States and Morals, a Study in Political Conflicts

States and Morals, a Study in Political Conflicts

States and Morals, a Study in Political Conflicts

States and Morals, a Study in Political Conflicts

Excerpt

It is painfully clear that political conflicts are common in these days and that the results of them are likely to be exceedingly unpleasant. What these conflicts are really about is not equally clear and is not explained by describing them as ideological differences. The position is that few people are quite certain whether the major Powers are at odds with one another over economic advantages or political organization or something more vague but equally important which may be called the claim of the individual to determine his own life and conduct; and there is no agreement as to whether these are separate questions or are so intimately connected that they can profitably be considered only as a single problem. In other words, it is extremely hard to say whether the U.S.A., the U.S.S.R., and Great Britain are quarreling primarily about the ownership of oil wells and trading facilities, about the best method of controlling the means of production in a well-ordered community, or about the importance of freedom of speech and freedom of political association.

It may well be admitted that we have here three different kinds of ground for disagreement and also that there are important connections between them. But it is important to discover how they are related to one another, if only because military and strategic advantages are obviously pursued as a means of extending or protecting economic, political and moral claims. The chief concern of political philosophy is with the third claim, namely with that of human beings to liberty or freedom within the States to which they belong, and there are two serious mistakes to which it is especially liable. The first is that of Plato and his modern disciples who . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.