Page:Rise and Fall of Society.djvu/35

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.


CHAPTER 2

From God or the Sword?


Is the State ordered in the nature of things? The classical theorists in political science were so persuaded. Observing that every agglomeration of humans known to history was attended with a political institution of some kind, and convinced that in all human affairs the hand of God played a part, they concluded that the political organization of men enjoyed divine sanction. They had a syllogism to support their assumption: God made man; man made the State; therefore, God made the State. The State acquired divinity vicariously. The reasoning was bolstered by an analogy; it is a certainty that the family organization, with its head, is in the natural order of things, and it follows that a group of families, with the State acting as over-all father, is likewise a natural phenomenon. If deficiencies in the family occur, it is because of the ignorance or wickedness of the father; and if the social order suffers distress or disharmony it is because the State has lost sight of the ways of God. In either case, the pater familias needs instruction in moral principles. That is, the State, which is inevitable and necessary, might be improved upon but cannot be abolished.

Accepting a priori the naturalness of the State, they sought for the taproot of the institution in the nature of man. Surely, the State appears only when men get together, and that fact

11