[Editor’s note: this piece is a dialogue on governance worth having and does not constitute the official position of Social Matter.]
Reactionaries are a cranky bunch. This grumpiness can at times, I think, be one of our foremost strengths. We despise things both great and small, both religious and secular, both political and petty; whatever it is, it cannot escape the critical eye of the reactionary. We are just as likely to complain about the muddled state of constitutional law as we are about the kind of music played in retail clothing stores.
It is no accident that I refer to this kind of naysaying as a strength. It serves a valuable role in society, namely to preserve that which works from that which does not. But it is because our default stance is one of negation that it can be very difficult to identify what reactionaries support. There are Catholic reactionaries who want to see the Vicar of Christ grip his golden scepter again and have the heads-of-state kiss his ring. There are libertarian reactionaries who feel that the principles of the American Revolution were fundamentally sound and that if America slashed through the red tape, if it returned to the legislative conditions of 1790, then all would be well again. There are reactionaries who feel that the American Revolution was where Western culture kicked over the apple cart, and that if we could return to the limited monarchy of 1688, we would be better off for it. There are still other reactionaries who feel that 1688 was just a precursor to 1776, that all Enlightenment philosophy must be thrown out like a torn and greasy rag, and so therefore we should settle for nothing less than, “L’etat, c’est moi.” There are probably a few reactionaries who would not stop their political reversals until they reached the declarations of Nebuchadnezzar.
My purpose is not to provide an overview of reaction, but to show how we are a varied group not united by a common philosophy, but by a common enemy.
Likewise, the enemy need not be defined here. We all know who our enemies are because disorder and decay seem to follow them wherever they go. We do not need to see the sewer rat when we cannot escape his stench. I also have no intention to add to the already extensive literature on what reactionaries oppose. I would much rather spend my time sketching out a political philosophy that can help define specifically what reaction is. Of course, not reaction as a whole, because that would be too broad; but my own particular philosophy which can be categorized as reactionary.
Before beginning with the political philosophy, I feel it is wise to answer one very important question. It is a question that often goes unexplored, unexplained, and wholly taken for granted in political papers, and yet it is the most important question in politics. We must begin by answering the very simple question: Why does the state exist?
In my mind, there is only one good answer and it is to be found in the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes. The state exists to protect. Where there is no state, there is anarchy, and where there is anarchy, there is freedom; but this freedom comes with a price so dreadful that no man can endure it for long. You can kill but you can also be killed. You can rob but you can also be robbed. Your tribe can exterminate another tribe just so you can have some extra cattle grazing land, but the other tribe can also do the same to you. It is a brutal world where might alone rules. Most men claim to want freedom, but if they were to ever get their wish, they would quickly regret it. More than freedom, men desire order.
This cherished order is not to be found in anarchy. Rather, it is found in a fraternity of like-minded individuals. This, then, is the state in its purest form: it is an association of men gathered together for protection and the maintenance of the common welfare. And it is from this association that the so-called “social contract” is established between the citizen and the state. A free man surrenders the bulk of his freedom in exchange for protection. To prevent these limitations in his freedom from being arbitrary, and to ensure just and efficient protection for the citizen, laws are established.
Notice how the social contract I adhere to is not John Locke’s concept of a contract comprising life, liberty, and property. Liberty in particular is so vague and amorphous that it is nearly impossible to define. The term is worthless from a legal perspective. In the Hobbesian contract, there is much more give and take. The citizen fails to uphold the contract when he defies the state’s laws, and the state fails to uphold the contract when it fails to protect the citizen.
So now that we have answered why the state exists, the next most important question we must face is this: If the state exists to protect its citizens, what constitutes protection? It is a relatively simple answer, one that might even be anticipated, but its implications are not simple at all. The first type of protection is to safeguard the citizen from external threats: foreign invasions, international thievery, trade disruptions, and so on. The second type of protection is to safeguard the citizen from internal threats: murders, robberies, frauds, assaults, and so on. These two forms of protection might seem obvious, but a simple principle can produce a hundred thousand complexities. At what point does immigration cease to be a net gain and become a net loss, and at what number is it considered a foreign invasion? At what point does citizen surveillance evolve from crime prevention to being a crime in and of itself? These questions arise out of the complexities that spring up like weeds in a rose garden; their presence requires constant care and pruning. The law is one means to achieve this, where the legislature can pass or repeal laws based on the demands of a given situation, but even more important than the laws themselves are the foundational principles that underlie them. It is from these principles that the state molds and hammers its entire legal apparatus.
