Government Cannot Save the World

Below are some excerpts from Dave Pollard that point out an intuitive truth that we often forget when we listen to politicians. And the question Why are we in Iraq? takes on new significance.

Source: How to Save the World.

Suppose Bush was impeached or forced to resign for his wrongdoings, or suppose he so discredited the Republicans that they lost the presidency and both houses in 2008. Suppose the new leaders immediately ratified Kyoto, and radically reformed campaign finance, gerrymandering, voting machine and corporation law. Suppose environmental laws were restored to their strongest, and social and environmental travesties like NAFTA were scrapped. Suppose even that corporate subsidies were scrapped worldwide and government pork became unacceptable and impossible. Suppose Europe and Canada elected Green governments and ushered in bold plans to eliminate the use of non-renewable energy through a combination of alternative energy and serious conservation.

Then what?

The ten most intractable problems: Unaffordable health care, dysfunctional education systems, unsustainable energy and food systems, corporate psychopathy, lack of viable self-managed communities, the tragedy of the commons, overcrowding and overpopulation, poverty and violence, lack of innovation and loss of wilderness and biodiversity, would all still be with us.

There is not, and never has been, a government that has been able to push the world to do what it wants to do, to make people behave. From the Romans to the British to the Soviets, those that have had the most power have faltered and collapsed like overinflated balloons when they simply got too big to sustain the illusion that they were somehow in control. The people just said no. Sometimes it was the colonized who started the revolution, sometimes it started right at the centre, sometimes nature lent a hand, using plagues or disasters to tear a hole in the thin veneer of ubiquitous might.