It's Very Simple

Column by Paul Hein.

Exclusive to STR

I have often wondered why candidates for political office are never asked the most fundamental question: What, in your opinion, is the purpose of government? I have posed this question to several office-holders, both state and federal, even including a self-addressed envelope for their convenience. The question is never answered.

If pressed, a politician might reply that government exists to protect the rights of the citizens. That would be a dangerous response, however, as it could easily be demonstrated that the greatest threat to the rights of the citizens comes from government itself. For instance, if your income is your property, doesn’t that mean you have a right to it? Property rights, after all, are extremely basic. But the government claims a greater right to your property than you have. Do you have a right to bear arms? Yes, in some locations, but even there you must jump through hoops to obtain a weapon. Do you have a right to privacy? Not if the government wants to know how much you’ve earned, what you’ve spent on medical care, and a host of other matters you’d prefer to keep to yourself. And your right to free speech is certainly guaranteed, unless you say something offensive to certain parties, in which case you can end up in jail.

So what, then, is the purpose of government? It’s very simple, and can be stated in a single word: money. It’s all about money! Government is a group of individuals who wish to obtain other people’s money, although not necessarily only for themselves, but to enable them to pay for pet projects--schools, medical care, housing--whatever will create a large dependent population. And, of course, war.

This predation has been going on for centuries, at least. It is so universal that both predators and prey have come to regard it as normal, and even necessary. The predators can point to “laws” which justify their predation, although they themselves have written those laws. They administer their “laws” themselves, and have the use of force to carry them out. They refer to their enforcers as protectors of law and order (THEIR laws and orders!) and the enforcers--call them police--may indeed protect you, if available to do so, and you are not regarded as an enemy, or possible enemy. However, they are under no obligation to protect you.

If you are rash enough to question the validity of government demands, you are certainly entitled to your day in court. It is, however, their court, their rules of procedure, and their employee as the judge.

Among the first human beings on this planet, there were some who were obviously wiser, or stronger, or both, than the rest. Their opinions, and protection, were sought and accepted. Sycophants attached themselves to these early leaders, who soon enough became rulers. Wise rulers dealt with malcontents not with violence (unless absolutely necessary) but with boons, or promises of boons, in return for compliance. The carrot replaced the stick. Government was born!

In a few months there will be an election. Citizens--the word is a synonym for a genteel form of slavery--will be given the choice of who will rule them. Some, perhaps most, will think that their participation in the voting ritual will make a difference. That’s a remarkable phenomenon. Does the gas station on the corner solicit votes from the public on how the business is to be managed? Does the supermarket hand out ballots at the checkout lane, so that customers can dictate the way the market is to be run? Yet the voter evidently believes that he, and others equally uninformed, can play a part in running the biggest, most powerful and profitable business in the world! How the real owners and operators of the business must chuckle at the thought!

Well, there is the law of entropy. Complex systems eventually break down. So keep your head down, your mouth closed, and your actions inoffensive, and wait for it. What else can you do? It’s happening right now, before our eyes.

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Paul Hein's picture
Columns on STR: 150


Samarami's picture
    "...the biggest, most powerful and profitable business in the world!..."

    Few people recognize just what you've said here, Paul. I don't know why, but most simply dance around this reality. And wail. And moan. And complain. And pontificate. And theorize. And editorialize.

    More column inches are devoted to that business venture than any other endeavor in the world. There is another, the total sales of which come in a close second -- but more about that one momentarily.

    In truth, all you need to do is to not patronize that particular business if you have such a problem with it. But that's too simple a solution for most, and in making the statement it's inevitable many feathers will rise, and the flak will develop. "B...b...but (The Big Butt)--They-Have-The-Guns!..." And on, and on, and (endlessly) on. Because more has been written and talked about regarding that particular enterprise than any other, save perhaps one. A high percentage of what we like to call "history" makes up the endless jabber. And endless mind control.

    The other profitable venture is religion. I'll stick with what is called Abrahamic religion for now, and limit my reference to one part of that broad category, with which most reading this will be most familiar. Because there are perhaps 33,000 divisions of that one. All of whom "...have The Truth...". Most of leaders of each of these religious divisions are also eerily and incestuously yoked with the industry you mentioned, Paul.

    One of my favorite history texts happens to be the most popular book on the market -- year-after-year. The irony is that of the above mentioned 33,000 divisions, virtually all claim to base their ideology on it. Yet none agree (if they did, there would only be 1), and few recognize the primary point, or what I call the fulcrum of its historical outline. And any who make sincere attempts to follow its proposals to the letter will be hooted and jeered out of the room. "Legalism" is the term that comes to mind when I recall the accusations.

    But there is a sinister "spirit" afloat among most of the population of around 7 billion souls on the earth. And it is that spirit (the spirit to which I alluded in the "fulcrum" above) that appears to move the masses in a sort of ghostly longing to patronize the business you mentioned above.

    The enormity of the truth is incredible. Sam

Samarami's picture

Long as I'm here making comments, Paul, should just as well address your admonition,

    "...keep your head down, your mouth closed, and your actions inoffensive..."

Good advice before, during, and after the inevitable calamity that will accompany the collapse of government as we know it. My hope is that the internet reformation will have taken strong enough hold of a critical mass of folks on this pale blue dot called "earth" -- to the extent they will not long for another group of psychopaths to lead them back to tyranny. Sam

Jim Davies's picture

Another great article, Paul, but doesn't Samarami have a point?
Government as we know it may quite possibly collapse. But is there any reason to suppose that out of the rubble a free society will emerge?  What process might lead to that? 
I favor a proactive plan instead.

James Clayton's picture

Perhaps the basic purpose of government is to govern (to control, rule, etc.).
State-sanctioned money (which is created as interest-bearing debt and is systemically scarce) is essentially their money and it is basically an instrument of control that is used to acquire wealth and power for those who govern (and for their families, friends, associates, etc.).

Samarami's picture

Good observation (this was meant to reply to James, but forgot to click the "reply" button). I like Wendy McElroy's rendition also:

    "...Government is a group of individuals
    organized for the purpose of extracting wealth
    and exerting power over people and resources
    in a given geographic area..."

But we must admit that there is an extremely large percentage of people for whom it is unthinkable NOT to have central political authority. To them, anarchy is insanity. And war is normal. Or at least necessary and acceptable -- until "we" get all the bad guys (who represent central political authority over yet a another large group of folks residing on another part of this pale blue dot called "earth") exterminated.

History is replete -- more like an ongoing saga -- with wars to establish political boundaries and borders. And "elections": many in this part of the world truly believe that "we've" cornered the market on that evil phenomenon called "democracy". So "we" must "...carry democracy to the world..."

The enormity of the truth is incredible.

James, it's good to see you back on STR, and I hope you post another of your intuitive essays. Sam