Pluralism vs State Sovereignty
Laski as a pluralist is the most forceful and sweeping critic of the theory of absolute sovereignty of state. In his ‘A Grammar of Politics’ he goes so far as to declare that it would be of “lasting benefit to political science, if the whole concept of sovereignty were surrendered” and more particularly the ‘arid’ and ‘unfruitful’ concept of legal sovereignty.
The views of Laski and other pluralists are at variance both in the way they attack the traditional theory of state sovereignty and the position they precisely assign to other associations in the pluralist society. Laski is not at one with everything that Dugnit, Figgis, Barker, Cole, Lindsay or Maclver has to say on this subject. While Dugnit attacked the absolute theory of sovereignty mainly from juristic point of view; Figgis sought to provide autonomous right of churches and communities; Barker was concerned more with economic and professional groups, Laski was anxious to assign a place of honour to trade unions. Just like the advocates of idealism, utilitarianism, liberalism and communism, exponents of pluralism laid different and varied emphasis on certain aspects of their theory. Again, like these “isms”, pluralism was not a rigid theory as is often mistaken from Laski’s radical views and often forgotten that later on Laski himself had abandoned these views as leading to anarchy of association and jumble of trade unions, competing, quarrelling and fighting among themselves. Caker is, therefore, right in defining pluralism in such words. According to him Pluralism, is a term applied to the somewhat varying doctrines which are alike in their common opposition to the traditional theory of state sovereignty.
We are here to examine chiefly Laski’s views on this subject, who, as Coker says, is most sweeping and emphatic of all pluralist in his theoretical attack on monistic conception of state sovereignty. No theory of state is created ex-Nihieio. Laski, who, like Machivelli, was amenable to the influence of his age, was not expected to fly in the high airs of abstract imagination. He never created a Utopia like that of Thomas More. Laski, as an exponent of pluralism, shows the influence of Mill and Green who had already questioned the states claim to omnipotence by assigning to the individual a moral personality whose personal liberties state had a duty to safeguard.
“All pluralist theory” says Coker (Including Laski’s theory) ‘‘shows the influence on the one hand, of earlier sociological and juristic discussion of the states relations to economic and professional groups and, on the other hand, of broader ethical and philosophical ideas as to the value of variety and freedom in self-expression as J.S. Mill’s moral and intellectual individualism and in T.H. Green’s idealist doctrine of self-realization”.
Besides the influence of utilitarianism of Mill, idealism of Green, Fabianism of Webb, Shaw, Juristic discussion on the relations of social and economic group with the state had significant impact on Laski’s political thought. Before we describe the nature, implications and consequences of attack it is relevant to explain in brief the object of attack. Crushing blows have been dealt to the so called absolutist view of state sovereignty.
The most sought for target of disparagement is Hobbes concept of absolute sovereignty (and Austin’s view of legal sovereignty). In fact case for pluralism is a straight fight between Hobbes and Laski. Both have their supporters and camp-followers. If Hobbes is prince of absolutism, Laski can be regarded standard-bearer of pluralism’s attack on absolutism. The former is the godfather of the traditional theory of state sovereignty while the latter has come to be regarded its grave- digger.
Humble tribute by Harcharan Singh Chan
Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the 10th Guru of the Sikhs, like Guru Nanak Dev ji, the first guru, considered all human beings as the creation of one and the same god, the Creator, whom Hindus called Karta and muslim called Karim both refer to the same almighty God. In Guru Gobind Singh’s own word “ Hindu Turk(Muslims) Kou (Rafji, Imam Safi) manas ki Jaat Sabhe ek Pehchanbo.”
One of the most important and the most democratic hymns of Guru Gobind Singh ji is : What Ever I am it is because of the Khalsa. Otherwise, but for the Khalsa I am nothing. No saint or leader of humanity has said and written such touching and selfless words and meant what he said. To emphasise the universal greatness of Guru Gobind Singh ji. I take this opportunity to quote Gurujee’s words from hymns of Dosam Granth:
Judh Jeetai inhi ke parsad aur daan kare
Aah oag taray inhike parsad, inhiki kirpa faan dhaam bharray.
