THE STRUCTURAL PRINCIPLE OF
THE STATE (6)
by Herman Dooyeweerd
If we now try to trace the structural principle of individuality of the State from the empirical data mentioned above, it is in the first place necessary to devote our attention to the typical foundational function in this structure.
That this foundational function must be of a typical historical character cannot be doubted. For it appeared that the State-institution is based upon a typical concentration of power which has its historical condition in the destruction of the independent political power formations inherent in undifferentiated social organizations. But what type of individuality is revealed in this political organization of power proper to the State?
From our ample analysis of the modal structure of the historical aspect in the second Volume we know that power, in its nuclear modal sense, allows of widely different individuality types (Cf. Vol. II, part I, pp. 196 ff). The historical power of the Christian Church has an entirely different individuality structure from that of a modern or an ancient State, and the power of each of them is structurally entirely different from that of a modern large-scale industrial undertaking, or that of a scientific or of an aesthetic "school", etc.
In an undifferentiated organized community different individuality-structures of historical power may be interlaced in one and the same organizational form, but the State, as such, has a differentiated structure. Therefore its internal power-formation can no longer display an undifferentiated structure. We must keep in mind that we are looking for the typical foundational function of this societal institution which is the original substratum for the type of individuality of its leading or qualifying function. In whatever way we consider the matter, this foundational function of the geno-type "State" can nowhere else be found but in an internal monopolistic organization of the power of the sword over a particular cultural area within territorial boundaries.
The reader should remember that this typical historical structural function may in no way be naturalistically misinterpreted. According to its modal meaning it is a normative structural function implying a task, a vocation which can be realized in a better or a worse way. There has never existed any State whose internal structure in the last instance was not based on organized armed power, at least claiming the ability to break any armed resistance on the part of private persons or organizations within its territory.
The myth of blood-relationship in the German national-socialistic ideology of the "third Empire", and the typical foundational function in the structure of the State.
In the political mythology of German national-socialism it was suggested that the community of blood and soil was the real foundation of "the third Empire". But even in this case the internal structure of the State was not supposed to have a typical biotic foundation in a common descent. The starting point of this view was the community of the German people as including the entire individual personality, all the special structural communities and relationships such as the State, the Church, industry, political party, youth organization, etc. These societal units were viewed as differentiations of the primary community of the people, although the State was finally considered to be its totalitarian political form of organization. Only for this "community of the people" was postulated a "community of blood" in the myth of the race. This myth was not to be understood in the sense of a naturalistic racial theory. This must be evident to anyone who has realized that the background of this racial ideology was found in the irrationalist-historistic view of life and the world (1) entertained by German national socialism (thus WALTER HAMEL in his treatise cited below).
(1) A view of life and the world [Weltanschauung] as such is not a theory. This is an important point in this context. Cf. Vol. I Prolegomena, pp. 156 ff. In his famous article in the Enciclopedia Italiana on the Dottrina fascista (1932), MUSSOLINI made the following observation as to fascism as a view of life and the world: 'To fascism the cosmos is not that material world in which man is led by a law of nature', and: 'Fascism is a mental attitude born out of the general reaction of our century to the superficial and materialistic positivism of the 19th century'. This could be taken over literally by German national socialism.
There was a reminiscense of irrationalistic Romanticism in the German national socialist ideology of the "pure racial community of blood of the German people", though it was deprived of any Romantic idealism. It was connected with the old Germanic myth of a common descent claimed for all Germanic peoples. The mythology of Italian fascism, on the other hand, consciously fell back on the old idea of the eternal Roman empire (2). Therefore Italian fascism was State-minded (3) whereas German national-Socialism was folk-minded, an ideological difference on which the German nazists laid strong emphasis (4).
(2) Cf. MUSSOLINI's statement in his quoted article on the Dottrina fascista II, 13: 'The fascist State is a will to power and dominion' (una voluntà di potenza e d'emperio). It is the tradition of ancient Rome which is appealed to here. Cf. A. MENZEL, Der Staatsgedanke des Faschismus (Leipzig und Wien, 1935) p. 61. Cf. also pp. 83 ff. op. cit.
