Patriarchal and paternalistic concepts of the origin of the state

Paternalistic theory of the state

The study of the origin of the state and law is not only purely cognitive, academic, but also political and practical in nature. It allows a deeper understanding of the social nature of the state and law, their features and traits; makes it possible to analyze the causes and conditions of their occurrence and development; allows you to more clearly define their characteristic functions – the main directions of their activities, more accurately establish their place and role in the life of society and in the political system.

Among theorists of state and law, there is not only no unity, but even a commonality of views regarding the process of the origin of state and law. In the world, there have always been many different theories explaining the process of the emergence and development of the state. This is quite natural and understandable. For each of them reflects either the different views of various groups, strata, classes, nations and other social communities on this process, or the views and judgments of the same social community on various aspects of this process of the emergence and development of the state. These views and judgments have always been based on various economic, financial, political and other interests.

During the existence of legal, philosophical and political science, dozens of various theories and doctrines have been created. Hundreds, if not thousands, of the most varied assumptions have been made. At the same time, disputes about the nature of the state and law, the causes, origins and conditions of their occurrence continue to this day.

Patriarchal and paternalistic concepts of the origin of the state

The meaning of the patriarchal theory is that the state consists of a family growing from generation to generation. The head of this family becomes the head of state – the monarch. His power is thus a continuation of the power of his father, and the monarch is the father of all his subjects. From the patriarchal theory follows the conclusion that it is necessary for all people to submit to state power.

The state, according to Aristotle, is not only a product of natural development, but also the highest form of human communication. It covers all other forms of communication (family, villages). The political nature of man also finds its completion in the state. Aristotle, for example, proceeded from the fact that people, as collective beings, strive for communication and the formation of families, and the development of families leads to the formation of the state. Aristotle interpreted the state as a product of the reproduction of families, their settlement and association. According to Aristotle, state power is the continuation and development of paternal power. He identified state power with the patriarchal power of the head of the family.

In China, this theory (paternalistic – From the word pater – father.) was developed by Confucius (551 – 479 BC). He viewed the state as a big family. The power of the emperor was likened to the power of the father, and the relations between the ruling and subjects were like family relations, where the younger ones depend on the elders and must be devoted to the rulers, respectful and obey the elders in everything. The rulers must take care of their subjects, as is customary in the family. Also, paternalistic views were reflected in Russian political history, the traditional component of which was the belief of the general population in the “tsar-father” and in any bosses as in the “father”. The advantages of this theory are in the formation of respect for state power. Cons in the denial of the specifics of the state and state power, their qualitative difference from the family and paternal power … The patriarchal theory has found fertile ground in Russia. It was actively promoted by the sociologist, publicist, theorist of populism N. K. Mikhailovsky. The prominent historian M.N. Pokrovsky also believed that the oldest type of state power developed directly from the power of the father. Apparently, not without the influence of this theory, the age-old tradition of faith in the “father of the people”, a good king, a leader capable of solving all problems for everyone, has taken deep roots in our country. In essence, such a tradition is anti-democratic, dooms people to passively expect other people’s decisions, undermines self-confidence, reduces social activity among the masses, and responsibility for the fate of their country.

Paternalism, leaderism also gives rise to numerous ideological “squires” who are ready to praise the leaders in every way, to justify their most negative actions and decisions in the eyes of the people. This tendency manifested itself most vehemently in the days of Stalinist totalitarianism. The cult ideology not only justified, but also praised in every possible way the concentration of unlimited power in the hands of Stalin, immediately turning his every step into a “historical”, “fateful”, “decisive”. The whole country was involved in this grandiose praise, almost epic flattery, permeated with the idea of infallibility, omniscience, omnipotence and omniscience of one person. The human person was neither socially nor legally protected.

