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A treatise on the defense of the noble class of Mith

The problem of government has long perplexed the race of humans, as the vast majority declare in the positive the necessity of having one, but it has long been one of the heaviest burdens on a populace. Those who administrate the affairs of a nation often find themselves abusing the power given to them. In the nation of Mith, many have criticized the upper class of nobility and believe their place in society no longer serves the greater community, but only serves to forward their own interests. I am here to prove to you today, dear reader, that the nobility serves its own important purpose in the society of Mith and that our system has the necessary balances of power to force imperfect people into effective service of its people.

We will begin at the head of government, the king. Now, it has always been a source of contention as to the necessity of having a monarch. Some say that so much power focused into one individual can easily corrupt. While the veracity of that statement is not in doubt, our system makes allowances for such a scenario.

First, the king is groomed from a young age to be the servant of the people. How much better is this than the desire of many to elect a common man out of the masses to lead the nation, as many insurgents have suggested. Why is that such a bad idea? Because the man elected to govern will have to sway the masses to vote for him instead of another. To make his name known, however, he will have to advertise his credentials, be those what they may, and speak his ideas to assemblies gathered through the nation. Such logistics increases one’s debts, and invariably the candidate will have to pay those debts off or be cast into prison, where the pressures of leadership would not be served properly. Thus, such a candidate would have to have the means to pay off the debts incurred through campaigning. Only the merchants might be able to build up enough capital to support their claims, and they are divorced from the common man, more prone to swindle him than serve him. The campaign would be a contest of popularity that has little to do with the interests of the people but much to do with the interests of money traded. The ruler picked would of necessity be of a higher economic class than those he represents, making his position little different than the nobility so despised.

Second, a king is preferred to an elected official because of the stability he brings. The king rules for a lifetime, with counselors and representatives to stand in his place when he is unfit, as in old age or illness. An elected official’s rule would last a few short years until he is voted out of office and replaced with another whose popularity and money has exceeded that of the first. This ruler would preach and enact laws contrary to those put in place by his predecessor, so with each change in leadership, with new laws in effect, the people would be subject to many disruptions and setbacks, placing an unfair burden on their economic well being as those who are beginning to gain wealth are suddenly stripped of it because of a change in law prohibiting their profit. A king, however, is unlikely to make radical changes to his own laws over his lifetime, and in all probability will make few changes to those of his father, if he inherited the throne. We who have studied history know that the greatest upheavals have been when the kingship is transferred from one house or another, either by failure to produce a male heir, or having the right to rule taken away by the judges, who serve much closer to the people as they judge their problems and act as a balance to the power the king wields. Imagine such upheavals every five or ten years. It would destroy this nation.

Third, a king prevents the stalemate of a government run only by a council. Debate often convinces no one of the superiority of one’s ideas, so councils debating each other will never lead to a true resolution without resentment on the side of those who were outnumbered. When the debate does not lead to any clear victor, then it continues while the issues at hand are left without being dealt with. A strong leader, one who listens to counselors but makes his own decisions, will lead the nation to prosperity, especially in the face of war. Even poorly made decisions usually prevail the act of negating to make one. Because of this, a clear hierarchy of king, lord, duke, governor, earl, count, baron, and knight is ordered. In contrast to them, to avoid any abuse of power, the judges are given power to relieve the status of any noble, including the king. They can also award nobility to those who deserve it, although not among their own or their families, and admittedly this rarely happens.

If my dear reader would allow me to delve into a personal aside, I wish to speak briefly on the subject of the judges. Now, it is prohibited a king to use magic, or to even possess the ability. I do believe it is obvious, as a person bearing kingship and magic would have power doubly focused, both in societal and personal influence. Such a person would be difficult to dethrone in the event of abuse of said power. Better to limit the ruler of the land in that way, and let him practice worship of the Judge Lords, who decreed that only their representatives should bear the burdens of magic. Magic exists, although the where it comes from is a source of debate among scholars. My personal belief is that it is unnatural for humans to bear it, that only those races born with magic should use it. The act of borrowing magic from others must, in my mind, fundamentally change the physiology of humans who bear it and leave them lacking in areas of normal interaction, like modesty and humility. One only needs to look to the west to see the effects on the heretics of Mageda and their arrogance. It is hardly necessary to mention that magic use leads to frailty and physical weakness, hardly traits desired for a king, who must rule with health. The judges sacrifice their own haleness for the benefit of their people and act as a buffer between a mad king and his subjects. While able to use magic, they only do so to heal the broken and fend for the kingdom. While I profess ignorance as to their internal training and teachings, I only have to point to history to prove their system is nearly free of corruptions, as they have never held on to power for more than a few transitional years between kings and never have overthrown one who does not deserve it. Yes, there is a high contrast between the judges and the heretics who call themselves magi.

Now, back to the question of the nobility. The complaint I hear the most is why the nobility are given the privilege of living in luxury while the peasantry live in squalor. While this might seem like a fair question from the perspective of one experiencing the hardships of a poor life, from an overreaching perspective, the inequalities are not so pronounced as one would think. It is necessary for people to be trained to rule, and virtually every noble is in a position of government, as either governing on a local, provincial, or national level. If none of the anterior, they at least govern their estates and employ servants. Those who dream of a utopia where everyone has the same amount of money are delusional, because in that world no one would have the money to employ others, and thus no money would be traded. The nobility serve as stewards to distribute the money entrusted to them, and while there are surely injustices, the system has worked sufficiently for years on end. As to the demand that there be fluidity in the nobility, that commoners be allowed to gain titles, there is a path through proving valor through knighthood. If another path is needed, let the critics who complain actually come up with a good solution, instead of only attacking. Getting rid of the nobility would leave a vacuum of power, one that should not be filled only with the judges, as much as I admire their restraint and sacrifice.

While our system may not be perfect, it is functional and has served us for hundreds of years with only minor adjustments. Those insurgents, the anarchists who want to take down our government, should think of the consequences that would follow for the people who they claim to represent. The class system is set up to train people from their childhood for the best ways to serve society. Complaining that we did not choose our parents is irrelevant; we did not choose when we were born or what gender or any number of things, but we can choose to serve in our respective callings and create a functioning society where all can prosper.

Yours humbly,

Duke Vercil Archarimon

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