Front Page Titles (by Subject) chapter vi: Of the Internal Frame and Constitution of any State or Government - The Whole Duty of Man According to the Law of Nature
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chapter vi: Of the Internal Frame and Constitution of any State or Government - Samuel von Pufendorf, The Whole Duty of Man According to the Law of Nature 
The Whole Duty of Man According to the Law of Nature, trans. Andrew Tooke, ed. Ian Hunter and David Saunders, with Two Discourses and a Commentary by Jean Barbeyrac, trans. David Saunders (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2003).
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Of the Internal Frame and Constitution of any State or Government
I.Conjunction necessary. L. N. N. l. 7. c. 2.The next Enquiry we are to make, is upon what Bottom Civil Societies have been erected, and wherein their Internal Constitution does consist. Where, in the first Place, this is manifest, That neither any Place, nor any Sort of Weapons, nor any Kind of brute Creatures can be capable of affording any sufficient and safe Guard or Defence against the Injuries to which all Men are liable, by reason of the Pravity of Mankind: From such Dangers, Men alone can afford an agreeable Remedy by joining their Forces together, by interweaving their Interests and Safety, and by forming a general Confederacy for their mutual Succour; that therefore this End might be obtain’d effectually, it was necessary that those who sought to bring it about, should be firmly joined together and associated into Communities.
II.Numbers Necessary. L. N. N. 1. 7. c. 2. §2.Nor is it less evident, that the Consent and Agreement of Two or Three particular Persons cannot afford this Security against the Violence of other Men: Because it may easily happen, that such a Number may conspire the Ruin of those few Persons, as may be able to assure themselves of a certain Victory over them; and ’tis very likely they would with the greater Boldness go about such an Enterprise, because of their certain Hopes of Success and Impunity. To this end therefore it is necessary, that a very considerable Number of Men should unite together, that so the Overplus of a few Men to the Enemies, may not be of any great Moment to determine the Victory to their Side.
III.Agreement to be perpetual. L. N. N. 1. 7. c. 2. §3.Among those many, which join together in order to this End, it is absolutely requisite that there be a perfect Consent and Agreement concerning the Use of such Means as are most conducive to the End aforesaid. For even a great Multitude of Men, if they do not agree among themselves, but are divided and separated in their Opinions, will be capable of effecting but very little; Or, although they may agree for a certain Time, by reason of some present Motion or Disposition of the Mind; yet as the Tempers and Inclinations of Men are very variable, they presently afterwards may divide into Parties. And although by Compact they engaged among themselves, that they would employ all their Force for the common Defence and Security; yet neither by this Means is there sufficient Provision made, that this Agreement of the Multitude shall be permanent and lasting: But something more than all this, is requisite, to wit, That they who have once entered into a mutual League and Defence for the Sake of the Publick Good, should be debarr’d from separating themselves afterwards, when their private Advantage may seem any ways to clash with the Publick Good.30
IV.Faults herein how remedied. L. N. N. 1. 7. c. 2. §5.But there are two Faults, which are chiefly incident to Human Nature, and which are the Occasion that many who are at their own Liberty, and independent one upon the other, cannot long hold together for the promoting of any Publick Design. The One is the Contrariety of Inclinations and Judgments in determining what is most conducive to such an End; to which in many there is join’d a Dulness of Apprehending which, of several Means propos’d, is more advantagious than the rest; and a certain Obstinacy in defending whatsoever Opinion we have embraced. The other is a certain Carelesness and Abhorrence of doing that freely, which seems to be convenient and requisite, whensoever there is no absolute Necessity, that compels them, whether they will or no, to the Performance of their Duty. The First of these Defects may be prevented by a lasting Uniting of all their Wills and Affections together. And the Latter may be remedied by the constituting of such a Power as may be able to inflict a present and sensible Penalty upon such as shall decline their Contributing to the Publick Safety.
