So I am taking a Political Science version of American History. LOVING IT! The professor is taking the history we all learned and twisting it....maybe he is just telling the other side of things. It is very interesting and making me think totally different of the formation of our country.
Today's assignment was to post a commentary answering the following questions:
What are your criteria for legitimate government, the right to make rules and kill him/her for disobeying them?
Evaluate the legitimacy of people imposing rules on you and threatening to imprison you for disobeying. Do they have the right? What criteria gives them the right?
Here is my post:
In the beginning of Locke's quest to determine the necessity of government to rule over people, he first considered them in their "natural state." I think the flaw in his theory from the very beginning is that as humans we are followers. If we are to obtain greatness and be beyond other mammals, we need someone with good intentions for the whole to lead us. Thus, we need government. We need government to poke and prod those with "potential" to become leaders. We need those leaders to set and enforce rules. These rules and their respective punishments need to be carefully considered for if they are too harsh, the majority will wipe out the sitting government and a new one will need to be established.
As a parent, I have had to create rules and punishments. Most of these rules have a basis in safety. For example, if you stand in your chair, you must get down because it is not safe. If the punishment for standing in a chair was no dinner for a week, my daughter would appeal to the other governing body, my husband, and if no acceptable change took place, she would revolt. I believe that rules and punishments should not be restrictive of the person, unless their safety or another one's safety is in question. I hold the same to be true about rules and laws that our government have set; they are overbearing and restrictive with punishments that don't make sense and are overly harsh at times and ridiculously vague and non-enforceable at others.
Locke explores the idea that people have the right to property. His definition of property includes the immediate possession of himself and his belongings and the possession of the goods he creates. It is difficult to find the natural state of a person's property being controlled by someone else, a government. However, that is what we have chosen to do. We have given the right to other people to dictate how our property is taxed, taken care of, what it is worth and also the right to punish us for not following the rules of our property. Because we have chosen them, in one way or another, we have given them that right.
In a society that believes a person's property is that which they have created, Locke has failed to consider the second generation. The first generation has proven themselves and some have amassed large amounts of property, but the children of the rich people are not in a do-or-die position, and thus become lazy feeding off what the first generation created. The lazy rich second generation is the type of person we typically elect to rule us in the government. I do not believe those people should have the right to tell me what rules and consequences I must follow based on my property. The system is imperfect, but we are constantly trying to evolve the system.
What do you think?
Notice I put in a bit about my parenting???? Sneaky ;)