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05th-Dec-2019

Pluralism State Sovereignty A Problem For It?

By

Dr. Forqan Uddin Ahmed :
We tend to imagine that pluralism is a new phenomenon-that the past was a place of intolerance and cultural isolation, in which religious and ethnic minorities were violently persecuted. Then, the story goes, modern ideas of rationality kicked in and globalization made the world ever more interconnected so that now we have become more pluralistic and syncretic than ever. This story is quite wrong. In fact, there are many examples of times and places in the past where pluralism was the dominant philosophy!
We have already seen that ancient India was ruled at one time by a pluralistic emperor, Ashoka the Great. Ashoka was a Buddhist, but he allowed Hinduism, Jainism, and countless other religions to thrive in his empire. Over a period, India was ruled by the Mughal Emperor Akbar, who was also renowned for his pluralism. Akbar was a Muslim, but he took counsel by Hindus and other religious thinkers in his royal court. In fact, Akbar went beyond tolerance and tried to create a new syncretic religion for India, based on a combination of Hinduism, Islam, and elements of Jainism and Buddhism.
Pluralism was also dominant in many times and places in the Ottoman Empire, an Islamic state that ruled the Middle East and lasted from 1299 all the way to 1923! Of course, in all those centuries, there were some times less tolerant than others, but overall the Ottoman Empire was remarkably pluralistic and allowed all sorts of ethnicities and religions to coexist under a single flag and a loose imperial alliance.
To some, pluralism seems to suggest relativism. According to this line of reasoning, in order to be a pluralist, it's necessary to believe that all ethical laws are relative to culture and circumstance, so there can be no one moral law that applies to everyone. So by extension, some people believe that pluralism cannot exist alongside universal morality. This is often a criticism of pluralism.
However, not all pluralists think this way. Some pluralists, for example, argue for a limited kind of tolerance in which all views are tolerated as far as possible, with some restrictions added for truly hateful views. Other pluralists argue that universal morality comes from compassion and acceptance-the core of pluralism, and a primary message of almost every religion; thus, for example, they argue that issues like abortion or gay marriage are less important than being empathetic towards other human beings. This allows for pluralism alongside universal morality.
State sovereignty is limited by practical and ethical reasons. Although the state is an inevitable organization, it has no moral recognition. According to Lasky, the state is a means of enriching and establishing civic life. The claim of his power and loyalty depends on how the state can develop that possibility. He holds that the state can have no permanent claim to power. The government will gradually surrender to those on whom the outcome of his work is reflected. History teaches that in the end, the application of free will becomes fatal to the government.
Although the weakness of pluralism has diminished its influence, the pluralistic perspective has not been completely exiled from the courtyard of political science. Modern state scientists, such as Arthur Bentley, David Truman, have attempted to review state science from a group perspective. Robert Dall, Lipset, Richard Hofstadter, prominent US scientists have noted the need for different groups and associations in the framework of a liberal and moral democratic system. According to many, in the capitalist countries, antagonistic social classes and groups were formed for the position of the opposing social classes and for the interdependence of the capitalists.
The experts of Marx philosophy discussed the application of the character of sovereignty to a completely new and historical perspective. According to the Marxian theory, the state is a class governance machine, a state-owned class of economic power. With the help of machines and controlling the production, one tries to protect his own class interests. So the characteristic of political power and sovereignty of the state will depend on the economic power structure, ownership and production control. In order to explain sovereignty properly or the ultimate power of the state, one must understand the class character of the state. It is possible to realize and present sovereignty through the class character of the state. According to the Marxist view, in every exploited social system, the state system acts as the protector of the master of the means of production, i.e. the economically dominant class. In an exploited society, state power is never class neutral. If sovereignty can be termed a manifestation of state power, then sovereignty can never be neutral in any case. It is possible to prove its authenticity from the history of exploited society.
It is possible to establish public sovereignty for the first time in a socialist society. It was through the socialist revolution that the proletariat ended the economic, social and political domination of the oppressors, and established the rule of the oppressed masses. The socialist revolution is a new kind of revolution. Its main aim is to end the private ownership of the socialization of production materials, to end class exploitation, to end the role of the capitalist's state as a means of exploitation, and to vest the state power in the hands of the majority. Private ownership of property is the source of exploitation and in the exploited society, the state acts to exploit power. Therefore, in all formerly exploited societies, the state power also became the political power of the exploiters, as the state became the instrument of exploitation of the exploiting classes.
Each state has to depend on another state for economic, cultural and many factors. Instead of competition, instead of cooperation and conflict, friendship has become the essence of the modern world. Lasky believes that the world has become so interdependent that the free will of any state can be a serious threat to humankind. According to him, as Roman law has become irrelevant now, state sovereignty has become irrelevant. The proliferation of nuclear warheads has introduced the need to restrict state sovereignty. The stubborn initiative of a state possessed by nuclear warfare can turn entire human civilization into ruin. There are currently two alternative paths facing the entire human race - the survival of humankind as a whole or the accelerating of the way to destruction. The sovereignty of the state is essential for the survival of the human race.
(Dr. Forqan Uddin Ahmed, writer, columnist & researcher)