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Recall Thomas Hobbes’ grim view of humans when ungoverned by a central authority. Maintaining social peace is perhaps the fundamental purpose of government. The US Constitution’s preamble refers to this function specifically when it declares its intent to “ensure domestic tranquility,” an elegant phrase to describe the government’s role as society’s policeman.
Defend Against External Enemies
While anthropologists continue to debate whether or not humans are an inherently warlike species, war has been a constant in the human condition since the dawn of recorded civilization. In fact, a growing body of scholarship suggests that the state evolved into its present, modern form because of its superior capacity for waging war vis-à-vis competing forms of political organization. While the development of nuclear weapons in the mid-20th century makes outright conflict between powerful states less likely but more dangerous, one of government’s chief functions is still the