A FABLE: Why We Have Governments

caveman-clipart-caveman.gifLong ago when the world was a younger and far simpler place, rational people were wont to frolic about in the State of Nature, flexing their freedoms and exercising their rights.   And it came to pass that while they were frolicking, flexing and exercising, they oft came to harm other rational people.  In those days, hurt and harm were measured only by damage done to property.  As was the custom at that time, those so aggrieved, along with their circle of friends and kin, were expected to retaliate, exacting compensation and revenge, and inflicting appropriate punishments to the offenders.

As time passed, and more and more rational people engaged in frolicking, flexing, and exercising, and more and more aggrieved retaliated, the wise people among them came to realize that the harm-retaliate cycle was not sufficient, and the practice of mediation and adjudication by persons outside the cycle came to be. 

civilzedMan.jpegThe world grew and the complexities of the burgeoning society increased as well.  It became apparent that harm done to others was no longer limited to property and there was great ambiguity regarding how to mediate and adjudicate these conflicts.  Something else, perhaps a code of ethical behavior, was needed.  And thus, the advent of laws designed to document the nature of harming and define the appropriate punishments.  Having laws to use as the basis for mediation and adjudication proved of great benefit; however, something was still missing.  Mediation and adjudication were at the end of the process:  the law needed maintenance and enforcement prior to that point.  The answer, of course, was government.

But alas, at some future time, rational people felt unfairly fettered by government and laws, and cried aloud for a return to frolicking, flexing, and exercising.   Get rid of government and laws – let us all return to the State of Nature.  No matter if others are harmed; that is their just due for they are not among the strong who frolic, flex, and exercise.  Fie unto them – they are weak and lazy and deserve all that befouls them.

MORAL:  Beware those that bellow for the freedom of bygone days.  They are the very reason that rules and laws are needed.


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