Effective state rule only came with the arrival of a chief with full executive authority. Man found that effective government could be had only by conferring power on a personality, not by endowing an idea.
Rulership grew out of the idea of family authority or wealth. When a patriarchal kinglet became a real king, he was sometimes called “father of his people.” Later on, kings were thought to have sprung from heroes. And still further on, rulership became hereditary, due to belief in the divine origin of kings.
Hereditary kingship avoided the anarchy which had previously wrought such havoc between the death of a king and the election of a successor. The family had a biologic head; the clan, a selected natural leader; the tribe and later state had no natural leader, and this was an additional reason for making the chief-kings hereditary. The idea of royal families and aristocracy was also based on the mores of “name ownership” in the clans.
The succession of kings was eventually regarded as supernatural, the royal blood being thought to extend back to the times of the materialized staff of Prince Caligastia. Thus kings became fetish personalities and were inordinately feared, a special form of speech being adopted for court usage. Even in recent times it was believed that the touch of kings would cure disease, and some Urantia peoples still regard their rulers as having had a divine origin.
The early fetish king was often kept in seclusion; he was regarded as too sacred to be viewed except on feast days and holy days. Ordinarily a representative was chosen to impersonate him, and this is the origin of prime ministers. The first cabinet officer was a food administrator; others shortly followed. Rulers soon appointed representatives to be in charge of commerce and religion; and the development of a cabinet was a direct step toward depersonalization of executive authority. These assistants of the early kings became the accepted nobility, and the king’s wife gradually rose to the dignity of queen as women came to be held in higher esteem.
Unscrupulous rulers gained great power by the discovery of poison. Early court magic was diabolical; the king’s enemies soon died. But even the most despotic tyrant was subject to some restrictions; he was at least restrained by the ever-present fear of assassination. The medicine men, witch doctors, and priests have always been a powerful check on the kings. Subsequently, the landowners, the aristocracy, exerted a restraining influence. And ever and anon the clans and tribes would simply rise up and overthrow their despots and tyrants. Deposed rulers, when sentenced to death, were often given the option of committing suicide, which gave origin to the ancient social vogue of suicide in certain circumstances.