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Why We Have Government

Posted by Eric Hoppel on

We are starting with some basic questions this week on #citizenactive. I asked Ron Seyb of Skidmore College to tell me why we have a government. As he explains, some answers can be found in the writings of John Locke and Adam Smith. The bottom line? We’re all out for ourselves. A capitalist system, like we have in the United States of America, channels that self-interest to serve society.

The word “socialism” is thrown around quite a bit these days. As Ron explains, the basic philosophy behind socialism is more optimistic than that behind capitalism. Socialists believe we will help each other if government gets out of the way. In practice, socialism has resulted in government expansion, rather than a shrinking away of the state.

#citizenactive will be back tomorrow with a look at why the Founding Fathers would reject the notion that we live in a democracy and why the Republic they created was in so much danger from the very beginning.