Friday, November 19, 2010

Dear Mr. Skeptical (episode 8)

Dear Mr. Skeptical,

In a discussion on anarchy I had recently with a statist, the question of the logical necessity of at least minarchism came up, and it was argued by my opponent that objectively, you can't have competing governments within the same geographic territory. How do you answer this? Are there any historical examples?



Dear An,

The truth is, we don't have to go back into history to find your example. It exists today. It's called The Netherlands. But in popular parlance (and damnation to those who would spoil my example by trying to say that these are not really different names for the same country!) Holland. What you and others may not realize is that those are obviously two different governments (they have to be, why else the two names?) and that they both govern in the same territory at the same time. There is even a third group with its own government, the Dutch, that also governs there as well. Which just goes to show how ignorant your statist friend is and how you don't need history when you've got Mr. Skeptical.

Dear Skeptical,

What is a turducken?


Bee Wildered

Dear Bee,

A good question. There is someone called "DM" who likes to pretend he has a whole army of anti-atheist fighters by his side, when he really is referring to the turds in his pocket when he uses words like "we", "we're", "our", etc .  A "turducken" occurs when an atheist meets DM in person and DM reaches for his turd friends and throws them at the atheist. When the atheist ducks to avoid a flying turd, you've got a classic turducken situation.

I hope that answers your question.

Dear Mr S

How come you never answer any real skeptical questions? Are you chicken?


Jr skeptic

Dear Jr,

No, I'm not chicken, I just taste like chicken.

Until next week (if I'm not too chicken) this is Mr. Skeptical, saying, have a great weekend and a very Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. I don't think it "disproves" what you said, but "Holland" is just a region of the Netherlands, and "Dutch" is the language and ethnic name of those who live in the Netherlands. Holland is actually two provinces (a concept I'm sure you're aware of as being analogous to "states" in the US system), which contain the Dutch capital, Amsterdam.

    In a way, the local/federal system of Holland and the US and frankly of most constitutional nation states across the globe show that two independent sets of government can exist side-by-side (though not necessarily peacefully).

    On another note, I'm going to stay away from turducken until I can disprove your theory...

  2. Doh, even I oversimplified it, because there also the local municipalities, so there's actually 3 or sometimes even 4 or 5 (federal, state, county, city, possibly even neighborhood ordinances...) governmental systems operating at any given time where you live.

    But this is, in my opinion, the opposite of a minarchy... but I don't particularly like minarchies. I like spreading the power over as many governmental bodies as humanly possible, so they can fight amongst themselves. A good government is constantly in a state of struggle with itself; it frees up the citizens to just simply live their lives.

  3. Bret, I didn't realize until now just how seriously you take Mr. Skeptical.

    Yes, Mr. Skeptical is aware of Holland being just a region of the country (and about the Dutch as well), but hell, he needed an answer!

  4. You don't want to know to what lengths I am devoted to Mr. Skeptical... you wouldn't believe it.


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