I’ve done a lot of thinking over the years about systems of government and I’ve come to one conclusion: they ALL fail to one extent or another. Why do they fail? There’s a myriad of reasons; surely, some are specific to the form of government being examined, and some are shared equally across the board.
One of the major reasons, a “shared” one, is because governments are instituted and administered by human beings. Humans are subject to whims, view the world through the lens of their own personal experiences, and are susceptible to a “mob mentality” because we seek approval long before we seek authenticity or truth. That’s human nature. We are also prone to greed from the moment we take our first breath, which is why we have to be taught to share.
Like it or not, we are all animals. We seek to survive and to further the species. Communities are formed because somewhere along the evolutionary scale we learned that we do better if we work together, and have a better chance of survival over the long run by having the collective pool certain resources and build a life as a dependable unit.
Governments are an extension of that primal need to assure survival. Systems seek to organize and manage societies of people with different beliefs, backgrounds, abilities and agendas. It was a bit more manageable when populations were not so connected and not nearly as numerous as they are now. (How the hell do you “govern” a billion people in one nation? Answer: you don’t. More on that another time.)
Laws have been passed to try and limit the violence we subject each other too or the wrongs and trespasses we commit, but laws cannot take away our greed, our narcissism, our thrill at succeeding even if it means stepping on the heads of the people that give you a lift up. I’ve always believed that we cannot legislate racial tolerance, for example. We can try and institute hate crimes as a deterrence to violence but we cannot turn a skinhead away from the concept of white power or the perceived dangers of a multiracial community.
So, I don’t believe in governments of any kind- at least, not as the answer to our problems. I identify as a Social Democrat (or Democratic Socialist, take your pick) because: 1) I believe in Democracy, with all my heart (if only we lived in one) and 2) I believe in things like work collectives and employee owned and operated businesses, and communal gardens and barter/trade systems of commerce. And I’m certainly not afraid to identify myself in that way. In fact, I believe that is the best course we can take, globally, as a species. I believe the directive to Love Thy Neighbor and all our wishes for Goodwill Unto Men is best demonstrated by a cultural norm that includes collective efforts, collective problem solving and collective sharing. Yes, I do.
Now, I’ve done a lot of typing… let’s see who’s had the interest or the stamina to read this all the way through and share their thoughts- respectfully, of course.