On the Formation of Government
by S. F. Augustine (guest writer) — 2021-12-30
There is little in a society’s life that is more difficult than the formation of government. An event of paramount importance, if the government formed by the society is not immediately beneficial to its members, then they will almost certainly reject its authority. Furthermore, if that government is not formed by and of those it governs then the decisions it renders and the policies it enforces are null and void. What must happen is the natural unification of power under a society—for which the purposes of this essay is defined as a group of people that share a collective cultural trait—and the centralization of that power into the hands of the people.
These two things may seem fairly straightforward, but in reality, their execution is a dangerous task. For that power to be centralized, it must first be guided into a vessel in which the will of the people can be further carried out. The person—or persons—to guide this temporarily unchecked power must be impervious to corruption, as they hold the “absolute” power of the people who entrusted them with guiding it. Unfortunately, this rarely happens upon one’s accord, and the one guiding the power for the people instead becomes the power. This leads to tyranny, no matter how benevolent the ruler. By good fortune, time and societal advancement—which exist outside of government—have allowed the people to more effectively choose these guides, as republicanism has been formed through the toil of former peoples and governments.
Once, and if, this power of the people is properly centralized, measures need to be taken to prevent its abuse. If this is not done, then authoritarianism is bound to take grip upon the government, making the people—meant to be deciders of their own will—subject to the individual will of the one who perverts them. As pointed out time and again in history, a country has its most tumultuous times in its youth—and its most reformable. During this period, it is absolutely necessary to prevent a government from overstepping into tyranny, as if it does so then its core is forever rotted. Rarely, if ever, can a young government return from authoritarianism without a revolution of some sort. But by preventing that young govt from overstepping, one can somewhat prevent its further decline. That being said, it will be asked “how can these limits be put in place?” The answer to this is simple: a manifestation of the already existing. A manifestation of the document that, upon joining forming a central power, a person is subject to. A manifestation of, as Rousseau put it, the “Social Contract”. This document, once properly manifested, becomes a constitution, as it makes the theoretical applicable. It makes the unspoken spoken. And upon doing so, it bonds its parties until it is dissolved. Due to this, and the overall delicate nature of a constitution, it must be general. As established in my previous writings, a people is bound to change, and a government is bound to resist change. A constitution must be general enough to both prevent the abrupt manipulation of government by despots and allow the natural growth and mutation of society. If it is not, then just as a swollen wound, it will burst and the unprotected power will return to the people. If it is, then the people will freely enjoy progress while still being protected by the embrace of that central power, imagined through laws and civil procedure.