The 'Presume Idea' was a pro-reform political tract written in Oceana in 1994 that had some not inconsiderable influence on the reforming movement. The title was an anagram of King Tiervan's Supreme Idea , with the tract itself primarily a critique of Tiervan's system, as well as outlining alternative theories for how society could or should be governed. It is not known at this time who wrote the tract, although some figures, including the future revolution leaders, have been suggested as possible authors. There have also been some indications that the work was linked to previous pamphlets or unpublished treatises on political philosophy, including the 'Babieca Theory', 'Hawkwood's Mirror', and the '15 Chapters'. It is not clear at this time, however, whether these were coincidences or signs of direct inspiration or similar authorship.
Some of the ideas involved in the tract were particularly resented by the monarch. Where Tiervan argued for himself as 'setting the rules and regulations' to enable the mastery of Oceanean man, the Presume Idea countered that an ordinary man's true 'mastery' of his surroundings was not possible if these rules were applied unequally, ignored or arbitrarily changed, as had been typical Royal practice. It further argued that if one man decided on the rules for others on his own, without their having any recourse to challenge such rules, then his mastery was greater than that of others, meaning that their so-called 'mastery' was, in fact, merely a form of slavery under another name. The most radical step in the initial criqitue, however, was to suggest that no one person could claim innate superiority over another person's mastery of themselves, on the basis of intelligence, talent or birthright, for such a claim would merely be arbitrary: no rational person either would or should trust their future mastery of themselves and the development of Oceana to such an arbitrary system. This was the foundation for the subsequent theories in the tract that addressed many questions, including those of democratic rule.
It is rumoured that the Pernostia considered the tract to be at the top of their list for subversive material to be burned upon discovery, with harsh punishments being imposed upon anyone found in posession of a copy. So much effort was concentrated on eliminating the 'Presume Idea' that only those few originals which were smuggled out of the country survived.
The tract was widely reprinted overseas, large numbers being brought back into Oceana during the Revolution. It has been suggested that some of the important points raised during debates on the formation of the Republic used ideas or phrases first outlined in the tract.