This brings us to the crux of this piece. Thus far, we have discussed the state in ways that anyone can find in Hobbes’ work. The foundational principles I am about to mention, however, are a form of reaction that has not been well explored because it is uniquely my own.
The foundational principle I adhere to is simple. It can be summed up in six words which can be easily remembered and easily recited. In this respect, it is far superior to any constitution or foundation myth. Any state that hopes to survive the long march of history must follow this maxim: one people, one parliament, one prince.
It is a deceptively simple phrase. Much like a tonic that a man can swallow quickly but leaves an after-taste that lingers for hours, this is medicine that takes time to work. I will elaborate on each of these points and also explain how all three parts relate to each other and make a functional whole.
There have been empires that stretched thousands of miles and sheltered dozens of ethnic groups within their borders. None of them are alive today. Ancient Rome, the British Empire, the Ottoman Turks, the Mongol Hordes — the graveyard of history is littered with the tombs of nations that thought diversity could work. But we do not even need to look at history. Present-day India and Brazil are bloated corruptocracies divided by their own diversity of peoples: language and skin tone are far more important to these people than any sense of togetherness. For decades the experts have been predicting that these two nations will join the superpower club and for decades these experts have been consistently proven wrong. Few people understand just how stifling diversity is.
One nation that is not fooled, however, is China. Its leaders understand the full implications of ethnic diversity and have committed to minimizing it. China traditionally has been one of those multi-ethnic empires that followed an historical boom and bust cycle: dozens of years of prosperity followed by dozens of years of civil war and disorder. To help prevent this cycle from continuing forever, China began a policy of quietly reducing its ethnic populations. The state enforces a strict language policy: Mandarin is the official language and all ethnic minorities, without exception, are required to learn it. There is no accommodation for those who do not speak Mandarin at home. The state also settles Han Chinese people in regions where ethnic minorities predominate so that eventually, within a few generations, the Han will outbreed the locals and displace them. Regions like Tibet are witnessing the effects of this policy as the local Tibetans are now faced with a permanent Han minority in their homeland; a minority that, in time, might become the majority, at which point there will be nowhere sacred for the Tibetans.
Perhaps the Chinese leaders realize what Western civilization has forgotten: diversity comes with a steep price and delivers practically nothing in return. Europe spent thousands of years struggling against its religious and linguistic diversity and only in the past few decades have things begun to change. Just as European nations were settling down to savor the fruits of peace, just as they were becoming friendly in one another’s company, they decided to invite thousands of Islamic invaders to join them at the table. It was an unforgivable error. Europeans have forgotten the one rule that must never be forgotten: all good states are ethnostates.
Democracy in particular is not well suited for diversity. Democracy relies on voting blocks for power, which means that ethnic minorities, if they vote together without exception, can be overrepresented in politics despite being a minority in the nation as a whole. This creates a situation where all political principles and all questions about a candidate’s competence become secondary to the candidate’s ethnic loyalty. This is, in essence, how identity politics functions in a democracy. More and more unscrupulous and incompetent politicians rise to power simply because of the color of their skin, or the city they were born in, or the religion they claim to practice. The gears of society gather rust as the state machinery slows to a stop; nothing significant gets accomplished when each faction is trying to use the central government to gain dominance over its rivals. Political conflict is encouraged in most democracies, but the problem with ethnic diversity is that it polarizes factions to such a degree that compromise becomes nearly impossible and the political equivalent of total war is fought between them.
Every absurdity will be defended if it benefits one’s ethnic interests and every scruple will be abandoned if it holds them back: this is the sad truth of identity politics. The much-cherished virtues of loyalty, consistency, and reason will vanish. Ask Austria-Hungary as its Serbian citizens throw bombs at the royal family and its Romanians sneak away in the night to fight for the Tsar; ask them if diversity is a strength. Ask the Ming emperor as his Jurchen and Manchu vassals mount their warhorses to take the dragon throne for themselves, ask him if diversity is a strength. We must never forget what history plainly teaches: all good states are ethnostates.
The word parliament has its origins in the French word parlement, which means a discussion, conference, or consultation. The historical roots of this word are important to understand so that there might be no misunderstandings in this political philosophy. The English parliament was originally intended to be a consultation between the prince and his people, so that policy could be decided, opinions heard, and budgets balanced. It was not an institution, like it is today, where gum-flappers get together to figure out schemes to line their pockets at the expense of both their constituents and their sovereign.
