Global Affairs

Jul 09, 2018
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Today we see state as a powerful organization that has authority to decide all public affairs. But, the concept of state was different in the past. The Greeks brought this old concept. State exists to realise good. Good life is attainable through education, equal national participation; for the individual is part of state. Greeks upheld virtues or moral principles of justice, moderation, pursuit of truth, honesty, duty to state and patriotism. Justice is supreme virtue. Moderation means to avoid extreme in all matters. Truth is basis of rational thinking. Among Greeks Plato well defined the ethical state through three virtues and classes of state: desire or appetite in artisans, courage in soldiers and virtue of knowledge in philosopher rulers. He devised tripartite education system in the basis of the above said division.

 

Later, Greece gradually was conquered by the Romans who accepted Christianity to the extent that in 333 AD, Constantine declared it as state religion. But soon Rome was sacked by Germanic invaders. Old Roman Pagans blamed new Roman Christians for the city got punished after they left the Roman gods. Christianity faced threat. Saint Augustine from North Africa wrote a book 'The City of God' to defend Christianity. He said that there are two kinds of states: that of God and Satan. The former is invisible while the latter is visible. The former remains intact while latter is invaded because it doesn't pursue virtue. Christianity is in state of God thus it will survive forevermore irrespective of states on earth. He also forwarded theory of Christian Commonwealth. He narrated that clash between Christian and other states links with the war between God and Satan.

 

Today, such concepts of state are rare. Modern state is based on realism that discards morality from political affairs and allows governments to make liberal laws and rule over people according to their will.

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