The Ethical Basis of the State

The Ethical Basis of the State

The Ethical Basis of the State

The Ethical Basis of the State

Excerpt

This book is a study of some of the ethical aspects of the problem of the State. It contains no plan for social or political salvation, and therefore may seem to have no excuse for existence. It has seemed to me, however, desirable that before we attempt to reform or abolish the State, we should have as clear an idea as possible of the nature of it, and of the social purpose it has served. It is as a contribution to the study of such preliminary ethical questions that this book is offered. No attempt at originality has been made. If the book has value, it is as an untechnical exposition of principles more or less clearly recognized since the time of Plato and Aristotle. The justification for a popular treatment of these principles at this time is to be found in the fact that discussion of political theory is no longer confined to experts, but is a matter of universal interest. Everywhere groups are being formed for the study of political problems, and if this little book can make some contribution to the understanding of the principles of political obligation it will have served its purpose.

Chapters vi and x of the present volume originally appeared in the International Journal of Ethics, of which fact I here wish to make acknowledgement.

NORMAN WILDE

The University of Minnesota Minneapolis January, 1924 . . .

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