From farmer to MarcMadness; Further thoughts on anarchismSubmitted by farmer on Sat, 06/21/2014 - 16:24
Our conversation was lost in a deluge of comments, so I start anew:
You suggest the following definition for government:
The group of people who control and make decisions for a country, state, etc.
You claim my definition is not the one most people use.
I disagree. I use a different definition not because this one is not in the dictionary, but because it is not what is meant by most people by government, though they may like to think it is. And I can explain why:
Say you have a country full of people. Everyone agrees on a certain course of action. A decision is, therefore, made, and everyone acts in agreement. They are in control of what is happening in the country. This shows why your definition of simply a group of people controlling and making a decision is inadequate. Why? Well, in my scenario, there is no government mentioned and none needed, but it fits your definition of a group of people controlling and making a decision. In fact, it is the only possible non-deceptive definition of a group of people controlling and making a decision: Complete unanimity. If there is any disagreement, then the group has not made a decision, and to speak otherwise is deceptive.
What is the missing element which makes the dictionary definition deceptive? It is precisely the presence of people who disagree. It is assumed that they will be forced by some group to submit to the decision of the rulers. It is assumed, and you go on to mention the contradictory notion of the "consent of the governed." That is to say, a man who disagrees, who thinks it is wrong to do what the rulers have decided he should do, "consents," i.e., gives his permission to be forced to do what he thinks is wrong to do. Thus, "consent of the governed" is contradictory, and its presence in your explanation of your deceptive definition is further indication of the deception under which you have fallen.
That is my point. My point is precisely that one has to think clearly and understand the true nature of the situation instead of relying on deceptive definitions---which are in common use precisely because of their deceptive nature.
The true nature of what one means when one talks about government is that there are rulers who are allowed to do things that would be evil and illigitimate, i.e., force others to do things simply for the convenience of the rulers, but that those evil actions are magically made OK because they are attributed to "government." That is what "government" truly is. It is not just people controlling themselves and making decisions. It is not a group of people at all. It is an idea about a group of people. The idea I explained before and have explained here.