Nathan brought up the question of anarchy. (Red Robin, my second-fave comic book character, by the way.)
It's interesting; James freely mixes his website's material, 80/20 or 90/10, with most of it on baseball but some decent fraction of it on life and philosophy in general. It mixes amazingly well.
John Wooden, they say, would do that, spend 10% or 20% of his time speaking about life in general. James keeps it to about 10% or 20%; he keeps it fair; he keeps it surgically-cool, and the result is that your grasp of baseball acquires a 3rd (or 4th?) dimension.
I forget where the below came from, though. Maybe it came out of the discussion of NBA teams changing cities, and what the right checks-and-balances (the right government!) would be for the situation.
Anarchy is a tough one. I thought about it for a long time. I won't convince you. You'll convince yourself, or you won't.
During the 20th Century 170 million people were killed by they're own government and 231 million were killed during wars. During our time the number killed during the Vietnam War was 4 to 6 million. For what?
If you approve of the American Empire, you approve torture, imprisonment without trial, killing without trial and now Americans are getting the same benefits. The mass slaughter of civilians is also OK. The President has a weekly kill list and he can make war, whenever. I think those things are evil. I wonder about people who believe in the Christian value system. No killing. No stealing etc. Yet if we get a group of men together and call it a government, all bets are off, all the bad stuff is allowed. Why?
I don't believe that I have the right to tell anyone else how to live. If you don't harm me, do as you will. Its how I chose to live.
Asked by: mauimike
That no one has the right to tell you how to live your life is central to my philosophy, and I'm entirely with you. I also agree with you that, over history, governments have done a great deal more harm than good, and that, over the next 500 years, it is likely that they will continue to do a great deal more harm than good. Governments throughout history have killed more people than murderers. Giving governments more power and expecting them to use their power wisely is like wandering around handing out handguns to random strangers, expecting them to use them wisely.
That you focus this on the 20th century and on the American government is, in my opinion, a manifestation of your own myopia and self-loathing, and not really relevant to the discussion.
The entire center of your paragraph, in my view, is just a lot of mindless, undisciplined ranting. There IS no "American empire"; any child can see the differences between American foreign policy and the empires of Rome or Britain, or any other "empire". The number of people killed in Vietnam was 1.5 to 2 million, not 4 to 6, and some number of those were killed before America got involved. No modern democracy approves of the mass slaughter of civilians as an instrument of war, although this practice WAS widely accepted throughout history up until the mid-20th century.
There were. .what, 14 billion people who lived during the 20th century? Something like that. History is very large. When you aggregate the crimes of history, exaggerate them and and charge them to a single entity, whether you call that entity "government" or "religion" or "aggression" or "selfishness" or "sin", obviously there are a great many offenses to be answered for. This is not instructive.
The real problem is not that government is evil, but that aggressive, selfish and sinful PEOPLE use governments to do wrong. Without government there would still be aggressive, selfish and sinful people, and they would still do wrong. You could still aggregate their wrongs to make a very large number. Governments form as a natural and necessary social process that has existed throughout recorded history and long before recorded history. Trying to wish them out of existence is like trying to wish there would be wasps, no vipers and no poisons. The realistic goal is not that government can be eliminated, but that it can be disciplined and contained.