Theories of Political Obligation
All of us have some theories, values in life. We
practise whatever is right and do not follow misguiding principles. In the same
way, theories are applicable for political obligations too. There are different
types of theories of political obligation:
In the olden days, people thought that the God
created the state and the king was his representative. But this theory could be
popular only during the ancient and middle ages but not during the modern era.
This theory proposes that the authority of the
state is based on the people’s consent. Hobbes,
Locke and Rousseau justified
this theory on the grounds that the
authority of power was dependent on the people’s consent. But, later it could
not be accepted because it treated state as an artificial organisation.
This theory states that the respect to the
political authority is based on the principle of customary rights. It is a fact
that political institutions are continuous from the past, this ideahas been
supported by Edmund Burke. But over a period of time, it
lost its effect due to its
overemphasis on the respect for the well-established practices.
This theory regards man and the state as two
entities. “Man” is regarded as a political and rational creature while “state”
is considered as a self-sufficing community. This idealistic theory propounds
that when the individual receives his rights from the state, he can have no
rights that can conflict with the state. However, this theory proved to be
quite abstract and which could not be understood by man.
The Marxian theory is actually different from the
other theories. It has been classified into three stages:
Pre - revolutionary stage- This stage explains
Revolutionary Stage- It is an eventual change from
political non- obligation stage to a stage of total political obligation.
Post- revolutionary stage-This stage is a complete
transition from total political obligation to social development.
The Marxian theory of politics explains the state
as an instrument of power in the hands of the proletariat. Towards the success
of the revolution to consolidate the socialist order, it may lead to what is
called as ‘withering away’ of the state. However, this theory was also
considered to be illogical since it made man subservient to the state.