Saturday, May 24, 2008

The costs of monarchy vs. the costs of democracy

I wasn't going to waste a post on this, but I keep seeing this argument, so here goes.

In a few different places now, I have encountered the argument that monarchies are "more expensive" to the taxpayers than democracies. Let's examine this assumption.

One of the good things about monarchy is that its subjects nearly always enjoy far more personal freedom than the citizens of a democracy do, contrary to popular belief. In a democracy, all rights and liberties are up for grabs to any well sufficiently well organized pressure group. Any person with a grudge against the world can feel important by lobbying to enforce his pet notions on all of his fellow citizens. Bureaucratic sorts have free rein to come up with new ways to impose their personality disorder on everyone else. In a monarchy, by contrast, most subjects went for years at a time without any contact with their government. (That is, a monarchy where the sovereign actually ruled, rather than the ornamental monarchy of today.) Try avoiding the government for even one day in America.

Because a monarchy is made up of one sovereign who has been accustomed from birth to being powerful, rather than legions of busybodies for whom adding one more rule to be imposed upon everyone is their big chance to feign a sense of efficacy, it does not generate the massive bureaucracy that a democracy does, or the alphabet soup of agencies designed to intrude into every imaginable aspect of life. I could not even begin to calculate the amount of money stolen from the American taxpayer to support these leeches, but it has to be in the billions.

The other enormous cost of democracy is that of bread and circuses. Again, even those who won't (not can't) work themselves can vote in a democracy, and what is more natural than that they should vote for the candidate who promises to steal from those who do work and give their money to them? While monarchies practiced almsgiving and other charity, it never enslaved the productive to the lazy, or funded fatherless families, as democracies do. It didn't have to; monarchs didn't need to court the shiftless vote.

People who wish to claim that monarchies are more expensive than democracies point to the lower tax rate of America as opposed to England and whatever constitutional monarchies are left in Europe. What they ignore is that this happened to England and Europe only after their monarchs were reduced to figureheads and the real power was put in the hands of elected politicians. And the slightly lower tax rate in America exists only because many of us have fought the burgeoning welfare state so fiercely, still remembering when we were a genuine republic, a free country. I'm sure the English and others fought it as well, but we have the advantage that our democracy is structured a bit better for fighting changes we don't want than that of England.

Sometime I will have to discuss the reasons why occasionally, republics work well, as in Greece, Rome and America. (I'll mention one reason now: when all the living creatures within five miles of your home are coyotes or buffalo, it's kind of hard for the gummint to pester you to say that there's nothing but coyotes and buffalo for 8.04 kilometers. Besides, most of the Senators are busy dealing with coyotes around their own homes.) In every case, however, they eventually degenerate and destroy themselves, and that has been happening here for the last few decades. Europe and England did not have a halcyon period of a well functioning republic, it had mobs of leftists with a totalitarian agenda worming their way into Parliament and expanding its powers beyond those of any medieval king.

So the present higher tax rate of England as opposed to America has nothing to do with England's being a monarchy. It was the elected politicians of Parliament who imposed the high taxes, not Her Majesty. And we former colonials are well on our way to joining you.


Carl said...

I'm a Canadian who just discovered this blog and I rather like it.

However one thing which does annoy me is comparing a monarchy to a democracy whether vs. costs or anything else. Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Holland, Belgium, Spain, Japan, shall I go on?... are all democracies. You are implying that a monarchist system is not democratic whereas it certainly is. Please get it right. We are all democracies. We have what is called a constitutional monarchy where the monarch is the head of state not the head of government, where the sovereign reigns but does not rule. But you are right about one thing, monarchies are much, much better than republics. What you should be comparing is a monarchy vs a republic. So come on eh, get it right for goodness sake.

If you can persuade enough people to really work at it, it might even be possible to get rid of your republic, revoke the revolution of 1776, apply for membership in the Commonwealth and maybe, just maybe Her Majesty, Elizabeth II, might consent to be your queen too, but only if you agreed to behave yourselves in future.

Something to think about.

A Monarchist in Canada

American Monarchist said...


I admit that I've been using the terms "republic" and "democracy" in the rather loose colloquial manner. Actually, part of the problem is that there are two very different accepted definitions of democracy. At some point I'll have to explore this in detail in a post.

Despite my deep regard for England, the land of my ancestors, I have no desire for America to rejoin the Commonwealth. I want us to get a monarch of our own. There are two reasons. First, I have ancestors who died for our sovereignty and I will not dishonor their memory. The fact that I also have other ancestors who gave us a system which could only work temporarily does not diminish this.

Second, and more importantly, the British monarchy is now merely ceremonial. A ceremonial monarchy is certainly better than none, but what we need is a monarchy which actually runs the country. Would Her Majesty be willing to do that for us? I rather doubt it.

In any case, most Americans are so appallingly ignorant about the benefits of monarchy that we have decades of education on that score ahead of us before there can be any hope of an American king.

I am glad that you rather like my blog. Thank you for reading, and I do hope you'll keep on.