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government

Limiting Political Power

Political power can be distributed either top-down or bottom-up, but it can also be limited in various ways. There are a number of ways to limit political power. It may be limited by a higher authority, by a lack of need, by a shared moral system or by a shared agreement. These ways of limiting political power describe all of the possible ways to limit such power. The first way to limit political ...

Distributing Political Power

Political power – the power to tax, enforce and write law – must be distributed across individuals. Each area of power may be distributed differently. There are two main actors: the government itself and the people who are governed. Within the government the same division exists as well. In Canada, the provinces are governed by the federal government and federal courts. There are two main ways of ...

Political Power

I have shown in a previous series that the existence of a government, the power to tax, imprison and fine individuals and the power to regulate are all necessary on occasion and sometimes morally permissible. However, this does not show that the acts and powers claimed by our present governments are either necessary or morally permissible. Before such things can be discussed one must understand th...

Government and Power

I have discussed the two previous arguments for anarchism already and have explained by they both fail. This third argument does not fail in the usual sense. We know from experience that power corrupts, and the greater the power the greater the corruption. Government is a particular example of this. The problem with power is a problem that arises from the current condition of humanity. There is no...

Coercion and Rights

In the two previous posts I have shown that a common anarchist argument against taxes fails and that the community may morally obtain your property, even if you must be coerced to do so. So it is simple to show that coercion is sometimes permissible in the case of property rights. Governments also claim the right to (under some circumstances) confine someone forcibly, kill them, and regulate behav...

Community Assistance

In a previous post, I explained that a common anarchist argument against taxes fails. But that does not mean that taxes are moral. It just means that one argument against taxes fails. This is my positive argument for taxes (or something like them). I will say upfront that this argument does not justify the taking of any tax whatsoever. Nor does it mean that taxes ought to be paid in all circumstan...

Is Government Good?

I have given an argument previously for the conclusion that government is an institution that is impossible to avoid having. I have also claimed that there is a difference – at least commonly speaking – between a good government and a bad government. But even if we accept these things, it is still possible to claim that government is ultimately evil. There are also all of the moral arguments that ...

Is Government Necessary?

One act of entrusting the common good of humanity (as applied to the many) to some within that many creates both a country and a government. But anarchists must believe that such an act is not necessary. For anarchism to be a viable theory, it must be possible for an anarchist to exist in a society. If the only possible way to live in anarchism is to be a hermit, then the philosophy is not viable....

The Common Good

I have previous said that the act that creates government is the act that entrusts some people with the common good. But what is the common good? One way one might be an anarchist is to deny that there is a common good either in general or for governments. This is impossible because every group of people has a common good arising from what unifies those people. The common good is not the good of t...

What is Government?

I have been reading some libertarian news recently, and some libertarians believe that the world would be better without government. They rarely bother to investigate what government is and whether or not it is even possible to be without government. Government is not a material thing, nor is it a natural substance. Government is an immaterial artifact. By examining the action that creates governm...

Are Taxes Moral?

One of the arguments against the existence of special government powers such as the power to tax is that taxing is no different from theft. Since theft is wrong, so is taxing. A careful examination of this argument shows that it assumes that there is no moral difference between an individual under government and an individual without government. There is good reason to believe that this assumption...

Encouraging Respect

In my previous post, I showed that objectively offensive speech falls into two categories. False speech can be punished by law, while disrespectful speech cannot be. Free speech by itself cannot solve the problem of a lack of respect in speech, but neither can any law. Laws only make the situation worse. Respect can only be encouraged by virtue and sound reason, which require a good education, whi...

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