Would it be possible to have government without special-interest groups? Explain.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I assume this is a question about democratic government.  Dictatorships can easily exist without interest groups.  I will answer this in the context of democracy.

This is, of course, a matter of opinion.  I will give an argument for each side of the question and you can decide which argument you find more compelling.

On the one hand, we can argue that special interest groups are necessary for our form of democratic government.  Interest groups serve as a major way for the will of the people to be communicated to government.  People join interest groups that are important to them.  Those interest groups represent them and tell government officials what their members want government to do.  Democracy depends on the government doing what the people want and interest groups are an important way for the people to tell government what they want.

On the other hand, you can say that there are plenty of ways for people to get their opinions to the government.  People in the government can commission opinion polls to find out what the people are thinking.  In today’s world, it is very easy for people to communicate with the government.  People could email their representatives.  They could post their opinions on Facebook or Twitter and reach the government in those ways.  There would not be any need for people to actually form groups to communicate their desires to the government.

Which of these arguments makes more sense to you?

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