(3) Compare MUSSOLINI's statement in the article quoted from the Enciclopedia ltaliana: 'It is not the nation that creates the State, as was asserted in the naturalistic doctrine of the 19th century. But the nation is created by the State which only gives the people the consciousness of its own moral unity, a will, and therefore its real existence'. The German national-socialist doctrine of the nation as "a community of blood", as a "racial community" was unconditionally rejected by MUSSOLINI. Cf. MENZEL op. cit. p. 74/5. 4
(4) Cf., e.g., WALTER HAMEL: Volkseinheit und Nationalitätenstaat, in Zeit-schr. f. d. ges. Staatswissenschaft, Bnd. 95, 4e Heft, (1935), p. 587.
If full justice to such myths is to be done, they should be interpreted from the irrationalist-historicistic spirit of the view of life and the world in the background. Their essential aim was to elevate the historically developed nationality (the "cultural race", or the "national State" respectively) to a "spiritual power". This power should be actual and always again be actualized and assume all-absorbing validity in the conviction of the people (5). The political myths also aimed at exorcizing powers that were alleged to be a menace to the deified nationality.
(5) Cf. MUSSOLINI's pronouncement at Naples in October 1922: 'We have created a myth; a myth is a belief, a noble enthusiasm; it need not be a reality; it is an impulse and a hope, faith and courage. Our myth is the nation, the great nation, which we want to make into a concrete reality." Cf. A. MENZEL, op. cit. p. 15/6. Cf. also GIULIANO BALBINO : L'idea etica del fascismo (in Gerarchia 1932, XI, p. 949).
In the German national socialist theory of the State it was realized that the structure of the State, as such, cannot be derived from a national community as a "community of blood". This is evident, for instance, from WALTER HAMEL's book Das Wesen des Staatsgebietes (1933), in which the State and the people are explicitly conceived to be connected in a dialectical tension. The State, as such, is historically founded in the sovereign control of a "political territory" ("politischen Raum"). This "Bodemgemeinschaft" (community of territory) is explicitly qualified as the adversary of the people ("Widersacher des Volkes"), which, however, always strives after a dialectical connection with the "community of blood" (Wesen des Staatsgebietes, 1933, p. 231 ff. Cf. also his treatise cited above).
Of course, it is perfectly true that a State cannot maintain itself long if it is not rooted in the moral "conviction of the people", at least of the ruling groups of such a people. The State will be short-lived if it is divided and torn by internal strife, or if it lacks sufficient economical means to assert its power. But all this only proves what we have pointed out from the beginning, viz. that the typical foundational function in the structure of the State is not self-sufficient. It does not imply that the State is not typically founded in the monopolistic organization of the power of the sword over a territorial cultural sphere.
The fundamental error of considering all different forms of power intrinsically equivalent components of the power of the State.
For a real insight into the individuality structure of the State it is essential to guard against the view which emphasizes the all-sidedness of political power and treats all its components alike. The fallacy of this opinion does not lie in the recognition that in a way State-power is all-sided. For as regards its historical aspect, the State is not merely the organized power of the sword over a particular territory. If the State did not have at its disposal typical economical, moral, pisteutic and other forms of power (6), it would even be impossible to form a military organization.
(6) These other forms of power are anticipatory forms of historical power, enclosed by the modal structure of the historical law-sphere, and having no original economic, moral, or faith modality. Cf. Vol. II, pp. 70-71.
But this is not the point at issue. None of the other forms of power is in itself typical of the State. The monopolistic organization of the power of the sword is the only typical form which is not found as a foundational function in any of the other differentiated societal structures. The other forms of power, insofar as they are really internal forms of State-power, are themselves only intelligible from the structural principle of the body politic, which implies a monopolistic military organization as its typical foundational function. They may also belong to the variability-types of the State, which originate from enkaptic interweavings with other societal structures.
To give an example: if there are powerful industries, large-scale agricultural undertakings, worldwide shipping organizations, etc., within its territory, the power of the State is closely bound up with the prosperity of these non-political organizations. But this does not mean that the economic forms of power of these organizations, which in modern times are for a good deal of an international character, are internal constituents of the power of the State.
