Our theory is that government is a natural phenomenon, an expression of power relationships, in which some people seek to dominate others by force. These dominators gather ‘insiders’ together so that they can take money, power and status away from other people, the ‘outsiders.’
Many people think that government provides some service. That is true, but it is incidental. Governments often deliver the mail. But they don’t have to. They would still be governments even if they didn’t control the Post Office. And what if they didn’t have a department of inland fisheries, or a program to teach retarded democrats to count to 20? They would still be in the government business…and still have their helicopters, chauffeurs and expense accounts. But if they lost control of the police or the army it would be an entirely different matter. Force is the essence of government, not a decorative detail. Without armies and police, they would no longer be governments. It is “from the barrel of a gun,” as Mao put it, that political power projects itself.
Not a single other institution on earth functions the way a state does – as a monopoly of force over a given territory. I hear plenty of railing against the Church as an institution, though it is very much needed in today’s world and exists for charity and to convince people that they are more than a mortal body and should treat themselves accordingly. Governments, on the other hand, kill their people on a daily basis, wage war against each other for the purposes of rich and powerful men, steal property from anyone they wish to, kidnap sons from their mothers to fight in their wars, destroy the family so that they might be the arbiters of what is true and good instead of parents and siblings, and generally breed immorality by incentivizing laziness and high time preference. Many question the existence of the Catholic Church. The nation-state? That illusion is complete, and every citizen can now create an endless supply of defenses for its failings…