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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What type of Government is Best?

Thomas Hobbes view of what a Government should be in "Leviathan" poses interesting ideas. Hobbes believes that we, as humans, are pretty base creatures, and that we only do things to profit ourselves.

"So that in the nature of man, we find three principal causes of quarrel. First, competition; secondly, diffidence; thirdly, glory." Leviathan Chapter 13

Hobbes believes that man is only driven to do things out of competition, diffidence, and glory. We want to eliminate competition, and get gain; we want to boost our own self esteem to feel safe; and, we want to achieve glory to have a good reputation. Hobbes also believes that whenever you do anything for someone, it is in your best interest, because you want something:

"Whensoever a man transferreth his right, or renounceth it, it is either in consideration of some right reciprocally transferred to himself, or for some other good he hopeth for thereby. For it is a voluntary act: and of the voluntary acts of every man, the object is some good to himself."

Hobbes therefore argued that man needed strong, centralized government, otherwise wars would arise out of the nature of man. He believed the best form of government is a monarchical one, where everyone is given laws to follow out of the interests of the Monarch, which actually benefits everyone.

Then, on the other end of the spectrum, and many centuries after Hobbes, in our day and age of open technology and the internet, some have argued that the best form of government is an open government, where law passing and legislation would be able to be scrutinized by the public. Where all government action would not only be under the eyes of a monarch, or parliament, or congress, but under the eyes of all those interested in the Public.

However, my view of a perfect government is somewhere in between. I don't think we are base creatures who only do things out of our own interests, and I don't think that having a monarch is the best form of government. I also don't think it is the best idea to have all government information out in the open, for it could easily compromise national security. I believe the best form of government would be a true democracy, and I think our founding fathers of this country truly were inspired by God in the establishment of it.

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