What good is government?
Why do people need government?
How much government is too much government?
Take those three questions to your favorite hangout and you can guarantee at least spirited discussion, if not an actual fight…
As humanity has evolved through the stages of Family, Tribe, City-State, and Nation, various forms of government have been organized. Some worked, some didn’t. Some helped people, some oppressed people.
The United States recently elected a new head of state, Barack Hussein Obama. Many hailed his inauguration as a new force in America and the world. Many are troubled by what he stands for.
I certainly don’t envy his position of power, the problems associated with the day to day administration of a government that must deal, in some way, with terrorist groups or movements; especially for anyone with what appear to be Obama’s beliefs.
People criticize him for his stance on “engagement” rather than acting from advantage, his apparent desire to induce the unity of contending parties, his relative inexperience in the harsh world of Washington politics.
I can only hope he has some chance to make some of the changes that some of his words seem to portent. I want to see the world unified. I don’t want my grandchild to live in a squandered or terrorized world. I don’t want my grandchild’s grandchildren to have no civilization at all, no government organizations or protections.
Mr. Obama recently gave a speech to the members of the CIA. It’s rather remarkable when compared with the attitude of the last American administration. I pray he means what he says and I pray he can influence the powers that be to create what he envisions in this video:
“The realization of human rights does not involve only action by the government or freedom from unjust government interference or oppression; rather it requires the construction of a progressive social order from the ground level upwards. It demands a new awareness of the reality of human unity and the development among all peoples of an all inclusive notion of community that extends from the family, to villages, towns, cities and localities, to nations, and, most importantly, to the boundaries of the planet itself. Moreover, given that rights cannot exist without corresponding responsibilities, each member of a community has a responsibility to uphold the rights of the other members based on a recognition of their unity and interdependence.”
Bahá’í International Community, 1993 Feb, Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
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Thanks for this interesting and thought-provoking post. The quotation from the Baha’i International Community statement on human rights and fundamental freedoms is particularly apt. I was at a meeting this morning in London at which Dominic Grieve MP, who is the Conservative Party’s spokesman on justice and human rights (the Conservatives are currently the Opposition party in the UK Parliament) talk about how the Conservatives would be likely to devlop human rights legislation if/when they come to power.
They are concerned about the question of responsibilities too. Of course, one cannot make the holding of rights conditional on the observance of responsibilitie, but, as the BIC statement says, we all have a responsibility to uphold the rights of others – a position that all political parties in the UK would subscribe too.
I’ve always found your intimate involvement with various levels of UK civic and governmental society extremely fascinating!