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Government

A government is "the organization that is the governing authority of a political unit,"[1] "the ruling power in a political society,"[2] and the apparatus through which a governing body functions and exercises authority.[3] "Government, with the authority to make laws, to adjudicate disputes, and to issue administrative decisions, and with a monopoly of authorized force where it fails to persuade, is an indispensable means, proximately, to the peace of communal life."[4] The necessity of government derives from the fact the people need to live in communities, yet personal autonomy must be constrained in these communities.[4]

A state of sufficient size and complexity will have different layers or levels of government: local, regional and national.

Types of government
Monarchy - Rule by an individual who has inherited the role and expects to bequeath it to their heir.[5]
Despotism - Rule by a single leader, all his subjects are considered his slaves.
Dictatorship - Rule by an individual who has full power over the country.[6] See also Autocracy and Stratocracy.
Oligarchy - Rule by a small group of people who share similar interests or family relations.[7]
Plutocracy - A government composed of the wealthy class.
Democracy - Rule by a government where the people as a whole hold the power. It may be exercised by them (direct democracy), or through representatives chosen by them (representative democracy).[8][9][10]
Theocracy - Rule by a religious elite.[11]
Anarchy - A lack of government.[12][13]
Some countries have hybrid forms of Government such as modern Iran with its combination of democratic and theocratic institutions, and constitutional monarchies such as The Netherlands combine elements of monarchy and democracy.[14][15]

Origin of government
For many thousands of years, humans lived in small, "relatively non-hierarchical" and mostly self-sufficient communities. However, the human ability to precisely communicate abstract, learned information allowed humans to become ever more effective at agriculture,[16] and that allowed for ever increasing population densities.[17] David Christian explains how this resulted in states with laws and governments:

As farming populations gathered in larger and denser communities, interactions between different groups increased and the social pressure rose until, in a striking parallel with star formation, new structures suddenly appeared, together with a new level of complexity. Like stars, cities and states reorganize and energize the smaller objects within their gravitational field.

—David Christian, p. 245, Maps of Time
The exact moment and place that the phenomenon of human government developed is lost in time; however, history does record the formations of very early governments. About 5,000 years ago, the first small city-states appeared.[17] By the third to second millenniums BC, some of these had developed into larger governed areas: the Indus Valley Civilization, Sumer, Ancient Egypt and the Yellow River Civilization.[18]

States formed as the results of a positive feedback loop where population growth results in increased information exchange which results in innovation which results in increased resources which results in further population growth.[19][20] The role of cities in the feedback loop is important. Cities became the primary conduits for the dramatic increases in information exchange that allowed for large and densely packed populations to form, and because cities concentrated knowledge, they also ended up concentrating power.[21][22] "Increasing population density in farming regions provided the demographic and physical raw materials used to construct the first cities and states, and increasing congestion provided much of the motivation for creating states."[23]

Fundamental purpose of government
The fundamental purpose of government is the maintenance of basic security and public order--without which individuals cannot attempt to find happiness.[24] The philosopher Thomas Hobbes figured that people, as rational animals, saw submission to a government dominated by a sovereign as preferable to anarchy[25][26]. People in a community create and submit to government for the purpose of establishing for themselves, safety and public order. [27][26][28][29]

Early governments
These are examples of some of the earliest known governments:

Ancient Egypt—3000 BC[18]
Indus Valley Civilization—3500 BC[18][30]
Sumer—3200 BC[18]
Yellow River Civilization (China)—2000 BC[18]

Expanded roles for government

Military defense
The fundamental purpose of government is to protect one from his or her neighbors; however, a sovereign of one country is not necessarily sovereign over the people of another country. The need for people to defend themselves against potentially thousands of non-neighbors necessitates a national defense mechanism—a military.

Militaries are created to deal with the highly complex task of confronting large numbers of enemies. A farmer can defend himself from a single enemy person—or even five enemies, but he can't defend himself from twenty thousand—even with the help of his strongest and bravest family members. A far larger group would be needed, and despite the fact that most of the members of the group would not be related by family ties, they would have to learn to fight for one another as if they were all in the same family. An organization that teaches men to do this is called an army.

