South Sudan: My Political Philosophy on Nation State and Government

Posted: November 8, 2016 by PaanLuel Wël in Columnists, Commentary, Contributing Writers, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers, Philosophy

By Simon Deng Kuol Deng, New York, USA

democracy

Demo-cracy or Demo-crazy?

November 8, 2016 (SSB) — My political philosophy is rooted on high degrees of believing that God has created humans with the rights and responsibility to recognize the necessity of having kind of nation state and government as the repository of the power aimed at protecting their common interests. Humans used to distinguish the functions of the nation state and government as the functions of public affairs, which means that, they recognize themselves as the possessors of the nation state and government.

Furthermore, humans recognize the offices of the nation state and government as the public offices in which they have rights to delegate individuals who may be interested in doing the public works for consent fixed periods of time for the purposes of providing humans’ legal needs such as law and order, security needs such as national defense, economy needs such as trade and employment, and social needs such as health care and education. While, they used to consider or regard the functions of individuals outside the nation state and government as the private affairs.

The nation state and government offices have designed to remain the public trust for the reason that people entrust the public offices of the state nation and government to the individuals who are capable of responding to the people’s general needs. Thus, the nation state and government consider by people as the repository of power, which they delegate to the public officials for the purposes of protecting the common or public interests. People expect public officials to serve the public interest with fairness and also manage public resources properly on a daily basis.

For the reason, that fair and reliable of public services inspire public trust to the public officials and the nation state and government. The system, which correspond with my political philosophy in which people have felt responsible for giving the assignments of public offices to the public officials for the fixed period of time is democracy, which I have confidence in that its principles should be upheld and expanded in the contemporary nation-state and government, in order for the public officials to implement programs on the people’s interests accordingly to people’s consent.

In the contemporary public institutions, these programs are also considered as policies that must be implemented by elected public officials for the provision of services to the people within the state of democracy system of governance. The programs or services provided by the elected officials from the democratic state are considered and perceived by the individuals as the public and/or individuals’ interests. In the democracy system, public and individuals’ interests are divided by political parties as their programs, but in the monarch, authoritarian systems of governance, all interests and programs are decided by one ruler or one party.

In the democracy system of governance, every political party may have its own programs with the policy areas of how its leaders will address the public and individuals ‘interests according to the norms and principles of their political party’s identity or characteristic. The examples of the programs, which perceive as the public interests provided by the states are security or national defense, foreign affairs, health, education, airports, roads and bridge, cleaning water, electricity, environment, social protection policies that provided benefit to the disable, vulnerable, and senior people etc. Whereas, individual interests are considered to be agriculture, commercial activities, or student loans, etc.

Surely, democracy peace theory has been the significant influences in reconfirming my political beliefs. In the democratic nation state and its government, when the time for the election comes, people are more likely to elect the best candidates into public offices to uphold the people’s rights and implement the programs that may improve the people’s needs such as law and order, national security, economy, and social needs. Hence, people in any election of the nation state and government expect the candidates who run for the public offices to address the major programs or interests with the full explanations of the policies’ areas of how they will go to implement them when they have elected into public offices.

Democracy system is peaceful, as researchers have expanded the horizons of scholars engaged in this type of empirical investigation to provide a satisfactory account of the relationship between democracy and peace. However, at the end, a good number of the researchers found out from their studies the significant evidence that has supported the claims made by the previous researchers that democratic states do not wage interstate wars against themselves.  Democratic peace theory has accepted by its proponents and swiftly linked it with the 18th-century philosopher, Immanuel Kant who had argued that countries with a representative government would behave more peacefully than countries with the authoritarian government (Braden, 2005).

Kant had strongly believed that, the constitutional republics would be pacifist that prevent adventurous rulers from committing their nations to a war (Hermann & Kegley, 1995), because if the consent of the citizens is required in order to decide that war should be declared, nothing is more natural than that they would be very cautious in commencing such a poor game (Braden, 2005). Under a non-republican constitution, whose subjects are not citizens, the easiest thing in the world is to declare war because the ruler is not a fellow citizen, but the nation’s owner and war don’t affect his table and his pleasure (Malici & Smith, 2013). Republic is a Latin term (res-publica) and translates literally into “the affairs of the public, while, the term democracy which has Greek roots (demos kratein) and translates literally into “the rule of the people (P.14).

The Immanuel Kant’s 1795 essay, Perpetual Peace is the most often cited classical source of the idea that democracy is an important force for peace. According to Kant, Perpetual peace would occur only when states had civil constitutions establishing republics, which their constitutions including checks and balances that maybe more pacific toward all nations, not just toward like governments (Ray 1998; & Spiro, 1994). Kant believed that countries under the civil governments would bind themselves to international law in a kind of specific union in which war with each other would be deemed illegitimate (Braden, 2005).

Likewise, my political philosophy core values are to improve the people’s needs. Thus, for the public officials to response to the people’s needs, they must need to have the skills, knowledge, and abilities to be able to establish the strategic plans, implement the plans and/or recognize the need for the change. In the contemporary world of currently, a public official must recognize the full worth of the concept of the nation state’s vision through available reasons for the change, growth, and improvement. Surely, I do believe that Public officials have the responsibilities to be openly and effectively convey the approaches by which the future of the nation state, government and society will change; particularly when change is foremost in improving the lives of the people.

