The State as a perfect society—its sovereignty and majesty—its supreme nobility

July 26, 2012

Obama speaks to a joint session of Congress regarding health care reform.

The common good in this sense encompasses all subordinate goods without absorbing or repressing them. This encompassing gives the State a supremacy of mission, power, and, therefore, intrinsic dignity, which is adequately expressed by the word majesty.(1) A nation normally constitutes a complete and perfect(2) society. Regardless of its form of government, this society is sovereign and majestic.

Its majestic power is supremely noble. By virtue of being sovereign, that is, supreme, it has an intrinsic natural nobility superior to that of the intermediate bodies between the individual and the State.

Queen Elizabeth II arrives at the House of Parliament to formally open a new parliamentary session, as part of the State Opening of Parliament.


(1) The Latin majestas derives from major, the comparative form of magnus, which means great, both in the physical and moral senses. It often includes the accessory meaning of force, power, and nobility. This makes magnus an honorific or laudatory epithet in elevated language. The same meaning extends to its derivatives and composites. (Cf. A. Ernout and A. Meillet, Dictionnaire etymologique de la langue latine—Histoire des mots, 4th ed., [Paris: Editions Klincksieck, 1979], p. 377.)

 (2) From the Latin perfecta, which means completed, finished, terminated


Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII: A Theme Illuminating American Social History (York, Penn.: The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property, 1993), p. 89. Editorial comment: —

The gradual surrender to socialism that has been going on in Social Democrat Europe and in the U.S. for fifty years has bloated our governments and their budgets to such a point that one would affirm that today they are diseased with elephantitis. But it is not just government expenditures that are out of line. Because of Socialism, the State today intervenes in everything, trampling underfoot the principle of subsidiarity that calls for a problem to be resolved at the lowest possible level: If a problem can be solved within the family, the town should not intervene; if a town or city can solve a problem, then the county, province, or state, should not intervene; if a territory or state can solve a problem, then the Federal Government has no business becoming involved. Today, however, the Federal Government is intervening in family-level problems, and family-level property issues. It is a scandal.
Because of this socialist bloating and egregious abuse of government’s power, many indignant conservatives get carried away and turn against the State altogether, as an institution. Perhaps inadvertently, they adopt an anarchical way of thinking. Their understandable but misinformed outrage is very damaging to the conservative cause, for it “throws the baby out with the bathwater.”
We need the State, but we need restrained government. We need a government that fulfills its true duties and obligations, not its usurped ones. We need a State that refrains from molesting the rest of society so that each level of society, each family and individual can fulfill their own duties without having to carry a ton of bricks (unjust laws and regulations) on their back.
With so many clamoring against the State, we must strive to keep things in their proper, balanced perspective; understand, uphold and defend the State’s proper function; and labor indefatigably to destroy the Socialism that perverts it.

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