Jul 5, 2007

Edan as a Catholic Nation

The decision to make Edan an explicitly Catholic nation was, in the end, rather an easy one. The old adage that “important things are simple, and simple things are hard” is, in my experience, very true. The goal of Edan is simple – create a governmental structure that allows its citizens the greatest possible benefit. This, of course, leads to a very great deal of follow-on issues. Who are the citizens? What benefits can a government grant? What benefits are possible, but undesirable? What do you mean, specifically, by ‘benefit’? Is ‘greatest possible’ meant in Utilitarian terms?

This goes on for a time, of course.

The starting point for the theory behind Edan is that the bare minimum of a government is that it be stable. A good government that collapses over and over (or once and for all) is not very good. That is why I focused upon Monarchy as the essential basis for a stable government. Throughout history, monarchies have lasted longer and been more stable than other forms of government. Personally, I believe that the most important of the many reasons for this is that monarch plan for the long-term; their own lifetime and the lifetime of their heirs. This long view is in stark contrast with the narrow, immediate focus of republics, democracies, and other forms of government that routinely change leaders. Monarchs throughout history have begun public works projects to improve their nations and the lives of their citizens that would only be completed long after their own deaths. An American president, for a contrasting example, is praised if he proposes a plan that is longer than 4 years!

“Impartiality and continuity are important aspects of government, and it is doubtful whether any form of democratic government yet discovered provides these to any greater extent than does constitutional monarchy.”

- Sydney Bailey

Of course, the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany were both relatively stable, but were neither monarchies nor places that any sane person would wish to emulate. The next criterion is that a nation should be just. By ‘justice’ I don’t just mean ‘the rule of law’; after all, Nazi Germany was a law-abiding nation. They just had terrible laws! I mean that the nation must have morally sound laws that are enforced in a consistent, ethical manner. A Monarch is beholden to no political party or faction, but is focused upon the weal of the nation as a whole. After all, his personal wealth, status, and well-being are a direct result of the same aspects of his nation. Sometimes a king may be poorly suited to leadership, so most monarchies have some check on absolute power, either in common law or a constitution. The checks and balances of such systems on a King ensure that the laws and actions of the King remain at some tolerable minimum of justice and impartiality. Edan does not have an existing tradition of common law, so I decided that Edan will be a Constitutional Monarchy.

“I am personally still convinced that there are safeguards in the constitutional monarchy that an elected head of state just would not possess.”

-Roger Scott, British MP

Therefore, the first draft of the Constitution of Edan was very obviously based upon the modern Western idea of a constitutional monarchy. But it was merely an echo of systems that are largely failing. Socialism is annihilating the rights and economic opportunity of the people of Europe that live in constitutional monarchies. I realized that most of these nations were similar to the British model and the role and power of the monarch in Britain have been shrinking every year. I realized that I must avoid this slow erosion toward the Republican/Parliamentary Democracy that is destroying the viability of most nations. But how?

Turning to history once more, I realized that there is one institution that has outlasted even the best of nations – the Catholic Church. The faltering Roman Empire was revitalized by Catholicism and re-entered decline only after rejecting the tenets of Catholicism and returning to paganism. After the fall of Rome the Church maintained civilization and knowledge, rebuilt the West, and was the galvanizing force in the forging of the great Western nations and the subversion of warlike impulses into creativity. The reformation plunged Europe into a century of war and the Enlightenment, that deliberate rejection of religion, was the beginning of the end of stability in the world.

The Catholic Church, with its comprehensive and explicit views on social justice and the proper role of government, would be the touchstone of justice and morality for the Kingdom.

There it is; the evolution of Edan into a Catholic nation in rather short order. But this also led me to realize that Edan must avoid the pitfalls that modern Europe has failed to. But that is the next essay.

“Monarchy is the one system of government where power is exercised for the good of all.”

- Aristotle

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