The Economist's Cookbook

Recipes For A More Free Society

  • "The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they know about what they imagine they can design."

    - F.A. Hayek

The Problem With Government

Posted by The_Chef On 2:14 AM 2 comments

The argument is that:

People are flawed and imperfect and some are downright evil. So we have to put other people in charge to rule in order to keep things orderly and productive.
The fundamental problem is that those rulers are as flawed, imperfect, or as downright evil as any other "normal" person. According to Hayek's treatise on socialism in The Road to Serfdom, certain kinds of political systems even encourage power-hungry, or fundamentally immoral people to become leaders. So you haven't solved the problem.

In fact you've made it worse. You've now given very corruptible people, very very big guns to point at people they find convenient.

On the flip side ... is the idea of Anarchism and Free-Market Anarchism really a solution? Is is a practical solution?

See it's the last question there that I struggle with. Market Anarchy is essentially flawless in its defense of personal liberty. But is it practical in its application to a small cluster of people? Maybe. But as the size of that "group" of Market Anarchists grows, you will get more and more negative externalities to deal with.

Can humans function in a society like that after having a love of authority and a willingness to obey ground into them? Perhaps eventually.

Could we build that future? Probably not any time soon. Too many people have made themselves dependent on the coercive and re-distributive actions of the state.

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2 Response for the "The Problem With Government"

  1. Maybe the real problem is that human society has a built in size limit, and beyond a certain number of individuals "society" is not possible to maintain, no matter what "system" is tried. We may be operating on a faulty assumption when we try to scale "society" up to include a "nation" or a planet.

  2. Jay21 says:

    I have also noticed the "human factor" screws up mamy ideas and philosophies i try to expand. Had not totally looked at it as a "Scale up" problem, great ponit Kent. The problem i am havng now is trying to figure out a way to influence the masses in todays world. Communication abilities are at an all time high, but very few actually "listen" anymore.