The Role of Government on Individual Welfare

Role of Government on Individual Welfare

The government should ensure the provision of security rights to its individuals from the fact that there exist many individuals with personal wills. Not all people in a state will be of good will to others and themselves in particular. Drivers are supposed to wear seat belts for the individual’s right to life and the good will of others. The theories explained by Hobbes and Rousseau can assist you to view how human beings conflict with each other for their good (Bertram, 2014). Fights in the society are aspects of self-motives that deny others rights and moral uprightness. Therefore, since a government is a sovereign entity, it should ensure the citizens stick to the set rules for equal sharing of its resources.  All drivers who do not use the seat belt should be overcome to prevent endangering their welfare and the moral rights of others. If they are given freedom to choose to put the seat belts on, then they will start competing in breaking that law. These competitive desires will, in turn, lead to a gap between those who feel superior to the law and those who obey the law for the good will of others

Social Contract Theories of Hobbes and Rousseau

The theories of the social contract are important pillars of philosophy that lead to the formation of a government in the current world. The principle behind these philosophies is critical for any real experienced democracy. The main aim of social contracts is to permit subjects to be ruled by the sovereign. The theories were developed separately each with his perception depending on the time they existed.

Thomas Hobbes theory came at the time when there was a civil war in the English state. The instability in the government was the motivation factor that guided him to come up with the theory. Through his book of ‘the Leviathan,’ he suggested monarchy as a solution to providing stability in the government. According to Hobbes, the life of man was full of fights, which brought the view of man as an animal (Kemerling, 2011). There was, therefore, need for an authoritative society that would erase the self-interests among men. As a solution to the increased fears and crimes, Hobbes proposed the subjects of society to freely agree on an individual who will be given sovereign powers to provide order among the people. The sovereign’s role was to control what is done. Hence, from this theory, the government is supposed to control driver’s use of seat belts to avoid selfish decisions by its citizens. According to Hobbes, it was better for a society to have a leader even if the ruling was bad than encouraging instability. Hobbes’ theory is all about monarchy instead of there being rules created by each (Lloyd, 2014).

Rousseau’s theory is much different as he differed with how the man was defined in the previous theory. In his claim, human beings are good, but they are modeled to be corrupt individuals in society. Rousseau explains man’s life as peaceful and individuals were to live separately. If men came together, they would form a society that would, in turn, lead to competitions among themselves for sexual attractions of which enmity would turn out. Social enmity between men arises when there is a dependence upon each other and the view that each possessed self-properties.

Rousseau argued that ownership of property was a major cause of inequality, which led to hatred and later rivalry. Rousseau’s theory is considered the layout of democracy in the current world since his theory of the considered the ‘general will’ of man being better than the sovereign would (Bertram, 2010) this theory tends to support the general view that drivers can opt to use seat belt but not to be forced by the government. On the contrary, its effects can harm the law as individuals will be of personal interests and thus envious among themselves.


Justification of Government Authority on the Citizens

A government with authority is entitled to ensuring the law is enforced whether its citizens intent to obey the law or not. Imposing the sovereign power can be justified from the fact that a government has a right of ruling while the citizens are to ensure the law is followed. Basing on the arguments of Hobbes, a society cannot survive if every individual comes up with his or her laws. If the law is not imposed properly, then the society will suffer from moral injustices, gender imbalances, misuse of the state resources and personal dehumanization. Government empowering on its citizen is also healthy as it ensures the citizen’s entitlement to moral rights. For instance, it is the obligation of a driver to follow the traffic rules in a country despite using private vehicles. This ensures the law, which prevents murder, is adhered to strictly.

The law sometimes controls ethics of citizens. Thus there is need to ensure the citizens lead a life that is morally upright. Another justification of the government laws is to avoid the use of physical harassment in case a citizen acts morally wrong (Encyclopedia of Philosophy). Imposition of the laws also ensures equal distribution of property to citizens and collection of taxes fairly for the running of the government. The law, therefore, ensures uprightness in a country, and the government is mandated to introduce rules to be obeyed by its citizens.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Differing Approaches to Political Theory

Use of differing approaches to the theory of politics is both beneficial and sometimes disadvantageous if not applied well. Some theories will support the use of sovereign powers to control the citizens while others will be against forceful observation of the law. The advantages of theories that support government’s power over its citizens ensure the wicked in the society are equally respected and provided with moral rights. For instance, when the law is enforced, all individuals are entitled to life. This helps control individuals who lead to loss of lives by not following the orders of the state. As an example, a careless driver can end up killing several citizens by not following the law (Hartman et al., 2014).

On the contrary, theories that support agreement to obey the law provide fairness to citizens in case they fall into the trap of the law. However, citizens can negatively interpret these theories since they will view themselves being free to act because they want. In such cases, then the government force individuals who do not obey the seatbelt law and prevent reckless deaths can use these theories.

Obligation of citizens to government laws

From the theories read, the citizens have an obligation to obey the seatbelt law and avoid damages that may arise. Hobbes theory explains the importance of avoiding creation of individual laws from the fact that human being will tend to fight among them. Disobedience of the seat belt law, for instance, is unethical since it is mandated to save their lives (Lloyd, 2014). Therefore, failure to observe the law by the citizens should lead to punishment from the government. Though Rousseau viewed the human being as good people, that element in his theory should not be applied to driver’s use of seat belt since not all will drive carefully. Therefore, the individuals in a country are obligated to observe the sovereign rules.


Bertram, C. (2010, September 27). Jean Jacques Rousseau. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Decision making for personal integrity and social responsibility. New York: McGraw-

Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved from

Hartman, L. P., DesJardins, J. R., MacDonald, C., & Hartman, L. P. (2014). Business ethics: Hill.

Kemerling, G. (2011). Hobbes’s Leviathan. The Philosophy Pages. Retrieved from

Lloyd, S. A. (2014, February 25). Hobbes’s moral and political philosophy. The Stanford Philosophy. Retrieved from