Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Superiority of Monarchy

A dear and extremely smart friend of mine has been discussing monarchy vs. republic with me. She is arguing that the real problem is that America was originally a republic with all sorts of "road blocks" to prevent the republic from degenerating into a mobocracy. She's right, of course; that's one reason that our republic worked for several generations. Now, of course, the franchise has become universal and the mob rules. It is my belief that this is inevitable in any republic, for the reason that I have never heard of any republic that resisted it for long.

Below is a bit of our discussion, where she challenged my posts about the irrationality of voters. None of these ideas are mine; I was leaning heavily on the sources linked in my sidebars.

She: I must say that I doubt that concentrating power in a monarchical political entity would improve matters.

Me: Historically, it did. Let's leave aside the absolute monarchies found in Africa and Asia and concentrate on our own - that is, European - traditions, where there was always some limit on the sovereign's power, even though the king or queen was mostly in charge. Since beginning to study monarchy, I have discovered that a lot of libertarians are monarchists, because historically, ordinary citizens have far more personal freedom under monarchy than in democracy. The taxes and regulations that inspired us to demand independence from England are a miniscule fraction of the taxes and regulations we live with today, to cite just one example. England has taken progressively more power away from its monarchy over the past century until it is merely ornamental. Have English subjects become more free? The answer is a resounding no. Quite the reverse.

Basically, democracy allows any individual rights and freedoms to be taken away, so long as a sufficiently large and well-placed pressure group gets behind the measure.

She: Are not kings liable to the same biologically-ingrained biases?

Me: As far as that goes, yes. However, for one thing, sovereigns are nearly always trained from birth in their duties, balancing the biologically-ingrained biases. It's much easier to train one crown prince than an entire population. Besides which, there are manifold advantages to monarchy that offset this. One of which at first seems like a disadvantage: a sovereign holds his position by right of birth, not by having pandered to the masses enough to get sufficient votes. It takes extreme measures to oust a sovereign, though it can and has been done when called for. (For example, James II.) This allows a sovereign to focus on his duty rather than on pleasing those whose votes he needs.

We have been trained to believe that it is good to have politicians trying to ingratiate themselves with voters, but in practice, it is disastrous. In the first place, it means that they do away with the limited franchise which we started with and start giving votes to anyone, counting on gratitude to get them elected for the next decade, not caring what this will have led the government to in another generation. Indeed, people today have been conditioned to believe that voting is a basic human right, like freedom of speech or not being tortured. The franchise has by now been extended so far that there is hardly anywhere left to go. There are people seriously campaigning to have the voting age lowered to 16, 14, or 12. (In my opinion, this will not make things even slightly worse than they are now.)

In addition, elective government inevitably brings on the bread-and-circuses factor. There are a lot of lower-income people who like the idea of someone else paying their bills without them working, i.e. welfare. They vote for the politicians who give them this. Almost everyone who pauses to think about it, even many Democrat politicians, clearly understand that this is an unsustainable system, and that it is also unjust. Politicians don't care; they need to get elected. Even those who have good intentions have to please people enough to get votes before they can have any hope of doing any good. I quoted Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn as pointing out that conservative politicians usually don't enact any new disastrous policies, but they fail to reverse the ones already in place. Reagan and two Bushes could not rid us of welfare, abortion, or no-fault divorce. Why not? Because they knew that if they did, they and their party would be voted out of office - probably all the Republican senators and stuff would've been ousted too - and all that toxic stuff would have been reinstated as soon as the Democrats came back. (In Reagan's case, of course, he was also occupied with more important things, namely toppling the evil empire.) This is why some people are able to claim that our two main parties are virtually alike; the only edge the GOP has in practice is that they cause less damage when they're in office.

During the centuries of European monarchy, we didn't have judicial activism, abortion-at-whim, no-fault divorce, or the welfare mother industry. Why not? Because a sovereign is able to think about the next generation and the next century, while a politician has to think about the next election above all else.

By now I'm amazed that I ever thought democracy was better than monarchy.


Irish Tory said...

I also think that the good thing about monarchy, is the sense of ownership that the monarch in question would feel.

They, in many senses own their realm, when you own something you take care of it, you invest in it, you beauify it.

The King is also thinking about the inheritance his heir will take on once he is gone. He must be careful to take care of all his people not only a part of it, he must seek long term good, not a decade long financial buble that bursts.

Politicians do not think of what will happen in 20 years or 50 years, monarchs by their nature must do so.

Politicans know they don't own the country, so they feel no guilt in looting its people and running off to Switzerland once they are ousted.

Politics devides people, nations are slipt into camps, lefties hating righties, righties hating lefties, pro and anti abortionists, pro and anti Europeans, free traders, war, etc, etc.

In a Kingdom, the people have little role in politics and there are fewer reasons and oportunity for cynical types to enflame the mob with hatred for each other.

A King seeks to rule for all his subjects, a politican seeks to pay off his supporters with money he steals from those who voted for his oponent, and in this way he seeks to stay in power for as long as possible.

Democracy, when you study it, is actually immoral, it is not only less good, it is wrong!

When one sees this, ones world view must, by neccesity change!

American Monarchist said...

Irish Tory,

Those are some excellent observations. May I post them on the blog? Credited to you, naturally?