Government as an arbiter/representative

The failure of democracy in third world countries is largely attributed to the average third world citizen’s tendency to view the government as a caregiver, rather than an arbiter/representative. This is why communism is an Eastern phenomenon (most third world countries being concentrated in the eastern hemisphere).

It is not the government’s job to supply bread, water or housing. It is not the government’s job to take care of citizen’s needs. In a proper democracy that responsibility lies with each individual. The government is a third-party that comes into play when individual desires clash and an arbitrator is required. The law performs this function. The government can also be a hub for resources that are best pooled. National defense for example, is a common goal that is best vested in a single representative entity (rather than each citizen bearing arms).

When citizens become dependent on the government for needs other than this, tyranny arises. Fulfillment of needs is the bait through which tyranny takes hold. Tyranny and abuse of power can never arise in a nation where the majority of citizens understand the true purpose of government. The road to turning Sri Lanka into such a nation is a long one. We need to educate the public on the true mechanics of politics.

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