About the near-uselessness of central government

Sep 2015
306
192
South Carolina, USA
People need to really drop the idea that a state is somehow a necessary institution. It's only use is for violence, nothing more. Government doesn't have to mean an exploitative, centralized state. The act of governing could be easily carried out in a less coercive manner by a series of open and democratic organizations. The only reason I'm not an anarchist myself is because it's nearly impossible for any stateless society to last for long in a world dominated by profit-seeking elites.
 
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Jul 2014
15,503
9,589
massachusetts
Actually the one thing that the government excels at, is insurance, it's far more efficient than the private sector.
Which is why Social Security is the gold standard of the world for social insurance programs, and why Medicare (US and Canadian versions) saves so much money over the private insurance model.
 
Sep 2015
306
192
South Carolina, USA
In an ancom society there would be no private enterprise, no state, and everyone would have the best healthcare possible. Like I said, government doesn't have to mean a centralized state. People can govern themselves horizontally just fine. The only thing top-down government excels at is violence and repression.
 
Dec 2015
18,524
17,772
Arizona
People need to really drop the idea that a state is somehow a necessary institution. It's only use is for violence, nothing more. Government doesn't have to mean an exploitative, centralized state. The act of governing could be easily carried out in a less coercive manner by a series of open and democratic organizations. The only reason I'm not an anarchist myself is because it's nearly impossible for any stateless society to last for long in a world dominated by profit-seeking elites.


I have two questions. 1) Are Americans capable of governing themselves?
2) Do Americans really WANT to govern themselves?

Only half of Americans even VOTE. Americans may be tired of conflict and politics--corruption and lies, but most Americans are too busy--too apathetic--too uninformed or too unintelligent to make sound decisions.
 
Sep 2015
306
192
South Carolina, USA
1) Are Americans capable of governing themselves?
The only other alternative is to have others govern for us, which has consistently proven to be a complete disaster. Some elements of representative democracy are fine but we need, I repeat, need more direct participation in running society. There's simply no other option if we want don't want to continue living in absolute tyranny.

2) Do Americans really WANT to govern themselves?
I don't think having to vote more than once a year would be too challenging for the average person. Especially actual elections instead of choosing which establishment clown can repress them, it would be refreshing.
 
Dec 2015
18,524
17,772
Arizona
The only other alternative is to have others govern for us, which has consistently proven to be a complete disaster. Some elements of representative democracy are fine but we need, I repeat, need more direct participation in running society. There's simply no other option if we want don't want to continue living in absolute tyranny.



I don't think having to vote more than once a year would be too challenging for the average person. Especially actual elections instead of choosing which establishment clown can repress them, it would be refreshing.


In a perfect world.....wouldn't it be nice?? Unfortunately the reality IS Americans are simply not turned on. We are spoiled. We are disinterested. We have a hard time taking care of ourselves and our families. I am a retired teacher and I remember when I was raising two sons, teaching full time (which included evening/weekend events), directing church choir, chairing community functions, taking care of my elderly parents....on and on....the house work, laundry, groceries, cooking.....and I thought I would lose my MIND. I was not interested in politics. I felt like I was treading water--trying not to drown. I don't think THAT reality has changed for most families--most women. If only 50% of our electorate vote ONCE every 4 years what makes you think they are willing to vote once a year? I just don't buy it. It's a good idea, Uber. I just don't think it will fly.
 
Feb 2014
3,151
1,394
Oregon
People need to really drop the idea that a state is somehow a necessary institution. It's only use is for violence, nothing more. Government doesn't have to mean an exploitative, centralized state. The act of governing could be easily carried out in a less coercive manner by a series of open and democratic organizations. The only reason I'm not an anarchist myself is because it's nearly impossible for any stateless society to last for long in a world dominated by profit-seeking elites.
Have you participated in government on any level or an organizational committee of any kind?
 
