How can the proper notion of the State be restored?

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ISSUE BEING DISCUSSED FOR Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Some claim that we must tolerate the idea of a State as a necessary evil. Such hostile attitudes come from the fact that many see only today’s bloated and dysfunctional State and consequently have confused notions of what constitutes society, nation, State and government.  We think that the State is the political organization and order of the nation; its role is to safeguard the common good and facilitate virtuous life in common.  How can the proper notion of the State be restored?

  • ChristopherPWendt

    The left used public education since Dewey to destroy our Republic, so one component must be education. We must teach the young what their political duties are.

  • Francis Slobodnik

    Many people, even conservatives, who think that the state is at best a necessary evil, don’t realize that is a result of secularism.  The state is meant to be a good.  Man is body and soul,  we should seek the promotion of the good in both.  The Church seeks the good of our souls, and the state, using the same principles should foster the temporal good both commonly and individually.  There was a time when the Church and the state worked largely in unison to achieve similar ends.  This secularism is also based on an egalitarian spirit that seeks to create enmity between Church and State, between, parents and children, between employers and employees.  We should instill in our children and promote among our peers, a respect for the legitimate roles of the state.  We have to separate abuses of the state from the ideal and true role of the state. We should defend the true legitimate functions of the state and seek elected officials who will honor this role.

  • I think we can start to restore the notion of the State by talking more about the differences between the organic Christian State and the modern Big Brother State.  The modern State does its work by instituting an all-powerful bureaucratic system of legal norms to safeguard and regulate the private interests of its citizens. 

    The modern State, notes Pius XI, has assumed the overwhelming responsibilities that were once done by intermediary associations.  The result was that through the “overthrow and near extinction of that rich social life which was once highly developed through associations of various kinds, there remain virtually only individuals and the State.”

    We need to contrast this with the organic State, which does its duty by safeguarding the fundamental principles of morals, civilization and public order that are normally lived by its many social units—family, guild, town, university, or any of a number of privately formed associations that make up the rich social life of a nation.

    Among these, the family is the most important.  And when we say family, we don’t mean just the dad, mom and the two kids.  We mean the extended family with all of its spirit and personality.

  • Kevin Edwards

    We must begin by first clarifying what is an organic
    Christian state and contrast it with the anarchic stateless tribal society we
    are becoming. 


    A state is a collection of social units departing from individuals,
    families, and intermediary associations dedicated to furthering and unifying
    the good that they represent more clearly as distinctive whole.  At this point there are several duties beyond
    the abilities of the smaller social (and religious) units (or unity) that need
    to be taken care by a social authority.


    This unity today is being rent by moral chaos and the
    destruction of these smaller units, especially the family.   And the state is working contrary to its
    purpose.  Therefore; those who fight for
    the family, fight also for the true notion of the state.


  • wcam

    One way to restore the proper notion of the State in society would be by forming conservative leadership conferences to teach the youth and the leaders of tomorrow the importance of the organic way of governing. A study on the Medieval Society would help to explain this concept.
    Unlike the intrusive bureaucratic system today that oppressively trickles down from the government to the people; in an organic society the leaders understood that the stimulus of society starts from the lower levels and then moves to the higher ones.
    A good leader must carefully observe whether a stimulus is born in the lower levels, as it should, and if so, then assist its organic growth. He should avoid taken advantage of his office, prestige and other leaders to artificially change the direction of a society according to his whims and designs. 
    Thus, they would see the role of the one who governs is more of a teaching action to assist the good tendencies sprouting at the base of society rather than an artificial imposition of new rules and laws that would oppress the people from the top down.   
    Many Americans would be surprised to learn how the
    family in the Medieval society had an indirect participation in the state government- much greater than one would think.  
    For example, if many parents were to give their children a liberal education, sooner or later the nation will be sliding towards liberalism. The leadership in the state cannot intervene on what kind of education the parents give their children. According to the Principle of Subsidiarity one cannot rely on the State to get involved in these small things.
    The parents must exercise it based on good sense and Christian principles. The family is called the celula matter (mother cell) of society for precisely this reason: the way the parents form the children will influence the whole society of tomorrow, sometimes more than any leader.
    I believe many Americans would be open to this concept of governing because they would understand how the State through this form of governing had all the necessary means to
    attain its proper goal which was to provide order, harmony, assistance,
    instruction and protection for its members in society.