Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Medievals had already solved it

Marx looked forward to the withering of the state. He was centuries
late. Figgis says it already happened in the middle ages:

“As Professor Maitland pointed out, under feudalism there is no public law; all rights are private, including those of the king. It is this absence of a theory of the
State as such which characterises especially medieval history, except for the
great Church as a whole. In the strict sense of the term, there is no sovereign
in the Middle Ages; only as we find even a little later in France, there is an
etat which belongs to the king; but there is also an Etat de la Republique,
while even a lawyer in the Paris Parlement has his etat. Only very
gradually does State come to mean the organisation of the nation and nothing


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