The institution of government is central to politics. Its nature, actions, and structure must be understood to make wise political decisions.
THE BASICS OF GOVERNMENT
Government is an organization that has a near monopoly on the use of force in a given geographical region. All of government's actions are fundamentally based on the use or threat of violence.
Private actors bear responsibility for their actions, while government employees do not. Thus the free market consistently outperforms government.
THE ACTIVITIES OF GOVERNMENT
Democide is government murder of civilians. Government murdered 262 million people in the twentieth century.
War is a government program that killed 36 million in the twentieth century. Militarys are needed to defend against aggression.
Taxation takes people's money by force. It misallocates resources and creates perverse incentives that make people poorer.
Government spends money on redistribution, socialism, bureaucracy, and waste. Spending and taxation are two sides of the same coin.
Redistribution is based on theft. It creates perverse incentives that discourage production by all concerned. It can be used by the rich to steal from the poor and it greatly empowers government. Unchecked, it will lead to bankruptcy and economic ruin.
Democratic governments are likely to accumulate large debts. Unchecked, this will lead to bankruptcy and economic collapse.
Bureaucracy is an inevitable feature of government. It is subject to perverse incentives, government employee unions, and red tape. The free market is more efficient.
Regulations are a form of taxation and spending. They are promoted to increase safety, but they often have unintended consequences that cause great harm.
Law and Order
Laws, police, and courts are necessary to protect society from criminals. Civil liberties and the rule of law are necessary to constrain their power.
Immigration can violate the property rights of taxpayers. It can also hurt society at large. Immigration that is allowed should benefit society.
THE STRUCTURE OF GOVERNMENT
Democratic elections in a republic can help to limit government power, but democracy cannot solve the fundamental problems of government. Much support for democracy is based on a flawed ideology.
Decentralization leads to less government coercion and more satisfaction of people's political desires. It leads to better policies through more political competition. It reduces the danger that a faction could seize power.
It is virtually impossible to have no government, so the best protection of liberty is limited government. There does not appear to be any foolproof mechanism to protect limited government. However, various procedural mechanisms can help to protect liberty.
Government is destructive in many ways. The cost of government is very high. There are different theories about the moral justification of government. Support for government stems from personal gain, ideology, propaganda, and misunderstanding.