return to list of latest ideas

Single Idea 19940

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

Full Idea

It is dangerous to depose a monarch, even if it is clear by every criterion that he is a tyrant. A people accustomed to royal authority and held in check only by it, will despise any lesser authority and hold it in contempt.

Gist of Idea

Deposing a monarch is dangerous, because the people are used to royal authority

Source

Baruch de Spinoza (Tractatus Theologico-Politicus [1670], 18.07)

A Reaction

He is obviously thinking of Charles I and Cromwell. I suspect that the respect for Cromwell in the 1650s was only as a great soldier. If the people miss royal authority, the correct response is probably 'get over it!'

Book Reference

Spinoza,Benedict de: 'Theological-Political Treatise', ed/tr. Israel,Jonathan [CUP 2007], p.235