- Sep 2020
itis necessary for the sovereign to conduct his business himself, because he will, if he is wise, pursue only the public interest, which is his own
Here, Frederick seems to be touching on a key concept of absolutist thought: that the sovereign is the state. In some ways, this seems a natural evolution from the earlier concept of divine right (the sovereign as chosen by God). If the sovereign really is divinely chosen, who else is better qualified to dictate policy or to know what is best for their people?
Today, Frederick is considered an enlightened absolutist (a position he shares with Catherine the Great of Russia and Maria Theresa of Austria). These rulers were absolute monarchs who tried to apply the principles of the Enlightenment in their rule for the betterment of their subjects.