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Blake Ekelund

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The World would be a better place with one government.

The World right now is struggling--different currencies, new ordeals within countries, and the fear of others is on our minds everyday.

With one government most of this would be abolished--

How is one government not better?

Topics: government
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    May 21 2012: I would argue that the world would be better without government
    • May 23 2012: Why would that make be a better world? Instead of elected officials the world world would be run by who ever is the most ruthless, richest or has the most weapons...
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        May 23 2012: and now it is run by ... wait, ruthless, richest guys with weapons. so even if you were right, which you are not, it would still not be any worse than we have today.
        • May 23 2012: The weapons controlled by leaders today belong to the government or a particular position rather than each individual leader this allows bloodless transitions of government (so no your wrong that's not what the world looks like today). Even if I accept your argument, the democratic governments that we can see today ensures there is a peaceful way to replace a poor leader (Either through election or term limits or votes of no confidence from congress/parliment).Your response seems to suggest my argument went entirely over your head or you are purposefully twisting it. Either way you haven't really made much of a point. My question was; why would the world be a better place without any governments? Or alternatively could you explain why I'm not right as you claim?

          Maybe what was meant was the world would be better without poor government and sure I'd accept that. But that's a different thing entirely from saying the world would be better without any government...
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        May 23 2012: this seems to be sophism, considering what the leaders actually do with their power.

        what would be better? this: nobody in the private sector build armies. look at the richest persons on the world. like james cameron, the ansari's, bill gates and so on. they don't want to build armies. they want to spend on their own whimsies, which either benefits mankind or not, but it does not matter. armies are created only on other people's money. only kings and states create and maintain armies. that was one. on demand, i can tell more.
        • May 23 2012: No I'm sorry the claim that rich people would not build a private army if only we trusted them is not a good argument. The only reason rich people don't build their own personal private armies is because the GOVERNMENT stops them.

          My counter example would be the feudal societies of the past. In these societies lords and Nobles would build personal armies. The most powerful among them became kings of their lands. These kings then used the armies of the lords/nobles below them to wage wars with neighbouring kings for more land/power. This is how most states were created in the first place. We progressed out of feudal societies to democratic ones. But getting rid of governments will take us back a step to feudal societies. This would not be a good thing.

          "That was one. on demand, I can tell more." - please do...
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        May 23 2012: so you suggest that james cameron is building submarines just because he can't build armies? it is theoretically possible, but some introspection tells me that it is not true.

        landlords in feudalism didn't spend their own money. they stole money from the serfs. all the leaders of mankind from the very beginning stole from the people, and maintained their power using that loot. sadly, this has not stopped. today, majority opinion robs people blind, and builds armies.
        • May 23 2012: Sure not James Cameron, but what about all the organized criminals who are kept in check by the government. With out a government to keep them in check they would become the kings of your new ungoverned world. I certainly wouldn't want to live under them.

          "the leaders of mankind from the very beginning stole from the people, and maintained their power using that loot. sadly, this has not stopped. today"

          Nor will it ever stop. The best solution to this that I am aware of is to try and give the people the ability to select who their leaders are. This is usually done through a democratic government. Taking away the peoples ability to control their leadership in whatever meaningful way that they can will only expose them to exploitation from the very problem you yourself described and I quoted above. Better the majority rob people blind and build and army than a single man...

          But pray tell me how do YOU envisage a government less world? Do you honestly think there will be no leaders or armies?
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        May 24 2012: organized criminals usually feed on government stupidity. now they make a living selling drugs. earlier they sold alcohol.
        • May 24 2012: So you honestly believe that the government is to blame for gangters in our society and if we got rid of the government all those mean people would just stop being mean... Some how I dont think so. Governments today monopolize violence in our societies if you take away that monopoly then what you will get is the liberal use of violence to extort the weak. the most brutal or powerful gangsters will then rise to power in a kind of feudal society that I described above. I honestly do not see the complete abolishment of government playing out any other way.

