STATE, Formation of national state ideas - Political philosophy and sociology


After studying the material in this chapter, the student must:


• system and structural characteristics of the state;

• The purpose of the state;

• the main factors and historical stages of the emergence of the nation state;

• hierarchical nature and territorial imperative;

• The status of the state as the main subject of political power;

be able to

• Identify and analyze the significance and role of the state as the main subject around which all the institutions of the political system are united;


• The ability to explain the most important factors that exclude the possibility of the disappearance of the state as a form of political self-organization of the people.

Any viable human community is not just some kind of arithmetic sum of heterogeneous, randomly united people for the realization of their goals and interests, but a special form of their self-organization, characterized in its being bases by complexity and versatility. In it, unity is largely given from within, from the very nature of human relations. A key role in the formation of a chaotic multitude of people, groups, collectives of a single community, which has its own special interests and will to live together, is played by the state.

Any national state is characterized by specific features, conditioned by historical, sociocultural, socio-psychological, confessional, political-cultural and other factors. However, from a systemic point of view, the state, regardless of the form of government, is characterized by a set of general fundamental principles of organization and functioning.

Formation of national state ideas

As already indicated, the state is a historical phenomenon that arose at the stage of the transition of mankind from the primitive communal system to new forms of political self-organization designed to ensure the functioning of the producing economy and new forms of labor activity. The reasons for the formation of the state, issues related to its nature, purpose, goals and functions, are the subject of heated debates and discussions from ancient times to the present day. It would be premature to say that on these issues modern political science has unambiguous answers acceptable to all participants in disputes and discussions.

The very concept of "state" in its modern sense arose at the turn of the Middle Ages and the New Times. To denote the political self-organization of the society, the ancient Greeks used the word "polis", and the Romans - the terms res publica , "civitates". Roman expression status rei publicae and similar to him, for example, "status rei romanae " that were in progress in Antiquity, eventually transformed into concepts "stato", ; staat , etat & quot ;, state , denoting in the respective languages ​​the state.

However, up to N. Machiavelli they were used to designate various legal positions and the state of rulers, for example, the state of greatness, high position, dignity of the king, prince. The final formulation of the Latin term "status" and its national variants is believed to be associated with the name Machiavelli.

As already indicated, with precapitalist forms of state structure, the political principle permeated all spheres of social life from the culture and upbringing of the younger generation to the economy.

The main content and main direction of development of socio-political thought in the modern era were the formation and development of the idea of ​​the state in general and the national state in particular. A kind of spiritual frontier in this process was the Reformation, which coincided with the beginning of the process of the formation of nations, the national idea and national self-consciousness of European peoples and national sovereignty.

Against the claims of the Catholic Church to its universality and uniformity in all countries, the first Protestants advanced the principle of "cujus regio, ejus, religio," > (to whom the board belongs, of that and faith), according to which every sovereign or people has the right to decide the question of the form of their religion. The pope gradually lost many of his prerogatives regarding the secular power of kings, he became one of the Italian princes.

The implementation of the cujus principle regio , ejus religio ", first adopted by the German princes, and, after them, and other European monarchs, contributed to the gradual undermining of the legitimacy of the Holy Roman Empire regarded as a "secular hand" the Roman Catholic Church. Eventually, the Reformation, putting an end to the religious unity of Western Christianity, led to the division of Europe roughly along the South-North axis: southern Europe remained committed to Roman Catholicism, and the northern became largely Protestant.

Protestantism, disintegrating into various currents or denominations, was able to create its own ecclesiastical system, similar to the Roman Catholic one. Such fragmentation contributed to the further development of independent monarchies. At the same time, it contained seeds of religious pluralism, which began to develop rapidly in England and Holland. Rejecting the Catholic postulate that the revelation continues through the church, the Reformation knocked the ground out from the claims of the Catholic Church to the role of the only mediator between believers and God.

M. Luther, J. Calvin and other founding fathers of Protestantism opposed the absolute authority of the creator to the authority of tradition and the church. Thus, the idea of ​​an equal nothingness of all before God and the possibility of equal comprehension of the divine truth by each individual believer, regardless of collective experience, was justified.

Luther's revolutionary doctrine of "priesthood of all believers" summed up the basis for the idea that faith is a personal affair of the believer himself, who himself could choose the church denomination to send his faith. The process of further de-nomination, demythologization and secularisation of various Christian movements contributed to the formation of the idea of ​​freedom of conscience, as one of the fundamental rights of the individual and citizen.

As a result of the separation of church and state, religion is expelled from the political sphere into the sphere of private interests, transferred from the state to civil society. As a matter of fact, the Erastian principle was restored in a modified form, providing for the supremacy of secular power over the spiritual. In this respect, various trends of Protestantism for a number of countries have become peculiar forms of national ideology.

One of the most important forms of asserting the nation-state was absolute monarchy. Absolutism testified to the emergence of a large centralized type of state by absorbing smaller and weaker political entities.

Naturally, the absolutist rulers claimed a legitimate right to solve solely state affairs. This principle was most clearly formulated by the King of France, Louis XIV, who stated: "The state is me" ( Geta c 'est moi). Absolutism contributed to building up the process of forming a modern nation-state, for which a set of general principles is characteristic.

This, first, the coincidence of the state's territorial borders with a single system of political government or the unconditional extension of the jurisdiction of the state to its entire territory; second, the creation of new mechanisms for lawmaking and its implementation; thirdly, the centralization of state-administrative power; Fourthly, the revision and development of a single fiscal system for the entire state; Fifth, the introduction of permanent professional national armies, etc.

For the institutionalization of a sovereign national state, it was important to deprive all persons, classes and entities of de jure power and their concentration in the hands of the state, and also to recognize equality in the political rights of all citizens regardless of social origin, religion, nationality, e. In other words, all power authority passed to the state. On the territory under the control of the given state, there can not be and can not be any other power except as the authority of a single sovereign. The most complete expression of this principle was the state's monopoly on legitimate violence, which will be discussed in the corresponding paragraph of this textbook.

One of the important features of the innovations was that gradually Latin ceased to play the role of a common language for educated Europe. Moreover, claiming to restore the original Christianity, the Reformation essentially limited the number of canonical books, rejected the Vulgate (ie, the Latin translation of the Bible, which goes back to the works of Jerome - the middle of the 4th-5th centuries), and recognized the only true and compulsory Greek text of the Gospel , which began to translate into national languages. As creators of ideas and interpreters of the world, representatives of the secular sphere came to the foreground, who were recruited from diverse and constantly changing social strata.

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