I submit that government is predicated on the idea that men NEED governing. And this is because men, it is assumed, by their very nature are existentially insufficient to perfect moral behavior (ignoring, for the time being, the contradictory fact that all governments are run by men, so what exactly gives civil “authorities” an existential pass on their own fundamental moral insufficiency?). That is, though not all men will do evil, ALL men need governing because evil is endemic to the human condition.
If this is true then “governing” men is really a means of compelling them through force to “do the right thing”. But of course since evil is a natural function of the human condition, namely, existence, then men cannot by definition do the right thing. Their nature–their existence–ultimately precludes this capability (again with the understanding that not all men do evil but all men have the capacity for evil because evil is natural to man, thus all men must be governed). This being the case, government is really established merely to punish man for his evil nature, full stop. For since man is ungovernable because his nature is evil, the very idea of government is ultimately predicated on the right of government to wield FORCE. And force precludes governing. It is actually the admission that governing man is quite impossible.
This force is to punish man, not for his evil, but for his very EXISTENCE; since it is impossible to isolate man’s capacity for evil, because evil is endemic to his natural existence, “man IS evil” is the metaphysical premise behind government.
But if man is NOT inherently evil, and evil is a product of irrational ideas, then man, if he has rational ideas…well, there is no reason to think he will not function morally. There is no reason to consider him a slave to evil, which means there is no reason to think he MUST be governed.
Food for thought–and just one among the many topics discussed here that, should you dare bring it up, will make people slowly back away from you at parties.
1 thought on “Is Government Rational? Is Government Necessary? What Metaphysical Assumptions Does Government Make About the Governed?”
Somewhat similar to what Paul says in 1st Timothy 1:9-10 (NIV) “We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine.”
The Law ain’t to control everyone–just to kill off the people who do certain things.