Government should be relatively easy to define … but is it? Why do we need government? These days, government is effectively little more than the ruling class, creating seemingly arbitrary laws and regulations, and pawning off its responsibility to others. Why is government necessary though? What is the actual purpose of government? Can people live without the formal establishment of government and effectively govern themselves?
Why do we need government?
Some people will claim that we need government because humans are imperfect. Ostensibly at least, this means that we should take those that are capable of winning a popularity contest, who crave power and control … generally relegating the selection to narcissistic sociopaths … and give them complete control to rule every aspect of our lives. Sure. What could possibly go wrong? “Government” is necessary, most notably in large urban population centers, to maintain the “Social Fabric of society as a whole, and to ensure that there is order and not chaos.
This should effectively be limited so that the people … the state … the body that comprises the general populace or the citizenry, is free to conduct their personal affairs, and to be safe in their personal property, their pursuit of “happiness” and their lives. In short, government should exist for no purpose whatsoever other than to guarantee personal and individual liberty and freedom. These days, government is effectively little more than the ruling class, creating seemingly arbitrary laws and regulations, and pawning off its responsibility to others.
Why is government necessary though? Government is in reality, necessary in the larger centers as has been noted above. Traffic rules and regulations ensure the safety of the general population as they go about their business, commuting in vehicles or on foot through local areas. Government determines penalties for criminal behavior in order to dissuade criminal activity. Ostensibly at least, government ensures that there are similar penalties for similar crimes, regardless of the individual who has committed such crimes. Fire protection is certainly a matter for the common good.
What is the actual purpose of government? This is the very reason that in the founding of both the Confederacy of States and in the Constitutional Republic for these independent but united States of America, the powers of the federal ruling body were severely hampered and restricted to a select “few and well defined” powers … not some perversion of the commerce clause granting the federal body to interfere between private transactions between private citizens and to rule over every aspect of our lives … but to ensure that government … most notably the federal government, served the people and did not seek to rule over them. Unfortunately, in the world we live in today, government seeks to rule over the people with an ever-increasing amount of force. What we have today is a De Facto Federal Government and not a De Jure Government or lawful, constitutional republic form of government.
In the original days of the founding fathers, the Federal Government, being that governing body most distant and most unaware of the everyday goings on of the people, was in fact the smallest and least powerful government agency. The presence of the Federal Governing Body had few and well-defined powers in order to ensure the equality of treatment for the denizens of each and every one of the independent but united States of America and to ensure the security of borders and other national concerns such as the national defense. Article Four Section Four guarantees this Republican form of government down to the State level. After that, government was more free as the people locally would be in direct contact with their varied local governments.
In fact, at the township level, local citizens could determine whatever manner of governance they preferred personally and the federal government had naught to say in such matters. This is in no small part evidenced by the Franco/German communist “invasion” of Texas primarily during the 1830s and 1840s, though some of these townships surviving until the 1850s. Thus, if we had a lawful federal body, all of those people in the world today who wished to live in their Utopian Socialist Workers Paradise would have every right to create that at the local level, with the federal government doing nothing more than ensuring that they would not be able to engage in practices that would adversely impact the denizens of other states.
Can people live without the formal establishment of government and effectively govern themselves? As was noted above, the further away the government is, the more restraints were placed upon said government. Furthermore, the Constitution only guarantees the Republican form of governance to the State level as below that, the people it was believed, were capable and competent to run their own affairs. The presence of the Republican form of government was in the interest of ensuring equality between the states and their people and to ensure that the federal body had a viable means to ensure the national defense of the States. Just as all manner of Statists, Puritans, Christians, Muslims and others should have the right to create their own Townships with their own forms of governance, so should the more Libertarian or Voluntarian minded who do not believe in the need for an elected class of local leaders, but whom all accept a modicum of responsibility along with their individual freedoms.
REFERENCE AND DEFINITIONS FROM BLACK’S LAW FOURTH EDITION
GOVERN. To direct and control the actions or conduct of, either by established laws or by arbitrary will; to direct and control, rule, or regulate, by authority. Tucker v. State, 218 Ind. 614, 35 N.E.2d 270, 291. To be a rule, precedent, law or deciding principle for. Asnon v. Foley, 105 Cal.App. 624, 288 P. 792, 795.
GOVERNMENT. From the Latin gubernaculum.
Signifies the instrument, the helm, whereby the ship to which the state was compared, was guided on its course by the "gubernator" or helmsman, and in that view, the government is but an agency of the state, [The People IS the State] distinguished as it must be in accurate thought from its scheme and machinery of government. State v. Chase, 175 Minn. 259, 220 N.W. 951, 953.
The system of polity in a state; that form of fundamental rules and principles by which a nation or state is governed, or by which individual members of a body politic are to regulate their social actions; a constitution, either written or unwritten, by which the rights and duties of citizens and public officers are prescribed and defined, as a monarchical government, a republican government, etc. Webster.
An empire, kingdom, state or independent political community; as in the phrase, "Compacts between independent governments."
