47. Most Demands of the Modern State Are Monetary

In supplying the various materials and services which have been considered in the preceding pages, the state has no superhuman power. The funds required for these expenditures must be secured from some existing source. The two most imperative needs of the state are the control over space, from which it can direct its activities, and the control over services and commodities with which to carry out its desires. The modern state differs vastly from the earlier ones in the method by which this control is secured. Under feudalism and other early forms of government the ownership of the land was in the hands of the state, and the first mark of citizenship was obligation to render services to the state. Gradually the lands passed into the ownership of individuals, and the obligation of service was no longer synonymous with citizenship.

The change has continued until the modern state must act very much as an individual in supplying itself with space, services, and commodities. If land is needed for a public building it must be purchased in the open market. Officials are secured to carry out the functions of the state by paying them salaries. The powers of the state are somewhat stronger than those of individuals, however, in that it can commandeer land for its use, or for the use of individuals it may designate, through the right of eminent domain. It also has the right to coerce services of its citizens. This always follows some well-defined plan, and may be extended to include a large proportion of the citizenship, as in the case of conscription for army and navy services.

The best example, perhaps, in normal times, of coercive service, is in securing men for juries. This is a general practice in the United States. Another form of coercive service which is rapidly disappearing is the requirement of a certain amount of work for the maintenance of highways. With few exceptions, then, it may be said that the demands of the modern state are monetary. It requires its revenue to come in the form of money, and uses this money to secure land, services, and commodities from individuals or governments, instead of requiring them to be supplied gratuitously.