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THE STATE IN PEACE AND WAR



fUBUSHEL) BY

JAMES MACLEHOSE AND SONS, GLASGOW

$ubii*luv6 to the Rntbereity

MACMILLAN AND CO. LTD. LONDON

New York The Macndllan Co.

Toronto The Macmillan Co. of Canada,

London - - - Simpkin, Hamilton and Co.

Cambridge Bowes and Bowes

Edinburgh Douglas and Foulis

Sydney Angus and Robertson



MCMXIX



THE STATE IN PEACE
AND WAR



BY

JOHN WATSON, LL.D., Lrrr.D., D.D.

PROFESSOR OF MORAL PHILOSOPHY IN QUEEN S UNIVERSITY,
KINGSTON, CANADA



GLASGOW
JAMES MACLEHOSE AND SONS

PUBLISHERS TO THE UNIVERSITY






GLASGOW : PRINTED AT THE UNIVERSITY PRESS
BY ROBERT MACLEMOSE AND CO. LTD.



DEDICATED
TO THE MEMORY OF

EDWARD CAIRD

LATE MASTER OK BALLIOL COLLEGE, OXFORD



PREFACE

IN the following pages an attempt has been made to follow
the evolution of political ideas from the origin of the City-
State to the rise of the modern Nation-State, and to give
a concise statement of what seems to me to be the true
principle of the latter. I have attempted to guard this
principle from misconception, and specially to indicate
the intimate relation of the State to the various
subordinate organisations which it includes and which
are essential to its perfection, as well as its relation
to foreign states and to the world at large. To this
has been added a short statement of the regulations
of civilised warfare, a reference to the character of the
British Empire, and a consideration of the proposals for
a League of Nations. I have in the main avoided all
reference to the present war, contenting myself with
indicating the opposing conceptions of England and Ger-
many. It may appear that I have gone a long way round,
but perhaps this is a case in which " the longest way
round is the shortest way home."

The development of political theory from the funda-
mental idea of Plato and Aristotle that the State exists
for the production of the best life, through the long and
troubled period of the Roman Empire and the Middle
Ages, is a continuous development, in which one element
after another obtains prominence, until we reach the period
of the modern Nation-State, in which the ideas of check



viii PREFACE

and balance, of a law of nature, of absolute sovereignty,
of contract and utility, form stepping stones to the clear
and simple conception of the State as existing for the
establishment of the external conditions under which the
highest human life may be carried on.

Corresponding generally to the order of treatment in
this volume, a List of References to books and articles
that I have found more or less valuable will be found at
the end of the volume. On the whole I owe most to Green's
Principles of Political Obligation, Mr. Bosanquet's Philo-
sophical Theory of the State and other writings, Edward
Caird's Evolution of Theology in the Greek Philosophers
and his Critical Philosophy of Kant, and D. G. Ritchie's
Natural Rights. In the historical section I have derived
much advantage from Professor Dunning 's History of
Political Theories, supplemented by Professor Coker's
Readings in Political Philosophy.

Perhaps I should add that the text of this work was
prepared for publication before the conclusion of the
Armistice.



QUEEN'S UNIVERSITY,
KINGSTON, CANADA,
March, 1919.



CONTENTS

CHAPTER FIRST
THE CITY-STATE

PAGE

PERICLES' FUNERAL ORATION - r

EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY - 3

THE SOPHISTS - . - 4

SOCRATES - - 5

THE CYNICS 6

THE CYRENAICS - 7

PLATO :

The Apology - 8

The Crito - ..... 9

The Protagoras 10

The Meno - X 2

The Euthydemus - 13

The Gorgias .... I4

The Republic- - - . Z 6

CRITICAL ESTIMATE 28



CHAPTER SECOND

THE CITY-STATE Continued

ARISTOTLE :

Relation to Plato - 33

Natural Conditions of the State - - - - 33

The Family and the State 35

Slavery 38

Property 39

Criticism of Plato's Communism - - 40-

Citizenship - . . .

