Chapter One: State Ideology In chapter one, state ideology, the shifting ideas regarding American political science are discussed. Through time we have applied the study of political science, whereas now it has shifted to more of a behaviorism approach, focusing on the individuals and groups which occupy the state; this was offered in the place of recognizing the state as a territorial entity. This post-war political science rejected the concept of the state as unscientific. By definition, the US has been a state for a while. However, Nelson writes, “Although we have had a state in the formal sense ever since the adoption of the constitution…it has not looked much like a state in the European sense.” The way states are defined is complicated considering how many differing states have arose throughout time, and how they came to be. With this, their borders become complicated too. The way the establishers idealize their state might vary from their neighboring states idealization. One may develop their state around language or religion while, a neighbor follows boundaries by physical features. In this way boundary disputes can erupt. Who’s land does the physical feature lie on (if it is of any value?) Does the physical boundary divide a group right down the middle? Are the borders open? With the focus on the individuals, and the groups occupying the state rather than the state as merely a controlled territory everyone is to participate in government, so the “state” governs itself. However, these groups and individuals, by nature seek to culturally and socially dominate one another. Humans know the most powerful people are in control whether they are truly the named “leader” or not. Therefore, it is more so that the leading group governs the state. In political history we have seen this, however, ironically we choose this democratic ideology, disregarding the fact that it is faulty when the rich to poor wealth gap is uneven.
Chapter Two: State Formation To define a state brings complication. There are a variety of states that have emerged over the course of time. Some states are still in question as to whether they are even a state or not. The lines are a little blurry. However, it is impossible to discuss a state without recognizing some common characteristics. This chapter names: territorial form of political organization, sovereignty, and social order. The formation of states dates back to ancient times in ancient city-states compromising Mesopotamia, in the Fertile Crescent. It is here, and in many other city-states that the state concept is developed. This Mesopotamian society occupied the land around the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. It was expansive and the people wanted the benefits of the river. To orchestrate a mass irrigation system and control it, they needed political/central control. Thus, the city-state is now governed. The “state idea” arises. Also, in the Near East, was Egypt. Egypt was ruled by a king, his society divided among classes so no subordinate social units could draw from the king’s sovereignty in his city-state. Thus, the social order is recognized (just like state and federal government. The federal government ultimately controls all sovereignty practice of the state.) Although ideas arose via these ancient city-states, they were just that, ideas. The only one that truly came close to setting up history for the modern idea would be the Hebrew State. Their rule was by king like the others, but the king was not “all knowing.” The king was subject to the same laws as the people, just as our government is today.
Chapter 3: The Ideal State There is no ideal state. There is Aristotle’s ideal state, Plato’s ideal state, Cicero’s ideal state, etc. Problems defining an ideal state originated a long time ago. A political