Some might question why a parliamentary institution is necessary at all. We need not present a list of parliamentary abuses over the years. The list would fill a stadium, but suffice it to say that legislative bodies in most Western nations have proven to be the greatest enemies of both the people and the prince. It would be logical for a reactionary to disband them altogether if it were not for one slight hitch: legislatures are essential to a stable government.
The first argument in favor of parliaments is that they serve as a means for the people to vent their frustrations. People are not generally rebellious but they are certainly very grumpy. They gripe about the weather, they moan about other men’s wealth, they deplore one bill and champion another; in truth, people are always looking for an excuse to shake their fists and bellow from a soapbox. This is why a parliament has perpetual value in a monarchy. The parliament allows a nation’s citizenry to have their voices heard and duly dismissed. Along the way, all of that bottled-up frustration in the citizen’s chest will be gently relieved like an exhaust valve opening on a steam engine; the legislative outcome is not as important to the citizen as making his opinion known.
To deny citizens all representation in government is to tempt disaster. This form of totalitarianism will inevitably lead to the absurdities like those seen in Stalinist Russia where everyone is either a commissar or a slave. It is a state of suspicions, condemnations, conspiracies, and most importantly in the context of the social contract, it is a state where there is very little protection for the citizen. A parliament can help prevent totalitarianism long before it begins by giving every man a voice, and on those rare occasions when that voice has something intelligent to say, the government might even be inclined to listen.
The second argument in favor of parliaments is an obvious one. A kingdom that spans thousands of square miles and has millions of citizens living within its borders cannot be ruled solely by the decrees of one man. There are too many debts to collect, too many scoundrels to imprison, too many files to sort. Since it is obvious that there must be some delegation of powers in a vast kingdom, the question becomes not whether power should be delegated, but how it is to be done.
One choice is the medieval option. The prince can portion out pieces of his kingdom to be ruled by vassals who are then free to govern however they please as long they pledge their loyalty to the prince. Although many reactionaries prefer this feudal method over a parliamentary system, I am not personally inclined to it. Despite its merits, a hereditary aristocracy often becomes the most persistent threat to both a prince and his subjects; the aristocracy are the only people with enough leisure, enough funds, and enough military arms to make viable attempts at capturing the crown.
A strong nation requires a well-policed aristocracy. It is the only way to maintain the levels of centralization needed to keep a state unified and vigorous. Every symphony must have only one conductor and every nation must have only one leader; a hundred noblemen bickering over spoils and plotting murder is no way to run a government. A parliament, if it is well designed, is a natural mechanism to keep the aristocracy constrained in a set of velvet chains. The term “velvet chains” is no rhetorical flourish. Throughout their political lives, the elite must feel restrained but not so restrained that they are willing to risk their lives of comfort and ease in a rebellion.
A parliament achieves this balance by two means. Firstly, it keeps the military authority of the state firmly ensconced in the central government. No duke in some far-flung part of the kingdom can raise a personal army without being in defiance of the law, and thus risking the ire of both parliament and the prince. In this sense, the self-interest of a king and his parliament lead to a natural cooperation between them: a threat to one is likewise a threat to the other.
Secondly, it provides a legal mechanism for the people and the prince to work together to keep the scheming elites in check. If the aristocrats get too brazen, if they become too seditious or defiant, a prince can reshuffle his cabinet, dismiss parliament, and then the people can do their part by electing fresh blood into the legislative ranks. There must be no entrenched interests in this system. The threat of replacement must loom constantly over the head of every double-dealing lawmaker.
This does not mean, however, that all elites should be under the threat of replacement at all times. It is no coincidence that most parliamentary systems have an upper-chamber and a lower-chamber, and that in most cases, the upper-chamber exists solely for the creation of a state approved elite. I envision the upper-chamber as a house with limited political power, perhaps only the power of vetoing the legislation of the lower-chamber, but it is an honor that should confer immense prestige on those chosen to join it because it is a position held for a lifetime. The prince can use the upper-chamber to reward men of ability from all strata of society by personally inducting them into the halls of government. The upper middle-class planter with a shrewd mind for agriculture who has neither the time nor the cash to give up work temporarily for a political campaign can be given a seat; and so, too, the aristocrat with a slight stammer and a fetish for the kind of bland mathematical figures that put most to sleep, and insure that he will never win an election, but are instrumental to running a government’s finances. These men, by being members of the upper-chamber, can at any time be called into ministerial service. They can sit in parliament for as long as they live. The members of the lower-chamber, although they might have more political power as a whole, are always replaceable. In my mind, this is the fairest way to run a parliament. The more political power one has, the more responsibility there is to use that power sensibly.
