The Purpose Of A Government





February/2004 Hist. 2 sects 6,7,8





Government is something that every society needs. In order for people to co‑exist, there must be a sense of order and protection. However, government is never perfect. Throughout history, men like Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels tried to shape an utopian society and they had their own views on the purpose of the government. These men believed that society was based on two social systems, the Proletarian and the Bourgeoisie and that the government was centralized between them. On the other hand; Thomas Hobbes believed that the purpose of government was to restrain human behavior so people can live in peace.


Thomas Hobbes formed the idea of "state". Hobbes stated, " A strong government was essential to restrain humanís natural impulses to improve their own lot by harming their neighbors"(p337. World civilizations). Hobbes supported strict political actions and believed in strong control over the people. He was not interested in moral bases, but in a strong effective government. He believed that strong control by a monarch was a political necessity. To Hobbes politics was based on the desire of power and the fear of death. The social contract was based on men who feared the superior and that is how lawmaking would be effective. People who have fear of punishment from the superior force, will be obedient and will live in a proper manner.


In moral philosophy Hobbes thought that civilization was based on fear, not on natural


sociability. Although one\'s actions are free, one\'s will is not. He believed that justification of punishment must be utilitarian, and punishment is by nature retributive. Hobbes founded the theory of social contract. The social contract is an agreement by men to surrender their natural rights to live in a society in which they now live. Hobbes maintained that by the social contract men had surrendered their natural liberties in order to enjoy the order and safety of the organized state. In theory, fear makes men surrender their "state of nature" and submit to the absolute authority of a sovereign.


Hobbes philosophy was based on the world around him. He lived in a different time from Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Marx and Engels were surrounded by European industrialization. Capitalism was spreading and competition was rising. Industrial owners wanted to make more money and they started to reduce the workers wages. This is how Marx and Engels distinguished the idea that society was divided into two classes. " Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two hostile camps, into two great classes directly favoring one another: Bourgeoisie and Proletarian."( communist manifesto) this is how the term communism was established.


Thomas Hobbes believed that the purpose of government was made to control peoples natural states and to create a social order. However, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels believed that the modern state manages the affairs of the Bourgeoisie rather than the Proletarian. The working class is overlooked and not taken care of. The lower class lives to find work and that is the only way they will survive. Marx referred to the working class as the "reserve army". It consists of starving unemployed workers almost ready to work for any wage. Their lives had very little meaning they were just there for the Bourgeoisie to make money. " He (worker) becomes an appendage of the machine." (Communist Manifesto)


Marx and Engels wanted to form a new way of life. They wanted the Proletarian to revolt.


Capitalism had abused the working class long enough. A new government needed to be established and itís purpose was to protect the Proletarian side. " Communism is an inevitable reaction against the abuses of the Bourgeoisie capitalism" (p.509 world civilizations). Proletariat had no hope as long as the capital ruled. Karl and Friedrich spoke of eliminating all other social governments so that communism would work. "They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions" (Communist Manifesto). Marx and Engels wanted a "dictatorship of the proletariat" to be established. The main point of the communistic government is to make everything equal and not dependant on one another. But is seemed that communism was also serving one group of people.