Education - - -..__

CRITICAL ESTIMATE OF THE CITY-STATE - - - - 46-

ix



x CONTENTS

CHAPTER THIRD

THE WORLD-STATE, THE ROMAN EMPIRE AND
THE MIDDLE AGES

PAGE

THE STOICS AND EPICUREANS 53

THE ROMAN REPUBLIC 57 '

Polybius ... 57

Cicero 59

THE ROMAN EMPIRE - 61 '

Ulpian - 62

The Institutes of Justinian - - 63

The Christian Fathers - - - 63 ,

THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE - - - 64

Political Theories of the Ninth Century - 65 "^

FEUDALISM AND SCHOLASTICISM - - 66 -"^

Social Contract Theories 68 ^

The State and the Communes 69

St. Bernard - - - 70

John of Salisbury - 70

Thomas Aquinas - - - 71

Jurists of the Fourteenth Century - 72

Dante's De Monarchia - - - 73

Marsiglio of Padua 76

Decay of Feudalism and Rise of the Towns 79

Wycliffe and Huss 80

CHAPTER FOURTH

THEORIES OF THE STATE FROM MACHIAVELLI

TO GROTIUS
THE RENAISSANCE AND THE REFORMATION :

Machiavelli : II Principe and Discorsi - 81

Luther : Liberty of a Christian Man - 88

Bodin : De Republica - 88

Grotius : De lure Belli ac Pads ... - 89

CHAPTER FIFTH

THE NATION-STATE : HOBBES, SPINOZA AND LOCKE

HOBBES : Leviathan - - - - 91 '

SPINOZA : Tractatus Politicus and Tractatus Theologico-

Politicus - - - 92

LOCKE : Treatise of Civil Government - - 102 "



CONTENTS xi

CHAPTER SIXTH

THE NATION- ST ATE Continued : ROUSSEAU, KANT
AND HEGEL

HAGE

ROUSSEAU : Contrat Social - - - 104

KANT: Die Rechtslehre 112

HEGEL : Die Philosophic des Rechts - - - - 127

CHAPTER SEVENTH

THE NATION-STATE Continued : BENTHAM, JAMES AND
JOHN STUART MILL AND HERBERT SPENCER

BENTHAM - - 147

JAMES MILL - 150

JOHN STUART MILL - 151

HERBERT SPENCER - 159

CHAPTER EIGHTH

THE NATION- ST ATE Continued : NIETZSCHE,
HAECKEL AND TREITSCHKE

HEGEL AND TREITSCHKE 164

DEVELOPMENT OF POLITICAL UNITY IN GERMANY 168

HAECKEL' s MATERIALISM - - 1 70

NIETZSCHE AND BERNHARDI - 171

TREITSCHKE'S Politik - 172

CHAPTER NINTH
ANALYSIS OF THE MODERN STATE

THE LAW OF POLITICAL EVOLUTION ILLUSTRATED FROM

ATHENS AND ROME ... - - 184

SUMMARY OF THE HISTORICAL EVOLUTION - 186

DEFECTS OF THE SOCIAL CONTRACT THEORY 194'

RELATION OF THE STATE TO SUBORDINATE ORGANISATIONS 197'

THE STATE AND THE FAMILY - 198

THE STATE AND THE TRADE UNION - 199

THE STATE AND THE CHURCH - - 199

THE STATE AND THE COMMUNITY 202

THE STATE AND THE GOVERNMENT - - 208,

INDIVIDUALISM AND IDEALISM - 212

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS - 216

THE MORALITY OF THE STATE - - - - 217



xii CONTENTS

CHAPTER TENTH
SYSTEM OF RIGHTS

PAGE

SYSTEM OF RIGHTS - ... 222 -

WALLAS' VIEW OF POLITICS - - 224

THE RIGHT TO LIFE - ... ... 230 ""