People are more likely to support a sense of the nation-state and government’s direction when the direction is obviously representative of their needs. Thus, public officials should have the skills and knowledge to convey the government programs and policy areas of how to implement them in government with fairness or honesty in order to gain the people’s trust. Reliable and effective communication is a crucial skill – the key to winning trust and confidence. Public officials should depend on upon communication to build sound linkages between public institutions and people.

Therefore, public officials must acknowledge communication as an important method that could help them and people outside the government, understand government’s general strategy plans; understand the processes by which they would tireless work to achieve the nation state and government’s objectives through explaining what government’s divisions could do to the people. The public officials must also recognize human nature and the importance of honesty when caring for the people by recognizing the people who have lacked motivation because they may perhaps need the different approaches than the people with the high degrees of motivations.

Similarly, public officials should empower people by increasing their participation in the processes of prioritizing programs in the short and long-term strategy plans for the development with a sense of needing such development plans with the schedules for the implementation and follow-up to confirm if they have done what they have mandated to do. Furthermore, public officials have the responsibilities to deal equally with everyone without prejudice, favor or disfavor because people expect to see them exercise their authorities through providing quality services equally to the everyone with the nation state. I do believe that the excellences begin with the personal characters, which comprise fairness, trustworthiness, competence, inspire, open-minded, and proper attention to the public image and self-discipline.

The values of my political philosophy concur with the views of John Locke. According John Locke people by nature are free, equal, and independent, no one can be put out of this estate and subjected to the political power of another without his own consent, which is done by agreeing with other people, to join 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 (P.59). When any number of people have consented to make one community or government, they are thereby presently incorporated, and make one body politic, wherein the majority have a right to act and conclude the rest (Locke, 1999). Locke pointed out that we see that in assemblies empowered to act by positive laws where no number is set by that positive law which empowers them, the act of the majority passes for the act of the whole, and of course determines as having, by the law of nature and reason, the power of the whole (P.59).

Thus, every person, by consenting with others to make one body politic under one government, puts himself under an obligation to every one of that society to submit to the determination of the majority, and to be concluded by it (Locke, 1999). Otherwise, this original compact, whereby he/she with others incorporates into one society, would signify nothing, and be no compact if he/she be left free and under no other ties than he/she was in before in the state of nature (Locke, 1999).

Every person being as has been showed, naturally free, and nothing being able to put him into subjection to any earthly power, but only his own consent, it is to be considered what shall be understood to be a sufficient declaration of a man’s consent to make him subject to the laws of any government (P.60). Have my political beliefs evolved over time? No, my political beliefs had never changed, but my political beliefs have concurred with the John Locke’s political philosophy and also with the principles, norms, and values of liberal democracy.

Inclusion

In the democratic systems of governance, people are more likely to divide themselves through affiliating with the political party identities such as liberal, social democracy, or conservative for the purposes of acquiring programs of their respective political party identities on the one way or just adopting their own programs if they are fully independents on the other way.

People who have common interests of political party identity are more likely to tend to search for the leaders who have the skills and knowledge to protect their common interests. People who may be interested in running for public offices without skill, experience and knowledge in the interests of their respective party or political institutions are more likely to have difficulty in addressing the issues, which the parties and people expect from them.

Thus, people are more likely to pay their attention to the leaders who have political skill and knowledge or experience to be able to write and convey the programs and policies areas correctly of how they may govern when they have elected into the public offices, so that for the citizens to see their interests on the candidates’ programs in order to make their final decisions.

About Author: Mr. Simon Deng Kuol Deng is SPLM Former Secretary General in New York-USA. Mr. Deng is currently a graduate student for the Master’s Degree of Science in Political Science, SNHU, U.S.A. He holds the Degree of Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, general concentration in the three Subfields: The American Politics and Governments; Comparative Politics and Comparative Governments; and International Relations, from the State University of New York at Buffalo (UB) USA. He also holds the Degree of Associate in Applied Science in Office Management and Administration from the State College of New York at Buffalo, Erie Community College (ECC) USA. He Attended Training for Rapid Impact Public Finance Management Project, sponsored by World Bank, School of Management Science, University of Juba and KCA University, Kenya and obtained a post Certificate in Procurement in 2011. He can be reached by smndeng@yahoo.com or simondeng.deng@snhu.edu 

References:

Braden, S. (2005). Promoting Democracy Won’t Necessarily Produce Peace, International Journal on World Peace.

Hermann, M. & Kegley, C. W. (1995). Rethinking Democracy and International Peace: Perspectives from Political Psychology, International Studies Quarterly, (39). PP. 511-533.

Locke, John (1999). Express and Tacit Consent. In the Rosen, Michael & Wolff, Jonathan (edited). Political Thought. United Kingdom: Oxford University Press

Malici, K., and Smith, E. S. (2013). Why Do We Need a Science of Politics? In the Malici, K. and Smith, E. S. (Edited).  Political Science Research in Practice. Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, New York.

Ray, J. L. (1998). Does Democracy Cause Peace? Annual Review, Political Science, (1). PP. 27-46. 

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing.

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