Monarchy: A discourse on the Thrones of Kings
To all those who supported me, and continue to support me to this day, thank you. No one man is capable of greatness, and it is only through the efforts of many that anything can be achieved.
To all those who have opposed me, to a lesser extent I thank you as well. Had you not been my obstacles, I could never have improved myself by overcoming you. Suffer well.
The Nature of Power
I wish to begin this discussion on the nature of Power, as it is the pool from which authority has been drawn since time immemorial. Many wonder how it is power is attained, exactly what it is, and how it is lost. The answers are rather simple, but lead to a complex series of possibilities, each unique to the situation. However we will begin on what it is, and where it comes from. What many do not realize is that the power of Lords and Kings is drawn from the same well as that of the Gods.
Power is the faith of others.
Nothing more, and nothing less.. I will explain with a story; The greatest king, the richest merchant, and the holiest priest all stand in a single room. A man stands opposite of them with the only sword, and is ordered by all three to kill the other two. Who lives, who dies? Put simply, any answer you give is correct. Whomever that man has faith in is the one who wields true power in that room, regardless of the status of the other two men. From this story, several key factors of the nature of power can be learned.
Firstly, the titles of “Greatest King, Richest Merchant, Holiest Priest”, in reality, mean nothing on their own. This is true of all titles, they are nothing more than names and they only hold weight if others recognize them as such. Secondly, the “True Power” lies in the man with the sword. The ability to impact the lives of others is the only way to persuade faith to your banner, or to inspire fear of it. Be it through harm or benefits, you must be able to change a man’s life if you want him to recognize the power you wield. Finally, the existence of power can only be measured by the recognition of your authority. The more faith you hold, the more powerful you are. If the man with the sword does not listen to you, you are one of the two dead men.
The loss of power is then the loss of the faith of your followers. If a man loses every battle, every shred of land, and yet he maintains the faith of his followers, he will always be in power and his enemies will always find him a threat until he is dead. This is very important to know, as to defeat your enemy in any conflict it is not his physical holdings that must be attacked, but the faith and support of his followers that must be shaken.
How Monarchs Rise to their Thrones
A Monarch is either new wholly, or expected through inheritance. Since the majority of us do not have the benefit of being of royal birth, I will speak only of New Monarchs. A new monarch will rise when two factors are simultaneously met within a state;
First and foremost, a new monarch must hold the faith of an influential enough base of people. Popular support of some kind gives a monarch a Mandate, or the status of representation for a group of people. If you represent more than your own interests, you are that much more powerful, and your bid will find more legitimacy.
Secondly, the popular establishment you wish to replace must be at a fault. A functioning establishment is extremely difficult to replace, and you may find that many may not wish to fix a government that is not broken. To create a fault can be done, but is difficult. It is often more advisable to simply wait, as most will create faults on their own if they have none yet. The time is better used to prepare.
These alone, however, will do nothing until a catalyst is struck between the two. This catalyst must remain undefined, as an immeasurable number of reasons exist for conflict. However what can be said is that this conflict, like any other, involves breaking the faith of the opposition, and strengthening that of your own side. New monarchs will likely find themselves on both sides of this issue at some point, and understanding how to win it is imperative if they wish to become an old monarch.
How Monarchs Defend their Thrones
Alas, while one rises once, more often one will stop others from rising. When conditions seem to be turning towards an opportunity for others, a leader must be able to recognize and react. Challengers must be defeated swiftly and soundly, and with little fare. The key is to identify the fault they wish to attack, and repair it. Secondly, one must understand the position of the enemy, and learn what faith binds them together against you. As I have said, it is attacking this faith that is the only way to attain total victory in any conflict. Finally, the leadership must be tried and judged harshly, and with little ceremony or recognition. When large fare is made over a challenger, they gain only fame and it is ever slightly more difficult to defeat them. If a fare must be made, it should give no honor to the challenger’s cause.
As for the tactics of war, and the methods of defense from foreign challengers, I shall write of those separately. Such a discussion requires a work all of its own.
At the beginning of a Kings reign, every single action sets a precedent. Among the most important of these initial steps are the appointments of power distributed by the new monarch. As no single human can perform all the tasks necessary to manage a state, those who take up the responsibilities become the limbs of the government, and are an extension of the monarch’s authority. Knowing that this is an important choice, it begs the question as to how one is to know the most superior technique for selecting and maintaining one’s ministers.
The ideal minister thinks more of the monarch and the state than himself, totally faithful to his king and country. When you find the personal interests of the minister override the interests of his monarch or his state, that minister must be corrected or removed. The leg does not question the mind; less it cause the body to collapse through its personal designs. A minister should not deviate from the path set by the monarch, for more harm than good will always be done when the parts do not coordinate with the whole.
The key is to communicate ideas between the whole, so that it may be discussed, absorbed, and if useful, be implemented. The ideal minister is able to communicate well, and this is in a very broad sense. Not only must a minister be gifted in speech, but be able to maneuver well socially in general. This is being able to work with a variety of persons, with a variety of ideals and motivations that must be balanced in discussions. If your minister cannot work well with many people, he can do little of benefit.
