Wisely Crafted Institutions Research Papers
The purpose for and means by which a government assumes power has been debated for countless generations. Research papers on wisely crafted institutions explore the institutions within the government that have been well thought out and usually contain an appropriate system of checks and balances. Have Paper Masters assist you with you research on government institutions and the political entities within any nation.
Government has increasingly come under inspection as worldwide systems crumble and are rebuilt in various forms. Our own system has had both adamant supporters and vigorous detractors. While the necessity for some type of government is commonly accepted, the value of government as an institution can be debated.
Many questions regarding the formation, efficiency and effectiveness of different types of government still resound. Most agree that a government is designed to provide order, protection and essential services to the people over which a government presides. It is assumed that government is necessary due to the ills and evil that might threaten an unchecked society. However some question whether governments have the ability to provide anything beyond what the internal structure of the governed would innately provide.
Among the Wisely Crafted Institutions debated is whether or not wisely crafted institutions can supply that which virtue can not. Before one can answer the thesis it is important to operationally define and understand the premise. Public institutions are not limited to government, but for the interest of this rhetoric, governments will be the focus. Wisely crafted institutions are those that are painstakingly established with much deliberation on the basis of sound and/or proven reason and practice. Virtue, the subject of ongoing delineation for many philosophers and theologians, is never simply defined. However, commonly accepted definition of virtue refers to innately good and desirable qualities of value and worth, such as morality, integrity, honesty and righteousness. Under these assumptions the question then is whether or not a wisely-crafted government has the potential to provide society with those things that have not been provided by a societal sense of morality, integrity and honesty.
The position laid out by Paper Masters is the following:
- Wisely-crafted governments do have the potential to provide society with those things that have not been provided by a societal sense of morality, integrity and honesty.
- Well-crafted governments can supply what virtue can not.
- There are few examples of government that maximize on this potential.
Virtue should dictate that individuals be moral, honest and reliable in their beliefs and behaviors. In a society that means acting not just in a way that belies personal virtue but in a manner that provides for all citizens communally. However, it is widely recognized that without government people do not unanimously choose to act in a way that promotes good and desirable qualities of value and worth, instead anarchy rules. Because innate virtue is not sufficient to ensure order and peaceable existence, an external system of order is necessary.
When Kant proffers that, “The problem of organizing a state can be solved even for a nation of devils, if only they are intelligent”, he is expressing the underlying principle of government. Even the most abhorrent group of individuals, recognizing that their own inherent tendency toward vice is self-destructive, can agree to abide by a set of rules that creates an environment that resembles one run according to virtue. In this way the government supplies the constructive framework that is lacking in an individual’s perception or inclination.
Winthrop certainly supported this notion in On Liberty. As a matter of fact Winthrop challenged man’s natural liberty in favor of an artificially regulated federal or civil liberty. He noted that natural liberty included both an individual’s choices to do good, in essence virtuous deeds, and evil, or non-virtuous deeds. More simply this means that people are not innately disciplined to choose only behaviors that are good and virtuous for themselves and society. Meanwhile Winthrop declared that liberty as an object of authority, in this case government, is not so limited and therefore can remain good, just and honest. More simply this means that government, as an objective force, can require that individuals choose and maintain only behaviors that are good and virtuous for themselves and society.
This belief is what supports the government development and enforcement of laws and standards of behavior. An individual’s personal code might vaguely define behaviors such as murder and theft, while a government can provide common definition and laws that prohibit violent acts. While individuals might choose to pay their employees substandard wages and force children to work in unsafe conditions and waylay the environment, a government can enforce honorable and just behavior. While individuals might not be prompted to provide for their neighbors who are ill, poor or uneducated, a government can provide those things that by virtue should be available to all people.
Publius, Federalist Paper #10 written by James Madison in support of large republican democracy also supports the fact that wisely-crafted institutions can provide what virtue can not. Madison remarks that in a representative republic, more than other forms of government, the combined voice projected through representatives is more representative of the public good than what individuals proclaim in their own voices. Meaning that an person’s innate virtue does not provide the necessary requisites for maintaining a society that are supported by a representative group. According to Madision, large representative republics also protect against an individual or small group coming to power who might promote their own selfish goals and interests over that of society as a whole. This again supports the fact that individuals cannot be relied upon to consistently do the right thing and therefore an objective institution is necessary to supply what virtue lacks.
Some people argue that wisely-crafted institutions, namely government, cannot provide what virtue can not. However, the potential for government to do so is supportable. Government can bring out the common interests of all people and support them above personal interests. Government can implement standards of conduct and laws that require individuals to choose behaviors that are good for themselves and society. It stands to reason, therefore, that government can provide society with those things that have not been provided by a societal sense of morality, integrity and honesty, in essence supplying what virtue can not. The greatest support for detractors of this notion is that, while government has the potential to provide these things, it does not always succeed.
Even those most ardent supporters of a government imposed virtue present evidence on the difficulty in maintaining such as system. In A Model of Christian Charity, Winthrop recognizes that, for a society to work, everyone must bind together in joined affection and depend upon each other, and give up something individual for the common good. If the government were to fail to provide for a commonly held belief of good, it would not succeed. In addition, individuals, while in agreement to join a collective government for their benefit might need to be coerced into maintaining the framework of shared virtue. While Kant realized that the group of intelligent devils could figure out a system, it is doubtful that individuals in that collective would conform without ongoing obligation to do so. If a government fails to require individuals to maintain the commonly help belief of good, it would also fail.
Government is designed to provide order, protection and essential services to the people over which a government presides, combating the ills and evils that might threaten an unchecked society. Government has the potential to supply that which virtue can not. Government can promote the common good and implement standards of conduct and law that achieve a social environment that virtue alone cannot promote. It is true that individuals must first be prompted to unite under a government and then be induced to maintain the belief in the common good. Many governments fail to do this, but that does not change the fact that well crafted institutions do have the potential to supply what virtue can not.