The Servient Character of Political Power According to St. Thomas Aquinas

Studia Gilsoniana 3:399–413 (2014)
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The author attempts to justify the thesis of the servient character of political power. By his analyses, he arrives at two conclusions. First, the ultimate goal of service fulfilled by political power should be identical with the natural goal of every human being, meaning a life of virtue. Hence, service to the cause of the citizens’ virtue requires that the fundamental duties of power include the protection of public peace, the promotion of actions towards the common good, and striving for a common abundance of worldly possessions. Second, to elect those in political power it is necessary to make sure that aspirants to such are characterized by the appropriate level of virtuous development. Each candidate should be first and foremost a person possessing a high moral quality (virtus boni viri), where prudence and magnanimity appear to be virtues especially fitting power (virtutes boni principis).

Author's Profile

Pawel Tarasiewicz
Adler-Aquinas Institute, Colorado Springs, Colo., USA


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