One of the first orders of business in the renewal of Statecraft for Restoration is defining the scope of Statecraft. This scope is enormous. Statecraft is a total human science, a synthesis that draws together everything from the nuts and bolts of everyday public policy to philosophy and even theology. Systematically defining the field and parsing it into subdivisions seems a very daunting task. To this end, I thought it would be a good a idea to turn to the world of old books for exemplars, and so present my translation of the tables of contents of vols. II and III of Restoration de la Science Politique by the immortal Karl Ludwig von Haller, the father of Reactionary political science and the man who actually coined the term, “Restoration”. These two volumes specifically cover issues pertaining to patrimonial States (i.e. those in which Sovereignty is a personal right based on proprietary ownership), and do so exhaustively, treating everything from abstract principles of Natural law to the details of a lifestyle fit for a King. I hope the tables prove to be useful in stimulating thought and discussion on positively and systematically defining the field of Statecraft in terms of both generalities and particular specialties and subspecialties, and also hope to arouse interest in this absolute classic of a book, one of the greatest treatises on the State and Statecraft I have ever read. 



Of Principalities and Monarchies

CHAP. XXIII. Origin of individual and independent principalities or seignories.

I. Principalities arise from the nature of things, and are by consequence the first, the most numerous and the most durable of States.

II. Proof of this truth by reason, by universal experience, and by authorities.

III. General origin of all principalities. They form from the top down by the foundation of a lordship or natural superiority and through the acquisition of independence.

IV. All monarchies were small in their beginnings.


CHAP. XXIV. Classification of monarchies.

I. The reason for this classification must be drawn from the various kinds of power or superiority.

A. Hereditary and territorial monarchies. Relation of a head of household or a territorial lord with his servants and other dependents. (Patrimonial States.)

B. Military monarchies. Relation of a Captain or leader of troops with his brothers in arms, his soldiers or followers (Generalate)

C. Spiritual monarchies. Relation of a doctor or head of doctrine with his disciples and his faithful. (Hierarchies, theocracies.)

II. Private social relations that correspond to these three genres of monarchies.

III. However, the three species of superiority may be found combined together.


Of Independent Territorial Lords or Patrimonial Princes.


CHAP. XXV. Natural origin of these princes and their authority.

I. Natural origin of marriage and family. Legitimacy and gentle character of this relationship.

II. Every family is the perfect image of a monarchical state, minus independence.

III. The first independent heads of families, in other words, the first princes or kings are found among the free proprietors. Evidence of this truth drawn from the nature of things, from history and from universal language.

IV. Natural origin of landed property itself proved:

A. By necessity, universality, perpetuity.

B. By its conformity with the law of justice.

C. By universal experience, even in our times.

D. By the authority of the most famous philosophers and jurisconsults of all ages.

E. That the opposing error finds its origins in nothing other than the equivocal concept of community.

V. An independent landlord is a fully-fledged sovereign.


CHAP. XXVI. Exposition (développment) of all the rights of sovereignty.

I. They are exclusively based on natural rights and acquired rights, in other words, freedom and property.

II. That this exposition must be limited to the most eminent rights and powers, that is to say, the exercise of an uncommon liberty.


CHAP. XXVII. Rights of princes. Sovereignty properly so-called which consists of having no superior other than God.

I. It is nothing other than independence or complete freedom.

II. By virtue of this independence a prince is subject to nothing other than Divine or Natural law.

III. These laws suffice for all human needs, they are preferable to all human laws.

IV. Sublime and religious meaning of the title of Lieutenant of God.


CHAP. XXVIII. The same subject continued. 2. Management of all relations with one’s neighbors. War and peace.

I. The right to wage war is based on the right of self-defense. The prince’s war is his own war and concerns his own business.

II. The obligation for the subjects to help the prince in his wars are like any other service founded:

A. On the natural duty of benevolence and gratitude.

B. On their own interest.

C. On particular conventions.

III. On the injustice of conscription, and the forced recall of subjects established in other countries.- History of these measures.- They are a consequence of revolutionary principles.

IV. As a rule, a prince must wage war with his own funds. The duty of the subjects to assist him with subsidies, rests once again on that of benevolence and on their own interest.

