What is the purpose of a government? By Magn Nyang

November 21st, 2012 Print Print Email Email

The purpose of government is to provide a system in which individuals give portion of their freedom in order to pursue needs and wants without the fears that are inherent in a state of anarchy.

In an anarchic system, individuals must protect and provide completely for themselves, and those with greater power are able to offend those with lesser power without consequence. In a system of government, the freedom to acquire and offend at will is subjugated to the will of the governed; and, in return, the governed are better able to produce without fear of loss.

Therefore, at its most basic level, the purpose of government is to protect the people from threats, both within and out.

Government also ensures justice within the nation. Meaning, the law must be fair, unbiased, and logical, provides a basic system of defense against enemies of the state, and provides education, infrastructure, and health facilities. The most fundamental of human needs which includes education, food, health facilities are satisfied through the policy of governance. Government provides infrastructure so that these needs are met.

Some naïve Ethiopians are foolishly praising the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) for providing education, infrastructure, and health facilities. The EPRDF is expected to provide all these services to Ethiopians. In fact, EPRDF is required to provide more services than it has provided thus far. I, personally, do not see the logic of praising a government when it is minimally doing only what it is supposed to do. Instead of congratulating a dictatorial government, we, Ethiopians, should be asking about human right issues. Where are our freedom, equality, and liberty?
In 21 years, the EPRDF not only failed to move Ethiopians toward self sufficiency, it has managed to effectively reduce Ethiopians to nothing, but recipients of foreign donations. For the past 21 years, the EPRDF did not only block us from realizing our dreams of freedom, equal rights and self-determination for all, it also subjected us to decades of subjugation and exploitation.

Over the years, I have also heard some EPRDF officials and their supporters say that “Ethiopians are not yet ripe for democracy/freedom.” They say that it will take more time to prepare them or to get them ripped.

If one accepts this assumption, democracy/freedom will never be achieved in Ethiopia; for one cannot arrive at the maturity for democracy/freedom without having already acquired it; one must be free to learn how to make use of one’s powers freely and usefully. One can achieve reason only through one’s own experiences, and one must be free to undertake them. To accept the principle that freedom is worthless for those under one’s control and that one has to sit idle to let his rulers rule forever, is an infringement on the right of God himself, who has created man to be free.

All men have rights to be free and equal, and governments are instituted among men to secure these rights. The government in Ethiopia has become illegitimate for it continues to block Ethiopians from achieving their freedom and equality. Thus, when a government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right, it is the duty of the people to abolish it and institute new government.

Magn Nyang can be reached at magnnyang@yahoo.com

  1. aha!
    | #1

    Thank you Magn Nyang you hit the cord on the struggle of the silent majority of Ethiopians in their struggle to attain freedom, liberty and equality to supercede ethnic and secessionist rights, restore Ethiopian Nationalism, the sovereignity of Ethiopia and its territorial integrity of Ethiopiopia. The current regime is set up along the lines of a constitution built into it ethnic federalism, secessionism and totaliarinism, which hinders individual freedom, Ethiopian nationlism, and its territorial integrity. Without individual freedom, liberty and equality as the basis frame work of the constitution, it will be difficult, if not impossible to have a democratic government, that creates democratic instituions and democratic parties aligned with the national agenda for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians to put a party or coalition of parties to to the Office that rules by the consent of the goverened.

    What is prevaining in Ethiopia are ideologies of ethnic federalism, secessionism and totaliarinism built into the constitution and economic model based on totaliarinism and/or State capitalism and free market capitalism for TPLF, TPLF affiliated enterprises and foreign corporations engaged in exploitation and political and economical strangle hold of the countries resources of the country and the silent majority of Ethiopians having little or no participation in the free market capitalism to say the least about political parties inclined to/supportive to the above ideologies are luke warm in their stance for individual freedom, liberty and equality to supercede ethnic and secessionist rights as the only venue to create a democracy of the people by the people for the people and for the people to develop a nation along ecologial regions rather than major ethnic groups, competing for eqitable distribution of power and/or dominance and equality among the the killil mengistats, rather than asserting inividual freedom, restoration of Ethiopian nationalism and its svoreignity of Ethiopia as one nation, one flag indivisible under God by advancing Ethipiawinet first and ones ethnic identity second.

