Last rites declaration of Ioannes Paulus PP. II (Karol Wojtyla)
2nd April 2005
all men wishing to
rule, and not all being able to do so, but some being able.
Let us, then, imagine we see society in the process of formation. Men will
doubtless fight till the stronger party overcomes the weaker, and a dominant
party is established. But when this is once determined, the masters, who do
not desire the continuation of strife, then decree that the power which is
in their hands shall be transmitted as they please. Some place it in
election by the people, others in hereditary succession, etc.
And this is the point where imagination begins to play its part. Till now
power makes fact; now power is sustained by imagination in a certain party,
in France in the nobility, in Switzerland in the burgesses, etc.
These cords which bind the respect of men to such and such an individual are
therefore the cords of imagination.
305. The Swiss are offended by being called gentlemen, and prove themselves
true plebeians in order to be thought worthy of great office.
306. As duchies, kingships, and magistracies are real and necessary, because
might rules all, they exist everywhere and always. But since only caprice
makes such and such a one a ruler, the principle is not constant, but
subject to variation, etc.
307. The chancellor is grave and clothed with ornaments, for his position is
unreal. Not so the king; he has power and has nothing to do with the
imagination. Judges, physicians, etc., appeal only to the imagination.
308. The habit of seeing kings accompanied by guards, drums, officers, and
all the paraphernalia which mechanically inspire respect and awe, makes
their countenance, when sometimes seen alone without these accompaniments,
impress respect and awe on their subjects; because we cannot separate in
thought their persons from the surroundings with which we see them usually
joined. And the world, which knows not that this effect is the result of
habit, believes that it arises by a natural force, whence