V. That on a small scale all men make war, and that they also have their own troops, their own weapons, and their own fortresses.


CHAP. XXIX. The same subject continued. Peace treaties, alliances and other conventions, embassies.

I. These rights are based on universal liberty. Conventions between princes concern only their own business and do not extend to that of others.

II. Ambassadors and ministers are likewise appointed only for the personal rights and interests of princes, although by accessory they can provide services to the subjects.

III. The right to conclude alliances for one’s own affairs also belongs to other men, and they exercise it frequently. Proof of this truth by reason and experience.


CHAP. XXX. Continuation. 4. Right to protect one’s subjects outside of his States. Hospitality to foreigners in his own country.

I. The protection of his subjects in foreign countries is a moral duty, provided one has the means to exercise it. It should not be accorded but in just causes.

II. Hospitality to foreigners in one’s own country is likewise a duty of humanity.

III. To what extent foreigners are subject to the laws of the prince whose territory they inhabit.

IV. To what extent can a prince retain some rights over absentee or emigrated subjects.


CHAP. XXXI. Continuation. 5. Hiring, promotion, and remuneration of all functionaries and servants.

I. This right is based on that all these employees are but servants of the prince, and destined solely to assist him in his business.

II. Proof of this truth by the nature of things and universal language, by the very functions and titles of the employees, etc.

III. Reciprocal rights and duties between princes and their employees, according to the theory of all service contracts, as well as justice and universal equity.

IV. Simple and modest origin, natural generation or filiation of innumerable stations and jobs that exist in the monarchies of our day- Proof that all these functionaries are nothing other than the servants or officers of princes.


CHAP. XXXII. Continuation. 6. Supreme legislation and right to enforce his laws.

  1. Definition of a law in general and human laws in particular. They are nothing but the manifestation of an obligatory will.

II. The obligation to submit is based, either on their conformity with the natural law, or on the power of the legislator to enforce his will.

III. All men make laws according to the extent of their right and their power.

IV. The laws of sovereigns are distinguished from the laws of individuals, not by their nature, but only by a higher degree of importance, and by the extent of the objects they encompass.

V. The right to make laws is, just like all power and all liberty in general, bounded by the natural law, that is to say, by the rights of others.

VI. Division of Sovereign Laws according to the persons they oblige.

A. Laws that a prince imposes on himself and in part on his successors.

B. Laws that are given to employees and servants. (Instructions of duty.)

C. Laws that concern subjects. They are the least numerous and the least necessary. Proof of this truth with respect to civil laws and to regulations (police). Criminal or penal laws do not belong to this class. They are just instructions for the judges.

VII. Human laws are not universal, nor equal for all, neither necessary in the sense that they admit no exemption. These characteristics exclusively belong to natural or divine laws.


CHAP. XXXIII. Continuation.7. Exceptions to the laws or privileges and graces.

I. The right to grant them is based on the right to change one’s will, provided we do no harm to anyone.

II. A prince is not, in truth, above natural laws nor positive laws that he did not make, but only those of which he is the author.

III. General rule for the concession of exemptions and privileges; they are licit and even commanded by charity in all cases where the motive for the law ceases.

IV. Application of this rule:

A. The laws that a prince imposes on himself.

B. To those he gives to his officers, particularly penal laws or the right to suspend and commute sentences.

C. Civil laws and regulations.

V. Reply to some objections.


CHAP. XXXIV. Continuation. 8. Supreme Jurisdiction.

I. Natural origin and essence of jurisdiction. It stems from a call for help, and is nothing but impartial assistance.

II. It is not an exclusive right of rulers, every man exercise it on a smaller scale. Paternal, domestic, patrimonial, military, etc. jurisdiction

III. But the jurisdiction of the prince is not only more extensive, but moreover sovereign and the final resort.

IV. He can exercise it in person or have it administered in his name by officers.

V. These officers of justice are servants or commissioners of the prince, by the same token they are not independent of him, much less empowered to judge him.

VI. Jurisdiction as such, considered as a gift of help, is a duty of charity or a good deed; from whence derives:

A. The need to invoke it;

B. The right to refuse it under certain circumstances, in certain periods, etc.

VII. But the exercise of jurisdiction, following the law of justice, is a rigorous duty.


CHAP. XXXV. Continuation. 9. Real (as in Eng. “real estate” not the ontologically “real” -DS) rights of the prince derived from his properties. Domains and royalties.

