Originally Posted by solipsism
Such a number can not be set in stone. Their are many ways to define a government. I'm sure the most vile ruling parties wouldn't be seen as valid governments by most other nations, yet I bet those are counted in your source.
A government has 2 criteria:
1) It is an organisation with a geographical monopoly on the power to use violence. It is illegal to compete with them or copy them within their monopoly area.
2) Unlike normal criminal activity, a government is propped up by a veil of legitimacy - the people believe that the government is moral, right, or necessary, and even if they disagree with it, they will continue to provide moral support for it. Governments must have the sanction of the people they rule over.
When this veil of legitimacy falls, the government is just a criminal gang, and usually a revolution follows where someone else who does have a veil of legitimacy takes over.
I think it might be a bit silly to just say "Governments are good, until they get really bad, then we can define them as something else." I mean, that sort of thing is not going to help any discussion advance. An organisation does not require the approval of foreigners in order to be a government.
Soviet Union - 62 million killed
Nazi Germany - 21 million killed
Chinese Kuomintang - 10 million killed
Chinese communists - 35 million killed
Japanese Empire - 6 million killed
These were all governments. Sanctioned by the people, with a monopoly on the power to use violence.
I can't but you apparently can. But that isn't what you stated, now is it? You stated a date of the 20th century, not some future date. You are sounding more and more trollish with each anarchical laden post.
That's not an answer, you're just accusing me of hypocrisy. I will answer you, though.
There are 2 ways to know the truth about something: Logic and evidence. I have been using logic to demonstrate why the idea of government regulation of monopolies is a contradiction. The purpose of evidence is to look at the past in order to create a series of general principles which can help us in the present and future. I have shown you evidence that governments have been unstable organisations which occasionally snapped, killing millions of people. Moreover, I pointed out that many of those victims (like the Jews) thought they were safe until it was too late - they didn't know what was coming. This evidence gives us 3 general principles:
1) It is the nature of governments to sometimes snap and kill lots of people.
2) This happens with so little warning that millions of people can be killed.
3) Just because a government hasn't snapped yet doesn't mean that it never will. If this were a very very rare thing, then it would be less of a concern, these numbers wouldn't be so large, and I would not have brought them up. But the numbers are large, and it happens often enough, to be genuinely concerned about this risk.
Now, there are
some warning signs that things are getting gradually worse. People who look at history, good philosophy and economics might notice some warning signs like an increase in mystical thinking in society, regulations of business, militarisation of the police, checkpoints, economic crisis, high inflation, loss of civil liberties, restrictions on travel, and so on. If they are smart, they will leave at this point. Many Jews left Germany before it was too late, because they were paying attention. As fast as the transition was in Germany, it was only the final stage in a long series of gradual increases in power that had accumulated over the previous decades. Russia was more sudden because it involved a complete change in government.
So yes, if your government happens to go bad, you might be one of the people who can see it coming, and get out in time. But what if you don't? Is that really an acceptable risk for us to have, in the 21st century? Shouldn't we have more sympathy for the 170 million people who lost their lives for this collective fantasy? Or, should we just pay lip service to the tragedy, as if 170 million deaths is an acceptable cost of having government? There is something... missing... if all of these people's lives don't make a difference to your assessment.