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Author Topic: What should be the Goal(s) of Government?  (Read 7960 times)
theonewhowaskazu
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October 30, 2013, 05:06:15 AM
 #1

In my opinion, government can be distilled down to its essence in 3 statements:

1) Protect citizens' right to health & peace. This includes (A) preventing violent crimes and (B) ensuring that knowledge of the effects of substances on humans' health is public knowledge.

2) Protect the citizens' right to own. This includes preventing theft and ensuring enforceable contracts are properly enforced.

3) Provide services that are necessary to uphold the above to responsibilities without being forced to grant excessive power to a private business. For example, to enforce contracts, a dispute resolving system is needed.

I'm wondering if people here generally agree that government should be restricted to the above.

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October 30, 2013, 05:50:32 AM
 #2

From an anarchist's point of view (I pray you don't mind), the only purpose of government is to protect our most important rights, i.e. law & justice.  These are dictated by the law of reciprocal, e.g. "If you do this to me, you will receive similar treatment", which is essentially the golden rule.  The libertarian viewpoint is the non-aggression principle, which is an aggregate of "Do not kill", "Do not steal", "Do not rape", and anything else which can be defined as aggression.  Combining the two, you get a set of clear and concise laws where virtue is at the very core of society; the methods that these laws are protected are unrelated to any central source of power, thus placing government as a matter in the hands of every individual to protect; my philosophy is, nobody will ever reliably and consistently place your best interest in mind but you.

The trouble with giving a central source of power monopolies over certain services, especially in light of military, money and law-creation, is that they then use that power to their own advantage.  Once you have control of a people's defense systems, control over the flow of wealth, and can define what is just and what is not (even if unethical), you can then increase your control over people and divert their energy into empire building and thus, conquest.

Anyhow, when government is not allowed to have monopolies over these things, it is up to the market to provide these things.  It is a common view that the entire reason the state provides its services is because the private sector refuses to do so.  Bitcoin shows us that currencies don't have to be controlled by government; they can function on their own, powered by individuals.  Then again, gold showed this to us as well but that's a long story.  I believe, if people want it, they will pay for it, and people definitely want military to protect them, and just as well would like local law protection to ensure their daily lives go unhampered by crime.  Since people already pay for these things through taxation, it should follow they would also want these things voluntarily.  By doing this, we keep military and police in the hands of the individual, thereby removing the fear of these two entities becoming corrupt and fighting causes that are immoral, such as wars in the middle east and whatnot, but instead focused on protecting people from those who are breaking the law by breaking what is widely considered as ethical behavior, such as not murdering innocent people.  In the same vein, if people want knowledge of substances, they would fund agencies who compete to provide the most honest and truthful assessments of these items, and I believe we all want this; for example, nobody is mandated to have Internet (AFAIK) and yet a huge amount of us couldn't live without it.  Likewise, there are certain things we enjoy in this world that we couldn't live without and would be fine with spending the cash to make it happen.  I can't imagine a world where people want a product or service with there being nobody who says "Hey, I can make some money doing this!"

But aside from all that, I feel that any reduction of our currently bloated government is a step in the right direction.

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October 30, 2013, 07:10:50 AM
 #3

It wouldn't go so fast on restricting the government. Don't forget that one can vote and elect politicians, while we can't influence corporations. Who is going to protect us from toxic food and environment, if not the regulators? Who is going to prevent massive healthcare costs?

That said, everyone has his own opinion of this topic, depending on his country of origin and personal ideology ...


 
 
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hawkeye
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October 30, 2013, 07:33:55 AM
 #4


2) Protect the citizens' right to own. This includes preventing theft and ensuring enforceable contracts are properly enforced.
 

Ask a group of people to prevent theft and uphold property rights but give them the right to steal(tax) and violate property rights?  How would you think that would turn out?  How did it turn out?
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October 30, 2013, 07:59:18 AM
 #5

Point 1 not possible to do.  Government can only punish someone after the fact.    You can't prevent violence.  Point 2 not possible to do.  You can't prevent theft.  Also if government grants someone the right to own it's not real it's simply letting citizens rent. This is how most modern real estate works.  You don't pay taxes or fees you lose the property that's not ownership that's rent.  Government contract enforcement is just a big loop of creating contract rules which participants have a natural tendency to try to game which then leads to rules fixing the loopholes which leads to different attempts to game and it's a forever cycle.  Private contract dispute resolution would work just as well.  So since point 1 & 2 are unworkable point 3 is irrelevant.
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October 30, 2013, 08:02:40 AM
 #6

If we absolutely must have government mine would be:

. Aiding ( not taking over like we have now ) in the defense of its citizens

. Mediating disputes in law or cases of fraud as a neutral third party

. Getting elected as representatives for cases of diplomacy for international purposes, I'm a bit different in that I think we should have direct democracy and the people should have a right to vote on every single law that politicians try to pass, if public opinion outweighs politicians opinions then the law should be stopped

I do pretty much agree with you for the most part except for the public health thing, that's just knowledge if people are taught things properly then the government wouldn't need to do the work. My thing for example is always being suspicious about food that's incredibly cheap, you've got to have a look at where it comes from and how they manage to get it that cheap, if they're being tight lipped, then you don't buy from them because they have something to hide, it's like that with any product.

