The Inner Quality of Man
Personal, Social, and Political Implications
About the Author
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Essays: An Overview
Essays: The Responsibility and Power of Free Will
Essays: Realism and Idealism in Politics
Essays: Choosing the Inner Quality
Essays: The Inner Quality and Foreign Policy
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Essay 16: In birthright, all men are created equal
Essay 17: Individual responsibility
Essay 18: Government responsibility
Essay 19: Society responsibility
Essay 20: Change and integration
Essay 18: Government responsibility

Government can support, impede, or be neutral to the discovery and expression of an individual's inner quality. There is nothing which mandates that government support this individual effort. On the other hand, the right to seek to become one's true self is inherent within the human species. Governments, as human institutions, have no inherent authority to prevent people from discovering and expressing their inner qualities. Indeed, to do so is to interfere with the most fundamental of human rights.

For government, there is a delicate balance between allowing individual self-expression and maintaining social order for the common good. There is no universal formula for how this balance is to be maintained, so it must be decided by each culture and society based on their unique circumstances.

It is critical that men and women of good will be involved in determining this balance for their culture and its historic periods. Those involved should carefully consider the need for government to allow personal creative self-expression, because this can benefit society as a whole. They should also consider the need for government to protect society from individuals -- citizen and leader alike -- whose motives are not good and whose actions are intended to harm others or to benefit only themselves. All governments, whatever their form, should have as a cornerstone the intention to protect the good in society and to encourage individual contributions to the common good.

Because government exercises great power and thus officials can do great harm, it is essential that government accountability to the people be built into the political system. If this is not done, then corruption, abuse of power, arrogance, neglect of people's needs, and other injustices can and will occur with no remedial action other than to take to the streets in protest. 

Ultimately, the legitimacy and authority of government must rest on the will of the people. No person, family line, social elite, political party, interest group, class, or ethnic division -- has a natural right to rule. If government cannot establish its legitimacy, but rather rules by coercion and fear, the people have a right to replace that government with one of their own choosing.  

Essays on Survival and Transcendence in the 21st Century. Copyright 2011-2014 by Martin L.Lasater
WelcomeAbout the AuthorFile DownloadEssays: An OverviewEssays: The Responsibility and Power of Free WillEssays: Realism and Idealism in PoliticsEssays: Choosing the Inner QualityEssays: The Inner Quality and Foreign PolicyContact Information