A society which lacks standards of excellence and exemplary role models, produces an environment where superior achievements of personal character diminish. Emphasis on cultivation of behavioural characteristics, important in their social context, such as truthfulness, sense of honour, integrity, altruism, industriousness, decency, courageousness, self-restraint and even intelligence, declines in the home and school. Hence nobility, the human characteristic that embodies such ideals and is itself idealistic, diminishes.
Wherever the ideals of full human development are not established unalterably in a society, they are subject to change, attrition, or perversion. There are two ways to lay the foundations for a noble society. The first is negatively, by interdiction of undesirable behaviour, as far as possible by law. The second is to reinforce the striving for and attainment of the ideal by giving it a preferential place. This is accomplished by entitling individuals and families to political and economic leadership in recognition of their virtues. Characteristically, long service in the affairs of the state, civil or military, domestic or foreign, and private service through wise use of wealth and economic power to benefit the nation, exemplify a number of virtues: from industriousness to bravery and patriotism. Such families and individuals acknowledged with entitlements, will often sponsor and support some of their societies' most important cultural initiatives, institutions of learning and charities. As role models they are vital and since noble means "well-known", they fit the description. They are aristocratic, the best of citizens, and as aristocrats, the best suited to rule others. Possession of a hereditary title is a responsibility to fulfil the role requirements for virtue and leadership, and in the deeper sense, to make all men noble as well.
Hereditary titles are not possessions of the individual, but a description of the role he plays; he 'embodies' the virtues of that role when playing that role, any respect he receives being due to the role and not to the individual personally. This respect helps maintain social structure and the breakdown in society may be ascribed, at least partially, to confusing the individual with his role. Hereditary titles reduce rather than increase that confusion. Trained 'from the youth up' to a role means total commitment to that role, respect (for law, society, etc) breaks down when given to an individual, rather than to his role.