Re: kinder, gentler, self-congratulatorier, same old force

Robin Helweg-Larsen (
Wed, 07 Jan 1998 23:32:30 -0500

Honestly, I intended to lurk for a while before butting in on other people's
discussions... but... :-)

Anton Sherwood wrote:

> AMG:
> > Is it possible that the force that government occasionally uses
> Occasionally? What is government, if not the threat of force?

That could be applied to all social interaction. If you attack me, you do so
under the threat that I may defend myself; even if you only insult me, you do so
under the threat that I may react violently. Government is no worse inherently
than people. I don't disagree with your view of government, but it is a very
cynical view, and loses validity if you don't apply as rigorous a cynicism to
your own dealings with others.

> > is due to
> > the lack of participation by those effected by lack of fair and equitable
> > representation? Is it possible that the system is so non-representative --
> > and becoming increasingly so -- because of the constraints imposed on
> > those selected to be our representatives by monied special interests?
> Do I detect a hint there of a faith that *further* narrowing the
> field of candidates able to campaign effectively, as every "campaign
> finance reform" has done, will *increase* participation?

Excuse me. Campaign finance reform in many countries outside the US has
resulted in a broader field of candidates and increased voter participation. It
is done by the state financing or mandating free party political broadcasts and
advertising, and by severely restricting both donations and the uses to which
donations can be put.

(But these are only small points in your discussion, Anton.)

Robin HL