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Old 10-12-2007, 07:25 PM   #1
John Galt
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Purpose and Functions of Government

What do you think is the primary purpose of government?

Also, what do you think are the proper functions of government?(As in, what should Government be allowed to do, and what should it be explicitly forbidden from doing?)





Wer mit Ungeheuern kämpft, mag zusehn, dass er nicht dabei zum Ungeheuer wird. Und wenn du lange in einen Abgrund blickst, blickt der Abgrund auch in dich hinein. -Friedrich Nietzsche, Jenseits von Gut und Böse
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Old 10-12-2007, 07:42 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Galt
What do you think is the primary purpose of government?
To govern

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Galt
Also, what do you think are the proper functions of government?(As in, what should Government be allowed to do, and what should it be explicitly forbidden from doing?)
I would have to say that it would depend on the type of government (monarchy vs democracy vs dictatorship, etc). Unless of course we're starting with a blank slate and trying to draft a framework for an ideal form of government.
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Old 10-12-2007, 07:57 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Galt
What do you think is the primary purpose of government?
To collect a huge portion of my paycheck and then collect most of the rest when I buy something.

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Originally Posted by John Galt
Also, what do you think are the proper functions of government?(As in, what should Government be allowed to do, and what should it be explicitly forbidden from doing?)
They should be allowed to do as much or as little as the people will allow and want government to do.
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Old 10-12-2007, 08:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Galt
What do you think is the primary purpose of government?
The legitimate users of force in society. That makes it their primary duty to be impartial decision maker in conflicts of right and wrong where one citizen's group is in opposition to another, as well as protector against threats of others using force, either illegitimate uses of force, or legitimate uses by foreign governments. There are other roles for governments to play, but those are primary.

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Originally Posted by John Galt
Also, what do you think are the proper functions of government?(As in, what should Government be allowed to do, and what should it be explicitly forbidden from doing?)
Government should be allowed to promote the safety and welfare of its citizens, and it should be prevented from intentionally committing harm to its citizens.
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Old 10-12-2007, 08:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Galt
What do you think is the primary purpose of government?

Also, what do you think are the proper functions of government?(As in, what should Government be allowed to do, and what should it be explicitly forbidden from doing?)
I think that the goverment's job is to keep order in society. And I think that the government should not become a dictator figure in society. MY two cents...

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Old 10-12-2007, 09:49 PM   #6
SilentScope001
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What do you think is the primary purpose of government?
To control a group of people, and guide that group of people to, well, uh, do something.

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Also, what do you think are the proper functions of government?(As in, what should Government be allowed to do, and what should it be explicitly forbidden from doing?)
Governments should be granted full power to run the group of individuals and suppress all threats to its power.

Forbidden? Um, er, it should be forbidden to dissolve itself?


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Originally Posted by The Onion
"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
Full Article Here
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Old 10-12-2007, 11:29 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Achilles
Unless of course we're starting with a blank slate and trying to draft a framework for an ideal form of government.
I suppose after we get initial thoughts out of the way we may try and create an ideal form of government. Sounds like fun.

My thoughts on government:

I think the central purpose of government is to protect the rights of the individual.

In my opinion the three truly necessary parts of government are:
1. The military(and all it entails) to protect me from outside invaders
2. The police, to protect me from other citizens who would do me harm
3. The courts, to protect me from fraud and to settle disputes according to rational rules.

Through these three basic functions all the other aspects of government should be required or justified. This necessitates policymakers to guide dealings with other nations(who are obviously not all benevelent like our ideal state), a lawmaking body to make rational laws and levy taxes to fund the whole mess, and an executive to make sure it all gets carried out.





Wer mit Ungeheuern kämpft, mag zusehn, dass er nicht dabei zum Ungeheuer wird. Und wenn du lange in einen Abgrund blickst, blickt der Abgrund auch in dich hinein. -Friedrich Nietzsche, Jenseits von Gut und Böse
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Old 10-12-2007, 11:42 PM   #8
SilentScope001
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I suppose after we get initial thoughts out of the way we may try and create an ideal form of government.
Erm. That might be a bit futile, considering we all have different forms of ideals, and none of us run any country.


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Onion
"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
Full Article Here
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Old 10-13-2007, 12:12 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by SilentScope001
Erm. That might be a bit futile, considering we all have different forms of ideals, and none of us run any country.
call it a thought experiment. We would obviously have to strike a balance between liberty, equality, and order.

I think that sort of debate would be interesting, made moreso by our differing values and opinions. You never know, we might just learn something.





Wer mit Ungeheuern kämpft, mag zusehn, dass er nicht dabei zum Ungeheuer wird. Und wenn du lange in einen Abgrund blickst, blickt der Abgrund auch in dich hinein. -Friedrich Nietzsche, Jenseits von Gut und Böse
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Old 10-13-2007, 02:22 AM   #10
SilentScope001
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call it a thought experiment. We would obviously have to strike a balance between liberty, equality, and order.
Hm. I think that most governments in the past focus solely on the Order part. Libery and equality are relatively new concepts, and for the most part of humanity, order was what was really needed. Without order, governments disappers.

In a Hobbesian "state of nature"/anarchy (not the anarchy form of government), all men are equal and have unlimited liberty. However, all the men would be busy attacking each other, distrusting each other, and always trying to gain fame, prestige, and property from other people. In such a "state of nature", life is quick, brutish, and short. The social contracts of governments are established in order to create that Order and avoid the "state of nature", and the Government becomes much more powerful than the indivudal. Inequality is formed, as the government's will end up trumpting the will of the indivudal.

Since we are so used to "liberty and equality" though, I'd suppose most future governments will likely have to at least pretend to respect them, or protect these rights. However, the main goal of the government is to keep "Order", and I could see me allowing "liberty and equality", as a way to placate the masses.


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Onion
"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
Full Article Here
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Old 10-13-2007, 03:19 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by http://aolsvc.merriam-webster.aol.com/home-aol.htm
1: the act or process of governing; specifically : authoritative direction or control
2obsolete : moral conduct or behavior : discretion
3 a: the office, authority, or function of governing bobsolete : the term during which a governing official holds office
4: the continuous exercise of authority over and the performance of functions for a political unit : rule
5 a: the organization, machinery, or agency through which a political unit exercises authority and performs functions and which is usually classified according to the distribution of power within it b: the complex of political institutions, laws, and customs through which the function of governing is carried out
6: the body of persons that constitutes the governing authority of a political unit or organization: as a: the officials comprising the governing body of a political unit and constituting the organization as an active agency bcapitalized : the executive branch of the United States federal government ccapitalized : a small group of persons holding simultaneously the principal political executive offices of a nation or other political unit and being responsible for the direction and supervision of public affairs: (1): such a group in a parliamentary system constituted by the cabinet or by the ministry
This is what the definition of government. To sum it all up, the government's job is to control (that is what it says in this specific definition) and generally keep order (my definition)

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