We believe in governments because they provide control. The concern is, does their control benefit, or hinder, life? They clearly are not needed for species survival. All species, including ours, flourished long before governments existed. How was behavior controlled, and to what purpose, before there were governments?
I believe that each member of a species is possessed by an emotional nature, just as we each have a physical nature. Like our physical nature, our emotional nature is an expression of evolution—the genes of those who are the most emotionally fit for species survival are the ones that are most likely passed on to future generations.
So, without governments, each individual has little choice other than do whatever is necessary to satisfy how it feels, like eat when hungry, sleep when tired, and accept or reject depending on how it feels. The behavior inspired by the need to satisfy feelings often benefits the species, instead of the individual. For instance, a mother is compelled, by feelings of love, to nurture her young. This is not because doing so enhances her ability to survive, but because mothers caring for their young is necessary for species survival.
With everyone free to satisfy how they felt in the moment in “Eden”—that is, before there were monetary and legal systems—why would anyone want change? The indigenous people, for instance, weren’t complaining, indeed, they seemed to love, not just life, but worshiped the land that sustained them.
With our unique lingual skills, humans could do something that previously had not been possible: They could imagine glorious futures, ones that could not be realized by satisfying feelings. So, at some point in prehistory, humans, most likely men, began forming coalitions through which they authorized personal lifetime claims on land, animals, and women. This is how I believe governments were born. Governments exist, not to provide the freedom to be true to our innately based feelings, or to inspire behavior that serves our species, indeed, quite the opposite. Governments exist to control the future to glorious ends.
As subjects of institutions, we must repress most of our innate feelings about family relationships for the sake of being respectable. As members of a social species, our emotional natures inspire us to socially bond by forming natural extended families, not institutionally imposed pair bonds.
Happiness requires the freedom to satisfy our deepest feelings regarding, above all else, relationships. Repression of feelings on behalf of an imagined future, particularly regarding what constitutes a viable human family, results in pain, the very pain that forces many couples to either divorce, or live out their lives in a state of spiritual estrangement. So, in spite of the glories of the modern world that institutional subjugation has made possible, we are not all that happy—indeed, so much so that we spend our lifetimes largely in pursuit of happiness.
Is our natural way of life still available to us? Assuming we are still possessed by instincts, I would presume so. To realize it, however, would require that we return to securing our lives in the relationships of extended families, instead of money and property—that is, in the pursuit of wealth and privilege.
A natural extended family is not governed by contracts, promises, rules, plans, or anyone’s presumption about what a human family should be. It is governed and bonded by mutually shared material and emotional needs. And it exists to serve life, not self. But, because self is an expression of life, only in the service of life does the self find real satisfaction, fulfillment, and happiness.