[Ansteorra] Ducal Perogative

William Meriic wmeriic at tx.rr.com
Sat Nov 10 02:01:33 PST 2007

Well said.  I have heard people, who were frustrated by political situations
in the SCA, say that our system of promotion and governance is just unfair.
Personally, I find that unfairness part of what makes the SCA so attractive.
After all, we are here to reenact the Middle Ages; a time in which it would
be very hard to find "fair" government.

I have also heard people say they don't understand why we have to have rank
and structure, or at least it would be better if rank was given on grounds
other than martial combat or the acceptance into an order.

Again, my replies are centered on the fact that we are reenacting the Middle
Ages; specifically court life.  Rank and structure was an intimate part of
court life and one would have to learn to live and work with the formalities
that come along with such a system.  And in regard to the fairness of it, it
is not intended to be fair.

In our society I think I can safely say that generally rulers have the best
interest of the populace in mind.  They may not be perfect but they are
trying to improve our life and our society.  That is what makes them such
good rulers even though they are chosen by what we would deem in modern
sensibility the worst possible method.

Outside of our society we have to accept that human nature is to become
corrupt with power.  Modern forms of government are oriented around the
assumption that the rulers will be corrupt and they try to mitigate the
damage from such corruption.  It is in my humble belief that no form of
government can truly succeed in the face of such corruption.  It is human
nature that needs to be changed, not the structure of government is society
is to greatly improve (c.f. Star Trek  :->).

I also think, on a side, that such short reigns (six months for kings to
just a few years for barons) also help mitigate the temptation of becoming
corrupt when in power.

Will Meriic

-----Original Message-----
From: ansteorra-bounces at lists.ansteorra.org
[mailto:ansteorra-bounces at lists.ansteorra.org] On Behalf Of robert segrest
Sent: Saturday, November 10, 2007 12:23 AM
To: ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org
Subject: [Ansteorra] Ducal Perogative

I have been intrigued by the ducal perogative ever since I came to
Ansteorra.  To the best of my understanding, we are the only kingdom to have
this provision.  As a student of government, I find this variation on our
autocratic traditions to be very interesting as it seems to replace rule by
the strongest, with a sort of semi-oligarchy wherein dukes have the ability
to alter the selection process without necessarily obligating themselves to
reign.  Where most, if not all kingdoms have a provision that fighters must
be acceptable to the crown, we seem to forego using that tool in favor of
ducal eliminations.  I suppose that this provides an undesired fighter the
opportunity to beat an array of dukes and therefore take the throne in a
sort of trial by combat.  I'm not sure whether this is better or worse than
simply forbidding a fighter from entering in the first place, although I
suppose there is a small element of democracy introduced.  At any rate, I
 am continually amazed that a system of governance that theoretically should
be one of the worst possible methods for choosing leaders seems to usually
produce high quality administration, not only from our monarchs, but also
from the officers they appoint.  So much for the benefits of democracy.

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