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I'm working on a hypothetical political system similar to a monarchy except that the (conscripted) king in question is essentially a slave to the nation, a very well-cared for slave but with no personal freedom. The idea behind this is to prevent corruption by ensuring the king has no personal bias, no conflicts of interest, that they (can be he or she, gender isn't relevant) cannot be bribed or extorted. This is achieved by preventing the king from having interpersonal relationships of any kind (no friends, family or lovers), ensuring all of their needs are completely catered for and that they are almost completely isolated from society's influence.

Orphaned infants are raised separately by highly trained carers wearing full body covering form-concealing clothing, scent concealing perfume, full-face masks, and they all move in the same highly ritualized way. These carers are on a rotating roster so even if a child managed to identify one they would see that one so seldom that they wouldn't be able to form any personal attachment. Instead, they're encouraged to interact with all carers as though they were the same person, specifically a characterized mother figure that represents the nation itself raising and caring for them.

As the orphans grow up they're schooled with a particular focus on history, philosophy and political theory. When they come of age the current king is disposed of (kings are replaced every 20 years or so) and the orphan who is deemed to have the best disposition and aptitude for the role is ordained to be the new king, after a year or two without the new king showing instability the other candidates are deemed unnecessary and disposed of.

While in office the king has absolute power insofar as it doesn't interfere with the mechanisms of succession nor result in the king interacting directly with anyone but the carers, who now also act as administrative assistants.

How feasible do you think this system is and what problems do you foresee it having?

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    $\begingroup$ "the current king is disposed of" do you mean killed or fired? $\endgroup$ – PyRulez Jan 16 '18 at 7:13
  • $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Jan 22 '18 at 3:03

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Orphaned infants are raised separately by highly trained carers wearing full body covering form-concealing clothing, scent concealing perfume, full-face masks, and they all move in the same highly ritualized way.

Let's just assume for the sake of argument that the children would still be psychologically well adjusted and basically functional, despite having never seen a human face during their childhood. I actually think that's rather open to debate, but it is difficult to prove one way or the other within the constraints of academic ethics.

As the orphans grow up they're schooled with a particular focus on history, philosophy and political theory.

These subjects are all highly open to partisanship and outright bias. It will be extremely difficult to design these courses in a neutral fashion.

When they come of age the current king is disposed of (kings are replaced every 20yrs or so)

Presumably the old monarch just... retires in seclusion? What happens if the monarch refuses to relinquish the throne? Are they violently removed?

and the orphan who is deemed to have the best disposition and aptitude for the role is ordained to be the new king

Deemed by whom? What are the selection criteria, exactly, and who makes this call? It can't be the previous monarch, because you (maybe) just violently removed them from the palace.

after a year or two without the new king showing instability the other candidates are deemed unnecessary and disposed of.

  • How is "instability" defined? Would (for example) President Trump qualify as "unstable?" Who makes this decision, and on what basis?
  • Is "disposed of" a polite euphemism for "executed?" If some supposed orphan really has a pair of long-lost parents, they are going to move heaven and earth to protect the life of their child. You could have any number of "overthrow the evil regime" stories come out of that setup.

While in office so to speak the king has absolute power insofar as it doesn't interfere with the mechanisms of succession nor result in the king interacting directly with anyone but the carers, who now also act as administrative assistants.

There are two separate singular points of failure in this system:

  • The monarch could make any number of poor choices notwithstanding their isolation. Isolation and neutrality do not guarantee a superior decision-making process. There are numerous well documented cognitive biases which have nothing to do with personal attachments. Particularly relevant to a monarch or ruler are scope insensitivity, the availability heuristic, and the just-world hypothesis, but there are numerous others. While there are certainly biases associated with personal attachments, many other biases are likely to be exacerbated by the monarch being isolated and detached from the decisions they are making. Fundamentally, your monarch cannot properly empathize with the people they are ruling.
  • The carers are the actual rulers in this setup. When some decision needs to be made, the carers are briefed on it, they brief the monarch, the monarch makes a decision, and the carers relay it back to whoever is in charge of executing the monarch's decision. There is no mechanism by which you verify that the carers provide the monarch with a neutral, factual summary of the issue. In fact, there is no mechanism by which you require the carers to communicate with the monarch at all. They could simply reach a decision by themselves, assure the monarch that everything is "fine," and relay their own decision as if it had come from the monarch. Even if they do not deliberately subvert your system of government, they will surely introduce bias and political opinion while talking with the monarch. If they just read a summary from a piece of parchment, then whoever wrote the summary will introduce bias instead.

