The New Leviathan; Or, Man, Society, Civilization and Barbarism

By R. G. Collingwood | Go to book overview

XXVII
FORCE IN POLITICS

27.1. POLITICAL life contains an indispensable element of force. This marks off the life of a body politic from the life of a society, which is like it in many respects; and assimilates it to the life of a family.

27.11. Family life, too, is in part a matter of force, because family life involves looking after children, and children have to be looked after without their consent.

27.12. The body politic, like the family, contains a nursery; in this case a ruled class which is a nursery of rulers as containing human beings in process of education for the business of rule.

27.13. So far as the ruled are not yet capable of ruling and therefore not yet able to rule themselves they must be ruled without their consent by those who are capable of it.

27.14. 'Why must they?' For many reasons. First because they like it and, if it is not done, crave for it. Conversely, because the rulers like it. For a man of weak or undeveloped will nothing is so pleasant as being ordered about; for a man of strong will, as ordering others about.

27.15. Secondly for their own good. Children have to be looked after, not only because they like it, but because being looked after is to be protected from self-inflicted and mutually inflicted injury and death (22.25).

27.16. Thirdly for the good of the rulers. The good of the rulers is to rule; first immanently, to rule themselves, and then transeuntly, to rule others, namely those members of the same body politic who are incapable of rule.

27.17. Fourthly for the good of the entire body politic. For what is to the good both of the rulers and of the ruled is to the good of the body politic as a whole.

27.18. If it is the rulers' duty to pursue the good of the body politic as a whole, it is part of their duty to rule those members of it who cannot rule themselves.

-203-

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