Search: Civitas Maxima

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Intriguing and illuminating.  Thank you.

Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Harold Laski: Problems of Democracy, the Sovereign State, and International Society

Laski’s concerns turn out to have much in common with those of present-day social democratic commentators – in particular the capacity of a state to effect social justice in conditions of global interdependence.

Peter Lamb’s study of this overly neglected thinker is a highly relevant recovery. This lucid, well-judged and sympathetic account of Laski’s later thought on the ‘myth’ of the sovereign state is highly pertinent for cosmopolitan democrats, students of normative international relations and seekers of a genuinely radical ‘third way’.


Full Article Online
Full Article Online

Pax Civitas Maxima: Fighting the Good Fight

Canadian Military Journal (Summer 2002), pp. 25-32

This is a really excellent contribution, and because of this search request, we now adopt the term “civitas maxima” as a core concept–thank you for that.  Core sentences from this brilliant piece:

Until we can speak of truly internationalist interests, a solidarist world will elude us.

…the most compelling reason is mental inertia.

Peaekeeping, if it is to retain any meaning at all, must be linguistically divorced from intervention.

See the references in this article.

PART ONE: History of the Idea of Natural Law – Heinrich Rommen, The Natural Law: A Study in Legal and Social History and Philosophy [1936]

By contrasting, in the light of their social criticism, what is naturally right with what is legally right, the Sophists attained at this early date to the notion of the rights of man and to the idea of mankind. The unwritten laws, said Hippias, are eternal and unalterable: they spring from a higher source than the decrees of men.

The core “separation” between natural law and man-made law can be said to have gone over the cliff at two points: the Treaty of Westphalia that gave carte blanche to “sovereignty” as a walled city within which the rest of the world gave up “standing” with respect to crimes against humanity within those walls; and what Lionel Tiger calls The Manufacture of Evil: Ethics, Evolution and the Industrial System and      calls Voltaire’s Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West]–the separation of humanity from organizational conscioiusness, and the separation of science from the humanities.  On the Treaty of Westphalia as a crime against humanity see Philipp Allott onThe Health of Nations: Society and Law beyond the State.  This was the beginning of the end for “complex states” that were not able to adapt to fast-changing reality because of their persistent data pathologies and information asymmetries.

Phi Beta Iota:   We are in the process of making a direct connection between the earliest concepts of natural law and the modern concepts of Buckminster Fuller and others addressing the cosmologicial consistency that can be found in accept the “system of systems” approach to decision support, in which truth at any cost, and pure undiluted feedback loops, are the essence of getting it right (see Ackoff and also Durant on Philosphy and the Social Problem, which emphasizes the role of education as the highest responsibility of society so as to produce citizens capable of being the living embodiment of civitas maxima.  Note: used as a search at Phi Beta Iota, the Durant title produces a fine selection of related material.