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Posted: 12/7/2005 12:04:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2006 8:59:22 PM EDT by RockHard13F]
Hey guys, this is my final essay for my Philosophy course on Justice and Virtue. Opinions are appreciated, and I hope you find it a good read. The format is messed up a little putting it on here, but the content is still there. -Ben

Betrayal by the State


Our course raised the question during the semester as to which circumstances, actions, or devices must be in place in order for a government to lose its authority to rule. I find the aforementioned topic intriguing, so I wish to delve into it further. My objective is to define my own personal view on what a government must do to maintain its legitimate claim to rule, comparing cases to the writings of Locke, and the Constitution of the United States.

To examine this question in a correct manner, I believe a government’s correct role in society needs to be defined. A government should: Provide for a common means of defense of the people who make up the commonwealth. This could be in the form of either a standing army (the United States for example) or a massive, government organized militia (Switzerland). A government must secure the borders of the state, providing for the safety of the commonwealth by establishing criteria for entry of foreigners into the state. The individuals rights to worship of their own accord must be protected. Protection of an individuals right to own and dispose of private property is a key function of government. Government must guard the right of the people to take part in government affairs. A government generally must maintain roads and interstates, and postal service/routes along these roads. A government should regulate commerce through taxation of imports/exports. Good government should provide a means for the people to peaceably assemble to make good their differences. Government may raise funds to support its function through various other taxes or programs within its authority.

A government for example should not: Dictate peoples religious beliefs or practices, either by encouraging or discouraging it, be it in a public place or the privacy of ones own closet. Government should be silent on this matter, not condoning nor restricting such practices, so long as they do not bring about danger of harm to the people. Government should not tax personal property in any way. Private property, especially real estate, is not involved in commerce, and so should not be taxable. When one loses their property for refusing to pay taxes on it, the government is in fact claiming ownership of the property, and treating the “owner” as a peasant working a fief. This is destructive of its intended end to protect an individuals right to property. Regulation of the possession of small arms by the people of the commonwealth is also a breach of the governments trust. Today this includes everything from knives to rocket launchers, and even tanks or artillery. If the purpose of a people having arms is to maintain a check on abusive, tyrannical government and private parties alike (domestic or foreign), then it would stand to reason that they should be equipped with arms capable of doing so. Last but not least, the government cannot regulate the free expression of thought and speech, as to do so would be oppression of the people in one of the highest forms. Failure to perform its appointed duties, or infringement upon those rights which it is prohibited from imposing upon, are just cause for the reworking or complete replacement of a government.

With this idea of what government should and should not do, we move on to address the issue of how a government loses its authority to rule. Locke is correct in believing that the most common, and most probable reason for a people to revoke a government’s authority to rule, is a betrayal on the part of the State to its duties and powers which the people have entrusted it with. For instance: Imagine a wealthy farmer, who hires a guard to protect his belongings and land. The guard is paid well, but without warning one day requests that his employer pay him his agreed upon wage, in addition demanding a fee for every acre of the farmers land. The guard has no authority to do this, but determines to take the land by force if the farmer refuses. Would it be wrong for the farmer to be rid of his former association with the guard turned bandit, or would it be better for the farmer to allow himself to be subjugated by his commissioned servant?

If it is better for the farmer to dismiss the bandit, then if the people of a nation raise up a government with the intent of providing a means of being safe and secure in their possessions, than should that government, regardless of what ways it contrives to go about it, be able to take ones private property if they should refuse to pay a tax on it? In addition, if the bandit (abusive government) where to demand a higher wage simply because the farmer had a better growing season, or better sale of his crops, be just? The story would be different if a government was authorized to tax one’s personal property, but it is established that a government cannot do so as it would be contrary to its duty and trust.

Whenever a government becomes destructive to the ends for which it was designed, the people have a right to abolish it and start anew. This is especially true in instances when the government is not only neglecting its duties, but inventing new ones where it should not, whether they be religious, social, economic, etc. The belief that government and its duties, or interpretation of its duties, must be bent and adapted to change with the times, attitudes, and technologies of the commonwealth and the world around it. I argue the example of the ongoing debate in the United States of America regarding the wording of the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights. In addition to the wording itself, some believe that the founding fathers did not envision machineguns, and so they should not be protected as a unrestricted private right. I contend to this that the founding fathers also could not have imagined the invention, and impact of, the television, radio, and most recently, the internet. Under the previously mentioned train of thought, these things should not be protected under the promise of freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by the First Amendment. This idea absurd and without basis in the meaning and spirit of the constitution.

