The state plays a crucial role in our daily lives, ensuring the protection of our basic rights and providing essential public services. But what do we really owe the state in exchange for these services? In this article, we will explore the obligations and responsibilities of the state to its citizens and the different ways in which we can account for these obligations.
Analysis of the question – What do we owe to the State?
—Duty: Imperative of conscience, what imposes – without necessarily forcing – to accomplish what is prescribed by virtue of a religious, moral or legal obligation religious, moral or legal character.
—State: Sovereign political authority, civil, military or possibly religious, considered as a legal and moral person, to which a moral person, to which a human group, living on a given territory, is subject given territory
These two notions are, of course, to be defined throughout the question, and must be questioned and challenged.
The question “what” therefore questions the nature of this relationship.
Corrected question that pinpoints the problem – What do we owe to the State?
The exam question assumes that we have an obligation towards the state, and asks us what is the nature of this obligation and asks what the nature of this obligation is. Does man owe something to the state? Is he bound to the state, and consequently he has a duty to it consequently he has a duty towards it, a debt, or can the individual be independent? Does the state owe the individual a debt?
Corrected development – What do we owe to the State?
I. We owe the state
1. Hobbes shows that the “permanent war of all against all” ceases when everyone surrenders his power of violence. He therefore poses a requirement for this state not to be broken state is not broken: there must be consented to surrender one’s power,
despite the “general inclination” of every man to acquire “power after power”.
2. “Like all the political groupings that have preceded it, the State consists of a relationship of domination of man by man based on the legitimate violence,” says Max Weber. We have a moral duty to the State, but this obligation comes not only from us but is also a constraint exerted by the State on us, that the State imposes on us.
II. But the State also owes us a debt
1. The theories of the social contract (Locke, then Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Social Contract) show this. In the
theCitizen and Leviathan, Hobbes also stipulates that the State’s function is to ensure order and security. Otherwise, the contract would be broken. The state therefore has a duty to us.
2. The inalienable rights, the natural right. Inscribed in the Rights of Man and of the citizen, proclaimed: Baruch Spinoza in particular, but many others after him, enact these rights inherent to the human nature, and that the State has the duty towards us to respect.
III. That the State can guarantee to the citizens to assure their duty towards it
1. The State is necessary. Force must be transformed into right. The state has a duty in return. “The strongest is never strong enough to be master, if he does not transform his force into right and obedience into duty.” Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Social Contract, Book I, Chapter III.
2. The theory of the separation of powers is a guarantee that we can do our duty to the State, and that the State in return cannot abuse its power, and abuse its power, and thus always keeps its objectives, its duties towards us: « it is necessary that by the disposition of things the power stops power » Montesquieu in De l’esprit des lois.
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