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Colloquy on “Government” versus “society”

[cross-posted from Facebook]

– “Govt evolves like society has evolved, like we evolved.”

Formal “Governments” are human artifacts, and subject more or less (depending on size and many other factors) to conscious human manipulation. But as social, cooperative and competing animals, we also “govern” each other in myriads of informal mechanisms, which are also both part of of evolution and cultural heritage. These, too, can in part be shaped.

– “Govt does solve problems but what it does well we can’t see, what it doesn’t do well we notice.”
Well, we all have limited time, energy, cognitive ability and information, and also face competing priorities. We DO tend to notice more when things are broken, in ways that impose significant negative costs or inconvenience. But it is possible to notice what “Govt does well”, as well as to overlook countless things that it does not do well.

– “What you want is the next evolution of govt. You want it to be a society without govt.”
I’m not sure where you’ve derived these conclusions from (or entirely what you mean). Yes; I see many things about formal Govt now that are gravely broken and damaging to many people. But no, I do NOT want “society without [formal] govt”. In fact, my purpose in CREATING this group is to band together with others of many different persuasions to try to CHANGE formal government — not to end formal Govt altogether. But yes, humans did evolve without formal governments, and most of our interactions still take place informally, so I would hope to see formal Govts altered in ways that allow more of what Nobel Prizewinner Elinor #Ostrom called “polycentric” government, including much more self-government and participatory government.

– “Perhaps we as a society think we are ready for that, I am not sure we really are.”
I share your doubts that we are ready to live without formal Govt. In any case, it is not my objective. But we have before, can again, and imho definitely need to live again, with much more robust self-government that is more resistant to central corruption and looting by distant and unaccountable elites.

– “After all, you think there is no community.” 
I don’t think that there is NO community, but that growing crony capitalism and a growing Big Brother has steadily ERODED our communities and our mutual reliance and accountability, and set us up against each other in fighting over the crumbs that fall from the table, and for an illusion of who is really in charge.

Hence, my objective here is to BUILD community among others who are also waking up to the stinking mess that is America. Allies of all political stripes are welcome. We need to unite and build coalitions in order to push for changes that will rein in crony capitalism and restore more power for people to manage their own affairs and communities.

I am concerned much of BIG BROTHER actually arises out of what community may still exist, the desire to control women, the desire to suppress atheism in the US…

My own view on the growth of Big Brother is that it has fairly steadily centralized power, reducing the ability of people to live their own lives and manage their own communities, turning Govt into a one-stop shop for corporate welfare, contracts to provide military/defense and other services and for regulations that limit competition, and turned we the people into eternal supplicants for welfare and for more regulations to make the Frankensteins play nice.

Big Brother doesn’t so much “arise from community” as from a dynamic whereby it arrogates the right to solve the problems that it creates (by serving elites who fight to coopt it and to use its power).

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