Civil (civilized) State

        SUMMARY:
        The purpose of a civil state should be to facilitate the progress of its participants away from the jungle toward civilization, to provide all its participants a good life, including guaranteed economic and social equality, all the goods and services they need to be comfortable and happy, and retention of all personal freedoms and human rights that don't need to be curbed or forfeited so that the state can effectively function. A civil state should be as effectively organized as it needs to be and have the reasonable authority it needs to have, but it should never be an idol, a deputy deity, a super parent, or a means of controlling participants for the benefit of any elite faction.

        DEFINITION:
        A civil or civilized state should be regarded as no more and no less and indeed (since this is a perfect definition) exactly as: a MECHANISM through which people do together those things that they can't do apart, or that they can't do as easily or as well apart, that they need to do to live together in a civilized way and to provide and maintain as good a life for every participant as is practically possible.

        A civilized civil state cannot be a religious domain. Since by definition civil affairs are community and not religious affairs, and since civilization itself must be defined as a state of affairs evolved away from and risen far above the old state of primitive barbarism to which superstition and the church belong, a civil state should be regarded not as a creed but as a practical mechanism (a tool) with realistic community purposes (not mystical or sacred purposes) and should never be saluted or sung to or sacrificed to or in any way idolized. The only state related obligation participants should have, not actually to the state but to themselves and each other as cooperative users of the state, should be an obligation to keep their state working properly so that its purposes may be achieved. That obligation should include responsible participation in the state but obviously not adoration of or dumb submission to it. Furthermore, no church or priest should dominate or lead a civil state, and none of its officials or managers should be idolized or have privileged status, exalted titles, or elevated salaries.
        A civilized civil state cannot be a business domain. Since a state has to be a joint venture depending for its success on the voluntary and equal commitment of all participants, and there is no reason for participating in a state other than the expectation of an equal share in its benefits, all citizens should share both the obligations and the benefits of any truly civilized state - its work, responsibilities, products, services, and privileges - as equally as organizational requirements and individual capabilities permit and individual needs require, i,e, fairly (yes, that does mean a civilized state must be, economically, a communist state; see Communism)Communism).
        Obviously, a civilized civil state has to have the reasonable authority needed to achieve its purposes. An effective state cannot be anarchic. It should be based on a blueprint and the blueprint should be facilitated and maintained by sticking to that blueprint's specifications. The simplest social contract entails at least one rule, i.e. that each participant must abide by the agreement: I won't harm you if you won't harm me. A civilized state should be considered a civil extension of the social contract with an economic dimension, i.e. a membership-wide social/economic contract, which entails, besides the social contract commitment to restraint, a commitment to undertake some obligations. This means it should have limited but clearly relevant and reasonable authority and rules, and participants in a civilized state should reasonably expect to participate seriously, to follow rules and accept responsibilities TO THE EXTENT NECESSARY TO ENSURE THAT THE STATE WILL FUNCTION SUCCESSFULLY.
        But a civilized civil state must never overstep its logical authority. Marx's idealization of a "stateless" condition strikes me as vague, if not downright mystical, maybe because I don't get it, but this is what I think he meant (or should have meant). A civilized state has certain important purposes but not all purposes, and since its purpose is to make life better, it should not have merely bureaucratic rules or bureaucratic enforcers of rules or the kind of oppressive cops that would make it a nuisance. Neither the authority of the state nor that of its delegates should ever exceed the purposes of the state or its functional requirements. No citizen should be asked or expected to sacrifice any existential rights or freedoms that don't need to be sacrificed or to modify any existential rights or freedoms more than they need to be modified TO ENSURE THE FUNCTIONAL SUCCESS OF THE STATE. And that's all. A civilized state cannot logically have laws that are not based on the social/economic contract of which the state is a civil extension.
        Civilization has to walk a very fine line between the participants' concession of rights that need to be conceded so civilization will work and the state's vigilant respect for all the existential freedoms that individuals have the self-bestowed right to retain. I've just perfectly defined that line, i.e. THE MAXIMUM CONCESSION NEEDED TO ENSURE THE FUNCTIONAL SUCCESS OF THE STATE. The honest and consistent recognition and guarding of that line is as much a part of the definition of a civilized state as is the function of a civilized state clarified above.

     There is no necessary connection between democracy and civilization or the civilized ends intelligent humans should seek through a civil state. Democracy is a means, not an end, and, on a large scale, it seldom leads to any civilized end. It may work in a club meeting, though even there consensus would probably work better. But it seldom works effectively at a national level. In fact, pro-democracy advocates who think they're working with "the people" for state level change usually end up installing the same familiar breed of demagogues as always and unconsciously supporting the rich fascists they think they're opposing. Civilized states are more likely to be set up by benign dictators. See Democracy.

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