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

K. Yamamoto

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    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

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Medicine(all)

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