The Urantia Book
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A Synopsis of Paper 71: Development of the State

The state is not of divine origin, nor was it purposely produced by intelligent human action. It is an evolution of civilization that regulates social interaction and represents society's net gain after the devastation of war.

An enduring state needs to have a common language, mores, and institutions. Strong states are held together by several factors, including private property, cities, agriculture, domestication of animals, patriarchal family units, a clearly defined territory, and strong rulers. Democracy is an ideal but has inherent dangers, one of which is the glorification of mediocrity. Democracy is a product of civilization rather than of evolution.

The ideal state is guided by the realization of human brotherhood, intelligent patriotism, and cosmic insight. It  should provide for liberty, security, education, and social coordination. Society will not progress well if it permits idleness and poverty, but poverty will never be eliminated if degenerate stocks are freely supported and permitted to reproduce without restraint. A government must evolve if it is to survive.

An ideal society cannot be realized while the weak are allowed to take unfair advantage of idealists. People must live according to their ideals while maintaining adequate defense against those who may seek to exploit them. The test of the idealism of a government is the maintenance of military preparedness for defense but never for offense.

Profit motives are necessary to keep people at work, but profit motives must be augmented by service motives. In the ideal state, education continues throughout life. Philosophy, the search for wisdom, may become the chief pursuit of citizens. Control of education must be taken from lawyers and businessmen and entrusted to philosophers and scientists.

The only sacred feature of government is its division into executive, legislative and judicial domains; the universe is administered in accordance with such a plan. Apart from this divine concept, the form of government is not as important as the fact that its citizenry is ever progressing toward the goal of augmented self-control and increased social service.

The earmarks of ideal statehood are: the executive, legislative, and judicial branches; freedom of social, political, and religious activities; abolition of human bondage; citizen's control of taxation; universal lifelong education; proper adjustment between local and national government; fostering of science; conquest of disease; sexual equality; use of machines to reduce drudgery; universal language; end of war; and exaltation of the pursuit of wisdom.

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