I've found that many of the problems in this world can simply be solved by not being assholes, if people stopped it then we wouldn't even need any government at all.
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October 30, 2013, 11:26:09 AM
 #7

In my opinion, government can be distilled down to its essence in 3 statements:

1) Protect citizens' right to health & peace. This includes (A) preventing violent crimes and (B) ensuring that knowledge of the effects of substances on humans' health is public knowledge.

2) Protect the citizens' right to own. This includes preventing theft and ensuring enforceable contracts are properly enforced.

3) Provide services that are necessary to uphold the above to responsibilities without being forced to grant excessive power to a private business. For example, to enforce contracts, a dispute resolving system is needed.

I'm wondering if people here generally agree that government should be restricted to the above.

Sort of a short list isn't it?

4. Protect citizens right to exist as a community via border controls and work permits. 

5. Protect citizens right to live in the style of community they via via planning laws and zoning permits.

6. Act collectively for citizens in things like education and health.


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October 30, 2013, 11:45:37 AM
 #8

Protect citizens from internal and external threats, be that individuals , larger entities like other governments and corporations or natural threats.
Provide minimal basic needs of citizens, health, nutrion and shelter.

And then positive extras:
Provide important infrastructure to support commerce
Provide important basic and/or advanced training for citizens

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theonewhowaskazu
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October 30, 2013, 02:57:35 PM
 #9


2) Protect the citizens' right to own. This includes preventing theft and ensuring enforceable contracts are properly enforced.
 

Ask a group of people to prevent theft and uphold property rights but give them the right to steal(tax) and violate property rights?  How would you think that would turn out?  How did it turn out?

The difference would be that tax money would be spent exclusively to obtain the above 3 goals, so taxes would be much lower & we would not have to pay interest on debt. Since chaos would erupt if multiple law-enforcement agencies of differing rules were to be given power to manage a specific area, there is simply no other reasonable way of protecting citizens in some respects without the aid of a government. Since governments with the above 3 rules don't have immigration rules, it would be very easy to simply immigrate to another country should any specific government become abusive in terms of its taxes.

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October 30, 2013, 06:22:25 PM
 #10

The question doesn't really make any sense. Government isnt a person and only people have goals. So if we are going to talk about what goals government has or ought to have, we can only be talking about what goals the people who run government have or ought to have. Government is comprised of millions of people with hundreds or thousands of goals each. So government has, and will continue to have, like literally a billion different entirely distinct goals at any given time.

Rep Thread: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=381041
If one can not confer upon another a right which he does not himself first possess, by what means does the state derive the right to engage in behaviors from which the public is prohibited?
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October 31, 2013, 06:44:13 AM
 #11


2) Protect the citizens' right to own. This includes preventing theft and ensuring enforceable contracts are properly enforced.
 

Ask a group of people to prevent theft and uphold property rights but give them the right to steal(tax) and violate property rights?  How would you think that would turn out?  How did it turn out?

The difference would be that tax money would be spent exclusively to obtain the above 3 goals, so taxes would be much lower & we would not have to pay interest on debt. Since chaos would erupt if multiple law-enforcement agencies of differing rules were to be given power to manage a specific area, there is simply no other reasonable way of protecting citizens in some respects without the aid of a government. Since governments with the above 3 rules don't have immigration rules, it would be very easy to simply immigrate to another country should any specific government become abusive in terms of its taxes.

You are assuming the people that you give the power to, will follow these rules.  Like I said, it's been done before many times and never works out that way.

Why would there be chaos with multiple enforcement agencies?  Can companies in one industry not co-operate?   The costs of co-operation in the security protection industry are far lower than the costs of the companies not co-operating with each other.  Conflict is very expensive.  If you are trying to offer the best deal to your customers you want to keep your costs as low as possible.  Hence, co-operate with the other companies to provide arbitration services when there are disputes between customers of them.   This is in stark contrast to a monopoly who gets money regardless (police) and doesn't really have to provide good service.  Hence, they just provide the lowest amount of service they can get away with.  Which frankly, isn't that good.

