Khuldun’s Group Feeling
Khuldun considers the ‘group feeling’ as the ultimate pre-requisite for a strong state. He is of the view that it is the ‘group feeling’ that creates a state, endures it and capacitates it to move on the path of progress and prosperity. He defines group feeling as “affection and willingness to fight and die for each other”. (p. 154) This homogeneity has several advantages as “aggressive and defensive strength is obtained only through group feeling”. (p154)
Khuldun reinforces the idea that group feelings in the phenomenon that enables the human beings to understand their needs. It creates a sense of unity among them and they start following a leader among them. As he says that “Group feelings differ. Each group exercises its own authority and superiority over the people and family adhering to it.” (P.157) So it is necessary for human being to have a leader among them who can combine group feelings of different groups and can mold them into a political entity. This political in turn facilitates their life by providing basic necessities of life and safeguarding them from any outer danger.
Khuldun holds the view that it is essential for the royal authority or ruler to channelize the group feelings of different groups in a positive way otherwise they can entangle themselves with each other resulting in anarchy. He says that “Royal authority is an institution that is natural to mankind.” Khuldun says that group propensities backed by the strength of group feeling dies not allow one to live in harmony with other group and they fight with each other for food and other things. But a ‘forceful ruler, one exercises authority’ (p157) can regulate their group feeling and can utilize it for their benefit.
Khuldun asserts that religion provides the most profound and the strongest form of group feeling. The adherents of a religion do not help each other due to racial or tribal affiliations but they share some higher ideals. So this group feeling transcends the ordinary boundaries and larger groups come under its shadow.
This is a comprehensive introductory essay about Khuldun’s theory of group feeling. Information about different aspects of group feeling i.e. how group feeling creates a state? Why it is indispensable to control and regulate group feeling? etc. is interesting and edifying. But this essay does not say a single about the derivation of this theory. Author has used four citations from Khaldun’s Muqadmah but it needs more quotations.