    • For a fictional example of "carers" taking control of a monarchy in this fashion, see the second season of Avatar: The Last Airbender. In it, the Earth King has no idea that his country had been at war for nearly a century, because the Dai Li never told him.

In conclusion: This is at best a wildly impractical system of government, and is unlikely to provide enough stability to outweigh the cost of the carers, the infants, etc. In your description, I also noticed a repeated tendency to neglect to specify how decisions are made and who is responsible for them. Any "real" system of government needs that spelled out, especially for decisions which are genuinely ambiguous or difficult.

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    $\begingroup$ @Cognisant: And what is preventing corruption or bias in those supervising the carers? This isn't a glib question: you built this whole complex system, involving hundreds to thousands of people, all focused on preventing corruption or bias in ONE person (the ruler). Presumably because you feel humans are prone to bias and corruption, so such an extraordinary system is necessary to produce a human free of it. If so, you cannot just assume the other humans in the system are free of bias or corruption; you also need a mechanism to make sure they're unbiased/uncorruptible enough for it to work $\endgroup$ – Oosaka Jan 16 '18 at 15:06
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    $\begingroup$ Then you now have the 'king', the carers, who are actually ruling. If there are supervisors, then they are now actually ruling, so who supervises them? The chain would never stop. In this setup, whoever is ultimately controlling the caretakers is ultimately ruling the nation and the king is actually doing nothing but taking up space. $\endgroup$ – Tyler Dahle Jan 16 '18 at 15:23
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    $\begingroup$ @Cognisant If your goal is to develop it so it doesn't seem infeasible, don't pretend the system works. Perhaps this system developed specifically because an oligarchy sought to rule, but were prevented culturally due to a powerful divine selection myth. They ginned up these crazy "prevent corruption" procedures, but their real purpose is to create a puppet monarch who enacts the will of the supervisory committee, while also preventing a coup, because taking away these procedures would "lead to instability and corruption and bias", and ain't no body got time for that! $\endgroup$ – Nick2253 Jan 16 '18 at 17:58
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    $\begingroup$ @Nick2253: This is sort of how many real-world monarchies evolved. In feudal Japan, the emperor was perfectly free from corruption and also perfectly irrelevant to government, being occupied with ceremonial and religious activities while the shogun and others got on with ruling (and plots, assassinations, coups, and civil wars). $\endgroup$ – Royal Canadian Bandit Jan 16 '18 at 22:00
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    $\begingroup$ Small comment on your first point: "Let's just assume for the sake of argument that the children would still be psychologically well adjusted". History shows that very few leaders are "well adjusted". :-) $\endgroup$ – intrepidhero Jan 18 '18 at 17:40
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This way madness lies.

I'm working on a hypothetical political system similar to a monarchy except that the (conscripted) king in question is essentially a slave to the nation,

The word "democracy" leaps to mind. :-)

a very well cared for slave but they have no personal freedom.

Kurosawa's Kagemusha sounds like this.

The idea behind this is to prevent corruption

Impossible.

by ensuring the king has no personal bias, no conflicts of interest, that he (or she, gender isn't relevant) cannot be bribed or extorted.

A normal all-powerful monarch would have no conflict of interest (just their own interests), could not be bribed (they own everything already) or extorted (try blackmailing someone who can have you killed very slowly with a nod).

You also seem to think that being corrupted or bribed comes only from within the person. This is quite wrong: pressure and manipulation from other people will corrupt someone - it's the basis of all politics.

Personal bias cannot be eliminated. You would need to eliminate the person. Over time, no matter how neutral they start out, they would inevitably develop a bias in some way or other.

This is achieved by preventing the king from having interpersonal relationships of any kind (no friends, family or lovers), ensuring all of his/her needs are completely catered for and that he/she is almost completely isolated from society's influence.

What you are describing is a type of dehumanization.

Humans have been placed in prisons like that before - they go mad. It's not possible for a social animal like a normal human to survive without some (or many) mental problems caused by isolation. When prisons want to punish prisoners experience has taught us that completely isolating them will have a terrible effect on any but the most unusual (and not necessarily normal) people.

