8 votes

What is the State/Government Good At, Seriously?

If you had to make a case for the State, where would you start?

Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
ChristianAnarchist's picture

"Government" (or "the State")

"Government" (or "the State") is neither good or bad at ANYTHING because as a fiction, it exists only in the mind of the believers. All the actions listed here - stealing money, imprisoning people and murder, are actually committed by BELIEVERS. These believers are men (neutral gender) like you or me. Their crimes are still crimes but most people do not look at them as crimes because they think that some magic entity called "government" gives these men some power over us.

"Government" does not DO anything. It does not think, have possessions, or speak. MEN do these things and claim that it's actually the state doing them and gullible people believe it (hence, they are also "believers")...

Beware the cult of "government"...

Cyril's picture

What is it good at?

What is it good at? (And really good, for that matter)

Er... Well, besides disappointment, deception, and plunder, I can't quite think of anything much else.

But then again, the state, as I see it, is only a consequential societal artifact of the people :

one only gets the state that they've allowed to grow around themselves in the first place, no?

The probable most oft-forgotten noun in human history suffering the whims of the unjust state : demagoguery.

We're not doing so great with that part of our intellect that we call "memory", if one asks me.

"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"


The state supermen are only so self-proclaimed, at best - they are no real supermen - just like us, they are only mere mortals and a drop of water suffices to kill them, etc. When they manage to deceive (and plunder) in the large or for long, it's only because, we, people, allow them to.

Hence, the above noun refresher.

Just IMO.

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Some might argue that

Avoiding prosecution is a skillset that others don't possess.

My opinion?, well I'm going to take the fifth.

"Hell is empty, and all the devils are here" (Shakespeare)
RP 2012~ Intellectual Revolution.

Gov't excels at 3 things:

1. Taking your money. Taxation, whether direct or inflationary is always increasing for the majority of people.

2. Imprisonment. U.S. has 5% of the world population, yet 25% of the world's prison population.

3. Killing innocent civilians halfway around the world in the name of keeping you safe and free, while attempting to strip you of your rights to choose how you defend/feed/educate/medicate yourself under the same guise.
I wonder how many people the U.S. gov. has combined killed/injured/displaced in the middle east in just the last 25 years? The numbers must be staggering.

"Liberty is to the collective body, what health is to every individual body. Without health no pleasure can be tasted by man; without liberty, no happiness can be enjoyed by society."

— Henry St. John


If it is just about the only thing they do, they are fairly good at legislating and enforcing common sense laws and civil cases. Before the drug war, and excluding Prohibition, we had pretty reasonable cops, and that much of the system worked ok. It's when the govt adds more functions that the opportunities for corruption multiply and people lose sight of who they are serving.

A system of rules is the first thing a society creates out of anarchism. Some organization has to do it, and they will basically be a government.

When you do the math, even that much can start to become expensive for everyone to contribute to, but it's doable with the right proportions of govt to capita. When you add in all the extra functions it does now, it's mind boggling how much they have to take from us by various means to keep the monster going.

Provision of law is the very worst thing government does

In a free society laws would be few and universal. They would provide for the protection of natural rights and very little else. It would essentially be common law.

The reason for this if people cannot socialize the cost of laws onto their fellows their won't be any special pleading laws that protect all the myriad of market interests against competition. The purpose of almost all laws today is to create or support a cartel or monopoly. Often they are created with this intent, but even when they are not, they evolve to this function.

The reason is universal and unavoidable. If the government has the power to take from some and give to others, this power will always go to the highest bidder. 'Regulatory capture' is not an accident.

Something is not an accident that always happens.

Because most law is to benefit the privileged, actual solution of real crimes is almost nil. Police use to take property crime seriously. Today it's a joke to them. They don't even take violent crime very seriously, unless it's against them then they freak out of course.

They get very little from solving crimes against a citizen's rights.

The crimes they do benefit from enforcing are the invented crimes. The perpetrators of invented crimes are rarely if ever violent so it's a lot safer. And the entities which benefit from that enforcement will reward the political system for so enforcing.

The drug war is most obvious, but code enforcement, license violations, regulatory compliance, etc are also important.

Essentially any law which doesn't flatly and simply protect a natural right, is itself a violation of someone else's natural right.

It is the marketing and sale of the violation of natural rights that is the core business of government.

For government to be plausible at all, per Bastiat, it would have to limit itself to the protection of rights and never the violation of rights.

Unfortunately this doesn't seem to be possible, at least history strongly suggests this.

In all events government is unnecessary, since as I mentioned supra in a free market the provision of law would automatically be limited to this anyway.

You won't pay for a drug war that you do not benefit from just because prison guards do. You will not pay for market protection for professional licensure which just drives up the prices for you. You will not pay for IP law which just hurts you.

In a free society special interests will have no way to socialize the cost of protecting their own pecuniary interests from competition, thus the incentives will be inverted. Laws will be simple, fair, and things people universally desire.

I know this because people won't pay for anything else. They will not pay for laws which harm them if they are not forced to at point of an IRS gun.

They have been pretty good at fulfilling George Orwell's 1984

Or maybe that was their guide book?

re-writing history (make people think they are the good guys) - check
perpetual war (creating fear of the 'enemy' so public supports the war) - check
construction of police state (scare public into obeying) - check

proverbs 20:15
There is gold, and an abundance of jewels;
But the lips of knowledge are a more precious thing.

government has

proven to be exceedingly good at keeping just enough people just apathetic and satisfied enough to allow a handful of select individuals to maintain control over massive populations and resources.

Is this good? Not at all... but it's what gov't does best.

Our family's journey from the Rocket City to the Redoubt: www.suburbiatosimplicity.com

All good posts below

I'd say the best "thing" the State Department is good at is lying. People still believe them when they lie, but not when they cover up.

Isn't that like, weird, Jawa? Right?

FYI: I'm just giving you crap, Jawa.

If you don't know your rights, you don't have any.

Our government, or government in general?

I'm gonna go with our government, since it's the only one I know.

1. War / killing people
2. Taxes / stealing
3. Lying / not telling the whole truth
4. Herding Sheep.
5. ...I was going to try to make a joke here but everything I came up with just seemed sad. I hate to say government isn't good at anything good but...We do give a lot of "aid" to other countries, that's good right?

If ignorance is bliss, Washington DC must be heaven.

Beating up college girls

Taking violent control of a geographical territory, to make sure another violent group doesn't take control of the same geographical territory.




creating moral hazard


Defeat the panda-industrial complex

I am dusk icon. anagram me.

Carrying Out The Devils Goals

They do a few good works with the money that they steal, but they are not "good at" anything that would advance the cause of liberty.

Gene Louis
Supporting a Needed Tool for Government Feedback:
A Citizen-Operated Legal System.

tasmlab's picture

Brainwashing children

I'd say they were downright masterful.

Currently consuming: Morehouse's "Better off free", FDR; Wii U; NEP Football

1) taking your money

2) enabling interest groups to impose their vision of society onto the rest of society
3) enabling crony capitalism

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.” — Albert Camus