(urth) "Principlesofgovernaaance"Gene Wolfe's Politics

Son of Witz sonofwitz at butcherbaker.org
Thu Apr 2 10:29:59 PDT 2009

refresher quote, questions below:

"Severian. Name for me the seven principles of governance."
It was an effort for me to speak, but I managed (in my dream, if it was a dream)to say, "I do not recall that we have studied such a thing, Master."
"You were always the most careless of my boys," he told me, and fell silent.
A foreboding grew on me; I sensed that if I did not reply, some tragedy would
occur. At last I began weakly, "Anarchy . . ." 
"That is not governance, but the lack of it. I taught you that it precedes all governance. Now list the seven sorts."
"Attachment to the person of the monarch. Attachment to a bloodline or other
sequence of succession. Attachment to the royal state. Attachment to a code
legitimizing the governing state. Attachment to the law only. Attachment to a
greater or lesser board of electors, as framers of the law. Attachment to an
abstraction conceived as including the body of electors, other bodies giving
rise to them, and numerous other elements, largely ideal."
"Tolerable. Of these, which is the earliest form, and which the highest?"
"The development is in the order given, Master," I said. "But I do not recall
that you ever asked before which was highest?'
Master Malrubius leaned forward, his eyes burning brighter than the coals of the
fire. "Which is highest, Severian?"
"The last, Master?"
"You mean attachment to an abstraction conceived as including the body of
electors, other bodies giving rise to them, and numerous other elements, largely ideal?"
"Yes, Master."
"Of what kind, Severian, is your own attachment to the Divine Entity?"
I said nothing. It may have been that I was thinking; but if so, my mind was too much filled with sleep to be conscious of its thought. Instead, I became
profoundly aware of my physical surroundings. The sky above my face in all its
grandeur seemed to have been made solely for my benefit, and to be presented for my inspection now. I lay upon the ground as upon a woman, and the very air that surrounded me seemed a thing as admirable as crystal and as fluid as wine.
"Answer me, Severian."
"The first, if I have any."
"To the person of the monarch?"
"Yes, because there is no succession."
"The animal that rests beside you now would die for you. Of what kind is his
attachment to you?"
"The first?"

ok, is the last one meant to be a joke about our current situation?  Abstraction, largely ideal.

maybe some conservatives can help me out here.
"Attachment to the person of the monarch"

On one hand, I don't understand how "Attachment to" is governance.  Are the people attached, or is the governance attached?

Another question this brings up for me.  This notion of a Divine Ruler...
You get it in the Grail myths, and I suppose in the Jesus Myth, this idea of bringing back the Divine King. I'm not sure if that's right, but it's something that seems to come up in various traditions.  Anyway, While anyone could sort of get behind letting God's Vicar rule, if it could be proven. Yet we've had plenty of crappy rulers claiming God's mandate.
anyway, How can this idea of a Monarch that is the best system jibe with reality lacking an unambiguous 'seal of approval' from God?

Let me rephrase?  This seems like a sort of religious right position (maybe I'm totally wrong)  So, would anyone toss away democracy in favor of a monarch? How can this notion not be "largely ideal"  when it hinges upon the character of a single person?  

I'm not sure if I'm making this clear. I'm trying to understand how this can be considered the highest state of governance in a practical, non-ideal world.

just asking...


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