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Should people be afraid of government or the opposite - Essay Example

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Summary
Democratically elected governing body has its legitimacy based on the people who elected such a body. A government may be viewed as delegates of the people who are assigned to run the affairs of a nation on behalf of the citizens…
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Should people be afraid of government or the opposite

Download file to see previous pages... It therefore will be contradictory that such delegates will then stop being answerable to the assigning authority and furthermore go ahead to intimidate the authority to an extent that the authority becomes afraid of them. It is simply absurd and violates the basic principles of democracy. This report will demonstrate that people have full authority over government because they elect government officials, they fund government activities and they can bring down any government which is in place and therefore it goes that people should not be afraid of the government. People should not be afraid of the government It was Thomas Jefferson who said “When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny” (Monticello 1). It is the people who put a government in place. The legitimacy of a government is derived from the process of being elected into office. Government officials therefore can be simply viewed as agents of the people. These agents are empowered to run the nation on behalf of the people. It is worth clarifying that the nation that these agents run does not belong to them in any way – it belongs to the people. It further should be noted that these agents of the people should periodically report to the people on how they are progressing in running the property they are entrusted to run. From this perspective, it becomes absurd to think that these agents will grow so powerful to the extent of intimidating the people. It is simply absurd and there is no logical way of reconciling such a thought. It is not possible that a master will to become afraid of his servant. Further arguing on why it is the government that should be afraid of the people, the question of funding the activities of the government comes in. It is the people who fund all the activities of the government including salaries to government officials. The government cannot operate without the money that it collects from the people in various ways. It is the people who fund what the government does and the government inherently depends on the people to run its affairs (Tax Policy Center 1). A point to note is that the people are not afraid to fund the government because the affairs that the government runs are on behalf of the people. The absurdity again comes in if the people are to be afraid of the government. The people sustain the government and therefore it will not be logical for the people to be afraid of the same government. It is the government that is at the mercy of the people and not the other way round. In the same manner that people delegate duties to the government, they can also strip away the government of the responsibility to run the nation. This can be done through elections or even through a people led coup. Libya, Tunisia, and Egypt are just examples of nations whose people took up arms against governments they felt were not doing what they were mandated to do. The people are supreme over the government and if they feel a government has overstepped its boundaries, they have the duty to oust such a government and appoint other officials who will run the nation in the expected manner (Carlton 1). This further strengthens the stand on why people should not be afraid of government. However, there are two factors which may make people to fear a government. These factors are pluralistic ignorance and bystander effect. These factors can be said to be due to uninformed citizenry. In a pluralistic ignorance situation, citizens may be reluctant to stand up to the government when it oversteps its boundaries. They may form the opinion that it is not a big deal and that being the government there is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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