V.Union of Wills.The Wills and Affections of a great Number of Men cannot be united by any better means, than when every one is willing to submit his Will to the Will of one particular Man, or one Assembly of Men; so that afterwards whatsoever he or they shall will or determine concerning any Matters or Things necessary for the Publick Safety, shall be esteemed as the Will of All and every particular Person.31
VI.And of Forces.Now such a Kind of Power, as may be formidable to All, can by no better means be constituted among a great Number of Men, than when All and every one shall oblige themselves, to make Use of their Strength after that Manner, as he shall command, to whom All Persons must submit and resign the Ordering and Direction of their united Forces: And when there is an Union made of their Wills and Forces, then this Multitude of Men may be said to be animated and incorporated into a firm and lasting Society.32
VII.Other Requisites. Two Covenants. The First. L. N. N. 1. 7. c. 2. §6.Moreover, that any Society may grow together after a regular Manner, there are required Two Covenants, and One Decree, or Constitution.33 For, first, Of all those many, who are supposed to be in a Natural Liberty, when they are joined together for the forming and constituting any Civil Society, every Person enters into Covenant with each other, That they are willing to come into one and the same lasting Alliance and Fellowship, and to carry on the Methods of their Safety and Security by a common Consultation and Management among themselves: In a Word, That they are willing to be made Fellow Members of the same Society.34 To which Covenant, it is requisite, that All and singular Persons do consent and agree, and he that does not give his Consent, remains excluded from such Society.35
VIII.Constitution.After this Covenant, it is necessary, that there should be a Constitution agreed on by a publick Decree, setting forth, what Form of Government is to be pitched upon. For ’till this be determined, nothing with any Certainty can be transacted, which may conduce to the publick Safety.
IX.The other covenant. L. N. N. 1. 7. c. 2. §8.After this Decree concerning the Form of Government, there is Occasion for another Covenant, when he or they are nominated and constituted upon whom the Government of this Rising Society is conferr’d; by which Covenant the Persons that are to govern, do oblige themselves to take Care of the Common Safety, and the other Members do in like manner oblige themselves to yield Obedience to them; whereby also all Persons do submit their Will to the Will and Pleasure of him or them, and they do at the same Time convey and make over to him or them the Power of making Use of, and applying their united Strength, as shall seem most convenient for the Publick Security. And when this Covenant is duly and rightly executed, thence, at last, arises a complete and regular Government.
X.A Community defined. L. N. N. 1. 7. c. 2. §13.A Civil Society and Government, thus constituted, is look’d upon as if it were but One Person, and is known and distinguished from every particular Man by one Common Name; and it has peculiar Rights and Privileges, which neither each One alone, nor Many, nor All together can claim to themselves, without him, who is the Supreme, or to whom the Administration of the Government is committed.36 Whence a Civil Society is defined to be, One Person morally incorporated, whose Will containing the Covenants of many united together, is looked upon and esteemed as the Will of All; so that he is in a Capacity of making Use of the Strength and Power of every particular Person for the Common Peace and Security.
XI.How subjected to One. L. N. N. 1. 7. c. 2. §14.Now the Will and Intention of any Constituted Government or Society exerts it self, as the Principle of Publick Actions, either by one particular Person, or by one Council or Assembly, according as the Power of Managing Affairs is conferr’d on him, or on such an Assembly. Where the Government of the State is in the Power of One Man, the said Society is supposed to will, whatsoever shall be the Will and Pleasure of that Man, allowing that he is in his perfect Senses; and it being about those Affairs which only relate to Government.37
XII.How to many. L. N. N. 1. 7. c. 2. §15.But when the Government of a State is conferr’d upon a Council, consisting of several Men, every one of them retaining his own Natural Free-Will, that regularly is esteemed to be the Will and Pleasure of the State, whereto the Major Part of the Persons, of whom the Council is composed, does give their Assent; unless it be expressly declared, how great a Part of the Council consenting is required to represent the Will of the Whole. But where two differing Opinions are equally balanced on both sides, there is nothing at all to be concluded upon, but the Affair still remains in its former State. When there are several differing Opinions, that shall prevail which has more Voices than any of the other differing Opinions, provided so many concur therein, as otherwise might have represented the Will and Pleasure of the Whole, according to the Publick Constitutions.
