Talk:Government

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Article Collaboration and Improvement DriveThis article was on the Article Collaboration and Improvement Drive for the week of May 2, 2018.

The Phobiocracy Section is atrocious.[edit]

"What makes this extremely effective is the (unfortunately) common human trait of not trusting people one doesn't know. The most commonly used fear throughout history is fear of "rapacious outsiders" (i.e. barbarians, communists, terrorists, etc.), who would "rampage over the homeland if not for the brave military"; the United States has been accused of "hardliner phobiocratic-policies" which triggered racial segregation and the Cold War.[19] Add to this the policy of making the populace fear themselves and/or the rulers as well; the pattern is to have the ruled be too afraid to resist the rulers, who were usually local; to manipulate the citizenry into activities deemed desirable by the rulers, and to divide the populace into small/fearful/ignorant groups; and at the same time fear the possibility of invasion, or at least banditry, even more due to the consequences of noncompliance in the population. Well-informed people are less fearful than those who are ignorant or uneducated; fear makes people do stupid things."

Unless I'm wildly mistaken, this is nowhere even approaching the quality, objectivity, and clarity mandated by Wikipedia guidelines.— Preceding unsigned comment added by TS19892007 (talkcontribs) 22:12, 18 August 2013 (UTC)

States and governments[edit]

Please see Talk:State_(polity)#States and governments— Preceding unsigned comment added by Wolfdog (talkcontribs) 17:17, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

New page List of forms of government[edit]

That currently redirects here. I'd like to move the Forms of government#Forms of government by associated attributes and Forms of government#Forms of government by other characteristic attributes sections in their current form to a separate page. Further re-structuring proposals will follow if this is non-controversial. Power~enwiki (π, ν) 18:51, 14 September 2017 (UTC)

Requested move 20 September 2017[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved. wbm1058 (talk) 22:51, 27 September 2017 (UTC)


Forms of governmentGovernment – This move was done in reverse last year (discussion), in hopes that a separate page would be created at Government. Those efforts appear to have failed, and Government now redirects to Forms of government. power~enwiki (π, ν) 20:56, 20 September 2017 (UTC)

Survey[edit]

Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's policy on article titles.
  • Support in the absence of a substantive article on government. Tazerdadog (talk) 05:26, 24 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Support according to the content the new title "government" is better.--RekishiEJ (talk) 14:03, 24 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Support seeing as how the government dab page didn't eventuate. Gizza (t)(c) 22:00, 25 September 2017 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

Any additional comments:
  • There are many ways in which Wikipedia has run circles around Britannica, but this is not one of them. Their article on Government puts Wikipedians to shame. This is one area where an encyclopedia governed by anarchy has produced vastly inferior results compared to a traditional encyclopedia with more formal governance. What a travesty the current page history of Government is. Extraordinary messes call for extraordinary cleanup measures. I'm taking this page history out to the woodshed and purging it of its virulent vandalism to see what might be salvageable for possible content merging. I've noticed a correlation between article quality and vandalism – the worse the quality, the higher the vandalism frequency. I don't understand what the collective was thinking when they decided to throw out a decade-plus of article history and start over with writing this article from scratch. You should have worked on this in draft space. – wbm1058 (talk) 02:03, 27 September 2017 (UTC)
After exorcising 237 edits in the woodshed, we're left with an ~100 edit history at Draft:Government, which is a WP:content fork of Forms of government which should never have been moved off of the base title. This can be moved back to article space under a different title, such as Summary of government or Concept of government (suggestions for a title are welcome), then redirected to the article at the base title. Feel free to WP:merge any content from the fork. Note that we already have an Outline of government. Also a List of forms of government. – wbm1058 (talk) 03:58, 27 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Form of government has substantial buried history too. There's probably something there worth salvaging. So the content of Form of government (singular) was merged and redirected to Government, so that Government could be moved to Forms of government (plural). THINK, people. wbm1058 (talk) 12:42, 27 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Government (disambiguation) is another travesty. I was expecting to find Government (band) or "Government" (song), or Government (film), or Government (book). Nope, none of that. There is exactly *one* other distinct topic sharing the title – Government (linguistics) – so I've reverted to the hatnote link for that which was in place before June 2016. This malformed dab is rooted in the rationale for the poorly attended and misguided page move of June 2016. The idea that Government (in politics) has at least four meanings including "the executive of a state" and "the governing cabinet as part of the executive" is wrong. No, Donald Trump is not "the government". Neither is his cabinet. They are part of the government, as should be explained in the body of the Government article. Even a dictator is not "the government" as they can't stay in power if they aren't surrounded by people supporting them. – wbm1058 (talk) 13:52, 27 September 2017 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

@Wbm1058: Thanks for the close (and cleanup of my copy-paste move to List of forms of government). I was unaware of Forms of government having significant content other than the un-sourced WP:LISTCRUFT (seriously, Bankocracy? Magocracy?) for my initial edits on the old version at Government, and was unaware of Outline of government until you mentioned it. The current version still has severe content issues; while a few other high-level pages (such as Business and Engineering) need a lot of work, I don't think any other pages are quite as bad as this one. power~enwiki (π, ν) 03:55, 29 September 2017 (UTC)