Wars and armies predated governments, but once governments came onto the scene, they proceeded to dominate the formation and use of armies. Governments seek to maintain monopolies on the use of force,[4] and to that end, they usually suppress the development of private armies within their states.

Economic security
Increasing complexities in society resulted in the formations of governments, but the increases in complexity didn't stop. As the complexity and interdependencies of human communities moved forward, economies began to dominate the human experience enough for an individual's survival potential to be affected substantially by the region's economy. Governments were originally created for the purpose of increasing people's survival potentials, and in that same purpose, governments became involved in manipulating and managing regional economies.[31] One of a great many examples would be Wang Mang's attempt to reform the currency in favor of the peasants and poor in ancient China.[32]

At a bare minimum, government ensures that money's value will not be undermined by prohibiting counterfeiting, but in almost all societies—including capitalist ones—governments attempt to regulate many more aspects of their economies.[33] However, very often, government involvement in a national economy has more than just a purpose of stabilizing it for the benefit of the people. Often, the members of government shape the government's economic policies for their own benefits. This will be discussed shortly.

Social security
Social security is related to economic security. Throughout most of human history, parents prepared for their old age by producing enough children to ensure that some of them would survive long enough to take care of the parents in their old age.[34] In modern, relatively high-income societies, a mixed approach is taken where the government shares a substantial responsibility of taking care of the elderly.[34]

This is not the case everywhere since there are still many countries where social security through having many children is the norm. Although social security is a relatively recent phenomenon, prevalent mostly in developed countries, it deserves mention because the existence of social security substantially changes reproductive behavior in a society, and it has an impact on reducing the cycle of poverty.[34] By reducing the cycle of poverty, government creates a self-reinforcing cycle where people see the government as friend both because the the financial support they receive late in their lives, but also because of the overall reduction in national poverty due to the government's social security policies--which then adds to public support for social security.[35]

Government as friend
Governments vary greatly, and the situation of citizens within their governments can vary greatly from person to person. For many people, government is seen as a friend.

Upper economic class support
Governments often seek to manipulate their nations' economies--ostensibly for the nations' benefits. However, another aspect of this kind of intervention is the fact that the members of government often take opportunities to shape economic policies for their own benefits. For example, capitalists in a government might adjust policy to favor capitalism, so capitalists would see that government as a friend. In a feudal society, feudal lords would maintain laws that reinforce their powers over their lands and the people working on them, so those lords would see their government as a friend. Naturally, the exploited persons in these situations may see government very differently.

Support for democracy
Government, especially in democratic and republican forms, can be seen as the entity for a sovereign people to establish the type of society, laws and national objectives that are desired collectively. A government so created and maintained will tend to be quite friendly toward those who created and maintain it.

Religion
Government can benefit from religion, and religion can benefit from government. While governments can threaten people with physical harm for observed violations of the law, religion often provides a psychological disincentive for socially destructive or anti-government actions.[36][37] Religion can also give people a sense of peace and resolve even when they are in trying circumstances, and when an individual's religious beliefs are aligned with the government's, that person will tend to see government as a friend—especially during religious controversies.

Government as enemy
Since the positions of individuals with respect to their governments can vary, there will always be some people who see a government or governments as enemies.

War
In the most basic sense, a people of one nation will see the government of another nation as the enemy when the two nations are at war. For example, the people of Carthage saw the Roman government as the enemy during the Punic wars.[38]

Enslavement
In early human history, the outcome of war for the defeated was often enslavement. The enslaved people would not find it easy to see the conquering government as a friend.

