I think that there are a few principles that might aspire to “the most important principles in political philosophy,” and I’ve listed them below. I don’t, however, think there is any single political philosophy that can claim primacy as “the most important in history.”
Some principles that became quite influential, if not universal, throughout history around the globe:
1. That rulers — or anyone with disproportionate concentrations power — should be just and good to those they rule or control…and, if they aren’t, that they should be usurped or replaced in some fashion (democracy, violent revolution, communism, anarchism, etc. all sprang from this central idea)
2. That all human beings share the same fundamental rights (under the law, in political representation, economically, socially, etc.)
3. That “civil society” is not only predicated on the previous two principles, but that it exists to benefit everyone in society (i.e. provide safety and security under the rule of law, material opportunity, freedom, and even the pursuit of happiness…)
4. That religion and governance do not mix well…but scientific evidence and reasoning bolsters sound governance
5. That the civic responsibility for all-of-the-above falls upon everyone equally — that everyone is individually and collectively accountable for the fulfillment and defense of these principles.
Sadly, although these principles have led to some of the grandest, most prosperous, most free, and most advanced societies on Earth, they seemingly are being forgotten to an astonishing and rapid degree. Like spoiled children, modern citizens do not seem to understand or appreciate what they have…until it starts to be taken away.
My 2 cents.
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