Political Philosophy, State - Philosophy

Political Philosophy

As a result of studying this chapter, the student must:

know the main trends and schools of modern political philosophy;

be able to distinguish between the basic forms of the state and the political structure of society, to trace the interrelationships of various social and political institutions, to use methods, methods, methods of organizing social relationships on interpersonal, organizational and institutional levels;

own the skills of applying modern political technologies to improve the art of managing the society, the methods of social expertise of the state of public consciousness.

Politics - this is the scope of public activities associated with participation in government. The definition of a man as a "political being", coming from Aristotle, was born of an ancient democracy in which free citizens of Athens gathered in the town square to discuss public affairs. The qualities of a political person were judiciousness, moderation, responsibility, prudence, courage. Politics is also the art of farming and managing household chores. Finally, it is the art of self-care, understood as preparation for the management of a family or state.

The state has various forms of device. Aristotle identified three "right" ones among them; (monarchy, aristocracy and political science) and three "wrong" (tyranny, oligarchy, democracy). This classification does not coincide with modern ideas about the "democratic state". Aristotle's views not only reflected the actual structure of state power in modern Athens, but were a kind of utopia. This category includes the views of the eighteenth-century enlighteners who put forward the idea of ​​a "social contract", according to which the separation of powers and public duties is carried out on a rationally legal basis when people assume the duty of fulfilling public duties in the name of self-preservation. In fact, the relations of power, while not reducible to pure violence, are nevertheless far from the model of rational negotiations and treaties between different strata of society. The later model of the bureaucratic state, according to which the state is ruled by bureaucrats and specialists who make their decisions out of public good, and not from their own selfish interests - is also far from reality.


State is a historically developing form of organization of public life. Despite the great variety of types (unitary, federative) and types of state system (slave-owning, feudal, bourgeois, socialist), forms of government (monarchy, republic) and political regimes (parliamentary, authoritarian, dictatorial), one can distinguish :

► the existence of a special system of bodies and institutions that exercise the functions of state power;

► the existence of rules, regulations, authorized in the form of law;

► Existence of the territory to which the jurisdiction of the state is subject.

Any state performs a set of functions - external and internal.

Internal functions of the state include ensuring the stable existence of the existing political system, regulating economic and social relations, implementing legal norms, levying taxes, protecting the constitution, etc.

External functions of the state are to protect the country's interests before the international community, to participate in the development of the system of international relations, and other forms of cooperation.

H. A. Berdyaev noted the "mystical" the nature of the state, which he understood not only as an economic system and social structure, but primarily as a spiritual and even "corporal" community. The state can not exist exclusively on violence, it grows stronger due to the spiritual unity of its citizens; thanks to the considerable sacrifice to which they go in the name of the prosperity of the state. The great empires of the past disintegrated not so much under the influence of more powerful neighbors, but as a result of the decomposition of the "moral spirit" people who are no longer willing to sacrifice their own for the sake of the common. Therefore, the unification of people into the state assumes not only "reasonable selfishness" when individual owners join in an alliance to expand the market and exchange; not only the "social contract" that guarantees freedom and justice, but also the feeling of "blood and soil" based on the love of one's country and the readiness to sacrifice itself for the sake of its preservation and development.

Various theoretical attempts to determine the nature of the state can be integrated into a more complex and diverse picture in which both socio-economic and spiritual-moral definitions should find their place. The meaning of the existence of a powerful state that really involves significant sacrifices is the presence of the spiritual goal , the "ideas" it seeks to accomplish on earth.

Political power in society is traditionally realized through the political system , which is a combination of state institutions and political institutions, as well as legal norms and ideological goals. Schematically, structure of the political system can be represented as follows:

political institutions (the state and its institutions, parties, public organizations and associations);

Political and legal norms (political views, political consciousness, political culture)

political relations (relations of social groups to political power, political activity).

When characterizing a political system, the structure of government bodies is of great importance, representing an orderly, legally formalized set of institutions. At the heart of its functioning in modern states lies the separation of the three branches of power: legislative, executive and judicial.

1. Legislative Bodies - Parliament and Legislative Institutions - develop and enact laws in the localities and ensure control over their execution.

2. Bodies of executive power - the government - implement the adopted laws and regulations.

3. The judiciary exercise the judicial function.

Depending on the structure, legal status and the correlation of power between different branches of government, the states differ in forms of government. There are two main types of organization of the supreme power: republic and monarchy.

† When monarchical form of government the source of power is one person - hereditary or elected ruler. The monarchy can be either an absolute (unlimited supreme power) or a constitutional one, where the sovereign acts as a guarantor of laws passed by the parliament (the legislature), according to which the government acts (the executive branch ).

† With republican form of government , the source of power is the people by law. In the republic, the supreme bodies of state power are either directly elected by the population or are formed by a nationwide representative institution. Depending on the legal situation and the ratio of different branches of power, several forms of republican government are singled out.

1. Presidential Republic :

→ the head of state - the president - is elected by universal suffrage;

→ in the hands of the president the powers of the head of state and government are concentrated;

→ the government is appointed by the president and is obliged to pursue his policy.

2. Parliamentary Republic :

- u the president is elected, and the government is formed by the parliament;

- y a key role in management is played by the Prime Minister;

→ Parliament controls the activities of the president and the government.

3. Semi-Presidential Republic :

→ the head of state is elected irrespective of parliament by universal suffrage;

→ the government is responsible to the parliament;

→ a resident can pursue a policy independent of the government.

When analyzing the state system, one should keep in mind the differences not only in form, but also in the type of political regime . This concept includes a system of methods for exercising state power that ensures the realization of the rights and freedoms of citizens and the legal nature of the actions of the authorities themselves. Distinguish dictatorial (totalitarian and authoritarian) and democratic political regimes.

Democratic political regime is characterized by such features as the construction of the state apparatus on the principle of separation of powers; presence of representative bodies and their participation in management; multi-party system and representation of parties that won elections, in government bodies; universal suffrage; equality of all before the law; pluralism.

Dictatorship as a political regime is distinguished by the concentration of power in the hands of one person or group of persons; the uncontrolled and unlimited power, the absence of a division of its branches, and above all of parliament; suppression of the opposition; violation of the rights and freedoms of citizens, repression by ideological, national and other grounds. At the same time, authoritarian regimes mainly control the political sphere, and totalitarian exercise comprehensive control not only for public, but for the private life of citizens, using various forms of repression and even terror.

The United States intelligentsia usually thought of itself as a kind of counterweight to the power that developed in the history of our state as a repressive, overwhelming individual freedom force. However, today the government exists in a different form than before. Even if a state based on violence is admitted as some initial abstract step, it can not be denied that it is compelled to find a compromise with traditions and laws worked out in the course of people's life together, therefore, gradually the form of legitimization of power becomes the right . This is not just a disguise of power, but also a significant limitation of it, because, using the language of law, the force must enter into a compromise with justice and learn to restrain and limit oneself. At the same time, power in the form of law also does not represent the latest and most perfect stage of the evolution of power. Today, power exists in the form of knowledge relating to life management.

Right is realized in the form of negative sanctions and repressiveness, as a prohibition and punishment for misconduct.

Life management involves tips and advice on healthy lifestyles, rational work and leisure, needs and abilities, in short, the establishment of a daily life order.

This does not mean that traditional institutions of power - government, parliament, political parties and old propaganda machines - are unnecessary. On the contrary, they remain reasonable, but operate within certain limits forms of power. The conduct of political institutions is not all, but only some social problems. Moreover, politics, as the art of the possible, is itself based on the recognition of the everyday order, to which it can not contradict, without exposing itself to the danger of overthrowing.

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