Religious opposition
There is a flip side to the phenomenon of people's ability to view a government as a friend because they share the government's religious views. People with opposing religious views will have a greater tendency to view that government as their enemy. A good example would be the condition of Catholicism in England before the Catholic Emancipation. Protestants—who were politically dominant in England—used political, economic and social means to reduce the size and strength of Catholicism in England over the 16th to 18th centuries, and as a result, Catholics in England felt that their religion was being oppressed.[39]

Class oppression
Whereas capitalists in a capitalist country may tend to see that nation's government as their friend, a class-aware group of industrial workers—a proletariat—may see things very differently. If the proletariat wishes to take control of the nation's productive resources, and they are blocked in their endeavors by continuing adjustments in the law made by capitalists in the government,[40] then the proletariat will come to see the government as their enemy—especially if the conflicts become violent.

The same situation can occur among peasants. The peasants in a country, e.g. Russia during the reign of Catherine the Great, may revolt against their landlords, only to find that their revolution is put down by government troops.[41]

Synopsis
Government is sometimes an enemy and sometimes a friend. Government exalts some of us and oppresses others of us. At times, governments are aligned with our religious, economic and social views, and at other times—misaligned. However, throughout the world, government seems indispensable to modern societies. Although anarchists are noteworthy exceptions, very few people—even when faced with the most repugnant government, envision replacing it with nothing.

The role of government in the lives of people has expanded significantly during human history. Government's role has gone from providing basic security to concern in religious affairs to control of national economies and eventually to providing lifelong social security. As our societies have become more complex, governments have become more complex, powerful and intrusive. The controversies over how big, how powerful and how intrusive governments should become will continue for the remainder of human history.

References
Adler, Mortimer J. (1996). The Common Sense of Politics. Fordham University Press, New York. ISBN 0-8232-1666-7.
American Heritage dictionary of the English language, 4th edition, 222 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA 02116: Houghton Mifflin Company, pp. 572, 770. ISBN 0-395-82517-2.
Christian, David (2004). Maps of Time. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-24476-1.
Dietz, Mary G. (1990). Thomas Hobbes & Political Theory. University Press of Kansas. ISBN 0-7006-0420-0.
General Zhaoyun (2004-08-04). WANG MANG: China History Forum. China History Forum. Retrieved on 2007-11-02.
LoveToKnow Classic Encyclopedia. LoveToKnow Corp. (1911). Retrieved on 2007-12-04.
McKay, John P.; Bennett D. Hill, John Buckler (1996). A History of World Societies. Houghton Mifflin Company. ISBN 0-395-75379-1.
Miller, George A.; Christiane Fellbaum, and Randee Tengi, and Pamela Wakefield, and Rajesh Poddar, and Helen Langone, and Benjamin Haskell (2006). WordNet Search 3.0. WordNet a lexical database for the English language. Princeton University/Cognitive Science Laboratory /221 Nassau St./ Princeton, NJ 08542. Retrieved on 2007-11-10.
Nebel, Bernard J.; Richard T. Wright (2007). Environmental Science (7th ed.). Prentice Hall, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. ISBN 0-13-083134-4.
Schulze, Hagen (1994). States, Nations and Nationalism. Blackwell Publishers Inc, 350 Main Street, Malden, Massachusetts 02148, USA.

Additional References
Higham, Charles F. W. "Indus Valley Civilization." Encyclopedia of Ancient Asian Civilizations. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2004. Ancient and Medieval History Online. Facts On File, Inc. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?ItemID=WE49&iPin=EAAC0309&SingleRecord=True (accessed December 7, 2007).
Kenoyer, J. M. Ancient Cities of the Indus Civilization. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998
Possehl, Gregory L. Harappan Civilization: A Recent Perspective. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1993
Indus Age: The Writing System. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996
“Revolution in the Urban Revolution: The Emergence of Indus Urbanisation,” Annual Review of Anthropology 19 (1990): 261–282.
Higham, Charles F. W. "History of ancient and medieval Asia." Encyclopedia of Ancient Asian Civilizations. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2004. Ancient and Medieval History Online. Facts On File, Inc. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?ItemID=WE49&iPin=EAAC0871&SingleRecord=True (accessed December 7, 2007).
 
