The State – What State Actually Is?

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The term state was used by different civilizations and nations with different words in their eras but its meaning remain the same as an organized community of human being controlling definite territory for definite purpose.

History of the word “State”:

Greek used the term “Polis” which means politically organized city or state. Romans used the term “status rei publicae”. Latin term was status and Italian used the term stato in middle ages. In 15th and 16th centuries, the term was “etate”, German as staat and English as “state”.

The term “State” and different “Senses”:

 The term has taken in a number of senses by different peoples. It is because of the fact that each and everyone have a personal perspective. The nature of the term state remains different to different people. For an ordinary man “state” is like a Policeman and for learned one, it is, “State is a giant whose body is composed of the countless bodies of human beings”. The medieval writers called state as ultimate power. On the other hand, the idealist philosophers considered it an image of God on earth. The imperialists considered state as an instrument of enslavement and exploitation of the ignorant people. Jurists regard state as law giving institution. Communists consider state as instrument of class domination while social psychologists consider state as an institution for social experimentation. Political science considers the term state possesses scientific precision and objectivity.
State can be define as, “A community of people, occupying a definite territory, living under an organized government which is supreme over all people associates with in its territory and independent of foreign countries”.

Elements of The State:

Population:
The social nature of man keeps him in human groups. He has to live with others for the satisfaction of his needs and development of his personality. These social actions make society and state a highest form of human associations. We can say that State is an association of men living together for definite or common purpose. It is clear that no state exists without population. The population of a state consists of three kinds of members: full members, subjects, non-members.

Full Members:
They are called citizens. They enjoy all rights and perform all duties of a state.
Subjects:
They are also known as national. They enjoy few rights in a state.

Non-Members:
They are alien in a residing state. They stay in a state for a short period and only enjoy the right of life and property.
In modern era states posses varied size of population like, the state of U.A.E, Panama, and people republic of China. It suggests that population of a state must be as much as to fulfill the needs of culture, arts learning, industry, agriculture, defense, and exploitation of the state’s natural resources.

Territory:
It is quite natural that man needs a place for shelter. Similarly, a family requires a home to develop its features and individuals. The similar case is with state. A nation exists without territory. For example, Jews prior to 1948, when state of Israel was created, but a state cannot exist without any reference to territory. It shows that territory is a body of state, prior to 1947, Muslims existed in sub-continent as a nation, but after 1947, Muslims acquired a definite territory and created Islamic republic of Pakistan to dignity their Islamic nationalism.  
 Political writers have different views about the size of state’s territory. One group has opinion that territory of a state must be small enough as to be well administered. Another group hold views that territory of state must be in proportion to its population, so that their needs be fulfilled easily. In modern time, due to development of communication systems the large territorial states are considered strong and stable economically due to vast nature resources. For example, people republic of China. Psychologically the people of large territorial states consider themselves dominant and strong.

Government:
When people start living together in form of a community then they have to act upon certain customs and moral values, which are created and recognized by them for the smooth functioning of their interactions. They often create an institute called government, which performs important functions as to make laws for the maintenance of peace. It takes responsibility of social welfare of masses. Government is a type of machinery which checks the social injustices, economic deprivation, and protects weaker against stronger through enforcement of law and order. Government is considered as the brain of the state. It shows that a community without government is nothing but a crowd of people living at a portion of territory. Government creates an organization in community and state acts as through it. We accept the existence of government without thinking about it because habitually obey the public authority. Man can escape but cannot. Man may join a revolutionary movement, over throw the government but he has to submit new government. It is clear from the fact that government is the most powerful single instrument of social control in modern life.

Sovereignty:
It is the most important element of state. It is known as the soul of state. Sovereignty is supreme, original, unlimited power and authority of a state over individuals and associations living within its territory. Sovereignty is the only element of state, which keeps its independence, and it is not subject to foreign control. This explanation suggests two aspects of state’s sovereignty, internal sovereignty and external sovereignty.

In the context of internal sovereignty, state possesses unlimited and supreme power to act but its actions must not be against man, “Natural right to live”. In the context of external sovereignty, state is free from foreign control but a state has to maintain political and diplomatic relations with other states. It has to keep economic and cultural links with foreign states.