Okay, so I've been thinking about this for awhile, and its a question that I think forms other arguments in politics. Do people exist to serve the government, or do governments exist solely to set the best stage for people to live in? In older terms I think that it could be phrased: Do people exist to serve the king, or does the king exist to serve the people? IMHO, when we get too political, too concentrated on the world stage, we stop viewing people as the goal, and instead view them as a resource. I think to a certain extent with the exposure that we know get to governments as individual entities competing against each other we loose sight of this simple fact. I think in some ways that the founders understood this argument and clearly came down on the side of the government's purpose being to provide a fair, stable, secure setting in which people have the opportunity to flourish, not to operate as an important entity in and of itself. Think about some of the quotes in modern history. The founders said that governments are instituted by man to protect certain rights. Kennedy asked what you can do for your country. The founders said that economic freedom was important because of the effect on the individual. Now we say economic freedom is important because it's the way to "jump start" the economy. The founders understood that taxes had a negative quality regardless of their effect on us all, because of the effect on the individual. Now we only argue about how much taxes will hurt the economy vs. spending help, without acknowledging the effect they may have on the individual. Anyhow, I'm curious to hear what people think about this. I don't think it's a left vs. right issue, but rather a language issue. I think this mentality permeates every aspect of our understanding of government, from the military, to domestic policy, to fiscal policy.