Monday, February 18, 2008

Future Human Government (6) - Growing Power

As democracy has spread, the power of the state has expanded enormously. Although kings had absolute power, the scope of their authority and ability to levy taxes was limited. The modern democratic state has far more power than previous empires. It can conscript any citizen, male or female, to fight in its wars. The democratic state can tax income and wealth at whatever level it wishes. A democratic parliament can pass any law it chooses. Democracy has given the political state unprecedented power.

An example of this enormous power is the American invasion of Iraq. An invasion from such a distance would have been inconceivable in Nebuchadnezzar’s time. The Roman empire could not have achieved such a decisive victory in so short a time. This American victory is just one example of enormous state power in action.

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