What is the value of studying the idealistic theory of the state?

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Value of the theory :

1. It emphasizes the combination of politics and ethics and thus imparts a touch of morality to political life. Separation of politics from ethics is disastrous for both.

2. It lays stress on the organic unity of society and clearly shows how society is held together by the state. It is a fact that an individual outside the society cannot achieve the ends of his existence.

3. It emphases that state alone is the source of law and that essence of control is, in the last resort, power.

4. The idealist theory describes the state as it ought to be and hoi before us the picture of an ideal state. The ideal which the idealist sketch is not a static ideal, but dynamic and is capable of adaptation to changing circumstances. "Ideas have hands and feet. They possess life and vitality." Thus the state progresses and as an individual is also a constituent of the state, he also progresses and prospers.

Points to Remember

1. The state is the central social system in which alone an individual is capable of finding the highest ends of his existence. The individual ha no significance in and by himself. The individual apart from the state ii only an unethical abstraction.

The state is omnipotent and Omni competent. It is supra-personal entity over and above the people. It is the source of all civilization and progress. It is indispensable to the fullest growth and development of human personality. We ought to obey the, state because in doing so we obey none but ourselves.

2. History:

It is a very old theory finding reference in the writing of Plato and Aristotle. It received special importance at the hands oj German idealist philosophers.

In a modified form the theory was accepted by moderate Oxford idealists like T.H. Green, Bradley etc.

3. Criticism:

(a) It is abstract and does not deal with realities.

(b) Hobson describes idealism as the tactics of conservatism.preaches the divine right of the kings. Instead of realizing the ideal, it idealisms the real.

(c) The theory is too narrow and rigid.

(d) It obliterates the.distinction between the state and the society.

(e) Maclver argues that the state has no personality of its own

(f) Joad denounces idealism as unsound in theory and dangerous in its contents because it inevitably leads to the omnipotence of the state.

(g) The state is only a means to promote human happiness.

(h) It is wrong to suppose that the state is infallible.

(i) An individual owes allegiance to various other associations apart from the state.

4. Value of the Theory:

(a) It combines politics and ethics and Obedience to the authority of the king is a religious duty and disobedience thus imparts a touch of morality to political life.

(b) It lays stress on the organic unity of society.

(c) It describes the state as it ought to be.


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