The sovereign or supreme power in a state or nation. [Self government]
The machinery by which the sovereign power in a state expresses its will and exercises its functions; or the framework of political institutions, departments, and offices, by means of which the executive, judicial, legislative, and administrative business of the state is carried on.
The whole class or body of office-holders or functionaries considered in the aggregate, upon whom devolves the executive, judicial, legislative, and administrative business of the state. Stokes v. United States, C.C.A.Mo., 264 F. 18, 22.
In a colloquial sense, the United States or its representatives, considered as the prosecutor in a criminal action; as in the phrase, "the government objects to the witness."
The regulation, restraint, supervision, or control which is exercised upon the individual members of an organized jural society by those invested with authority; or the act of exercising supreme political power or control. Chicago, B. & Q. R. Co. v. School Dist. No. 1 in Yuma County, 63 Colo. 159, 165 P. 260, 263.
Federal government. The government of the United States of America, as distinguished from the governments of the several states.
Local government. The government or administration of a particular locality; especially, the governmental authority of a municipal corporation, as a city or county, over its local and individual affairs, exercised in virtue of power delegated to it for that purpose by the general government of the state or nation.
Mixed government. A form of government combining some of the features of two or all of the three primary forms, viz., monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy.
Republican government. One in which the powers of sovereignty are vested in the people and are exercised by the people, either directly, or through representatives chosen by the people, to whom those powers are specially delegated. Black, Const. Law (3d Ed.) 309; In re Duncan, 139 U.S. 449, 11 S.Ct. 573, 35 L.Ed. 219; Minor v. Happersett, 21 Wall. 175, 22 L.Ed. 627.
GOVERNMENT DE FACTO. A government of fact. A government actually exercising power and control in the state, as opposed to the true and lawful government; a government not established according to the constitution of the state, or not lawfully entitled to recognition or supremacy, but which has nevertheless supplanted or displaced the government de jure. A government deemed unlawful, or deemed wrongful or unjust, which, nevertheless, receives presently habitual obedience from the bulk of the community. Aust. Jur. 324.
There are several degrees of what is called "de facto government." Such a government, in its highest degree, assumes a character very closely resembling that of a lawful government. This is when the usurping government expels the regular authorities from their customary seats and functions, and establishes itself in their place, and so becomes the actual government of a country.i The distinguishing characteristic of such a government is that adherents to it in war against the government de jure do not incur the penalties of treason; and, under certain limitations, obligations assumed by it in behalf of the country or otherwise will, in general, be respected by the government de jure when restored.
Such a government might be more aptly denominated a "government of paramount force," being maintained by active military power against the rightful authority of an established and lawful government; and obeyed in civil matters by private citizens. They are usually administered directly by military authority, but they may be administered, also, by civil authority, supported more or less by military force. [See the continued and ever-increasing militarization of the Police Agencies throughout the Nation, and the inclusion of Military Occupational Specialties such as the Internment Specialist 31E] Thorington v. Smith, 8 Wall. 8, 9, 19 L.Ed. 361.
GOVERNMENT DE JURE. A government of right; the true and lawful [Not merely legal] government; a government established according to the constitution of the state, and lawfully entitled to recognition and supremacy and the administration of the state, but which is actually cut off from power or control. A government deemed lawful, or deemed rightful or just, which, nevertheless, has been supplanted or displaced; that is to say, which receives not presently (although it received formerly) habitual obedience from the bulk of the community. Aust. Jur. 324.
GOVERNMENTAL ACT. An act in exercise of police power or in exercise of legislative, discretionary, or judicial powers conferred on municipality for benefit of public. Broome v. City of Charlotte, 208 N.C. 729, 182 S.E. 325.
Any act a state may lawfully perform or authorize and, as applied to the federal government, it is its every action within its constitutional power. Orme v. Atlas Gas & Oil Co., 217 Minn. 27, 13 N.W.2d 757, 762.
A step physically taken by persons capable of exercising the sovereign authority of the foreign nation. Banco de Espana v. Federal Reserve Bank of New York, C.C.A.N.Y., 114 F.2d 438, 444.
GOVERNMENTAL ACTION. Any action of the federal government within its constitutional power. Graves v. People of State of New York ex rel. O'Keefe, N.Y., 306 U.S. 466, 59 S.Ct. 595, 596, 83 L.Ed. 927, 120 A.L.R. 1466; Chapman v. State, 179 Miss. 507, 176 So. 391, 392.
GOVERNMENTAL POWERS. Those pertaining to making and enforcing by a city of police regulations to prevent crime, preserve public health, prevent fires, care for the poor, and educate the young. Huffman v. City of Columbus, Ohio App., 51 N.E.2d 410, 412.
Powers exercised by city as agency of state. State ex rel. Gebhardt v. City Council of Helena, 102 Mont. 27, 55 P.2d 671, 673.
GOVERNMENTAL PURPOSE. One which has for its objective the promotion of the public health, safety, morals, general welfare, security, prosperity and contentment of the inhabitants of a given political division. Green v. Frazier, 44 N.D. 395, 176 N.W. 11, 17.
