Why Is Government Necessary?

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Government is a necessary measure for people to be able to protect their personal property interests. The idea stems from John Locke's "Second Treatise on Government," on which much of the United States Constitution is based.

John Locke asserted that men had certain inalienable rights, primarily the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of property. In order to protect these rights, people are willing to sacrifice certain freedoms. This is the foundation of the argument for the need for government. An ideal government, according to John Locke, acts to protect its citizens' inalienable rights, specifically those in regard to property ownership. Locke argued that people will naturally live together in harmony until external forces attempt to disrupt the natural peace. He asserted that when faced with war, people who have been living together will bond together to protect each other's right to privacy. Thomas Jefferson, the author of the United States Constitution, was a fan of John Locke. He incorporated many of Locke's ideas into the Constitution, including his justification of a need for government. Although Locke's "Second Treatise on Government" justified the existence of government, Locke also cautioned against granting government too much power, a perspective that Jefferson also adopted.