Force theory state that nations were created through violence. This view on the origin of the state argued that historically power used by the strong led them to rule over the weak and their families. This ‘natural order’ often meant consequent control over them for generations to come. The belief of this theory indicates that an influential group will always outdo and subjugate the weak.
With these victories over the weak, the strong quickly became the masters. As masters, this class became vested with the ruling power. With this theory, the vulnerable are often referred to as the ‘federated’ and ‘subjects’. This form of political development was widely believed to be born due to the existence of successful warfare”. Many clans and tribes across history have often gone to war to establish definitive authority in their territory. The leader of the armies sent out to battle was often known as the war chief and often, by physical force, would become the ruler.
This theme means that all politically sovereign states are born out of force. The article also concludes that maintaining conditions must exist in force. Without power, the state is likely to collapse and cease to exist. Rulers often consider strength to be an indispensable part of state organizations.
History of Force
Force theory can be applied to the two world wars. Countries met by force to maintain and defend their territory from conquerors. Great Britain defended its people and environment against Germany through force during these wars. Military power is considered a force. This feature is why many countries spend large amounts of their budget establishing dominant military powers. Another example that occurred during the world war is the Russian army’s power defeating the aggression of the German forces.
Wars and aggressions by dominant military powers are considered a principal factor in the birth of a sovereign state. This notion is common in primitive societies. In the past, anyone physically more robust than you could dominate and establish authority over you. This form of natural selection often meant that the strongest person in a community or tribe was the chief or leader. Once the state was formed and subjects were subjugated, this social order had to be defended by the head. Maintaining law and order would not be accessible without a dominant show of authority.
The state must be protected from internal and external threats. There is a positive correlation between a country’s population growth and the advancement of its warfare technology. When states increase in size through population growth, they also become more militarily influential. On the other hand, small nations engaged in conflict with one another and lose resources. This often means they cannot mount any significant offence or defence against prosperous and more prominent nations. This often leads to endless subjugation in the economy and military power.
For the population, this theory argues having a state born out of force is not often mutually advantageous for all involved. This type of governance thrives due to intimidation. Citizens fear being punished by the law, and those with force create the law. With this theory, the exponents argue only the strong benefit of having a government. This theory means governments and rulers should not be subjected to criticism or political cynicism.
Literature of Force
The form of state origin is first mentioned in Plato’s dialogue, the Republic. This author claimed that justice is to the advantage of the stronger. It might make right, as argued by Karl Marx, who spoke about force theory in depth. This theorist argued that all history is the history of class struggle. He also propagated that there cannot be a change in a political climate without violence. Karl Marx argued that the formation of a government was mainly a tool for the ruling elites to subjugate and exploit those without resources. This exploitation of the lower classes meant modern governments only served to enrich the bourgeoisie. These groups of rulers are also known as the owners of the means of production. The proletariat must submit themselves to work to survive in a society with forceful leaders. They must exchange their labour for wages whilst the rulers engage in higher value tasks that remunerate substantially more. Karl Marx argued that when the imbalance between the proletariat and bourgeoisie grew, it would lead to a Proletariat Revolution. This reset in the balance often ends the history of class struggle. It is, however, often not long before a new government is formed that will eventually become an instrument of force used to dominate the lower classes again.
Force Theory Elements
A system must make the ruled vulnerable to the rulers for the elite class to maintain authority over its subjects. In the modern world, governments primarily use occupation to apply force against the governed. Occupation is defined as the seizure and defence of a territory. This is known as an occupation through force when a nation is invaded. A country that cannot defend against this force will become its subjects.
Force Theory Criticisms
Force theory has stood the test of time; however, in modern times, not all governments rely on force alone. This measure is not even a primary feature in some governments which depend on democracy and innovation. This alternative approach used to force the theory of government is between the citizens and government, there is a social contract. If the government is selected by its people, they must provide for them equally to a reasonable extent. To run the country’s operations, a government must be legitimately elected to determine popular consent.
John Locke initially proposed this alternative form of ruling in the 17th century. He argued that for a government to be correct, the population must submit to the majority’s decisions. This feature requires equal and well-distributed respect for human rights. Using or threatening to use force often is unsustainable for a government. Sustainable governance involves recognition of the authority of the rulers by the ruled.