The modern society is organized into government that mainly constitutes of the executive, legislature, and the judiciary. The three arms of the government are important in helping to ensure that people are governed fairly and according to their will. Governments are formed when the citizens of a nation give up some of the rights of freedom for the sake of being governed by the state. However, the sovereign powers are still vested in people. Therefore, when the state overrides the rights of its citizens, the people have the right to recall the government and constitute a new one.
However, most states do not observe the legislation that establish the relationship between the state and its subjects. The overriding of the rights of the citizens often result in their suffering. Such state of governing is common in most African nations and the Middle East nations. Oppressive leadership sometimes results in the emergence of the rebel movement that aims at overthrowing the state.
Montesquieu, Voltaire, and Rousseau envision an ideal society if various conditions that they propose are fulfilled. According to all of them, a good society is one that respects the sovereignty of its people. The three philosophers acknowledge that the states often wield their powers on behalf of the citizenry and hence should adhere to the structures that have been established to facilitate proper functioning of all the arms of the government. Montesquieu identifies the three powers that the government possesses and they include the legislative, the executive, and the judiciary. According to the philosopher, a good society is formed when the three arms of the government as established by the law operate independently (Montesquieu n.d.).
The executive power and the legislative power should not be wielded by one person since the citizenry will lose their liberty. When the two powers are wielded by the same person, they may legislate tyrannical laws that favor them and then execute them in a tyrannical way thus making the citizens to lose their liberty. Montesquieu’s ideas are supported by both Voltaire and Rousseau who acknowledge the importance of the separation of powers. A good society is achieved when these powers are separate and implemented by varying people.
Voltaire goes ahead to examine the nature of human beings. He acknowledges that human beings do not possess the capability to govern themselves hence the need to install one person to be in charge of the executive. However, the nature of human beings is that they will make decisions based on their status. The rich will often choose aristocracy while the normal people will always prefer democracy. However, Voltaire is against the establishment of monarchies in which people rise into leadership based on their lineage (Voltaire n.d.). Monarchies create people who feel powerful and are interested in fulfilling their own wants.
A good society should have leaders who act as servants to the people because the government is instituted to serve the people. Voltaire viewed a constitutional monarchy as the ideal form of government because it provides better justice, stability, and restriction of the powers of the government or state as is guided by the constitution.
People often prefer democracy because it enables for the equality of all the people to be observed as opposed to a monarchy where the aristocracy aims at fulfilling their own objectives at the expense of the needs of their subjects. Rousseau observes that the government exists in order to serve people. It gains its power as a result of the social contract that it enters its citizenry.
Rousseau acknowledges that it is impossible for one body to possess the powers of legislation as well as the executive powers because such a state will fail (Rousseau n.d.). Therefore, a good society should have a clear distinction between the functions of the executive and the legislature. The executive will be charged with the duty of implementing the laws that have been passed by the legislature. When there is the separation of powers, the state has to execute the laws as they have been passed by the legislature. Rousseau observes that the people should form the legislature. The people are the ones who are charged with the duty of developing laws that are used to govern. A state that fails to execute the laws as is provided by the legislature needs to be recalled and a new government be established.
Having a separation of powers in the government has also been immensely supported by Montesquieu. Montesquieu argues that tyrannical laws are as a result of having one body controlling all the powers that have been created by law (Montesquieu, n.d.). The common people lose their liberty since the people in leadership are given the powers to legislate laws, execute them, and even participate in judiciary matters. Such states are governed based on the requirements of the state.
The state seeks to legislate laws that would favor them in the running of the government as opposed to creating laws that enhance equality among all the people. In such governments, the state is involved in the plundering of resources at the expense of the people. The people who oppose the will of the state are subjected to the judiciary that also decides in favor of the executive. The common people thus end up suffering due to lack of separation of the powers.
The ideas proposed by the three philosophers, however, envision an ideal society as opposed to a real society. For example, it is difficult to have a government that has a total division of powers. In such a case, the legislature or the judiciary may decide to jeopardize the functions of the executive by legislating laws that do not favor the implementation of the government business. For a nation to have the best society, the three arms of the government as established by most laws should work cooperatively to ensure that the requirements of the citizens are implemented through the constitution (Mansell 37).
In such a society, the three arms of government work independently but cooperate in matters that help in enhancing the achievement of equality. For example, when a government comes into power on the basis of development of roads, the legislature should work with the executive to pass laws that enable the executive to fulfil that business. The government is elected by people to power, and it implies that the campaign promises made by the leaders resonated well with the citizenry hence the need to ensure that they are implemented.
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