Monday, June 08, 2009

The Tenth Amendment informs me that today is the bicentennial

of Thomas Paine's death. They've got an exerpt of his here.

[Whoops! Correction: "The Tenth Amendment Center informs me..."]

And, naturally, a quote:
Government is no further necessary than to supply the few cases to which society and civilization are not conveniently competent; and instances are not wanting to show that everything which government can usefully add thereto, has been performed by the common consent of society, without government.

For upwards of two years from the commencement of the American war, and a longer period in several of the American states, there were no established forms of government. The old governments had been abolished, and the country was too much occupied in defense to employ its attention in establishing new governments; yet, during this interval, order and harmony were preserved as inviolate as in any country in Europe. There is a natural aptness in man, and more so in society, because it embraces a greater variety of abilities and resources, to accommodate itself to whatever situation it is in. The instant formal government is abolished, society begins to act. A general association takes place, and common interest produces common security.

So far is it from being true, as has been pretended, that the abolition of any formal government is the dissolution of society, it acts by contrary impulse, and brings the latter the closer together. All that part of its organization which it had committed to its government, devolves again upon itself, and acts as from reciprocal benefits, have habituated themselves to social and civilized life, there is always enough of its principles in practice to carry them through any changes they may find necessary or convenient to make in their government. In short, man is so naturally a creature of society that it is almost impossible to put him out of it.


Starsplash said...

Only because the vast majority of the people were Christians was there order. Only. And the powers that were then were as Paine said were occupied. Ofter the war once men of money and influence were once again free to kanive they did and wrecked the money just like today. There was hyper inflation and a whole lot of grumbling to the point that if constatutional convention had not of been conveened and a suitble document drawn up thier would have been no USA.

I believe that the athiests would have apparently happily foundered then.

The probligo said...

Heh! Good luck in the days of the Wild West...

You want to find out what it would be like without "government"? Head for Somalia.

Al said...

Somalia is a place infected with hyper-religiosity.

Ron, "Only because the vast majority of the people were Christians was there order" is an unproven assertion. The colonies in America were founded, certainly, by Christians who had in common the fact that they were sick and tired of the religious wars of Europe's recent past, but I'd say that the fact that there was a great deal of common belief was the greater influence on the general tendency to peaceable-ness among Americans.

The Wild West wasn't really that wild, Prob, except for misunderstandings with the Natives and the wild animals. We know the names of almost all of the murderers who lived there. There weren't very many. Washington DC is a nastier place to live.

My guess about Somalia is that the brand of Islam practiced there doesn't sufficiently create a sense of common humanity among the various tribes. On the other hand, we only hear about what's going on there from crisis-mongers.

Starsplash said...

Ah......your overlooking the fact that I also said that the manipulators were busy with a war.
Whence the war won money-ipulators went back to manipulating and keerash went the economy,just like this recession.

Also if they weren't predominantly Christian why the Christian bend to the Constitution.

No need it they weren't predominantly Christian.

Also funny that the richest field for Christian growth is amongst the infedels. The belivers in no God.

If you want an anarchic life Al, Canada has millions of square miles of empty land and I am sure you would love the extreme peace and quiet and the ability to leave a piss where ever you want.

No need to bash away at people who like a civilized world. No need to sabatoge it either.

Also I take exception to your recent statement that I dismiss your ideas. I do not dismiss them I only add the thoughts that you miss in your ideology.

Al said...

I actually hadn't noticed anything worth picking up since I picked this fight.

The probligo said...

Seeing that the religion card has been played already I'll toss this thought into the mix -

"The moral of the story is simple: When people see their interests threatened by another group, this perception brings out the most belligerent parts of their religion. Such circumstances are good news for violent extremists and bad news for moderates.

That quote is from Robert Wright in Huffington Post, writing about the Obama foreign policy in the Middle East.

His argument, summarised in those two sentences, is the why of Israel, Palestine, Somalia, the Taliban, alQaeda even.