In the end, I feel that most complaints reactionaries have against a parliamentary system are not inherent to parliaments themselves; but rather, they are a reflection of the low standards among the people permitted to join them. Both chambers of parliament must have strict limits placed on their membership: property ownership, tax payments, or military service must be among the very minimum standards. I suspect that more drastic limitations to suffrage might be needed, but I will leave that for the reader to decide.
All things considered, you might be wondering what difference there is between my ideal parliament and Britain’s own current legislative assembly. The difference lies not so much with the legislature at all, but with some of the executive powers that I mentioned earlier and will explain in greater detail now. This is the most important part of the essay—here is where the prince makes his entrance.
There are many words one might use to describe this station in life; nearly all of them have a dignity that lends a faint halo of gravitas over the head of the man who bears such a title: prince, king, patriarch, monarch, kaiser, sovereign, tsar, and so on. The dignity of these words exists no doubt because of the many burdens these titles bring with them; the saying, “heavy is the head that wears the crown,” is no flippant observation. The prince carries the fate of a nation on his back, and should he take one wrong step and stumble, should he let the weight of all his people’s fears and ambitions crush him, not only could the kingdom be lost, the prince might also lose his life in the process. Imagine the stress of a surgeon who is operating on a patient where one centimeter to the right or left with a scalpel in a patient’s heart can make the difference between life or death; now imagine this kind of stress multiplied by the millions of people who live in a nation. That is the life of a prince.
The first question we must answer is why the state requires a prince at all, especially given what we know about the immense stresses of his job. After all, some might claim that the differences between a president and a prince tend to work in the president’s favor: the limited powers help keep his purpose clear and his burdens reduced compared with those of a prince.
Although there is some logic to this line of reasoning, I find the argument unconvincing for one simple reason. The difference between a president and a prince is the difference between a borrower and a lender. The president can only take the nation on an extended test drive, while the prince owns it as long as he lives. There is no tenant on earth who cares more about his apartment than the landlord who owns it, who rents it out, and who uses it as his primary means of income. If the tenant punches a hole in the wall, then the landlord patches it. If the tenant kicks down the doors, smashes the kitchen sink, floods the bathroom and then flees quietly into the night, never to be seen again, then the landlord will be there in the morning assessing the damage and planning his repairs.
It is a fundamental law of life that people care more for the things that they own, than those they do not. The prince has every incentive to make his kingdom strong because there is no other pasture for him to till. He either harvests the fruits of his own field or he starves. Each action, each proclamation carries all of the weight of the prince’s authority behind it and so if he leads his people astray, if he leads the nation to ruin, he is held personally responsible. No president has the level of accountability that a prince has because no president has as much responsibility as a prince.
With this in mind, we must now explore what powers a prince can be given so that he truly is a lion on the throne and not just one more paper tiger like those seen among European royalty today.
The most obvious purpose of a prince is the protection of the nation from foreign and domestic threats. One less obvious but no less important function the prince serves for his people is that he acts as a safeguard against legislative excess. There are cases where the two chambers of parliament become deadlocked or where lawmakers overreach their bounds and as a result, outside arbitration is required to settle the issue; not just any form of arbitration, but a form where there is an iron-handed, unshakable authority that underlies its decisions. Only a monarch can have this kind of clear-cut authority. The prince must be restored to the position he held under the ancient palms of Babylon or in the damp castles of Bourbon France: he must again become the nation’s court of last appeal.
At this point, I have no desire to list all of the legal powers that could potentially belong to a prince. The list would be nearly endless and there are too many disputes among reactionaries over whether these powers should come with some constraints, as had been in the case traditionally in England, or whether a prince should be totally unconstrained, as with Augustan Rome or France during the reign of the Sun King. Rather than wade into that philosophical swamp, I would prefer to focus on three powers that I think are essential for all princes. These powers assure that the prince is able to fulfill his function as a court of last appeal, the highest possible authority for the arbitration of disputes, and the protection of a nation’s people. The maximum limit of a prince’s powers I will leave to other theorizers to puzzle over, but these three are the strictest minimum he must have to hold power in a kingdom.
The foremost power that every prince must have is the right to a royal veto. Traditionally in European monarchies, a bill that is to be signed into law requires “royal assent,” whereby the monarch or some representative of the monarch uses the royal seal to ceremoniously stamp the bill and approve it becoming a law. The problem with this process, however, is that it tends to become an empty ritual where the prince meekly stamps whatever legislation the parliament sets before him. This form of veto is not so much a veto at all, but rather a lack of assent. The distinction there is important, since it changes the whole power dynamic of a prince and how he interacts with his parliament. Most monarchs today do not dare withhold assent since they might soon find themselves out of the job. This process gives the bulk of the power to the lawmakers and not to the man tasked with thinking critically about the value of these laws.
