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Let's Make a State!

Posted Mar 14, '13 at 8:45pm

Maverick4

Maverick4

3,707 posts

(Also entitled, Ruling People 101)

I've recently started reading Plato's Republic (which is quite good, and I suggest it to everyone), and have thought of a little something which might be entertaining to do.

I'm talking about a passage in which Socrates and Adeimantus are discussing whether or not virtue, and thus justice, is of the state or of the individual. And, since the WEPR if filled with such a broad and diverse community, what better place to pose such a question?

For those of you who may not know what exactly I'm talking about, or don't have ready access to a copy of the Republic, here's the opening passage:

Very true, said Adeimantus; but how does the illustration apply to our inquiry?

I will tell you, [Socrates] replied; justice, which is the subject of our inquiry, is, as you know, sometimes spoken of as the virtue of an individual, proceeding from the greater to the lesser and comparing them.

That, he said, is an excellent proposal.

And if we imagine the State in process of creation, we shall see the justice and injustice of the State in process of creation also.

I dare say.

When the State is completed there may be a hope that the object of our search will be more easily discovered.

Yes, far more easily.

Given the axiom that a State arises from the needs and wants of man, let us consider the following:

-What constitutes a State; the existence of itself, or the presence of the governed?

-If said governed object to being governed, is the body still a State?

-How ought a State be governed? By whom?

-How ought a State interact with other States? With the governed? With individuals outside the State?

-Will a State ever need to defend itself, and if so, can it rightly do so?

And finally,

-Does the nature of Justice derive from the State, from the Governed, or from some one or some thing else?

And to give meaning to the debate, let's actually construct this hypothetical State as Socrates did. Since a State is created out of the needs and wants  of man, and these needs and wants of man can be best fulfilled by a group, we can then assume that our State must have a body of those to be governed.

Hypothetical State

-The Governed: A body of people who exist to serve and fulfill the needs of others in the State.

Edit, Add, and Remove to this list as you'd like, so long as you can justify each change. Enjoy.

 

Posted Mar 15, '13 at 7:42am

roydotor2000

roydotor2000

250 posts

...............this might work after zombocalypse

 

Posted Jun 15, '13 at 6:45pm

Yognautik

Yognautik

12 posts

I think Puerto Rico should become a the 51st state but we would have to change a lot of things so I don"t know if that'll work.

 

Posted Jun 17, '13 at 7:01am

StDrake

StDrake

190 posts

That's quite high-level philosophy you've got there and it appears many will not understand and react properly. I'll just allow myself to try.

-The Governed - a body of people of different specialties requiring proper organisation to fullfill each others needs falling outside of any given individuals single ability.

Governing defined as providing above-mentionned organisation might not require any group selected to govern (although in practice that would require a hive-mind without a queen), thus refusal to be governed would fall as refusal to any cooperation. In that way a body of such people cannot be called a group, not to mention a State, but merely a collection of individuals.

-The State = The Governed + a means of government..and a question - would a nomadic group fulfilling the above constitute a State, or does the term require ties to an area?

 

Posted Jun 24, '13 at 12:40am

CalvinKidd137

CalvinKidd137

587 posts

...............this might work after zombocalypse

Really... No offense but this is a small reason why I find it hard to come back to AG after being inactive, is because of things like this, no offense intended, don't take anything I say personal please.

Anyways I thought Obama was trying to make Cuba the 51st state.

 

Posted Jun 24, '13 at 1:23am

danielo

danielo

1,394 posts

This is not what the thread is about jerk...

A new order indeed have to come out of chaos.

So, what AG prefer, a republic or a demcracy?

 

Posted Jun 24, '13 at 2:28am

partydevil

partydevil

5,097 posts

Anyways I thought Obama was trying to make Cuba the 51st state.

and why would cuba want to join the usa? there is no reason for them to join the usa.
raul costro isn't going to give up what his brother has fought for, what his brother has builded from the ground.

 

Posted Jun 27, '13 at 7:32pm

Maverick4

Maverick4

3,707 posts

and why would cuba want to join the usa? there is no reason for them to join the usa.
raul costro isn't going to give up what his brother has fought for, what his brother has builded from the ground.

Don't feed the troll.

The Governed - a body of people of different specialties requiring proper organisation to fullfill each others needs falling outside of any given individuals single ability.

Governing defined as providing above-mentionned organisation might not require any group selected to govern (although in practice that would require a hive-mind without a queen), thus refusal to be governed would fall as refusal to any cooperation. In that way a body of such people cannot be called a group, not to mention a State, but merely a collection of individuals.

-The State = The Governed + a means of government..

