onsdag 20 april 2011

Staten konkretiserad

Klassikern på temat att definiera staten är Bastiats "staten är den stora illusion där alla tror sig kunna leva på andras bekostnad"; jag är dock, som tidigare nämnt, svag för Encyclopædia Dramaticas (NSFW) inledningsmening på uppslagsordet 'government':

A government is an organization set up for the purpose of obtaining hookers and blow for the leaders.

Staten är dock ett så bisarrt fenomen att den faktiskt behövs konkretiseras för att kunna förstås - så, först - ur Francois Tremblays samhällskontrakt ur boken But who will build the roads?, via Ludwig von AnKa (namnförklaring) - gå vidare till AnKa-bloggen för övriga åtta sektioner:
Section 1:
I will surrender to the Government a percentage of my property. The actual percentage will be determined by the Government and will be subject to change at any time. The amount to be surrendered may be based on my income, the value of my property, the value of my purchases, or any other criteria the Government chooses. To aid the Government in determining the percentage, I will apply for a Government identification number that I will use in all my financial transactions.

Och Michael Huemers tankeexperiment, via Bryan Caplan:
Michael Huemer asks his students to imagine being a neighborhood vigilante. Suppose, he says, you live in a crime-ridden neighborhood, and nothing's being done about it. So you hunt down criminals and lock them in your basement.

After awhile, you bill your neighbors for keeping the neighborhood safe. You tell neighbors who balk that not paying means they'll land in the basement brig with the criminals.

"Most people would recognize this as outrageous behavior," observes Huemer, associate professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Yet in Huemer's thought experiment, the vigilante's behavior is that of a rudimentary government, focused on preventing crime and collecting taxes.

This hypothetical scenario illustrates a question that Huemer argues is difficult to answer: namely, what gives a government the legitimate authority to act as it does?

"There is no satisfactory answer to this," Huemer says. "In fact, I conclude it's a moral illusion we're suffering from."

Och från Failbook:


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