By Richard J. Smethurst
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Extra info for A Social Basis for Prewar Japanese Militarism: The Army and the Rural Community
The paragraph with which Tocqueville concludes his first chapter on the geography of North America has provoked me to conjecture that the theory of American federalism was of Copernican proportions in the development of political theory. In that land the great experiment of the attempt to construct society upon a new basis was to be made by civilized man; and it was there, for the first time, that theories hitherto unknown, or deemed impracticable, were to exhibit a spectacle for which the world had not been prepared by the history of the past.
How does Hobbes attempt to reconcile the basic symmetry inherent in the conditions of peace with the radical asymmetry between rulers and subjects? This issue is addressed in chapter 31, "Of the Kingdom of God by Nature," in Leviathan. , 104). , 235). , 232)? Hobbes's resolution is to specify that the radical asymmetry inherent in his theory of sovereignty is subordinate to the fundamental symmetries of his laws of nature, which he views as the laws of God in the sense that they are immutable and eternal.
We thus confront the possibility that a democratic people might draw upon the articles of peace, covenant with one another, and constitute a system of governance in which each official could be held accountable to others for the exercise of a limited public trust. Within a formulation that might apply to a simple, direct democracy, important issues arise both in relation to the proceedings of an assembly and to the assignment of authority to those who act on behalf of an assembly. Matters pertaining to eligibility for membership, setting the time and place of meetings, a quorurh, voting rules, orders of proceedings, and so on, all establish the terms and conditions of assembly.
A Social Basis for Prewar Japanese Militarism: The Army and the Rural Community by Richard J. Smethurst