Blake Gilson" />
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Wednesday, October 4, 2023


Governments inherently flawed

Contrary to popular belief, the government is not merely a big building that impartially hands out justice and assistance to citizens. Likewise, there is no super-entity called "society" we must protect. Governments, as well as societies, are not descended from on high, but consist of people.

The major difference is people in government have a special ability that differs from any person in society. A person who grasps the wheel of governmental power has the "right" to rule other people, a "right" to forcibly impose decisions on people.

This applies to all forms of government. Regardless if we call the government a monarchy, tyranny, theocracy or republic, the establishment of a government is the establishment of the right for some to rule, through coercion, over others.

Most governments are, by their very nature, oligarchies. An oligarchy is defined as a political system governed by a few people. In government, a relatively small number of people directly participate in the decision-making process that directs the use of state power.†

America has been one of the greatest attempts to create a system that keeps the interests of the people and the interests of the oligarchs along the same line. Unfortunately, the results have been mixed.

Thankfully, America has departed from the governmental tradition of committing mass murder, a tradition that claimed the lives of estimated millions worldwide.

One exception is the American Civil War, in which 620,000 soldiers and an undetermined number of civilians lost their lives, a horrid war that involved federal troops targeting civilians under the direct control of a U.S. president. Other exceptions include the systematic extermination of American Indian tribes, mass murder in multiple world wars culminating in the only aggressive use of nuclear weapons and countless "police actions" worldwide that dot American history.

Voters in elections rarely vote for or against policies, but rather vote for people who they think will do a good job. Victorious politicians vote on numerous amounts of legislation that the voters or the candidates did not and could not have considered during the campaign.

Even if we dreamed the utopian dream that our government actually sought to represent us, it would be hard-pressed to do so. Because the United States, as all states, rules over a culturally and ideologically diverse group of people, it is impossible to create policies to which even most people agree. The nature of government is not to unite but to divide. While people often let politicians cloak such policies in ideologically camouflaged slogans such as "compromise," it is often little more than one group commanding another.

There is no system that allows for the immediate holding of representatives accountable for their deviations from campaign platforms. One example that comes to mind is President Bush’s deviation from his 2000 campaign promise of a humble foreign policy with no nation building to an aggressive foreign policy of preemptive war and nation building.

The Democrats, who took back the House and Senate in 2004, failed to enact the change that they claimed was the reason why Americans had voted them back in office. Even elected Republicans failed to deliver, causing the approval rating for Congress to fall to an astonishing and unprecedented low.

It would be a mistake to interpret these events as a failing of one group of representatives or one administration, but as a failure of the popular sovereignty model of governance.

Government creates an agenda of its own which cannot be directly aligned with the will of a population of whom the representatives claim to act in behalf.† Gilson, a business sophomore, can be reached via [email protected].

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