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De Jure Law Journal

On-line version ISSN 2225-7160
Print version ISSN 1466-3597

Abstract

RAATH, Andries. Politocratic communitarianism and public justice. De Jure (Pretoria) [online]. 2016, vol.49, n.2, pp.242-264. ISSN 2225-7160.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2225-7160/2016/v49n2a4.

Politocratic communitarianism is based on Nisbet's, Sandel's and Maclntyre's interpretation of Aristotle's sociology and theory of justice. It fosters Aristotle's views on the growth manifested in the organismic state under which the whole of society is subsumed. The physis (growth) of the state is expressive of the whole of reality. In this sense, the city-state is by nature clearly prior to non-state entities and individual persons, since the state is of necessity prior to its parts. The Aristotelian organismic teleology is related to the doctrine of the great chain of being, which sees every element of society as an infinitesimal gradation of ascent to transcendental reality, and which informs the politocratic communitarian philosophy of community. Society as a whole, its structure and processes, is deemed to be representative of the organismic state; society and all its institutions, participates in the entire realm of organismic reality, an idea fundamental to politocratic communitarianism and National-Socialistic state and legal philosophy. The ideal forms of community and public justice are expressive of the biopolitical aims of the power-state: the plurality of non-state entities are subsumed under the universalistic state, the pluriformity of legal spheres in society are encapsulated within the organismic political society and the principles of liberty and equality in civil private law are negated to the point where material injustices are legitimised by state aims. The Aristotelian concept of the biopolitical state is, arguably, the highest barrier for politocratic communitarians and National-Socialists to overcome in their aspirations to meet the benchmarks of the law-state and to satisfy the requirements for ensuring public justice. This essay investigates the implications of politocratic communitarianism, its shared Aristotelian heritage with National-Socialism, and the law-state implications emanating from this tradition's organismic and biopolitical state and legal philosophy.

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