There’s always a chance this is only funny to me, but hey.
I began a training this week, and today we were discussing the common needs that a government provides. We talked about our needs as individuals that we meet as individuals: we need to eat, so we grow or buy food for our families. Then we talked about how groups, in the nature of a being larger populations, have different needs–relations with other groups, security, economic rules. If we were just in our families, we wouldn’t need policing, but as soon as we get bigger, it becomes a common need.
One of the students asked for more explanation. We really fight the natural learning culture here and I push, push, push for them to talk, discuss, and ask questions, even to disagree with me. I have to reiterate this every day, and work hard for it–sometimes sitting in silence for looooong minutes waiting for them to respond to a question. Often, their asking a question is simply to state what they didn’t understand.
Do you have any questions?
Oh, okay, that’s not a question, per say, but I can explain more of that.
I drew two villages of houses on the board, and explained that one grew rice and the other corn. I gave some examples.
The two villages want to trade, but disagree about the values of rice and corn. Who can decide when the argue? The governments. The two governments can meet and discuss. (Common need if expanded to countries: international relations.)
Two houses in Village One are arguing every day about their trades. The government decides that one bag of corn is always 1000 kyats. Now if there is an argument, they go to the government to solve it. (Common need: setting rules for the economy.)
Village Two begins to sneak over to Village One at night to steal corn. The government of Village One uses their “army” (one person from each of the eight houses) to stay up at night to defend the corn. (Common need: providing security.)
We have discussed these examples for quite sometime, and they are getting it.
Then one student asks, “But, Teacher, what if the government steals the corn?”
Well, yes, that is a problem. That’s actually a significant part of why we’re here in this course!