A group of people is said to be subject to “government” if there is among them a subset of people, acting in concert, who are purportedly authorized to impose requirements on the whole group using force if necessary. We must distinguish governments from (a) voluntary associations such as clubs and businesses, and (b) larger communities that share common traditions and values. Subjection to political authority stems solely from being born in a specific area; only occasionally are the subjects of a particular government immigrants. Nor need the subjects share common goals and interests. Those who exercise political power rule by force if necessary; the will of the rulers is expressed mainly in laws—general directives to all, more or less effectively enforced by the rulers.

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