The teaching of Hugo Gratius of war and peace

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Of course, Hugo Gratius according to his metaphysical outlook asserts that no society is possible without a law. The law is not a result but the prior event, flowing from the human nature. From the essence of law, which is a desire to communication, flows a range of necessities: not to touch not your own belongings, keep a promise, pay for inflicted damage, etc. This antihistorical outlook on the essence of law and the appearance of some of it aspects was common for those historical conditions and was necessary for bourgeoisie as an ideological weapon in a struggle against the feudal system for bourgeois law order.

Hugo Gratius defines the law into features and separates it into the law of domination and the equality. In his book, mentioned above, he says that a law is a thing that doesnt contradict justice. What contradicts justice is against the nature of creatures who possess mind and communication. Justice can be dualistic.

Justice is the relation between the equal (brothers, friends, citizens and allies, etc.). This is a law of equality.

Justice is the relation between the dominant and submissive (father and children, master and slave, God and people, etc.). This is a law of dominance.

From all this he excludes the law concerning individuals. It is a moral quality common for personality, according to which it is possible to possess something or to act in one way or another. This law is adjacent to personality, although it is often connected with things. Law ability is a law itself according to Hugo. This law is a power upon oneself (freedom) and upon other people (fathers or masters powers), property (complete and incomplete), the right to demand, etc. Law ability is divided into lower (personal use) and higher (adjacent to all humankind for the good).

So Hugo Gratius appears to have a division of law into natural and voluntarium (positive), which is common systematic mistake for natural law concept. It is also common for him to have metaphysical views on the justice in relation between brothers, people. He sets in the same row the father, master, king and God, calling them all dominants. That means that Gratius does not differentiate economic, ideological and state relations. But the essence of law, given by Hugo Gratius, is objectively propagandizing the eternity of slavery. It is common for Hugo Gratius to be a supporter of the monarchy and even more than that: in his views, the medieval jurisprudence remains.

Although a state is according to definition an act of creative activity and the best form of peoples unification, based on a treaty, i.e. supposing the sovereignty of people, Gratius denies the fact that people possess sovereignty. He does not agree that peoples will is higher than the will of a monarch. Considering that people were once sovereign he is sure they passed their sovereignty freely to the people they elected. So he stands for medieval patrimonial theory, according to which the juridical nature of the nature of the states power is not different from private property right.

Thats why a crime of monarch should not lead to depriving of power, just as a crime of a simple person in most cases does not lead to depriving him of his property. State territory and state possessions is the property of the monarch.

Those reactionary views of Hugo Gratius show that he was a representative of such a group of bourgeoisie that did not make a deal with feudal elements, which mostly determined the results of the Dutch Revolution.

Chapter III

: 27/02/2010