  2. Sam
    | #2

    Magn wrote “in an anarchic system, individuals must protect and provide completely for themselves, and those with greater power are able to offend those with lesser power without consequence.” The two sentences qouted imply an anarchist system was– or for that matter is– at least in existence somewhere in the world. Not to my knowledge. There were anarchists, who despised the existence of government, and some of them have tried to kill presidents in USA, but that was long time ago. And they did not manage to garner popular support let alone forming an “anarchic system” as Magn’s article implied. In fact, contarary what Magn seemed to have believed anarchists insisted government was the instrument in which those with greater power use to impose their wish on those with little power. Magn turned the whole political equation upside down. I do not mean the anarchist’s policy that government is evil and must be abolished so that the downtrodden have a say in the economic and political system is a sound argument. It is not. But to allude the anarchists were bent for the interest of those who have power missed the whole point. Magn’s article also implied that all governments are the same. Government do this. Government do that. Not a single qualifier before the noun government. Governments come in different shape and form, a democratic government, a dictatorial government, a fascist government, a communist government. To lump all governments together and write as if they are all the same is unwise. As for the anarchists, they might be accused of political ignorance, but not standing for those who have power. On the contrary, no matter how misguided their policy, they stood for the poor and the powerless. That is a fact.

  3. Anonymous
    | #3

    ….ትንሽ በቦሌ እና በሰላሌ አካባቢ የሚኖሩ የዚሁ ፌስ ቡክ ግዋደኞቼ…ስሞታቸው እና ወቀሳቸውን እረፍት ቢነሳኝ ይህንን አልኩ::ቅሬታቸውም እንደሚከተለው ነው…..’ዳግም ሁሌ ፖለቲካ …ቦለቲካ …በቦትለክ ..ምንድን ነው አይደለችህም “”… ይቀጥላል…..እውነቱን ልናገር ካልኩ ልተንፍስ:: በ እውን እላችህዋለሁ :አሁን የጉብዝናዬ ግዜ ነው… ፈጣሪን ከማሰብ ጀምሬ …see some thing….say something …የሚለውን አካሄድ እይዝና የአቅሜን እዚህችው ድህረ ገጽ ላይ ለማድረግ እሞክራለሁ… ነገርዬው ካልተዋጠላችሁም በቃ ከሰው መጣላት አልፈልግም…ያው አርሰናል…ማንችስር…እንጀራ …ወጥ ..ክትፎ ..አበባ ክሪስ ብራውን … ምናምን የመሳሰሉትን …. መለጠፍ እጀምራለሁ…ታዲያ የዚያኔ ስሞታው ይቀር ይሆን ወይስ…..ዳግም አሁንም A.K.A Mr da big boi Nation…

  4. Anonymous
    | #4

    EPRDF says it has instituted the various rights of the people.One that it boasts about a lot is the equal rights of ethnic groups in the country.It also claims that it has opened may universities and hospitals while being able to build many roads,bridges and dams and other important infrastructual facilities.In short,it talks about the the double didgit economic growth that it is instrumental to bring about.Because,it says it has accomplished these and other gains,it is not only legitimate to rule(says it has won many elections!) but its ‘good’ rule should continue.So what EPRDF argues is that it is presiding over the so called developmental state and its rule should perpetuate.
    But,suppose the people in a really free and free election have other ideas? What if they choose to say that they do not like the current paternal and do goody attitude of the regime and say they want to run their own state affairs the way they see fit?
    Suppose they say they want to be ruled by a new set of leaders instead of the current ethnic leaders who pretend they have worked for all Ethiopia for the last twenty one years while they have thought of themselves and their co-ethnic elite?
    Suppose the people say that they want to see a new set of leaders who are not corrupt like EPRDF,who do not kill or imprison political oppnents like EPRDF and can do the same or even better than EPRDF? Don’t they have those rights to exercise? Don’t they have those rights to use what ever they want? Isn’t that the definition of excercising ones rights or democracy?
    EPRDF’s legitimacy to rule does not come from what it says it has achieved. It comes from the veredict of the people through a free and fair election where the people are not constrained to say what ever they want to say.So far no such elections have taken place in a land where EPRDF has always ruled by force and cheating.How long can it continue with that?

  5. መምህራንና ሌሎች አካል ተሳትፎ?
    | #5

    In theoretical terms , I agree with you that the relationship between people and their government should be as you described it. It is government duty to protect its people.

    In today’s world, I do not see any difference between anarchic system and legit government when it comes to protecting their people. For example, let us take case of Greece, Italy, Democratic Republic of Congo, Somali Land, Syria, … List could go on.

    Leaders of Greece and Italy were replaced by orders from Brussels.

    In Italy, local Mafias have a saying in local businesses.

    In Congo, The government of DRC abandoned its responsibility by letting rebels, M23, run Goma.

    We know Somali Land government is not recognised by other countries but is has its own currency and government.

    Syria government is unable to protect it citizens.

    Question is: Who is running the world politics? who is bad guys which support anarchy? Who is running the show?

    It is no point to blame this government or that government if we do not know who is making kings.

  6. መምህራንና ሌሎች አካል ተሳትፎ?
    | #6

    I hope that the link below provides some illustration to the statements mentioned above.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/insidestoryamericas/2012/11/201211295425270859.html

    Thank you Abugida!

Comments are closed.