A veto should be an active power, a smiting of bad bills, a casting out of legislative demons, rather than a passive-aggressive lack of assent. A monarch should be an active, not a passive agent in his government. The royal veto must be the nation’s highest and most exalted rejection: a resounding “thou shalt not” thundering in the ears of every lawmaker. With such a power, a prince does not need to approve each and every bill into law, since by having the power to reject a bill without qualification, he de facto approves of any bill he does not reject. There should be no limitations placed on this power: a prince should be able to thwart any bill from becoming a law and he should likewise have full authority to strike down any law that was passed by previous parliaments.
To provide some balance to this power, parliament should be able appeal a royal veto and reopen the matter for debate so that perhaps the prince might be swayed by new arguments. But the ultimate authority rests with the prince: if he is not persuaded, if he does not see the merits of a particular bill or law, if he feels that a piece of legislation defies the constitution and threatens the well-being of his citizens, he is free to veto the bill even after all of the parliamentary appeals as well.
Now I can hear the complaints of many middle-class Americans who would like to interject to say, “But that’s pure tyranny to give so much power to one man! We’re all about freedom here in the U.S. of A.”
Joe America, a simple man raised with a public-school education, does not know that this power already exists in the United States and it has already been widely abused, specifically because this power was not invested in one man, but in a select few. He lives with numerous oppressions forced on him with all of the same authority as a royal decree, except that instead of being issued by a king, they were issued by a gaggle of wordy judges. Neither congress, nor the president gave America such injustices as federally enforced desegregation, gay marriage, and abortion: these policies were foisted on the people by the supreme court.
Americans spend much of their time unduly cursing the president and rarely ever notice the little lawyers in moth-eaten robes who, when they make pronouncements, cannot be questioned. It is also curious how most Americans do not bother asking one of the most crucial questions of politics: how do the American people overturn a Supreme Court ruling? What recourse is there if the Supreme Court decides to rule based on the emotional prejudices of its justices rather than precedence and sound judgment? The truth is that there is no recourse. The American people must bow and obey the dictates of their Supreme Court as if they were the words of Augustus Caesar. And your average American has as good of a chance of removing a Supreme Court justice from power as a Roman would have of removing Augustus from his throne. The United States Supreme Court has all the trappings of a monarchy with none of its advantages: a committee of dunderheads and obfuscators can never be as effective as one man with a little common sense.
Likewise, the Supreme Court is comprised of political appointees who are not guaranteed to have any ties to the people they are supposed to serve. Justice Sotomayor is one perfect example of this: she is a second-generation Puerto Rican who had a father who spoke no English and she was inducted into Princeton thanks to the wonders of affirmative action and was then appointed by President Barack Obama to the Supreme Court, thanks to the wonders of party affiliation. This is the very antithesis of a prince who is bound to his people by the iron bonds of blood and tradition.
Another problem with the Supreme Court is that it has no financial stake in the government; it does not own the state, nor does it own even a small fraction of it. The prince, by right of the nation being his property in some form or fashion, serves as the state’s primary shareholder and therefore its most enthusiastic well-wisher. Just as how the owner of a corporation wants to see his business prosper and thrive, the prince inevitably wants the same for his nation because a prosperous nation means a prosperous monarch. Ownership makes all the difference. In one respect, a bunch of blathering judges are no different than a president: they are not owners of the state, but caretakers of it, and this results in a situation where they might be better served individually at the expense of the people. I imagine there have been quite a few justices who left their bench much richer than when they sat down on it, and none of those funds came from scrupulous dealings.
For the moment, we have talked enough about the notion of the royal veto and the prince’s role in enforcing it. We will now move on to the second power necessary for all princes, one that is perhaps even more powerful than the royal veto since it determines which people the prince surrounds himself with: the royal appointment. It stands to reason that if we define the word parliament as a conference between the prince and his people, then the prince should be able to choose which men from among the people will serve in the government.
