Definition of Force Theory
* According to this theory, the state is the result of
superior physical forces; it originates in the
subjugation of weaker by stronger.
* It is said that the state is the result of aggression and
the saying that 'war begot the king' is offered as the
historical explanation regarding the origin of the state.
Thus through the process of conquest and domination,
the institution of kingship came to be established. A
state was formed when the leader of a victorious tribe,
with his handful of warriors, secured an undisputed
control over a definite territory of a considerable size.
That led to creation of a state.
According to Lcacock
" The beginning of the state are to be sought in the
capture and enslavement of man by man, in the
conquest and subjugation of weaker tribes and
generally in the self-seeking domination acquired by
superior physical force "
History of the Force Theory
* The Church Fathers gave indirect
prominence to this theory in their controversy
with the Kings of Europe regarding their
* They tried to discredit the state by saying that
it was the result of brute force and the Kings
were force personified.
* The Individualist School of thought gives it
importance by the application of the principle of
the 'survival of the fittest' to human society.
* The theory of force found an all-out support at
the hands of the German philosophers like
Hegel, Bernhardi and Triestchki.
* Triestchki, ‘State is power: it is sin for a state to
be weak State is the public power of offence and
Merits of the Force Theory
* In so far as this theory explains the origin and
development of the state, it contains a considerable
amount of truth because war and conquest have gone a
long way in building of states in all ages.
*The theory brings to the forefront the fact that 'might'
or force is indispensable to the state and without it a
state can neither exist nor function.
Criticism Of Force Theory
* Force is not the only factor
The state based on mere brute force can continue its
existence for a temporary period of time but ultimately
it will be found that something other than force is
necessary to ensure the continuance of the state.
* Opposed to individual liberty
* The theory is opposed to the idea of individual
freedom and upholds despotism, In pre-war
Germany, Treitschki and Bernhardi preached the
gospel of force and world domination.
*They maintained that war was a biological necessity
and peace meant decadence.
* Non-violence alternative to force
* Mahatma Gandhi, held the view that society can be
effectively built upon the basis of pure ahimsa or nonviolence in which force has no place.
* He conducted the whole struggle for Indian
Independence on the basis of theory of non-violence
with a remarkable success.
* State is the result of political consciousness
State came into existence through the desire of the
human beings to lead a peaceful and settled life.
According to Gilchrist, "The state, government and
indeed all institutions are the result of man's
consciousness, creations which have arisen from his
appreciation of a moral end"
* Faulty application of the theory of survival
of the fittest
The supporters of the theory defend the use of force
on the doctrine of survival of the fittest. It means
that might is right and those who are physically
weak should go to the wall.
It is clearly a wrong application of the theory. It
should be used to explain the evolution of animal
life. Its use to explain the existence and end of the
state is evidendy unscientific and irrational.