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Political Philosophy

Many people have questioned whether the government, with all its laws and regulations, is justified to rule the people. What right does the government have to demand that its people obey? Why should an individual obey the state in the first place? These are just a few of philosophical queries being asked. Nonetheless, a majority of the responds stress the need for an orderly process and protection as the justification for obedience to the government. Some have highlighted the need to promote cultural and spiritual aspects of the populace while others stress the need for economic well-being, which stands as the foundation for all values. This text looks into the answers given by John Stuart Mill, Karl Marx, and Friedrich Engels. Mill concurs with Lock in vying for representational democracy; however, he is against the idea of natural rights (Pojman, 502). The struggle between Authority and Liberty has been ongoing for a long time particularly in the history of countries like Rome, Greece, and England. However, during such times, the contest was between the government and certain classes of subjects. Liberty meant protection against the dictatorship of political rulers. The rulers at the time obtained authority from conquest or inheritance. Therefore, most of them never held leadership at the pleasure of the citizens. Although their power was deemed necessary, it was regarded as highly dangerous. Some of the leaders would use authority as a strategic weapon against their adversaries or subjects (Pojman, 502). However, it reached a time when men stopped to believe that their governors should be independent. They deemed it fit that their leaders should be delegates or tenants revocable at their gratification. That way, they would have total security that the government authority will never take them for granted. Others still thought that there was a need to let their give responsibility to their leaders, where they can be removed if need be. This idea was common amongst the last liberal European generation (Pojman, 504). However, in time, a democratic republic came into place as an elective and responsible government was ushered into place. The will of the people meant the will of the many. According to Mill, the only instance where power can be exercised in the right manner is when used on any civilized member of a community to prevent harm against others, against his will (Pojman, 505). However, this is not about minors in the society. Freedom should only be extended towards the pursuance of our own good in a specific way, so long as no other person gets hurt. A person who hurts others should be punished by law, in a situation where legal penalties cannot be safely applied. A person can also be compelled to do acts that would be of benefit to the rest of the society, for instance, to give evidence in a court of law, saving another human being’s life, or protect the defenseless. The society, in this case, will hold responsible the individual should he fail to do the act. In this regard, a person can cause harm to others, not necessarily by doing wrong, but by refusing to do the right thing. Mill further argues that people should not have the right to coerce the government into doing something; such power in itself is illicit (Pojman, 507). It is even more noxious for a government to exert power as a result of public opinion. Basically, Mill promotes the idea that the principle of liberty is only justifiable by utilitarian reflections. 3. The Communist Answer according to Carl Max Karl Max played an instrumental role in the dawn of the Marxist movement. According to him, all cultural values, including all the laws and ideal, of a society are at all times the reflection of the rulers. History has always painted a picture of struggles between the classes (Pojman, 510). During the past periods of history, there has been an intricate arrangement of the society into different social orders, a diverse ...Show more

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Many people have questioned whether the government, with all its laws and regulations, is justified to rule the people. What right does the government have to demand that its people obey?…
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