The origin of ethics and social order in a society without state power

K. Yamamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

How ethics and social order in a society without state power had originated and developed is one of enigmas which human beings have tried to solve for a long time. Several theories on the origin of social order have been proposed since the »Social Contract« theory of Thomas Hobbes. According to Hobbes, as a society without state power is in a condition called war, a social contract among men is the origin of social order in a society where every man is against every man. Rousseau says that when human beings reach the stage in which they live in a permanent neighborhood, a property system is introduced. Then, too much ambition and avarice of man who has possessions compel him to propose the formation of a political institution, providing social order which enables him to keep his possessions. According to Nietzsche, the principle of equilibrium, that is, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth is an important concept for the oldest theory of law and morality as well as the basis of justice. The sense of superiority and nobility which a strong man brave enough to take revenge feels is the origin of the antithesis »good« and »bad«. Girard says that the sacred violence wielded by the community to sacrifice a surrogate victim brings about social order in a society without state power. All the aforementioned theories seem to have failed to find out that a society without state power has its own ethics that had spontaneously developed on the pagan culture. Previously, I indicated that a society without state power or a society where state power cannot function well, such as the tribal society in northern Albania, has ethics which is based on the ancient concepts of »Guest-god«, »food (commensality)« and »blood«. In the present paper, I propose a new theory on the origin of ethics and social order, using the model of ethics of the Kanun.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-229
Number of pages9
JournalCollegium Antropologicum
Volume23
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 1999

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social order
Ethics
moral philosophy
possession
Contracts
Tooth
contract theory
tribal society
Albania
human being
retaliation
political institution
Society
Power (Psychology)
State Power
Social Order
Social Justice
morality
god
Violence

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

The origin of ethics and social order in a society without state power. / Yamamoto, K.

In: Collegium Antropologicum, Vol. 23, No. 1, 01.06.1999, p. 221-229.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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