To the point of your original post Al, without government, without statism, would wars such as Israel/Palestine, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, ever happen?

If they did occur, and without government, without statism, would anyone worry? After all, why should anyone worry? Like Rwanda for example...

Starsplash said...

Now now who is being dismisive.

LibertyBob said...

I have always been a big fan of Thomas Paine. The introduction of his Common Sense is one of my favorite, simple explanations of government. (The rest of the book is mostly about how King George is a big fat doody head.)

As for the Christian bent to the Constitutional government of this country, the concept of a democratic republic comes from the various heathen peoples, not from Christian theocracy. When Iceland was converted to Christianity under threat of violence from Norway, it was their legislative body, the Althing, that voted to convert. The current legislature of Iceland is still the Althing.

Al said...

Where would the Hutu/Tutsi distinction be without statists?

Ron, I just want evidence. I see the lack of it. The evidence I've seen is only that there are places it might possibly be hiding. There is certainly evidence that people act on ideas and that early Americans were acting on ideas from the Bible, though the design of the government doesn't come from there. There are other ideas in the Bible that have been specifically excluded... Ooh! New post!

The probligo said...

"Where would the Hutu/Tutsi distinction be without statists?"

Probably very much the same, except that the killing might the other way around.

They are separate "tribes", and I put that in quotes because they consider themselves "separate peoples", perhaps even "separate nations"; much like Germans and French, or Norse and English, or Arab and Bedouin or Palestinian/Israeli.

In many parts of the globe, national boundaries are totally artificial, made by the stroke of a bureaucrat's pen, or between colonisers who were at war. I think that the first instance I was aware of was the Ibo peoples in Nigeria in the late 60's. Remember Biafra?

Starsplash said...

I will be like the fish that eats the bate off the hook. :)

Al said...

Yes, I remember Biafra.

The question is, though, what can a bunch of interlopers do? All we have to work with are guns and money. What evidence do you have that interloping works?

The probligo said...

What do you mean by "interlopers"?

Are Palestinians "interlopers" in the Levant? There are many who say "yes", and equally as many who say "no".

The Ibo had always lived in the southeast corner of Nigeria, and equally as important, Cameroon. They were suppressed, politically and actively, by tribes from the north and west. Those areas, the north particularly were under pressure from the southerly expansion of the Sahara.

Who were the interlopers? I don't know if there were any. But that did not reduce the tragedy of what happened.

Similarly, Hutu and Tutsi have always lived in the area that includes Rwanda, Burundi, parts of the Congo, the western end of Uganda.

Who were the interlopers? Predominantly, political forces from outside Africa who were primarily interested in the free exploitation of natural resources including local labour.

Would your idea of "no statism" overcome those kinds of conflict?

Ron, I am considered by my son to be some kind of "fishing god". Don't know why, but Tangaroa is kind to me.

The probligo said...

As for "intervention" - a diplomats word that I think is far more accurate - take as an example the action taken by NZ and Australia in Solomon Islands.

The force is predominantly police and is known by the acronym of RAMSI.

As was the case in Timor L'Este, the NZ and Australian forces were not landed until a formal request for assistance was made by the government.

And that is the predominant reason for "nothing being done" about Fiji.

To equate bad government with atheism? I would bet my boots that Vlad the Impaler attended church, likely every Sunday. Voerster was a very devout Dutch Reformist - and used his religion to justify South Africa's apartheidt.

Much closer to the point, and this is where Ron really gets up my nose, is the implied statement that Islamic nations are bad because their religion is not Ron's. He might not mean it, but the echo of the thought is loud and clear.

Al said...

I believe Ron has said as much.

Starsplash said...

Yup and though they are not yet I would feed cloth and house them tend to there medical needs and more.

Bandage there wounds and treat them well in captivity.

Presents quite a conundrum for you doesn't it Prob..

I say that truth is in history. That the greatest nation to date is the nation which has brought a more humane attitude to mankind. That be us.
And it was our Christian attitudes that brought them. Not athiesm.