The government tries to lead the whole group. Governments do things such as:
- Decide which people get which pieces of land
- Decide which people can tell other people what to do
- Decide whether to go to war with another country
- Create money
- Build things for the use of the whole group, such as roads, hospitals, libraries, and docks.
- Educate people, either for their own good, or to teach them what the government wants them to know
- Take care of the very young, the sick, or the very old
- Manage the welfare of the country and manages the money available for spending on services (Hospitals, Schools, etc.)
One of the ways the government leads the group is by making laws and rules which tell everybody what they can and can not do. The government makes these laws so that society will be safe and well-ordered. The law that "you must not drink alcohol while driving a car" stops people from drunk driving, which could kill people. The law "you must wear a helmet on a motorcycle" makes sure that people protect themselves
The government can also control people and what happens in a country in other ways besides making laws.
- For example, how the government spends its money makes a big difference in what people will do or what will happen to people. If the government spends a lot of money on hospitals and nurses, the people will probably become healthier.
- Also, if people like their government, or think that their government is wise, they may do something just because their government says it is a good thing to do. Governments often make posters or television advertisements that encourage people to stop smoking cigarettes or eat more fruits and vegetables.
Politics is often compared to ethics (ideas about right and wrong). Ethics is a more abstract study of right and wrong. Ethics is usually more
concerned with principle than law or politics or diplomacy, so many people think ethics is not
practical. But without some agreement on ethics, there is probably no way to even have a debate, laws or an election. There is always some agreement on ethics and
personal conduct in a