Perhaps the greatest form of political power is the ability to control the way we think by controlling the language we use.
Even most 'politically aware' people are not aware of how their words continually reinforce such power. This is partially due to the fact that, while the language of control is used by habit, we are also at a loss for words with which to express thoughts that run counter to such programming and so we fall back upon the familiar language of control, hoping, perhaps, that our listeners will interpret these words in a new way.
Consider the word 'criminal' This word does not simply mean someone who breaks the law - it also has a very strong connotation of immorality due to the common association of: "obeying the law" as a moral act and "disobeying the law" as immoral.
What would you call a 'law enforcement officer' who legally imprisons someone who has not harmed anyone, or seizes a person's property prior to any conviction of guilt; or a President who kills millions for the alleged cause of 'democracy'? There is not a good word that expresses the idea that laws, and those who create and enforce them, are often cruel and immoral. We might call them 'corrupt' but this is not accurate if the law has been followed to the letter.
While it appears universally true, in practice, that the most powerful interests have the greatest influence on the laws of every society, the association with morality persists in spite of the fact that few people would agree that "might makes right". Yet, in fact, might does 'make right' - when the mighty enjoy the power to greatly influence how people conceive of morality.
Aside from the fundamental confusion of laws and morality, noted
above, the word "government" has another serious problem in that it
connotes a system which operates according to its own laws.
What do you call a 'government' that is dominated by many people acting illegally?
What do you call a 'government' that claims historical continuity with a previous government but which is the result of a revolution or coup?
An anarchist would probably not have a problem with using the word 'government' for any of these cases, since she understands all government to be inherently evil and considers laws equally so. However such a usage is impractical since the anarchist view is, unfortunately, so rare that misunderstanding will inevitably result.
This is such an important problem that the practice of setting aside the word 'government' in quotes seems insufficient to correct such programming. For that reason, I will also occasionally employ the adjective, 'alleged' to make the distinction more forcefully.
Contrary to popular mythology, the alleged U.S. government does not date to the signing of the U.S. Constitution. Secession of the Confederate States of America in January, 1861 marked the end of Constitutional government when enough of the original ratifying states had departed that those remaining lacked a lawful quorum under which to conduct the business of the Federal government. On the other hand, asided from its immorality, slavery was quite legal and the Confederate States appear to have observed lawful procedures for amending the Constitution they inherited and for preserving continuity of State governments until the end of the war, in 1865.
A new Union government could have been formed in 1861, and the Constitution might have been lawfully amended to fit the current reality, but this did not happen. Instead, language was perverted and reality, denied. The alleged President, Lincoln, assumed un-Constitutional war powers and secession was labelled 'rebellion'. The war which followed could not be a 'war' - since the alleged Congress never declared war, as required by law - instead, it must have been a 'police action'. This sham blossomed during the martial law period of 'Reconstruction' and the forced 'ratification' of the "14th Amendment" became the cornerstone of the new United Slaves of America.
Aside from the problem of continuity resulting from secession, the use of the term 'government' with respect to the U.S.A. has another, not unrelated, problem with respect to the dominance of the "Secret Government" of "National Security State" which operates according to executive orders, according to Abraham Lincoln's example: the system of "black budgets" and "black bag jobs" and is beyond any 'democratic' or Constitutional limitations.
Unconstitutional practices are perhaps as common within local 'law enforcement agencies' as they are at the Federal level. With many traditional 'government' activities becoming privatized, the significance of 'legality' becomes even more blurry when private corporations may engage in illegal operations on behalf of 'government' agencies and offer the advantage of 'plausible deniability' to the contracting agency.
The common disregard for Constitutional "posse comitatus" restrictions against the involvement of military units in domestic 'law enforcement' activities may usher in a New World Order. The many current 'co-operative' agreements between alleged governments for joint military and police actions may be the beginnings of World Government. Perhaps at that point, the illusion of "fairness" or "representative" connotations of the word 'government' will finally fade into oblivion