The Concept of an Ideal State and Pakistan

Syed Mansoor Ahmed

What is an ideal state? What are the requirements of the ideal state? It is the utmost ordinary question of every citizen living within the state. The state has the role of parents, who is liable for the betterment of his children “public”, who teaches them good and bad deeds and enlightens them with certain duties. In this context, the formation of the state is worthwhile to consider to investigate furthermore.

According to Socrates the ideal state has four unique qualities which include wisdom, fortitude, temperance, and justice.

Here the wisdom indicates towards the rulers. The ruler must have the ability and capacity to take wise decisions. His working criteria must be touched by the essence of artful thinking. The ruling class must have the rationale of the philosophy. In short, rulers and guardians should own the genes of philosophers. They should have logical and reasonable intuition. They are also bond to avoid lust, passion, jealousy, and hatred in the body of politics within the ideal state.

On the other hand, fortitude resides in the military class. Their sole occupation must be to safeguard the interest of the state. They are only responsible to defend the state from foreign aggression and maintaining the law and order within the state. While they are prohibited from making political manipulation and rendering private properties.

In this context, temperance, which may also be called “mastery of oneself” is a quality common to all. This particular term is a cluster of good basic qualities of humanity. Temperance is shared equally by the rulers, military, and all other members of the state. It gives a precise picture of harmony among all the stakeholders of the state. Such a fundamental principle makes a smooth path for the sake of justice. 

Justice is the trademark of the ideal state. It is different from the rest the qualities. Justice is the gratifying outcome of human moral and intellectual eligibility. Socrates believed that justice consisted of more than “might is right”. But history is the testimony that justice system is purely a matter of power. They openly resist the truth, freedom, and criticism. On the contrary, Socrates argued that the ideal state is open to criticism. All stakeholders digest the criticism without any demur. Hence paradoxically, Pakistan as a state has been struggling with many flaws.

Renowned political thinker Sir Syed Ahmed Khan had said that, “Rulers and the government are the mirror image of that contemporary society”. Pakistan as an hourglass society; it is easy to analyze the shortcomings of the state. High politics with firm nexus of feudalist and industrialists, a strong military, weak judiciary, insignificant bureaucracy, ethnic, and religious conflicts are the ominous sign within matters the state. Eternal realities have been replaced with temporal desire and whims. Smugness and self-centeredness is the style of the state which is denying the qualities of the ideal state. Nevertheless, the bottom-down of the state is confused and endeavouring for the needs of survival. They are ideally never want to discuss the outward appearance of the state. While the organs of the state also do not like to promote the concept of the ideal state.

It sounds paradoxical but the realistic portrait of the ideal state stays the same after thousands of years. With the evolution of time and information, the basic principles of the ideal state remains the same throughout history. It is because without the above four qualities the concept of the ideal state is not possible at any time.

The writer is the student at the University of Management and Technology Lahore and Public Policy Analyst based in Quetta.

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