Adam Lovett
London School of Economics
I explore the idea that the state should love its citizens. It should not be indifferent towards them. Nor should it merely respect them. It should love them. We begin by looking at the bases of this idea. First, it can be grounded by a concern with state subordination. The state has enormous power over its citizens. This threatens them with subordination. Love ameliorates this threat. Second, it can be grounded by the state's lack of moral status. We all have reason to love everyone. But we beings with moral status have an excuse for not loving everyone: we have our own lives to lead. The state has no such excuse. So, the state should love everyone. We then explore the nature of the loving state. I argue that the loving state is a liberal state. It won't interfere in its citizens' personal spheres. It is a democratic state. It will adopt its citizens' ends as its own. It is a welfare state. It will be devoted to its citizens' well-being. And it is an egalitarian state. It will treat all its citizens equally. This constitutes a powerful third argument, an abductive argument, for the ideal of the loving state.
Keywords liberalism  democracy  the welfare state  equal treatment  love  group agents  subordination  republicanism
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DOI 10.1080/0020174X.2022.2058080
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Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - New York: Basic Books.
Political Liberalism.John Rawls - 1993 - Columbia University Press.

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