But by the same logic, the people should also be able to choose which men from among their ranks will serve in the government. How can we reconcile these two extremes? I propose a middle-ground approach where the prince is able to directly appoint those ministers which are related to his fundamental purpose for ruling; namely, those men involved with protecting the people from foreign and domestic threats. The police, the military, and the intelligence agencies should all have their leaders chosen directly by the prince. This reduces the odds of a putsch and it helps prevent one of the ministries from gaining too much dominance over the others and thus becoming the true power in the government. The state is a balancing act that requires the prince’s firm hand to keep the scales level.
The other ministers who are only indirectly involved in the protection of the people, those such as the ministers of education, transportation, and so on, should be selected by the prime minister. Now the inevitable question arises: Who has the authority to choose the prime minister, the people or the prince? This is a perfectly legitimate question, and it is one that demands an answer if a good government is to be formed, but it is unfortunately beyond the scope of this essay since there are many compelling points to be made in favor of either the prince or the people. This work, however, concerns itself only with the essentials. We need not deal with such ambiguities here.
With that in mind, let us move on to the third and final power that is necessary for a prince: a concept that I call, tongue in cheek, the royal shuffle. Given that parliament is supposed to be a conference between the prince and his people, if the government becomes deadlocked or filled with men who refuse to uphold their duties, that is to say, the conference cannot come to any results, then it only makes sense that the prince should be able to dismiss parliament. The royal shuffle, as I envision it, should give the prince the power to dismiss the lower chamber of parliament, each and every member, and then reopen the elections for the people to decide who should stay and who should leave for the next gathering. This not only helps to break deadlocks and to prune the bad apples who inevitably find their way into every legislature, but it also maintains a necessary function in the balance of power: it gives the people a choice over who best represents their interests, prince or parliament, without having to resort to a rebellion. If the prince dismisses parliament, and the voters reelect all the same scoundrels as before, then he knows that parliament was indeed reflecting the will of the people. A wise man might advise caution from that point. If the prince dismisses parliament, and the voters elect a lot of fresh faces to the legislature, then the prince can feel sure that he was better representing his people’s interests. He can proceed with confidence.
Because this process gives the people the final judgment in a time of crisis, many reactionaries might not prefer it over more autocratic methods, such as a cold, dark cell or the chopping block. I feel, however, that this royal shuffle is essential more for the prince than for his subjects because it gives the prince a clear and immediate understanding of the mood of his nation. A prince can defy parliament if he knows that the people side with him, but if the people and parliament have locked arms and decided to march together, then at least the prince is made well aware of this fact, and can plot his next course of action accordingly. He might capitulate, he might defy both factions openly, he might defy them subtly, but whatever the prince chooses to do, he will be able to make his decisions with a thorough knowledge of the political situation that he is facing.
There are also cases where the prince, through incapacity or incompetence, deserves to have his plans squelched. In such cases, giving the people the right to affirm their representatives helps keep the people’s defiance within reasonable limits: they have no reason to take up pitchforks, to scorch the fields, or to level the palaces of their ancestors. The people have no right to riot as long as they have representation. Much like the valve and the steam engine mentioned earlier, the people must have a legal means to vent their frustrations, so that ultimately the government can remain stable. A man cannot be a dissenter in a nation that allows dissent; he can only be a dissenter in a nation that allows none. Give a man his dissent, let him moan and complain, just like letting a baby burp to relieve its stomach cramps.
At this point, however, I feel that we have reached the limit of this essay. We have touched on the three pillars of my philosophy: one people, one parliament, one prince. We have defined each term, sketched out their powers and limitations, and waxed poetic on how each relates to the nation as a whole. It is also true that we have only scratched the surface of this issue: there are many cracks that need patching in this great brickwork of ideas.
Who should choose the prime minister? Should members of parliament be subject to term limitations? How much power over the economy should the prince have? What is the relationship between local legislatures and parliament? Does the state require a church and is the prince capable of making divine pronouncements? These questions, and a thousand others, need to be answered if a reactionary should hope to bring about a reactionary state. I have omitted the answers to some of these questions because I feel that, in many cases, local customs should provide the answers. After all, a traditional political philosophy ought to make some allowances for tradition. If, for instance, the people of Pictland would never accept term limits for legislative positions, then so be it; let the sacred traditions of Pictland thrive among the Picts.
Another reason why I have opted not to answer some of these questions is because, with this particular essay, I am only interested in building a framework. The rafters have been placed, the beams raised, the foundation poured and I feel that is enough for now. I will leave the furnishings and décor to be chosen in other essays, or perhaps even by other thinkers. After all, any man who follows the same blueprint as me is sure to build a structure just as elegant and as sturdy as my own; we need only follow the same design, the same chain for our political sovereignty: one people, one parliament, one prince.