return to list of latest ideas

Single Idea 19830

[catalogued under 25. Society / B. The State / 5. Leaders / d. Elites]

Full Idea

With a large state in the hands of one man there is too great a distance between the prince and the people, and the state lacks cohesiveness. This requires intermediate orders of nobility to fill them. A small state is ruined by all these social levels.

Gist of Idea

Large states need a nobility to fill the gap between a single prince and the people


Jean-Jacques Rousseau (The Social Contract (tr Cress) [1762], III.06)

A Reaction

[compressed] This seems to be a justification for the French ancien regime. Presumably this bit was not quoted much in 1789. Why must the gap be filled by 'nobility'? What about an elected house of lords?

Book Reference

Rousseau,Jean-Jacques: 'The Basic Political Writings', ed/tr. Cress,Donald A. [Hackett 1987], p.184