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Old Wednesday, July 10, 2019
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Default Political Science Paper I 2019 Solved part 1/8

Q.8 How far is it true to say that the origin of the state lies in the force? Discuss critically the Theory of force regarding the origin of state.
Another early theory of the origin of the state is the theory of force.
The exponents of this theory hold that wars and aggressions by some powerful tribe were the principal factors in the creation of the state.
They rely on the oft-quoted saying “war begot the King” as the historical explanation of the origin of the state.
The force or might prevailed over the right in the primitive society. A man physically stronger established his authority over the less strong persons. The strongest person in a tribe is, therefore, made the chief or leader of that tribe.
After establishing the state by subjugating the other people in that place the chief used his authority in maintaining law and order and defending the state from the aggression from outside. Thus force was responsible not only for the origin of the state but for development of the state also.
History supports the force theory as the origin of the state.
According to Edward Jenks:
“Historically speaking, there is not the slightest difficulty in proving that all political communities of the modern type owe their existence to successful warfare.”
As the state increased in population and size there was a concomitant improvement in the art of warfare. The small states fought among themselves and the successful ones made big states.
The kingdoms of Norway, Sweden and Denmark arc historical examples of the creation of states by the use of force. In the same process, Spain emerged as a new state in the sixth century A.D. In the ninth century A.D. the Normans conquered and established the state of Russia.
The same people established the kingdom of England by defeating the local people there in the eleventh century A.D. Stephen Butler Leachock sums up the founding of states by the use of force in these words:
“The beginnings of the state are to be sought in the capture and enslavement of man-by-man, in the conquest and subjugation acquired by superior physical force. The progressive growth from tribe to kingdom and from kingdom to empire is but a continuation from the same process.”
History of the Theory:
This theory is based on the well-accepted maxim of survival of the fittest. There is always a natural struggle for existence by fighting all adversaries among the animal world. This analogy may be stretched to cover the human beings.
Secondly, by emphasising the spiritual aspect of the church the clergymen condemned the authority of the state as one of brute force. This indirectly lends credence to the theory of force as the original factor in the creation of the state.
Thirdly, the socialists also, by condemning the coercive power of the state as one bent upon curbing and exploiting the workers, admit of force as the basis of the state.
Lastly, the theory of force is supported by the German philosophers like Friedrich Hegel, Immanuel Kant, John Bernhardi and Triestchki. They maintain that war and force are the deciding factors in the creation of the state. Today in the words of Triestchki – “State is power; it is a sin for a state to be weak. That state is the public power of offence and defence. The grandeur of history lies in the perpetual conflict of nations and the appeal to arms will be valid until the end of history.”
According to Bernhardi-“Might is the supreme right, and the dispute as to what is right is decided by the arbitrement of war. War gives a biologically just decision since its decision rest on the very nature of things.”
Criticisms of the Theory:
Following criticisms are levelled against the theory of force. In the first place, the element of force is not the only factor in the origin of the state; religion, politics, family and process of evolution are behind the foundation of the state. Thus to say that force is the origin of the state is to commit the same fallacy that one of the causes is responsible for a thing while all the causes were at work for it.
This has been rightly pointed out by Stephen Butler Leacock- “The theory errs in magnifying what has been only one factor in the evolution of society into the sole controlling force.” A state may be created by force temporarily. But to perpetuate it something more is essential.
In the second place, the theory of force runs counter to the universally accepted maxim of Thomas Hill Green- “Will, not force, is the basis of the state.” No state can be permanent by bayonets and daggers. It must have the general voluntary acceptance by the people.
In the third place, the theory of force is inconsistent with individual liberty. The moment one accepts that the basis of a state is force, how can one expect liberty there? The theory of force may be temporarily the order of the day in despotism as against democracy.
In the fourth place, the doctrine of survival of the fittest which is relied upon by the champions of the force theory has erroneously applied a system that is applicable to the animal world to human world. If force was the determining factor, how could Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violence triumph over the brute force of the British Imperialists?
Lastly, the force theory is to be discarded because political consciousness rather than force is the origin of the state. Without political consciousness of the people the state cannot be created. This is so because man is by nature a political animal. It is that political conscience that lay deep in the foundation of the state.
We may conclude with the words of R. N. Gilchrist- “The state, government and indeed all institutions are the result of man’s consciousness, the creation of which have arisen from his appreciation of a moral end.”
Merits of the Theory:
The theory of force, though untenable as an explanation of the origin of the state, has some redeeming features:
First, the theory contains the truth that some states at certain points of time were definitely created by force or brought to existence by the show of force. When the Aryans came to India they carried with them weapons of all kinds and horses to use in the war against the non-Aryans and by defeating the non-Aryans they carved out a kingdom in India.
Later on, the Aryans sprawled their kingdoms and broad-based their government and ruled with the backing of the people.
Secondly, the other silver lining of the theory is that it made the slates conscious of building adequate defence and army to protect the territorial integrity of the state. That is why we find commanders of war or Senapati as an important post in the ancient kingdoms.
In the modern state, we find a substantial amount of money used on defence budget. Every state in the modern world has got a defence minister which unmistakably recognises the use of force in modern statecraft too.
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