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Friday, April 23, 2010

Government: Do we need it?

Preface: In order to obtain the full benefit of this Roland Hansen Commentary, you need to click on all the embedded links.

I have heard many people say and I have read many people write that government is too big, that the problem is the government, that the government is to blame, that government should not be involved in this or that, that the government has too much power, that government should be run like a business, that the government ..... BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.

I wonder how many people understand that of which they criticize. Government or "The Government" as some like to call it is that which we, you and I, have devised and have allowed. What is government all about, anyways?

In checking out several places on the internet, I found the short answer to the question What is government and what is its purpose in a society? to be somewhat interesting.

I also found an extremely interesting essay by Blupete on the internet that states in its introduction, in part, "The central questions asked by this paper are: What is government? And, What is a government's purpose, its powers, and its perils." to be quite informative. You really should click on over to read "An Essay On Government" for some enlightenment. Come to think of it, I do believe our world needs a modern set of enlightenment thinkers.

So then, let's move on, shall we? Why is government necessary?
The Federalist No. 51 states, in part, "But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions."

What then is the purpose of government?
I direct you to two different sources for the answer to that question. One source, Fact Index, has a web page The purpose of government that not only is explanatory but also contains quite a few embedded links that take you to other informative web pages. The second source is Suite and the answer is its web page What is the Purpose of Government?, The United States as a Nation of Laws Not of Men.

There you have it. What more can I write? Oh, I know.
How about an inflammatory, opinionated comment from me directed at a certain group of people for whom I have nothing but disdain? You got it.

To all those "less-than-well-knowledgeable-about-government" people who constantly hammer away with their ill-informed, half-assed, negative criticisms about government, I say "You ignoramus. Why don't you gain a better understanding based on factual information and a bit more complete knowledge of the subject of government before you go spouting off on that of which you know little."


Judy said...

I learned it was "government of the people, by the people, for the people." Sounds like a plan to me, thank you Mr.Lincoln!

CarnotCyc said...

I believe in state soverignty and limited central government.

Tim Higgins said...


It would be foolish to believe that we can do without government, but equally foolish to believe that government is always wise or even that it always serves the people. (I believe that you understand that far better than most)

It is for that reason that the Founding Fathers placed limits on the government in this country in the Constitution. They likewise created a process to amend that Constitution if these limits were found to be wanting in the future.

Since men are not angels however, we must constantly be on our guard against the potential abuse of power in such as we continue the process of educating ourselves about the type of government we desire.

We may not as a people always agree on the role of that government, which is why what you put down here contributes to the process of discussion and education.

Roland Hansen said...

Thanks for the comments Judy and Marilyn.


You are one the modern set of enlightenment thinkers to which I referenced in this entry. Your comment above is reflects that of which I am addressing. Hooda Thunkit, aka Dave Zawodny, is another one the modern set of enlightenment thinkers.

Now that Marilyn Mount Kocevar has entered the blogosphere, we may add yet another.

I feel somewhat alone at times being the "lone liberal" in this regard. Most of my friends on the left seem to be so intolerant of those on the right that they exclude them. I also find that to often be the case in regards to the right wing excluding the left.

Maybe, there should be website or blog set up for this "modern set of enlightenment thinkers" of which I write. Maybe, there already is. Maybe, I should take the time to research that, now that I once again have almost unlimited internet time unlike the past six months.
(hmmmmm. I wonder if anyone else is interested in this concept.)