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Establishing Government

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A thought occured to me yesterday that I had never considered before. The thought is: How is a government established without the initiation of force?

In other words, if some men of a given primitive society do not consent to the neccessity of a government (i.e. an organization with a legal monopoly on the use of physical force), are they simply overruled by the basic need of objective law? My thought is that this need would provide the justification for the use of force against said primitive individuals to subordinate the primitive society to objective law.

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A thought occured to me yesterday that I had never considered before. The thought is: How is a government established without the initiation of force?

In other words, if some men of a given primitive society do not consent to the neccessity of a government (i.e. an organization with a legal monopoly on the use of physical force), are they simply overruled by the basic need of objective law? My thought is that this need would provide the justification for the use of force against said primitive individuals to subordinate the primitive society to objective law.

A moral government never initiates the use of force. Any person may deny that such a body is necessary, but that body never initiates force against them. Only if they themselves initiate force does the government act against them.

In that case, obviously, the members of the government who are attacked are not initiating, but responding to, the use of force.

Edit: Needless to say, nobody forces them to accept the government. It doesn't need acceptance by any one person to carry out its function, morally speaking. You can deny that its legitimate all you want, it will ignore you until such a time as you violate someone's rights.

Edited by sanjavalen

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A moral government never initiates the use of force. Any person may deny that such a body is necessary, but that body never initiates force against them. Only if they themselves initiate force does the government act against them.

What if a group of individuals wishes to secede from whatever political unit they are members of, and then provide their own government services of law creation, enforcement, and protection to whomever (voluntarily) joins them?

The state will do one of two things: assert its sovereignty and crush this group, or let them secede and thus give away its own power over them.

If the state crushes them, the notion of civil rights will necessarily be limited in scope and association mandatory rather then voluntary.

From a self-interest standpoint, it seems that the state MUST be firm in its dealings with the separatist group. The state MUST initiate force in order to purge the nation of all competition as service provider, unless it lets the people choose a multiple of different "state" options and stops being the sole legal provider of said services.

If the state lets them secede, explain what the state has to gain from having their power derived only when all the area residents desire it.

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The state will do one of two things: assert its sovereignty and crush this group, or let them secede and thus give away its own power over them.

Why would anyone want to secede from a moral government? People who are against a moral government are the people who think the initiation of force is proper, thus making them a thug or thief. If the group trying to secede violates rights and/or initiates force, then the government would have the right to take action to defend its citizens.

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Why would anyone want to secede from a moral government? People who are against a moral government are the people who think the initiation of force is proper, thus making them a thug or thief. If the group trying to secede violates rights and/or initiates force, then the government would have the right to take action to defend its citizens.

Well said. And note that it was the South, in the US Civil War, which seceded from the Union, so they could maintain their slave owner lifestyle.

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Why would anyone want to secede from a moral government?

Because they consider it immoral.

People who are against a moral government are the people who think the initiation of force is proper, thus making them a thug or thief. If the group trying to secede violates rights and/or initiates force, then the government would have the right to take action to defend its citizens.

And if they don't initiate force and instead declare their part of the country to be a new country under a different system of government or a different type of government?

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Because they consider it immoral.

Then they are not living in reality and do not understand what a moral government is. (I'm assuming that as Objectivists, we are all on the same page here as to what we consider a moral government (one that does not initiate force), right?)

And if they don't initiate force and instead declare their part of the country to be a new country under a different system of government or a different type of government?

The only other type of government I know of besides a moral one (one that does not initiate force), is an immoral one (one that initiates force.) If this "different" government you speak of has set up a government, alternatively to the moral government already in place, then they must be initiating force and the existing government has a responsibility to protect its citizens.

I mean, think about it, Kane. Who would be opposed to a government that doesn't initiate force (no taxes, no property seizures, no meddling in your personal life or business unless you violate the rights of others?) The only people that would be opposed to freedom, are thugs and thieves.

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I mean, think about it, Kane. Who would be opposed to a government that doesn't initiate force (no taxes, no property seizures, no meddling in your personal life or business unless you violate the rights of others?) The only people that would be opposed to freedom, are thugs and thieves.

Socialists and fascists. Even in an Objectivist world such people would exist. And not all would be thugs and thieves; many would merely advocate with words and not use force. That was my point.