For sane people all of his or her needs includes companionship and warmth which you're excluding. While many people can manage celibacy, the idea of no friends or family is one that would result in a psychological disaster. The worst prisons have not been the ones where physical abuse is practiced, but the complete isolation from others - it is a torture that robs the soul.

Orphaned infants are raised separately by highly trained carers wearing full body covering form-concealing clothing, scent concealing perfume, full-face masks, and they all move in the same highly ritualized way. These carers are on a rotating roster so even if a child managed to identify one they would see that one so seldom that they wouldn't be able to form any personal attachment. Instead, they're encouraged to interact with all carers as though they were the same person, specifically a characterized mother figure that represents the nation itself raising and caring for them.

Dehumanization again.

The worst aspect of this (from your point of view, although not from that of the poor sod who has to suffer it) is that your individual will develop no sense of empathy with other people.

Empathy is not something you get without exposure to seeing how your action affect others (and in particular how your cruelty can cause them suffering).

So your ideal ruler will no interest or empathy for his country or the people in it.

They would simply rule by decree in an isolated and abstract world which they do not understand.

As the orphans grow up they're schooled with a particular focus on history, philosophy and political theory. When they come of age the current king is disposed of (kings are replaced every 20yrs or so) and the orphan who is deemed to have the best disposition and aptitude for the role is ordained to be the new king, after a year or two without the new king showing instability the other candidates are deemed unnecessary and disposed of.

Wow, that's so naive.

Real world :

Either the monarch spots that his position is not guaranteed and they're not safe (what does "disposed of" mean ??) or someone else in court who is crafty decides they're going to mount a coup d'etat and control the puppet monarch themselves. As you've taught the monarch all this political science stuff they're going to be well grounded in how conspiracies work and how to get stuff done.

So in short order, this monarch, one way or another, will gather a solid and entirely loyal group of personal attendants (the expression "Praetorian Guard" comes to mind). Once everyone close by is controlled by fear, money or apathy (and apathy is a real concern as in your system it effectively makes no difference to them who is in charge), then the expert politician will rapidly move to take over all power.

And in the process say goodbye to their days as a lonely, loverless, friendless prisoner. And flay alive the b*rst*rds who made the monarch suffer that in the first place.

What your process will create, in fact, is a ruthless individual skilled in manipulating others and political machinations with a huge self-interest in changing things to suit their own needs and no interest or empathy at all in the lives of others.

You've made Stalin, or Hitler or maybe Genghis Khan. Congratulations.

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    $\begingroup$ Dang this sounds biased. But nvm. Why does 'democracy leap to the mind'? $\endgroup$ – dot_Sp0T Jan 16 '18 at 10:28
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    $\begingroup$ While I agree with a lot of what you've said here, this doesn't seem to me like it contains a lot of information likely to be useful to the OP so much as it is saying "Democracy is the correct answer. Your hypothetical is no where near as good as democracy." $\endgroup$ – Brent Hackers Jan 16 '18 at 12:01
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    $\begingroup$ To whom it may concern : I'm not declaring democracy perfect, I'm simply suggesting that even democracy is a better fit to the OP's goals than his suggested system. It's harder to bribe a million voters than e.g. ten or even a hundred advisors. $\endgroup$ – StephenG Jan 16 '18 at 13:27
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    $\begingroup$ "You've made Stalin, or Hitler or maybe Genghis Khan. Congratulations." In point of fact they've probably made Ibrahim the Mad (1615-48), Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. He was raised as a virtual prisoner in the palace harem, and when eventually released to assume the throne, he was notably inept and unbalanced even by the standards of late Ottoman Sultans. $\endgroup$ – Royal Canadian Bandit Jan 16 '18 at 13:57
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    $\begingroup$ History is littered with people who have meant well but have been misguided by corrupt advisers. $\endgroup$ – corsiKa Jan 16 '18 at 16:06
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Let's assume for the moment that the carers are absolutely dedicated to this concept. That's questionable, but let's just assume that works. Somehow.

You now have a monarch who doesn't care a fig about any real person. In fact, your monarch probably doesn't even view people as real, just as characters in stories told by the carers.

A classic, possibly apocryphal, quote is "Let them eat cake." The basic idea is that that royal's world view was so different from that of the ruled, that she simply didn't understand that a lack of flour would prevent the cooking of cake as well as bread. Your royal would have the same problem. There would be absolutely no connection between her or his experiences and those of everyone else.

