A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, like, a state, or a nation. In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislature, executive, and judiciary. A government can be classified into many types–democracy, republic, monarchy, and dictatorship.
There are a few more, but you get the idea.
The original concept of government, I think, was to improve the lives of the majority of the people it governed. Contrary to popular belief, I wasn’t alive before the existence of any type of government. However, I can surmise that before any government was established, anarchy had to be the law of the land. Because anarchy tended to augment misery for the many, the need for control and order was of great value.
Any government essentially creates and enforces the laws of whichever land it oversees. And sometimes those laws are humorous.
Did you know that in Scotland it’s illegal to wear underwear under your kilt? The fine is two beers, which is probably worse than the death penalty over there. Also in Scotland, if someone knocks on your door and asks to use the bathroom, you are required by law to let them in. I’m not sure what the penalty for non-compliance is. Possibly having to pick up poop in your front yard…
In Switzerland, it’s illegal to flush the toilet after 10:00 PM.
Did you know that whaling is illegal in Oklahoma? I didn’t, and used to live there. The interesting thing is Oklahoma is landlocked, and there hasn’t been a saltwater sea in Oklahoma for over 500 million years.
In China, it’s illegal for Buddhist monks to reincarnate without the express approval of the government. In Britain, it’s illegal to die in the House of Parliament.
Theoretically, government started out as a good thing. You know, like, the Interweb. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating a return to anarchy. I think government is a good thing most of the time, except when it isn’t. And then it’s a huge pain in the ass.
I’ve pondered the vicissitudes of government many times in my life. My latest post made me start pondering them anew. My last blog installment was more or less about monarchies and a few crazy monarchs. And stuff…
No one knows who the first king was, but monarchies have been around for over four thousand years. The biggest flaw in the monarchical system was that monarchies tended to be hereditary.
Rulership was handed down from father to son, or sometimes to a daughter. And there was a simple reason for that. It was good to be the king, and even if it wasn’t, it was still way better than being a peasant.
To make it even more binding, one brilliant monarch came up with this idea: The Divine Right of Kings. It’s a concept asserting that a monarch is subject to no earthly authority, deriving the right to rule directly from the will of God.
Remember the Middle Ages? Fuedalism?
Feudalism was a combination of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries. Broadly defined, it was a way of structuring society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labor. And evidently, blessed by God.
The classic version of feudalism describes a set of reciprocal legal and military obligations among the warrior nobility, revolving around the three key concepts of lords, vassals and fiefs.
A lord was, in broad terms, a noble who held land. A vassal was a person who was granted possession of the land by the lord. The land was known as a fief. In exchange for the use of the fief and protection by the lord, the vassal would provide some sort of service to the lord.
Grow crops. Raise livestock. Suck his cock. Maybe all three. Whatever. There was no such thing as rent control back then. Whatever their lord demanded as payment, the vassals had to pay. If they refused, they’d be fortunate to simply be removed from their land. They’d probably get their heads chopped off.
That was the law of land for centuries. It stayed that way mostly because the peasants were illiterate and uneducated. It wasn’t until the emergence of an educated middle class that things started changing.
Educated people were the death of the monarchies. It wasn’t that uneducated people didn’t ask questions. It was more of a case that educated people asked the right questions. When the profound answers no longer made any sense to the people asking the simple questions, they began to organize their opposition.
Eventually, there were riots and revolutions all across the planet. Thousands of people got dead. In the end, the monarchies were replaced by more democratic forms of government. Leaders were elected by the people, not chosen by God.
Again, it seemed like a good idea at the time. The people overthrew the repressive royal regimes to get more freedom, and eventually their elected officials slowly took away one freedom at a time. Once a freedom has been taken away, it rarely gets reinstated.
The only thing I can think of is the repeal of Prohibition. Most likely because the politicians were tired of not being able to get drunk, too.
Over time, those elected officials have started living like unto kings. The adage really is true. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Nowadays, career politicians tend to be so insulated from the people they’re supposed to serve that they don’t have any idea of what real life is like.
The most urgent prayer of every member of Congress is that term limits aren’t forced on them by the American public. Then they’d have to get real jobs and work for a living like the rest of us. And as we all know, that can really suck.
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There’s one form of government that I haven’t mentioned.
It’s defined as a form of government in which a religious institution is the source of all authority. Technically, that would be a church on this planet, and I imagine all of the administrators would all be priests. Or, even worse, nuns.
I’m sure this sort of political system has existed on this very planet, and failed. Probably for the same reasons monarchies did. Some priests and ministers and nuns had a tendency to be off of their fucking rockers, too.
Ever heard of Pat Robertson? He’s an American conservative televangelist. He more or less runs the Christian Broadcasting Network. And he’s kind of famous for saying some outrageous things. You could look them up. There’s a lots of them.
I can’t find the exact quote, but he said something like unto this: Atheism is bad because it teaches you to think for yourself, and not trust in the words of God. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the most resounding endorsement for atheism, ever.
Again, I’m not advocating a government run by priests. If I wanted that, I could convert to Islam and move to Iran. Those guys seem happy over there… What I’m trying to talk about is a government directly administered by God.
Yeah, that God.
I’ve written about my belief that the only reason God is interested in this planet is because He intends to establish His government here with us as His people. You could look it up if you’re curious. Why else would He need a king? In this scenario, Jesus would essentially be a supernatural alien version of William the Conqueror, minus the French accent.
I’m still not sure why He wants to do this. There’s that whole perfect world theory, but seeing how none of us have ever lived in a perfect world, it’s not something any of us would reasonably expect as a condition of life. But that’s what God says His purpose is. I think it’s similar to what Donald Trump wanted to do when he decided he needed to make America great again.
The Donald has presented himself as probably the smartest person, ever. And certainly the most successful President. However, he’s consistently failed to provide any specifics beyond needing a Great Border Wall to accomplish his purpose.
Much like unto The Donald, God doesn’t have much to say about how He’s going to accomplish His purpose either.
I’ve learned to accept that from God. He has always presented Himself as being mystical and magical. Being secretive is part of His nature. However, if He can’t be transparent about His motives, can God be absolutely trustworthy? And He hasn’t had a perfect record in picking Kings, so there’s that.
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In my previous post about God’s theocracy, I speculated that if God ever acted on His purpose to establish His government, I doubted there’d be anything we could do to stop Him. God isn’t who and what He is because we voted for Him. If He did in fact create the world, He more than likely possesses the power to also destroy it.
I used to believe that I would be alive to see this happen. The longer I live, the less likely it seems. Given the fact that things are most likely going to have to get a helluva worse before God sees any need to step in and fix stuff, it’s probably not the worst thing.