On Architecture

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Alessandria, Città Nuova, Piazza Perspective
 
by Léon Krier

"Architecture is the artistic culture of Building. As an art, it is concerned with the imitation and translation of the elements of building into symbolic language, expressing in a fixed system of symbols and analogies the origins of architecture in the laws of building. The condition of architecture to exist as a public art attains to material and above all intellectual permanence. It can be no business of architecture to express ever-changing functions or Zeitgeist. Certain building types become associated with certain functions, rituals and periods, and it is up to sculptural or pictorial iconography to help and sustain these associations."
 
 
Léon Krier 

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Nahuel Huapi National Park Hotel, Argentina
 
( Main Elevation of  Building Complex)
 
by Colum Mulhern (Luxembourg)

"Architecture is only concerned with the erection of public buildings and monuments, with the construction of public squares, sites and memorials. Architecture and building are not objects of consumption but objects of use. They can only be reconstructed in a perspective of material permanence. Without such permanence, without architecture transcending the life span of its builders, no public space, no collective expression such as art is ever possible."
 
 
Léon Krier
 
(Quotes from Léon Krier's keynote address at the UIA XV, Cairo, 1985)
 
 

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Nahuel Huapi National Park Hotel, Argentina
 
(Side Elevation of Building Complex)
 
by Colum Mulhern (Luxembourg)

 

The Use and Abuse of Architecture 

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Town Centre Post Office, Windsor, Florida
 
by Scott Merrill and Georg Pastor
 
(Photo by Scott Merrill and Georg Pastor)

"There exists neither authoritarian nor democratic architecture.There exists only authoritarian and democratic ways of producing and using architecture.
 
 A row of doric columns is not more authoritarian than a tensile structure is democratic. Architecture is not political; it can only be used politically."
 
Léon Krier 

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Schlossbrücke and Stadtschloss, Berlin (1885)
 
(Photo by F. Albert Schwartz)
 
Sammlung Märkisches Museum Berlin

"Where architecture exists it always transcends politics. Buildings can appear inhuman not through their architecture, but through their lack of architecture."
 
Léon Krier

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Stadtschloss Berlin, View from Schinkel's 'Altes Museum' and Lustgarten (1890)
 
(Photo: Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz)
"Das Schloss?? Eine Ausstellung über die Mitte Berlins"
(Published by Ernst&Sohn Verlag, 1993)

"Buildings become inhuman when abstracted from architecture or dressed in false architecture. Kitsch is both abstraction and false appearance. There is neither reactionary nor revolutionary architecture."
 
Léon Krier

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Lustgarten, Marx-Engels Platz, View from 'Altes Museum', Berlin (1992)
 
(Photo: Private Collection Wilhelm von Boddien)
"Berlin?? Eine Ausstellung über die Mitte Berlins"
(Published by Ernst&Sohn Verlag, 1993)

 

"There is only architecture or its absence, that is: its abstraction.
 
There has never been protest against architecture. There has only been protest against lack of architecture."
 
Léon Krier
 
(Quotes from Léon Krier's keynote address at the UIA XV, Cairo (1985)

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 Aerial View with Stadtschloss and Dom, Berlin (1930)
 
(Photo: Sammlung Eickemeyer, Berlin)

The Stadtschloss of Berlin organized substantially the urban cohesion of the city's historic "Mitte" and offered an elegant and historically dense building ensemble of great architectural and sculptural refinement. It was one of the few monuments which survived the Second World War with relatively minor damage. The head of the DDR regime Walter Ulbrich ordered it to be dismantled in 1950. The Stadtschloss ensemble was blown up piece by piece  in a systematic and destructive fury over several months'! It was supposedly too much a dominant symbol of the 'Old Germany'!
 
A growing popular pressure in favor of a historical reconstruction of the Berliner Stadtschloss has developed during the last years...The unfatiguable Wilhelm von Boddien and the 'Historische Gesellschaft Berlin' have provided both the economical, functional, cultural and urbanistic evidences for an integral reconstruction process and contemporary efficiency within the context of a reconstructed centre of a reunified Berlin and Capital of a reunified Germany. 

