The political or administrative form of a government is of little consequence provided it affords the essentials of civil progress—liberty, security, education, and social co-ordination. It is not what a state is but what it does that determines the course of social evolution. And after all, no state can transcend the moral values of its citizenry as exemplified in their chosen leaders. Ignorance and selfishness will insure the downfall of even the highest type of government.
Much as it is to be regretted, national egotism has been essential to social survival. The chosen people doctrine has been a prime factor in tribal welding and nation building right on down to modern times. But no state can attain ideal levels of functioning until every form of intolerance is mastered; it is everlastingly inimical to human progress. And intolerance is best combated by the co-ordination of science, commerce, play, and religion.
The ideal state functions under the impulse of three mighty and co-ordinated drives:
1. Love loyalty derived from the realization of human brotherhood.
2. Intelligent patriotism based on wise ideals.
3. Cosmic insight interpreted in terms of planetary facts, needs, and goals.
The laws of the ideal state are few in number, and they have passed out of the negativistic taboo age into the era of the positive progress of individual liberty consequent upon enhanced self-control. The exalted state not only compels its citizens to work but also entices them into profitable and uplifting utilization of the increasing leisure which results from toil liberation by the advancing machine age. Leisure must produce as well as consume.
No society has progressed very far when it permits idleness or tolerates poverty. But poverty and dependence can never be eliminated if the defective and degenerate stocks are freely supported and permitted to reproduce without restraint.
A moral society should aim to preserve the self-respect of its citizenry and afford every normal individual adequate opportunity for self-realization. Such a plan of social achievement would yield a cultural society of the highest order. Social evolution should be encouraged by governmental supervision which exercises a minimum of regulative control. That state is best which co-ordinates most while governing least.
The ideals of statehood must be attained by evolution, by the slow growth of civic consciousness, the recognition of the obligation and privilege of social service. At first men assume the burdens of government as a duty, following the end of the administration of political spoilsmen, but later on they seek such ministry as a privilege, as the greatest honor. The status of any level of civilization is faithfully portrayed by the caliber of its citizens who volunteer to accept the responsibilities of statehood.
In a real commonwealth the business of governing cities and provinces is conducted by experts and is managed just as are all other forms of economic and commercial associations of people.
In advanced states, political service is esteemed as the highest devotion of the citizenry. The greatest ambition of the wisest and noblest of citizens is to gain civil recognition, to be elected or appointed to some position of governmental trust, and such governments confer their highest honors of recognition for service upon their civil and social servants. Honors are next bestowed in the order named upon philosophers, educators, scientists, industrialists, and militarists. Parents are duly rewarded by the excellency of their children, and purely religious leaders, being ambassadors of a spiritual kingdom, receive their real rewards in another world.