Why Have Government?

"Less government means more freedom" is a phrase often seen on bumper stickers. Another concept is "Less government means less freedom". These concepts are important and have been discussed by thoughtful people over the years. It relates to the role of government.

There has always been tension between the desire for protection from oppression by government and the desire for protection from oppression by other people inside and outside the community.

My view is that in all societies some people and groups achieve more wealth and more power than others. In may happen through cleverness, through good luck, through hard work, through greed, through accidents of birth, but it always happens. Human nature being what it is, people and groups with power and wealth seldom want to relinquish it. Governments have developed to establish some order in society. Too much order creates oppression by government. Too little order allows oppression through chaos.

The worst situation for the community is when government is controlled only by those with wealth and power. Our US Constitution was created so that we have a means to find the elusive balance between liberty and security, freedom and responsibility.