Of Their Magistrates Notes from Utopia

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Utopia Of Their Magistrates

Every year, every thirty families choose a magistrate, called the Philarch. An Archphilarch rules over every ten Philarchs. All 200 Philarchs secretly choose, out of a list of four, a Prince. Before choosing the Prince, they take an oath to choose he who they deem fittest for office. "The Prince is for life, unless he is removed upon suspicion of some design to enslave the people." Magistrates, pg. 32. The Archphilarchs are chosen every year, as are the Philarchs. No decision may be made regarding the public until it has been debated several days in council, where two different Philarchs sit every day. The Archpilarchs meet with the Prince every third day, or more often if necessary, in order to discuss important affairs.

However, if an affair is of great importance, it is not the Prince and Archphilarchs that make the decision, but the Philarchs who discuss it with their 'families' and report the decision to the senate. One of their greatest rules is never to debate an issue on the same day that it is proposed. This rule was made in order to avoid any irrational or rushed decisions, so that motions would be deliberate and well-thought out.

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