XIII.Various Forms of Government. L. N. N. 1. 7. c. 2. §20.A State or Government being thus constituted, the Party on whom the Supreme Power is conferr’d, either as it is a single Person, or a Council consisting of select Persons, or of All in General, is called a Monarchy, an Aristocracy, or a Free State; the rest are looked upon as Subjects or Citizens, the Word being taken in the most comprehensive Sense: Although, in Strictness of Speech, some call only those Citizens, who first met and agreed together in the forming of the said Society, or else such who succeeded in their Place, to wit, House-holders or Masters of Families.
Moreover, Citizens are either Originally so; that is, such as are born in the Place, and upon that Account claim their Privileges: Or else Adscititious; that is, such as come from Foreign Parts.
Of the first Sort, are either those who at first were present and concerned in the forming the said Society, or their Descendants, whom we call Indigenae, or Natives.
Of the other Sort are those who come from Foreign Parts in order to settle themselves there. As for those who come thither only to make a short Stay, although they are for that Time subject to the Laws of the Place; nevertheless, they are not looked upon as Citizens, but are called Strangers or Sojourners.
XIV.Government from GOD. L. N. N. 1. 7. c. 3.Not that what we have delivered concerning the Original of Civil Societies, does any ways hinder, but that Civil Government may be truly said to be from GOD. For it being his Will, that the Practices of Men should be ordered according to the Law of Nature; and yet upon the Multiplication of Mankind, Human Life would have become so horrid and confused, that hardly any Room would have been left for the same to exert its Authority; and seeing the Exercise thereof would be much improved by the Institution of Civil Societies; therefore (since He who commands the End, must be supposed to command likewise the Means necessary to the said End) God also, by the Mediation of the Dictates of Reason, is to be understood antecedently to have willed, That Mankind, when they were multiplyed, should erect and constitute Civil Societies, which are, as it were, animated with a Supreme Authority. The Degrees whereof He expressly approves in Divine Writ, ratifying their Divine Institution by a peculiar Law, and declaring, That Himself takes them into his especial Care and Protection.
[30.]The condition of achieving collective security is thus that men give up their individual right to determine the best means of achieving security, which henceforth belongs to the sovereign or government of the state.
[31.]In other words, the individual or assembly that exercises sovereignty is regarded as “representing” the will of all only in the very limited sense that anything decided by the sovereign power pertaining to security will be deemed the will of all.
[32.]Tooke’s reluctance to transmit Pufendorf’s view of the state as the supreme and autonomous political entity is clear when we compare this sentence with Silverthorne’s accurate rendering: “Only when they have achieved a union of wills and forces is a multitude of men brought to life as a corporate body stronger than any other body, namely a state [civitas]” (Man & Citizen, p. 136).
[33.]“Constitution” is Tooke’s Whiggish innovation. In Pufendorf’s account, sovereignty is formed prior to the decree determining the form of government. This decree may take the form of a constitution—by including certain basic laws limiting the sovereign’s exercise of power—but it need not.
[34.]Originally: to become “fellow citizens” (concives).
[35.]Originally: is to remain outside the future “state” (civitas).
[36.]In viewing agency or personhood as an instituted office—rather than as flowing from a moral nature or essence—Pufendorf is able to treat the state as an independent “moral person,” bearing rights and duties irreducible to those of natural man.
[37.]This qualification is central to Pufendorf’s construction of the limits of sovereignty and the state. Given that the sovereign is a persona instituted for the sole purpose of maintaining security and social peace—“those Affairs which only relate to Government”—the state has no rights or powers in areas lying outside this domain; for example, in the areas of family life and religion, unless particular incidents should threaten social peace.