Politics Arrive on the Scene of the Deserted Island-Part 2

It's just a matter of time before they will choose to establish some form of law enforcement or police force to establish and maintain law and order on the island.

Drinking from the Coconut

Drinking from the Coconut

As we learned yesterday, politics is the art or science of winning and holding control over a group or nation, either through influence or force. In our simple desert island society, direction and control of group actions could take place in one or more of these ways:

1. Our 7 cast-a-ways could simply let things take their course, electing to have no formal government, setting up a form of anarchy.
2. One could assert that he or she was the ruler, thereby establishing a monarchy–a form of rulership whereby a queen or king, empress or emperor holds absolute or limited power, usually inherited over time, like the Dutch House of Orange or the British House of Windsor.
3. The seven could agree that they would vote on all activities, thus creating a commonwealth, government by the people for the benefit of the people.
4. Or let’s say one of them could take power by force, either psychological force or violently, thus establishing a dictatorship.
5. And if one of them came to have a larger share of the money and use wealth to take control of the desert island society, that would constitute a plutocracy. But let’s be clear:

No matter which direction they choose, over time the island will be facing a much more complex society.

As the population of the desert island expands, the economic and political situation becomes more complex. When the population reaches a certain size, the inhabitants of the island decide to set up an executive group, individuals elected to direct and control activities on the island.

They decide that they need a written statement of the policies which the government and the citizens will follow: a constitution and a body of laws. The islanders then elect representatives to create new laws and regulations as they are needed, setting up a legislature, and they elect individuals to administer the laws, establishing a judiciary.

It’s just a matter of time before they will choose to establish some form of law enforcement or police force to establish and maintain law and order on the island. Secondly, they will find the need to set up a military force to protect their island from outside forces. And since now there is a much smaller percentage of the people involved in the actual production of goods (money) and more and more people are in the services field (bartering time and expertise for a piece of the pie), the decision that each islander will have to pay to support the activities of these government agencies is at hand, and taxation now becomes a fact …and that’s how we finally arrive at the doorstep of a Modern Society

Our simplified island society over time contained all of the features of a more complex society:
• A government: composed of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches
• Taxation: required payments of citizens to support their government
• Police and military forces: to maintain domestic order and provide protection from foreign invasion
• Economy: a system in which goods and services are exchanged
• Goods and services: products or acts of labor
• Labor: the expenditure of physical or mental effort
‚Ä¢ Money: any agreed means of exchange–including salt, cattle, pigs, goats, tobacco, gold, iron, paper currency, metal coins, bank debt and of course the latest “inventions” such as packaged credit default swaps.
• Storekeeping: the accumulating, organizing, and distributing of supplies
• Banking: the custody, exchange, loan, or issue of money
• Capitalism: each individual owning his own means of production
• Commonwealth: all of the individuals owning the means of production in common

We’re ready to roll. Tomorrow in Part 3 I will touch on The Invention of the Technology of Banking.

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  1. tommylee

    So to recap the first two parts: the more complex a society becomes and the more “government services” are introduced (on any level) the more expensive the “infrastructure” becomes and the “producers” have to pay for the services rendered by the “service people”. Simply put, the more people that work for government, any sort of government, law and law enforcement, and infrastructure maintenance and expansion the higher the Taxation will become for fewer people that still are still productive.

    However if the Taxation is insufficient to support all this “service” due to tax exemptions and an unbalanced Taxation system, fines are the next means of “taxation”.

    Let's see what the publisher comes up with in part 3.

  2. John Wheelwright

    Just like what Mr. Greenspan uttered a couple of days ago: there is no way the central government can NOT raise taxes to pay for all their excess. There is a talk about a consumer tax. Mind you, this is what Europe already has for years in the VAT (value added tax). Watch how consumer taxes on the easiest COW in America, gasoline, is going to bring gallon prices at the pump up to $5 in the near future. After all, smoking is so overtaxed that tax income from there has already declined as fewer people smoke. Alcohol? Here we come moon shiners. Yep gasoline will be the one. We'll go back to 1 car per every two people, so goodbye Detroit. Interesting next 5-10 years or so.

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