Power Politics

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Use of power by the state is a reoccurring theme in political theorist Robert Nozick, Thomas Hobbes, and John Mill. Though, they have different takes on the presence of power in the state, the discussion of constraints and use of force is a major topic in their pieces. Nozick writes on side-constraints needed in authority, until independents effect consent. Hobbes is strict on his belief that an omniscient sovereign leader would make for a legitimate way to enforce peace and security. While Mill argues that people are entitled to unlimited liberties in a path to happiness, and that force or power is legitimate when your happiness is harming another. In this paper I shall illustrate how these philosophers would respond to the quotes given from James Madison and George Bush. In James Madison’s quote, he expresses how men aren’t noble (angels) and can be self interested or corrupt, which is why they need government. These governments need to control the behavior of people and create rules and constraints. However, because these governments are made up of these very same men checks are put in place for them too. Though, in Bush’s quote, he brings attention to the importance of peace and security. If violated it is okay to use force to enforce laws or rules. Starting with a specific line out of Madison’s quote, he says, “you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself,” He says that there should be central power but there should also be checks and balances for that central power. These checks and balances help to maintain the legitimacy of the state. Nozick agrees by using Locke’s view to show that people cannot be trusted in the state of nature so that will create inconveniences which include protection of life, liberty, and property with the absence of government. He believes that human beings will then create protection agencies, which eventually turn into a dominant agency to protect settling...
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