This Thing Called the Government

Words to put you on alert I’m told: “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”
No you’re not! Friends help, neighbours help, family helps, colleagues help, even strangers help, but the government never helps anyone but itself.

But she does render services.
It’s a means to an end; a camouflage even. Government isn’t about services. What it reduces to, on the one hand, is to create and collect, and to assign, distribute, or facilitate the distribution of resources. On the other hand, She counts order before law, looking to stability before peace.

Government is the formulation and utilization of public policy. Law is public policy; it is for control. An attempt to control the behaviour of self or other is an attempt at government.

While the idea is that the people make the government, the reality is that the government is not the people, and cannot be.

It’s a system with a life of its own. An 8000 lb gorilla (or hyena if you prefer) that must be reckoned with—or else. A king, to rule and to reign, with emotions as grey, to exercise dominion—democratic or not. It is a force that for its own good, fights. But it must be contained by practice and law. They must be on the leash—the constitution.

We the government hereby make this constitution, acceded and assented to by the majority of the majority of us (which in reality could be the minority). The people permit it.

A Professor Teitelbaum once said, (I recall vaguely), that in essence, the government has no brains because what it produces, public policy (hence government), comes out of the lobby wars between interest groups. The situation is thus always potentially fluid.

Would it be safe to assume no interest or friend of the government is permanent? They’d never say that to your face. We go by history, and governments change.

Because the government is a self-serving force, sometimes foolish and sometimes wise, it needs to be watched, and praised or corrected. Hence, the judiciary (the new first estate), and the freedom of an unbroken people (the third estate), and the fourth estate of the realm (the media).

We consider the legislature (the new second estate) part of the government. And the fifth estate, neighbourly countries who follow the golden rule, can only speak from their side of the fence. But they can speak. And we don’t mean asking other countries to legalize the contradiction and confusion called homosexual marriage. And does every country have to be a democracy ….

We can’t fully leave the government to check itself, or leave only the judiciary to check it, when it is the government that makes the laws. So the people try to make the government see that their interests align, or should align. We vote everyday.

Where is this government official capitalist, and where is he socialist?