James Madison's comment in The Federalist Papers saying that "if men were angels, no government would be necessary," though not the most flattering vision of humanity, is an unbiased and honest viewpoint. Time and time again, it can be seen that humans do have a darker side that is repressed, in part, by morals, societal constraints, and, to a lesser degree, by the government, whatever type of government that may be. Thus, through historical examples, fictional scenarios in works of literature, and my own experiences, I have found that James Madison has spoken the truth, no matter how severe that truth may be. Whenever there has been a lack of government or strong authority to maintain order, the stronger members of society start oppressing and exploiting the weaker ones.
A famous Enlightenment thinker and man of many talents once mused, “The purpose of government is to enable the people of a nation to live in safety and happiness. Government exists for the interests of the governed, not for the governors.” Thomas Jefferson was evidently one of the few people who have had a profound impact on history, and he helped lay down the foundations of one of the today's most powerful nations. His words have more than just a ring of truth to them. The role of government is not to be loved by the people; instead, the good government plays a role in repressing what can only be called the darker side of human nature and trying to create a more peaceful and orderly society. People have never loved their governments, and indeed, many of them disapprove of their government, but the fact of the matter is that, without government, civilization would be at a standstill. As much as people do not like to admit it, the concept of government has enabled humanity to proliferate and flourish, and it is the presence of government and the threat of legal repercussions that often deter any wrongdoing that might occur.
Most, if not all, historians would agree that government helps maintain a society’s civility. In fact, most sources cite a government or a centralized source of power as a defining characteristic of a civilization; therefore, the concept of government is as crucial to humans as religion, culture, and writing are. Although types of government differ from country to country, one thing is common, and that is the actual presence of a government. The nature of humanity naturally tends toward a culture that has some sort of ruling party to maintain order and keep the peace. Oftentimes, it is only when there is a shift in power or a revolution going on that government becomes decentralized and pandemonium ensues.
Throughout the course of history, whenever and wherever there was a lack of centralized power, chaos and destruction prevailed; however, when there was a strong ruling power to govern the masses, there was generally an era of peace, prosperity, and growth ushered in. China during the Warring States Period and France during the Reign of Terror both...