Even if we assume that this system is corruption free, which is again questionable, the price is terrible. This ruler would have no reason to hesitate against an order like "kill all the [minority] people so that we achieve racial homogeneity". You can control this a bit by asking the candidates to comment on various hypothetical situations. But that leaves you vulnerable to the other problem.

Perhaps the monarch is insufficiently aggressive in addressing problems. So rather than taking aggressive action, the monarch just sort of lets things slide. People are starving? They should asks their carers for more food. Food theft is rampant? The monarch suggests that people should stop hoarding food and eat it immediately.

Or the monarch might find the work of governing dreary. Instead of listening to the problems or reading the reports, the monarch goes swimming.

Or the monarch decides to do some experimenting. What if the punishment for food theft were butchery? Kill the thieves, butcher them up, and distribute the meat to the victims. An elegant solution...for a sociopath. People refuse to turn cannibal? Take them off the food distribution list. Clearly they aren't hungry enough. And those who do go cannibal? Maybe some of them like the taste and want to continue with it after the current emergency.

What if the soldiers don't enforce the food theft rules? Or they all quit as soon as the current crisis is over? Or they mutiny in the middle? How does the monarch enforce things without popular support? And how will a monarch who effectively knows no one attempt to get popular support?

This seems like the kind of system that would work for a generation or two and then fail spectacularly.

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  • $\begingroup$ It would have to be inherently theocratic to have any hope of functioning at all and even then I'm certainly not advocating it, I'm just trying to figure out how to make it or a system like it seem remotely feasible for the purpose of using it in a story. $\endgroup$ – Cognisant Jan 16 '18 at 6:48
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This system actually makes the carers the supreme rulers of your country and the king their puppet.

  • They are the people the kings form a bond with during their formative years, which means that the kings will be loyal to them.
  • They decide what history, philosophy and political theory the young princes get exposed to and how that information is framed, thus shaping their future governing style to their needs.
  • They decide which prince is deemed to have the best disposition and aptitude for the role of king, which for them means they pick whoever is the most indoctrinated and the easiest to control.
  • Should the new king not perform according to the goals of the carers, they can declare that the king is "showing instability" and replace him.
  • Should that be too much work or should they miss the 1-2 year mark which allows them to do that, they will also have an easy time manipulating the king. The carers are also the administrative assistants of the king, so they filter the information the king receives and they relay the king's orders. That will make it easy for them to ensure the king makes the right decisions, and when he doesn't they can just give the royal edicts some "minor editorial revisions" before they publish them so they say something completely different.

So bottom line: If I wanted something from your government, I wouldn't even care about your king. Tell me more about how you select and educate the carers and how I can corrupt them to support my agenda. Do they prefer their bribes in form of power, pleasure or cash? Which of their secrets would they want exposed the least? Which family members would they miss the most if something happened to them?

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    $\begingroup$ This reminded of Jennifer's Fallon Hythrun Chronicles where the enuch advisor to the Fardonian King is taking bribes from everyone and accumulates enormous personal wealth. I am glad someone else noticed how powerful the eyes/ears/hands of the slave king would be! $\endgroup$ – Matthieu M. Jan 16 '18 at 13:54
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    $\begingroup$ This is similar to the role of the eunuchs in Ming China, and they weren't even officially supposed to dabble in politics! $\endgroup$ – user2727 Jan 16 '18 at 15:05
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    $\begingroup$ In fact, the leader of the carers would be the true supreme ruler. The whole system reminds me of the Dai Li and Earth King in Avatar: The Last Airbender and it would have essentially the same results. $\endgroup$ – Beefster Jan 17 '18 at 22:43
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The system won't work

What motivates every system is that somewhere in the difficult jobs of ruling and caring for the country, is someone benefiting personally from it.

This is where the corruption comes in but you seem to only have thought a little way down from the king. There could but corrupt carers but you cover this in a comment by giving them supervisors but who supervises the supervisors?

There would be a hierarchy within the supervisors (or their supervisors) because every system needs orders. Wherever you have a hierarchy you'll have a 'king' thats at the top.

The switching of a king will, naturally, bring instability and anyone who might lose from that will seek to alter the system somehow to their benefit.