THE RIGHT TO LIBERTY 231 ^

RIGHTS OF CONTRACT 232 -

THE RIGHT OF REVOLUTION - - 232-^

RIGHT TO EQUALITY - 233

THE RIGHT TO PROPERTY - 234

SOCIALISM 235

KANT'S THEORY OF PUNISHMENT - - 242""

DURKHEIM'S THEORY - - - - 243

CHAPTER ELEVENTH
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS IN PEACE AND WAR

THE STATE AS AN ORGAN OF HUMANITY - - - 247

WAR NOT INEVITABLE 249^

HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF IDEAS ON WAR - 250 -

KANT'S Essay on Perpetual Peace - - 252

TREATIES, CONFERENCES AND CONGRESSES - 253

THE HAGUE PEACE CONFERENCE 256 -

AMERICAN " LEAGUE OF PEACE " AND BRITISH " LEAGUE

OF NATIONS - - - - - 257

TRUE PATRIOTISM ____-__- 260

MR. A. C. BRADLEY'S DIFFICULTIES IN REGARD TO FEDERATION 263
SIR JOHN MACDONNELL'S STATEMENT OF THE CONDITIONS

OF FEDERATION 264^

THEORY OF THE BALANCE OF POWER DISCREDITED - - 266 "

VISCOUNT GREY ON THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS ... 268 "

BOYCOTT INCOMPATIBLE WITH THE LEAGUE ... 2 jo

THE BRITISH EMPIRE AND ITS MISSION - - - 270

GREEK WRITERS ON WAR - 277^

RULES IN REGARD TO COMBATANTS AND NON-COMBATANTS - 279

THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS AND EDUCATION - 285-



THE STATE IN PEACE AND WAR



CHAPTER FIRST

THE CITY-STATE: THE SOPHISTS,
SOCRATES AND PLATO

IN the funeral oration preserved for us, in substance at
least, by Thucydides, Pericles claims for the City-State two
main excellences : it is pervaded by a single mind, and
it allows free play to the capacities of the individual.
Speaking of the Athenians who fell in the first year of the
war between Athens and Sparta he says : 1 " Before I
praise the dead I should like to point out by what prin-
ciples of action we rose to power, and under what institu-
tions and through what manner of life our empire became
great. For I conceive that such thoughts are not un-
suited to the occasion, and that this numerous assembly
of citizens and strangers may profitably listen to them.
" Our form of Government does not enter into rivalry
with the institutions of others. We do not copy our
neighbours, but we are an example to them. It is true
that we are called a democracy, for the administration
is in the hands of the many and not of the few. But
while the law secures equal justice to all alike in their
private disputes, the claim of excellence is also recog-
nised ; and when a citizen is in any way distinguished,

1 Jowett's Thucydides, ii. 35 ff.
W.S. A



2 THE STATErJN PEACE AND WAR

he is preferred to the public service, not as a matter of
privilege, but as the reward of merit. Neither is poverty
a bar, but a man may benefit his country whatever be the
obscurity of his condition. There is no exclusiveness in
our public life, and in our private intercourse we are not
suspicious of one another, nor angry with our neighbour
if he does what he likes ; we do not put on sour looks at
him which, though harmless, are not pleasant. While
we are thus unconstrained in our private intercourse, a
spirit of reverence pervades our public acts ; we are pre-
vented from doing wrong by respect for authority and for
the laws, having an especial regard to those which are
ordained for the protection of the injured as well as to
those unwritten laws which bring upon the transgressor
of them the reprobation of the general sentiment.

