officers, or jails.”…
“Apparently, practically everyone — dictionary makers, scholars, the man in the street — is unwilling to face the fact that government involves the use of physical force. What accounts for this widespread resistance? To understand it, we need to review the cultural trend in attitudes toward the use of force.”
Read the entire piece at The Government Nobody Knows Nor Wants To Know.