The main problem (with the rules) is:

While in office the king has absolute power insofar as it doesn't interfere with the mechanisms of succession nor result in the king interacting directly with anyone but the carers

Who enforces this? What is their motivation for doing so?

All your kings will be unstable

Childhood development and lack of emotional attention has been well studied and, as the Scientific American says:

Many children who have not had ample physical and emotional attention are at higher risk for behavioral, emotional and social problems as they grow up.

I mean, not the people I think should be ruling a country. How would they have developed empathy or even a concept of people, other than themselves, having any needs at all? (No, they won't learn it in a philosophy book if they've no frame of reference).

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Let me throw an alternative view of this into the... thing... - How about a kind of futuristic setting? That way the king has access to all the knowledge, info, stats, etc. that he needs through a computer interface. In fact it's like he's playing a very slow, detailed and complex version of "Sim City", but his decisions are carried out in real life and the effects fed back into the system/game/whatever you want to call it. His entire purpose in life is to do as well as possible.

This takes away the idea that the carers are in fact the real rulers to a certain point. In fact, he can even be trained on highly advanced simulators (Sim Sim City?), and learn from his predecessors by watching recordings of their play - what they did and the effects they had.

Also, everything the carers say and do to him is recorded to try and reduce corruption. (Except in cases where national security is a factor, of course). Furthermore, none of the carers are allowed to interact with each other, to prevent them from conspiring against him.

There could be some sort of futuristic psychology/brainwashing in his training to make him truly motivated to do as well as possible.

Of course it's still open to corruption. The system could be hacked to give him a better score if he enacts certain policies that would benefit the hackers. And I'm sure it has lots of other pitfalls that I haven't thought of that would become obvious when this is done in practice - but then, so has communism! (And fascists/communists would argue, so has democracy/capitalism!)

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    $\begingroup$ I kind of like this twist on the concept. Biggest issue I see with it, is that it emphasizes short term(5-20 years) gains over long term (centuries) stability/prosperity. (which most modern political systems do as well, and on an even shorter cycle.) $\endgroup$ – Rozwel Jan 16 '18 at 21:52
  • $\begingroup$ This is one of my favourite answers because it focuses on an interesting solution rather than reiterating the same problems (in an arrogant/condescending tone) like many of the others. $\endgroup$ – Pharap Jan 19 '18 at 9:51
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Welcome to your psycho-king-empire!

Yep, to say it frank: the education process of the priancess creates just one type of people: psychopaths. They learn no empathy, they learn never that there are other people to care about, when thy hit puberty most will become sexually frustrated and in the end, they are all masters of disguising their brken core with a cold shell to the caretakers... And then you put these monsters in cold disguise on the throne. It takes only one of them to get over the safety time to bring down the empire. And with the rate that these princes have to be churned out, there will be one such cold-psycho king that just waits... and then breaks the whole system down because of his mmadness.

He might just decree - for his own amusement - that all caretakers be shot in front of him, because he has a grudge against one of them. He might have all the other princes hanged and no new ones trained because he feels nobody should go through that - or because he simply likes where he is. He might g fully bonkers and demand that he is not a human but a god and all people should come before him and perform ritualistic suicide so he can bath in their blood so they will be enlightened... I can't forsee HOW the one needed psycho-king will break it all, but he will. Even Nero had had more bonds to humanity than these kings.

Friend Computer

There is however one way this empire works: kick out the replacement system. Make the king all powerful... and a Computer. Replace caretakers with programmers... and voila! Welcome in the Alpha Complex of Paranoia. Because Freind Computer may be a psycho, but he is a friendly psycho that can be fixed.

Voting is mandatory citizen. Failing to vote is treason. Voting for the wrong thing is treason. Are you a traitor citizen?

Friend Computer, Edict 914212

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    $\begingroup$ Happiness is mandatory. Are you happy, Citizen? $\endgroup$ – Draco18s Jan 16 '18 at 19:58
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    $\begingroup$ "All citizens will make merry under pain of death" - Ming the Merciless $\endgroup$ – Eric Jan 16 '18 at 21:27
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    $\begingroup$ "Replace caretakers with programmers" that just means the programmers are the people to corrupt. $\endgroup$ – 16807 Jan 17 '18 at 17:21
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    $\begingroup$ @16807 Have you ever played Paranoia? what you say is exactly a point Trish is making. $\endgroup$ – Mołot Jan 18 '18 at 11:02
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Question: What do Plato's Republic, the Ottoman Empire, and Harry Harlow have in common?

