The Urantia Book
DEVELOPMENT OF THE STATE
Sponsored by a Melchizedek of Nebadon.
71:0.1 THE state is a useful evolution of
civilization; it represents society's net gain from the ravages
and sufferings of war. Even statecraft is merely the accumulated
technique for adjusting the competitive contest of force between
the struggling tribes and nations.
71:0.2 The modern state is the institution
which survived in the long struggle for group power. Superior
power eventually prevailed, and it produced a creature of fact
-- the state -- together with the moral myth of the absolute
obligation of the citizen to live and die for the state. But the
state is not of divine genesis; it was not even produced by
volitionally intelligent human action; it is purely an
evolutionary institution and was wholly automatic in origin.
1. THE EMBRYONIC STATE
71:1.1 The state is a territorial social
regulative organization, and the strongest, most efficient, and
enduring state is composed of a single nation whose people have
a common language, mores, and institutions.
71:1.2 The early states were small and were
all the result of conquest. They did not originate in voluntary
associations. Many were founded by conquering nomads, who would
swoop down on peaceful herders or settled agriculturists to
overpower and enslave them. Such states, resulting from
conquest, were, perforce, stratified; classes were inevitable,
and class struggles have ever been selective.
71:1.3 The northern tribes of the American red
men never attained real statehood. They never progressed beyond
a loose confederation of tribes, a very primitive form of state.
Their nearest approach was the Iroquois federation, but this
group of six nations never quite functioned as a state and
failed to survive because of the absence of certain essentials
to modern national life, such as:
71:1.4 1. Acquirement and inheritance of
71:1.5 2. Cities plus agriculture and
71:1.6 3. Helpful domestic animals.
71:1.7 4. Practical family organization. These
red men clung to the mother-family and nephew inheritance.
71:1.8 5. Definite territory.
71:1.9 6. A strong executive head.
71:1.10 7. Enslavement of captives -- they
either adopted or massacred them.
71:1.11 8. Decisive conquests.
71:1.12 The red men were too democratic; they
had a good government, but it failed. Eventually they would have
evolved a state had they not prematurely encountered the more
advanced civilization of the white man, who was pursuing the
governmental methods of the Greeks and the Romans.
71:1.13 The successful Roman state was based
1. The father-family.
2. Agriculture and the domestication
3. Condensation of population --
4. Private property and land.
5. Slavery -- classes of
6. Conquest and reorganization of
weak and backward peoples.
7. Definite territory with roads.
8. Personal and strong rulers.
71:1.14 The great weakness in Roman
civilization, and a factor in the ultimate collapse of the
empire, was the supposed liberal and advanced provision for the
emancipation of the boy at twenty-one and the unconditional
release of the girl so that she was at liberty to marry a man of
her own choosing or to go abroad in the land to become immoral.
The harm to society consisted not in these reforms themselves
but rather in the sudden and extensive manner of their adoption.
The collapse of Rome indicates what may be expected when a state
undergoes too rapid extension associated with internal
71:1.15 The embryonic state was made possible
by the decline of the blood bond in favor of the territorial,
and such tribal federations were usually firmly cemented by
conquest. While a sovereignty that transcends all minor
struggles and group differences is the characteristic of the
true state, still, many classes and castes persist in the later
state organizations as remnants of the clans and tribes of
former days. The later and larger territorial states had a long
and bitter struggle with these smaller consanguineous clan
groups, the tribal government proving a valuable transition from
family to state authority. During later times many clans grew
out of trades and other industrial associations.
71:1.16 Failure of state integration results
in retrogression to prestate conditions of governmental
techniques, such as the feudalism of the European Middle Ages.
During these dark ages the territorial state collapsed, and
there was a reversion to the small castle groups, the
reappearance of the clan and tribal stages of development.
Similar semistates even now exist in Asia and Africa, but not
all of them are evolutionary reversions; many are the embryonic
nucleuses of states of the future.
THE EVOLUTION OF REPRESENTATIVE
71:2.1 Democracy, while an ideal, is a product
of civilization, not of evolution. Go slowly! select carefully!
for the dangers of democracy are:
1. Glorification of mediocrity.
2. Choice of base and ignorant
3. Failure to recognize the basic
facts of social evolution.
4. Danger of universal suffrage in
the hands of uneducated and indolent majorities.
5. Slavery to public opinion; the
majority is not always right.
71:2.2 Public opinion, common opinion, has
always delayed society; nevertheless, it is valuable, for, while
retarding social evolution, it does preserve civilization.
