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Single Idea 21086

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

Full Idea

A hereditary nobility is a distinction bestowed before it is earned, and since it gives no ground for hoping that it will be earned, it is wholly unreal and fanciful.

Gist of Idea

Hereditary nobility has not been earned, and probably won't be earned


Immanuel Kant (Metaphysics of Morals I: Doctrine of Right [1797], 49 Gen D)

A Reaction

As the controller of the region of a country, a hereditary noble is the embodiment of a ruling family, which is a well established way of running things. Daft, perhaps, but there are probably worse ways of doing it. Single combat, for example.

Book Reference

Kant,Immanuel: 'Political Writings', ed/tr. Reiss,Hans [CUP 1996], p.152