Answer: Your idea.

In Plato's Republic, he envisaged society ruled by a caste of philosopher kings bred and raised to be morally superior. Their basic needs were provided for, but they were forbidden from owning private property. Couples were selected for reproductive reasons and the family is abolished, they would share wives and children. He imagined this combination of breeding and education, along with ensuring this caste was meritocratic, neither in want nor spoiled, would make them excellent rulers.

Plato's republic has the advantage over your system that there's no distinction between the carers and the rulers, and they become a group something alike the modern day Saudi royal family in terms of scale - thousands of eligible rulers who presumably would work at various levels of the civil service to ensure the orders from the top were followed and well advised.

Your point about bringing up infants in a sterile environment without any real intimacy or contact with other humans however will kill them. I suggest reading about Harry Harlow's unethical experiments on baby monkeys, which he raised in extreme isolation. Bottom line, quoting Harlow:

"No monkey has died during isolation. When initially removed from total social isolation, however, they usually go into a state of emotional shock, characterized by ... autistic self-clutching and rocking. One of six monkeys isolated for 3 months refused to eat after release and died 5 days later. The autopsy report attributed death to emotional anorexia."

"The effects of 6 months of total social isolation were so devastating and debilitating that we had assumed initially that 12 months of isolation would not produce any additional decrement. This assumption proved to be false; 12 months of isolation almost obliterated the animals socially"

So... probably best to leave that bit out.

Which brings me to the Ottomans. Ignoring Ibrahim the Mad, so lovingly remembered in comments by Royal Canadian Bandit.

The Ottoman empire was famous for its Janissary Corps. The Ottoman Sultan had a problem in terms of loyalty, he could not trust that the regional lords would send him soldiers, or that those soldiers would be loyal to him.

The rather creative solution was to demand a "blood tax" from Christian communities, usually in the Balkans, of the first born son. He would be taken away, trained in Islam and war, and would become a soldier-slave loyal only to the Sultan. The Sultan's wives were also slave girls, which conveniently ensured that disputes about succession tended to be limited to the Sultan's harem... and not spill over into wars of succession, as happened all too often in feudal Europe and elsewhere.

The downside was that although the Janissary were for a long time loyal, fierce, and capable civil servants... they became a bit too comfortable, and were able to extort luxury which eventually made them corrupt and decadent. Their success lasted at best a few centuries.

Neither proposal would be without issue, but you could blend them into your own idea to make a new system. It wouldn't be free from fault, but it would have its own unique strengths and weaknesses which would create an interesting backdrop for whatever issues you'd like to explore.

Right now your system is unworkable. You'd probably kill most of the orphans owing to your weird carer rituals, and those who survived would be profoundly emotionally and intellectually disabled. If they did become ruler, the nation would keep losing whatever precious little experience and knowledge they'd gained. Because for some completely arbitrary reason, the government, in its dedication to the pursuit of educated leaders, keeps deciding to "dispose of" the most educated and best candidate they've got every twenty years.

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    $\begingroup$ Also, in real Athens, publicly owned slaves were used by magistrates as a police force. Many bureaucrat's(mostly clerks, but some held quite important positions) were also slaves. $\endgroup$ – Vashu Jan 18 '18 at 2:49
  • $\begingroup$ As relevant as Harlow's research is, I would be very careful when generalising studies of non-human animal studies to human behaviour. Also note that the monkeys had previously led somewhat normal lives before being isolated, so their situation was not the same as the kings in the question. $\endgroup$ – Pharap Jan 19 '18 at 10:00
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Like some others have said, having the king grow up in isolation will make him completely unsuitable for ruling a country. He couldn't interact with anyone but his 'mother hive' (separating him from the decision making) and probably wouldn't even want to. It might be easier to form a dolphin into a slave king than a human (since then you wouldn't assume human empathy).

There might be a variation that suits your needs though: eg. a small, separate society which isn't dependent on anyone in the outside world and can autocratically rule the outer state. They wouldn't have any personal gain from their decisions either way, but when raised correctly should empathize with their country and try to help their people.

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Despite the criticism of your ideas from other answers, the system that you propose is actually surprisingly similar to a real-world system that lasted for centuries: the mamluk system of the Islamic world, and most notably the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt.