It is because of beliefs such as this that a written law is important, and that a government be held to it. Any government good enough to need reason to abolish it (the government)will have a written constitution. So if the people wish to change the constitution with the times, they should amend it and the laws rather then attempt to warp their meanings to fit the current trends. That is one of the safe guards of any good government, so if one doesn’t like the law, or the role of the government, they must have the consent of the majority to change it. This should be regardless of what a few officials, elected or otherwise, think best for the people.

In accordance with Locke, anytime a government fails to do that which is required of it(with regularity, or without just and permitted prerogative) or infringes on those rights which it ought not, then the people (the commonwealth) are justified in throwing off that government. The people then regain their right to institute a new government as will best serve their interests. This is one of the basic rights of man, and it is the right which perpetually will keep man free so long as he maintains it.

© B. Woods 2005






Link Posted: 12/7/2005 12:41:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By RockHard13F:
Hey guys, this is my final essay for my Philosophy course on Justice and Virtue. Opinions are appreciated, and I hope you find it a good read. The format is messed up a little putting it on here, but the content is still there. -Ben

Betrayal by the State


Our course raised the question during the semester as to which circumstances, actions, or devices must be in place in order for a government to lose its authority to rule. I find the aforementioned topic intriguing, so I wish to delve into it further. My objective is to define my own personal (redundant) view on what a government must do to maintain its legitimate claim to rule., by comparing cases (what type, court cases, what level State court, SCOTUS, etc.) to the writings of John?? Locke, and the constitution of the United States.

To examine this question in a correct manner, I believe a government’s correct role in society needs to be defined. A government should conform to and implement the following 8 policies/goals : 1) Provide for a common means of defense of the people who make up the commonwealth. This could be in the form of either a standing army (the United States for example) or a massive, government organized militia (Switzerland). 2) A government must secure the borders of the state, providing for the safety of the commonwealth by establishing criteria for entry of foreigners into the state. 3) The individuals rights to worship of their own accord must be protected. Protection of an individuals right to own and dispose of private property is a key function of government. 4) Government must guard the right of the people to take part in government affairs. 5) A government generally must maintain roads and interstates, and postal service/routes along these roads. 6) A government should regulate commerce through taxation of imports/exports. 7) Good government should provide a means for the people to peaceably assemble to make good their differences. 8) Government may raise funds to support its function through various other taxes or programs within its authority.

A government for example should not: Dictate peoples religious beliefs or practices, either by encouraging or discouraging it, be it in a public place or the privacy of ones own closet. Government should be silent on this matter, not condoning nor restricting such practices, so long as they do not bring about danger of harm to the people. Government should not tax personal property in any way. (Provide a quote from the founders or a court decision that backs this up)

P/// Private property, especially real estate, is not involved in commerce, and so should not be taxable. When one loses their property for refusing to pay taxes on it, the government is in fact claiming ownership of the property, and treating the “owner” as a peasant working a fief. This is destructive of its intended end to protect an individuals right to property. (Again I would give an example of the basic intent of the founders on why this is "wrong")

P////Regulation the possession of small arms by the people of the commonwealth is also a breach of the governments trust. Today this includes everything from knives to rocket launchers, and even tanks or artillery. If the purpose of a people having arms is to maintain a check on abusive, tyrannical government and private parties alike (domestic or foreign), then it would stand to reason that they should be equipped with arms capable of doing so. (I'd find a quote of the original intent on the populace owning the same arms as the military)

P/////Lastly but not least, the government cannot regulate the free expression of thought and speech, as to do so would be oppression of the people in one of the highest forms. Failure to perform its appointed duties, or infringement upon those rights which it is prohibited from imposing upon, are just cause for the reworking or complete replacement of a government. (explaing the methods of how the government should be replaced).

With this idea of what government should and should not do, we move on to address the issue of how a government loses its authority to rule. Locke is correct in believing that the most common, and most probable reason for a people to revoke a government’s authority to rule, is a betrayal on the part of the State to its duties and powers which the people have entrusted it with (provide a quote from Locke on this).

P////For instance,: iImagine a wealthy farmer, who hires a guard to protect his belongings and land. The guard is paid well, but without warning one day requests that his employer pay him his agreed upon wage, in addition to demanding a fee for every acre of the farmers land that he guards. Under the origianl contract signed by both parties the guard has no authority to do this, but determines to take the land by force if the farmer refuses. Would it be wrong for the farmer to be rid of his former association with the guard turned bandit?, Or, would it be better for the farmer to allow himself to be subjugated by his commissioned servant?