Thanks. I'm not done here. This page is on my watchlist now. One of my specialties on Wikipedia is sorting out forks and merging content to resolve messes like this, though it's something I only occasionally do when I run into something that hasn't resolved into a coherent structure over the long term. The first big case I handled was Bootstrapping. The biggest so far was sorting out Surname and Surnames by country. Each of these has held their structure after I was done restructuring them. One thing I've found is that moving a top-level, broad-scope article to a more narrowly-titled subtopic, leaving a void at the top in the hopes that someone else would "fill in the content", is a recipe for disaster. The void never gets filled in, and copy-paste content reshuffling attempts to fix the unstable article structure ensue. People want to create disambiguation pages where there is a stub of a broad-consept article remaining at the top of the WP:summary style structure. Gastrointestinal tract is my prime example of that. It was decided that as the article was 90% about human gastrointestinal tracts, which was an unbalanced point-of-view. So Gastrointestinal tract was moved to Human gastrointestinal tract, leaving Gastrointestinal tract as a stub waiting for someone else to fill in all that balanced content about animal gastrointestinal tracts. Some time later it was realized that this was a mistake, and Human gastrointestinal tract moved back to the base title. I've got a lot of pots on the fire, and complex work of this sort takes time. Generally I try to diagnose where the train went off the tracks, revert to there and adjust the course. I think it's best to analyze the history to see how the article structure got to be the way it is; this research takes time. My next step is to sort out the talk archives. wbm1058 (talk) 13:03, 29 September 2017 (UTC)
Here is the diff comparing the talk page as of 17:11, 11 November 2006 with archive 1. This is when the first WP:TOPPOST violation occurred, so such comparisons after this date break down. The diff will confirm my work to date in cleaning up the archives to standard. wbm1058 (talk) 12:35, 11 October 2017 (UTC)
This 26 February 2007 edit relocated the first two TOPPOST violations, but unfortunately also moved the first Untitled stuff when it shouldn't have, and didn't flip the first two "top posts". New TOPPOSTs are usually added in reverse-chronological order. wbm1058 (talk) 13:23, 11 October 2017 (UTC)

Simple English lede[edit]

From simple:government:

A government is a group of people that have the power to rule in a territory, according to the law. This territory may be a country, a state or province within a country, or a region.

  • Governments make laws, rules, and regulations, collect taxes and print money.
  • Governments have systems of justice that list the acts or activities that are against the law and describe the punishments for breaking the law.
  • Governments have a police force to make sure people follow the laws.
  • Governments have diplomats who communicate with the governments of other countries by having meetings. Diplomats try to solve problems or disagreements between two countries, which can help countries to avoid war, make commercial agreements, and exchange cultural or social experiences and knowledge.
  • Governments have a military force such as an army that protects the country if other countries attack or which can be used to attack and invade other countries.
  • The leader of a government and his or her advisors are called the administration.

It's significantly better, IMO. I'm considering replacing the current lede whole-sale with this one. power~enwiki (π, ν) 15:45, 4 October 2017 (UTC)

That might be a better fit for the Government § Definitions and etymology section. The lead is supposed to summarize the entire article, not just the first section. The lead should have a quick, simple definition, with the more detailed definition below. You seem to be approaching this from the standpoint of defining what government is in 2017. I'm thinking that the definition of government might have evolved over time. You're linking to three disambiguation pages: Influence, state and administration. – wbm1058 (talk) 12:45, 11 October 2017 (UTC)
I agree that simple:government is a surprisingly good effort. I'm not really familiar with how their policies & guidelines differ from ours; perhaps there it is normal structure to have a definition, followed by detail, rather than a summary, followed by detail. – wbm1058 (talk) 13:27, 11 October 2017 (UTC)
Lists haven't been in-style on en.wiki ledes for many years, but a few still exist, such as Ethics, Modern history, Architecture, and Communication. power~enwiki (π, ν) 14:26, 11 October 2017 (UTC)
It is too definitional; I assume that the list would be condensed to a paragraph 2, and paragraphs 3 and 4 would describe the rest of the article. power~enwiki (π, ν) 14:31, 11 October 2017 (UTC)
Yep, it is too basic, it is fundamentally wrong.Carewolf (talk) 07:30, 12 October 2017 (UTC)
  • I'm no political scientist, but I wonder about the emphasis on "territory", could government, more generally, apply to a territory or group of people outside of a territory? Government, as a concept, applies to organizations, even very small ones. Attic Salt (talk) 14:56, 11 October 2017 (UTC)

Presently, the second sentence of the article lede reads: "It is the political control of a country of people by a governing body, that has as its purpose the providership of greater organized forms for sake of the people, including law, law enforcement, a military, education, civil engineering, scientific research, and industry."

