A world with no governments

Let’s say tomorrow all governments in the world are gone. No more taxes, police, and parliaments.

Next thing you know there will be widespread looting and violence. By the time gangsters start demanding exorbitant fees in return for protection, people will (grudgingly) welcome the protection because it’s better than being out there on your own. It’s better than losing your life, property and loved ones to the violence of all against all.

Eventually the gangsters become governments, the taikors become kings, the foot soldiers become armies and polices, and the protection fees become taxes. Kingdoms and empires rise and fall.

As people start demanding more and more from their rulers, sometimes through violent uprisings, the ruling gangs are often replaced with rival gangs, sometimes better, sometimes worse. Some of the people even get to have the option of choosing between rival gangs as their rulers.

While plenty are not exactly happy with this arrangement, with the monopolization of violence by the state, people are able to live life without fearing violence from their neighbors. While the rulers’ primary concern is to protect the lives and properties of themselves and their friends, eventually the protection spread down to everyone; after all, stability is good for their pockets. Businesses flourish, people enjoy better material comfort.

Of course, there’s plenty rotten with this brave new world – injustices still happen every day, wealth disparity is huge. So one day, those who had no memories of the past will look at the injustices, feel (rightfully) angry and dream of a world with no governments. See, we didn’t need anyone to tell us what to do, they say. Well, they only need to look at war zones and places where governments collapsed to see the alternative. It’s not pretty at all.

The reality is, we do need politics and governments and polices and soldiers. Without them the world is a less peaceful place. Violent conflicts are turned into arguments in parliaments instead – by treacherous monkeys, sure, but it’s better than violence on the streets. Wars are increasingly replaced with diplomacy because the rulers know that wars are costly to their pockets.

See, there is still violence and injustices and the peace is only relative. But that relative peace matters.

And so we march on, not exactly reaching for the stars, but at least making the world a little bit more tolerable to live in.