1. The Elements Colouring States and Shaping History
What are the elements that colour and determine the main characteristics of a state’s political, legal, and economic system? Who or what, determines whether a state will have a limited, constitutional government or an arbitrary, despotic one; whether the rule of law or the law of rulers prevails; whether there will be a free market economy based on private ownership and free exchange or a command economy directed by a select group of elite men? Perhaps this question should be expanded somewhat and set in an historical context. Why is there such a big difference between the dominant political/social rhetoric of the 19th century and that of the 20th century? Why did the First and Second World Wars, the bloodiest wars in human history, occur in the 20th century? Why is the 20th century considered the age of totalitarianism, while the 19th century is perceived as the age of freedom? Who caused this? Was it the political leaders of the two periods? Was it simply the coincidental efforts of the “heroes” and “doers” whose names are unknown or forgotten? Or, as the Marxists assert, do the tools of production and class warfare shape history and states?