R. Filmer, an English political writer, was a supporter of the patriarchal theory. Filmer, a supporter of unlimited royal power, tried, relying on the Bible, to prove that Adam, who, in his opinion, received power from God, then transferred this power to his eldest son, the patriarch, and he already to his descendants, the kings. Filmer’s The Patriarch was the most exotic work that expressed the ideas of patriarchal theory. Already Filmer’s contemporaries drew attention to the absurdity of many of its provisions. For example, it followed from Filmer’s theory that there should have been as many monarchs as there were fathers of families, or there should have been one monarchy in the world. Naturally, this historically has never happened, and could not be. However, many other lawyers and sociologists looked more deeply into the role of the family in the emergence of the state, as well as other social institutions. In Russia, the Russian sociologist N.K. Mikhailovsky (1842 – 1904).

The positive thing about the patriarchal theory was that its supporters, in particular N. Mikhailovsky, called for the elimination of everything immoral, harmful, unreasonable in relation to a person from life. And this is possible only in a society that is built according to the type of family relations.

The creators of this theory focused on Ancient Greece. The process of creating a state in Ancient Greece was different. On the hilly land of Greece, cereals grew poorly, but small cattle could be raised. When the population increased, it was necessary to think about a new source of food. People turned their attention to the sea. They took food from him. But most importantly, the sea made it possible to enter into relations with Egypt and Western Asia, to exchange available products with the people who inhabited them. It was very important to effectively organize our production and skillfully build relationships with neighbors in the region. This was done by the elders, the heads of the councils of elders, then the leaders, who, as the population increased, became kings. That is why in this region of the Earth the process of creating a state went, as it were, according to the patriarchal type, i.e. according to the type of expansion of a consanguineous family, and the king already became the “father” (patriarch) of the whole people.

Ancient Italy was somewhat different from Ancient Greece. The main part of its territory is made up of mountains covered with forests. Its climate is damper and cooler. There is little land suitable for agriculture. The sea in Italy is not as friendly as in Greece (in the east it is too stormy, its shores are impregnable, in the west there are also few convenient bays). Therefore, the Latins (Romans) were a people in which the role of the elders was initially great. But soon (probably with an increase in population and a shortage of food), when it was necessary to seize new lands, leaders began to rule life. However, in ancient Rome, the influence of the “fathers” of large families remained significant in the future.

Being the original form of organized communication, the family naturally grows and then divides. But since people have a natural need for communication, and also under the influence of economic conditions, families united by a legend about a common origin unite into tribes, unions of tribes, nationalities, already united by a common historical past. In this series of social transformations, the moment of transition to state education is when the feeling of consanguinity is lost and power is created, devoid of a family basis. Proper state power is a gradual transformation of the power of the father, passing into the power of the sovereign, the power of the monarch.

The advantages of the patriarchal theory include the fact that it:

– contributes to the cohesion of society; respect, veneration of state power;

– cultivates the spirit of kinship, brotherhood, interconnectedness of members of society (as family members).

The disadvantage of the theory is the direct identification of the state and the family, the power of the monarch and the father. This is contradicted by the following facts:

– there are real family ties in the family, while it is hardly correct to declare the whole people (despite the presence of a certain community) as relatives;

– the monarch is a representative of public authority, separated from the people, and his power has a different basis than the power of the father in the family (the father is indeed the founder of the family, the monarch, if the founder, then the state, not the people; the monarch is not a relative of the vast majority of the population; often the monarch is called from another state and has no consanguinity with the ruled state at all; the power of the father is informal and direct, the power of the monarch is highly formalized, accompanied by ceremonial, carried out indirectly, through officials, sometimes supported by laws, charters, relies on the apparatus of coercion);

– it is hardly possible to consider the state a direct continuation of the family also because both of these institutions were born gradually and almost at the same time in the process of decomposition of the primitive communal system.

This theory received a modern sound in the idea of state paternalism, i.e. the state taking care of its citizens and subjects in the event of an unfavorable situation for them – illness, disability, unemployment, etc. Positive in the patriarchal theory was that its supporters, in particular N. Mikhailovsky, called for the elimination of everything immoral from life, harmful, unreasonable in relation to a person. And this is possible only in a society that is built according to the type of family relations.

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