The term statesman has got a positive connotation in Western political vocabularies. The situation in Lithuania is different. Peculiarities of political
process lead to devaluation of the term. During the interwar period in Lithuania the term statesman was more often used by right-wing politicians as a reference designating qualitative evaluation of politicians and other state
agents. Statesman got broader meaning and was used more often by Lithuanian emigrants in the USA. The Renaissance of the term was influenced by Anglo-Saxon political and cultural environment, nostalgia of lost statehood and striving to maintain political identity. In Post-Communist Lithuania thanks to historians the term statesman became one of the instruments in political vocabulary. For some political parties this concept is a tool to achieve political power.
There are three conceptions of the term statesman – idealistic, realist
and administrative-bureaucratic. Proponents of idealistic conception think
that statesman has to establish important political principles for future generations, he has to see further and deeper than other political agents, be
virtuous, just and capable of defending the liberal state. Proponents of this
view think that statesman has to be moral authority. Realist conception of
statesman is based on different understanding of the relationship between
morality and politics. Realists are not advocates of immoral politics, but they
think that some circumstances of political life make it necessary to raise the
requirements of the state higher than those of morality. Nicollò Machiavelli
formulated the idea that state has got its own autonomous foundations of
existence which are different from those of morality and religion. He formed
the idea that when there is an exceptional situation, statesman has to look to the interests of state and not those of morality. Henry Taylor is the creator
of administrative-bureaucratic conception of statesman. He is of the opinion
that a man who has mastered the art of implementation of political functions
can make a righteous claim to the title of statesman.
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