Prominent Men & Their Concepts of the Ideal Society by Aizel Duyongan

Plato:

In his theory, I agree for the Guardians to rule. Life is full of complex diversities. And it is in these diversities that philosophers find their calling. They are “morally fit and intellectually upright”. These can coincide with his another statement of the guardian class not living the life of luxury. The guardian class, knows the balance of life. As their main vocation, they will do what is expected of them. They will rule, with great fervor for the state. It is for the upbringing of a united nation that they will serve their utmost. No malice and no hidden agenda. Only for the good of the state that they fulfil their job and this is what Plato sees as the perfect state.

Aristotle:

Man who is governed by law is a real man. He who is not must be a beast. For man is intelligent and knows the difference between right and wrong.

For a state to attain their highest point, they need to unify their citizens. Unity starts in the family. There are two ways to form the state. The union of man and woman. And the master slave relationship. For Aristotle, man is distinguished between master and slave through their physical capabilities. Some are born to lead and some are born to follow. There’s no discrimination between. Both parties must respect each other and know their limits.

Plato believes in the rule of the many. However, Aristotle believes in the rule of the few. Only the qualified personas, men and women can govern the state.

St. Thomas:

His theory states that the state must be governed by a divine reason. The state is an inclination to God.

Man is a social being. He cannot survive without the help of others. Either a beast or a god can do so. Man is created to be united with other men. Family is the basic social unit of life. Unity is needed to form Aristotle’s idea of a perfect state. God gave the animals all they needed. They have easy access to their basic needs. Why is it that man has to exert an effort? He needs others to help him.

St. Thomas says that a true leader is in line with his followers. He therefore used the analogy of the body and its soul. A soul without its body is nothing, so is a soul without its body.

Summing it all up, God is involved in the governs of a state and everything is with divine reason.

Niccolo Machiavelli:

Niccolo Machiavelli’s theory is an interesting one.One that could either result in utter chaos or complete order. According to him, a state should be governed by force. Enforcing fear into people can result to submission and therefore makes the leader a tyrant.

But, somehow, I agree to his perspective. There were leaders before that practiced this but their priority was the people. I think, it just takes the right kind of person to rule.

The people who can’t see the advantage of this kind of government are ignorant. Take the case of Marcos.

Thomas Hobbes:

Our selfish desires can destroy the state and this is what Hobbes is concerned of.

He gave an option, which is to give our complete submission to a sovereign or if not, we’ll arrive at what he calls “state of nature”. State of nature is comparable to a civil war. A war that is a result of man’s selfishness.

Hobbes proposes the “Leviathan”. Leviathan is a body politic. It portrays a gigantic human form built out of the citizens with the leader as the head.

Hobbes got this concept from the bible, Leviathan is Hebrew for sea monster.

Baron Montesquieu:

In his concept, the powers of the government is divided into three.

The executive, legislative, and the judicial.

The executive makes the law, the legislative executes the law, and the judicial interprets the law.

He sees the advantage because the powers are separated. Less tyranny. Several states have adopted this type of government.

So far, his idea is proven effective and remarkable.

The Spratly Islands Dispute Between China and the Philippines

Found in 1834 by British whaling captain Richard Spratly, the Spratly Islands are one of the major archipelagos in the South China Sea. The islands spread over a vast area of more than 425,000 km2 (164,000 mi2). These islands are located midway between Vietnam and the Philippines, and are claimed by many countries namely – China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei. These countries are causing a big dispute over these islands due to their prime location where many fishing, merchant and survey ships pass. Not to forget the potential sources of natural gas and oil found under the islands’ seabed. What is more important to these countries is the ability to control of the sea lanes surrounding these island. In the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea, all ships are given the right to conduct the innocent passage (unarmed, no unloading of goods or people, etc.) of their ships on all territorial seabeds (Part II, Section 3, Subsection A, Articles 17-19). This means that ships are allowed to get within 12 nautical miles from the coast of a country, as long as they are not a threat to the national security of that country. However, tankers or ships that may carry hazardous materials may be directed to use specialized sea lanes to execute their passage through a country’s territorial waters (Part II, Section 3, Subsection A, Articles 22-23). China claims by far the largest portion of territory – an area defined by the “nine-dash line” which stretches hundreds of miles south and east from its most southerly province of Hainan. The other major claimant in the area is the Philippines, which conjures to its geographical closeness to the Spratly Islands as the main basis of its claim for part of the grouping. China and the Philippines have the most conflict; as of 2015, the Philippines has filed a case to the ITLOS, or International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea regarding this matter.

