The presumption is that man is fundamentally depraved and thus inadequate to his own existence. In other words, man, if left to himself, will by nature seek to torment, exploit, and murder his fellow man and himself. Of course, what is never explained is how those in government get a metaphysical pass on their own absolute depravity. But we are not supposed to ask these kinds of questions.
In short, it always boils down to metaphyics; the question “What is man?” forms the basis of every political, religious, and moral discussion the world over. These discussions are fundamentally philosophical, and the fundamental of philosophy is metaphysics.
And this is why ostensibly rational human beings can ask the ironical questions “Liberty is good, yes, but what of the inevitably destructive consequences of too much Liberty; TOO much freedom? Liberty, but at what cost to humanity?” And they ask these questions whilst completely oblivious to the irony.
The assumption that man is metaphysically flawed and therefore inadequate to his own existence makes liberty for man categorically impossible.
And so, since the assumption is that man is fundamentally depraved by nature, it is avered that the only way man can truly exist is in a collective. Thus, we get the collectivist metaphysic so prevalent in the world and is, I submit, at the very heart of all governments and all religious institutions–which are simply governments themselves. Man can only be “himself” in any relevant or efficacious way by identifying with this group or that.
This is why there is such a push to nationalism and militarism and symbolism in almost all countries, even as groups within those SAME countries are pitted against each other; and this in order to maintain and promote the de facto premise that groups by their very nature must assert their moral mandate to engage in belligerency against ALL those on the “outside”–a mandate which is merely a function of the group’s rote existence.
The individual we are taught must be sacrificed to the group, not only for the good of the many, but–and this is the truly insidious part–for the good of HIMSELF. Which is a rank contradiction that is also never addressed; because there is no answer for this evil idea.