Education of public opinion is the only safe and true method of
accelerating civilization; force is only a temporary expedient,
and cultural growth will increasingly accelerate as bullets give
way to ballots. Public opinion, the mores, is the basic and
elemental energy in social evolution and state development, but
to be of state value it must be nonviolent in expression.
71:2.3 The measure of the advance of society
is directly determined by the degree to which public opinion can
control personal behavior and state regulation through
nonviolent expression. The really civilized government had
arrived when public opinion was clothed with the powers of
personal franchise. Popular elections may not always decide
things rightly, but they represent the right way even to do a
wrong thing. Evolution does not at once produce superlative
perfection but rather comparative and advancing practical
71:2.4 There are ten steps, or stages, to the
evolution of a practical and efficient form of representative
government, and these are:
71:2.5 1. Freedom of the person.
Slavery, serfdom, and all forms of human bondage must disappear.
71:2.6 2. Freedom of the mind. Unless a
free people are educated -- taught to think intelligently and
plan wisely -- freedom usually does more harm than good.
71:2.7 3. The reign of law. Liberty can
be enjoyed only when the will and whims of human rulers are
replaced by legislative enactments in accordance with accepted
71:2.8 4. Freedom of speech.
Representative government is unthinkable without freedom of all
forms of expression for human aspirations and opinions.
71:2.9 5. Security of property. No
government can long endure if it fails to provide for the right
to enjoy personal property in some form. Man craves the right to
use, control, bestow, sell, lease, and bequeath his personal
71:2.10 6. The right of petition.
Representative government assumes the right of citizens to be
heard. The privilege of petition is inherent in free
71:2.11 7. The right to rule. It is not
enough to be heard; the power of petition must progress to the
actual management of the government.
71:2.12 8. Universal suffrage.
Representative government presupposes an intelligent, efficient,
and universal electorate. The character of such a government
will ever be determined by the character and caliber of those
who compose it. As civilization progresses, suffrage, while
remaining universal for both sexes, will be effectively
modified, regrouped, and otherwise differentiated.
71:2.13 9. Control of public servants.
No civil government will be serviceable and effective unless the
citizenry possess and use wise techniques of guiding and
controlling officeholders and public servants.
71:2.14 10. Intelligent and trained
representation. The survival of democracy is dependent on
successful representative government; and that is conditioned
upon the practice of electing to public offices only those
individuals who are technically trained, intellectually
competent, socially loyal, and morally fit. Only by such
provisions can government of the people, by the people, and for
the people be preserved.
3. THE IDEALS OF STATEHOOD
71:3.1 The political or administrative form of
a government is of little consequence provided it affords the
essentials of civil progress -- liberty, security, education,
and social co-ordination. It is not what a state is but what it
does that determines the course of social evolution. And after
all, no state can transcend the moral values of its citizenry as
exemplified in their chosen leaders. Ignorance and selfishness
will insure the downfall of even the highest type of government.
71:3.2 Much as it is to be regretted, national
egotism has been essential to social survival. The chosen people
doctrine has been a prime factor in tribal welding and nation
building right on down to modern times. But no state can attain
ideal levels of functioning until every form of intolerance is
mastered; it is everlastingly inimical to human progress. And
intolerance is best combated by the co-ordination of science,
commerce, play, and religion.
71:3.3 The ideal state functions under the
impulse of three mighty and co-ordinated drives:
1. Love loyalty derived from the
realization of human brotherhood.
2. Intelligent patriotism based on
3. Cosmic insight interpreted in
terms of planetary facts, needs, and goals.
71:3.4 The laws of the ideal state are few in
number, and they have passed out of the negativistic taboo age
into the era of the positive progress of individual liberty
consequent upon enhanced self-control. The exalted state not
only compels its citizens to work but also entices them into
profitable and uplifting utilization of the increasing leisure
which results from toil liberation by the advancing machine age.
Leisure must produce as well as consume.
71:3.5 No society has progressed very far when
it permits idleness or tolerates poverty. But poverty and
dependence can never be eliminated if the defective and
degenerate stocks are freely supported and permitted to
reproduce without restraint.
71:3.6 A moral society should aim to preserve
the self-respect of its citizenry and afford every normal
individual adequate opportunity for self-realization. Such a
plan of social achievement would yield a cultural society of the
highest order. Social evolution should be encouraged by
governmental supervision which exercises a minimum of regulative
control. That state is best which co-ordinates most while
71:3.7 The ideals of statehood must be
attained by evolution, by the slow growth of civic
consciousness, the recognition of the obligation and privilege
of social service. At first men assume the burdens of government
as a duty, following the end of the administration of political
spoilsmen, but later on they seek such ministry as a privilege,
as the greatest honor. The status of any level of civilization
is faithfully portrayed by the caliber of its citizens who
volunteer to accept the responsibilities of statehood.
