Essay: What do we owe the state?

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.

Can we act morally without being interested in politics?

→ Anselm and freedom: text commentary

10 thoughts on “Essay: What do we owe the state?

  1. personally I did 1. Company 2. Justice 3. our gratitude to the state what we owe it

  2. don’t think it’s off question since the state is vast. The State is not always legitimate, nor is it always democratic…there are various types of regimes. So good..

  3. I understood for you too Clochette, if he is legitimate we owe him respect, recognition… otherwise we owe him nothing and he can even be harmful for us. And so in III I set the conditions so that we could owe him something. Let’s hope it doesn’t penalize us too much…

  4. On the one hand we have duties towards the State but on the other hand the State also owes us rights I / What the State owes us II / Our duties towards the State III / Consequences of disrespect of our duties

  5. Personally, in the introduction I spoke of the duties that the State has towards us: security, justice, guarantor of freedoms… I) We have duties towards the State (respecting the law, civic duties II) We do not owe anything to the State if it is not legitimate (Bakounin – Karl Marx) or if it is based on an illegitimate law (custom of Pascal)

  6. Similarly, I have dealt with two duties I-Moral and legal duties according to the legitimacy of the State II-Recognition of the contribution of the State (fundamental rights, welfare / sovereign state, social justice…) III- Limits: I owe him a lot, but not everything: keep my free will and be able to manifest myself if necessary, a drop in the legitimacy of States in a context of globalization

  7. understood like you, Tinkerbell, I showed the limited recognition that the people must have towards this State in general, because even if we can owe it certain things like security, blabla, it is also a liar, controls us, alienates our freedom and can be downright dangerous for the people (dictatorships). That’s basically ^^

  8. I am totally distant from your ideas, personally I did it like this: I- The state is the guarantor of our rights… II-…but also implies duties (which may go against a freedom in the Puritan sense of the word) III- In reality, the duty induced by the State is the very condition of access to true freedom What do you think? Thanks in advance…

  9. didn’t treat the question in this way.. I thought of the state, the institution.. but also the state, which represents the sum of all individuals (the whole population forms a state) I/ We owe nothing to the state insofar as everyone is free to pursue their personal interests. II/ We all owe to the state insofar as our personal interests must lead to a common interest. III/ In order to owe something to the state, one must first of all have the feeling of belonging to this state.

  10. Hello, I understood this subject in two ways: What do we owe to the State in the sense of duty, of obligation, but also what do we owe to the State in the sense of recognition? (what does it bring us?) I therefore adopted this question that pinpoints the problem: Why do we owe anything to the State? Is it simply because the establishment of a State framework implies the establishment of duties? And besides, do we still owe something to the state? I/ We must exercise our duties II/ We owe nothing to the State if it is not legitimate III/ If it is legitimate, we owe the State our humanity. (here duty is understood in the sense of recognition / debt): the state allows individuals to live in society by providing a legal framework / the democratic state involves individuals in the development of the law and therefore asserts their freedom etc. What do you think?

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