Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Why do governments hate aristocrats?

I can answer this best by first discussing a parallel example. Many progressives assume that governments relish forcing Christianity, or other religions, onto their helpless citizens to oppress them. As a matter of fact, governments hate religion. The only exceptions are the creeds of ancient times which decreed that the king was a god. But governments did their best to nip Judaism and Christianity in the bud, chiefly by killing as many Jews and later Christians as possible, because both explicitly deny heads of state any special place in paradise.

The fact is, governments hate religion because it implies an authority higher than themselves. They wish to believe that their citizens have whatever rights they choose to grant them, not that we have unalienable ones endowed by our Creator. They wish to believe that right and wrong are what they decree, not what the Creator has decreed, and the idea that a politician might have to answer for his misdeeds in the next world is intolerable. Indeed, progressives cannot endure the idea of answering for one's misdeeds in this life.

This is not only a theological conviction, but also a subtle assumption which underlies a society which is basically religious. I spent my youth as an atheist or agnostic before regaining my faith, but now I find that the more I reflect on the matter, the more I see that the inherent humility of belief in God is immeasurably beneficial to society and to the individual. Not that I am opposed to pride, I most emphatically am not, but there is a difference between healthy pride and hubris, and today most of humanity is committing the latter. People who believe in the God of Abraham will find it difficult to convince themselves that their utopian social engineering will fundamentally alter His creatures.

Of course, governments are pragmatic beasts and will use whatever means at their disposal to achieve their ends. They would really rather not have people going around believing that they were made in God's image and that there is an authority higher than that of the Supreme Court, but since people who have been introduced to ethical monotheism will cling to such notions, they use them. The Nazis, for example, did not hesitate to use Catholicism for their own Satanic ends, even though they fully intended to eventually get rid of the Jewish cult known as Christianity and make their faux Odinism the state religion. And of course, elected officials have to pay lip service to the faith of the masses, whatever they actually believe which is why in America we have the spectacle of senators who support pro-abortion laws trying to take communion in the Catholic churches they attend.

The eagerness with which governments toss aside aristocrats the moment they think they can ought to be a caution to us all. Naturally it is spun as a levelling of the playing field, taking those nasty unearned privileges away from the dukes and earls so that they won't have it any better than the rest of us.

What the advocates of such measures are trying to hide from us is that they are robbing us of our protectors. The Church and the family were once bulwarks against encroachment of the State; so too were the aristocracy.

To illustrate, let me give an example from my own nation's history: Prohibition. I gather that at the time, Europeans were endlessly amused that the colonies had taken such a foolish measure. Remember that at that time, European governments were still tied strongly to the aristocracy. There is a reason that Prohibition happened in a republic and not in a monarchy. There was a voting bloc that wanted Prohibition, and politicians, uncaring of the impossibility of the enforcement or the inevitable consequences, delivered, ensuring their elections the next time around. As we monarchists keep pointing out, elected politicians don't have the option of thinking long-term.

Imagine if the Temperance fanatics had campaigned in England of that time. They would have had to put their proposal of outlawing alcohol before titled men who did not need the masses' approval to keep their seats in the House of Lords. If my British English were better I could not doubt write an amusing imaginary dialogue between a couple of earls at their club, discussing the fanatics who wanted Temperance over their brandy and cigars. They would have taken the idea no more seriously than they would have taken the proposals of Roderick Spode to guarantee the right of every freeborn Englishman to grow his own potatoes and to measure the knees of every adult British male, not least because they themselves were not about to give up their after-dinner brandy. The idea that the law might also one day deny them their cigars would have struck them as equally laughable.

(I have not been able to determine precisely why progressives have revived the Nazi's anti-smoking program with such zeal, but I have one theory. That Nature should yield a substance that gives so much pleasure without impairing the faculties is irrefutable proof that God loves us. That, of course, is the last thing a progressive wants anybody finding out.)

