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What is Government? According to Janda, Berry, and Goldman:

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1 What is Government? According to Janda, Berry, and Goldman:
“Government is the legitimate use of force to control human behavior (including the use of firearms, imprisonment and execution) within specified geographical boundaries.” definition since the 20th century….

2 Purposes of Government
The three major purposes of governments are: 1)Maintaining Order, or establishing the rule of law to preserve life and property 2)Providing Public Goods and Services, and 3)Promoting Equality

3 1) Maintaining order - The oldest purpose of government
Order = the rule of laws to preserve life and protect property Without a sense of order man is completely responsible for preservation and living in their “state of nature” (with no government) The “state of nature” of man was studied by Thomas Hobbes and John Locke during the 17th century. Both discussed how government is created based upon the “state of nature”

4 Thomas Hobbes -Leviathan 1651 (a biblical sea monster)
-State of Nature = life without government is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short” -Citizens give up their rights to a single ruler or sovereign for safety -Complete obedience for a civil society -Unbreakable contract with ruler to guarantee the citizens survival


6 Thomas Hobbes Government is a means to guarantee survival
The social contract according to Hobbes creates a totalitarian state and places power in the hands of one (king, dictator) Saddam Hussein in Iraq, Kim Jong-Il in North Korea, or Muammar al-Qaddafi of Libya What is occurring in Syria today?

7 John Locke -Two Treatises of Government 1690
-State of Nature=preserve natural rights through the consent of the governed; protect order by protecting private property (goods/land) -citizens give up power of vigilante justice for organized law and order -citizens may alter or abolish “social contract” without falling into chaos

8 John Locke Differs from Hobbes in that the state of nature is not as mistrusting; there is a sense of order and natural rights USA models the Locke philosophy Declaration of Independence states that people have “unalienable rights” “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness”… (code for property)

9 Madison-Federalist #51 “But what is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself.”

10 Federalist #51 What are the internal controls in government?
What are the external controls in government? Separation of powers and Checks and balances Federalism or our federal form of government! Power of government divided between nation and states.

11 2) Provide Public Good/Services
-the goods and services citizens have available to them that are not produced by private enterprise sources (i.e., education, highways, parks) -can be very controversial in regards to government’s role in providing food, shelter, health care

12 Abraham Lincoln “Government is to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves…” Do you see any problems with this?

13 3)Promote Equality -since the 20th cent. the focus of government has been promoting economic equality -European nations pioneered policies of economic equality because of high poverty rates after WWI and WWII (from “cradle to grave” policies) -improve the life of the poor…. but how? -what should be the govt’s role in redistributing income? -Great Depression of 1930’s? -Great Recession of 2008?

14 3)Promote Equality continued
-since the 1950’s the USA govt. has been focusing on social equality -Women, African-Americans, Disabled -efforts at social equality have come from both the legislative and judicial branches -laws/court rulings may clash with social values held by citizens any controversy today?

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