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  1. #1
    Certified Sausage Smoker Elfboy's Avatar
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    Default Does strong government really offer security?

    I haven't done a lot of study into it, but recently I've watched a ton of documentaries on conquest, dictators and barbarians and it left me thinking "damn, when a powerful government or military leader wants to destroy a city, they're defenseless". apart from the numerous instances of raids and pillaging, it sorta scared me how willing powerful government officials could easily discard their own and enact a genocide or destruction of a city with the snap of their fingers. I'm not so much accusing government of being the route of all evil as I am becoming increasingly skeptical the more I look at history.
    - do you think government officials today are different?
    - do you feel safe where you live?
    - do you trust your government?
    - do you notice any parallels between today's society and oppressive or violent tactics utilized by past leaders?
    - how much authority do you think the government should have?
    - what constitutes REAL authority as opposed to oppression or control by whichever group happens to have the most power at the time
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  2. #2
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfboy View Post
    - do you think government officials today are different?
    No.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elfboy View Post
    - do you feel safe where you live?
    For the most part.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elfboy View Post
    - do you trust your government?
    No, not implicitly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elfboy View Post
    - do you notice any parallels between today's society and oppressive or violent tactics utilized by past leaders?
    Yes, but I would qualify that by saying that those who run the state are not the only people exercising power over the populace. Indeed, consolidation of economic power has been occurring over the last century; the result is that the people have not only limited political voice, but a virtually non-existent voice in the economy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elfboy View Post
    - what constitutes REAL authority as opposed to oppression or control by whichever group happens to have the most power at the time
    Authority of any sort can rarely be justified. The level of state and economic control and authority that we've come largely to recognize as legitimate can certainly not be justified.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Default

    I think the examples you're thinking of are more to do with the combination of charismatic leaders and mobilisation, there are not clear parallels between governments as we know them and those examples, there are greater threats from charismatic leaders and the mobilisation of populations against one another on sectarian, racist, ethnic lines than straightforward power or land grabs like those examples you mention.

    The failure of government is to feared more in that scenario than its suddenly becoming absolutist or criminally fascistic or tyrannical, the failure of government in the sense that took place in Bosnia, where a diverse society was unable to invest in a single, legitimate authority and were willing instead to kill their neighbours. I'd worry about the stories about mild mannered teachers or park wardens who when presented with an opportunity and the temptation rushed the weild the power of life and death, obscene cruelty and rape and pillage than the rise and fall of great statesmen.

    Libertarian fears. Always off the base.

  4. #4
    Nerd King Usurper Edgar's Avatar
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    America isn't the country where one man yields enough power to command the destruction of a city. So I wouldn't shit bricks about it.

    And I view government the same way I veiw auto mechanics - they serve a purpose, but will fuck you over when you're not looking.
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  5. #5
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    1) Barbarians are savages, not the government. I think you might have more reason to fear barbarians if you entirely dismantled government, quite frankly.

    2) You don't think a CEO of a company could do the same as a government official?

    3) I strongly believe sanity most assuredly belongs to people who have a balance between respect for government's purpose and the freedom of individuals. For that reason, I do not believe many libertarians are as sane as they should be.

    You live in one of the most democratic governments in the world, one of the ones with low taxation and no universal healthcare and you're STILL PARANOID?

    This is like a first world problem or something. I seriously can't figure out for the life of me what the hell is wrong with you people. Maybe the government is putting something in the water to make you all paranoid! It's the government! The government!

  6. #6
    Intergalactic Badass mujigay's Avatar
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    Libertarians vs Everyone Else, Round....I lost track. This has been beaten to death.

    Back on topic. The automechanic analogy is nice. I think that any system of bureaucracy will have a level of decay and a certain amount of corrupt individuals, not to mention a degree of inefficiency, but I also think that to do away with the system would do far more harm than good.
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  7. #7
    Certified Sausage Smoker Elfboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmie Dearest View Post

    1) You don't think a CEO of a company could do the same as a government official?

    You live in one of the most democratic governments in the world, one of the ones with low taxation and no universal healthcare and you're STILL PARANOID?

    This is like a first world problem or something. I seriously can't figure out for the life of me what the hell is wrong with you people. Maybe the government is putting something in the water to make you all paranoid! It's the government! The government!
    I am not paranoid about anything. but to answer your question, no I do not think the CEO of a privately owned company would have nearly enough power to butcher hordes of innocent people.
    I return your question with another: who do you believe has real authority and why?
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfboy View Post
    I am not paranoid about anything. but to answer your question, no I do not think the CEO of a privately owned company would have nearly enough power to butcher hordes of innocent people.
    I return your question with another: who do you believe has real authority and why?
    You don't think a CEO of a privately owned company would have nearly enough power to butcher hordes of innocent people....slowly? by over-work? starvation? lack of pay? et al?

    You really don't?

    I think that's pretty naive.

  9. #9
    Certified Sausage Smoker Elfboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmie Dearest View Post
    You don't think a CEO of a privately owned company would have nearly enough power to butcher hordes of innocent people....slowly? by over-work? starvation? lack of pay? et al?
    You really don't?
    I think that's pretty naive.
    if we're assuming the location in question has at least a mediocre police force, then I certainly can't think of any examples. a corporate CEO on the other hand...that's a completely different story
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