The Idealistic Theory of State

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 22:50 -- Umar Farooq

The Idealistic Theory of State

Plato and Aristotle have been its great supporters. Plato in his famous book, The Republic, has presented the plan of his ideal republic. This theory was explained in better way by the German philosophers of the 18th and 19th centuries. In this connection we must remember two names, Kant and Hegel political philosophers whose thoughts greatly influenced the German political thinking.

Meaning of Idealistic Theory of State

The basic principle of this theory is that the state is an end and the individual is a means. According to Hegel, the individual can perfect himself only in the stale. Everything is neither within the state, nothing outside nor against it. The supporters of this theory also believe that the state is a person and has a will of his own. This will is the real one and represents the will of all. So the individual must always obey the law of the state because they represent the will of the state. The actions of the state are always right. Infact when an individual obeys the state he obeys his own-self. The supporters also say that the state is a reality and the individual something temporary.

Some of the Idealists have gone to the extent of idolizing. Hegel says that the state is the march of God on earth and that the people should worship it. This is the reason that the state must always be obeyed. These teaching had deep influence on the methods of the Germans after their defeat in World War I. There the Nazi Movement began, which gave rise to people like Hitler. Similarly in Italy there came on the political scene a person by the name of Mussolini and his fascist movement.

Defects and Limitation of Idealist Theory of State

Following are the disadvantages of Idealist theory state

An Abstract Theory

It is an abstract theory because the state, which describes does not existence in reality.

Danger to the Rights & Freedom

The argument of its supporters that the state is everything and individual is nothing is false and presents a great danger to the individual's rights and freedom. There are many other relations among human beings, which are as important as the relationship between the individuals and the state. Besides, the state is not self-sufficient. It has to depend on other states. So, today the state cannot be absolute.

It is based on Wrong Conception

The Idealist also considers the state to be sovereign that is there is no check and limitation on the authority of the state. This is wrong. In modem world such ideas have led to the 1st and 2nd World Wars. Now the people of the world cannot afford 3rd World War. This means that today all the states consider imposing certain restrictions of their freedom, so that the peace of world and people can make progress. Besides, The Idealist is also wrong in the assumption that the state embodies real will of the people. In today's world the will of the state is the will of the ruling class and not of the people.

No Right to Individual

This theory does not grant any right to the individual. The people have only one right and that is to obey the state. For this reason this theory is dangerous because there is no value of the people. We can say that this theory is anti-humanitarian. This theory also says that individual to be a part, which can be utilized by the ruler as they please. In other words people are sacrificed for interest of the ruling class.


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