Political Science 180
Final Exam Essay
Today, based on one’s political point of view, government is either the problem or the solution. What do you think?
I agree with Hobbes. Without the concept of government, there would be anarchy. There would be a state of nature where everyone would have a license to do everything. It would be “all against all,” leading to disorder and chaos. With uncertainty, continual fear, and no society, such a state would lack the essentials of commodious living. This is why people agree to a social contract and work towards setting up a civil society. The pursuit of this goal, however, involves people ceding some rights in return of protection. Absolute freedom accounts to little if it doesn’t come with security. More security often means less freedom. A mid-way compromise is necessary as it would address both our material and safety needs, while allowing us to live life on our terms as long as we don’t infringe on the rights of others. Can you imagine boarding a plane today without being checked by security guards and metal detectors? If we want freedom from all search procedures, we will just end up increasing the security risks. It goes without saying that in an ideal world where there is no threat of crime, we would opt to retain our freedom of privacy each time we board a plane. In the real world, however, most of us would consider security check a worthy compromise because it reduces the threat of terrorists blowing up our plane. With that being said, it is important that the government stands for liberty and protects our individual freedoms to the greatest extent possible, consistent with the principles of Libertarianism. The question of whether the government is the problem or solution though doesn’t just revolve around freedom and security. Should the government be managing our healthcare, financial, and energy consumption systems? Can we trust them to? Big government or small government – which is ideal for our country? These questions relate to the ideal role and size of our government. While it is true that big and small governments have their own pros and cons, it is important to note that at the end of the day, the government is just people.