chapter  VIII
27 Pages

One-Man Rule in Historical Perspective

WithM. Seliger

The same conditions as make for the emergence of patriarchal monarchy make for its duration, that is, for the government of one man: the continuation of the psychological predispositions of children in adults, the socio-economic situation and the quality of the ruler. The obedience accorded to the father, and most willingly and naturally to the good father, continues to be accorded to his successor, who is no longer the father of the adult males of the commonwealth. Absolute power developed out of men’s positive experience with fatherly monarchy, ‘the easiness and equality of it not offending anyone, everyone acquiesced, till time seemed to have confirmed it, and settled a right of succession by prescription’. The legislative and executive power derived from the renunciation by everyone of his right to pronounce and execute the judgement on offences against natural law.