Sep 2015
306
192
South Carolina, USA
In a perfect world.....wouldn't it be nice?? Unfortunately the reality IS Americans are simply not turned on. We are spoiled. We are disinterested. We have a hard time taking care of ourselves and our families. I am a retired teacher and I remember when I was raising two sons, teaching full time (which included evening/weekend events), directing church choir, chairing community functions, taking care of my elderly parents....on and on....the house work, laundry, groceries, cooking.....and I thought I would lose my MIND. I was not interested in politics. I felt like I was treading water--trying not to drown. I don't think THAT reality has changed for most families--most women. If only 50% of our electorate vote ONCE every 4 years what makes you think they are willing to vote once a year? I just don't buy it. It's a good idea, Uber. I just don't think it will fly.
I'm really not seeing the problem here. Are you implying that people would just make the wrong decisions? That they may, but leaving governance up to bureaucracy is even worse. There is no secret cadre of hyper-intelligent rulers that can guide the people perfectly without corruption. Without sufficient popular control you risk handing society over to a clique of corrupt buffoons that can't be removed from power. There is absolutely nothing worse than that. An educated populace helps, but that's not the main point of democracy. You also say that not enough people turn out. Sure, but I don't think you'll deny that more will in a less corrupt system. And even if only a minority turn out it would still be better than the corporate class rule we have today. Seriously, what is the problem with this? I'm not saying a representative system has to be totally abolished, but popular referendums to check power and workplace democracy couldn't be anything but a boon to the US. Those two things would require quite a bit more participation but I don't think that would kill anyone.

I don't think you truly realize the extent of the concession you're making here. If you're right that more elements of direct democracy simply can not work in the US we might as well all just give up on humanity as a whole. Just about every major problem on this planet short of natural disasters is the direct result of excessive hierarchy. If we can't solve that problem then we're finished.

Have you participated in government on any level or an organizational committee of any kind?
Just jury duty, otherwise no.
 
Feb 2014
3,151
1,394
Oregon
In a perfect world.....wouldn't it be nice?? Unfortunately the reality IS Americans are simply not turned on. We are spoiled. We are disinterested. We have a hard time taking care of ourselves and our families. I am a retired teacher and I remember when I was raising two sons, teaching full time (which included evening/weekend events), directing church choir, chairing community functions, taking care of my elderly parents....on and on....the house work, laundry, groceries, cooking.....and I thought I would lose my MIND. I was not interested in politics. I felt like I was treading water--trying not to drown. I don't think THAT reality has changed for most families--most women. If only 50% of our electorate vote ONCE every 4 years what makes you think they are willing to vote once a year? I just don't buy it. It's a good idea, Uber. I just don't think it will fly.
Your explanation of being way too busy to get involved in politics is right on. We need shorter work days and shorter work weeks, so we have time for our families and to rest, and other countries are doing than the US when it comes to more vacation time and more time for private lives.

One of my representatives has many public hearings and they are so well attended I stopped going. Where I live there are many committees a person can get on, and anyone can attend the meetings. We can also join city and county and state meetings and get a few minutes to speak. Admittedly, I don't have the patience for all this, and wish everyone would convert to using Robert's Rules of Order, so we could actually discuss matters. :lol: It would radically change our lives if all these meetings used the Robert's Rule of Order and large numbers of people attended them.

We need to think of politics as more than voting. There are all those meetings a person can attend, writing to representatives on all levels and some of them we can speak with in person. Writing letters to the editor is one of my favorite activities.

When the state took my grandchildren, I joined Grandparents for Family Justice, a group started by a woman who wrote a letter to the editor and got calls from grandparents. We had a convention, demonstrated on the streets, testified at the state level, and saw policy completely rewritten.

I am strongly in favor of greater use of the internet and every community should have a forum like this one for discussing local affairs and who is responsible for what. I am not understanding why it is taking so long to bring this about?
 
Feb 2014
3,151
1,394
Oregon
In an ancom society there would be no private enterprise, no state, and everyone would have the best healthcare possible. Like I said, government doesn't have to mean a centralized state. People can govern themselves horizontally just fine. The only thing top-down government excels at is violence and repression.
:lol: How is the best possible health care going to happen without a complex organization to make that so? Health care is no longer about finding the best herb and making a tea, as it once was.

You must have schools and taxes to pay for them and research and ways of checking to be sure everything is done right. There must be medications and equipment and transporting of resources to make both, and transporting the products back out to distributors. There must be clinics and hospital, and trained people to work in them. This does not happen without a way to organize all this, and that is what government is.

I hope you read my post above because there are many ways to get involved in government. Surely you could attend a city council meeting and find out why everyone isn't getting involved. This thread is motivating because I speak of what I believe is right, and know I don't come close to what I believe I should be doing because I don't like the way things are done. Also to be honest I find the meetings dreadfully boring most the time! But when there is a hot subject, being limited to 3 minutes to discuss complex issues is just insane! It is like giving a child a bucket of water and paint brush to help paint the house. Three minutes is only enough time to say there needs to be more time for discussion, and that discussion needs to be interactive.
 
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