why do we need a government essay

We all hate the government, either cause we hate paying taxes or we get to many parking tickets, everybody at one time or another wishes we didnцББt have government at all. This brings to mind the question why do we have government? And what the world would be like without government, or in a State of Nature as it has come to be called. Although it is impossible to know for sure what society would be like without any form of government to enforce laws and rights. Many have speculated on what it would be like in such a world. But when pondering these theories one must realize they have been developed by men who live in a time with government, and these are mere interpretations with no real data or historical facts.


The theories are based more on human nature, based on how people act in their day to day life these philosophers developed theories on how people would act if there were no government to control them. Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) presented a rather pessimistic view of the State of Nature, he felt that people could not survive in a world without government. He believed that society would constantly be in a state of war, that people were not able to live together peaceful without a governing force to keep them in line.


He once said that in the State of Nature there were цБеno arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short. цБб Hobbes said a strong government with a great deal of power that represented the people, was necessary to keep order. He also believed in egalitarianism. John LockeцББs (1632-1704) view is one of a more civil society.


He feels people can live together in peace and harmony, without any ruling authority to make sure they do so. Locke describes the State of Nature as цБеa state of perfect freedom; second a state of equality; and third, bound by a Law of Nature.
Governments are necessary once people live together in communities larger than extended families and thus evolved in forms that had many of the essentials of modern governments during the neolithic period. They exist to handle necessary forms of cooperative endeavor and to resolve conflicts in a way that limits disruption.


On the most basic level, even a community of a few hundred people needs some degree of formal cooperative organization. If one family dumps raw sewage upstream of the drinking water of other families, that causes problems. Many issues like irrigation, fire fighting, maintaining streets or roads, building aqueducts, and banding together for mutual aid in self defense or dealing with natural disasters all require a government, in the sense of some form of agreed upon leadership with well-defined types of authority. Private property also requires some authoritative record keeping mechanism and a mechanism for dispute resolution.


P Governments also act to finance projects for the common good by some system of taxation. Many elements of infrastructure such as water mains, sewers, electricity, roads, etc. benefit everyone and there needs to be some system in which all people are required to contribute to these common goods to some degree (based upon their means). P Essentially, governments are a formal mechanism for agreeing upon shared rules, adjudicating disputes, and engaging in cooperative actions among communities. P