What is the Government?

We take the existence of governments for granted. This is understandable since we have been under some form of government all our lives, and we also believe that some form of government must have existed for as long as recorded history. Government appears to be something as natural as the air we breathe, and therefore we are easily persuaded that it must be as necessary as air. Not just necessary but also that it is a net positive. This does not stand scrutiny, however.

Just as people don’t ordinarily ask “what precisely is air; why do we need it?” so too people don’t ask questions such as “what precisely is government; can society exist without government; what form of government is good; etc?” It takes special effort to pose and answer questions such as those. That is left to students of political philosophy and political science.[1] Continue reading