Inhi ke prasad vidya lee, inhi ki krippa sabh shatru mare
Inhi ki krippa ke sajje hum hein
nahin moh sou gharib karor paray.
Translated in simple English, The great guru means:
I have won wars because of Khalsa and able to give charities because of Khalsa.
I have been able to overcome all sorrows and ailments because of Khalsa and fill treasury of Khalsa. It is through the grace of Khalsa that I have got education and triumphed over all enemies. It is because of Khalsa that I have attained such high status otherwise there are millions of poor and insignificant people like me.
This hymn was written by tenth Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Here in my humility and reverence for great Guru I say with confidence that in the annals of world history there have been a few human beings who during 42 years of life attained unparallel distinction as a poet and scholar, who learnt Hindi, Persian, Sanskrit and Punjabi and wrote poetry and prose of examplry distinction. His ZAFAR NAMA in Persian where the great Guru follower of saint par excellence Guru Nanak Dev Ji, gave jurification for taking up arms against Mughal Army. Saying “Hama Heelta Dar Guzasht – Halal Ast Burdan Ba Shamsheer Dast” – meaning when all other alternatives of trying for justice and peace fail it is justified to take up arms to end cruelty.
Guru Ji was a great warrior too. He led the battles himself to inspire his followers, (the Khalsa) that he had created, were both high in spirit and valour. So Guru Ji said: Khalsa is my true face and I live in Khalsa.
Guru Ji sacrificed all his four sons, two aged 15 and 17 Sahibzada AJIT SINGH and Sahibzada JUJHAR SINGH died fighting against hordes of Mughals soldiers and Guru Ji’s Sahibzada ZORAVAR SINGH and Sahibzada FATEH SINGH two younger sons aged 8 and 10 were captured by the viceroy of Sirhand who was so cruel that he got the innocent children bricked alive. As Guru Ji’s children, they naturally refused to abondon the Khalsa faith and accept Islam. Guru Ji did not mourn the demise of his all the four children as mortals do but said “ What does it matter if I have lost four children there are many thousands of Khalsa who are alive.”
Guru Ji was a great organizer. He founded the Khalsa the Pure who would be ready to sacrifice all for the sake of justice who would die fighting and never surrender. After creating the Khalsa by giving them nectar Amrit, the great Guru Ji first asked for 5 Sees(heads) then he gave Amrit to 5 who became 5 pyaras. Thereafter the great guru himself bowed before them and got Amrit from them and so the congregation acclaimed wah wah Guru Gobind Singh, Appe Guru and Appe Chela – that the great guru is both the guru and the disciple.
Guru Gobind Singh was a rarest possible genius, philospher, poet, organizer, a valiant soldier and a brave leader of Khalsa soldiers and one of the rarest and greatest who willingly sacrificed all his four sons. Not only the Sikhs but whole humanity bows before him for his greatness, selflessness, spirituality, honesty and integrity. Guru Gobind Singh Ji always emphasized on good deeds, helping the needy and destitute. In this famous couplet he says:- “Deh Shiva Bar Mohi Ehe Shubh Karman Te Kabhum Naa Tarron.”
Oh god bless me that I never hesitate or waiver from doing good to others and live for helping others. This is the message often quoted by many eminent saints, social, religious and political personalities in Gurudwaras, Mandirs and other Congregations.
Guru Gobind Singh Ji declared that he is servant of God and no one should call him God. Who so ever calls him God may go to hell. In Guru Ji’s own words:
“ Mein huin Parampurakh ka dassa dekhan Ayun Jagat Tamasha.
Jo humko Pamashar uchar hoe soi te sabh Narak Kund mei porehein jai”
To sum it up, these are in brief teachings of Guru Gobind Singh Ji which are enshrined in our hearts and minds for the last 300 years since Guru Ji’s demise and these shall guide mankind to truthful, helpful and selfless living till eternity