Government for all | AspenTimes.com

Government for all

What is the purpose of government? Any government, federal or state or local.

To me, that purpose is to serve the interests of all of those who live within the borders. To see to it that the best results happen to the most people overall. To provide stability, protection, education, laws and infrastructure that maximize the good outcomes for the people as a whole. And to draw upon all to give help to the injured or unlucky or disabled or those unable to help themselves because someday we may need a little reciprocity.

So, what is the problem today? Well, the problem is the result of our genes. Long, long ago, we pre- and post-Neanderthals had a couple of interests.

One, we wanted to join a group of our peers, so we could get better protection from such predators as saber tooth tigers, and so we had better access to common shelter, food and sex (if you must know). To help each other so they would help us. And therefore we joined “tribes,” and our genes developed to think that was a pretty good idea.

But on the other hand, we also had a bunch of genes that said to us, “Go out on your own. That way you get more food without having to share it, and a shelter all to yourself, and maybe even monogamy all your own. Besides, you’ll have more power over those in tribes because you have more resources and skills (you think).” Beat them up if they disagree. The wages of sin are profits. And so some of our genes evolved to think that was the way to go.

Well, from time to time we homo sapiens, as evolved as we are, get strung out by our competing genes. To function properly a government needs to accommodate both ends of the spectrum, because some of its people will believe in tribes, and others will believe in individuals. But to get our government to function well, all of us within it must acknowledge our competing genes, and respect those wearing other genes. Maybe monogamy is good. Maybe slaying that saber tooth tiger is a good idea. Let’s give it a try.

Parker Maddux

Basalt


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