Article by Colonel Nogov on May 15, 2015
Dear anarchist: Do you oppose government or the state? Do you believe in peoples right to voluntarily assemble and form governments, as long as it stays voluntary and doesn’t push its policy onto those who don’t participate? I am an anarchist/libertarian/
Colonel Nogov: There does need to be a bit of clarity regarding the word government and the state. The word “government” has a few different meanings. One is essentially synonymous with “The State”. Another definition is how we govern our lives, the government of a contract, a governing body of an association, etc.
For the purpose of this website, when I refer to government, I’m generally referring to the state. I use government instead of state because, oddly enough, whenever I talk to statists, using the words “The State” is lost on them. When I say, “the government”, they understand.
It’s unfortunate that the word “government” has these multiple meanings. If I were to say I oppose government without any other context, what do I mean? If I were to say I don’t oppose government without any other context, what do I mean? I oppose Government, but I don’t oppose government. It sounds contradictory.
I don’t oppose any voluntary association. The terms and obligations of parties is governed by a contract. A large business venture may be too much for one person to manage, so a governing board may need to be established. If these are voluntary and spelled out in contracts, there is nothing wrong with that. Employment contracts are governed by the terms. I generally try to use the word governance, instead of government, in these instances for clarity.
What I oppose is The Government. The meaning being the men and women and system that controls a state or country. There is nothing voluntary about The Government. They dictate, people obey or are punished. It’s a violent coercive arrangement. This arrangement needs to be abolished.
Thanks for the submission DP