As we take up the topic ‘An Ideal State’, we are reminded or two lines of Pope, a famous classical English poet of 18th century. These lines are
“For form of Government let fools contest. Whatever is best administered is best.”
These two lines of Pope clear everything. The State is the best State which administers best, Regarding an Ideal State so many things were said in the past by Aristotle, Plato and others. Since the days of Aristotle, democracy has been considered to be an ideal type of Government and that State is an Ideal State where there is democracy. “Democracy,’ according to Goorge Bernard Shaw “is a social order aiming at the greatest available welfare for the whole population and not for a class.” If this is so, Democratic State will be an Ideal State. In the words of Abraham Lincoln, “Democracy is the Government of the people, by the people and for the people”. As such the democratic type of the State is definitely superior to other types of State.
Plato was of the opinion, “When each class attends to what belongs to it, each doing its own work in a city, that will be justice and will make the State just.”
Rousseau considered State as a control between the two parties on absolutely equal level and that State is bound to contribute its best efforts for the well-being of the people, forming the population. of the State and the latter has the absolute right to change the State authorities in the event of the State’s apathy towards the population.
Thus we see that a State is bound morally and spiritually to make its best efforts for the well-being of its population and that State will be the ideal which aims at it.
Functions of an Ideal State
Many people are of the opinion that the democracy is the best form of Government because the functions of democracy are full of merits Freedom and equality are its essential concepts. In a Democratic State the Government is run by the people through their elected representatives and people are free to criticize the Government policy and to change the Government Democracy provides equal opportunity to all to progress in the State.
If it fails to do it, it can be changed by the people. Hence democracy may by considered to be an Ideal Government. But we should not forget that it has its demerits also. Hence let us consider other functions of an Ideal State to be called an Ideal State.
The Hindu philosopher of ancient India were of the opinion that an Ideal State provides means to the realization the highest end. For such philosophers the individual was an end in himself and his self realization was the highest goal of social existence. The individual could realise his existence in the State. Aristotle thought, “The State is like a human body and the citizens are the organs of this body”. Indirectly Aristotle meant to say that an Ideal State must function like the body with the co-operation of the citizens who are organs of the State. The body cannot claim to have its existence without organs and organs without body. So an Ideal State must function like this. According to Hegel, the State is a majestic being, a sort of God which is a mind more real than the mind of its members. Individuals are but the temporary instruments. This State must function like a God and actually if it functions like a God, it is an Ideal State.
Aristotle justifies the State saying that it is a necessary agent for securing man’s trust and happiness. This happiness can be achieved only when one exercises his power. A man wants the pro per exercise of him artistic, ethical and intellectual faculties which belong to him. Such is possible only in an Ideal State. There must be a supreme political power to make the existence of an individual. possible. The State must function for the man’s happiness. The idea of Aristotle also indicates that an Ideal State will function for the happiness of its citizens individually..
The most important function of a State is to maintain peace, order find security along with justice political and economic-in the country. An individual must enjoy free life, free from encroachment either by associations or by individuals. It is the function of the State to save the individual from any peril.
Again the function of the State is to secure national welfare. It includes the development of the national genius and the national life. It must do each and every thing unique to protect the individual and to achieve the welfare in all branches of life of an individual.
Seeing all there things, we may say unhesitatingly that the State is not an end in itself, but it is a means to an end. This end is the greatest welfare of its citizens.
Some dictators are of the opinion that the State where there is Dictatorship is an Ideal State. The Dictatorship believes in quick action and so the administration goes on smoothly. A benevolent dictator may do a lot of good to the country and its people. But we must not forget that all the dictators have spoiled the national life of the individual. They never care for the majority. They never
see the call of time and the people and do what they wish. In it individual liberty is suppressed; criticism of the Government is not tolerated. So such a State where there is dictatorship, cannot be called an Ideal State.
In my opinion the oft-quoted lines of Pope “For forms of the Government let fools contest, whatever is best administered is best” are the best lines to judge an Ideal State. An Ideal State is that which has the best administration in the country. An Ideal State must do everything for the protection of life of its citizens. The State will be ideal where people live without fear and hold their heads high, where there is free education, where the citizens of the country are not divided into castes, creeds and political groups of their narrow outlook. An Ideal State is that where the people are guided by reason and not by old traditions and conventions. An Ideal State must exist for the general welfare to the people of the country. The aim of an Ideal State must be to do maximum good to the maximum number of people. The State which fails in performing the task of providing welfare for the masses in general, cannot be an Ideal State. An Ideal State is that which trains men to secure their happiness in the country, Any type of Government may be called a good one if it has all these qualities and where these qualities will be found, the State will be called an Ideal State.