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Single Idea 19834

[catalogued under 25. Society / B. The State / 5. Leaders / b. Monarchy]

Full Idea

A great deal of effort is made to teach young princes the art of ruling. It does not appear that this education does them any good. It would be better to teach them the art of obeying. The most celebrated kings were not brought up to reign.

Gist of Idea

Attempts to train future kings don't usually work, and the best have been unprepared


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

A Reaction

King Alfred is our prime example of a success, But if only we had had Charles I's late brother Henry, instead the untrained Charles.

Book Reference

Rousseau,Jean-Jacques: 'The Basic Political Writings', ed/tr. Cress,Donald A. [Hackett 1987], p.185