By Robert Maynard Hutchins
Booklet by way of Hutchins, Robert Maynard
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Additional info for St. Thomas and the World State (Aquinas Lecture 14)
Maritain, True Humanism, New York, 1938, Ch. 3-5. Cf. Yves Simon, Nature and Functions of Authority, Milwaukee, 1940, esp. pp. 46-47, where Professor Simon formulates the correlative principles of authority and autonomy. " These two principles should guide us in determining the authority to be granted to the political organs of world government, and in determining the autonomy to be retained by the various levels of local government and economic administration down to the smallest units. Page 53 49.
And when Aristotle wrote, the city-state had long passed its prime. Nor can it be said the city-states had been in any sense self-sufficing. The aggrandizement of Athens must have borne Page 3 some relation to the fact that Athenians did not feel self-sufficient, either with respect to defense or with respect to material goods, within their own borders. Even the conservative Spartans had not confined their hegemony to their own walls. Aristotle was concerned to show the origin of the state and the aims of the state.
But now that modern ways of thinking have widened the separation between political and religious life while, at the same time, intercontinental communication has become more frequent, less difficult, and, in the air, extremely rapid, the possibility of ecumenical unification has become more and more a reality. " 38 V But here arises an apparent contradiction, which has confused some Catholics and seems destined to confuse more. Whereas Popes, Bishops, and Catholic thinkers seem to favor world government, they also seem to favor the independence of sovereign states, and some- Page 29 times to regard divine and natural law as enough for the government of that community which they unanimously discern in the world.