The relationship between state, ruler and people

If there is no concordance between state, ruler and people the whole relationship is void.

People once existed as nomads, free to go anywhere, and free to do anything they wanted.  A boost in population, a desire for an easier life, and pressure on resources persuaded everyone that cooperation was better than a shortened life of fighting, thus emerged civilisation.

Civilisation needs organisation, laws and calving up of roles based on merit.  The person of civilisation had still the same needs as the nomad, but they put aside their instinctual impulses, for a delayed reward that civilisation would bring.  For instance to get instant food was as simple as firing an arrow into a passing rabbit, now it was about planting fields and waiting for the crops to grow a few months later.

The needs of the people thus was unchanged from the nomadic life to that of civilisation, only the idea that needs could be easily met in civilisation than as a nomad. As Plato says the purpose of the state is to serve the needs of its people, but if it fails to do that, then the nomadic life is perhaps a better option for the people.  It was unfortunate that Plato later would go against his statement of purpose of the state, by suggesting activities counter to that idea, for instance the rulers spinning falsehoods to the people.

Once the state was created there was a ruler who acted as a link between the people and the “group mind”.  The Celts contrary to Classical writers elected their rulers, who were the bridge between the people and the land.  A saying in the Celtic Mabinogion is: “let him who be chief be a bridge to his people”.  The philosopher Machiavelli failed to appreciate that rule is about the guardianship of the idea of the state acting for the benefit of the people, rather than for the benefit of the ruler.

When ruler and state runs against the benefit of the people, that is when trouble arises.  Alas, ruler and state has forgotten their purpose in much of the world, and that will have dire consequences.

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