The Orthocratic State

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003 - 200 pages

Sicker argues that it is the achievement of orthocracy as the motivating concept of the state rather than democracy as its optimum form that is crucial for mankind in the 21st century, notwithstanding that the widespread adoption of substantive democracy may be the best currently conceivable means for reaching the goal of universal responsible statehood. In a critique of much modern political theory, Sicker reexamines the essential idea of the state as well as its purpose as understood from a variety of perspectives, a subject that has largely been neglected over the past several decades as a subject of interest to political theorists in the United States. He then considers the relationship of the state to its constituents, a subject that leads to a discussion of rights and obligations, and whether that relationship is defined entirely by the state or whether its constituents are endowed with natural rights that are independent of the state that the state must take into account in asserting its authority. This is followed by an extensive discussion of the corollary concepts of generic, social, political, and economic equality, and concludes with a consideration of some ideas that might serve as the motivating principles of an orthocratic state.

The treatment of equality developed by Sicker differs in a number of respects from the approach taken in a good deal of modern writing on political theory, much of which is primarily concerned with the question of individual liberty. However, he argues equality must necessarily take precedence over liberty in the hierarchy of social values, that the primary social value is not liberty but equality, and that the claim of a right to individual liberty is clearly predicated on the presumed equality of men in society. This is a thoughtful analysis that will be of concern to scholars and students involved with political theory as well as the concerned citizen.

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Contents

The Idea of the State
1
The Essence of the State
17
Rights Natural and Legislated
43
The Idea and Ideal of Equality
75
Civil Equality
107
Political Equality and Democracy
125
Circumstantial Equality
153
The Orthocratic State
177
Selected Bibliography
185
Index
197
Copyright

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Page 43 - The state of Nature has a law of Nature to govern it, which obliges every one, and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions...
Page 88 - ... a state of perfect freedom to order their actions and dispose of their possessions and persons as they think fit, within the bounds of the law of nature, without asking leave or depending upon the will of any other man.
Page 92 - They meant to set up a standard maxim for free society, which should be familiar to all, and revered by all; constantly looked to, constantly labored for, and even though never perfectly attained, constantly approximated, and thereby constantly spreading and deepening its influence, and augmenting the happiness and value of life to all people of all colors everywhere.
Page 38 - According to the system of natural liberty, the sovereign has only three duties to attend to ; three duties of great importance, indeed, but plain and intelligible to common understandings : first, the duty of protecting the society from the violence and invasion of other independent societies; secondly, the duty of protecting, as far as possible, every member of the society from the injustice or oppression of every other member of it...
Page 91 - I think the authors of that notable instrument intended to include all men, but they did not intend to declare all men equal in all respects. They did not mean to say all were equal in color, size, intellect, moral developments, or social capacity.
Page 11 - Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty : for all that is in the heaven, and in the earth is thine ; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all.
Page 117 - All social values — liberty and opportunity, income and wealth, and the bases of self-respect — are to be distributed equally unless an unequal distribution of any, or all, of these values is to everyone's advantage.
Page 142 - I think that the poorest he that is in England hath a life to live as the greatest he; and therefore truly, sir, 1 think it's clear, that every man that is to live under a government ought first by his own consent to put himself under that government...
Page 83 - There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Page 88 - A state also of equality, wherein all the power and jurisdiction is reciprocal, no one having more than another...

About the author (2003)

MARTIN SICKER is a private consultant and lecturer who has written extensivley in the fields of political science and international affairs with a special focus on geopolitics. Dr. Sicker is the author of 21 previous books, including The Genesis of the State (Praeger, 1991) and The Geopolitics of Security in the Americas (Praeger, 2002).

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