Small government

Revision as of 18:21, 5 November 2015 by Woozle (talk | contribs) (another police example)
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It is believed by many that making government "smaller", or even dismantling it altogether, will result in a more peaceful, more free and less coercive society.

The method almost always proposed for accomplishing this is to reduce or eliminate taxes (especially income tax) in order to "starve the (government) beast" of the revenue it needs in order to operate.

What will happen if such initiative succeeds, however, is not absence of government but an oligarchic quasi-government that is more deeply hierarchical and more coercive than what we have at present. This is largely because destroying government will not destroy political power; it will only remove the means by which we attempt to channel political power towards the general good. Political power comes from technology, not from government.


(More examples are needed...)


When police departments are deprived of funds, they often begin seeing their job as revenue collection rather than providing a public service.[1][2][3]





  1. 2015-03-04 Ferguson Police, Courts Violated Minorities' Civil Rights, Justice Department Says (h/t) The DOJ's report includes recommendations for fixing the department. They focus on policing and court policies "so that they are based on public safety instead of revenue." The DOJ calls for improved training and oversight and reduction of racial bias. In addition, the DOJ is demanding that Ferguson end its "overreliance on arrest warrants as a means of collecting fines."
  2. 2015-08-18 Police and community relations "It's wrong, but budgets encourage the police to make more arrests. Some departments will tell their officers that they need to make 10% more arrests. You know they're not going to head over to the well-off neighborhoods – they're going to go over to Fargo [Street] and make some arrests. The revenue is for the state, not the city or the county. The DA and others work for the state, so it's frustrating that the county provides the building where revenues are collected for the state. We're collecting revenues on the backs of poor people, and the insurance and other companies are part of the game because they donate to politicians." — Major Paul Martin, Sheriff's Office, Durham County NC (discussion)
  3. 2015-11-05 St. Louis suburb funds itself by increasing nuisance ticketing on black homes by 495 percent: lawsuit After a Justice Department investigation found that Ferguson, Missouri was raising revenue by fining residents, the state passed a law limiting how much of a city’s funding can come from traffic violations. [..] But Pagedale has been able to skirt that law by issuing municipal citations instead of traffic tickets. In 2013, 17 percent of the city’s revenue came from fines and fees...


  • 2014-07-31 (reshare of James Carville meme/quote)
    • You can't just make political power go away. If you try to shrink it in one place (e.g. "defunding" or otherwise disempowering the federal government), it grows in other places -- corporations take over, or local warlords/fatcats take over, because there's nothing to stop them.
    • if you just "defund" the government as a whole, the parts you like are going to be the first parts to go, and the parts we all hate will take over. Why? Because those are the parts that benefit the special interests -- the Big Money Entities who are increasingly in control of the process and who will make sure the most oppressive and awful parts are maintained even as the democratic process is "defunded" and destroyed.