The notion of a state and its purpose

The supreme metaphysic of the state and end in itself was introduced by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831), a modern philosopher. Hegel believed that the state is simply more real and divine than any individual. The life, success and achievements of a state would thus have an absolute claim on any individual and one can even argue that the conquests of Napoleon and Hitler, though vicious and bloodthirsty, nevertheless produced so memorable and such indisputable glory to their respective states that both regimes continue to be objects of study, awe and literature though few in sound mind would take that “glory” seriously as far as Hitler is concerned.
The second faction states that the state consists of an individual. Thus the moral basis of the government should affirm the existence of natural, individual rights and then to “….secure these rights; governments are instituted among men, deriving their powers from the consent of the governed….” (Thomas Jefferson). Thus, the state in direct contradiction to the earlier faction, is not an end in itself but merely the means to “…secure these rights”… of governing. If a government fails to do that, Jefferson says, and as Locke said earlier, “it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it.” Nothing could be further from the statism, and state worship, of Hegel, let alone Napoleon, Lenin, Hitler, and Stalin.


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