Thomas Paine's argument that "government is a necessary evil"

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The first instinct is often that of a strong body that regulates or more governs its citizens when the word government is referred to. That's not the case, though. It is, however, the citizens who give the government the authority to carry out its duties and thus to pass and enforce rules and regulations. Since the publication by Colander and Hunt (2015), Social Science: an introduction to society research, the government has become part of society. Typically people are fundamentally social beings and thus require some mechanisms to govern their lifestyle. This is especially the case after substantial growth of societies around the world since time immemorial. The many challenges impacting the way of life at then and in the pre-modern world culminated into the formation of various forms of governance (Paine). Nevertheless, and despite the imperatives associated with such systems, critics have come into loggerheads with the governments. It is within this view that Thomas Paine argues that a government is just but a necessarily evil. Basically, looking at the precise duty of a government, Paine's argument is on the point in the essence that it is the people who choose to be 'controlled'. If it were not for the inevitable defects in the society, that is, people living on moral standards then the governments would never be necessary. In this vein, it is thus evident that the fundamental purpose of any given form of governance is to provide security and its success it equally measured by the extent at which it is able to fulfill the role (Paine). In other words, the existence of government is the need to secure the society against evils that are committed by its members.
Works cited
Hunt Elgin and Colander David. Social Science: An Introduction to the Study of Society. Routledge: Abingdon-on-Thames. 2015.
Paine Thomas. Common Sense. Coventry House Publishing: Dublin. 2016.

September 11, 2021

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