Government 102 – 1776

Further summarizing the role of government as outlined within the state constitutions written during the Age of Enlightenment.

The fruits of this world are gifts given to its inhabitants. In the allotment of these resources, for the sake of happiness and tranquility, humanity has come to favor friendly cooperation over fierce competition. In order to fairly distribute these gifts, and ensure quality of life for all, mankind has instituted government as the maker, arbiter, and enforcer of rules.

Rules are the means by which a community limits selfishness innate to us all. While companionship and the need for assistance drives us to embrace community, selfishness maintains itself as an underlying current, urging us to take more than our share. So as to limit temptation, and as an outright restriction on selfishness, laws are enforced.

And not only material goods, but ideas and activities require fair allocation as well. Individuals must be free to tread where their inclinations lead, therefore, restrictions must be in place so that the beliefs of some do not hinder the pursuits of others. Limits must be placed on those wishing to force their beliefs on others.

Corruption, the manifestation of selfishness within government, must be guarded against at all times. Those in government must act impartially and without motive for personal gain of possessions or influence, and therefore must be scrutinized and held accountable in their duties. It must be remembered that a government does not lead the people it represents, it is merely a tool for enforcing fairness.

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