De Virtute Potestatis Regiae

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Re: De Virtute Potestatis Regiae

Postby Gaius Curtius Philo » Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:18 pm

Not exactly. It really depends on what you mean by forms of government. If you mean the difference between a Monarchy, a Republic and a Democracy, yes. I would agree with you. But if you mean the Constitution of a government in general, no. There can be immoral Constitutions because they are unefficient in providing benefit to the general population. For me, the main issue here is one of efficiency. Which is the most efficient of the forms od government?

When I look at Monarchies around the world I notice something interesting: they are all very different from one another. That intrigued me over time and I atarted to wonder why. Why is Saudi Arabia's Monarchy so welfare oriented and so brutal, while Liechtenstein's Monarchy is so Libertarian and freeimg. I also wondered why the Early Modern Monarchies were so different from present Monarchies and I came to one probable conclusion: Monarchies are highly modular. Monarchies consist of one person directing the foci of power. It is in this person's best interest to work in a way that guarentees him the maximum amount of support possible. In Saudi Arabia, people are very barbaric and savage, also very religious and in favor of welfare (or else why would they be so fan of Europe?). Thus it is understandable that its Monarchy aims to reflect these values. If you look at the whole of the Middle East it is a barbarous place in general, but the Monarchies seen to be much more stable (they weathered admirably the Arab "Spring", for example, that sprung other middle eastern countries into chaos). In Thailand the military is VERY strong and the Monarch to maintain power tends to need to have the Military on their side. Thus it is common for the King to support coup d'etats in his very country (although he has stopped some). In Meiji Era Japan, the West was gobbling up colonies left and right, taking hold of every opportunity coming from the weakness of its neighbors. Japan's policy then became Expansionism and modernization, which made sense since they wanted to survive. No matter how one might rue Japan's belligerency at the time, one cannot say it was irrational or against its national interests. When one looks at Denmark (a country where the Monarch actually has theoretically semi-absolute power), you see that the Monarch hardly exercises said power and permits the country to work as a Democracy, because if they DID try to exercise their power it would bring forth a constitutional crisis that would dethrone them (Denmark being very much a Democratically minded country). It is interesting how modular the system is and how sensitive it is to the will of the People. Something I do not see personally in equal measure in Republics.
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C. Curtius L. f. Vot. Philo Aurelianus
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Re: De Virtute Potestatis Regiae

Postby Gaius Florius Lupus » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:26 pm

Salve amice!

If we accept that the natural distribution of power is responsible for the politics of a country and not so much superficial titles and ceremonial transfers of power, then we have to accept that there is no immoral form of government. All of them have an underlying natural reason why they became how they are, which you have nicely described in the different forms of monarchies and how they evolved as they did, e.g. why Liechtenstein is different from Saudi Arabia.
Or as the French diplomat and philosopher Joseph de Maistre put it: "Toute nation a le gouvernement qu'elle mérite." (Every nation gets the government it deserves.)

In the cycle of governments (ἀνακύκλωσις = anakyklosis), made famous by Plato, but actually later better described by Polybius there are three basic forms of monarchy: aristocracy, democracy with each of them having a degenerate form called tyranny, oligarchy, ochlocracy.

Ruler............................Basic Form..................Degenerate Form
Ruled by one...............Monarchy....................Tyranny
Ruled by an elite.........Aristocracy..................Oligarchy
Ruled by the citizens...Democracy..................Ochlocracy


As we can see, even the monarchy is not perfect, it will inevitably develop into a tyranny and then be replaced by an aristocracy.
The reason is that every dynasty has strong and weak rulers. When a weak monarch is in power, he cannot avoid losing power to the nobles that surround him. At the end the nobles will have more power than he himself. We have seen this happening in Japan, in the Sacrum Romanum Imperium, and it is a general tendency in all monarchies.
It might be confusing that some monarchies in our history went straight from monarchy to democracy (French revolution), but this could only happen due to the effects of globalization. France was not isolated; it happened in the context of European politics. Formally the Roman Emperor in Vienna and the Pontifex Maximus in Rome were the actual monarchs, while the French king was simply a high-ranking noble under them. However the actual power of the Romanorum Imperator had that much declined during the Middle Ages and that of the pope during the Reformation, that the King of France could rule independently over his territory. And after the Congress of Vienna we see Europe being fully ruled by an aristocratic class with the monarchs having only ceremonial functions and were mere puppets of the nobility. This ended with the Great War (1914 - 1918), when aristocratic rule collapsed and was replaced with democracy. Currently we live in the stage of ochlocracy, the degenerate form of democracy. People have started to call for a strong man to fix the problems, and eventually a new monarchy will arise.

You would probably draw the distinction between a moral and an immoral government between the basic form and the degenerate form (between monarchy and tyranny, between aristocracy and oligarchy, between democracy and ochlocracy).
But are these degenerate forms of government (tyranny, oligarchy, and ochlocracy) really immoral, or do they not reflect that the underlying power distribution has shifted, so that the political system becomes unsustainable? Are they not necessary phases between the different forms of government and therefore not immoral but natural and necessary?

Vale!
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Re: De Virtute Potestatis Regiae

Postby Gaius Curtius Philo » Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:07 pm

I believe we have inadvertently stumbled upon a very interesting conclusion here! Quite interesting lol Yes, looking at it that way one cannot really say there is an immoral form of government. For even the degeneracy is a natural step for creating a better government.

But could we then talk about immoral Peoples? Peoples as in Nations. In the sense that the Nations that form said government can be seen as Immoral.
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