I. He is the master of his fortune, his revenues and expenses, or what is improperly called State finances.

II. Domains are the property of princes and not national goods, consequently they are also alienable, at least as long as prior testaments or family pacts do not oppose it. The exclusive enjoyment of certain waters, marshes, forests, etc. is a corollary of the ownership of domains.

III. Royalties are capital rendered productive, or establishments of industry, exclusively reserved for sovereigns. Principles of law in this respect.

IV. Application of these principles to hunting and fishing (which however, first and foremost belong to the right of domain), tolls, mail, currency manufacturing, mining, monopoly on salt and tobacco, the manufacture of powder and saltpeter, etc. Views on the legitimate means of extending and augmenting royalties.

V. Non-exclusive industry establishments. Various kinds of manufactures, factories and other enterprises. Their usefulness.


CHAP. XXXVI. Continuation. 10. Taxes and emoluments.

I. Their nature and origin

II. Within certain limits, they are just and equitable.

III. They are advantageous to parties, to employees, and to princes themselves.

IV. As a rule, the product must be given away to employees as a reward for extraordinary work.


CHAP. XXXVII. Continuation. 11. Subsidies or taxes.

  1. Under natural law, a prince does not have the right to arbitrarily tax his subjects. Contributions levied on conquered enemies, and the taxation of serfs rest on an entirely different foundation. The primitive rule is that a sovereign must live by his own fortune.

II. Proof of this truth, by the nature of things and by all history.

III. Subsidies must be  requested and voluntarily granted. New confirmation this truth from universal experience.

IV. The assistance that the subjects owe to their princes is founded on the duty of recognition and on the true interest of peoples.

V. Subsidies should be requested from the freest men of the country, that is to say, to those who directly report to princes. This explains the natural composition of the Estates-General or provincial. These Estates represent basically only themselves and not the rest of the people.

VI. The ownership and use of subsidies belongs to the sovereign unless the contrary was stipulated at the time of consent.

VII. Simple individuals who enter the country later on are subject to previously established taxes, but the same does not go for newly-acquired provinces or entire communities.

VIII. Objects of subsidies and taxes.

A. They are and can be infinitely varied.

B. It is absolutely impossible to achieve a proportional and perfect equality in their distribution.

C. All taxes are subject to cause inconvenience. It is necessary in the actual practice of taxation to choose the ones that will be felt the least, or those that are voluntary, or that most closely approximate the latter species.


CHAP. XXXVIII. Moral duties of princes. Useful public establishments.

I. It is necessary to limit this exposition to good works of a very rare sort and which require superior means.

II. Establishments of public usefulness for general security and prosperity, for the progress of the sciences, the relief of the sick, the poor, etc.

III. These kinds of institutions are good deeds, not obligations. They are not exclusively founded by princes. We owe the greatest number and the best ones to private individuals or to private associations, above all the Christian church.

IV. It is indeed dangerous and harmful to their success to task them exclusively to princes, and to impose them as a rigorous duty.

V. Proof of this proposition by the nature of things and by the experience of our times.


CHAP. XXXIX. Limits of sovereign power.

I. Impossibility of setting these limits through the phony Enlightenment system (système prétendue philosophique). This system leads to universal and complete slavery. From whence the false definitions of despotism.

II. Sovereign power, as well as all human liberty, is limited by the rights of others. The duties of princes consist, like those of other men, of doing no harm, but as much good as they possibly can.

III. Positive conventions can increase or decrease the personal rights of the sovereign.

A. Examples of these kinds of conventions, especially the most important ones: capitulations, pacta conventa, letters-patent, royal charters, etc.

B. They are:

  1. Small things in terms of substance

  2. Rarely needed, and are always birthed in the wake of prior injustices;

  3. Without religion, they are absolutely useless and illusory;

  4. Often even fatal and produce greater abuse.

IV. Despotism is nothing other than a violent transgression of one’s own proper right and the injury of the rights of others; in a word, an offense on the part of one who is stronger against one who is weaker.