My concern is that this pertains to country governments, not small organisations. And the list of things at the end of the sentence might not be accepted as a defining government either; the list is nice, but not what all national governments are about or motivated to do; and, many items in the list are not even mentioned in the body of the article. I suggest removing this sentence. Attic Salt (talk) 00:46, 18 March 2018 (UTC)

I removed it. It was ackward and confusing as well. Though with the rest of old lead now in a new paragraph, the first paragraph feels a bit short. Carewolf (talk) 09:52, 18 March 2018 (UTC)

Roles of government[edit]

What are the roles of government? When can/should it involve itself in Family planning, such as the one-child policy? Does it have a role in promoting morality?

More relevantly for the talk page, should these topics be discussed in this article, and if so, under what section? power~enwiki (π, ν) 20:06, 16 November 2017 (UTC)

I know this is a little bit of a late response, and I could probably be doing better things, but I wanted to make it anyway because I think you ask some really good questions.

Starting with your first question "What are the roles of government?," in the current lead to the article the purpose of government is defined as "...to seek the welfare of the civilians and to fulfill their need for the betterment...," which I think is a good start to a definition, but their is certainly a lot of room for argument, so much so that I link a whole article or section of this one could be dedicated to it. Though that may be true, it may not be directly relevant enough to fully flesh out on this page since I think those ideas mostly fall under the philosophical questions "What is good?" and "What would be the best way to achieve what is good?."

Moving on to your second/third questions, I think the questions that your asking would more well answered on the respective articles on Family planning and one-child policy if those articles don't already address those questions well. If you really wanted to you might be able to fit the specific example in somewhere, but someone might tell you it is unnecessary or accuse you of WP:POVPUSH.

When it comes to the promotion of morality by governments I would say that you could argue that it falls under socio-political ideologies as with your previous question, but I would generally say that the most that you could argue that government has to do with morality is that government implies a moral system through its laws and enforcement of such laws. Currently, there isn't really a good section for the ideas that your talking about, so creating a new one seems reasonable. The Editor's Apprentice (talk) 05:38, 13 July 2018 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 6 June 2018[edit]

Can you please change the file World administrative levels.png to Blank Map World Secondary Political Divisions.svg? It is the vector version of the image. 192.107.120.90 (talk) 17:31, 6 June 2018 (UTC)

 Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit semi-protected}} template. The svg version has several issues raised on its page, it's somewhat more difficult for me to see the boundaries, and primary and secondary divisions aren't separated; however I'd like to hear some others' opinions on this. LittlePuppers (talk) 18:40, 6 June 2018 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 26 July 2018[edit]

27.97.193.45 (talk) 17:52, 26 July 2018 (UTC)

 Not done: as you have not requested a change.
Please request your change in the form "Please replace XXX with YYY" or "Please add ZZZ between PPP and QQQ".
Please also cite reliable sources to back up your request, without which no information should be added to, or changed in, any article. - Arjayay (talk) 18:11, 26 July 2018 (UTC)


The first sentence is circular[edit]

The first sentence is "A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, often a state." This is circular. It uses the word "governing" to define the word "government." Breaking down the word "governing" gets something like "organization of daily life," so with the other language:

A government is [a] system or group of people organizing daily life in a community, often a state."

"Often a state" can be removed. Trying for something a bit more eloquent:

Government is the organization of human societies, for the improved structuring of community projects and works that serve the basic life necessities of the people. ..Different forms of government exist, and governments can be seen in a philosophical spectrum from the democratic to the autocratic; the philosophy and purpose of the democratic government is radically different from those of an autocratic government. The purpose of a democratic government is to secure the health and continuity of the greater body of people, while the purpose of an autocratic government is the health and continuity of a small ruling group. With these basic elements, the democratic governments rank higher in terms of their local popularity and greater effective productivity.

-Inowen (nlfte) 23:09, 5 December 2018 (UTC)

I would agree with you that the lead can be improved in many ways. I like your suggested first sentence though I think could be slightly improved by changing "people organizing daily life in a community" to "people which organize a community", mainly because a governments need not be present clearly and daily to be a government. I also am leaning towards adding something about being offical or legal to try to distinguish govermemts from other instituitions such a schools or businesses. As for what appears to be your complete rewrite of the lead, I think you make a lot of assumptions on what the role of governments are or should be. Mainly, a lot of your descriptions wouldn't apply to a tyrannical government whose primary purpose is to financially benifit its tyrannt. If the lead is going to mention the spectrum of goverment organization, I think it should also mention the spectrum of government purpose, both economic and social. For your descriptions of deomcratic and autocratic goverments I think you conflate goverment organizational style and goverment purpose. Two counter-examples that I would put forward are the Tyranny of the majority and Philosopher kings. For the last sentance you would need a very high quality source because its likely to be contested. —The Editor's Apprentice (TalkEdits) 15:40, 7 December 2018 (UTC)