Why do we look for a perfect government?

What is the point of trying to finding a perfect government? Or one that will function enough to learn from past mistakes and its own mistakes to make itself stronger in the future. Every single time a government is formed, it eventually falls. Rousseau wrote about the tendencies that decayed the sovereign. Those are inequality, loss of public spirit, private interest, wealth, mercenaries, and representatives. At the beginning of an overthrow of any government these tendencies (besides representatives) are addressed in a new general will of the people. Over time, again and again, you see these issues spelled out by Rousseau come back into play and cause the government to crash. Human nature just does not allow us to find perfection. Perhaps the only way to get something to last for some period of time is to have hope. Hope in a perfect world, a perfect government. We are always hoping for that. Are we dumb for pursuing such endeavors only to eventually fail? Or is there that slight off chance that we can find a way that all people can be level headed and put aside their own private interests and make a world that fits everyone.
The next question I ask is would it be smarter to just make smaller territories in order to have a longer lasting government? This is going against Madison’s notion that a wide territory would prevent a majority from ruling over a minority in government. The problem once again comes up in human nature. You will never find two people that will agree exactly on every issue. So there will be another conflict even in a two person state. So a smaller state falls into this eventually failure/ vicious circle narrative.
Knowing this over so many years I feel we should turn away from wanting perfection out of government. Maybe we would not be as upset with the government failing us and just strive somehow keep us happy and content. In knowing we will have differences we can just move on with our personal lives. But then again that is what we do every all the times anyways. So did I just waste 45 minutes of my life trying to find a solution to a problem that has no solution? I cannot begin to see how to not go insane will trying to work past all of these issues.

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3 Responses to Why do we look for a perfect government?

  1. ebisdikian says:

    You have an interesting argument. On the topic of hope, I feel that striving to attain a “perfect government” is a far from realistic goal, as it would be nearly impossible to create a lasting government that can satisfy the needs of all its citizens. However, I think it’s still important to strive to create a perfect government, since it will encourage progress and, while a perfect government may never be attained, something very close can be within our grasp.

    • njalensky says:

      I complete agree with this! As my thoughts were starting to some together in my head at the end of the post, I eluded to it. If we do not have hope then we will not have a need to waste our times. We would not even at that point have a need to live at all. As I found while writing this post and thinking on it, can cause you to get very worked up, but I have now found that we need to take everything as a grain of salt and pursue things in life that make us truly happy. Perhaps one of us, or someone else, will try to find a government that can measure its prosperity on happiness. Just like Mill referenced in his text slightly in this class.

  2. jlau4 says:

    “Shoot for the moon, and even if you miss you’ll land among the stars”
    This quote carries great sentiment in that if we strive for perfection, even if it can’t be achieved we can still work to better ourselves. I find that political scientists operate with similar desires as any other scientist, they all want to find answers and gather new information on the world we live in. By contemplating and studying these diverse issues, and despite the impossibility of constructing the perfect system of government, we can come as close as we can. To ignore these issues would send us further back and would hinder any progress or hope for the future.

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