Politics and Government

What would happen if the government became too oppressive?

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December 16, 2008 11:57AM

The government is too oppressive, in some countries, if the reports we receive are true. And the records of history show that oppressive governments have existed in the past. History also shows what happens in those situations.

Of course, it depends how we define oppressive. DEFINITIONS: To oppress, which comes from the latin opprimo, to press, means to load or burden with unreasonable impositions; to treat with unjust severity, rigour or hardship; as, to oppress a nation with taxes; to oppress by compelling persons to perform unreasonable service. Oppressive therefore means (1). unreasonably burdensome; unjustly severe; as, oppressive taxes; oppressive exactions of service; (2) Tyrannical; as, an oppressive government. REACTION: Every force is met with an equal and opposite force. ("For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction", Newton's third law) When a government starts to oppress the people, the people object and resist. Their first civil recourse is by direct representation to the government. If the government fails to respond satisfactorily, another course of action is to alert the media and the population at large. In this way injustices are brought to light and common causes established. If these attempts to achieve justice are ignored, often a legal system exists through which plaintiffs can take legal action against the state. If the country's legal system does not protect personal freedoms and ensure justice, there may be recourse to international courts of law or to some other body having appropriate jurisdiction. FORM OF GOVERNMENT: Some governments are composed of opposing political parties. This can sometimes act as a countermeasure against one party that seeks to rule in an oppressive way. PEOPLE POWER: Many oppressed people, for a number of reasons, may decide to take matters into their own hands. There may be civil unrest, demonstrations, protest marches, civil disobedience, rioting, physical attacks against government buildings and personnel. Anarchy and revolution may become rampant. Others may decide to emigrate, or flee to a less oppressive land, if they are able to do so. Depending on the nature of the oppression, many immigrants upon arrival in another land can claim refugee status on the basis of the governmental victimisation they experienced in their homeland. Sometimes the sheer 'power of the people' in one way or another, may resolve the problem by overthrowing the government but this is often at great cost in lives along the way. EXTERNAL FORCES: Sometimes other countries become involved. Their governments may hear of the plight of the oppressed people and make diplomatic representations to the oppressive government, even imposing trade sanctions if discussions fail. If the situation continues or worsens, sometimes the external government will, in the interests of the oppressed people, invade the land of the tyrannical government in an attempt to overthrow the government and impose a less severe and more just and benevolent form of government. AN IDEAL: Government should not be government of the people, but for the people, listening to the people, caring for their best interests and ensuring peace and justice for all.