          I have made it pretty clear what I think would happen with out government but you haven't really said much on the matter. Could you please describe what sort of society you imagine when you talk about "no government societies". How would it work? Who would be the leaders/organizers of society? Who would provide education, healthcare and food for the poor?
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        May 24 2012: organized crime, yes or at least what i can recall now. bank robbers, frauds and such things would exist without government, or even aggressive gangs. but we don't need the state to defend ourselves. we need competing defense agencies operating for fee based on contract.

        in such a society, everything is provided by specialized firms. you want defense, go do a defense company. want healthcare, go to a hospital or doctor. you want insurance, go to an insurance company. you want to retire one day, go to an investment handling company. want education, go to a school, and pay.

        before you say, but the poor! consider that we are already paying for all this. just there is only one provider. and what one provider guarantees is high price and awful service. guess what, this is what we have now. expensive and terrible health care, expensive and terrible education, expensive and impotent national defense, and the Grand Ponzi Scheme called social security.

        and herein lies the problem. you want to fix the state. but the state by its nature is a monopoly. and so by its nature, it will always be cumbersome.
        • May 24 2012: If you strip a government down to the bone it is essentially a monopoly on violence. You can have a government that provides no welfare or, education etc but you can't have a government that doesn't control the military in the region. Arguing who or how we provide welfare, healthcare or education is really just debating what flavour of government we like best. If you can accept this we may be close to a resolution.

          Some reasons why the free market system does not work for defence:

          The free rider problem. The problem is that it is not easy to provide the service to only those who want to pay for it. This is because the most efficient way to defend something is to protect its perimeter. If Every one around me buys a defence contract I am bascly covered because there is a line of defence all the way around me and so I have no incentive to pay. Or to put it another way I can free ride of those around me. The ONLY solution to this problem is for the defence company to declare they will protect a certain area and everyone inside the area must pay the fee (tax). Lo and behold we have gone and created the borders of a state with a monopoly on the use of violence or in other words a government.

          Regulation. If there is any industry on the planet that needs to be regulated it is defence. Some kind of regulation would be vital to stop all kinds of atrocious war crimes. You try and think of a way to set up a regulatory body that has enough power over these "defence companies" to not be irrelevant but doesn't resemble a government.

          "we need competing defense agencies operating for fee based on contract." - This is essentially legalizing protection rackets. You wouldn't be getting rid of organized crime you'd be legalizing it!

          "the state by its nature is a monopoly. and so by its nature, it will always be cumbersome." - Without a monopoly on the use of violence humanity will be in a state of perpetual war. Which is why we need governments and in particular a global government
        • May 24 2012: "the Grand Ponzi Scheme called social security." - I'm sorry no this is a ridiculous statement.

          A ponzi scheme and a welfare state do not resemble each other at all. In a ponzi scheme people invest in the expectation that they will receive a return in the future. If they do receive a return it is only other peoples investment rather than any more money that has been generated. Eventually the scheme becomes unable to recruit enough new investors to pay off the people already waiting for a return. This is when the whole thing blows up, right in the faces of the people who are still waiting for returns on their investments.

          A welfare state has investors (taxpayers) and beneficiaries (people who receive welfare checks). They are never the same person at once. Its pretty easy for a government to make sure that there is enough money in the pot by either reducing the beneficiaries or increasing the investors.

          This simple division of beneficiaries and investors means that social security can not collapse like a ponzi scheme, quite frankly there are no parallels between the two.

          Please do not resort to this sort of hyperbole in the future it degrades the debate.
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        May 25 2012: "If you strip a government down to the bone it is essentially a monopoly on violence"

        it is kinda accurate. and as every monopoly, it does not work.

        "The free rider problem"

        this is mostly a non-problem. first, you don't need everyone to pay. we don't care about the free riders as long as not everyone is a free rider. second, exclusion from service is not as hard as some claims. the state is sloppy and impotent to exclude nonpayers, but the market is kind of good at it.

        "Some kind of regulation would be vital to stop all kinds of atrocious war crimes"

        who would finance war crimes? in a free market system, defense means defense. not like the US army that can not defend US citizens, but can bomb countries to oblivion. if there is competition between defense firms, the one with most effective defense means will win. but they will not be able to wage wars. they will lack the resources. at leas if i find out that my defense agency spends money on ICBM-s or bomber aircraft, i will choose another company that does not waste my money. same applies to any form of aggressive behavior. i'm not going to pay for it.

        " Without a monopoly on the use of violence humanity will be in a state of perpetual war."

        two things are missing from this reasoning. one: why would that be the case? two: how the states solve that problem? as i see now, wars are wage by states only. nobody initiates a war on his own money. only entities that are able to tax wage wars on each other. tell me a single war that was started by people.