" We are lovers of the beautiful, yet simple in our
tastes, and we cultivate the mind without loss of manli-
ness. Wealth we employ, not for talk and ostentation,
but when there is a real use for it. To avow poverty
with us is no disgrace ; the true disgrace is doing nothing
to avoid it. An Athenian citizen does not neglect the
State because he takes care of his own household ; and
even those of us who are engaged in business have a very
fair idea of politics. We alone regard a man who takes
no interest in public affairs, not as a harmless, but as a
useless character ; and if few of us are originators, we are
all sound judges of a policy. The great impediment to
action is, in our opinion, not discussion, but the want of that
knowledge which is gained by discussion preparatory to
action. ... To sum up : I say that Athens is the school of
Hellas, and that the individual Athenian in his own person
seems to have the power of adapting himself to the most
varied forms of action with the utmost versatility and grace."

The problem of uniting public authority with individual



THE CITY-STATE 3

freedom, which Pericles claims that Athens had solved,
is the problem with which Plato and Aristotle are con-
cerned. The State must enable its citizens, they thought,
to realise the true, the beautiful and the good, and to do
so without derogating from the freedom and independ-
ence of the individual.

When Greek thought emerged from the stage of custom
and tradition it first fixed its attention upon the external
world, seeking to explain the life and movement of the All.
In its search for a single principle it came upon the idea
that underlying all change is an unchanging substrate,
and this principle it sought to apply in explanation of the
life of man as well as the life of nature. The Pythago-
reans reduced the physical elements to numbers, and this
principle they applied in explanation of the world of man's
conduct. Justice they declared to be a square number,
the State being just when it displays an equality of parts.
To act justly is to take from him who has more than his
share and give to him who has less. In Heraclitus, again,
we have an application of the law of the world to the law
of the State. It is, however, only when we turn to Athens
of the fifth century that we find any definite political theory.
Nature was conceived as a teleological scheme, and thus
the transition was made from physics to politics. No
longer was the same law supposed to apply both to
physical nature and to man, and when man was com-
pared to nature it was expressly by way of analogy, not
of identity. As there is order in the great cosmos, so, it
was argued, there must be onjer in that smaller cosmos,
the State. With the SOPHISTS, however, we find ourselves
in a new atmosphere. It is not the State but the indi-
vidual upon whom they fix their attention. " Nature " is
now expressly opposed to " convention." How did this
change come about ?



4 THE STATE IN PEACE AND WAR

The old idea of the immemorial origin of customary
laws was undermined by the process of history. Colon-
isation, by its formation of new states with new laws, and
reflection on the variety of customs in different tribes
and peoples, seemed to make it doubtful if there was any
absolute law in regard to human affairs. The Persian
wars gave an impulse to freedom of thought by increasing
both national and individual self-consciousness, a self-
consciousness which first appears in the philosophy of
Protagoras and of Gorgias. Protagoras transferred his
gaze from external nature to man, and declared that
" man is the measure of all things," while Gorgias claimed
that as a knowledge of nature is impossible, we ought
to concentrate our attention on human affairs. It is man,
subsequent Sophists went on to say, who in his own
interest establishes the State and human institutions
generally. This point being reached, it was inevitable
that it should be inferred that laws and institutions exist,
not by nature, but only by convention. This meant
that customary moral ideas are not divine ordinances,
as an earlier age had held, but on the contrary are dis-
tinctly opposed to the ideal code of morality. The source
of law, it was held by the Sophists, is really the desire
for the pleasure and satisfaction of the individual.
" Justice is the interest of the stronger."

The political theory which this individualism produced
was that of a social contract. The State, it was thought,
arose when men saw that it was to their individual interest
to surrender their purely selfish interests in order the better
to secure them. They believed that by combining with
one another and giving up their immediate satisfactions
they would in the end gain more for themselves. There-
fore they formed a contract, giving up their freedom in
return for the protection and preservation of their lives.



THE SOPHISTS 5

Another and more extreme form of the theory held that
the State was an expedient by which the weaker got the
better of the stronger. This, it was said, inverts the true
order of things, in which the strong by virtue of their
strength have the greatest right to the best.

