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COLLECTIVE SECURITY

I. THE CONCEPT OF COLLECTIVE SECURITY

1. INDIVIDUAL AND COLLECTIVE SECURITY

Security is the condition of being protected against, or not exposed to, a danger. It is an objective condition of man which, rightly or wrongly, man assumes to exist. The effect of this assumption is a certain state of mind which may be described as freedom from fear, the fear of a danger. There are different kinds of security which may be distinguished according to the nature of the danger. Religion affords a spiritual security, protecting man against the dangers threatening his soul during his lifetime and especially after his death. There is a sanitary security established by health organizations to prevent or restrict, as far as possible, epidemics. To guarantee economic security is the ideal which socialism tries to realize in order to free man from his fear of being deprived of the means for satisfying his most vital needs. The security with which this book deals is the protection of man against the use of force by other men.

“Collective” security is usually distinguished as the security of states in their relation to other states, sometimes called "internationalsecurity, from individual security as the security of individual human beings in their mutual, inter-individual, relations. Consequently, the use of force against which states are supposed to be protected by a system of collective, or international, security is the use of armed force, especially that use known as war.

However, it is not quite correct to consider collective security, the security of states within an international community, and individual security, the security of the individual human beings within a state, as opposite concepts. In the last analysis, the security of a state is the security of the individual human beings who are members of a state.

According to a generally accepted view, the state is a political organization. As an “organization” it is a normative order regulating the mutual behavior of men. As a "political" organization it is a coercive order because its specific means is the employment of force,

the threat and use of force. This means that the norms of this order provide for coercive acts as reactions against human behavior considered to be harmful to society. Such reactions are the essence of the law or of a legal order. If a legal order is centralized—that is,

i. e.,

1

if it institutes special organs for its creation and application and, especially, for the execution of the coercive acts, called sanctions—the social order is a state. As a social order, the state is not different from what is usually called the law of the state or the national legal order, for the state is a centralized legal order constituting a legal community.

In the language of political theory, the state is described as not only a social order but also as an acting person. It is said that the state creates, applies and, especially, enforces the law, that is, the norms of the legal order. However, as an acting person, the state is only the personification of this order. In this capacity, the state manifests its existence in acts of state which are always acts of individual human beings determined by the legal order constituting the community. The acts concerned are those by which the coercive order is created and subsequently applied to other individual human beings whose behavior is thus regulated. The individuals performing these acts are “organs," organs of the legal order or, what amounts to the same thing, of the state as a legal order, in contradistinction to the individuals to whom the legal order is applied by the organs. These individuals are the subjects of the legal order, or the subjects of the state as a legal order. The statement that the acts concerned are acts of the state is a figure of speech which metaphorically expresses the idea that the state order is created and applied by these acts, that it operates through the individuals performing these acts in their capacity as organs. This idea implies the personification of the order, the construction of a person to which these acts may be imputed. Since the order is a legal order, the person is a juristic person. The concept of a juristic person is an artificial device used to simplify the description of human relations interpreted according to a normative order presupposed to be valid.

It stands to reason that neither the state as a social order, which means the state as a system of norms, nor its personification can be exposed to any use of force. Physical force can be used only against physical beings, not against an order as a system of norms; and force as a psychic compulsion only against beings endowed with some kind of reason, feeling and will. Hence, as a condition of being protected against the use of force, security can be only the security of human beings. If there is a security of a state, it can be only the security of the human beings who are the members of the state--that is, the individuals whose behavior is regulated by the state order either because they are its organs or because they are its subjects.

The difference which exists between the security of the individual within the state, i. e., the national legal community, and the security of the state (as the security of individuals) within the international community consists in the fact that the former is guaranteed by national

law, the so-called law of the state, and hence may be properly called national security, whereas the latter is guaranteed by international law and for this reason is called international security. It is in both cases collective security, because it is security afforded by a social order; and a social order always constitutes a certain degree of collectivization.

Collective security must be distinguished from the security which an individual or a state may try to establish for itself. Because it is not afforded by a social order, this latter security may be considered to be individual security. It is only in this negative sense of being a noncollective security that individual security can be considered to be the opposite of collective security. However, this individual security is not true security at all, for an individual can never concentrate in his hands a sufficient amount of power to protect himself for any length of time against the united forces of several others. Furthermore, any association with other individuals for the purpose of common defense by mutual assistance is the first step towards a social organization affording collective security. This is precisely the idea which the natural-law doctrine of the 17th and 18th centuries tried to express by inventing the fiction of a social contract. According to this doctrine, men abandoned the state of nature as a state where no positive law was established because of its complete lack of security. They abandoned it by concluding a contract with the main purpose of protecting each member of the community by providing for a collective reaction against any violation of vital interests. In other words, the purpose of this contract was to establish collective security.

The assumption that man existed originally in a state of nature is highly problematical. Men have probably always lived in society, and where there is society there is some kind of lawubi societas ibi jusalthough the law may be more or less effective. Transient periods of anarchy are possible and have actually existed in history. However, they are characterized by the fact that no security exists, and the attempts of single individuals to secure themselves against others are in vain. As we shall see,2 the same is true with respect to any attempt by an individual state to establish a non-collective security for itself. Hence, since security can be only collective, collective security is a pleonastic term.

If the security of the individual within the state (national security) and the security of the state within the international community (international security) are both collective security because they are both guaranteed by a social order, and if this order is in both cases a legal order, collective security is by its very nature legal security in the sense that it is a security established by law. An attempt has been made to distinguished two kinds of state or international security: legal or

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