Home > Decent Democracy > Vol 2: On Democracy > Government Fallacy

Government Fallacy

There is a lot of confusion concerning the nature of government. This confusion is largely due to most, if not all governments, defining themselves as eternal, whether explicitly (representing God for instance) or implicitly (by simply not defining under what conditions the government should be dissolved). Along with this eternal view is usually a theory of government that excludes all other views and simply ignores the subject of when and how a government can be ethically changed. The expression of this eternal-government approach is usually the substitution of legal perception for reality. If reality is perceived through the legal system constructed by the government, all non-legal acts defined as bad and/or heretical, and only legal acts justifiable (or thinkable), then the only method open to affecting the organization of society is through the present legal system, which in turn is embedded and inseparable from the current form of government, and thus, insofar as this view is adopted by a sufficient number of people, the government can never be changed in any fundamental way.

However, if this legal perception of the world was true, no governments would ever change, and none of the currently existing governments would exist.

A clearer view is to define government as the dominant organizational force in society, maintained by a combination of force, legal apparatus, coercion, genuine supporters and simple expectation (which we will study further with respect to institutions in the next chapter). Clearly, this dominant organization force can be changed in many extrinsic ways, invasion and revolt being the principal agents.

... For a government not to be considered to have this eternal view of itself, it must include a way society can change every detail of the government, replacing it entirely if need be, as well as deliniate the conditions upon which it should be judged to no longer be functionable and thus just to resist.


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