Titles of Nobility
Most people view a title of nobility as being granted an actual title; such as Duke, Prince or Baron. In the United States, it is strictly forbidden for citizens to be granted titles of nobility. This applies both for US or foreign grants of such status. This has not been a problem in that no national, state or local government has ever attempted to create such a group or status of individual.
The rub is much more subtle than that. The granting of a title is not where the power of a title is. The PRIVELEGES of the title is where the rubber really meets the road. In this country, we have developed many levels of priveleged classes of people. Some of these privileges come with commenserate responsibility (or at least claim to). The local law enforcement official comes to mind in this regard. The city police officer has the privilege of qualified immunity, ability to open carry, assumption of right in dealing with criminals… This is balanced by his responsibility to not abuse his immunity, to not use his gun to coerce or threaten and to be liable criminally, civilly and or lose his job if he is abusive in his criminal interactions.
Do some police abuse this privilege vs responsibility bargain? Certainly. There are currently and will always be people in the law enforcement community who take advantage of the privileges of their position, but as a rule that is not condoned by society. On occasion, this has gotten so out of balance, the entire department has been disbanded and rebuilt from the ground up. This is an indication that the system works and the abusers can and will eventually be held accountable.
An area where the privilege vs responsibility bargain is not in balance and there is no real accountability is in government service. This service being in the elected and the civil service realm. In the elected realm, these officials vote themselves raises and perks that are not granted to the “common” citizen. These perks range from free healthcare, voting themselves tax payer funded raises and exemption from laws being applied to themselves.
Civil servants are not much better although usually their perks are not self proclaimed. Many are granted special license plates that immunize them from speeding and parking tickets. Others are granted exemptions from laws (Affordable Care Act) as a job perk. Some managerial types are granted immunity from harassment, stalking and unlawful firing charges.
In a nation of laws, this is not a sustainable model. If the passed laws are not applicable to all, then we are (at best) living in the Orwellian state where all animals are the same, except of course Pigs, as everyone knows Pigs are just a bit better. Further down the line this reasoning is effectively creating a layer of “nobility”. Those who are subject to the laws become effective serfs while those who are not subject are effectively Barons, Dukes and Princes. As in a feudal society, the “serfs” become subject to the whim of the elites; which by definition is NOT the rule of law.
Whether it occurs by the judicial review or other means, we need to realize the effective nobility we have created in this country and address it. The best way for this problem to be worked through is for the Judicial Branch to accept a much less narrow definition of “nobility” and enforce the nobility clause against those who pretend to be princes. If the court system does not recognize the situation, the gap between the “princes” and the rest of us will grow. This growth will cause friction which historically has been fixed with a call to arms.
Many of the “princes” realize this fact of history. Do you wonder why so many otherwise intelligent figures continue to promote the lost cause of gun control? I think we may be on to something here. George Soros and Mike Bloomberg call your office.