M. N. Roy Jawaharlal Nehru



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SAINT AUGUSTINE

  • 549

    1. Excessive Realism

    2. Augustine's just man is bound to play a passive role in the empirical city. He is enjoined to pray for kings and those in authority. Even in the matter of religion he will not resist tyranny actively but suffer patiently the punishment attached to disobedience of the civil law. It is only in the private capacity that the saint has to fulfil his social responsibilities.The result of this radical pessimism about the human condition is to destroy virtually all notion of a good order to serve as a standard for statesman. Niebuhr rightly observes : "Augustine's realism was excessive. On the basis of his principles he codd not distinguish between government and slavery... nor could he distinguish between a commonwealth and a robber band, for both were bound together by collective interest.131

    3. Peace and Order

    4. Augustine sees some good in the temporal city, too, in that it maintains peace. Peace or order per se is good, and disorder bad. Any kind of order is better than chaos. If the alternative is anarchy and endless conflict, then even unjust peace has some value. The judgement turns, Bluhm points out, on the identification of "good" with being and of evil with non-being or nothing, a heritage from the classical tradition which Augus­tine so radically shaped in other respects, or rather rejected.

    5. As Augustine has discarded the traditional ideals of virtue and per­fection, he has reduced politics to the level of the actual, and encouraged an attitude of pessimism and indifference even among the just and the godly. "The city no longer demands, intense participation as a condition of virtue and happiness because it can no longer bestow virtue and hap­piness. At the same time, Augustine reaffirms and sanctifies all the accepted ethical rules of social and political life. The purposes of social and political life are still divine purposes, though for the first time they become distinct from and humbler than the purposes of life itself.132

    6. Critical Evaluation Negative Political Theory

    7. By overstressing the evil in man and destroying all faith for moral betterment or spiritual redemption in this world, Augustine's theory has contributed toward strengthening the forces of evil and hopelessness in the world, particularly in its western part. It has rejected the notions of reform and revolution in the condition of man and thereby has acted as a conservative, if not a reactionary force. It has also reduced the role and importance of saints in society, for it has made them look at strangers or aliens in the world.

    8. No Reform Possible

    9. There is little room in Augustine’s thought for the idea that power may be used to improve the lot of man on earth or to lessen his misery, there is no room at all for the view that one form of government should be preferred to another so that a better social and political order may be established. The institutions of social, economic and political life have no real positive value. The best they do is to hold down the dark passions of sinful men and provide a measure of peace stability. Rulers should be obeyed quietly and without complaint as long as they do not force their subjects into impiety or disobedience to God. Even tyrannies should caused us no concern, for we always have our inner freedom, the freedom of our mind and soul.

    10. Paternalistic Theory

    11. Augustine offers a paternalistic view of the position of the ruler. The ruler is not just an incumbent or occupant of an office but the father of his people. It is for him to decide what they should or would do. His ruler does not ask the people what they want. Augustine betrays his paternalism by his frequent use of the analogy between the ruler and the father who regulates and punishes the behavior of his children. He does not conceive of the citizens as mature rational persons who have right to be consulted about their wishes.

    12. Absence of theory of Just man

    13. Another particular gap in the theory of Augustine lies in the absence of any prescription for the just men who happen to be involved in the politics of the tempora city. The just man appears to be a perfectly passive partner in the society and the accepts whatever regime obtains in power. But Augustine provides little direction, though he may have thought the good man would know through God’s grace how to act best in any situation.

    14. Political Realism

    15. Augustine’s work remains, however, a wonderful tonic for those who think of the political problem as a technical rather than moral issue and who hope to establish an order in which the problems of equality and violence can be solved by scientific manipulation.

    16. Augustine demonstrates the inexorable character of existing political processes and their unimportance and vanity. He directs the thoughts of his readers beyond the world if vanities which they cannot change to the private and interior life where they are free to act.

    17. The City of God

    18. Augustine’s city of God contains the elements of complete politics as it deals with all the questions that are significant for students of politics namely, the nature of the best regime, the problem of the best possible regime, and the mechanics of actual regimes. He has established correlations among all these aspects of politics he has articulated them as a systematic whole within the framework of a general worldview. His theory represents a broad – ranging analysis. Being based on a noumenalist view of reality it also incorporates much that is typical of naturalism.

    19. The realism of Augustine has influenced the realist school of Niebuhr, George kennan, Kenneth Thompson and Hans J.Morgenthau. Niebur’s book Moral Man and Immoral Society, the seminal book of the entire realist literature remains most Augustinian in its ethos and prescriptions. Thus, Augustine’s thought may not be original as Russell says, but as a philosopher he has been considered as deserving of a high prise.





    1H. M. Vinacke : A History of the Far East in Modern Times (4th ed.), P. 447.

    2M. N. Roy : Reason, Romanticism and Revolution, Vol. II, pp. 216-17.

    3M. N. Roy : Reason, Romanticism and Revolution, Vol. I. p. 11.

    4Ibid., p. 14.

    5Ibid., p. 21.

    6R. C. North and X. J. Eudin : "M. N. Roy and the Theory of Decoloni­zation," The Radical Humanist, July 12, 1959.

