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Creation Date: January 30th, 2014 06:40 PM
Drakon Drakon is offline
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My thoughts on Traveller, and stories related to Lemish.
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Status: Public
Entries: 23
Comments: 10
Views: 16,512

In Moot Member Blogs Neofunctionalism Pt5 Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #14 New March 5th, 2014 08:44 PM
How do you give a government unlimited invasion of privacy, without it turning into an "unhappy" police state? By keeping government to its "Proper Function"
Earlier I stated that "Purpose" is different from "Function". Purpose is what an item is "supposed to do" what the operator or creator of the item intended or meant to accomplish by implementing this particular object.

Function is what an item actually does. The universe does not care one bit what we intend, what we mean to accomplish. We do what we do, and the universe gives us the consequences of our actions with no regard to what we meant to do, or what we wanted to happen.

So one needs to design systems, items and institution that 1) accomplish the goals we want accomplished, 2) will work in the real world (even in the imaginary universe of Traveller) The way you get a government to stay within its "proper function" can be tricky. But the first step is to define the "proper function" of government.

It is instructive to look at what powers governments actually have. Basically a government can kill people and write checks. Governments have a monopoly on coersive force, and use that force, and the threat of force, to extract taxes from the populace under the protection of that government.

We want a government to protect and defend the populace, its property and rights. We want the government to use its monopoly on the use of force on criminals and wild animals. But we also need to recognize the limitations that such threats and use of force can achieve. Sometimes, government is not the correct tool.

Civics education is a key component. A recognition that government is there to protect and defend, not run people's lives or dictate their every move. Such overreach inevidably results in depressed production, poor economic performance, and an upset if not angry populace.

Another means is to require anyone in the government to carry around a legible hardcopy of the laws of the land. If an agent wants to arrest a person, he has to show them chapter and verse of the crimes he is being charged with. One way governments exceed their "Proper Function" is by passing such a burdensome body of laws, that everyone is guilty of 3 felonies a day. That makes it easy to bust a citizen and makes the legal system more flexible for the government.
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