Each of the philosophies discussed the purpose of government as well as which government was the most ideal. For Paine, government, is “a punisher,” in which society is ruled by in order to protect the properties of one’s natural rights (Paine 3). However, he defends a representative democracy as being the ideal. Likewise, John Locke also argues that governments protect the rights of man. Similarly, to
JFK thought that by helping other, people could find success in society. People can not just help somebody and expect success though; they must understand that helping an individual is the right decision. Like JFK said “Not because the communist maybe doing it, not because we seek votes, but because it is right”(Kennedy 4). While Patrick Henry realized people achieved success up until they viewed something such as the painful truth. “We are opt to shut our eyes against a painful truth”(Henry 85).
The truth is that through the nature of humanity, government is necessary to maintain control and peace. Societies are created by groups of people who find that living together and helping each other is better than attempting to live on their own. However, once a society gets very large with many different types of people it becomes necessary to implement some kind of government to suppress the inherent evil in man and to maintain peace and happiness. Humans need each other to succeed because it is more effective to work together than alone. This truth embraces all of human experiences because it is human nature to want to work together and this truth uses that part of humanity to justify the need for a government.
In Plato’s Republic, Socrates comes to the conclusion that we need to have a strong just society that is in the right order. In Books IV, V, and VI, Socrates explains that every society needs to be built on justice, everyone needs to have an occupation, and what a male and female household should look like. These are my prerequisites to what I consider essential to create a just society. Because without these qualities in an established society, you can hurt an entire civilization. And to Socrates argument, with an ideal king will come forms of co-operated citizens of a city.
The natural rights philosophy, for instance, is the belief that government should only have the power that is given to them by the people. The common good philosophy, however, is the belief that the government should hold as much power as they possibly need in order to deliver the best possible outcome to their people. Both philosophies stress their own ideas, both positive and negative. The common good philosophy is the belief that man should do all that he does in order to better the life of not just himself, but the people around him. This has many good things and many bad things.
In the discussion on the methods of governing and administration of a state, one cannot leave out the models proposed by Confucius as well as Mencius. Both advocated that the ruler or the government has to rule by virtue and strengthen moral education among its people. Political leaders have to set moral examples for the people to follow, and to be benevolent towards their subordinates and citizens. By doing so, that would bring about social stability and population growth within the state, also creating conditions that would lead to an improvement in the welfare of the people. By fulfilling his duties to the people, a just and benevolent ruler would then be justified to rule by the Mandate of Heaven.
Ostwald notes that while the declaration of independence and the 14th amendment consider freedom and equality rights, Aristotle does not feel the same (Ostwald 165). Freedom and equality are qualities that come from the community to which an individual belongs. Unlike the American notion of freedom and equality, where they are considered individual rights to which every citizen is entitled, the ideas of freedom and equality in the Athenian sense come from society, and these rights are shared throughout the community (Ostwald 165). While this difference in the concepts of freedom and equality is derived from the variance in social values, the very foundation of freedom and equality as stated by Aristotle differs from the one stated by the Declaration of Independence. Ostwald says that the Declaration tells citizens that they are equal, and therefore they have liberty (Ostwald 163).
Huxley was concerned over the community’s value on conformity as he believed it didn’t allow free thought, dissent, or uniqueness. He also feared that conditioning would overcome the importance of the individual. Huxley was intelligent and rational, but people debate if his fears came true in accordance to present day times. With free thought comes disagreement, and with disagreement comes change in society. That is why, when Aldous Huxley wrote Brave New World, he emphasized the terrors of having no dissension in a civilization.
Marx and Arendt are two brilliant political theorists who pose different concerns, beliefs and ideals when it comes to the relationship between economics and freedom. Marx defines freedom as creative self- actualization which contrasts Arendt’s definition of freedom as worldly and eruptive action. Marx’s definition is more focused on the individual, which in turn will better society while Arendt is more focused on action as community. Marx believes in a society free from economic oppression by the elite while Arendt believes in one where poverty and politics do not meet. Economics and freedom, according to Marx, are intertwined in such a way that they cannot be separated.
Many people believe that the election plays the most important role in democracy. Because a free and fair election holds the government responsible and forces it to behave on voter's interest. However, some scholars find evidence that election itself is not enough to hold politicians responsible if the institutions are not shaping incentives in a correct way. In other words, the role of the election on democracy, whether it helps to serve the interest of the public or specific groups, depends on other political institutions. I In an ideal democracy, voters will vote for the politicians and policies that can bring the most benefit to themselves, while the rules of the society cares about how to maximize the social welfare as a whole.