This theory of all being conventional was applied also
in the sphere of religion. The first gods worshipped, said
Prodicus, were personifications of the forces of nature,
and according to Critias they were inventions of men for
the better security of social life. The Sophist Alcidamas
declared that by nature no man was a slave, and that all
distinctions of high and low were purely conventional.
Even the institutions of the family and private property
were attacked, and the communism afterwards suggested
by Plato, which gave to women the same work and the
same privileges as to men, seems to have been already
anticipated. Not all Sophists, however, took such ex-
treme views. Prodicus was a preacher of ethics, and
Protagoras, as Plato tells us, believed that, while men
gathered themselves together in cities for self-preservation,
yet law and order were of divine regulation.

A truer theory emerged with SOCRATES, who sought to
substitute self-knowledge for the self-assertion of the
Sophists. He taught men to discipline themselves instead
of following their natural impulses, and therefore he in-
sisted upon the necessity of a definite knowledge of the
nature of moral rules. For this reason he demanded that
men should not only act morally but should have a clear
conception of why they so acted. Hence his demand for
definitions. That which a man has clearly defined to
himself becomes a definite principle of action. In this
sense he declared that " virtue is knowledge." He made
no attempt to impose new rules of conduct upon men ;
on the contrary he claimed that we have only to make



6 THE STATE IN PEACE AND WAR

explicit the rules by which men are accustomed to act
to see that morality is universally binding upon men.
When this is done it will be found that all moral rules
subserve a single end, the end of happiness or well-being.
It was with the object of making men conscious of their
ignorance, and so leading them to see the necessity of clear
definitions, that he practised the art of interrogation.
Every man who worked at a trade knew precisely why he
did certain things, and yet people go on contentedly,
he said, in ignorance of the true meaning of life. So-
crates therefore sought to arouse men from this fatal
state of inertia, and to make of moral or political affairs
a " profession " in the noblest sense of the word. He
therefore inculcated the necessity of an art of life. Who
would trust a pilot who could not distinguish the Pole-
star from Venus, who was ignorant of the currents, and
did not know how his ship would answer the helm ? And
yet men are content to remain in ignorance of the ship
of State. To remedy this state of things Socrates laboured
incessantly, and ultimately lost his life in pursuit of what
Plato calls his " mission."

Applying his principle that " virtue is knowledge,"
Socrates advocated an aristocracy of intelligence. He
had no love for a sovereign assembly in which men sat
who had never given a thought to the meaning of politics.
There was therefore a certain amount of truth in the charge
that he was not a friend of the Athenian democracy. That
he was a corrupter of the minds of the youth was a charge
entirely unjust except in the sense that a fundamental
criticism of traditional ideas is always disturbing for
his conception of the ruler was of one who acted only in
the best interests of the people.

The CYNICS, while claiming to be followers of Socrates,
really misinterpreted his doctrine that virtue is know-



SOCRATES 7

ledge. The wise man, they said, is sufficient for himself.
They revolted against the whole of society, affirming that
one man is as good as another, and one country as good
as another. " Why should I be proud of belonging to
Attic soil with worms and snails ? " If, they argued,
Virtue is knowledge, external things, so far from being a
help, are only hindrances to the proper life of man. The
only citizenship the Cynic acknowledged was the citizen-
ship of the world ; which was no citizenship. Thus he
destroyed the whole conception of the City-State, and the
world was unprepared for any wider form of society. His
ideal of life was that of the animals, who have no cities,
laws or artificial institutions. Diogenes, indeed, held that
there must be law, but it must be in a World-State in
which all are equal.

The CYRENAICS, who alsq claimed to be the true dis-
ciples of Socrates, were, like the Cynics, individualists.
Virtue is indeed knowledge, but knowledge shows us that
what man seeks is pleasure. The State was therefore
regarded as a superfluity. Law they regarded as a mere
convention ; things are right or wrong by convention,
not by nature. They admitted, however, that a man
might find pleasure in seeking the good of his friend or of
his country. Thus Individualistic Hedonism, as always,
passed into Utilitarianism. The Cyrenaics, however,
added that general welfare was the welfare of the world,
not that of the City-State. This simply emptied the idea
of all content, leaving the individual alone with his desires.
No doubt the ultimate ideal is the good of all, but it must
be secured by the good of the State in the first instance.
In point of fact the Cyrenaics were partly the expression
of the decay of the City-State, and partly helped to bring
it about.

