Government: Beneficial or Damaging?

The governmental structure of any civilization bestows great influence on the actions executed by the citizens. The leadership of a group shapes the ideas and beliefs amongst a given population as a whole. Because power in most cases does not get distributed to many people, it is pertinent that a government provides a large variety of ideas to please all of its residents. The government of Macondo, however, never gave its citizens a good ideology to look up to. The fight for power between the liberals and conservatives caused a great war; once the war ended, conservatives assumed total control and dictated the village. The poor governmental structure of Macondo mirrors the governmental structure Libya of in regards to the civilian uprisings and a presence of a dictatorship.

With the loss of a strong, stable government, both civilizations suffered from manipulation and deceit. The civil war between the Liberals and Conservatives gives great insight to the weak government Macondo held. Because there was no attempt of compromise between the two radical groups, an ongoing battle for power ensued, leaving citizens with no real leaders to guide them. Many lives were taken without just cause, prostitution grew rapidly throughout the village, and immoral relationships frequently blossomed among the people of Macondo. The absence of a stable government greatly posed as a threat to the future, prosperity, and well-being of Macondo because without one, the village would likely fall into chaos. Although war finally ended in the village, the government remained unstable and appeared more threatening to the citizens than helpful.

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With the surrender of the Liberals in the civil war, Conservatives were able to secure total power. They quickly turned the town into a place that went in their favor: “The old policemen were replaced by hired assassins with machetes” (Marques 256). Instead of instituting officials to observe the village and keep it safe, Conservatives hired men to kill those who went against their beliefs. Soon after, the banana plantation became a union in which the government had ultimate power over its workers. “The protests of the workers this time were based on the lack of sanitary facilities in their living quarters, the nonexistence of medical services, and terrible working conditions” (Marquez 323). Because of the constant dissatisfaction among the workers, it serves as no surprise that an attempted strike would occur at some point.

Because the Conservative government gained knowledge of the threat of strike, they used the control they had and wiped out more than 3,000 of the workers. Oddly enough, the government ably convinced the other citizens of Macondo that a massacre never occurred and that no one ever got killed. Soldiers patrolled the village telling civilians, “You must be dreaming. Nothing has happened in Macondo… and nothing ever will happen” (Marquez 333). The instability of Macondo’s government capably manipulated the minds of hundreds, providing the civilians with false information. A government harming its people like that of Macondo is similar to the situation that occurred in Libya.

Civilian uprisings frequently transpired against Muammar Gaddafi due to his cruel dictatorship towards the Libyans. He caused a large deal of corruption throughout the country; similarly, the Conservatives instigated a significant amount of depravity in Macondo. Gaddafi is responsible for taking thousands of innocent lives in Libya because the people did not agree with his views and ideals of government control. Likewise, the workers of Macondo felt that they were not getting the correct treatment, payment, and environment on the banana plantation. Instead of meeting on a common ground however, the Conservative government ordered the army to kill, leaving many negative effects on Macondo. “The sky crumbled into a set of destructive storms…” (Marquez 339).

The people may not have turned hostile and violent like those in Libya, but they lost all sense of morals. Aureliano Segundo, for example, “ate very little, with his head down, and he went to his room early” (Marquez 350). The ongoing slump Macondo is in causes him to break anything and everything valuable he can find as a way to relieve his anger. In any case, both Libya and Macondo suffered from a violent government, leaving the citizens with no real sense of right and wrong. During the civil war and uprisings in Libya, civilians thoroughly attempted to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi.

However, a small minority were stuck under the impression that his killings were justified, leading to the formation of a support group to help Gaddafi spread his ideas. This not only caused more conflicts among the two opposing groups, but it caused more terror in the country. Gaddafi can compare to the Conservatives because he, too, had only a small number of supporters, causing the majority of the people to oppose the leadership roles forming. He manipulated others into thinking his ways of gaining power were warranted by using force to change their opinions in his favor. Muammar Gaddafi did not necessarily wipe out a large number of citizens and pretend it never happened, but he did sway others to believe it was reasonable and necessary to kill those who “deserved” it. Government is crucial in all civilizations to secure the morality and peace within a population.

Governments using force and coercion to control their citizens lead to a downfall of the society as a whole. It heralds a decline in morality and decision making, as well as an up rise in violence. The conservative government in Macondo depicts a corrupted government through the cruel conditions given to banana workers, as well as the excavation of 3,000 plantation workers. Correspondingly, Muammar Gaddafi is a leader holding the corrupt and cruel characteristics by attempting to justifiably kill innocent people. A strong, stable government is needed to keep a civilization sane.