I content it would be more advantageous If it is better for the farmer to dismiss the bandit,. then Similarly, if the people of a nation raise up a government with the intent of providing a means of being safe and secure in their possessions, than should that government, regardless of what ways it contrives to go about it, be able to take ones private property if they should refuse to pay a tax on it? No, the people should be able to rid themselves of that government or that particular policy of it. (I think that clarifies the above sentences a bit) In addition, if the bandit (abusive government) where to demand a higher wage simply because the farmer had a better growing season, or better sale of his crops,would that be just? The story would be different if a government was authorized to tax one’s personal property, but it is established that a government cannot do so as it would be contrary to its duty and trust.

Whenever a government becomes destructive to the ends for which it was designed, the people have a right to abolish it and start anew. This is especially true in instances when the government is not only neglecting its duties, but inventing new ones where it should not, whether they be religious, social, economic, etc. The belief that government and its duties, or interpretation of its duties, must be bent and adapted to change with the times, attitudes, and technologies of the commonwealth and the world around it.

P////I argue the example of the ongoing debate in the United States of America regarding the wording of the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights. (Quote the 2nd) In addition to the wording itself, some believe that the founding fathers did not envision machineguns, and so they should not be protected as a unrestricted private right. I contend to this that the founding fathers also could not have imagined the invention, and impact of, the television, radio, and most recently, the internet. Under the previously mentioned train of thought, these things should not be protected under the promise of freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by the First Amendment. (I'd also state that is it inconsistent to say the others confirm an individual right but the second is a collective right). This idea absurd and without basis in the meaning and spirit of the constitution.

It is because of beliefs such as this that a written law is important, and that a government be held to it. Any government good enough to need reason to abolish it (the government)will have a written constitution. So if the people wish to change the constitution with the times, they should amend it and the laws (based on addopted means such as in the USA by a 3/4, 3/4 and 3/4) rather than "legislate from the bench" by attempting to warp their meanings to fit the current trends. That is one of the safe guards of any good government, so if one doesn’t like the law, or the role of the government, they must have the consent of the majority to change it. This should be regardless of what a few officials, elected or otherwise, think best for the people.

In accordance with Locke, anytime a government fails to do that which is required of it(with regularity, or without just and permitted prerogative) or infringes on those rights which it ought not, then the people (the commonwealth) are justified in throwing off that government. The people then regain their right to institute a new government as will best serve their interests. This is one of the basic rights of man, and it is the right which perpetually will keep man free so long as he maintains it.

© B. Woods 2005









I think the ideas are good but I think it just needs a bit of clarification and some additional "ammunition" backing up your points.

Hope you don't mind the small edits I inserted.

Good luck.

Link Posted: 12/7/2005 12:51:56 PM EDT
No free government was ever founded, or ever preserved its liberty, without uniting the characters of the citizen and soldier in those destined for the defense of the state...Such are a well regulated militia, composed of the freeholders, citizen and husbandman, who take up arms to preserve their property, as individuals, and their rights as freemen. -- Richard Henry Lee
Link Posted: 12/7/2005 12:53:19 PM EDT
I don't mind the edits at all, it was supposed to be 1000 words though, and I was asked not to go over 1250 or it would detract from my grade. Sadly I had to condense the original 3000 word essay. :)

-Ben
Link Posted: 12/7/2005 1:08:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/7/2005 1:11:38 PM EDT by Mattl]

Originally Posted By RockHard13F:
Hey guys, this is my final essay for my Philosophy course on Justice and Virtue. Opinions are appreciated, and I hope you find it a good read. The format is messed up a little putting it on here, but the content is still there. -Ben

Betrayal by the State


Our course raised the question during the semester as to which circumstances, actions, or devices must be in place in order for a government to lose its authority to rule. I find the aforementioned topic intriguing, so I wish to delve into it further. My objective is to define my own personal view on what a government must do to maintain its legitimate claim to rule, comparing cases to the writings of Locke, and the constitution of the United States.

To examine this question in a correct manner, I believe a government’s correct role in society needs to be defined. A government should: Provide for a common means of defense of the people who make up the commonwealth. This could be in the form of either a standing army (the United States for example) or a massive, government organized militia (Switzerland). A government must secure the borders of the state, providing for the safety of the commonwealth by establishing criteria for entry of foreigners into the state. The individuals rights to worship of their own accord must be protected. Protection of an individuals right to own and dispose of private property is a key function of government. Government must guard the right of the people to take part in government affairs. A government generally must maintain roads and interstates, and postal service/routes along these roads. A government should regulate commerce through taxation of imports/exports. Good government should provide a means for the people to peaceably assemble to make good their differences. Government may raise funds to support its function through various other taxes or programs within its authority.

