Gov't loves gov't

John K Clark (
Mon, 19 Jan 1998 13:14:28 -0800 (PST)


On Fri, 16 Jan 1998 Charlie Stross <> Wrote:

>If you look at things from the perspective of social darwinism

Why would I want to do that? Social darwinism is an old fashioned and foolish
philosophy that assumes morality can be obtained from nature. The term had
not been invented in his lifetime but Darwin was certainly not a believer in
social darwinism and would have been appalled to have his name associated
with such a thing.

>an argument can be made that Government -- as a concept -- must have
>been, if not beneficial, then at least a functiona, rugged, and
>competitive concept at some time in the past. Otherwise it wouldn't
>be so ubiquitous today.

The same argument could be made of cancer. If something is evil then I'd
rather it not be functional, rugged and competitive. Actually, government is
beneficial, not at the level of the individual but at a higher level of
organization. Government is good for government, that's why it loves itself
and wants to grow.

>I don't like facile generalisations like "government BAD" and
>"free market GOOD".

Good generalizations are the key to science. A good generalization, as good
as any in the fuzzy world of human values and behavior is "government BAD,
free market GOOD".

>What I want to know is WHY governments at the end of the twentieth
>century have become bloated, inefficient, and counterproductive
>monsters that are resented by many of their citizens.

How could it be otherwise? Government claims power that individuals and
corporations do not have, no organization is in the habit of voluntarily
giving up power, rather they use any advantage they have to try to get even
more power.

>do you mean the concept of 'government' in general, rather than any
>specific administration?

Some shit stinks worse than others, but I don't want any on my corn flakes.

John K Clark

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