A blupete Essay

Polity, Part 6 to blupete's Essay
"An Essay On Government"

There is a word for order in a community of individuals, it is polity. Polity is the understanding of each, within the group, as to who is to do what. Polity is required in all groups, whether it is two friends out for a sail across the water, or a larger group such as a bunch of boy scouts out for a hike, or a very much larger group such as the millions which make up a nation. One should not conclude that a set of rules must be intentionally set down for polity to exist,10 indeed, there is no need to think that government, as we know it, for the polity of a country (civil organization, or civil order) need exist at all. Anarchists think not; as we have seen, they believe that civil order might well be a spontaneous and natural event, just like the polity of bees. The prevailing opinion, however, is that government, at least to some degree, is needed to bring civil polity about.

Government is the continuous exercise of the power to control all the individuals that go to make up a community. Usually we think of this community as the whole of all those who live in some sort geographical area, the larger political units being sovereign countries. This government power is exercised by a body of persons who have become charged with the authority of governing. They may take charge by some voluntary arrangement, real or imagined, by all those within the community, or the governing group may well have seized government power by force. In many of the "primitive" governments, and I dare say in many of the smaller human groups found in society, a person will simply arise and be accepted as a leader because of his or her superior leadership abilities.

"The commonwealth seems to me to be a society of men constituted only for the procuring, preserving, and advancing their own civil interests. Civil interests I call life, liberty, health, and indolency of body; and the possession of outward things, such as money, lands, houses, furniture, and the like. It is the duty of the civil magistrate, by the impartial execution of equal laws, to secure unto all the people in general and to every one of his subjects in particular the just possession of these things belonging to this life. If anyone presume to violate the laws of public justice and equity, established for the preservation of those things, his presumption is to be checked by the fear of punishment, consisting of the deprivation or diminution of those civil interests, or goods, which otherwise he might and ought to enjoy. But seeing no man does willingly suffer himself to be punished by the deprivation of any part of his goods, and much less of his liberty or life, therefore, is the magistrate armed with the force and strength of all his subjects, in order to the punishment of those that violate any other man's rights." (Locke.)

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Peter Landry

2011 (2019)