08 Şubat 2012

Devlet ile ilgili bir makale

People, who are social creatures, act rationally and seek peace and benefit but when they face with problems they cannot be the ones who judge or regulate the society because of their self-interests. Throughout history, people always needed a higher institution to control the activities or relationships between each other and that is what is called 'State'. State developed in itself gradually and formed new tools to manage the society (bureaucracy, cash-based economy to name a few) and became more absolute and centralized in modern era. In order to avoid disputes within the society, a contract between society and higher institution, namely State, is inevitable because of rational, beneficial and co-operative nature of human.

State is a requirement for people to regulate their lives. Social theorists like Thomas Hobbes and John Locke, support this ide with their own interpretations. Hobbes approaches State as an legitimized and absolute power institution which provides peace, keep people in control and preserve the society's property and Hobbes sees the social contract unbreakable. For Hobbes, State is a requirement because people are destructive by their nature, without a coersive power there would be no security or moral order for anybody probably. The reason why Hobbes thinks that way is because he lived through the English Civil War.
An objection to Hobbes' idea is that people do not have to follow the social contract between the individual and State. Citizens may well brake the contract in a variety of ways, e.g. rebellion or revolution, and make the state legitimacy disappear. Locke thinks different about State from Hobbes in certain aspects. According to Locke, people are co-operative but they cannot solve their problems on their own since their self-loves make them partial to the matter. What Locke tries to articulate can be understood better with the following example. Consider there are 2 people. One of them cultivates wheat and has a very fertile land while the other one fattens a cow. In that specific case they are mutually dependent one another. Locke says if this is the situation between two people, there must be a similar situation in the society as well. Each and every individual in the society seeks benefit from various conditions and different people. In conclusion, society needs an upper power to regulate itself; but also this power needs citizens for continuity and legitimization.

In the lights of the text above, the state is required but what is there in the state is one critically important question to answer. Working and operating of the state is basically based on benefit because of power associated with it. Firstly, it is unavoiadable that State is a beneficial institution according to David Hume. The reason why State is beneficial is that it is all power game. Similar to Hume's idea, Karl Marx argues in his Manifesto that State is nothing more than a power tool which serves as security guard to perpetuate class domination, nobles over serfs, bourgeoisie over proleteria. It is about State secures one class to be more powerful. The fact behind why there is poverty in society, says Marx, is because the others have more money. State in that sense serves for specific groups' benefits and advantages. Secondly, citizens somehow should involve in controling the socieity for their benefits. John Stuart Mill, who is argued to be the father of liberal democracy, says: "The governors must be held accountable to the governed through political mechanisms- such as regular voting and the struggle among free opinion. That accountability alone can give citizens satisfactory means for choosing, authorizing and controling political decisions." Citizens would become happier when they vote because of the participation in controling the society for their own self-interests and utilities. It is again good for citizen to vote for his or her benefits. As a consequence, benefit determines the people's choices and gives direction the role and condition of state.

To sum up, there exists a couple of points where Marx is right about the function of state- poverty in society is undeniable; the powerful supresses the weak regardless of the dimension of the power; it is all for specific groups' benefits. But overall, Locke's idea seems more dominant that, because of citizens are co-operative and rational, State of Nature is inescapable. It is good for people to have a State that regulates conditions for themselves, giving health services and providing security from internal and external enemy despite the drawbacks that I mentioned above (poverty, suppression, partiality and the like). If there were no state today, the world would be much more difficult to live in.