What Is Civil Society? Tom G. Palmer [email protected] 16.July2019 Civil Society as a term of analysis The term has been used in different and sometimes contradictory ways over the centuries One must be careful when using it to specify what one means
It is a term of sociological/political analysis, such as government and state, and its history helps us to understand its significance Civil Societies Are Constituted by Free Human Interacting Peacefully It is a social condition among humans.
not of conflict, but of voluntary cooperation among political and legal equals Civil Society Has a History Like many modern institutions, it arose in the re-emerging urban orders of Europe It drew on the tradition
of democratic government, government by the demos, pioneered in Greece But it adapted and evolved to new conditions that encouraged deliberation and voluntary cooperation, which replaced tribalism, political tyranny, and absolutism
Civil Society Has a History Civil societies are not the natural or equilibrium state of mankind . That was one of the many errors of the invasion of Iraq that all that had to be done was to remove an obstacle and the country would transform itself into Oregon. Civil societies are achievements and, while they may be robust, they are not infinitely so.
Civil societies need constant renewal of their intellectual and moral foundations. Lets start with a look into their origins. The Emergence of Democracy in Greece Democracy was used to describe the Athenian polity after the Cleisthenic reforms of 508-507 BCE The terms used at the time were isonomia,
isegoria, and isokratia (equal laws, equality of speech, equality of power) The Establishment of the Public Thing in Rome: SPQR, Senatus Populusque Romanus Overthrow ca. 510-509 B.C.E. of the Monarchy of Lucius Tarquinius Superbus and the establishment of a Republic The Constitution of the Republic entailed a rich body of laws and a complex array of different offices, each with powers and immunities
(Consuls, Tribunes, Censors, etc., etc.), which made it difficult for a monarchy to be reestablished The Republic Destroyed: Suicide of Cato the Younger, Last Free and Independent Man in Rome 46 B.C.E., after his defeat by Julius Caesar at the Battle of Thapsus, Cato commits suicide and becomes an inspiration to defenders of republican ideas based on consultation and the rule
of law But Classical Civilization Came to an End New Rome, City of Constantine, founded 330 Roman Legions Withdrawn from Britain (409-410) Last Roman Emperor in Rome Turfed Out by his general (Odoacer) Flavius Momyllus Romulus Augustus (Augustulus) Triumphus
And in Europe was replaced by other military, political, and legal institutions Feudalism was Primarily a System of Military Defense In Creation of Decentralized Systems of Defense, It Created New Kinds of Property Relations New Forms of Governance Were Established Abbey of Cluny Founded 910 as a
Benedictine Order Established a new organizational form that Prohibited feudal land holdings New form of discipline and governance The Pax et Treuga Dei (Gottesfrieden) & Constitutio Pacis (Landfrieden) Movements Reduced Violence The Church, which is becoming more and more prosperous, organized
peace movements across Europe Priests and Bishops organize the population to take public oaths not to fight or engage in violence The German Emperors seek to strengthen the Peace of God and to reduce violence Emperor Henry IV in 1103 established the First Imperial Peace of Mainz to reinforce the Mainz
Peace and Truce of God of 1085 Gregorian Reformation Freedom of the Church Distinguished Church from State 1073 The German monk Hildebrand becomes Pope Gregory VII 1075 -- Gregory Issues Dictates of the Pope 1077 Emperor Henry IV asks forgiveness at Canossa Rediscovery of Justinians Codification of Roman Law (About
1080) QUOD OMNES TANGIT AB OMNIBUS APPROBATUR WHAT TOUCHES ALL MUST BE APPROVED OF BY PRINCIPI ALL QUOD PLACUIT LEGIS VIGOREM HABET WHAT PLEASES THE PRINCE HAS THE Civil Society Emerges Based on Free Association: Growth of Medieval Communes Stadtluft macht frei, nach Ablaufe
von Jahr und Tag. City air makes you free, after the lapse of a year and a day. Governance was provided by associations of craftsmen and merchants The medieval communes provided security, peace, and public goods, often through associations of guilds The burghers were essentially a group of homines pacismen of
peace. Medieval Cities: Their Origins and the Revival of Trade, Henri Pirenne Human Relations Progressed from Status to Contract The movement of the progressive societies has hitherto been a movement from status to contract. --Sir Henry Sumner Maine Ancient Law (1861)