    7 Taken from Modern Indian Political Thought by V. P. Varma (Chapter on M. N. Roy, pp. 623 to 662).

    8M.N. Roy : "Morality and Politics", The Alternative, pp. 16-17.

    9Lord Acton : Lectures on Modern History.

    10M. N. Roy : Reason, Romanticism and Revolution, Vol. I, p. 65.

    11 Quoted from Michael Brecher's Nehru : A Political Biography (Oxford University Press, 1959). p. 1.

    12Autobiography, p. 205.

    13Independence and After, p. 242.

    14 Speeches (1949-53), p. 70.

    15 Ibid., p. 156.

    16Speeches (1949-53), pp. 252-53.

    17Autobiography, pp. 551-52.

    18To a press conference in New Delhi on February 28, 1952. The Hindu (Madras), February 29, 1952.

    19The Hindu (Madras), November 22, 1954.

    20Nehru on "The Tragic Paradox of our Age" in the New York Times Magazine, September 7, 1958.

    21myself attained only after a long struggle."Bhave was restless at Sabarmati, however, and went away to study more Sanskrit, telling Gandhi that if he did not find peace of soul he would then be back in a year. Over the ensuing months, the others in the ashram forgot his promise, but one morning at prayers,



    22J. P. Narayan : From Socialism io Sarvodaya (1959).

    23J. P. Narayan : Towards Struggle (1946), p. 65.

    24Ibid.

    25Ibid., p. 18.

    26Narayan, J. P. : From Socialism to Sarvodaya, p. 24.

    27Ibid., p. 92.

    28Ibid., p. 39.

    29Ibid., p. 37.

    30he. cit.

    31Ibid., p. 53.

    32Narayan, J. P. : Prison Diary, Popular Prakasnan, Bombay (1978), p. 15.

    33Ibid., p. 87.

    34 Lohia, Dr. R. M. : Wheel of History, Navahind Prakashaa, Hyderabad, 1950 (Reprint 1963), p. 2.

    35Ibid., p. 5.

    36Ibid., p. 55.

    37Lohia, Dr. R.M. : "Problems of Asian Socialisms" in The Will to Power, Navahind Prakasfaan, Hyderabad, 1956, p. 55.

    38Ibid., p. 58.

    39Marx, Gandhi and Socialism, p. 377.

    40Lohia, Dr. R. M., Marx, Gandhi and Socialism, pp. 475-94.

    41 Condliffe, J, B. ; Problems of the Pacific.

    42Chou Hsiang-Kuang : Modern History of China.

    43 Quoted from Political Thougla of China by Chou Hsia&g-Kuang, p. 227.

    44Quoted by Prof. T. D. Gajra in his article, "An Interpretation of Dayananda", published in Dayananda Centenary Edition, Indian Printing Works, Lahore (undated), p. 31.

    45Satyarthaprakasha, Chap, 6,

    46Varma, V.P. Modem Indian Political Thought, p. 48.

    47Light of Truth (Eng. tr. of Satyarthaprakasha by C. Bhardwaj, Madras), pp. 162-63.

    48 Chowdhuri, Nirad C, Biography of Unknown Indian, JAICO, Bombay, p. 245.

    49Ibid., p. 320.

    50Ibid.

    51Madan Gopal, Life and Times of Subhas Bose (Ed.), Vikas publi­shers, Delhi, 1978, p. 214 (Quoted from).

    52Goebbeh Diary (Ed. by Louis P. Lochner), London, p. 157.

    53 Locke : Civil Government, Book JJ, Chap. XTX.

    54 Laski, H. J. : Political Thought in England (Oxford University Press, 1955), p. 33.

    55See Esprit des lots, xxiv, 1-3.

    56See Esprit des lots, xxiv, 1-3.

    57 Compare Burke : Appeal from the New to the Old Whigs: Works, I, pp. 522-25.

    58 Wayper, C. L. : Political Thought (English Universities Press Ltd., Lon­don, 198>, p. 138.

    59 Moriey : Rousseau, I, Chap. IV ; also refer to A History of Western Philosophy by B. Russell, Chap, XiX.

    60Contrat Social (1762).

    61Ibid.

    62Dunning, W. A. : Political Theories (From Rousseau to Spencer). The Macmillan Co., New York (1920), p. 9.

    63Contrat Social, II, xii.

    64Vaughan, C. E. : Du Contrat Social on Principles Du Droit Politique (Published by Manchester University Press, 1947), Introduction, p. xviii.

    65Contrat Social, I, i.

    66Ibid., I, vi.

    67e.g., "There is often much difference between the will of all and the general will : the latter considers only the common interest : the former looks to private interest, and is only a sum of particular wills : but take away from these same wills the more and the less which destroy each other, and the general will remains as the sum of the differences."

    68 'Letter to the Sheriffs', Works, Vol. I, London, Bonn's Edition (1861), p. 208.

    69'Conciliation with America', ibid., p. 184.

    70Jones, W. T , op. cit., p. 348.

    71Works, Vol. Ill, p. 221.

    72Jones, W. T., op. ctt., pp. 348-49.

