For whose benefit is the American government run?

Essay by GRabneyCollege, Undergraduate December 2002

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For Whose Benefit?

The question of whose benefit the American government is run for, the few big interests or the common good, is not a simple question to answer. There is no straightforward answer because much like the running of the American government itself, all the actions are interrelated and what might seem as being done in the interest of a big interest, might actually be happening to the benefit of the citizens with special interests benefiting as a result of the action rather than the cause.

The concern about special interests is not a new one, as the framers of the Constitution were worried about it too. They feared the power that could be wielded by organized interests, yet they understood that the right to organize was basic to the notion of freedom. This dilemma of freedom versus power was a tough one for them. They knew that if the government was given power to restrain organized interests it would be the same as the power to suppress freedom.

In order to better understand the answer and the question itself, one must understand the way the American government runs. There are many different systems of government structure and organization: representative democracy, pluralist democracy, elitist system, hyper pluralist, and anarchy. The United States is organized much like a typical representative democracy, but in operation, with all factors considered, it is in reality much more of a hyper pluralist society. A state in which members of diverse ethnic, racial, religious, or social groups maintain an autonomous participation in and development of their traditional culture or special interest within the confines of a common civilization is pluralistic. When those special interests form large substantial voting blocks, the pluralistic nature of the government becomes more focused on fewer interests, but represented in many...