There may be an open antagonism between the power of the State and that of industry or commerce, if the latter abuse their means for political aims contrary to "national interests". A State whose organized military power is weak will never be a powerful State, though having large economic means of power, a very rich soil, a flourishing science and art within its territory. If the levelling schema of the whole and its parts is applied to the relation between the power of the State and the other structures of power within its territory, the resulting conclusions will always be in conflict with reality. They misinterpret the individuality-structures of reality. On this error is based the mythological character of the idea of the totalitarian State. No matter how this idea is elaborated, it always implies that all the other individuality-structures of this power will retain their own essential character when they are made into internal constituents of the State's power. But all forms of power that really become internal elements of the power of the body politic must necessarily assume the internal individuality-structure of the latter. We have discovered that all mythology is a false interpretation of God's revelation in creaturely meaning. So also this political mythology rests on a false deification of the creaturely expression of God's omnipotence in the meaning-structure of the State's power.
The original character of the individuality type of the foundational function. The seeming antinomy in the relation between foundational and leading function of the State.
As the foundational function of the body politic is not merely modal, but really an internal structural function, it must be studied in its indissoluble coherence with the leading function of this societal institution. The structural principle of the whole must express itself in each of its modal aspects. The circumscription of the foundational function of the State as the organized monopolistic power of the sword over a certain territorial cultural area, is consequently not wholly satisfactory, because the full structural principle of the institution is not yet expressed in it. But theoretical analysis must necessarily proceed in a successive meaning-synthesis in order to elucidate the internal structure of a societal relationship. The initial theoretic separation of the two radical functions which internally hang indissolubly together, is inescapable in this procedure.
It will be useful once again to give an account of the exact relation between the individuality type of the leading and the foundational function in the structure of an organized community. Our thesis is that the monopolistic organization of military power within a particular territorial cultural area is the foundation of the individuality type of the leading function of the body politic. At the same time, however, we state that this foundational function can only be conceived in its indissoluble coherence with the leading [juridical] function, i.e. that the historical function is apparently only a real structural one insofar as its meaning is opened and anticipatory. At first sight these two statements seem to be contradictory. There seems to be an inevitable antinomy in the fact that the differentiated, historically founded communities have a foundational structural function whose type of individuality must necessarily be of an anticipatory character. For the latter state of affairs apparently excludes the original or nuclear character of this type of individuality. But if the foundational structural function has no original type of individuality, its foundational character is thereby annihilated. And then the internal contradiction would have been admitted. This antinomy seems to be inevitable especially in the case of the differentiated societal relationships with a typical historical foundation. The reason is that the entire process of differentiation in the societal structures can only be brought about in the anticipatory direction of time.
The solution of this seeming antinomy. The anticipatory character of the foundational function does not affect its original type of individuality.
The solution of this seeming antinomy was already found in an earlier context of our enquiry when we investigated the structural relation between the foundational and the leading function of a geno-typical individuality-structure in general (Cf. Vol. III, pp. 91 ff). It appeared that this relation is founded in the necessary correlation between the foundational and the anticipatory direction of the universal order of time in the opening-process of the foundational function.
The anticipatory character of the foundational function does not affect its original or nuclear type of individuality. For the latter is only to be found in the foundational direction of time. The disclosure of its anticipatory moments by its structural subordination to the leading [juridical] function can only deepen the individuality type of the foundational function, it cannot abolish its foundational character. In other words, this individuality-type as such does not belong to the anticipatory types which we have formerly distinguished from the nuclear and the retrocipatory types. The differentiated monopolistic organization of military power within a territorial cultural area can indeed only be brought about in the anticipatory direction of time. The historical vocational power acquired in such an organization points beyond itself to the leading [juridical] function of the structural principle of the State. But we shall show that this leading function lacks a nuclear type of individuality. In this respect there is consequently no difference between the State and the natural communities. In both cases the structural disclosure of the foundational function in the anticipatory direction of time presupposes the original type of individuality of this function. Anticipatory types, on the other hand, which lack this original character are only constituted in the anticipatory direction of time. It is therefore essential to distinguish between the anticipatory individuality-types of an un-original character and the original individuality-types with an anticipatory opened meaning-structure.
(Herman Dooyeweerd, A New Critique of Theoretical Thought, Vol 3, pp 413-419)
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