Civic republicanism is a political thought which supports participation and engagement in civic life. It also emphasizes participation in political life. This contradicts the earlier beliefs of people that an individual should only pursue his/her own interests. It also reduces the communitarian emphasis which was put there before. Therefore, it supports the engagement in the political life and activities that surround and individual. It encourages individuals not to sit back and wait to be blindly governed. They should instead actively participate in the political life around them. This helps people to point out the mistakes in governing committed by their leaders.
Historic Development of Tradition
Long ago, people used to believe in pursuing their own interests. They did not think of a world where the citizens engage in their own governing. All the thinking was left to the leaders, and they were entrusted to make the decisions that influenced the people’s lives. However, as time went by, people began to change. They began to learn that even their leaders were not perfect. They started realizing that they could also play a particularly significant role in the way they were being governed. This encouraged them to join the political and civic life. They stopped depending only on their leaders in the decisions that were being made. This is when people even started coming up with theories that explained political tradition and the effect that people can have on it.
The key theories that explain the subject of political tradition revolve around the Wit and God. They mainly focused on idealism and realism. Aristotle once said that everyone is buried in a cage in the ground. He goes on to say that it is only those who are intelligent enough who can come out of that cage. He said that such people that fit to rule the world. The views on Aristotle and Plato suggest that thinking in human beings is what affects their political change. In the 5th century, Aristotle and Plato put across their western political view. From time immemorial, political tradition has changed and evolved. As people become more civilized, their political views and tradition keeps getting altered. Most political theories which supported civic republicanism originated from Greece. Philosophy originated from Greek cultural tradition as well as its political tradition. The people in Greece supported democracy. However, Plato did not agree with democracy. He believed that the people of Athens did not realize or know what was suitable for their city. He even left the polis not long after he had joined it.
St Aquinas believed in the natural law theory. He believed that evolution could not be forced on people. It occurred naturally as people progressed with life. He recognizes the role of God as the sole giver and provider. He incorporates rationalism where he believes that people are guided by reason. He believed that all rational people who were of general quality will would understand the general rules and laws of morality. The change in political tradition does not need intervention of factors that can be controlled by human. It is purely natural. Therefore, he recognizes the role of god who is the sole creator and provider in the universe. This meant that the way of thinking that people had done not have any influence on their political life. Therefore, political tradition evolved s time went by because of nature. This is a controversial view which many scholars do not support. This is because they believe that for people to haven a favorable political life they have to engage in serious thinking.
Plato was an advocate of rationalism. Therefore, he believed that the people’s decisions were mainly influenced by their way of thinking. He did not believe that religion had anything to do with the way that people were being governed. The political life of people only depended on the way they were thinking. He believed that thinking did not require experience. Natural intelligence was the main factor that influenced how an individual thought. This was a unique theory from Plato, and it made him different from many people surrounded him in Greece. This was a view that was also upheld by Aristotle who also advocated for rationalism.
Aristotle believed that people could not have a favorable political life unless they engaged in serious thought. However, these two philosophers believed that only their fellow philosophers and a few individuals in the society could engage in such serious thought St. Augustine view incorporated Christianity into the political tradition theory. He was one of the Christian philosophers who attempted to describe the evolution of political tradition. He claims that the character of a society is determined by the disparity between self love and love for God. He claimed that the people’s way of living as well as the systems of governance was influenced by their respect for God. If people did not have religious beliefs which governed them, they to have a corrupt political organization (Abenstein 2001). This was totally different from what Aristotle and Plato who believed that people had to think in order to have a moral or decent political tradition. He was one of the advocates to support the role of God in the political life of individuals. Therefore, the way individuals lived as well as the way they were governed fully depended on their relationship with God as well as the respect that they had for God. The way that people think evidently plays a tremendously enormous role in the political tradition of people. This is supported by all the people who came up with the theories that explain civic republicanism. However, some of them incorporated and recognized the role of religion in the way that people think. A religious society is more likely to uphold moral values which act for the general good of the people. Therefore, religion and politics are two issues that cannot be easily separated. This has the support of many scholars.
There are quite a number of views when it comes to changes in the political tradition of the people. What is common about all the theories developed is that the tradition of people changes from time to time. As a result of change, it keeps getting better and better with the passing days. This is because people get more civilized and educated. Such people are capable of having a healthy political life which is rich in traditions. These political traditions influence the lives of the people who have endorsed them. Therefore, it is clear from various scholars that political tradition is a thing that is so dynamic. However, it occurs for the good of the people.