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The first and most important rule of legitimate or popular government,

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The first and most important rule of legitimate or popular government,  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 03 Aug 2019, 10:46
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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 246, Date : 03-Aug-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details


The first and most important rule of legitimate or popular government, that is to say, of government whose object is the good of the people, is therefore, as I have observed, to follow in everything the general will. But to follow this will it is necessary to know it, and above all to distinguish it from the particular will, beginning with one's self: this distinction is always very difficult to make, and only the most sublime virtue can afford sufficient illumination for it. As, in order to will, it is necessary to be free, a difficulty no less great than the former arises ? that of preserving at once the public liberty and the authority of government. Look into the motives which have induced men, once united by their common needs in a general society, to unite themselves still more intimately by means of civil societies: you will find no other motive than that of assuring the property, life and liberty of each member by the protection of all. But can men be forced to defend the liberty of any one among them, without trespassing on that of others? And how can they provide for the public needs, without alienating the individual property of those who are forced to contribute to them? With whatever sophistry all this may be covered over, it is certain that if any constraint can be laid on my will, I am no longer free, and that I am no longer master of my own property, if any one else can lay a hand on it. This difficulty, which would have seemed insurmountable, has been removed, like the first, by the most sublime of all human institutions, or rather by a divine inspiration, which teaches mankind to imitate here below the unchangeable decrees of the Deity. By what inconceivable art has a means been found of making men free by making them subject; of using in the service of the State the properties, the persons andeven the lives of all its members, without constraining and without consulting them; of confining their will by their own admission; of overcoming their refusal by that consent, and forcing them to punish themselves, when they act against their own will? How can it be that all should obey, yet nobody take upon him to command, and that all should serve, and yet have no masters, but be the more free, as, in apparent subjection, each loses no part of his liberty but what might be hurtful to that of another? These wonders are the work of law. It is to law alone that men owe justice and liberty. It is this salutary organ of the will of all which establishes, in civil right, the natural equality between men. It is this celestial voice which dictates to each citizen the precepts of public reason, and teaches him to act according to the rules of his own judgment, and not to behave inconsistently with himself. It is with this voice alone that political rulers should speak when they command; for no sooner does one man, setting aside the law, claim to subject another to his private will, than he departs from the state of civil society, and confronts him face to face in the pure state of nature, in which obedience is prescribed solely by necessity.


1. The paradox in line 28 (Lines in blue) is resolved according to the author when an individual

A. submits to the rule of law and thus is at liberty to do anything that does not harm another person
B. behaves according to the natural rights of man and not according to imposed rules
C. agrees to follow the rule of law even when it is against his best interests
D. belongs to a society which guarantees individual liberty at all times
E. follows the will of the majority



2. The author's attitude to law in this passage is best conveyed as

A. respect for its inalienable authority
B. extolling its importance as a human institution
C. resignation to the need for its imposition on the majority
D. acceptance of its restrictions
E. praise for its divine origin



3. The author would agree with all of the following except

A. government must maintain its authority without unduly compromising personal liberty
B. individual freedom is threatened in the absence of law
C. justice cannot be ensured in the absence of law
D. political leaders should use the law as their guide to correct leadership
E. the law recognizes that all men are capable of recognizing what is in the general interest


Originally posted by gmat1220 on 02 Mar 2011, 17:51.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 03 Aug 2019, 10:46, edited 2 times in total.
Updated.
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Re: The first and most important rule of legitimate or popular government,  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Aug 2019, 10:49
+1 Kudos to posts containing answer explanation of all questions
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Re: The first and most important rule of legitimate or popular government,  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Aug 2019, 00:06
SajjadAhmad what is the OE for Question 3?
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Re: The first and most important rule of legitimate or popular government,  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Aug 2019, 01:48
Explanation for Q3 please.
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Re: The first and most important rule of legitimate or popular government,   [#permalink] 04 Aug 2019, 01:48
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