Seeking the Perfect Relationship Between the Citizen and the State

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Throughout the centuries, the quest for the perfect and balanced relationship between the citizen and the state has been the focus of philosophers and thinkers. Driven by the human need to secure the natural rights of the individual and the necessity to safeguard the social and political institution known as the state, those men of thought differed among themselves in approach as well as in theories. Their thoughts diverged substantially as to rest on totally opposite if not contradictory sides. From the overwhelming belief in the absolute authority of the state even when wrong, as in Socrates, to the idolization of the citizen’s God given rights emphasized by Rousseau. The progressive evolution of the human mind from past to present, enriched by the vast intellectual writings of those thinkers, and sharpened by the bitter experiences people had to go through with absolute monarchies, unchallenged dictators and autocratic rulers who waged continuous and even personal wars and caused their people to suffer untold disasters rendering them to more like slaves than citizens. All that ignited the sentiments of freedom and liberty in the hearts of men and women everywhere. What began as questioning of the Divine Right of a monarch, turned into rebellion against the absolute and uncontrollable power of the ruler. Democracy as we know it became the aspiration of man. Ever since, the search for the perfect relationship between the citizen and the state continues. And no matter how different the theories on the subject may seem, they all share a common concept that the legitimate political authority or the state should strive to uphold, rather than constrain, the rights bestowed on man by nature. That is to say that the idea behind having... ... middle of paper ... ...tate, and much remains. With time, as people transitioned from being subjects of a king or queen to being citizens of a city and later to a nation. And they struggle to create for themselves a society that provides for their needs, fulfils their dreams and desires and guarantees them happiness, present and future. And as we live in a world that changes constantly, bringing into our lives new challenges that require the making of almost infallible choices; we feel the mounting need to be the masters of our own decisions whether personally or collectively. As citizens of a true democracy, we ought to feel that. As creators of a government that becomes our guardian and leader, we are to be the rulers and the ruled, the lawgivers and the law-abiding. Once again, it may be just right to accept only a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

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