V. Exposition and confirmation of this principle:

A. By petty abuses or ordinary injustices.

B. By the great oppressive measures that we owe solely to the Enlightened (philosophique) or revolutionary system. Extent to which this kind of despotism is fatal to princes and peoples.

VI. By what legitimate means sovereigns can direct or gently steer the free actions of their subjects. (Statecraft, true talent for governing.)




CHAP. XL. Rights and duties of the subjects.

I. As to their source and nature, they are the same as those of the sovereigns. The difference is not in the diversity of rights, but only in the diversity of means to use the same rights, that is, an inequality of fortune.

II. Proof that there is not a single right of sovereignty, which all men do not enjoy, though in a narrower circle.

III. The duties of the subjects are also the same as those of the princes, and do not differ from their obligations to other men. These duties are divided into duties of justice, duties of charity, and rules of prudence, the latter, it goes without saying, always to be subordinated to the former.


CHAP. XLI. Means that subjects have to guarantee their rights.

I. What the problem boils down to.

II. First means: fulfilling one’s proper duties, in conjunction with propagation of sound doctrine on rights and mutual duties.

III. Second means: several species of indirect or negative resistance.

a. Respectful and strong remonstrances addressed to the authors of injustice.

b. Refusal to aid and assist iniquity.

c. Dilatory measures, moderate and temperate in execution.

IV. Third way: exit (se soustraire) from the malevolent power; renounce the advantages to escape the inconveniences.

V. Examination of the question: whether the defense of oneself in case of necessity, armed resistance or war against the oppression of Princes can never be legitimate? According to natural law, experience and universal opinion, it cannot be held that it is absolutely unjust in all cases, but:

a. It is rarely possible, for lack of means and because of great difficulties which thwart the formation of such coalitions;

b. More often than not, it is imprudent and causes still greater evils.

c. Finally, it must be tempered in its exercise by the laws of equity and humanity.

VI. Last and surest way: trust in the help of God, that is to say in the force of nature that opposes the permanence of great injustices; in the indestructible power of the natural law, and in the evils which punish the offense.


CHAP. XLII. Alienation and heredity of sovereign power

I. Impossibility of explaining them according to the false principles received in schools.

II. The right of alienation in general. Princes do not transmit but their own power or their own rights, and not those of their subjects.

III. Heredity in particular. It rests solely on the heredity of goods and personal rights.

IV. Natural order of succession among independent persons. They are subject to the will of the testator.

a. Natural origin and legitimacy of testaments.

b. Their existence in all times and in all countries, in diverse forms.- That the faculty of testifying   was anciently unlimited.

V. Whence, diverse customs, even in sovereign houses. Divisibility and indivisibility, the last of which, as the most useful, is the common rule, and in this case ordinarily attached to the law of primogeniture.

VI. Natural origin, immemorial antiquity, universal existence, partial interruption and subsequent reinstatement of this right of primogeniture.

VII. Capacity and incapacity to succeed.

VIII. Secondogenitures.

IX. Reason for the preference given to sons over daughters. By default of the first, the estate can pass to daughters.

X. Other laws of succession, in the absence of direct descendants.

XI. Absent testaments and family statutes, or because the provisions are incomplete, obscure or vicious, there may arise contested successions between sovereigns as between private individuals.


CHAP. XLIII. Accumulation of territorial sovereign power

I. All States were originally of small extent. Advantages of these small principalities. They can grow themselves by various legitimate means.

II. These means are:

  1. The introduction of indivisibility and the right of primogeniture;

  2. All kinds of acquisition titles: purchases, exchanges, donations, marriages, inheritances, etc .;

  3. Conquests and renunciations that ensue. Their legitimacy in certain circumstances. How the winner can acquire more rights than the previous owner could cede to him.

  4. Various advantageous conventions, without acquisition of territorial properties.

a. Equal and unequal alliances.

b. Absolute or conditional submissions. Treaties of union, infeudinations, advocaties or protectorates, etc. That these conventions are not always unjust, nor onerous.

c. Particular servitudes on the part of other sovereigns. Their reciprocal utility in certain circumstances.

