[FoRK] Time Asymmetry of Government: Terminal Stage Approaching

Russell Turpin russell.turpin at gmail.com
Thu May 27 07:03:44 PDT 2010

On Thu, May 27, 2010 at 7:57 AM, Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> wrote:
> ..  Even the British monarchy, one of the longer-running existing governments
> (in some sense) is no counterexample;  while the monarchy itself survives in
> a form relatively unchanged in quite a while, it is certainly the case that the
> British empire, while effective for a limited time at parasitizing most of the
> world, did not continue indefinitely in that mode.  The thesis of the post,
> which remains to be refuted or argued against, is that governments in general
> evolve towards a lethal (i.e. unsustainable) level of parasitization of their hosts.

The British empire is not an example of that. What happened there is
that economic changes made running an empire an expensive proposition
rather than a profitable venture. Britain shucked herself of many of
her colonies for the same reason that IBM no longer sells typewriters.
Both the British government and IBM remain viable, ongoing concerns.

I remain quite skeptical of the thesis, and that anyone can point to
long-lived governments such as Britain, US, Switzerland, and Canada,
and say, "oh, they're on their last legs." And remain open to a
friendly wager if anyone wants to put a measurable benchmark and
deadline on such prognostication. ;-)

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