Limited government: the animated argument, with some calculus

12 June 2008 by Mike Gogulski
Posted in philosophy | 2 Comments »

Jim Rongstad posts an excellent set of videos illustrating the mechanics of big government, and supporting the notion that that government is best which governs least.

A useful illustration. It only falls short of being brilliant in that it doesn’t take its premise to it’s logical conclusion.

If the government which is most accountable, least able to cause harm and least susceptible to corruption is the government which is as small, dispersed and as local as possible, it should logically follow that the best possible government is one which does not exist at all.

In calculus we would define a function, f(x), where x is the size of government and f(x) is the utility (or morality or some other philosophical conception) of government at size x. In analyzing the limit, lim(f(x)), we see that f(x) increases as x decreases, and that f(x) becomes infinite as x tends to zero. Ergo, to maximize the utility or morality of government, its size should be exactly zero.

But then, most people don’t understand calculus.

  1. 2 Responses to “Limited government: the animated argument, with some calculus”

  2. By Martin on 13 June 2008

    This clever video should teachers show their students (in state schools) in time of subject called thinking without state:))
    Yes, many people don´t think about things to conclusion.

  3. By Lee Warner on 15 June 2008

    I only wish that human beings were morally attuned to living together without government. I can only come up with a rough idea of the number of people in the world who are incapable of co-existing without preying upon their neighbors, but I’m going to guess it’s around 15 to 20%.

    The problem is that organized governments, in the 20th century alone, have killed over 60 million of their own people. With that kind of murderous efficiency, compared to the local mini-mart robbing, drug-dealing small fry the public usually has to deal with, how bad could anarchy be?

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