Friday, January 25, 2013

What Is A Government (Not A State)?

Government is a voluntarily chosen means - a type of social cooperation - for achieving the ends desired within a particular society. It may be that the type of social cooperation chosen does not resemble what contemporary thought considers a 'government' but it is voluntarily and non-coercively chosen, so for that time and place it is perfectly fine and subject to change if the results do not turn out to be desirable.

Someone may say that this is confusing spontaneous order with government. Spontaneous order may include all of the voluntary choices made in society, including those means that serve as a government for certain agreed upon tasks, but spontaneous order could just as easily not have a governmental element.

Government is only one of many means to attain the ends chosen. Therefore it can be one of the means voluntarily chosen. It would be folly for a society to choose government as a means to attain one or several of its ends without very specific constraints founded firmly on the preservation of property rights. Of course there are always 'private' means as alternative means and the more people understand the beauty of these private means the higher they will be regarded, but ultimately voluntary choices need to be made for the ethics of society to advance properly. Freedom and liberty allow for the optimal development of ethics. This is what leads to the greatest advancement of civilization.

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