politics · Thoughts

Citizens and government are not equivalent.

Government is an institution.
Citizens are individuals.

Government has lots of power because they are supposed to run the country.
Citizens don’t have those powers. So, they have constitutionally guaranteed rights, so that government’s powers don’t turn against the citizens.

Because government is an institution with powers, it has a responsibility to be transparent to the citizens.
Because citizens are individuals with no power to compare that with government, they have a right to life, liberty, and privacy. Even and especially from the government. And they have a right to question the government.

When government refuses to engage with citizens and their complaints, they are wrong, because their very existence is for the citizens. This engagement is their job!
When a citizen doesn’t want to engage with another citizen in a social media debate, they are not wrong. It’s not their job. They are just living their life as it suits them.

Because government is an institution with lots of power, it has to take responsibility for the actions of each of its arms.
Because citizens are individuals, government can’t use one person’s wrongdoings to take away the right of other individuals. It has enough powers to punish the wrongdoers according to the law.

Corollary to the above, “But people also made mistakes” is not a justification for government (or its functionaries like police) to break the law, assault the citizens, or violate the constitution.

When the government denies its citizens the right to protest, or the right to use a public space, it is being fascist. Government does not have the right to deny these to the citizens.
When I ask the trolls to stay away from my wall, or from my home, I am only exercising my right to life, liberty, and privacy. Also, my property rights. I am not government. I don’t have to allow you into my space.

So, every time I talk about the rights of citizens, don’t turn it around and ask about the rights of the government. Government doesn’t need rights. It has too much power. It needs restraint. And citizens’ rights are those restraints.

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