Talk:Conservation of government

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Issue is that I don't think this is found under the name "conservation of government" anywhere else. ADK...I'll duel your reindeer! 09:11, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

To follow up, I can't verify this through any academic sources or anything. Nor is it a commonly presented notion in the blogosphere. I'm gonna nominate this for deletion, because if someone references this idea, ever, it'll be because it's on rationalwiki, and it lacks serious sociological or other academic backing. It kinda actually makes us look like the left-wing shills we're claimed to be. Ikanreed (talk) 16:01, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Privateering was abolished-by-international-agreement in the 19th century. (talk) 16:04, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure the editor who put that in didn't mean literal piracy. Ikanreed (talk) 16:16, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Do they mean privatization? Perhaps they could also bring back trial-by-battle as well - involving the politicians themselves (Big Brother TV series meets legislative violence). (talk) 17:01, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
Honestly, they just made up a concept and pretended it was a thing. They called privatization privateering to demonize it. There's not a lot else to it. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 17:07, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
Calling it privateering has been suggested by better thinkers than yours truly. Yes, they mean to use the connotations to give it the disrespect it deserves. For one example, there is the for-profit private prison system.. There are plenty of other examples to be found. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 17:22, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
Oh don't be confused. I think privatization of government services is a shitty idea and the people who propose it are almost exclusively selling out the long term for the short term, and they are often corrupt. I just nominated this for deletion because I couldn't find anyone actually using it besides rationalwiki, which is one of those "uh-oh" moments to me. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 17:26, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
Socialist politicians have opportunities for corruption too; it's just that they take a different form. They have a vast army of bureaucrats under the control of their political appointees, and they can hand out jobs to their pet children. Those employees can form labor unions that lobby to protect their jobs (for example, teachers). To put those special interests first is sort of akin to corruption, except that it's considered a normal part of the functioning of democracy. Is there any evidence that the U.K. industries privatized by Margaret Thatcher aren't doing well? Landmartian (talk) 18:28, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
You know this is the talk page of a deleted article, right? Talk:Privatization is a better place to continue this threadlet. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 18:56, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
As to "do your own research" in your edit summary, I really did try to do so before I nominated it. I like the concept, but if it's not actually substantiated in any way, I felt like it was harmful to rationalwiki more than helpful. If there's something missing, and you just didn't know it got nominated, please help me out and give me some direction in said research. It's not beyond restoring. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 17:29, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
Googling the "corporate branch of government" leads to the Fourth branch of government,Wikipedia among a lot of other things. (There is also a Natural News article in the results, but even Babe Ruth "only" had a career batting average of .342 which may be worse than google, depending on who you ask.)
I'm not married to the article. It hasn't been oversighted, so all is not lost. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 17:43, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
Other bits of sourcing may be found here, from a search for ["Conservation of government" Lakoff]. Pretty sure that's where I got it from, since I've been a Lakoff fanboy for longer than I've been a RW editor. He's also the one I first saw recommending "privateering" as a way to spin privatization to focus on the public good. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 18:56, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
Well... do you want to restore it and cite Lakoff? I'm amenable to that if you are. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 19:30, 9 March 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────A possible cite is to page 63 of his Political Mind, already in the article's bibliography. There, it says:

The principle here is the "conservation of government." Deregulation and privatization do not eliminate government; they only make it unaccountable and take away its moral mission.

I don't feel like being the lone voice on this one, so if someone else wants to restore it, be my guest. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 23:31, 9 March 2015 (UTC)

I still think this can be rolled into privatization, explaining that "less" government doesn't happen. Add a subsection to "criticism", maybe. FüzzyCätPötätö (talk/stalk) 23:52, 9 March 2015 (UTC)

Shall we say that 'in some cases' removal or lessening of government/administrative intervention in a particular field can lead to improvements; and in other cases there will be a swing between more and less intervention (quote from 'somewhere in Yes (Prime) Minister by Sir Humphrey that if he believed in government policy he would be for nationalization, for privatization, for renationalization... (several other policy changes) and raving mad').

'Conservation of momentum' does tend to apply to government as well. (talk) 16:40, 10 March 2015 (UTC)


Seeing a red link at Privatization, I just brought this article back from the bit bucket, with a ref for one academic source of the term. Enjoy! Alec Sanderson (talk) 20:19, 22 October 2015 (UTC)