71:3.8 In a real commonwealth the business of
governing cities and provinces is conducted by experts and is
managed just as are all other forms of economic and commercial
associations of people.
71:3.9 In advanced states, political service
is esteemed as the highest devotion of the citizenry. The
greatest ambition of the wisest and noblest of citizens is to
gain civil recognition, to be elected or appointed to some
position of governmental trust, and such governments confer
their highest honors of recognition for service upon their civil
and social servants. Honors are next bestowed in the order named
upon philosophers, educators, scientists, industrialists, and
militarists. Parents are duly rewarded by the excellency of
their children, and purely religious leaders, being ambassadors
of a spiritual kingdom, receive their real rewards in another
71:4.1 Economics, society, and government must
evolve if they are to remain. Static conditions on an
evolutionary world are indicative of decay; only those
institutions which move forward with the evolutionary stream
71:4.2 The progressive program of an expanding
1. Preservation of individual
2. Protection of the home.
3. Promotion of economic security.
Prevention of disease.
5. Compulsory education.
6. Compulsory employment.
7. Profitable utilization of
8. Care of the unfortunate.
9. Race improvement.
10. Promotion of science and art.
11. Promotion of philosophy --
12. Augmentation of cosmic insight
71:4.3 And this progress in the arts of
civilization leads directly to the realization of the highest
human and divine goals of mortal endeavor -- the social
achievement of the brotherhood of man and the personal status of
God-consciousness, which becomes revealed in the supreme desire
of every individual to do the will of the Father in heaven.
71:4.4 The appearance of genuine brotherhood
signifies that a social order has arrived in which all men
delight in bearing one another's burdens; they actually desire
to practice the golden rule. But such an ideal society cannot be
realized when either the weak or the wicked lie in wait to take
unfair and unholy advantage of those who are chiefly actuated by
devotion to the service of truth, beauty, and goodness. In such
a situation only one course is practical: The "golden rulers"
may establish a progressive society in which they live according
to their ideals while maintaining an adequate defense against
their benighted fellows who might seek either to exploit their
pacific predilections or to destroy their advancing
71:4.5 Idealism can never survive on an
evolving planet if the idealists in each generation permit
themselves to be exterminated by the baser orders of humanity.
And here is the great test of idealism: Can an advanced society
maintain that military preparedness which renders it secure from
all attack by its war-loving neighbors without yielding to the
temptation to employ this military strength in offensive
operations against other peoples for purposes of selfish gain or
national aggrandizement? National survival demands preparedness,
and religious idealism alone can prevent the prostitution of
preparedness into aggression. Only love, brotherhood, can
prevent the strong from oppressing the weak.
5. THE EVOLUTION OF COMPETITION
71:5.1 Competition is essential to social
progress, but competition, unregulated, breeds violence. In
current society, competition is slowly displacing war in that it
determines the individual's place in industry, as well as
decreeing the survival of the industries themselves. (Murder and
war differ in their status before the mores, murder having been
outlawed since the early days of society, while war has never
yet been outlawed by mankind as a whole.)
71:5.2 The ideal state undertakes to regulate
social conduct only enough to take violence out of individual
competition and to prevent unfairness in personal initiative.
Here is a great problem in statehood: How can you guarantee
peace and quiet in industry, pay the taxes to support state
power, and at the same time prevent taxation from handicapping
industry and keep the state from becoming parasitical or
71:5.3 Throughout the earlier ages of any
world, competition is essential to progressive civilization. As
the evolution of man progresses, co-operation becomes
increasingly effective. In advanced civilizations co-operation
is more efficient than competition. Early man is stimulated by
competition. Early evolution is characterized by the survival of
the biologically fit, but later civilizations are the better
promoted by intelligent co-operation, understanding fraternity,
and spiritual brotherhood.
71:5.4 True, competition in industry is
exceedingly wasteful and highly ineffective, but no attempt to
eliminate this economic lost motion should be countenanced if
such adjustments entail even the slightest abrogation of any of
the basic liberties of the individual.