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Unless the secessionists have literally 100% support for their secession movement, they will be initiating force against some citizens - they will be forcing them to accept their taxes, regulations, etc. This is the initiation of force, and no one has the right to secede from a free country in order to establish a less free one.

If they wish to secede to form their own Laissez-faire capitalist government - well, weird, but I don't see any moral problems with it.

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Unless the secessionists have literally 100% support for their secession movement, they will be initiating force against some citizens - they will be forcing them to accept their taxes, regulations, etc.

Not necessarily. As I said above they might advocate the government of the sort they want, not initiate force.

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Not necessarily. As I said above they might advocate the government of the sort they want, not initiate force.

Oh, they can advocate it all they want. As soon as they establish one, though, and as soon as anyone in the areas disagrees with it, its the initiation of force.

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The question I have with an unlimited right of secession for any group of individuals is whether it could give rise to a continually changing patchwork of governmental jurisdictions that would ultimately challenge the monopoly-on-force principle. It is not a given, for instance, that the territory over which their government would operate would be contiguous with stable boundaries. It is also possible that the secessionist group would itself splinter into subgroups, each declaring its independence from the others, further challenging the requisite order. Once a group purports to create its own government, it must thereby end its claim on the protection of the other. Should disagreements arise about the application of objective law, there is no way to settle it but by a call to arms. To say that the groups could settle it by taking one another to court presupposes the existence of courts within a stable governmental framework which is precisely what does not exist. Though freedom would ostensibly exist, in practice this would seem to devolve into anarchism.

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Oh, they can advocate it all they want. As soon as they establish one, though, and as soon as anyone in the areas disagrees with it, its the initiation of force.

I am suggesting they advocate it and then someone else creates the government they advocated. The first set of people initiated no force.

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Kane, how do you propose to set up a socialist/fascist government without initiating force? Your example is silly and you seem to be arguing for the sake of arguing.

Edited by K-Mac

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Kane, how do you propose to set up a socialist/fascist government without initiating force? Your example is silly and you seem to be arguing for the sake of arguing.

I didn't. In my example I was referring only to the people advocating it being set up, not the actual government being set up (though that is presumed to happen). That is why it is not silly or arguing for the sake of arguing, ie, because the example was not what you thought it was.

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In my example I was referring only to the people advocating it being set up, not the actual government being set up...

...the example was not what you thought it was.

The example that we are discussing here, which was given in the first post, is about whether or not it's possible to establish a government without the initiation of force. The answer is yes, if you plan to establish a moral government and no, if you plan to establish any other sort of government. If your example is not about establishing a government, then it seems to be irrelevant to this thread. Of course talking about setting up an alternative government is no crime.

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The example that we are discussing here, which was given in the first post, is about whether or not it's possible to establish a government without the initiation of force.

Actually, in subsequent posts I changed the example. I was referring to the most recent one, ie, the one that referred only to people advocating that it be set up. The point was that the statement in this thread that said that all people opposing an Objectivist government are thugs and thieves in an incorrect statement.

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The point was that the statement in this thread that said that all people opposing an Objectivist government are thugs and thieves in an incorrect statement.

No, we said people who oppose a moral government are thugs and thieves. If you oppose a moral government, then you approve of the initiation of force and that does make you a thug or thief.

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No, we said people who oppose a moral government are thugs and thieves. If you oppose a moral government, then you approve of the initiation of force and that does make you a thug or thief.

I think it make you a supporter of thugs and thieves, which is different from being thugs and thieves.

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Okay, then it makes you a moocher, which is not any better and not all that different.

Edited by K-Mac

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Okay, then it makes you a moocher, which is not any better and not all that different.

Well, if the system was created I suppose that would be true. However, that isn't the point. By supporter I meant support via advocating for it to exist. That is not mooching. Certain actions after the system exists are mooching, but advocating the idea (anti-idea?) is not.

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Well, if the system was created I suppose that would be true.

Okay, then you get it. That's the topic of this thread...the system being created. I really don't understand what this other tangent you've gone off on has to do with this thread, but I am done with it. :)

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Okay, then you get it. That's the topic of this thread...the system being created. I really don't understand what this other tangent you've gone off on has to do with this thread, but I am done with it. :dough:

Fair enough, though I think I explained that when I earlier said I was responding to a comment in this thread.

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