Immigration is just moving when you don't have the nonsense of country borders.  There are many cases where you can move 1000 or more miles in one direction with no problem, but moving 100 miles or even less sometimes in another direction requires visa, passport, etc.  What nonsense is this?
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October 31, 2013, 02:04:45 PM
 #12

In my opinion, government can be distilled down to its essence in 3 statements:

1) Protect citizens' right to health & peace. This includes (A) preventing violent crimes and (B) ensuring that knowledge of the effects of substances on humans' health is public knowledge.

2) Protect the citizens' right to own. This includes preventing theft and ensuring enforceable contracts are properly enforced.

3) Provide services that are necessary to uphold the above to responsibilities without being forced to grant excessive power to a private business. For example, to enforce contracts, a dispute resolving system is needed.

I'm wondering if people here generally agree that government should be restricted to the above.

Sort of a short list isn't it?

4. Protect citizens right to exist as a community via border controls and work permits. 

5. Protect citizens right to live in the style of community they via via planning laws and zoning permits.

6. Act collectively for citizens in things like education and health.



I just played a brilliant game where government had control over these things and business and more, where you work as the guy who sees who's allowed in the community or not at a national checkpoint, check it out: Papers, Please

A question: once government is out of individual control, how do individuals stop it from evolving into fascism/communism without taking control of it again?

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October 31, 2013, 10:54:00 PM
 #13

The goal of the government should be to do whatever people pay for.

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October 31, 2013, 10:58:35 PM
 #14

The goal of the government should be to do whatever people pay for.

Yeah, they actually do whatever people pay for. People from oligarchic elite.

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October 31, 2013, 11:01:24 PM
 #15

Self-destruct, rather than continue its out of control totalitarian crescendo.

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October 31, 2013, 11:07:06 PM
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There's no ideal solution. No utopia for you, sorry. Not in your lifetime, or in a lifetime of your kids. Only thing you can do is to steal/earn enough for yourself and those that are close to you, and live happily ever after in some remote corner, as far as you can be from any government. People are competitive by nature, they work in their own interests, and there are too many people with too many interests. It's logical that given the power you usurp that power. If someone is delusional enough to believe in some greater good, this is only a stage in his life, until a point where his delusions are replaced with common sense, coming in terms with his needs.


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October 31, 2013, 11:16:09 PM
 #17

There's no ideal solution. No utopia for you, sorry. Not in your lifetime, or in a lifetime of your kids. Only thing you can do is to steal/earn enough for yourself and those that are close to you, and live happily ever after in some remote corner, as far as you can be from any government. People are competitive by nature, they work in their own interests, and there are too many people with too many interests. It's logical that given the power you usurp that power. If someone is delusional enough to believe in some greater good, this is only a stage in his life, until a point where his delusions are replaced with common sense, coming in terms with his needs.

To sum up your post:

"Give up, it's not worth it."

At least you have admitted to there being a problem Smiley

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October 31, 2013, 11:19:25 PM
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mainly the judiciary. no real reason for the rest of it.
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November 01, 2013, 01:27:32 AM
 #19

There's no ideal solution. No utopia for you, sorry. Not in your lifetime, or in a lifetime of your kids. Only thing you can do is to steal/earn enough for yourself and those that are close to you, and live happily ever after in some remote corner, as far as you can be from any government. People are competitive by nature, they work in their own interests, and there are too many people with too many interests. It's logical that given the power you usurp that power. If someone is delusional enough to believe in some greater good, this is only a stage in his life, until a point where his delusions are replaced with common sense, coming in terms with his needs.

Exactly, and the concept of this utopia is exactly why people want a socialist government. Since, at the end of the day, it is in the interest of the most people to not have such a government, then why, by your theory, don't they assert this interest?

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November 03, 2013, 02:00:34 AM
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There's no ideal solution. No utopia for you, sorry. Not in your lifetime, or in a lifetime of your kids. Only thing you can do is to steal/earn enough for yourself and those that are close to you, and live happily ever after in some remote corner, as far as you can be from any government. People are competitive by nature, they work in their own interests, and there are too many people with too many interests. It's logical that given the power you usurp that power. If someone is delusional enough to believe in some greater good, this is only a stage in his life, until a point where his delusions are replaced with common sense, coming in terms with his needs.
Unless the entire generation of youth believes in the same delusion.

Quote
A question: once government is out of individual control, how do individuals stop it from evolving into fascism/communism without taking control of it again?
Anarchy, complete nature and balance.

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