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Is An Oppressive Government More Desireable Than No Government?

1000 words - 4 pages

As humans we have shared fundamental needs. Take personal survival as an example. To meet this need we must ensure our safety from the violence of each other and from the violence of people who are not members of our society. The mechanism to serve . . . this . . . goal is a government.' Because I agree with Thomas Attig, I must affirm the topic that 'an oppressive government is more desirable than no government.'Before I continue, I'd like to define a few key terms in the topic. [All definitions are from American Heritage.]Oppressive is defined as unjust or difficult to bear.Government is the exercise of authority in a political unit.Desirable is defined as worth having or seeking, as by being useful or advantageous.Since the topic asks us to evaluate the most desirable situation for humanity, my Value Premise is Individual Welfare. In order to achieve individual welfare, my criteria are1)The preservation of social order2)The fulfillment of fundamental needs.The only way in which to ensure individual welfare is to maintain societal stability while at the same time protecting the individual.My first contention is that an oppressive government is more desirable than no government because government, in any form, provides certain advantages that are impossible for the state of nature to provide.(1)First of all, a government provides individuals with external security. In other words, the mere existence of a government allows for society as a whole to have a defense mechanism against foreign powers because a government must provide such protection in order to preserve itself. The absence of a government, however, would leave individuals defenseless from outside aggressors. Any government, oppressive or not, provides for this basic external security, which is a prerequisite to securing fundamental needs.(2)Secondly, government possesses the ability to maintain order within society. As Austin Fagothey states 'Anarchists think that society can get along without authority, but this opinion is too optimistic; for what is socially good for us is not known equally for all; benefits and burdens must be distributed to all, and someone must choose among various means the ones to be cooperatively used.' Thus even if a government is oppressive, it still acts as an enforcement mechanism by regulating interaction between individuals and preventing them from encroaching on each other's rights, therefore securing a greater degree of freedom for individuals. George Crowder concurs that 'Government is able to secure an area of free choice by forcibly preventing others from encroaching upon it.' In contrast, the state of nature lacks this common judge to settle disputes and is therefore perpetually insecure for individuals. Even if some order exists without government, it cannot be maintained for any significant period of time because conflicts will inevitably occur over finite resources. Thus oppressive governments provide for the protection of fundamental needs that...

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