- Pages: 6
- Word count: 1426
- Category: Liberty
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We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable; that all men are created equal & independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness; …(Declaring Independence). Liberty is the state of being free within society and from oppressive restrictions from authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views. Our declaration of independence has the line above that says life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The fact that we have government at all goes against the liberty aspect. Yet the point of having a government is to have a civilized and consistent way of making decisions and getting things done. If not, no way us people on our own would be able to get together and agree on something. A big factor that causes this is our population size. According to the United States Census Bureau, the US alone is home to 325.7 million americans out of our 7.3+ billion population. We are evidently over populated which leads to scarcity in resources.
My ideal state is a liberal democracy which is a combination of Locke and a hint of Rousseau. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy on Locke’s Political Philosophy, “Since governments exist by the consent of the people in order to protect the rights of the people and promote the public good, governments that fail to do so can be resisted and replaced with new government’s”(Locke’s Political Philosophy). I decided on this for many reasons, but ultimately since it is based off of the people who live in the state. The government has no commanding control over the citizens they help govern. They just act as the guidelines or facilitators but aren’t granted the superficial status of superiority. Human nature is defined as, “the general psychological characteristics, feelings, and behavioral traits of humankind, regarded as shared by all humans”(Oxford Living Dictionaries). My ideal human nature in my ideal state is people wanting and working for financial gain and improvement of all. At this current moment our human nature is that of Thomas Hobbes. He saw people as egoistic or motivated by selfishness and fear. Sadly this is the current case. Our whole lives we are being compared and trying to outcompete one another to get ahead. We start doing this at around the age of 5. Tovah Klein, author of How Toddlers Thrive said, “And once kids start comparing,…’they say, ‘Hey, wait a minute. There are people in the world faster than me. I want to be the fastest.’ Or, ‘I want to be the biggest.’ Or, ‘I want to have the most.’ ‘(When Kids Start Playing To Win). This idea of competition can be beneficial in some cases. It can push you to be the “best” and in turn for an example, new technological advances come about. The question that has to be asked is how it came to be? Hobbes argued that within a state of nature there cannot be community because we are only looking out for ourselves. People will do crazy things to get ahead of one another. Since anyone is technically capable of doing anything, the chances that competition can lead to hurting one another proves it does nothing but harm.
In a state where people are not focusing on themselves but rather on the people around them, things such as scarcity, fear, competition, and felicity go away. This leads to a surplus of resources that all could share. People need to understand however, even splits across the board for sharing resources etc, does not work. Ideally it should be based off of what work you put in, is what you get out. Then, everyone is working to better everyone and getting the resources they need to survive. Yet in today’s society we try for things like this. People want to restart life from the beginning in the sense that everyone is of equal status, amount of resources, wealth, and opportunity. Who would blame them? We are at a point now where people in the past worked hard and grew a businesses from the ground up. The amount of hours they put in to start a business from nothing is absurd. They did this however to support their families and try and make a better life. Depending on the business their family could be set forever and no one would have to work. The children inherit the parents hard work and just skip to the “making money” part of the job. Tho it doesn’t always go according to plan. There are countless stories and reports of a family business going under due to financial distress. The children never really understood what it meant to run a business and didn’t put in enough work. Just as the business was handed to them, they thought the work would be just as easy.
Having a liberal democracy could be extremely beneficial. “It drew on a psychological understanding of individual liberty, the contradictory theories of natural law and utilitarianism, and a belief in progress”(Classical liberalism). Liberal democracies typically include universal suffrage which grants all adult citizens the right to vote no matter their race, gender, or property owned. On top of that, being a liberal democracy, it emphasises the separation of powers and the importance of the state being a Rechtsstaat. First, being a clear separation of power. There is judicial independence which is, “courts should not be subject to improper influence from the other branches of government or from private or partisan interests.”(Judicial independence). Life tenure helps with this which is to assure the integrity of the court and make sure they don’t have to deal with unwanted comments from either the legislative branch or executive branch. Next in regards to rechtsstaat which is a state that follows the principle of Rule of Law. A Rechtsstaat, “is a ‘constitutional state’ in which the exercise of governmental power is constrained by the law, and is often tied to the Anglo-American concept of the rule of law, but differs from it in that it also emphasizes what is just (i.e., a concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, religion, or equity)”(Rechtsstaat). Ultimately, it implies that everyone is under the law. That includes lawmakers, judges, and government officials. They don’t get an above say or point of view in regards to other people they associate with. Especially if in a political position. The majority of power has to reside with the majority of people.
On another note, my ideal state would be a true safe space. An environment where people feel confident they won’t have to deal with criticism, discrimination, harassment, or emotional or physical harm. Currently a safe space is non existent. One might say there is but really it is impossible in our current situation. We are always subjected to following certain laws and rules. When the government and people come to a balanced level of superiority, a safe space can we formed. When this happens, my ideal state will be run on the idea of distributive justice. All members get a basic or equal level of goods, opportunity to obtain more goods, as well as an equal distribution of goods based off of work put in. The 3 main qualities of this are equality, proportionality, and fairness. This is how we should want to live our lives on a day to day basis.
All in all, my ideal state is one where people set aside their drive for personal gain and look how they can help others. To ever get to a place where this could actually happen, it all comes down to our human nature. If we are able to get our point of view on life to change in regards to how we treat others and what are goals are then it is totally feasible. Imagine you are going into a room so you go to open the door. You glance behind and someone is there so you hold the door open for them. If someone is behind them, you would hope they would hold it for that person or atleast reciprocate something on the lines of this to someone else. It should be a never ending cycle of one good deed after another. All building off of one another. Treat others the way you would want to be treated and how you want others to treat others. Based off that, everyone would be out to help not hurt.