A sovereign who has lost the Mandate of Heaven is no longer legitimate, and is sooner or later doomed.
“Legitimate” stems from the Latin legitimus, which meant originally “fixed by law, in line with the law.” Sovereigns lose their legitimacy and so – with their domains – become weak when they promulgate law that is at variance with the Law of GNON – laws that are perverse, and that are therefore at war with Heaven, and so with Earth. Such laws are themselves illegitimate. As perverse, and so ill fitted to things as they truly are, they cannot work too well – indeed, they prevent things from working as well as they might otherwise have done in the absence of their interference – and force all those who obey them to enact by that obedience an ontological falsehood; to behave falsely, to lie by their acts. Everything then starts to go wrong, as acts informed by bad law work out badly in practice.
As deformed by ill-formed law, and so less properly coordinated to reality, acts grow more and more corrupted by noise and error, and so tend further to corrupt their successors. Confidence in acts deteriorates, uncertainty increases; legal, compliance and due diligence costs rise; regulation by the sovereign cannot but increase; so commerce is ever harder, riskier, and more anxious. Counterparties then become more and more dubious. Social trust degrades. Things fall apart; the center no longer holds. The people then no longer credit the sovereign viscerally, or believe in him. Their guts tell them that the sovereign is lying to them about what is real, and about how they ought therefore to act. They grow cynical and bitter – not to mention poor, so restless and irritable.
His subjects then soon begin to resent and then eventually come to despise their sovereign, and so likewise his faction. So then they begin to despise all other factions, in the bargain. If the sovereign’s faction is illegitimate, how good can any of the others possibly be? For, all of them have been shaped and thus deformed and corrupted by their responses to the whacked policies of the sovereign. When one faction is distrusted, eventually no faction can be trusted. So society grows more and more adversarial, contentious, litigious, bitter. Internal enmity infects the polis.
When the sovereign has lost the Mandate of Heaven, politics begins; intrigue, or cold civil war, whether or not formalized, begins.
Politics is the process of replacing the sovereign who has lost the Mandate of Heaven.
For regimes such as ours, in which politics has long been highly formalized – so that laws compound in more or less orderly fashion, with the result that the accretion of inapt laws that enforce ineptitude is an ancient, dense, deep and interwoven thicket, not penetrable even by the sword, but rather only by devastating wildfire – which everyone desperately wants to avoid – politics is continuous, and incorrigible. There can then be no such thing as true domestic peace.