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Stadtschloss in Berlin
 
(Photo by  Gesellschaft Historisches  Berlin)

"The 'Gesellschaft Historisches Berlin' is committed to preserve, to complete and to eventually renovate in a traditional manner the centre of Berlin and its historic neighbourhoods. The society encompasses these objectives by cultivating the history of Berlin, particularly its architectural history and is decided to take influence in this context.
 
By means of exhibitions, lectures, discussions, seminars, guided tours as well as publications, the society educates on history, history of architecture and the urbanistic development of Berlin, with a particular focus on popular education.
 
The Gesellschaft Historisches Berlin interacts with the political authorities of the city and aims at empowering citizens' input in the context of its objectives"
 
Gesellschaft Historisches Berlin
 
 

Gesellschaft Historisches Berlin

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Berlin in 1939
 
(Photo by Gesellschaft Historisches Berlin)

"We can look at architecture in two ways: as a piece of technology, a "machine for living"; or as just one part of many things that go to make up a society. If we look at architecture as one of the pieces of the huge jigsaw that makes up a society, it must be bound up with the history, activities and symbols peculiar to that society - in other words its customs and traditions. Once you accept that architecture is a part of the unique identity of a society or community, you have to accept that it is a part of the traditions of that community." 
 
Robert Adam
 
"Tradition and Architecture"
 
(INTBAU launching conference, January 2002)

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Public Housing in Al-Esch, Corner Building on Square (1986)
 
by Lucien Steil with Herr &Huyberechts, Luxembourg
 
(Drawing by Herr & Huyberechts)

The Reconstruction of  Al-Esch

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New Piazza in Al-Esch, Esch-sur-Alzette (1980)
 
by Lucien Steil

The whole historic city centre of Esch-sur-Alzette (a 25.000 inhabitants) was declared renovation (tabula rasa) area for a modernist reconstruction end of 70s. The counter-project and polemics of Lucien Steil declared this very threatened historic city centre as the paradigm of reconstruction. Both public pressure and a municipal financial crisis led to a traditional masterplan  for a mixed-use urban reconstruction including a substantial percentage of public housing.   

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The roofs of Al-Esch, Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg
 
(Photo by Antoinette Lorang)

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Operation Esch-Centre, Project II (1966)
 
by Group Tetra, Luxembourg

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Project Urb-Esch, Central Piazza  (1960)
 
by Association of Architects and Municipality

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Sketchbook Study for a Piazza (1981)
 
by Lucien Steil

An Alternative Project: The City

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 Reconstruction of Al-Esch, Axionometry of Central Piazza (1979)
 
by Lucien Steil

"The project proposition is based on a radical choice in favour of the traditional city: the neighbourhood, the block, the square, the piazza, the street, etc.. These time-tested elements of the historic European city can restore a viable structure and a vital urbanity in damaged and destroyed urban and suburban contexts!"
 
 

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Reconstruction of Al-Esch, Central Piazza (1983)
 
by Lucien Steil

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Reconstruction of Al-Esch, Axionometric Piazza Study (1980)
 
by Lucien Steil

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Historic Center of Esch, Reconstruction Proposal (1983)
 
by Lucien Steil

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Reconstruction of Al-Esch, Central City Area
 
by Lucien Steil

"The complexity of functions, the precision of the urban spaces and particularly the revalorization of public space (as an alternative to the introverted and alienating tyranny of privacy of suburbia) will be instrumental in the necessary revitalization of social and civic life, the redevelopment of urban freedom and autonomy, the emancipation of real citizenship in the renaissance of the traditional urban neighbourhood!"
 
Lucien Steil

Léon Krier was substantially supporting and influencing with very insightful design consultancy  the "Project for the Reconstruction of Al-Esch"  by Lucien Steil.
Special thanks to http://luciensteil.tripod.com/katarxis02-1/index.html