III. Of the increase of the sovereign power by the abuse of the force, or what are called usurpations: invasions, spoliations, annexations, confiscations, secularizations, arbitrary mediations, etc. In this regard, it should be noted:

  1. That they are, in truth, always unjust; but between princes, no more than between individuals, it is not always possible to prevent them.;

  2. That some particular abuses do not make all other possessions illegitimate;

  3. That usurpation directly concerns only the previous possessor, and in no way the subjects. The latter have, in fact, the right to resist the usurper, but they are not rigorously obliged to .

  4. That a long uncontested possession ultimately changes the usurpation into real right. Prescription applies even between independent persons, although without a determinate period.


CHAP. XLIV. Loss of independence or the fall of States.


I. It is what necessarily follows from the weakening of power; by consequence, independence is lost:

  1. By the too-frequent partitioning of domains or territorial properties;

  2. By their voluntary alienation;

  3. By the total extinction of the sovereign family, without natural or testamentary heirs;

  4. By quarrels with neighbors, ruinous wars and exceedingly onerous peace treaties;

  5. By absolute or conditional submissions;

  6. By too many concessions, or what are called political servitudes;

  7. By an unjust force, whether foreign or internal;

  8. By the loss of relative power.

II. On the other hand, it is not true to say that the State ceases to exist through the possible annihilation of the people, as, for example, by emigration, extermination or dispersal of subjects. It stands and falls with the sovereign and his independence.


CHAP. XLV. Statecraft (haute politique)  of Patrimonial States, or ways of preserving and securing independence.

I. Total absence of this doctrine in the current systems

II. General principle: manage with care all kinds of power and superiority that serve as a foundation for independence.

III. First means: conservation of the territorial power. Establishment of indivisibility, the right of primogeniture and a well-regulated order of succession.


CHAP. XVI. Continuation, i. Sound economy, financial strength.

I. Need for a good economy in general, to maintain and consolidate thrones. (“economy” here should be understood as the King’s management of his personal finances, not “the economy” in the current sense of the term -DS)

II. Dangers of prodigality.

a. Fatal consequences of alienation of domains, as it relates to economy and policy.

b. Of an overlarge mass of debt.

c. Excessive taxes, be they forced, be  they voluntarily consented to. The sovereign will always depend, more or less, on those who grant them or pay them.

III. The true economy of princes consists, like that of private individuals, 1) in the conservation and good administration of capital; 2) in the augmentation of revenues; 3) in the reduction of spending; 4) in exact accounting. Simple and legitimate means of achieving this end.


CHAP. XLVII. Continuation. 3. Judicious selection of employees and servants. Instrumental strength.

I. Importance of this choice in general.

II. What we must have in sight: loyalty, ability, devotion and the urbanity of the employees.

III. Simple and sure methods for recognizing and finding those who have these qualities.

IV. What is needed to nourish and incessantly refresh the fidelity and zeal of the employees.

  1. In limiting the number as much as possible.

  2. Giving preference to native subjects, in the ranks of prosperous and notable people among them.

  3. A measure of job security.

  4. Gradual advancement.

  5. Extraordinary rewards for extraordinary merit, and swift and severe punishment of all blatant prevarication.


CHAP. XLVIII. Continuation. 4. Maintaining personal consideration and respect in the interior of the country. Moral force.

I. Necessity of this force.

II. Consideration is nothing but an acknowledgment of superiority; it necessarily derives from actual possession and of the outward manifestation of all kinds of preponderance.

III. Exposition and application of this principle to the virtues and vices of princes, their way of life, their surroundings, their occupations, their entertainment, the administration of affairs, and above all the need to abstain, in the Chancellery’s style, from language that is inappropriate and  borrowed from the revolutionary system.


CHAP. XLIX. Continuation. 5. Warrior Spirit, or military virtues. Military force.

I. Necessity of these virtues to maintain independence.

II. Natural rules of justice, prudence and humanity, for declaring and waging war.

III. The warrior spirit does not consist in the love of war, but in the energy of the soul, in the courage and the capacity to sustain a battle that must be fought.

IV. How these virtues can be acquired more or less.

V. A peace too long and too assured, without any interruption, is a subtle poison that enervates States and infallibly brings about their fall.


CHAP. L. Continuation. 6. Avoiding dissension and internal wars. Power of union. Devoted and faithful subjects.

