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ELEMENTS OF CIVIL GOVERNMENT.

PART I.

GENERAL PRINCIPLES.

CHAPTER I.

REASONS FOR ORGANIZATION, ETC.

Civil Society.-Men cannot exist and reach the highest development, either as individuals or as a race, unless they associate themselves together. They are fitted naturally to associate with each other, each being dependent for many things on his fellow-men. The solitary state is impossible. Should we consider the family as the unit, it would still be impossible to get along without some sort of arrangement by which people could help one another. Hence, men live together in a social state, which is called civil society.

The Laws.-Men are not always just to one another. Some are disposed to do things which would defraud or injure those with whom they are associated. Some would steal or, perhaps, murder, others would do all manner of wrong, so that civil society itself could not exist without some rules of action laid down for the guidance of men in their social

relations. Such rules are called laws. Laws, to be of any use, must have some power back of them to enforce them. Hence the necessity for some form of government.

The State, which is but another name for civil society, cannot exist for any length of time without government. Occasionally, when, from one cause or another, people become turbulent and overturn the existing government, and fail for a time to substitute another in its place, we have social disorder, or what is known as anarchy. But society, or the State, for the protection of its individual members, soon erects among the ruins of the discarded government, some new and often better form of government. Government, then, is necessary to make and enforce the rules of action, or laws, by which men are compelled to be just to one another.

The power resides in the State, that is, in the people considered collectively, and not in the government, which is but the agent of society for securing justice to all men. All laws should be just laws, since justice is the fundamental idea on which the state, or civil society, was organized. Since society gives to government all its powers, these powers should be used for the benefit of the people. Government, then, is constituted for the purpose of protecting society and securing to the individual members thereof that liberty or freedom which is in harmony with the principle of justice which underlies the whole scheme.

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