A question recently asked on a forum went something like this:
“Is destroying/destabilizing the central government the American way of freeing citizens from their authoritarian regime?”
The questioner was a bit sarcastic: “After all, having no central government and being ruled by terrorists and warlords is better than having a bad government, right?”
No, I do not think it is “the American Way” as in “Truth, justice, and the American way.” But it IS the “federal government” way – the FedGov way, or the DC or White House and Congress way of doing things. It is incredibly stupid. It kills millions, and makes life miserable for millions more.
But the idea that a central government of a nation must exist to prevent warlordism and terrorism (or rule by terrorists) is not really accurate.
To put it another way, NOT having a central government does NOT mean rule by warlords and terrorists. It is NOT an either-or proposition. You so NOT need to live in tyranny and fear and a “Mad Max” type of world just because you live in a country without a central government. Strong or weak.
Consider the peace and freedom of relatively weak central governments: Switzerland, Canada, the Hanseatic League. Or for that matter, the United States under the Articles of Confederation.
Looking at sheer numbers, a lot of small, local warlords and tyrants IS superior to a big, powerful CENTRAL government which is a tyranny and rules by terror. (And to some degree, governments are generally tyrannical and use terrorism to stay in power.)
With the small states or nations (more local government and less central government), there is more freedom and maybe even more security: poor though it might be. And it is easier to overthrow a petty tyrant who brutalizes a single city or county or even state, than some massive central government apparatus of repression. So SOME places may be a lot more free and peaceful than under the central government, in a situation like that.
A couple of examples in recent history of that would be the comparatively more peaceful Kurdish and Armenian areas of Mesopotamia. Or the small independent nations of the Himalayas. Or many of the Pacific islands. Small countries CAN be much better to live in – and live in freedom.
Ideally, in the short term at least, would be something on the model of the American States under the Articles of Confederation, or the Swiss Cantons of the 1700s. Since it is so very difficult for the “standard” countries into which the bigwigs have divided the world here in the Twenty-first Century to be broken up. So maybe it is a reasonable step to not DESTROY the tyrannical or authoritarian central government all at once, but to greatly reduce its power, devolving that to regional and local governments. A poor but perhaps useful temporary stepping stone to a restoration of liberty.
Because NO government is perfect and NO government, in the long term, is tolerable to free people. No matter what the size or the power.
Thomas Paine said it well: “Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.” Never has this been proven more true than in the 21st Century.
(An end note: NO, we here at The Price of Liberty have no more love of local governments than of central governments. But they can be easier to deal with, provided the local regimes are not backed by the powers, money, and guns of the central governments.)