I. Dissent and internal wars are far more dangerous than those with foreigners.

II. How easy it is to prevent them.

III. Difficult of finishing them to one’s advantage, once they have broken out.

IV. The only real means are:

  1. To wage open war against the insurgents and bring back victories.

  2. To not treat them as criminals, but as enemies;

  3. To dissolve their alliance and make individual peace treaties with the heads of some of the parties.


CHAP. LI. Continuation. 7. Concluding treaties that are useful and avoiding all those that will be harmful. Federative power.

I. General rules on the art of negotiation. It is much more important to win affection than to convince the mind of the opposing party.

II. Useful treaties are those by which a prince makes friends, ensures his independence and steers clear of future dangers.

III. Ruinous treaties are almost always the result of errors in past policy commitments. Hence the inconveniences of neutrality and offensive and defensive alliances made in perpetuity.


CHAP. LII. Wise resignation in unfortunate but inescapable situations.

I. Complete subjugation and loss of relative power are usually brought by past policy errors.

II. In the latter case, a wise resignation that yields to insurmountable circumstances, is the only way to save oneself and to win back sovereignty later.


CHAP. LIII. Historical proofs and considerations on patrimonial States.

I. Universality of these States in all times and in all lands.

II. That sooner or later nature restores the patrimonial tie.

III. Sweetness of this tie and its perfect harmony with natural liberty.

IV. Characteristic features of patrimonial States: they are less regimented (arrondis), less uniform in their internal relations, less impressive; but on the other hand much freer, more peaceful and more durable than all the others.




6 thoughts on “How To be King, in Point Form.

  1. Older topic, but: I am not with you regarding the RKBA and the fyrde. I think the RKBA is one of this rights that require no special reason to grant but rather require special reasons to deny. I don’t know if natural rights is the concept I am looking for, I suppose it is at least close. Conquered, subjected populations, slaves, serfs were denied the RKBA in order to prevent them from rebelling. Natural slaves, childish persons may have the RKBA denied because they cannot be trusted. But there is hardly any reason to deny a free and loyal man from RKBA even without a fyrd. It is one of those questions like it requires a special reason to ban a man from going where he wishes on a public roads, it requires not a special reason to grant, people who are not allowed to leave their town of residence are typically subjected populations, conquered serfs.

    I suppose a natural right can be formed on the basis that a male human, i.e. a person of the aggressive sex and of an intelligent, tool-making species will always seek to make and bear tools of aggression and defense. He is expected to defend his girl, wife, family, to deny this right emasculates him and/or makes him like an unintelligent beast who can only fight with his bare limbs.

    I think we can also see that the art of government is cutting with the grain, not against it. This a bit of a libertarianish view, but I think a good one. The kind of things people naturally tend to seek revenge for, such as stealing their property, killing their brother or raping their wife, are the most obvious things to ban. Thus, the basis of law is not really much more than nationalizing punishment/revenge which would be naturally occuring anyway.

    I agree that sometimes things beyond this scope need to be banned i.e. a right to do them not granted. But telling a man to be unarmed seems to go so much against our basic instincts, that of a warrior and family-defender, and hunter, and so on, that it is hardly cutting with the grain. And I think fyrd or milita is not necessary for this.

    Fyrd or milita sounds like the Sovereing USING the armed free man, requiring a service. This is not a bad idea, but it implies that without this there are no good reasons to “grant” this right. My point is that it is a natural right that has no good reasons to revoke, see above exceptions. Any man not defending his family from an attack would be seen as someone not doing their duty, therefore they need the tools for this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. On the other hand, it follows as a consequence of the Nature of a man as a warrior and hunter that men tend to have a very strong want to be part of the war party and to regard it as a terrible personal disappointment if they’re excluded. Most everywhere, a man who isn’t at least legally eligible to be called to serve is to a greater or lesser extent denied full manhood status in the community and looked down on as a type of woman or child. The obligation to serve is thus rigorously thought as an aspect of the Natural right itself, a right in its own right, not just the price to be paid for the right to private self-defense- a point that was made explicit in the “well-regulated militia” clause of the Second Amendment and the particular philosophy of right that stood behind it.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s