The true follower of Socrates was PLATO, who develops



8 THE STATE IN PEACE AND WAR

supplements and corrects the one-sidedness of his master.
Starting from the thesis that " virtue is knowledge,"
he illustrates its application in his earlier dialogues, and
then finding it too narrow he expands it until it embraces
all forms of being and all life and action.
, The Apology, though it deals primarily with the life and
idath of Socrates, is indirectly a discussion of the problem
'^-^-ilow far the individual is under obligation to obey the law
j of the State. This problem had already been presented
' in the Antigone of Sophocles, in which the heroine is repre-
sented as refusing to obey the command of Creon to leave
her brother unburied, on the ground that there are " un-
written laws of heaven " which have precedence over the
decrees of an earthly ruler. Socrates, suspected of being
the head of an aristocratic coterie, was accused of cor-
rupting the minds of the youth and disbelieving in the
gods of his country. The problem raised by these charges
is one of perennial interest, being substantially the same
as that with which Luther was confronted in a later age.
To cast doubt upon the customary ideas on which the laws
of the State are based must introduce unrest and uneasi-
ness into the mind of the average man, accustomed as he
is to regard the ordinary customs and laws of society as
revelations from heaven. On the other hand, in the mind
of the intellectual, moral, or religious reformer there exists
an ideal which goes beyond anything embodied in actual
law, and he who is true to the light within him is impelled
to express himself whatever be the consequences. The
work of Socrates was mainly and directly that of the intel-
lectual reformer who insists upon questioning accepted
ideas and forcing men to ask what were the principles
upon which they were accustomed to act. When there-
fore he was confronted with the alternative, Death or
Silence, his answer was the answer of Antigone and



PLATO 9

Luther : " This is the command of God. Acquit me or
condemn me, I shall never alter my ways," or, in Luther's
phrase, " Ich kann nicht anders." This then is Plato's
answer to the question how far the State may rightly
demand implicit obedience to its express commands.
No State may rightly prevent the development of the
individual by force, and if a man is conscious of pos-
sessing in himself at least the germ of higher truth, he must
obey the " inner light " whatever be the consequences.
There is, however, another side of the question. In the
Crito Socrates is represented as tempted to escape from the
prison in which he lies awaiting death. Will he again
disobey the law and so save his life, or will he submit to
what he must regard as an unjust sentence ? This is not
the same problem as before. There the question was
whether it is permissible to act contrary to a higher law,
and so violate one's conscience ; here the alternative is
disobedience of the law for a personal end. Socrates
does not for a moment hesitate ; he will do nothing to
weaken or destroy the sanctity of the State, so long as
no question of obedience to a higher law is at stake. No
individual may oppose his own inclinations to the will
of the State even when he believes that what it commands
is unjust. We must remember, says Plato, that the
individual is the child of society, and, while it is right to
affirm oneself in obedience to a higher law, it can never
be right to turn against our " maker " for personal reasons.
Moreover, not only does the individual owe obedience to
the State out of gratitude for the training he has received
from it, but he has entered into an implicit covenant to
obey its laws. When a man has reached the years of dis-
cretion he is at liberty to emigrate to another state, but if
he elects to remain in his own, he gives a tacit consent to
submit to its authority. Plato does not mean that society



io THE STATE IN PEACE AND WAR

is based upon a contract of individuals, for in that case
the contract might be dissolved ; what he means is that
in any x well organised State the recognition of the indivi-
dual's rights involves an obligation on his part to submit
to its ordinances. The burden of these two dialogues
t then is : Disobey the law when a higher impersonal
\ law would otherwise be violated ; obey the law where


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