It has been held that, if an electric plant is used by a city for furnishing light and power for its own use and the use of its inhabitants, it is a "governmental purpose". Chadwick v. City of Crawfordsville, 216 Ind. 399, 24 N.E.2d 937, 941, 129 A.L.R. 469; State v. Lincoln County Power Dist. No. 1, 60 Nev. 401, 111 P.2d 528, 531.
A lot purchased for jail but actually used to store cordwood used in county buildings and to store county road machinery, was prima facie used for "governmental purposes". Security State Bank v. Dent County, 345 Mo. 1050, 137 S.W.2d 960, 964.
Some courts distinguish between public purpose and governmental purpose. Spalding v. United States, D.C.Cal., 17 F.Supp. 957, 961.
LAWFUL. Legal; warranted or authorized by the law; having the qualifications prescribed by law; not contrary to nor forbidden by the law. Ohio Automatic Sprinkler Co. v. Fender, 108 Ohio St. 149, 141 N.E. 269, 275; McDonnell v. Murnan Shipbuilding Corporation, 210 Ala. 611, 98 So. 887, 889; Hafner Mfg. Co. v. City of St. Louis, 262 Mo. 621, 172 S.W. 28, 33.
The principal distinction between the terms "lawful" and "legal" is that the former contemplates the substance of law, the latter the form of law. To say of an act that it is "lawful" implies that it is authorized, sanctioned, or at any rate not forbidden, by law.
To say that it is "legal" implies that it is done or performed in accordance with the forms and usages of law, or in a technical manner. In this sense "illegal" approaches the meaning of "invalid." For example, a contract or will, executed without the required formalities, might be said to be invalid or illegal, but could not be described as unlawful. Further, the word "lawful" more clearly implies an ethical content than does "legal." The latter goes no further than to denote compliance, with positive, technical, or formal rules; while the former usually imports a moral substance or ethical permissibility.
A further distinction is that the word "legal" is used as the synonym of "constructive," which "lawful" is not. Thus "legal fraud" is fraud implied or inferred by law, or made out by construction. "Lawful fraud" would be a contradiction of terms. Again, "legal" is used as the antithesis of "equitable." Thus, we speak of "legal assets," "legal estate," etc., but not of "lawful assets," or "lawful estate." But there are some connections in which the two words are used as exact equivalents. Thus, a "lawful" writ, warrant, or process is the same as a "legal" writ, warrant, or process.
1. Conforming to the law; according to law; required or permitted by law; not forbidden or discountenanced by law; good and effectual in law. Freeman v. Fowler Packing Co., 135 Kan. 378, 11 P.2d 276, 277; General Motors Acceptance Corporation v. Schwartz, 118 N.J.L. 25, 190 A. 625, 627.
2. Proper or sufficient to be recognized by the law; cognizable in the courts; competent or adequate to fulfill the requirements of the law.
3. Cognizable in courts of law, as distinguished from courts of equity; construed or governed by the rules and principles of law, in contradistinction to rules of equity.
4. Posited by the courts as the inference or imputation of the law, as a matter of construction, rather than established by actual proof; e. g., legal malice. See Lawful.
5. Created by law. De Vita v. Pianisani, 127 Misc. 611, 217 N.Y.S. 438, 440.
6. Lawful; of or pertaining to law. Kinsley v. Herald & Globe Ass'n, 113 Vt. 272, 34 A.2d 99, 101, 148 A.L.R. 1164.
LEGAL RIGHT. Natural rights, rights existing as result of contract, and rights created or recognized by law. Fine v. Pratt, Tex.Civ.App., 150 S. W.2d 308, 311.
LEGAL USUFRUCT. Usufructs established by operation of law are legal usufructs. Hartford Accident & Indemnity Co. v. Abdalla, 203 La. 999, 14 So.2d 815; e. g., the usufruct colated for surviving spouse in necessitous circumstances. Taylor v. Taylor, 189 La. 1084, 181 So. 543, 549.
LEGES SUUM LIGENT LATOREM. Laws should bind their own maker. Fleta, lib. 1, c. 17, § 11.
LEGES VIGILANTIBUS, NON DORMIENTIBUS, SUBVENIUNT. The laws aid the vigilant, not the negligent. Smith v. Carll, 5 Johns.Ch. ( N.Y.) 122, 145.
USUFRUCT. In the civil law. The right of enjoying a thing, the property of which is vested in another, and to draw from the same all the profit, utility, and advantage which it may produce, provided it be without altering the substance of the thing. [The Legal Fiction] Civ.Code La. art. 533. Mulford v. Le Franc, 26 Cal. 102; Modern Music Shop v. Concordia Fire Ins. Co. of Milwaukee, 131 Misc. 305, 226 N.Y.S. 630, 635.
iThis is effectively what transpired when the Southern Representatives walked out of the House before the commencement of hostilities that would become the War Between The States. In accordance with precedent, there was no longer any quorum, and thus no lawful means to renew the existing congress. As such, a new congress should have been implemented sans the Southern Representatives who then formed their own nation. As such, the government could have continued as a De Jure Government and not merely de facto … a lawful government not merely a legal government under the color of law and the color of (just or rightful) authority.