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The State and Government


Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is the numbers of people all over the world who have obeyed the dictates of the leaders of their government and have gone to war, and millions have been killed because of this obedience. And our problem is that scene in All Quiet on the Western Front where the schoolboys march off dutifully in a line to war. Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world, in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while jails are full of petty thieves, and all the while the grand thieves are running the country. That’s our problem. ~Howard Zinn (24 August 1922 – 27 January 2010). Zinn gave an address at Johns Hopkins University on November ? 1970, titled, “The Problem is Civil Obedience,”  reprinted in Voices of a People’s History of the United States.

It is common practice for commentators and writers to use the terms ‘state’ and ‘government’ interchangeably. However, although the two words are related, they are not synonyms! The basic differences between the two words:

1. a state is composed of territory, population, sovereignty, and government; and
2. a government is part of a state; and can be defined as “the organisation of the state machinery through which its purposes are formulated or executed.”

Thus, a state includes all individuals, associations, and institutions that exist within its geographical boundaries. However, a government includes only those individuals who are involved in the legislative, executive, and judicial machinery of the state. While a state is a permanent institution, governments do change.

Unlike governments, states cannot assume different forms. For instance, there can be presidential government, federal government, unitary government, and so forth. However, there are no such political classification of states.

While a state’s powers are sovereign, those of a government are derivative derived from powers under authority of the state.

The state is the entity itself, as in; it’s land, people, etc. Whereas, the government is the political/bureaucratic system that runs the state. So for example, I love the state of Australia, but I certainly do not love the governments of Australia and never will.

Governments are dangerous organizations because the power of defence can be and usually is turned against its own citizens, and because, once it is created, it is neither easily extinguished, changed nor controlled.

When a government claims that defence demands controlling the health, education, habits, communications, movements, religions, sexual practices, clothing, wages, products, jobs, energy use, inventions, money, etc., of the people, power is misused and abused. None of these common forms or labels are limited government. All tend toward the unlimited. All are using power illegitimately, that is, far beyond what defence, properly understood, actually entails: 1. to maintain domestic order within the people; and 2. to secure the common defence against external enemies. These two functions, internal and external defence, may be called simply defence; or they may be termed protection of property rights. The limited state may not be possible, or possible for very long, or not a stable equilibrium, but it is a useful concept in understanding what we do not have and where we are going wrong.

Governments use power in ways that are illegitimate as referred to the standard that defence is the only or main legitimate role of the government.

Keeping the government limited has not proven to be at all possible. Segments of the people, including people in government, invariably expand and extend the uses of power. The political realm of governance invades or flows into the social and individual realms of governance. The thermometer of power then rises toward a higher totalitarian reading.

The Cult Almost Everyone is a Part Of

The illusion of representative government is over. The corporate world has colonized government systems. The danger of allowing this to continue, of course, is that the casualty always eventually becomes life itself. We are now run by the combined forces of big business, big banks and big unelected unaccountable bureaucrats.

Governments and gangs are one and the same. The only differences between the two is that gangs are usually smaller than governments, and their borders are more fluid. Governments are gangs of thieves who have declared themselves owners of various geographical land masses known as: the United States, Spain, Israel, Colombia, Australia, Russia, and so on. They sell the people the idea that government is necessary. And, that it is necessary to tax the people to create and maintain the government and keep them safe and secure.

Governments manipulate the public to accept policies as “necessary.” When the people are repeatedly lied to they will view events through the lenses that governments have lowered over their eyes. Governments use fear and intimidation to push agendas. Enter “the terrorist threat.” Are people in the west really under threat of being killed by terrorists? No, they are not – though governments want us to think so—and thus many people do.

The separation between what police are, (enforcers for the government), and what people perceive them to be, (our protectors and servants), is a chasm of monumental proportions. Governments want people who follow orders—who obey figures of authority. The function of police forces is to maintain order for the forces that control the government. Police aren’t interested in helping working class people—they are concerned with keeping them in their place. Recent historical events challenge the idea that governments care about us and protect us and keep us safe.

There is no such thing as a legitimate government. The rulers are all criminals. In reality, governments have no responsibility whatsoever—they are not here to serve the people. The people are here to serve the government and the forces that control the government. Governments consist of groups of people and institutions, that hold power and the citizens are required to obey them. Thus, governments destroy people’s freedom.

Updated: 3 January 2017

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