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Historical note: it has always been true that the rulers have an obligation to the ruled. A fact often totally forgotten these days.

Even kings and queens that subscribed to the notion of divine right, recognised that they had an obligation to the people they ruled over.

This exchange of power was often codified. The relationship wasn't one group of people ruling with an iron fist over another. If you were a serf, you had to provide labour but you received rights and benefits in exchange.

That system often broke down in periods of population growth (a common example is vagrancy laws in the late 16th century) but even there was an established right to riot and dissent as a way of pressing claims.

It was only during the Cold War that we really saw this understanding of dictatorship/monarchy/whatever completely break down (imo, there are a ton of books on the above i.e. Polyani but I am speculating now) as dictators were able to maintain power through their allegiance to the US/Soviet power (and changes in technology made this easier too).

And, of course, our notions of community/society have totally changed too. Substantial reductions in economic and physical uncertainty has made most people unwilling to live in a system in which another person has dominion over you.

But this doesn't change the fact that this is why these systems existed in the first place. And, in most cases, people who have tried to rise up and create systems in which the bottom class rise up and have found themselves crushed under the weight of the obligations they are forced to assume (they do not disappear, risk has to be assumed by someone).




> Even kings and queens that subscribed to the notion of divine right, recognised that they had an obligation to the people they ruled over.

"Divine right of kings" is the fig leaf. The "obligation" comes not from the divine, but from the threat of pitchforks and torches.




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