The mamluks were a "warrior slave" caste that were imported and educated by various regimes across the Islamic world from Egypt to India, forming a military elite, in a system that lasted for a millenium. Unlike most elites in these places and times, the status of mamluks (typically) could not be inherited, and thus the system acted as a significantly more meritocratic means of selecting rulers than other contemporary options.

Over time, the mamluks in many societies either overtly or de facto took over power in their societies, leading to various "slave dynasties," many of which lasted several centuries before their eventual decline.

In short: while what you propose certainly has problems, you might find good inspiration in how to adjust it for more stability in the history of the mamluks---and also an understanding of its interesting problems in studying how mamluk dynasties decayed and fell.

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It appears that what you really want is an AI, or a figurehead. Perhaps both.

Since you're describing extensive effort to reduce emotional attachment, and not to give the future monarchs any interpersonal relationships, in the hope of achieving neutrality and the removal of human flaws (and human traits which aren't necessarily flaws), instead of attempting to dehumanize somebody and hope they're mentally stable AND effective at governing, I think it would be better to build an administrative AI. Perhaps model them after humans and raise them as children , but without the same human needs and tendancies?

If you believe that political philosophy, economics, justice, etc, could all be taught in a neutral way, then perhaps one could form a pretty complete, "neutral" set of instructions for administrative AI to follow. While there might always be tough calls, like the trolley problem, the answers you want, and their contingencies, could be hard coded, or perhaps you would just have each AI choose their own answers based upon what they've been taught.

For the ceremonial, figurehead side, it appears that usually human royalty aims for some level of detachment and equamnity, and if it can be selected for in a monestary or japanese temples, then perhaps this could be the counterbalance. Though this sounds like a non-violent jedi order, which isn't that useful unless they had veto rights over some AI decisions for instance, like the British Monarch has over parliament. Then again, why not have a ceremonial AI, with a whole bunch of appealing implicit biases, such as those towards compassion, aesthetics, and attachment?

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Since everybody has already answered the

and what problems do you foresee [this system] having?

part of the question, I'll answer the other one:

How feasible do you think this system is?

The answer is:

It's not feasible at all, because its central goal makes no sense.

The central goal of your system is to groom a single child into an apex leader who has no "personal bias" or "conflict of interest".1

An apex leader can serve many different functions that vary from culture to culture, but we can think of a few:

  1. to serve as a pretty face for diplomatic relations
  2. to serve as a pretty face for local cult of personality
  3. to make tough decisions that are "good for the country"
  4. to solve disputes between non-apex leaders

Personal bias or conflict of interest is a problem only if it negatively impacts these functions, and not only it doesn't have to, it can actually enhance them.

Doing 1. with a family on the other side of the border is how alliances lasting centuries can be made. Doing 2. with personal bias for farmers might actually prevent them from rebelling.


1 You also say you want the apex leader to be unable to be corrupted (either by bribe or extortion), but:
A) I feel your system is focused more on the other part,
B) they can still be bribed (with personal freedom) and extorted (with threats like:

  • "I'll kill you!",
  • "I'll disembowel all your caretakers in front of you!", or
  • "I'll send a squad of highly-skilled assassins at random intervals to sneak into the palace and poop into all the swimming pools just before you skinny-deep in them!").
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The other answers are pretty well presented, but here is my take, where

I will be making an analogy with respect to Game of Thrones.

Tommen Baratheon and Margaery Tyrell are the King and the Queen. You could here argue that Margaery is in fact, the acting King.

Now, let the "carers" be the High Sparrows.

The King and the Queen let the High Sparrows care for them and soon the things went out of hand. Whatever the High Sparrows (read "carers") wanted became the law.

You may have isolated The King from the corruption but what will you make of the carers? They aren't incorruptible. Corruption almost always seeps in such scenario.

The isolation dumbed down otherwise clever Margaery to the extent that she wasn't in the know of Cersei's conspiracy to blow the Sept until the last moment, even then, "the carers" assumed power and didn't let her go out.

Result: Wildfire burnt them all down with Rains of Castemere playing in the background. Tommen didn't survive either because he was into the "carers" concept as well. And he lost Maergery. Anyway, it is a bad idea(TM) unless of course your carers are extremely devoted as Tyrion Lannister is to Daenerys Targaryen as of writing this.

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