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What Is the Relationship Between the Citizen and the State? Essay

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As a citizen in a democratic nation for all my life, I would not deny of thinking of not obeying the state on various of laws. As I thought of the question over time of why I should obey the state, and other citizen should to. The state allows and creates a society of peace and quiet to enjoy our lives free of a constant fear of death as the state quells instability and anarchy. Citizens inside of democratic state borders, that we as the population agree that we are in this together in turn its fair play to obey the state. And the state provides education, and healthcare is a reason to gratitude towards the state, by repaying the state through obedience. I am going to expand on few of these ideas of why we should obey the state. It is widely known that every inch of this earth is either inhabitable or claimed by some government, therefore it would be impossible to avoid a state all together.

It is clearly nearly noted that all the earth population is already living within states and most of us live within states, you would find few people would seriously consider their state entirely illegitimate. Having a state can be highly resourceful, such as fixing problems inside of our society or protecting citizens from other predatory states. Therefore, the state tasks are to articulate the rights and duties of citizens and protect them from threats mean the state replaces individual and community initiatives. The state achieves this by extending it role over in society, by granting individuals and communities rights and services offered by the state.

People wonder how we end up with a powerful figure ruling over us. John Locke presents us with an idea onto how and why we allowed, a state form and gain authority over us. That idea is consent, Locke explains each individual must be aware and clear of their consent to an upper authority, and an individual can’t be forced or neither can the authority assume your consent. He states this is the creation of the political society by people fully consent who to wish to join those societies. John Locke ran into objections with this idea, it arises with people who has not consented to their state, leaving this idea flawed as it entails states could be illegitimate. Locke solution to this is tacit consent, he bases this idea off anyone benefiting off the state and because receiving these state benefits you’re essentially accepting state authority over you. Hence you thereby should obey the laws of the state.

John Locke further his idea by stating, a legitimate state should have separations of power. These check and balances ensure the state and trust from the people to appropriate tasks of punishing injustice and advocate justice, ultimately encourage the common good in society. This motive moves powers away from the state and diversify the authority and prevents the state or one institution from becoming too powerful. The state action in this case is utilitarianism, if the state can perform these functions and the state sees fit these acts are justified by the customs of the society. The state is limited to societal opinion also the state shall not influence that opinion. As the state grows, the more state services can provide to it citizens. A state ensures happiness, security and wellbeing for all people inside its borders as everyone benefits from state insurances, human beings strive for peace and comfort. A state offers all those needs (Hobbes, 249).

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For the state to ensure its function over the society, states take the ultimate steps of maintaining order in society, by adopting security measures, such as military, and police to combat threats to the state, and society. Because if failure to do so, citizens would resort to removal of the state. As citizen saw the state failing to provide safety and a healthy society for them of continuing a pleasant life. Therefore, voicing a new state that would accept the people demands of a prosperous future. I argue this is a key of development of the state and obeying the state. That the people always have an option to remove the state if they are not pleased by it. Nearly, all state is fearful of a resistance population this plays as another limiting factor on the state ability on encroachment on citizen responsibilities. Such as writing constitutions, to ensure a definitive authority over the people also ensure apply check and balances on the state behavior on the people they govern. These steps are essential towards a peaceful relationship between the state and the population.

Another idea developed by H.L.A Hart. He takes about fairness and obligation towards the state. “When a number of persons conduct any joint enterprise according to rules and thus restrict their liberty, those who have submitted to those restrictions when required have a right to a similar submission from those who have benefited by their submission”. Hart discusses here for everyone in the society, we are all in this together meaning no one receive a ‘free-ride’ pointing to people who benefits from the state but does not pay their fair share such as not paying taxes. Opponents of this claim state that these benefits must be accepted by the governed, some never had the choice of rejecting the benefits, but they still received benefits. Rising an issue of why should I pay for something that I never asked for. Response to this is from Robert Nozick idea of a night-watchman state he explains the state should restrict it role to protecting its citizens against fraud, theft, violence and breach of contract and can’t intervene into societal matters. Nozick explains minimal night-watchman state is legitimate, if or without granted consent from the governed. This in mind Nozick idea brings the concept of respecting the state existence because the state is only present for your protection of our individual rights, so it true to obey the state as it is fair play in those regards.

This reaches into the moral argument of the obligation to the state. The gratitude theory is a thought of a way of repaying our benefactors. This theory is relevant to moral theory, but many see this as an alternative to the consent theory. The idea is here the state those who have given us something, who have sacrificed for us, are owed something in return–and uses it to justify political obligation. The necessary condition for gratitude theory to work is. The benefit must not be forced (unjustifiably) against the beneficiary’s will and the benefit must not be given unintentionally, involuntarily, or for any other disqualifying reasons. If these and any other condition are met, we are bound to some sort of debt, and what that must be. Namely, we ‘repay’ that debt is through obedience or morally required to say ‘thank you’ to the state.

The scrutiny of the gratitude theory is what is accepted for payment. Critics asked why is obedience only option for us as citizens. A response comes A.D.M Walker. He gets around of these objections. He expresses that if we do not obey the state, the state would cease to exist, and emphasizes obedience is needed for the state to function property and noncompliance with the state’s wishes would violate our moral obligation. If obeying the law leads to good consequences, then it necessarily follows that we’re morally bound to obey the law. Few of us feel it’s morally right to actively make things worse, after all.

In the cover literature I agreed onto why we should support and obey the state, the arguments presented if persuasive meaning. Cooperating and being apart with the state has it advantage rather than not obeying the state. A cooperative society can lead to great peaceful and prosperous standard of living. I think it would hard to image a stateless world and convince that creation of a state like structure would have risen if we ever in that sort of situation. Obeying the state comes at a price, it is apparent few people are not willing to pay that price. I argue, that price is hard to beat, specially solely on your own. You can’t achieve something as a state can such infrastructure, law & order and distribution of resources. Existence of a state bring huge benefits for the wholly good for it is society. Today, human beings are in a far better place, as the state itself encourage discipline and collective pursuit of a common goal throughout the population.

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What Is the Relationship Between the Citizen and the State? Essay [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Sept 01 [cited 2023 Feb 2]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/what-is-the-relationship-between-the-citizen-and-the-state-essay/
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