Government runs society.
That’s what you have been told. It’s received wisdom. You have believed this perhaps since your guardians explained it to you as a child.
Every other person you know takes it for granted. Anyone who dared to challenge the right of government to rule wound up in prison—whether they were robbers or revolutionaries.
Sometimes, by some stroke of luck, the challengers have won against government. But then they became what they challenged. They became the government.
So everything points towards government as necessary. No matter how shadowy it seems, regardless of how far removed it appears. It runs things. And we accept that it’s in charge.
Does the Government Control Your Life?
If you attended school at any level, you were taught from a curriculum approved by the government. It determines what you learn in your formative years. Or at least a great part of it.
It played a huge role in defining what you knew about the world, and how you thought about existence.
Your social relationships are dictated and limited by government. You are forbidden from joining certain groups, associating with certain kinds of individuals, or initiating specific kinds of contracts. You can only operate within boundaries set by ‘the authorities’.
Government takes your land—or your ancestors’ land –and calls it government property. It says it’s holding it on ‘the people’s behalf.’ But would you dare take it back of your own accord? Do you really have a say in the matter?
Government tells you where (and where not) to build your house. It tells you what kind of business you can set up, where you should set it up, where you should sell, and who you should sell to. Then it demands that you pay part of your business’s earnings to it. You’re afraid of its agents- police, judges, and prisons –so you comply.
Your industry literally lives and dies by government policy. At any time, it could sign a paper that consigns your whole line of business to the graveyard, and turns all your investments to waste.
It can (and often does) limit where you can go, and when you can get there. You challenge its cordons, borders, and curfews at your own peril.
Government defines the possibilities of your life, from where you can be born to where you’re buried, and what’s possible between those two points.
Are You Comfortable with This?
Are you fine with having others chaperoning your life?
Would you not rather have greater control of it?
Perhaps we can’t do without a government of some sort. We are dependent on the security and social order that it makes possible.
But what if we reexamined the very idea of government? How about asking questions about what its roles are, and what they should be? Or deciding that it’ll be what we want it to be, and not what it decides to become?
Do we not have this power at least? Or are we so enslaved to the status quo that we can’t seriously ask these questions?
Are you comfortable with being this imprisoned?