I agree with the Philippines that they have the right to claim the Spratly’s as theirs. One reason, because the Philippines has recently shown an exhibit in Manila of 60 ancient maps of Asia that authorities say expose China’s claimed “historical ownership” over the Scarborough Shoal. The Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said in a public assembly that he hopes the maps during China’s Southern Song Dynasty would finally settle the dispute in the South China Sea in the Philippines’ favor.” The cartographic display is also view-able online at the Institute of Maritime and Ocean Affairs website. The collection of maps shows the island of Hainan, China’s southernmost region, as not including any maritime territories, particularly the Scarborough Shoal and Spratly Islands.China has been regarded to use maps in the past as a way of cultural warfare. Based on the same ancient maps, the Spratly Islands and Scarborough Shoal not once appeared in any Chinese dynasty maps. The Spratlys are more than 600 nautical miles from Hainan Island and Scarborough Shoal is 500 nautical miles. On the other hand, numerous ancient maps, made by both Westerners and Filipinos form 1636 to 1940, “consistently show that Scarborough Shoal… has always been part of Philippine territory,’ Carpio said. Earlier last 2014, the Chinese government released a new official “vertical” map which not only included the mainland, but also much of the South China Sea. The other, because the Philippines established its Exclusive Economic Zone up to 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the territorial sea is measured by the Presidential Decree No. 1599 in June 1978. The Spratly islands are 124nm west from Zambales, Philippines while they are 550nm from Hainan, China. This is within accordance to that law as stated by the Department of Foreign Affairs. The third reason being that a book entitled “Bajo de Masinloc (Scarborough Shoal): Maps and Documents” which is a compilation of documents that prove the Shoal has always been a part of the Philippine national territory, has been released. It is a collaboration between the University of the Philippines Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea (UP IMLOS) and the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA). “Bajo de Masinloc has been historically part of the Philippines since 1636” Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said during the book launch. It is also noted that China’s argument in its territorial claim over the West Philippines Sea has no legal basis under international law. UP IMLOS director Jay Batongbacal said that the United States recognizes that the Scarborough Shoal is part of the territory of the Philippines, as signed by the US and Spain in the Treaty of Washington. The treaty states, “Spain relinquishes to the United States all title and claim of title, which she may have had at the time of the conclusion of the Treaty of Peace of Paris, to any and all islands belonging to the Philippine Archipelago.” Even though China uses their maps and the 9 dash line as their bases for claiming this territory, it is clear to see that the Philippines has the upper hand.

Sources:

http://www.un.org/depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/part5.htm
http://www.interaksyon.com/article/88736/historical-lie–spratlys-scarborough-shoal-not-in-chinas-ancient-maps-justice-carpio
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-pacific-13748349
http://globalnation.inquirer.net/110955/60-maps-debunk-chinas-historical-claim-on-south-china-sea
http://plj.upd.edu.ph/the-philippine-claim-over-the-spratly-group-of-islands-an-applications-of-article-76-of-the-unclos/
http://www.academia.edu/1390813/Philippines_ownership_to_Spratly_Island
http://www.ibtimes.com/china-philippines-territorial-dispute-ancient-maps-debunk-chinese-claim-over-scarborough-1686914
http://www.britannica.com/place/Spratly-Islands
http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2014/11/27/1396451/book-proves-scarborough-shoal-part-philippine-territory

By: LIGUTOM, Martina