A government for example should not: Dictate peoples religious beliefs or practices, either by encouraging or discouraging it, be it in a public place or the privacy of ones own closet. Government should be silent on this matter, not condoning nor restricting such practices, so long as they do not bring about danger of harm to the people. Government should not tax personal property in any way. Private property, especially real estate, is not involved in commerce, and so should not be taxable. When one loses their property for refusing to pay taxes on it, the government is in fact claiming ownership of the property, and treating the “owner” as a peasant working a fief. This is destructive of its intended end to protect an individuals right to property. Regulation the possession of small arms by the people of the commonwealth is also a breach of the governments trust. Today this includes everything from knives to rocket launchers, and even tanks or artillery. If the purpose of a people having arms is to maintain a check on abusive, tyrannical government and private parties alike (domestic or foreign), then it would stand to reason that they should be equipped with arms capable of doing so. Last but not least, the government cannot regulate the free expression of thought and speech, as to do so would be oppression of the people in one of the highest forms. Failure to perform its appointed duties, or infringement upon those rights which it is prohibited from imposing upon, are just cause for the reworking or complete replacement of a government.

With this idea of what government should and should not do, we move on to address the issue of how a government loses its authority to rule. Locke is correct in believing that the most common, and most probable reason for a people to revoke a government’s authority to rule, is a betrayal on the part of the State to its duties and powers which the people have entrusted it with. For instance: Imagine a wealthy farmer, who hires a guard to protect his belongings and land. The guard is paid well, but without warning one day requests that his employer pay him his agreed upon wage, in addition demanding a fee for every acre of the farmers land. The guard has no authority to do this, but determines to take the land by force if the farmer refuses. Would it be wrong for the farmer to be rid of his former association with the guard turned bandit, or would it be better for the farmer to allow himself to be subjugated by his commissioned servant?

If it is better for the farmer to dismiss the bandit, then if the people of a nation raise up a government with the intent of providing a means of being safe and secure in their possessions, than should that government, regardless of what ways it contrives to go about it, be able to take ones private property if they should refuse to pay a tax on it? In addition, if the bandit (abusive government) where to demand a higher wage simply because the farmer had a better growing season, or better sale of his crops, be just? The story would be different if a government was authorized to tax one’s personal property, but it is established that a government cannot do so as it would be contrary to its duty and trust.

Whenever a government becomes destructive to the ends for which it was designed, the people have a right to abolish it and start anew. This is especially true in instances when the government is not only neglecting its duties, but inventing new ones where it should not, whether they be religious, social, economic, etc. The belief that government and its duties, or interpretation of its duties, must be bent and adapted to change with the times, attitudes, and technologies of the commonwealth and the world around it. I argue the example of the ongoing debate in the United States of America regarding the wording of the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights. In addition to the wording itself, some believe that the founding fathers did not envision machineguns, and so they should not be protected as a unrestricted private right. I contend to this that the founding fathers also could not have imagined the invention, and impact of, the television, radio, and most recently, the internet. Under the previously mentioned train of thought, these things should not be protected under the promise of freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by the First Amendment. This idea absurd and without basis in the meaning and spirit of the constitution.

It is because of beliefs such as this that a written law is important, and that a government be held to it. Any government good enough to need reason to abolish it (the government)will have a written constitution. So if the people wish to change the constitution with the times, they should amend it and the laws rather then attempt to warp their meanings to fit the current trends. That is one of the safe guards of any good government, so if one doesn’t like the law, or the role of the government, they must have the consent of the majority to change it. This should be regardless of what a few officials, elected or otherwise, think best for the people.

In accordance with Locke, anytime a government fails to do that which is required of it(with regularity, or without just and permitted prerogative) or infringes on those rights which it ought not, then the people (the commonwealth) are justified in throwing off that government. The people then regain their right to institute a new government as will best serve their interests. This is one of the basic rights of man, and it is the right which perpetually will keep man free so long as he maintains it.

© B. Woods 2005







Well done but what I outlined in blue is all they are going to here. No elitist Liberal idealog professor will see or hear anything else after reading that. I vote you do it as a speach

ETA: Take the small out of "Small Arms" B.O.R. does not sat small arms dont leave wiggle room in the inevitable argument with any that read it.
Link Posted: 12/7/2005 1:10:54 PM EDT
Constitution should be capitalized.

I liked it.
Link Posted: 12/7/2005 3:15:45 PM EDT
You guys have pointed out a few small errors thus far (in grammer/spelling) which I appreciate. Thanks!

-Ben
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 8:59:07 PM EDT
Well, I got back this semester to find out my grade for this essay. I got an 80%, with a large note at the bottom of the last page reading: Some of your views as to what is a "right" are a little off, and while overall good your view of what government can/should do could use some revision.

Damn. I think I made the professor angry, cause I got one of the worst grades in the class. Curse me and my "principles", believing in the right to self defense.

-Ben
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