November 13, 2013

Your government sucks

I don't believe in borders. The world arbitrarily draws lines separating what they call countries. With this slicing and dicing of land comes the opportunity for the few to control the many living in that place. They create propaganda to make the inhabitants feel good about their captivity within the lines drawn in the Earth.

With a national anthem and a flag, followers of each government learn to feel proud and defensive of their cages. They come to see their place as superior to other places. Once people feel this false ownership, they are then brainwashed by their government to believe and do as they are told. This is done through public education and laws to force compliance. They have a portion of their earnings stolen by the government and are then told that it is used for good.

The question is, good for whom? Government ringleaders choose laws to control their citizens based on whatever their propaganda machine makes popular for the moment. Governments continuously tend toward more and more control. They steal freedom from their people, and become more and more greedy for money and power over their prisoners.

Laws don't often get erased. Government plunderers instead focus on creating new laws to keep their people needing them. It's not enough however to just violate their own captives, they also seek to control other land and people groupings (countries as they call them).

Large economies use child-like bullying tactics to take advantage of others' resources. When one country doesn't share the same believe system, foreign policy is created to incentivize compliance. When the stakes are high (i.e., cheap oil), or when a political opportunity arises, war can force another country's submission after which plundering resources, culture, or political capital is possible.

War has downsides, however, because the other kids in the sandbox (the other countries) see the bullying and learn to hate the warmonger. The war-loving nation believes it is striking fear in others but instead it quickly loses allies. As the country isolates itself, it becomes weaker which leads to its own destruction.

One day, when the reputation of the bully gets bad enough, no one chooses to help him in a fight. He is alone. When the bully loses a fight, politicians pretend the loss didn't occur. They make excuses for pulling out of the war, and sometimes even claim victory. But the people know better, and the government goons simply lose credibility. They lose the next election and a new power-hungry individual or political group takes over as slave driver.

This cycle continues until the country is barren and stealing from the people is no longer profitable. That's when its time to move on to a new career.


  1. Nationalism is universal and well accepted. The citizens of every nation are proud of their culture, and that is not a bad thing, as long as they recognize the sovereignty of their neighbors. However wars typically create adverse consequences for the regimes that led them. The most extreme example, Nazi Germany, was followed by an entirely new and different system that rejected the past regime. However, surprisingly, even in Britain, where the Churchill government performed brilliantly during the war, the public threw out Churchill after the war, but the form of government remained intact. In Russia, although the form of government survived the war, Kruschev publicly degraded the reputation of the wartime leader. In Egypt, Mubarak and then Morsi are tried after they are overthrown. George III survived an unsuccessful war, but Louis XIV did not. What can we learn from these examples? There are two patterns: one, where there is broad consensus on the form of government, which survives the war, although the leader's administration does not, and a second, where there is no broad consensus on the form of government, where neither the leader nor the form of government survives the war. In other words, as Hobbes described, people will cede sovereignty to a form of government they consider necessary to escape the state of nature, where life is nasty, brutish and short, but not to a form of government that takes more from them than is necessary to escape the state of nature, and takes rights from them to a greater degree than necessary to achieve safety. In the former model, the state exists to serve the people, whereas in the latter model, the people exist to serve the state. Interestingly, some cultures, like the Anglo-American cultures, are very comfortable with the former model, whereas others, like the Egyptian culture, reflexively put their former leaders on trial when things go wrong.

  2. When term limits keep a leader from holding office indefinitely, losing power is no longer a disincentive to starting wars. By the time the war is over, the previous leader cannot be ousted because he is busy on his book tour or earning appearance fees.