The State Is a Necessary Evil

Topics: Government, Political philosophy, United States Declaration of Independence Pages: 2 (1018 words) Published: June 19, 2013
“The State is a necessary evil. Discuss.
State, can be defined in political science, as generally a group of people inhabiting a specific territory and living according to a common legal and political authority; a body politic or nation. In this definition, the term state includes government; in another usage, the two terms are synonymous. [Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserve]. George Washington said that government is not reason government is not eloquence.  It is force and, like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. The above statement under discussion can be obtained or deduced from Thomas Pain quoted "Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer" [Thomas Paine, Common Sense 1776]. It has been said that all Government is an evil. It would be more proper to say that the necessity of any Government is a misfortune. This necessity however exists; and the problem to be solved is, not what form of Government is perfect, but which of the forms is least imperfect. Thomas Jefferson said in his first inaugural address (March 4, 1801) that a wise and frugal government...shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government. "Why has government been instituted at all? Alexander Hamilton, a federalist said the passions of men will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice without constraint. Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and...
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