    73Ibid., p. 349.

    74Ibid., p. 351.

    75Works, Vol. Ill, pp. 310-11.

    76Works, Vol IV, p. 167.

    77 Quoted from His Country was the World by Hawthorne (Longmans, Green &Co., U.S.A., 1949), p. 36.

    78Ibid., Vol. I, p. 336.

    79 V Esprit des Lois, Montesquieu, Chap. VI.

    80Wilson, Woodrow : "The Spirit of Jefferson", Princeton Alumni Weekly, VI (1906), 551 f.

    81To Leonord M. Parker, July 24, 1821. Massachusetts Hist, Society. Jefferson's Papers. Cf. To John Holmes, April 22, 1820. Works,XII, 159.


    82To Leonord M. Parker, July 24, 1821. Massachusetts Hist, Society. Jefferson's Papers. Cf. To John Holmes, April 22, 1820. Works,XII, 159.


    83 "Cabinet Opinion", in State Papers, expressed on April 28, 1793.

    84Ibid., pp. 212-13.

    85To Benjamin Waring, March 23, 1801. Writings, X, 236.

    86To Thaddeus Kosciusko. February 26, 1801. Ibid., XII, 369 f.

    87On another occasion Jefferson said that "It is to secure our just rights that we resort to government at all." To de Ivernois, February 6, 1795, Works, VIII, 165.

    8823 Corroin, Edward S. : "The Progress of Constitutional Theory between the Declaration of Independence and the Meaning of the Philadelphia Con­vention," American Historical Review, XXX (April 1925), pp. 511-36.24 To Count Deodati, August 3, 1789. Massachusetts Historical Society, Jefferson Papers.

    25 To William Johnson, June 12, 1823. Writings, XV, 442.

    26 Brooks, Van Wyck : The Confident Years, (Boston, 1950), pp. 582, 584

    ff.


    89Dewey, John : The Public and Its Problem, p. 33.

    90op. eit , p. 34.

    91Ibid , Chaps. Ill & V.

    92Ibid., p. 160.

    93Education Today, New York, G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1940, p. 185.

    94The Public and Its Problems, New York, Henry Holt & Co., 1927, p. 208.

    95The Philosopher of the Common Man (New York, G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1940) (Refer address of John Dewey in it).

    96There have been 'pragmatic' Interpretations of Man by a n amber of Dewey's own students—Sidney Hook's work being the most brilliant :(Contd.)


    97 For one thing, he never made up his mind exactly what he meant by philosophy.

    98Review of Urmson's Philosophical Analysis in The Hibbert Journal, July 1956.

    99Ibid., p. 60.

    100Ibid., p. 95.

    101The Scientific Outlook, p. 98.

    102Ibid., p. 101.

    103Mysticism and Logic, pp. 75-76.

    104Why Men Fight (New York, 1917), p. 45.

    105 Why Men Fight, p. 134.

    106Principles of Social Reconstruction, p. 236.

    107I 2 Authority and Individual (second impression 1955, George Allen & Unwin LtJ., London), p. 113.

    108 lb:d., pp. 120-21.

    109Interview in New York World, May 4, 1924.

    110 A History of Political Theories (Recent Times), ed. by C. E. Marriam and H. E. Barnes (The Macmillan Co., New York, 1935), p. 227.

    111Particularly Social Theory, Guild Socialism Restated, and The Reorgani­zation of Local Government.

    112 Social Theory, p. 106.

    113 A History of Socialist Thought, Vol. IV, Part I, (1914-31), Macmillan & Co. Ltd., London (1958), p. 454.

    114"Democracy at the Cross-roads," Yale Review, N. S. LX (July, 1920), pp. 802-03.

    115"Democracy at the Cross-roads," Yale Review, N. S. LX (July, 1920), pp. 802-03.

    116"Harold J. Laski," in Clifton Fadiman, ed.. / Believe : The Personal Philosophies of Certain Eminent Men and Women of Our Time (N. Y., 1939), p. 139.

    117"Democracy in War Time," in G. D. H. Cole et al. Victory or Vested Interest (1949), p. 40.

    118 Laski : Liberty in the Modern State (London, George Allen & Unwin, Ltd., 1948), p. 211.

    119 Laski, Reflection on the Revolution of Our Time (London, George Allen & Unwin, Ltd., 1943), pp. 349-51.

    120 Khrushchev's Speech, January 27, 1959,

    121 G. H. Sabine, op. ck, 1973, p. 185

    122 William Ebenstein, Great Political Thinkers, pp. 171-72.

    123Herbert A. Deane, Kramnick, Op. Cit., p. 92

    124William T. Bluhm, Op. Cu. p. 175

    125St. Augustine, The City of God, pp. 460-61

    126Ibid., p. 461.

    127Reinhold Niebuhr, Christian Realism and Political Problems, New York (1963), pp. 133-34.

    128\. William T. Biuhm, Op. Cit, v. 181

    129St. Augustine, Op CU., pp. 655-96

    130Ibid., p. 112

    131Reinhold Niebuhr, Op. cit, p. 127

    132W. T. Bluhm, Op. ciL, p. 192

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