In many questions about government, the terms "the state" and "the government" seem to be used almost interchangeably:
a common theme in the answer is that "the state" is a vehicle by which people agree to abide by standards of order as to how they interact with each other, and "the government" is the vehicle by which "the state" then enforces these agreements.
However, in real life, "the government" is actually two different entities, is it not?
a) "the government" as the agency that enforces agreements, as described above, but also (b) "the people who collectively work for the government," who often make sure that they themselves are taken care of before anyone else, and not infrequently, at the expense of everyone else.
We see Congress, for example, exempt itself from laws it imposes on everyone else.
We see state employees receiving large pensions (far larger than anyone in the private sector receives) even as states run large budget deficits and/or raise taxes on non-state employees to fund said pensions.
Does this distinction between "people who work for government watching out for their own interests first" and "the government as some abstract entity to enforce social agreements" have much significance in philosophy of government?
Read another response by Peter S. Fosl
Read another response about Justice