To play Devil's Advocate:

You leave a major point unaddressed: from whence does the authority to govern arise? If a state is merely a collection of individuals worki g towards the mutual benefit of the group, who then decides what the collective good for the group is? And by what does he command the authority of those he has power over?

and a question - would a nomadic group fulfilling the above constitute a State, or does the term require ties to an area?

Using your definition, yes, because a geographic locality isn't a qualifier.

I'll define a state as a geographic area containing a body of people, the majority of whom share similar beliefs and share a similar culture. As a collective a state can interact with different and distinct bodies at an inter-state level.

The government of a state derives its authority from the power it gives itself; it is its own limiting factor. In that regards, an individual ruler is only as powerful as he is willing to push the limits of power, because his power is derived from himself.

 

Posted Jun 29, '13 at 4:53pm

HahiHa

HahiHa

5,033 posts

Knight

-The Governed: A body of people. Point.

- The Governing Organ: A body of people representative of and derived from the Governed, whose purpose is to govern and serve the Governed.

- The State: The combined body of Governers and Governed.

By whom ought a state be governed? By representatives elected by the governed. How ought those representatives to govern the governed? By serving them and their needs/rights, and representing them vis-a-vis other states.

-Will a State ever need to defend itself, and if so, can it rightly do so?

This is an interesting point I adressed in the war thread. Can the governing body decide to sacrifice the governed for the state, if the governing body actually ought to serve the governed? Is it worth sacrificing human lives in a case where not defending the state would merely mean a change of state/system?

 

Posted Jun 30, '13 at 4:54pm

StDrake

StDrake

190 posts

You leave a major point unaddressed: from whence does the authority to govern arise? If a state is merely a collection of individuals worki g towards the mutual benefit of the group, who then decides what the collective good for the group is? And by what does he command the authority of those he has power over?

I'd say the authority to govern arises from the governed acknowledging the need for organisation/government and agreeing to take appropriate action to provide that.
Details depend on specifics of the specific group. The case that we can most commonly observe (and may to some extent assume most possible to achieve) gets down to an agreement to follow the lead of a group selected to provide government. That holds true regadless if the agreement is made voluntarily or through surrender and of the size of the governing group or method of whether the selection is made by the group or an outside entity forcing itself into position.

I'll define a state as a geographic area containing a body of people, the majority of whom share similar beliefs and share a similar culture.

Engarde! It's my turn to point to a devious trap - would beliefs and culture not rather be a consequence of maintaining the group than what primarily made the group a state? Can thus two groups, sharing and area, culture and beliefs, but having contradictory goals and each taking actions against the other still truly be called a State?
Take the ugly example of Syria - the rebels and the officials clearly share land, culture and beliefs to those extents that weren't warped to support their contradictory goals.

The government of a state derives its authority from the power it gives itself; it is its own limiting factor. In that regards, an individual ruler is only as powerful as he is willing to push the limits of power, because his power is derived from himself.

And again I'll pinpoint a flaw or, perhaps, merely competing views. I'd say government derives its authority from the power given to them by the GOVERNED..again voluntarily or through surrender. The ruler does not push the limits of his own power, but tests the limits of power he is able to obtain (through agreement or force) from the governed. The only way he himself would be his own limiting factor is in how much of the power that is proposed to him he would be ready to use. Yet can that truly be named a limit to his power? He does in fact still have that power, but is merely not making use of it. If he would attempt to - he could.
On the opposite side - how could a "ruler" hold power over any group that does not follow his lead? I could command the mods to lock this thread. Somehow I doubt they would indeed lock it.

Continuting to other aspects I did not address before

-How ought a State interact with other States? With the governed? With individuals outside the State?

I see only 3 ways to interact with other States
-cooperate - which would in fact result in a higher-level state, where the way of cooperation stands as governance, even if nonpersonal (although in practice that makes "diplomats", who set and agree upon the rules of this cooperation, the government of that higher-level state)
-avoid
-compete - in cases where the goals and needs of each state are contradictory to the point that they could only be realised at the expense of the other without possibility of sacrifice on either side that would result in mutual benefit

as for how the State OUGHT TO interact with others - I'd call the ideal goal to be cooperation, although the real interaction would rather result from which option would be most beneficial to the realisation of that States goals and needs

realistically though - yes the State will need to defend itself and it is in fact obliged to do so, but take note that I define the State as a whole - both the government and the governed. In that meaning I can see no situation where the State not defending itself would result merely in its change. The government/system may change without harm to the State, but an undefended against attack on the whole State would result in its harm. I'd assume a State would be created to prevent harm to its members - mostly the governed.
Perhaps one should rather ask - will the States government ever need to defend itself and can it rightly do so?

 
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