An Unexpected Interest in Government
Over the course of this year, I have learned countless interesting things. But one of the most intriguing areas I have studied this year has been the role of government in the world.
Reading George Orwell's dystopian novel "1984" was the first thing to really peak my interest in this area. I was fascinated by the notion of Big Brother and disgusted by the complete lack of privacy and individuality in the society. I have always been taught that government should exist for the good of the people. Yet I have encountered many instances where this is not true. I suppose it is the fear of a tyrannical government that entices people to write about societies imprisoned by such dictatorships.
Furthermore, my comparative government class has been an eye-opening experience. I have learned about the parliamentary success of Britain, the increasing centralization of Russia, the illiberal democracy of China, the societal inequalities of Iran, and the ethnic struggles and corruption of Nigeria. By studying these countries in depth and in a comparative light, I have come to realize how lucky I am to live in the United States.
Don't get me wrong, we have plenty of issues to resolve in our own government. Gridlock permeates the House of Representatives and a robust civil society continues to pressure the President in all areas. But the three branches of government plus the power of the people helps to keep abuse of power in check in a manner that is incredibly successful when compared to many other nations.
In short, my fascination with governments of the world has increased my appreciation for the liberties I enjoy every day, no matter how much Americans complain about them.