        "A ponzi scheme and a welfare state do not resemble each other at all."

        wait. you are talking about the ideal welfare state. i'm talking about what we have. if you read back, i was explaining how the state screws up everything. the theoretical "welfare" state works as a redistribution system. the actual welfare state is a pile of promises that can not be fulfilled. the state has no idea how to keep its word. in fact, its not going to.
        • May 26 2012: "we don't care about the free riders" - that is probably the least efficient way to run a business certainly less efficient that the governments solution.

          "Exclusion from service is not as hard as some claim... the market is kind of good at it." - This is simply not true in the case of defence. If you going to tell me I'm wrong please at least provide an example of how the market could exclude from defence with out intimidation or physically moving anyone.

          "defense means defense" - defensive capability = offensive capability.

          "The US army that can not defend US citizens" - Not true the US army defends US citizens perfectly. less than 1% of American deaths last year were violent.

          "There is competition between defense firms, the one with most effective defense means will win." - To compete over defence you must out defend you competitor this means you have to attack your competitor to win. This means a war. Question: if no one will ever want to attack any one else why have defence companies at all?

          "Why would that be the case?" - Because if there are two companies that can use violence they will compete. A violent competition means... You guessed it war. The only way to stop this competition (war) is to have less than 2 (i.e 1) company that can use violence. Ergo a monopoly is the solution.

          "How the states solve that problem?" - You already agreed that states are monopolies on violence and as I just explained a monopoly is the only solution to war.

          The idea is that violence is bad. Because it is bad we want as little of it as possible so we should use the least efficient system as possible. What's the least efficient system you know? A monopoly! Monopolies are good here BECAUSE they are inefficient. The inefficiency in this case is good. Are you following me?

          "The state screws up everything" - My government doesn't, nor do many others. If your government has failed, it doesn't mean the concept of governments have failed.
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        May 26 2012: this is getting too long. i'm trying to answer key points only.

        you are falling in the nirvana fallacy. you want 100% efficient market, but you accept the utterly inefficient state. we don't need 100% efficiency. we need workable solutions.

        it is also not the case that if i can't say a solution you accept, i'm wrong. i didn't run for the role of king. it is not my task to come up with solutions. but here are some ideas. we don't want national defense. we want local defense. we don't want to win a war. we want to deter anyone to wage a war on us. don't think in today's solutions, these are inefficient state solutions. this is not how the free market solves problems.

        defense is much easier than offense. all we need is to make a war more expensive for the enemy than the revenue he might hope in return. again, never in history people started wars. only states do.

        granted, one state eliminates the possibility of war. but at a cost of trashing everything else. i don't think that war is our number one problem today.

        your government is one of the ones closest to bankruptcy. mine is actually farther from it. i can't imagine a more severe screwup than that. in addition to that, your country has a GDP growth below 1%. at this state of technology and capital accumulation, 10% is easy, 5% is the minimum. your government did it. they take more than half of the total production out of the economy, and spend it inefficiently. that sets you back that much, so you have no progress anymore.
        • May 26 2012: "it is also not the case that if i can't say a solution you accept, i'm wrong." - fair point

          "defense is much easier than offense." Wrong attack is easier than defence. Thats why we have M.A.D. it's easier to launch a nuclear attack than defend against one.

          "All we need is to make a war more expensive for the enemy than the revenue he might hope in return" - But that's the problem war is infinitely profitable. When you win a war you can claim any assets you like from your opponent this could be land or a slave population, these assets are potentially permanent if you defend them well enough. Because they are permanent you can profit from them for all eternity, as you approach eternity your profits approach infinity. So you see your defence would have to make it infinitely expensive to attack which is impossible.

          "Never in history people started wars. only states do." - false; what about tribal wars, gang wars, mafia wars, any civil war in history was started by people maybe it was against the state maybe it was against other citizens either way no civil was started by the state. I got into plenty of fights during school, in these fights I invested all the resources I could in hurting my opponent. The only reason this was called a fight and not a war was because I didn't have many resources. People fight all the time, wars are started when rich people fight.

          "at a cost of trashing everything else." - But government's don't have to be involved in anything but defence. Most people want them to be because they like the guarantees of food, shelter healthcare and education.

          "I can't imagine a more severe screwup" - But it hasn't gone bankrupt and it's getting further and further away from bankruptcy as we speak. And the welfare state (which is what my point was meant to be about) is still working fine.

