Thursday, October 21, 2010

Que Estado este?

"The Greco-Roman background of St.Augustine comes out in his assumption that «the life of wise men must be social», and that there is no man who «does not wish to have peace.» The state, therefore by providing social peace, «has it's good in this world»; and St.Augustine recalls Greco-Roman ideas in saying that the state is, «in its own kind, better than all other human good. For it desires earthly peace for the sake of enjoying earthly goods.»

At this point St.Augustine parts company with Plato and Cicero, who so strongly influenced him. The peace that the state provides is, according to St.Augustine, not an end in itself, but only a means, a condition that makes the service to God possible. The peace of the state is the temporary tranquility that enables man to work for the heavenly city, wich is «peace neverending.»

Peace is therefore conceived by St.Augustine in terms of justice (that is the right relation of man and God); it is not merely the absence of social strife and conflict. Without justice there can be no peace, and this moral and religious conception is behind St.Augustine's famous statement:

«Justice being taken away, then, what are the kingdoms but great robberies?»

In "Great Political Thinkers" by W.&A.Ebenstein


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