6. THE PROFIT MOTIVE
71:6.1 Present-day profit-motivated economics
is doomed unless profit motives can be augmented by service
motives. Ruthless competition based on narrow-minded
self-interest is ultimately destructive of even those things
which it seeks to maintain. Exclusive and self-serving profit
motivation is incompatible with Christian ideals -- much more
incompatible with the teachings of Jesus.
71:6.2 In economics, profit motivation is to
service motivation what fear is to love in religion. But the
profit motive must not be suddenly destroyed or removed; it
keeps many otherwise slothful mortals hard at work. It is not
necessary, however, that this social energy arouser be forever
selfish in its objectives.
The profit motive of economic
activities is altogether base and wholly unworthy of an advanced
order of society; nevertheless, it is an indispensable factor
throughout the earlier phases of civilization. Profit motivation
must not be taken away from men until they have firmly possessed
themselves of superior types of nonprofit motives for economic
striving and social serving -- the transcendent urges of
superlative wisdom, intriguing brotherhood, and excellency of
71:7.1 The enduring state is founded on
culture, dominated by ideals, and motivated by service. The
purpose of education should be acquirement of skill, pursuit of
wisdom, realization of selfhood, and attainment of spiritual
71:7.2 In the ideal state, education continues
throughout life, and philosophy sometime becomes the chief
pursuit of its citizens. The citizens of such a commonwealth
pursue wisdom as an enhancement of insight into the significance
of human relations, the meanings of reality, the nobility of
values, the goals of living, and the glories of cosmic destiny.
71:7.3 Urantians should get a vision of a new
and higher cultural society. Education will jump to new levels
of value with the passing of the purely profit-motivated system
of economics. Education has too long been localistic,
militaristic, ego exalting, and success seeking; it must
eventually become world-wide, idealistic, self-realizing, and
71:7.4 Education recently passed from the
control of the clergy to that of lawyers and businessmen.
Eventually it must be given over to the philosophers and the
scientists. Teachers must be free beings, real leaders, to the
end that philosophy, the search for wisdom, may become the chief
71:7.5 Education is the business of living; it
must continue throughout a lifetime so that mankind may
gradually experience the ascending levels of mortal wisdom,
1. The knowledge of things.
2. The realization of meanings.
3. The appreciation of values.
4. The nobility of work -- duty.
5. The motivation of goals --
6. The love of service -- character.
7. Cosmic insight -- spiritual
71:7.6 And then, by means of these
achievements, many will ascend to the mortal ultimate of mind
8. THE CHARACTER OF STATEHOOD
71:8.1 The only sacred feature of any human
government is the division of statehood into the three domains
of executive, legislative, and judicial functions. The universe
is administered in accordance with such a plan of segregation of
functions and authority. Aside from this divine concept of
effective social regulation or civil government, it matters
little what form of state a people may elect to have provided
the citizenry is ever progressing toward the goal of augmented
self-control and increased social service. The intellectual
keenness, economic wisdom, social cleverness, and moral stamina
of a people are all faithfully reflected in statehood.
71:8.2 The evolution of statehood entails
progress from level to level, as follows:
71:8.3 1. The creation of a threefold
government of executive, legislative, and judicial branches.
71:8.4 2. The freedom of social, political,
and religious activities.
71:8.5 3. The abolition of all forms of
slavery and human bondage.
71:8.6 4. The ability of the citizenry to
control the levying of taxes.
71:8.7 5. The establishment of universal
education -- learning extended from the cradle to the grave.
71:8.8 6. The proper adjustment between local
and national governments.
71:8.9 7. The fostering of science and the
conquest of disease.
71:8.10 8. The due recognition of sex equality
and the co-ordinated functioning of men and women in the home,
school, and church, with specialized service of women in
industry and government.
71:8.11 9. The elimination of toiling slavery
by machine invention and the subsequent mastery of the machine
71:8.12 10. The conquest of dialects -- the
triumph of a universal language.
71:8.13 11. The ending of war -- international
adjudication of national and racial differences by continental
courts of nations presided over by a supreme planetary tribunal
automatically recruited from the periodically retiring heads of
the continental courts. The continental courts are
authoritative; the world court is advisory -- moral.
71:8.14 12. The world-wide vogue of the
pursuit of wisdom -- the exaltation of philosophy. The evolution
of a world religion, which will presage the entrance of the
planet upon the earlier phases of settlement in light and life.
71:8.15 These are the prerequisites of
progressive government and the earmarks of ideal statehood.
Urantia is far from the realization of these exalted ideals, but
the civilized races have made a beginning -- mankind is on the
march toward higher evolutionary destinies.
Sponsored by a Melchizedek of Nebadon.