Of course, the ideal minister must have many other traits, depending on many factors for each possible task. However without these two, no minister for any task can succeed in the same way as one who does.
The Nobles are the other figures of authority within your kingdom, who of course do not rule without your support. This is the key when dealing with the faith of nobles, in that they should lean on the Monarch, and not in reverse. The Nobility, when they look to and lean to their Monarch, will respect and defend him as faithfully as any other subject. Nobles look to their Monarchs to defend their honor and titles, and their positions as Nobles. To hold their loyalty, a Monarch must then be the safeguard of their prestige, and support them steadfastly. This is a relationship where the Monarch is the provider that ensures the Noble’s power.
In reverse, it is the Monarch who looks to the Nobles to maintain his power. To lean on the Nobles gives them power over their Monarch, and this power can be used in any manner of ways that may prove to harmful to the state. This occurs when Monarchs must ask for additional money, troops, or assistances from their Nobles excessively or out of necessity. A Monarch should then always remember that he himself is a Noble, and must maintain his own individual strength as to be the support of the others. Otherwise, it is the Nobles that are the providers that ensure the Monarch’s power, and this can only lead to failure.
As with all else, the general public is governed by only a few needs to be met by their Monarch, and they will be happy to live their lives in peace, faithful to their King. Primarily is safety, and of course any society should be safe from murderers and bandits, such law enforcement is timeless. In keeping citizens safe, active presence of law enforcement is the most effective and well known method. The safety of their property is second and their honor third. A Monarch should abstain from confiscations and restrictions upon the property of the public, as this generates contempt and hatred(the dangers of which will be written about in the final chapter). There are those that will attempt to violate your people, and when such actions occur, retribution must be had. No monarch should ever fail to pursue retribution for his people. Finally, the citizens should be entertained by parades and ceremony, festivities throughout the year are always beneficial.
To refer back to the story told at the beginning of this work, one will remember the power held by the Military. The command of the military is a large part of where a Monarch’s authority rises. With this in mind, it is important then that the Monarch should always be in direct command of his military, and be recognized as such. The traits to the faith of the military take from a combination of the previous three groups.
The officers appointed in command of the military should be chosen similarly to Ministers. However, officers should be known for discipline and cruelty, for in only this way can a military be at a maximum conditioning. Like the Nobility, the military also seeks to have its honor and titles maintained, and likewise the Monarch should be prepared to take action or speak in its defense. Finally, like the citizenry, a Monarch must give parades and ceremony to the military. They deserve fair share of spoils and honors from war, and that is all soldiers will ask to defend their kingdom.
It is vital for a Monarch to know the true nature of Justice, and not simply what many idealize it to be. Justice is not the result of the good nature of man, but instead it is a result of the bad natures. Justice is in reality a tool used by authorities to deter, punish, and control. When Justice is enacted, all of these goals are met or it is not considered Justice. As people do not liked to be deterred, punished, and controlled, those who are put through the justice system will gain a contempt and hatred toward it. Knowing this, it is imperative that justice punish only those of a bad nature, and severely as to deter the actions of others. Those of a good nature should never be harassed by the pursuit of justice, and enforcing laws upon the people that harass them will only breed their contempt and hatred. This causes those that would otherwise be at peace to grow unruly, which leads me to the final chapter.
Contempt and Hatred
The poison of Kingdoms lies squarely in the contempt and hatred of others. An unavoidable fact that will remain so for eternity is that all Monarchs will have challengers. Those in power will always be eyed jealously by those without it, and breed an initial, unavoidable contempt for their Monarch. Contempt within a few is not dangerous, however as it grows into hatred, it becomes so. Hatred is different from contempt in that once they hate a Monarch; they are now willing to do something about it. Once incurred, it becomes difficult to retract the wrath of enemies and usually remains an annoyance to any monarch for some time. The best defense is to avoid this all together, and attempt to avoid making enemies with a great number of people. It is often possible to make a friend rather than a foe, and that should always be a goal of any Monarch. However once an enemy is made, a swift and harsh reaction is the only way to deter others. With only great consideration and thought can enemies be forgiven, however there are times when such forgiveness is wise.
This writing is meant for all those Kings who have yet to rise:
May you rule in Greatness.
I realize this is incomplete as to all of the questions a Monarch may have when one comes to rule, however many things are truly up to the tastes and styles of each to decide on. In addition, some will question whether or not I myself followed some of the steps I have outlined. I will state simply I did not, the evidence of which is clear, as I no longer wear a crown. However, at the same time, I will rank my reign as King of Asgarnia as one of the more successful, considering Asgarnia’s history of kings. As there is more I could include, I may continue these writings to shed more light on things I haven’t spoken of and of the factors surrounding my own rule. I look now curiously to the future, as the hands of the next generation rise to replace the last. Varis Grey, Duke of Yanille
Published by the Weston Printing Company
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