Sunday, August 18, 2019

America Must Reduce the Size of Government :: Political Science

â€Å"Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget the state wants to live at the expense of everyone.† —Frederic Bastiat Introduction: States exist at the expense of their citizens, who are not aware of the price they pay. Although people tend to view states as indispensable institutions to promote equality, provide security, and protect public goods; they often overlook their sacrifice of liberty and economic well-being due to government interference. Forms of states vary—liberal democratic states, welfare states, communist states etc.—throughout the world; but their artificial nature is the same: states only emerged through the consent of all the citizens. Nevertheless, states do not function by a social contract; instead, the few who are in power usually make decisions for all. In fact, people are frequently misled to justify taxation—believing that states redistribute wealth, thus creating equality through this process. However, redistribution does not necessarily mean transferring wealth from the rich to the poor. Moreover, government interference in the free market usually only hurts the e conomy—despite some economists promoting state actions during economic downturns. Only through advocating grassroots associations, paying attention to future interests, and improving literacy and access to popular literature can people realize their economic and political sacrifices to the state. 1. The Formation of States The concept of â€Å"state† is closely related to social contract thought. The social contract school of thought originated from the classic seventeenth-and-eighteenth-century political theories of Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau, who tried to explain the origins of civic community and political authority. Although social contract theorists differ in their conceptions of the state of nature and the political structure under the contract, they all agree on one point: the social obligation must be willingly accepted by individuals. According to the social contract school of thought, the state—the civic community and political authority—is the result of individuals’ voluntary move from their state of nature, in which each man is sovereign and self-sufficient, to a social order, where they submit themselves to a political authority in return for protection and equality. To answer the question of why individuals tend to accept the agreement and obey the state, Thomas Hobbes, the first modern philosopher to articulate a detailed contract theory, believes that states can provide equality by equally treating their citizens.[1]  Interestingly enough, Hobbes’ model of state as an authority overruling all the subjects still applies to our modern society today. What Hobbes overlooked though, as John Locke pointed out, was the reduced liberty of individuals.

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