What is the difference between the Government and the State

Perhaps this is a nuanced question, but it is of fundamental importance in a liberal democracy.

A government is the administrative tool of the state.  They are not the same, but in certain situations they can converge.  For example in a totalitarian dictatorship.

With this in mind, consider the following statement from a Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia, and member of the Liberal National Coalition Government:

By 2025 Australia will be one of the top three digital governments in world.

And who said this?  The Hon Michael Keenan MP, Minister for Human Services and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Digital Transformation.

It is unlikely that Mr Keenan came up with those words by himself.  Possible but unlikely.  Most likely it was fed to him by a departmental staffer.  But here are the problems:

  1. That Mr Keenan’s political and philosophical radar did not warn him off such a combination of words is most concerning;
  2. If it was a departmental staffer, that they saw no problem in conjoining state and government; and
  3. A Liberal government projects that the size of the Australian government will be so great by 2025 that it will warrant the investment to ensure that it is “one of the top three digital governments in world”.

Depressing it is.

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17 Responses to What is the difference between the Government and the State

  1. And Another Thing

    Yeah, he should pull his finger out.

  2. Dr Fred Lenin

    All politicians seem to take bribes political donations are bribes the money is not donated in a spirit of altruism ,they want something in return so therefore any politicaldonation is a bribe .
    It seems to be international where career politicians exist,some go full bore like the clinton gang ,or our union mafia ,we help your career, we expect you to make our renewable investments safe and profitable so legistlation accordingly .
    The arch global criminal soros “donating” over a billion he stole from punters to frustrate the will of the US voters and instal a global communist decromat regime that will do his bidding . There ought to be a warrant out for his arrest and trial by tribunal for international criminal conspiracy .
    Even most party subscriptions are made for self enhancement in many cases to gain a favour for themselves . Abolish career politics and political donations , for a cleaner better smelling world get rid of rancid politicians .

  3. Crazyoldranga

    The worst thing, but also the funniest, is that the current digital services of Centrelink etc don’t work properly. Even as I type this it is impossible to get into the Centrelink site via MyGov. Top three? Bahahaha.

  4. manalive

    Excellent distinction that your public average servant wouldn’t immediately be aware of, unconscious bias I’d say.

  5. manalive

    Whoops … “average public servant”.

  6. H B Bear

    Perhaps an even greater concern is the growth of wholly taxpayer funded entities that lie completely outside the control of the “relevant Minister”. The ALPBC, the HRC, every ombudsman and their offices. Most operate with minimal or any government control and are invariably captured by the Left.

    Every one of them is an affront to the Westminster style of representative democracy, which itself is more honoured in the breach anyway.

  7. RobK

    No argument from me on this one Sparty. Point well made. A fully digital State is potentially a most frightening thing.
    Manalive, “public average servant “ works ok too, by me.

  8. Texas Jack

    I’ll bet the house there wouldn’t be a Liberal staffer or pollie anywhere in the country who’d prick an ear to Keenan being a Muppet. That they preselect without so much as checking beliefs-versus-belief statement is as obvious as it is pathetic. The Wets are doing serious long term damage.

  9. stevem

    I think he means that, at the current rate, a higher percentage of the Australian population will be giving their government the finger than all but two other countries.
    Any guesses as to which two will be more on the nose?

  10. Shy Ted

    World’ third best computer says “no”.

  11. tezza

    You’re jumping at shadows, Spartacus. It’s just crummy drafting by someone who can’t hold a coherent thought for one short sentence, fed to a third rate Minister for a nonsense portfolio. Such portfolios are a natural seedbed for pollywaffle.

    Still, I suppose unremitting incompetence at all levels can do a lot of damage.

  12. gorgiasl

    Well they must be planning to overhaul every federal government website and eliminating the torturous processes to get to your target that even a millennial can’t crack to say nothing of the intended audience.

    User unfriendly, opaque, time and money wasting, ineffective and useless. Just like the government.

  13. gorgiasl

    I am an E-resident of Estonia – now there’s a digital economy.

    The only downside is that if the Russians attack I will be called up for military service.

  14. Boambee John

    Is tgere a single minister in this pathetic government who is not captured by the department, and understands that the purpose of a minister is to direct the government to implement government policy?

    Don’t answer that!

  15. Entropy

    The world is overrun by technocrats (see the story on the Social cost of carbon) and bureaucrats who have little patience for elections and the elected and how those mayflies may interfere with their agenda.

  16. OneWorldGovernment

    He’s talking about the Australia Card.

    Digital Minister Michael Keenan flags plan for multibillion-dollar ID plan

    https://thewest.com.au/politics/federal-politics/digital-minister-michael-keenan-flags-plan-for-multibillion-dollar-id-plan-ng-b88862627z

  17. Rob MW

    By 2025 Australia will be one of the top three digital governments in world

    The two and a half party system just changed to electing a breed of computer. Should still remain a 3 yr election cycle unless the computer companies can improve their blowing-up on cue schedules. The good news about a digital government is that the fuckers can be turned off at the power point and thrown out the window, without the need to inform the governor-general. The country already has Facebook democracy, so I would think that voting for a computer instead is a step up.

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