What is our government supposed to do? This question has been debated throughout history and continues today. While some people on one end argue for a small government, others fight that the central government should be very involved in the lives of its people. What I propose to do is write about what I consider to be the Three Purposes of Government and their relationship to each other.
The first and perhaps most obvious purpose is Defense. A government should protect its people from foreign enemies. The question that becomes interesting is “how does that work in peace time?” Does immigration count as a threat or a blessing? For immigration, that is just too difficult to answer. When it comes to nations, it’s probably a bit easier to figure out allies and foes. People, on the other hand, are quite unique and don’t necessarily represent their native home.
The second purpose is Order. This is domain of judges as they deal with trouble within the nation. They must try to settle disputes fairly and justly. Not much to explain here.
The last, and most debatable, is Progress. Even I have not yet decided if this should be the case or not. However, it is one that people recognize and argue. I acknowledge the aspect in that the government should create an environment that is habitable for the nation to grow and become successful. On the other hand, should it force its own ideas for progress or leave it to others and the “professionals” of their fields?
Considering the case of America, its involvement should probably be limited. The main reason is the constant changing of leaders, who have different ideals. Also, since they aren’t in office for too long, the constant change of requirements would actually hinder progress. On the flip side, there does need to be some accountability and communication between the various industries.
As you may have noticed, these purposes kind of correlate with the three branches of government. The Executive is in charge of Defense, the Judicial deals with Order, and the Legislative has some concern with Progress. It isn’t a perfect correlation, but the checks and balance system that the U.S. implements does contain one important aspect. To properly run a nation, all three purposes need to be in communication and properly addressed. You cannot achieve ideal progress without peace, and defense or order that oppresses its people is no good either.