The Curse of Mankind

Steinvorth, Ulrich
December 1998
Ethical Theory & Moral Practice;Dec1998, Vol. 1 Issue 4, p467
Academic Journal
The article presents various authors' views on the curse of mankind. The duties of citizenship result from the special services a state delivers to its citizens, services that are in the end delivered by the citizens themselves: by their taxes and military services. Citizens owe one another special duties because they are bound together by a net of sacrifices that the state forces them to surrender. Intellectuals started lamenting over the atomism, neurosis and alienation of liberal states, and peoples ended in crying over their lost lives and lands. Traditionally, liberal theorists, though much less liberal politicians, did see nationalism as pathology. Nationalist movements often demand secession from an existing state, so explicating the principles to distinguish legitimate from illegitimate secession is one of the best ways for philosophers to contribute to an impartial judgment on the value of nationalism.


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