The state is an institution comprised of its citizens who are men, women and children. These parties have implicit and explicit obligations and expectations for each other. The rule of law and punishment for crime are required to maintain stability and relative peace in an orderly democratic state. Repression and control are characteristics of autocratic and communist states where citizens have little latitude for individual freedom and expression.
Within an autocratic state, dissent and criticism of the government and its leaders are prohibited, and the individual rights of citizens can be trampled without consequence to the state. In our democratic state, there is a continuum of state rights and obligations versus individual rights and obligations. Generally speaking, the larger and more powerful the central government of the state, the fewer rights and freedoms exist for the people. However, a powerful centralized state is more able and more inclined to aid its disadvantaged and needy citizens.
Welfare, in many forms, can be bestowed by the state in this case. Government revenue, in the form of mandatory taxes, can be confiscated from the wealthy producers in this state and redistributed to the poor and lacking citizens. State welfare and other services can include universal healthcare, transfer payments, food subsidies, unemployment compensation, minimum wage mandates, housing subsidies, public transportation, public arts and entertainment funding, energy subsidies and many other benefits for the state’s citizens, particularly those who are disadvantaged or in need.
Along with these services, a state or centralized government can provide national defense to protect its land and its people. Within this left-leaning framework of myriad state responsibilities and outlays, individual effort and freedom are not completely stifled, but causes for the greater good are highly valued and implemented.