It seems to me, the role of government creates the social, economic and cultural framework, within which each of us struggles. Why not the other way around? Why not the framework being a cause rather than an effect? Because the role of government precedes the framework. For almost all of human history the role of government has been to protect a small cabal of families at the top of the social, economic and cultural order, plain and simply that was, and in fact still is, the role of government today. That the fundamental role of government has always been to protect a small cabal, the Elite, shouldn’t surprise anyone with their eyes open. The group nurtured by government has changed through the millennia but that has always been the basic role of government. Who comprises that group is what determines the social, economic and cultural framework. The only way to actually change the framework is to change the actual, not the perceived, role of government.
Most people think the role of government is to pave the roads, police the criminals, provide welfare, protect from fire, produce regulations, promote the “common” cause and for plentiful prosperity, all the “goods” you have been taught. That is what you are supposed to think. If you dwell on it however, especially if you take a long historical look at actual reasons governments, wage wars, the “hand out” all the “goods” government provides, and who are the ultimate beneficiaries, you will eventually come to the conclusion, government only really exists to serve the Elite, whoever the Elite are. Once a new Elite are in power they too use government to pass laws to change the framework to suit the Elite’s selfish needs.
Who the elite are changes, depending on dozens of factors, the old elite became too corrupt society suffered and so… a new cabal rose up and seized control perhaps violently, the elite became dependent on some other group who then usurped the usurper’s position, being conquered, technological change, etc… there are far too many ways a group of elite change to name them all. The group that makes up the Elite might be a landed aristocracy, the bourgeoisie, the Shogunate, the theocracy, the majority, the party, a race, the workers, even on extremely rare cases, the whole of the citizenry. Each faction once in power will inevitably change the laws to protect themselves and their children. Often a faction will claim to represent another faction to gain their suffrage but only serve themselves, a party that “represents” the workers, for example. A government that serves the theocracy will pass laws making it illegal to ridicule that religion or to convert out. The framework will change conforming to that group’s desires.
The social, economic and cultural framework of any nation, city state or civilization changes over time, to conform to the will of the faction in power, the Elite. People are people, we are all the same, put any of us, other than a saint in power and over time, as we amend laws and change customs we will inevitably, even if only subconsciously, change those laws, customs and social norms to favor us and our children, it is in our nature. It doesn’t make us, or them, bad people, it makes us all people. That is why we must first look to change the role of government. To do that we must first recognize it’s real role and drop the rose colored glasses.
The founders of the United States understood these facts and tried to craft a form of limited government that would stand the test of time. But indeed, over time, those who could changed the rules to suit their needs against the needs of the rest, did. Today, the US is as much a Constitutionally limited republic, as Rome under Octavius Augustus was a consular republic. Today’s Elite, the new class, have done no different than every other group that has become the Elite. Like all factions that become the Elite, they are/will go through the same life cycle… Rise to power, change government to suit them and their needs, become corrupt, their corruption and increasing mismanagement leading to economic, social and cultural disorder, and finally another faction wresting power and starting the cycle over.
Today the new class has become corrupt, with CEOs making tens of millions of dollars a year in wages, stock deals and bonuses, to run multibillion dollar companies into the ground, banks getting caught red handed ripping off their customers, and so the shareholders get punished while the criminals get bonuses, government officials openly breaking laws anyone else would go to jail for and many do, etc… The economic framework they have created is becoming ever more difficult for the average person to navigate, zero interest on savings, less full time employment, shrinking wages, collapse of small business start ups, etc… and so is slowing economic growth. Cultural Marxism is leading to the cultural decay of drugs, out of wedlock children, single parent families, large swaths of the population that feel they don’t have a stake in society, and all the other cultural ills we face. The new class has sown the seeds of their own destruction, but who is going to seize control from them, and change the framework to suit their needs? Maybe… it is time to debate a new role for government. that diverges from the recognized old.