15. Nature of the Community

Having determined the requirement for membership of the community, it is now necessary to discuss the nature of the relationship between the citizens inside the community. As in the predicates for membership of the community, the relationship between members of the community must be structured in such a way as to promote the survival of the constituent families. To fulfil this purpose, there are specific characteristics that must be present within the community. Firstly, there must be nominal equality between the citizens.


This is not to imply equality of material wealth, ability, or any other advantages or disadvantages that fortune supplies. It is to indicate only equality of personal value. To this end, there can be no distinction between individuals in a community by class, religion, birth or ancestry. Membership of a community must be based on equality of the person with distinctions drawn only by actions and character. We will discuss distinctions more in book four, but we must understand that to divide citizens in any other way would be to create effectively separate communities out of the previous single community.


Similarly, no citizen can be affiliated with any group that demands loyalty to the group above that of the wider community or which would restrict them from carrying out their duties to the community. This prohibition includes religious groups that demand pacifism (which is a negation of the duty to protect), obedience to the religious heads on temporal matters or any other group that seeks to separate its adherents from the community substantively. In all of these circumstances, the citizen, through their membership of these groups, would be seen to have renounced their citizenship as they could no longer be relied upon to carry out their duties.

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