The Urantia Book -- Part III. The History
PAPER 71: Section 3.
The Ideals Of Statehood
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.
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
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.
The ideal state functions under the impulse of three mighty and co-ordinated
- Love loyalty derived from the realization of human brotherhood.
- Intelligent patriotism based on wise ideals.
- Cosmic insight interpreted in terms of planetary facts, needs, and goals.
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.
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.
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 governing least.
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.
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.
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 world.