Aim of the Government

People have a lot of expectations for their governments to live up to on a social and economic level. When it comes to the goals or obligations of the government, there is no clear definition or limit on the extent or whether new capacity should be extended or limited. In order to stay within the boundaries imposed by the resources at the government's disposal, compromises and trade-offs are frequently made. The following are three goals that governments should pursue, according to three philosophers: Thomas Aquinas, Thomas Hobbes, and John Locke.  Thomas Aquinas views the government as the ultimate protector of the common good; it is the work of the government to protect the common good by ensuring peace, organization and harmony in the conduct of citizens. Securing the common good can only be achieved through a provision of resources support people’s lives and by eliminating obstacles and other factors inhibiting citizens from enjoying good living. Aquinas maintains that the role of the government is to provide common good for the good of the citizens. According to Aquinas, the common good is the fruit of unity of vision or insight, choices, freedom, and accountability that are defined and implemented by people through the establishment of a ruling authority. In this regard, Aquinas argues that governments originate from the man’s social nature and not from his corrupt or sinful ways. Accordingly, the civil authority is necessary to control and direct man’s social living and maintain order. He further argues that the government has the responsibility of maintaining orderliness in society by ensuring that both internal and external peace are kept and that the material needs of the citizens are met and satisfied. Additionally, Aquinas thinks that the government is responsible for regulating the economic activities of its citizens but in exceptional circumstances to prevent conflict and chaos. By being entrusted with the governing power by the people, the actions of the government should, therefore, be directed towards ensuring virtuous and happy lives. The government should ensure that its resources are aimed at directing its citizens to act or behave well and virtuously. Simply put, promote justice in society, the government must care for it citizens who are in need of material benefits or financial assistance to sustain the daily living. More so, the government must avoid using dubious methods to steal or take the property of its citizens and has the responsibility to protect the life and property of its people from any form of violence. A government that breaches the liberty of the people by engaging in amoral activities, habits, and virtues such as corruption, theft, and use of force, to assume the property of its citizens risking facing a revolt from citizens who are unhappy with increasing levels of inequality and differences in society.

Establishing Peace in Society

Among other things, a government should aim at promoting a peaceful society for it subject to engage in both social and economic activities in a smooth manner. According to Thomas Hobbes, seeking peace is the basic nature of human beings. Hobbes argues that in pursuit of peace, people are willing, naturally and rationally, to forgo some level of liberty or give up right to some or all things to realize peace and defend themselves. Hobbes argues that through the social contract, citizens of any given nation lay down some degree of freedom and rights in exchange for security to be provided by a social and political system-government- that is conceived with a consistent aim of providing the self-preservation security. As such, it is the obligation of the government to enforce the rule of law and provide security to its citizens without any form of favoritism. The legitimacy of any government that favors the privileged and the rich in society over the poor and the weak becomes questionable and is thought to exceed in the legitimate mandate. Governments are sovereign authorities deriving their power from the citizens who have opted to forgo some of the rights exchange for peace and security to be provided by the sovereign states. Failure by the government exercise their sovereignty properly and within the defined scope to provide peace to the citizen, risks being disobeyed by its subjects and all its decisions being dissented and questioned and in extreme circumstances, such dissent and dissatisfaction could escalate into a violent conflict or full civil as witnessed in some countries today.

Protecting Property

John Locke establishes that for liberty to exist, ownership of private property is necessary. Locke argues that every person has right to his person and no entity has power over his person. He continues to argue that a person has right to the labor of their body and the work of their hands as it is their property. Locke believes that to preserve their property, men come together to form commonwealths and subject themselves to the rule of government in the end. Locke says that through inputting labor into and improving on common property, people gain legitimacy to turn it into private property. He insists that sovereignty is upon the people but not the rulers. As such, the government does not have the power to assume control over all or part of the people's property without the people consenting to such control first. According to Locke, governments should not use power bestowed upon it by the people to take their property or tax the people’s property without prior consent from the people. Locke argues against dictatorship or any other form of government that uses the power given to them by the people to put them under constant harassment, subjugation and to impoverish them using unreasonable or irregular laws and regulations to assume ownership of all or part of the people’s property. Locke argues that any government that fails to protect its people’s property and right to property or governments that attempt to take away or destroy people’s property or subject them to slavery through use of arbitrary legislations leads to a constant state of conflict or warpath with their citizens fighting to restore the freedom or liberty they were enjoying previously. As such, people become dissenting to the authority of such governments and resolve to fight against the irregular legislations using force, violence, or corrupt methods to assume ownership people’s property without their consent. Therefore the government should aim to protect the property of its subjects so as to protect itself against revolution and also guard against disruption of peace and liberty of the people.

All the three philosophers; Aquinas, Hobbes, and Locke agree that peace is fundamental in any society to thrive and that the power of any government is derived from the people. Governments should promote virtue in all their endeavors to ensure satisfaction and happiness of the citizens through the elimination of equalities and differences. Authorities must, with due diligence, use the instruments of sovereignty bestowed upon them by the people, who have chosen to give up some rights in exchange for protection, to establish peace in society failure to which results in disobedience and dissent by the public which could escalate into violence or war. Moreover, it is the responsibility of the government to protect the life and property of it citizens from domestic and foreign violence and avoid the use of irregular methods to take control of people's property that could jeopardize peace and harmony in society.


Mendoza, Juan. "The protection of private property: the government as a free-rider." Economics of Governance 16, no. 2 (2015): 179-205.

Ott, Jan Cornelis. An Eye on Happiness: happiness as an additional goal for citizens and governments. 2012.

Peters, B. Guy, and John Pierre. "Governance without government? Rethinking public administration." Journal of public administration research and theory 8, no. 2 (1998): 223-243.

Spragens Jr, Thomas A. The politics of motion: The world of Thomas Hobbes. University Press of Kentucky, 2015.

Deadline is approaching?

Wait no more. Let us write you an essay from scratch

Receive Paper In 3 Hours
Calculate the Price
275 words
First order 15%
Total Price:
$38.07 $38.07
Calculating ellipsis
Hire an expert
This discount is valid only for orders of new customer and with the total more than 25$
This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Find Out the Cost of Your Paper

Get Price