Taming State Power in the New World
Understand how to deal with Sovereign Power of the State in the new world
By Joseph C. Ibekwe
Power is the ability to get things done. Power belongs to God, but God has devolved part of his power, and given it to humans to enable them do some things. There is sovereignty associated with power. There are three kinds of sovereign powers.
- The Sovereign Power of God – Divine Sovereignty
- Individual Sovereign Powers
- The Sovereign Power of Human Government
The Sovereignty of God is superior to the individual sovereignty and the sovereignty of Human Government. Before the advent of human government, individuals exercised their sovereign powers to run their lives and make things happen for them. However, in the course of time, as human society began to grow and expand, there arose the need for collaborations to deal with common issues. This gave rise to human government. Over the years, different forms of human government have been tried and tested. Some forms have been repressive of individual sovereignty, while some have allowed for the exercise of individual sovereignty alongside government sovereignty. Individual sovereign powers are what we often refer to as human rights or fundamental human rights. They are fundamental rights because they derive directly from divine sovereignty. The government does not confer fundamental human rights on individuals, by only affirms and respects those rights.
The three sovereign powers are supposed to work together for the purpose of collective human advancement in the society. As individuals exercise their rights, they are also expected to consider the rights of others to exercise their own rights. Governments exist mainly to moderate how individuals exercise their rights in consideration to others in order to maintain a mutually reinforcing society.
In a theocratic government or theocratic society, sovereignty belongs to Gods; that is, government is run, based on rules directly given by God, according to their definition of God. In a military Government, sovereignty belongs only to those that hold power and their power cannot be questioned. Military-kind of sovereign power easily tends to be oppressive and repressive of individual rights or sovereign powers, which is conferred on them by divine ordination. This is what makes military government the worst form of government because of its proclivity to violate individual sovereign powers.
In a democracy, sovereignty belongs to the people. However, through the ballot box, the people concede part of their sovereignty to those elected or appointed to serve in Government. Democracy thrives on the mutuality of respect between individuals and their government. The reason is that government derives its legitimacy to function from the people, and the people depend on the forthrightness of the government to moderate how individuals exercise their rights. It is within the ambit of this mutual respect that the concept of development takes meaning. The government alone should not define what development is, but collectively with the people.
The ballot box is the sacred instrument in a democracy. Any attempt to subvert its sanctity is tantamount to desecration of sovereignty of the people. Whenever the sanctity of the ballot box is violated, the people can rise to defend it, restore it, or demand that it be restored. This is what makes democracy unique. That is why democracy is aptly described, ‘as government of the people, by the people, and for the people’. It is the people that chooses who they want to concede their sovereignty to.
Once individuals are in government, they assume a new role; they are referred to, as servants of God. Those in Government are God’s servants to help administer society. However, not all of these servants of God actually conduct themselves as servants. Many become lords and masters. They don’t care about doing the will of God.
Even when it is obvious that those in Government are acting contrary to the will of God, God does not arbitrarily interfere in the affairs of a sovereign rulerhip. He still allows them liberty to exercise their sovereign rights, as leaders of the people in the public space.
Inherent in the Divine sovereignty and the sovereignty of Human Government is the power to kill and to keep alive. Because of this, it is important individuals understand the potency of human sovereignty. Good enough, in a democracy, the use of power is put in check through Constitutions and laws. Otherwise, bad leaders will deploy this power arbitrarily against the people. Any society run by military-style can never have full expression of her potentials. Military rulers are dictators, and dictators do not entertain contrary views, they lack empathy and are often nepotistic.
Once individuals concede their power to the government in a democracy, they must understand how to engage with their government, going forward. Whether a military or democratic government governs you, if you truly desire to stay alive and prosper, you must understand how to approach, relate with, challenge or attack the sovereignty of Government.
Those ignorant of this fact will generally run into troubles with state powers. The fact is that individuals cannot attack sovereign power of a government and expect to be at peace with those that hold power of government.
On the other hand, it behooves government to be temperate in the use of sovereign powers, because power in the hands of government officials is transient and can destroy the very ones that wield it.
Essentially, those conferred with public power are supposed to use it for public good. However, it is not always that way. Most times, governments go off tangent, and begin to work against their own people, the ones from where they drive legitimacy to exist. When this happens, people would tend to resort to prayers and inviting divine powers to intervene. While it is good to pray, those that pray need to understand that divine sovereignty does not interfere with the sovereignty of human government, arbitrarily or upon on every invitation.
Citizens must rise to do what they need to do, according to their laws and constitution, to challenge the excesses of their government. Citizens must never be docile or afraid to challenge their government because they conceded their individual sovereignties to the government, and government is to hold in trust, the collective sovereignties of the people. Until citizens have exhausted all within their laws and constitution to cause a change and fail, then divine sovereignty steps in; otherwise, it will amount to invasion of sovereignty. God does not do that
As the world enters into an unprecedented era, there is going to be increasing violations of individual sovereignties by governments. The use of Executive Orders will become common instrument to suppress individual rights and citizens liberty. Governments that have hitherto acted as if they are democratic and observe the rule of law, are going to cast off restraint and deploy executive orders to suppress freedom of expression and citizens liberty to assemble and conduct businesses.
As the world enters this era, citizens everywhere must recognize their power and rise to re-calm their sovereignties. Internal conflicts will be on the rise, protests will increase, governments will deploy force to quell and disrupt protests, lives will be lost, and properties destroyed. The reason for losses will be that many governments will consider it condescending to engage citizens in dialogue to resolve issues, but would prefer the use of force and exercise of power. This will only escalate the situation. However, if citizens persist in their quest to reclaim their liberties, governments will have no chose but to concede. It is important to remember that sovereignty of the state derives from the sovereignty of individuals, and validated by divine sovereignty.
In the coming years, nation-states will lose their legitimacy because of irresponsible actions against their citizens. The society will become increasingly chaotic and custodians of public power will no longer be safe, as long as they refuse to recognize and respect the sovereign rights of citizens. Divine sovereignty will also come in to re-organize the system, not necessarily in response to prayers, but as an act of divine responsibility. And there will be power shift.
Get ready for the new world.