Political order exists to help citizens meet basic needs

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from Legatus Magazine,

Within the city, issues of good and evil are everywhere present. They are manifested in the lives of the citizens. The state, in its Augustinian concept, exists primarily to mitigate the enormous power of evil that occurs in public life through the actions of individual citizens within it. This idea is more complicated because the state apparatus itself may be the source of the greatest of the evils. “Who shall watch the watchdogs?” is a political saying of great moral insight. The rulers are themselves human beings subject to original sin.

Actual cities are in part the domain of justice. The first responsibility of a civil society is to provide for at least a minimum of just order. This responsibility will include the power of coercion, that is, courts, army, and police. At present in the world, we find perhaps two hundred political entities, most of which have within them subsidiary bodies that carry out various functions of justice and order.

Aristotle and Plato did not think that politics and economics were the same. The provision of material well-being was not the primary function of the polity, though everyone recognized that such things needed to be provided. Producing and distributing sufficient food, clothing, and shelter for a people on a massive scale is a modern invention. Generally, we know how to do this. If people have not a sufficiency in basic areas, it is most often due to political or ideological reasons or moral corruption, not to a lack of knowledge about how such goods are produced. Many refuse to learn or apply what is known to produce what is necessary. They prefer dishonest means.

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