Emergence of Civil Society Latin Civitas gives us civil, as in a mode of behavior German Burg gives us Canterbury, Pittsburgh, Hillsborough, bourgeois (thanks to the French), and the House of Burgesses The expression burgenses was at first used only if the city was not a civitas, and civitas was at first only the old episcopal seat (Bischofsstadt). Hans Planitz, Die Deutsche Stadt im Mittelalter: Von der Rmerzeit bis zu den Znftkmpfen Burgensis and brgerlich enter English via French as bourgeois. The crucial point about
both guilds and communes was that here individuation and association went hand in hand. One achieved liberty by belonging to this kind of group. Citizens, merchants, and artisans pursued their own individual goals by banding together under oath. ---Antony Black, Civil Societies Distinguished from Slave, Feudal, and Totalitarian Orders Rather than distinguishing civil parts of
society or of a social order from uncivil parts, the term civil society distinguished civil societies from other forms of human association, such as relationships based on slavery, feudalism, or in the modern age -totalitarianism. The rights of burghers/citizens that made possible such a society came to be known as civil rights. The rule of law of procedures and not commands is central to a civil society Government (to define it de jure or according to ancient prudence) is an art whereby a civil society of men is
instituted and preserved upon the foundation of common right or interest, or (to follow Aristotle and Livy) it is the empire of laws and not of men. James Harrington Civil Society Is Pluralistic and Peaceful [t]he only way whereby any one divests himself of his Natural Liberty, and puts on the bonds of Civil Society is by agreeing with other Men to joyn and unite into a Community, for their comfortable, safe, and peaceable
living one amongst another, in a secure Enjoyment of their Properties, and a greater Security against any that are not of it. John Locke Civil Societies Embrace Both Freedom and Law [T]he end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge Freedom: where there is no Law, there is no Freedom. For Liberty is to be free from restraint and violence from others which cannot be, where there is no Law: But Freedom is not, as we are told, A Liberty for every Man to do what he lists: (For who could be free, when every other Mans Humour might domineer over him?) But a Liberty to dispose, and order, as he lists,
his Person, Actions, Possessions, and his whole Property, within the Allowance of those Laws under which he is; and therein not to be subject to the arbitrary Will of another, but freely follow his own. Relations of Civil Society to the State The Officers of the State are Limited in their Functions and have only Enumerated Powers Example: U.S. Bill of Rights, Amendment Ten The Members of
Civil Society have Unenumerated Rights Example: U.S. Bill of Rights, Amendment Nine Civil Society and Individual Identity In a Feudal Order, In a Collectivist Order, the Individual is (Allegedly) Completely Absorbed by the Group In a Civil Society, the Individual is a Member of Many Groups, which intersect and overlap, and none of which Absorbs Anyone Completely
Relations Among Individuals and Groups In Civil Society Are Like IKEA Furniture Ernest Gellner There are firms which produce, advertise, and market modular furniture. The point about such furniture is that it comes in bits which are agglutinative: you can buy one bit which will function on its own, but when your needs, income or space available augment, you can buy another bit. It will fit in with the one acquired previously, and the whole thing will still have a coherence,
aesthetically and technically. You can combine and recombine the bits at will. . . .What genuine Civil Society really requires is not modular furniture, but modular man. Ernest Gellner, Conditions of Liberty: Civil Society and its Rivals In Civil Societies, Identities Are Complex Individuals Can Form Their Own Identities Identity is partly given, but also partly created
Through Association Through Experience Through Fashion Through Education Through Religion Through Histories and Choices Differences in Diverse Civil Societies Are Negotiated through Rule-Governed Civil Interaction, Not through Violence
Civil Interaction Includes: Discussion Debate Exchange Persuasion And that is what we are here to make possible: Civil Interaction Civil Societies Both & Promote civil discourse Depend on the
maintenance of civil discourse And that is why Im here today
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