As I sit here writing this, the government is shut down. I know you’ve probably heard about it and if you’re like me, you’re wondering what’s the big deal. After all, what most of us would really like to say is some version of “So what?” “Good riddance” or “We don’t need them” in response. But the reality is that we need the government; perhaps now more than ever.
What’s So Tough About Surviving Without The Government?
Don’t get me wrong; I’m no big fan of the government, especially not of big government. As far as I’m concerned, most of the regulatory agencies in the government do nothing useful. They merely take our money to pay their extravagant salaries and expense accounts. Nevertheless, even those agencies have a place in modern society, or at least some of the functions they perform do.
Sadly, we need a few of these regulatory agencies because our country is not currently populated by the moral and religious people that John Adams said our Constitution was written for. Since there are many who lack self-government, we need someone to keep them in line.
“Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
In reality, only a small portion of the government is out of operation. The rest is functioning under partial spending bills which came into effect late last year. Even some of the parts where there is no money to pay workers are still open for business. Moreover, authorities have promised to pay those government workers as soon as Washington approves the budget. They are working because their functions are critical. So, it is illegal for them to leave their posts, even without pay.
Surviving Without The Government During A Total Shutdown
Notwithstanding, what if the government was really shut down? What if something so bad happened that the entire government shut down? What would happen then?
The government exists to do things that we can’t do for ourselves. On a national level, the most important of those are national defense and representing our interests with other countries. At lower levels of government, the most important thing that happens is to protect us from criminal activity through the capture and prosecution of criminals. If the government were to go down, those functions would cease to exist.
Granted, there are a lot of other important things that the government does. Another example would be the municipal water authorities who supply clean drinking water. Nonetheless, these things all pale in comparison to the problems which would exist without the government present to enforce the rule of law.
Surviving Without The Government Means Surviving Without The Rule Of Law
The first thing that happens in countries which lose their governments is that they lose this rule of law. Everything else that happens to them follows after that. Without the government in place and the rule of law, other services that the government provides come to a screeching stop.