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The Last Word: Assignment 2 for Thursday; Collaborize by Friday

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Consider: What do you think are the most important ends, or purposes of government? What does gov . do that it shouldn’t?. The Last Word: Assignment 2 for Thursday; Collaborize by Friday. Who governs ( power ), and to what ends ( purpose )?.

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Consider: What do you think are the most important ends, or purposes of government? What does gov. do that it shouldn’t?

The Last Word: Assignment 2 for Thursday; Collaborize by Friday

who governs power and to what ends purpose
Who governs (power), and to what ends (purpose)?
  • Politics exists because people differ about these two great questions:
    • Who governs (power)?: those who govern will affect us
    • To what ends (purpose)?: tell how gov’t affects our lives; what it does.
        • “You cannot always predict what goals government will establish knowing only who governs, nor can you always tell who governs by knowing what activities government undertakes.”
      • Can you think of examples where this is true?
  • On a basic level, for any society, what will determine who governs?
  • What is power?
    • What are some of the different ways that people exercise (or we measure) power?
  • Authority is power based on a general agreement:
    • A) that a person or group has the right to issue certain sorts of commands and
    • B) that  those commands should be obeyed.
    • Who has power in our society? Who has authority?
      • What is the difference?
    • Forbes Most Powerful List
  • In a democracy, the right to use power is based on…
Consider: Is the Assad government the “legitimate” government of the Syrian people? Was the Morsi regime legitimate?

The Last Word: Assignment 2 for Friday; Collaborize by Friday

  • The mass feeling that governmental authority is rightful and should be obeyed.
      • Disagreeing with a policy or a politician and believing in a lack of legitimacy of the government are two different things.
    • Legitimacy is mostly achieved through results, tradition, identity, fear, or procedures.
  • What makes democratic governments legitimate?
    • What is the ultimate source of governmental legitimacy in the United States?
  • According to Locke, what is the sole purpose of a legitimate government?
locke and the ends of government
Locke and the Ends of Government

Of the Ends of Political Society and Government

  • Sec. 123. IF man in the state of nature be so free, …why will he part with his freedom? …To which it is obvious to answer, that though in the state of nature he hath such a right, yet the enjoyment of it is very uncertain, and constantly exposed to the invasion of others: …This makes him willing to quit a condition, which, however free, is full of fears and continual dangers: and …join in society with others,… for the mutual preservation of their lives, liberties and … property.
  • Sec. 124. The great and chief end, therefore, of men\'s uniting into commonwealths, and putting themselves under government, is the preservation of their property.
  • Does Locke’s idea of the “end of government” still ring true today?
how far can legitimate government go
How far can “legitimate” government go?

“But though men, when they enter into society, give up the equality, liberty, and executive power they had in the state of nature, into the hands of the society, the power of the society, or legislative…, can never be supposed to extend farther, than the common good; but is obliged to secure every one\'s property, by providing against those three defects (of the SoN, i.e., lack of settled laws, executors of the law, and impartial judges) above mentioned, that made the state of nature so unsafe and uneasy.”

- - Locke’s 2nd Treatise

which might be considered legitimate uses of governmental power
Which might be considered “legitimate” uses of governmental power?
  • Limiting the amount of gas you can use during a fuel crisis?
  • Requiring all citizens to carry a national ID card?
  • Banning smoking in restaurants and bars?
  • Requiring higher fuel economy standards on cars produced in 2013?
  • Providing health care to children? To adults?