What is “Government”? By Eric Peters

Government does that for which it has no right and prevents that for which its people have every right. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

Government takes many forms (monarchy, democracy, etc.) but they all come down to the same thing:

Other people you’d rather not have anything to do with.

Except that unlike ordinary people you’d rather have nothing to do with – and so don’t – government people have the power to make sure you cannot avoid having to deal with them. They are thus the enemies of society, which is people coming together freely to deal with one another in ways mutually agreeable, according to rules rather than laws.

Society is organic, natural. It arises in the form of marriages and families, friendships and similar arrangements, which are entered into voluntarily and can be left voluntarily as well. It is not perfect, of course. But it is free of the element of coercion – the threat of physical violence as the mechanism to compel association when you’d rather not – that makes government worse than imperfect.

Society is a form of contract that differs from government’s idea of contract – which is that you are bound by something you never agreed to, which manifest as laws you are required to obey and which you will be punished for if you do not, even if your only offense is that you did not obey the law (irrespective of any harm caused). In society, there are rules that people follow as a matter of course, as in the home of a friend you are visiting. Part of the reason you’re in your friend’s home being your unforced willingness to abide by “house rules” within his home.

If you choose not to abide by them, the only sanction is loss of your friend’s society – which is usually punishment enough to prevent such “offenses” from happening.

Or at least, recurring.

Arguably, a critical mistake made by those who attempted to “limit” government – as via the Bill of Rights that was incorporated into the American Constitution by men such as George Mason of Virginia, who were hugely doubtful that the Constitution would limit the power of the federal government it created – was to not include as a foundational expression of rights the inalienable right to freely associate.

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