Why is it necessary to have government ?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Political thinkers say that it is necessary to have government so that government can protect our rights.  Without government, we would only have whatever rights we were strong enough to protect on our own.

If there were no government, our society would presumably be “everyone for themselves.” It would be a free for all because there would be no authority to keep the peace.  Political thinkers say that this “state of nature” would have been very difficult for people because they would have had to defend their own life, liberty, and property by force.  Anyone who could exert greater force could deprive them of these things.

This is why people created governments.  Thinkers say that people entered into a “social contract.”  They gave up some of their freedom to the government.  They gave the government the right to rule and to tax them.  In return, the government promised to protect their rights.  It promised to keep others from stealing from them, from killing them, and from enslaving them.

In short, government is necessary because without government we would live in a chaotic state of nature in which we would have no rights except those that we could protect by our own power.

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