Theological and patriarchal theories - Political philosophy and sociology

Theological and patriarchal theories

Of course, from the point of view considered, the key is to identify and analyze the theories of the origin of the nature of power and the state.

The first attempts to understand the origin, nature and purpose of power were made in ancient times - in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, China, India, the Greco-Roman world. At that time, the dominant position was occupied by myths about the divine origin of power and the state.

In the myths of many ancient peoples, it is said that originally on earth the gods dominated, who, having taught people the art of government, transferred the reins of government to earthly rulers. And for some peoples, for example, the Babylonians, the gods, being the sources of power of one or another ruler, retain the prerogatives of the rulers of earthly affairs. This is particularly expressed in the famous formula Deus ex machina (God from the machine), according to which in Greek tragedies the arising seemingly desperate situations were resolved by descending "from heaven" on a special device by God.

These representations are reflected in the theological theory, which is one of the most ancient attempts to explain this phenomenon. Its creators and adherents were convinced that power and the state exist by virtue of divine will. In the myths of the ancient Egyptians and Greeks, the gods, being the source of the power of the ruler, continue to be the original rulers and legislators who manage the affairs of the earth.

The idea of ​​the divine origin of state power was further developed in Christianity. In its development, significant contributions were made by such well-known theologians as Tertullian (ca. 160 after 220), blessed. Augustine (354-430), Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), etc. They viewed power and the state as God's craft, the meaning of which is the establishment of order and harmony on earth, analogous to those existing in the "kingdom of God." Since, they argued, it is impossible to penetrate into the mystery of the divine intention, then it remains only for the person to believe and resignedly obey the bearers of the authority of God, ie. to those in power.

Attaching to the state and state power a divine halo, the creators of this theory, by inherent means, tried to justify the claims of the powers that be to the dominant position in society and the state.

It is significant that even nowadays the formation of a particular nation, its entry into the socio-historical arena is justified by references to a certain divine providence. In search of arguments, they often turn to the Bible, especially to those places where it is said that God not only rules the world, but also chooses from among all nations only one, granting him his grace. The extreme forms of this myth assign to other nations and countries only the role of the background on which the history of one or another God-chosen people unfolds. History provides us with many evidences that the idea of ​​greatness and God's chosenness was inherent in almost every great nation, especially during its ascent.

Since antiquity, the patriarchal theory of the origin of power and the state has become very popular. Its founders are Plato, Aristotle, Confucius, R. Filmer, and others. They substantiated the idea that power and the state arose from a large family that had grown from generation to generation. The head of the family, or the patriarch (the ancestor, the bearer of the father's authority), became the head of the state - the monarch (the sole ruler). The power of the monarch, therefore, is the continuation of the power of the father. Consequently, the monarch acts as the father of all his subjects.

According to Confucius, power should be based not on a faceless and universal law, not on the tyranny's will, but on the wisdom of a virtuous ruler who is the father of the people. Plato in his famous work "The State" gave the construction of an ideal fair state, growing out of a family in which the power of the monarch is personified by the father over family members. In the opinion of the pupil of Plato Aristotle, people tend to unite within the patriarchal family, and the unification of many such families leads to the formation of the state. Therefore, argued Aristotle, state power is the continuation and development of paternal power.

But a kind of gospel proponents of patriarchal theory was the book of the English thinker of the XVII century. R. Filmer's "Patriarchate, or the protection of the natural rights of kings". Based on the Bible, he formulated a provision according to which the first human Adam as the ancestor of mankind was the first father and first monarch. The initial form of government established by God and based on divine law is the monarchy.

Thus, an attempt was made to substantiate the idea that the British absolute monarchy goes back to Adam himself, because God created this state together with the first person, while giving the monarch full power. From these positions, Filmer regarded every performance against the absolute authority of the monarch as a sinful violation of the divine order of government and the divinely established form of paternal power in the state.

The main provisions of the patriarchal theory are convincingly refuted by modern science. Objective studies of this problem have not found any scientifically substantiated confirmation of such a way of emergence of power and the state. On the contrary, it was established that the patriarchal family appeared with the state in the process of decomposition of the primitive communal system.

The theory of the origin of the state as a result of violence is quite popular. The most developed versions of it were developed and gained popularity in the late XIX - early XX century. Its founders L. Gumplowicz, K. Kautsky, E. Dühring and others, relying on known historical facts, argued that the basis of the foundations of the state is violence, war and conquest, enslavement of some tribes or peoples by others.

According to the Austrian sociologist and jurist L. Gumplowicz, "history does not show us a single instance where the state would arise not by means of an act of violence, but in some other way". K. Kautsky in the same spirit argued that classes and the state appear together as products of war and conquest. The tribe of conquerors subjugates the tribe of the vanquished, appropriates all their land and then forces the defeated tribe to systematically work for the winners, pay tribute or taxes to them. As a result of such a conquest, division into classes arises, and the compulsory apparatus created by the victors to control the vanquished becomes a state.

It can not be denied that throughout the history of mankind in wars, conflicts, conquests, violence played a significant role in the emergence of many states. It was also the reason and the tool for the disappearance from the political map of not lesser number of weaker states and peoples.

Nevertheless, it would be incorrect to state that the government and the state were created and held exclusively on violence. In their formation and further development, many other factors played their role. Throughout the history of mankind, you can find many examples confirming that, for whatever reasons, states were formed on a voluntary basis. For example, most modern federal states that were created on the basis of a union treaty on the union of several state entities into a single national state.

thematic pictures

Also We Can Offer!

Other services that we offer

If you don’t see the necessary subject, paper type, or topic in our list of available services and examples, don’t worry! We have a number of other academic disciplines to suit the needs of anyone who visits this website looking for help.

How to ...

We made your life easier with putting together a big number of articles and guidelines on how to plan and write different types of assignments (Essay, Research Paper, Dissertation etc)