The Purpose Of Government In Machiavelli's Politics

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Thomas Jefferson proclaimed that the “freedom and happiness of man…are the sole objects of all legitimate government” (Jefferson). Many different kinds of governments have existed throughout history. These various governments were formed for different purposes, and they achieved these purposes through different means. But what should the purpose of government be and how do we achieve it? These questions can be answered with the help of Machiavelli’s Selected Political Writings and Aristotle’s Politics. There seem to be many answers to the aforementioned questions; however, the most important object of government is to protect the freedom and happiness of man, which is most effectively done through democracy.
The purpose of government has been questioned throughout its history. But the answer is simple. The goal of good government should be to make its people happy and ensure their freedom. In Politics, Aristotle argues that the “city exists not only for the sake of living but rather primarily for the sake of living well” (Aristotle 79). Freedom and happiness are keys to living well. This means that people should have the freedom to act how they will, as long as that is within the scope of law. When people are free to act as they will, they are better able to reach
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Pursuing virtue is interconnected to the goal of good government. Virtue leads to excellence and happiness. Therefore, the more excellent city “is the one that is happier” (Aristotle 189). This reasoning concludes that the most excellent government is the one that makes the happiest citizens. And the happiest citizens are those who are permitted to live freely. However, this also implies that excellent governments must also consist of excellent and virtuous people. All governments desire to be good governments. It is necessary that they aim to instill and protect the freedom and happiness of their subjects to achieve that

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