          "You have no progress anymore" - Thats perfectly acceptable as long as everyone has food healthcare and shelter. Constant, fast progress is not my biggest priority.
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        May 26 2012: "attack is easier than defence."

        then how could vietnam kick out the US military? imagine a guerrilla war in which both parties are similarly advanced. about nuclear weapons: as i said, we only need to raise the price over benefits. what is the benefit for anyone to drop nukes on someone else? and one more point: just because the state can't defend against an ICBM, it does not mean that nobody can. in the worst case, all i need is an own ICBM. a dozen is enough. we don't need the state for this.

        war actually never was profitable, not even for the winner.

        gang war is called war, but it is not an actual war. this is exactly a kind of skirmish we can defend against by hiring some guards. tribal wars is a relic of the past, when man was mostly animal.

        don't move goalposts midgame. you said your country is not screwed up. i explained that it is. now you say but it should not be the case. that is my point! but it IS the case everywhere. because, as i claimed, the state can not be more efficient, lacking the trial and error of the market. and i can promise you, just watch, states are getting more aggressive, more intrusive, more indebted, more dishonest with time. getting away from bankruptcy is temporary. they have to, because they can't get more money now. but the are working on the issue.

        zero progress can be acceptable for you, but i can assure you, if you show people the two choices in detail, they choose progress. they choose smarter phones, faster travel, better health care, longer life and so on.
        • May 26 2012: "then how could vietnam kick out the US military?" - By paying a significantly higher price, the lives of so many millions. Why did Vietnam have to pay a higher price than the US? because defence is harder.

          "war actually never was profitable, not even for the winner." - false most wars are profitable, the opium wars are just one counter example.

          "What is the benefit for anyone to drop nukes on someone else? " - you can loot their dead bodies.

          "Don't move goalposts midgame" - my quote about about the state screwing up came from this piece of text written by you;

          "wait. you are talking about the ideal welfare state. i'm talking about what we have. if you read back, i was explaining how the state screws up everything. the theoretical "welfare" state works as a redistribution system. the actual welfare state is a pile of promises that can not be fulfilled. the state has no idea how to keep its word. in fact, its not going to."

          It is pretty clearly talking about welfare unfortunately I couldn't quote the whole thing because I didn't have enough characters. I hoped you would have been able to link the quote to the original text and realise I was specifically referring to the fact we have working examples of welfare states. I didn't "move the goalposts".

          " they choose smarter phones, faster travel, better health care" - over ensuring universal access to food, shelter and healthcare? doubtful.

          "states are getting more aggressive, more intrusive, more indebted, more dishonest with time." - That's a matter of opinion.

          The market can not provide a welfare system at all let alone a efficient one. You also seem to believe monopolies can't appear in the absence of government. - this is wrong, markets tend to monopolies the higher the barriers to entry are. Barriers to entry can be completely unrelated to governments.

          "You said your country is not screwed up. i explained that it is." - I'm not convinced but also feel we have gone down a useless tangent.
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        May 29 2012: " By paying a significantly higher price, the lives of so many millions."

        that is my point. what do the USA gained on that war? zero. the profit is negative. only a state does such a thing. a company never.

        "false most wars are profitable, the opium wars"

        prove me. the cost of even delivering the troops, let alone maintaining them and providing resources are huge. in return, they gained almost nothing.

        "It is pretty clearly talking about welfare unfortunately"

        no it is not. i was talking about "theoretical" and "actual" welfare state there, which is important. the theoretical welfare state is just unethical and and a drag on the economy. the actual welfare state is a ponzi scheme.

        "over ensuring universal access to food, shelter and healthcare?"

        first, it is some very basic level of healthcare, as quality healthcare can only be provided by an advanced economy. and i claim that yes, people choose phones and computers, as demonstrated by their choice of buying phones instead of putting money in a bank to provide reliable access to food for the rest of their lives.

        "That's a matter of opinion"

        no, that is a factual matter. either states getting bigger and more intrusive or not.

        "The market can not provide a welfare system"

        sure not, that is the point. btw we should put quotes around "welfare". for wealth is generated by free market, as it was demonstrated in the 18-19th century in the western world. the "welfare" state is a lie, and it does not work.

        "markets tend to monopolies"

        tell me a single monopoly that emerged on the free market.

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