Another example: every conservative or traditionalist is well acquainted with the corruption and general uselessness of today's schools. I could go on for hours, and sometimes do, about the misinformation my own teachers delivered to me. One of them informed us that American money is on a gold standard. She wasn't incorrect, she was merely fifty years behind the times. This is only one of a thousand examples I could give; would you believe a high school English teacher who believed that the past tense of "sneak" is "snuck"? And schools have become intolerably dangerous, not only because of inter-student violence, but also because female teachers are beginning to molest their young male pupils in ever-increasing numbers. According to a report commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education, a full ten percent of students are sexually abused at school, by other students or by teachers.

In the days of aristocracy, before compulsory education and committees of "experts" determining how children should be taught, this kind of low standard and peril would have been unthinkable. What people are not considering is the character of today's teachers. With how many hours one has spent in a lecture hall as the main requirement, and government agencies appointed by elected officials as the authorities, women who in any past era would never have been allowed near impressionable children are allowed to spend all day indoctrinating them. With perhaps four or five exceptions, all of the teachers I have met, during my school days or socially as an adult, have been women of exceedingly bad character. They go into that line of work because there is very little supervision or oversight; from the university classroom they go straight into a school classroom where they are treated as if they were authority figures. In addition, they tend to be people who wish to practice petty tyranny, and can only do it by dealing with people who legally have no freedom and no rights, who are kept in her presence by physical force and have no way of escaping or defending themselves. The astoundingly petty crimes most of them wish to commit consist of saying nasty things to children. That an adult who finds satisfaction in being sarcastic to a six-year-old is treated as if she were a functioning human being is only one sign of the insanity of modern society.

It is easy for a traditionally minded adult to see that these women, all exceedingly disadvanted in intelligence, morals, and etiquette, have chosen a profession that gives them the chance to sass their betters. And given their backgrounds and natural endowments, nearly everyone is their betters.

Such people will always exist, and will certainly prey on children whenever they get the chance. But today, this riffraff has the entire force of Western governments ensuring that they have a plentiful daily supply of children to lie to, brainwash, sneer at and possibly molest. In my country, it was labor unions that used their voting bloc to push compulsory education through, for the mercenary reason that they wanted the jobs children were doing for their union members. Only a politician at the mercy of the cupidity of voters could have done such a thing. Had such a proposal come before the House of Lords, the reaction would have been, "What, are we to put the education of our own children into the hands of others? Robbing us of our authority in the matter? Certainly not!"

Let us compare the way today's elected governments deal with bad teachers to the way an aristocrat of a century ago would have. First, the aristocrat:

"You won't believe this, but my son came home a few days ago and said that his teacher had told him that 'snuck' is the past tense of 'sneak', and that our monetary system is still the one we discarded the year my father met my mother! And you wouldn't believe how impertinently the blighter spoke to my son. My son, who will be the fifteenth Earl of Puddle-dock! How must the children of common people be treated, if a future earl is expected to swallow such cheek? I told the school at once that the blighter must be sacked or not a decent family in the realm will send their sons to them, and of course they did at once. Good riddance to bad rubbish."

Now, let us suppose that one of today's parents in America or Europe places similar complaints before their school principal or school board. The principal or member of the school board would say, in effect, "The Department of Education and the NEA [or the national equivalent] have determined that Miss Smith is a perfectly qualified teacher, and the decision is theirs, not yours. You are a mere parent and can't possibly be qualified to determine what your child needs. If you have enough money you can send your child to another school, but those teachers also will be chosen by the DEA and NEA. Maybe if you're a millionaire and donate a pile of money to a private school that's about to go under, then they might be willing to fire a teacher you consider unfit, but other than that, they're just going to engage you in a lot of 'dialogue' until you admit that their teachers are just fine. And if you try to keep your child home, at least until you find a better school for him, the police will come to drag him to class and you will be fined or arrested. Have a nice day."

Peregrine Worsthorne theorized, in his Democracy Needs Aristocracy, that aristocrats are the guardians of liberty for all of us. The more one contemplates the democratic modern world, the more clear this truth is.


Mild Colonial Boy, Esq. said...

"Among the strange notions which have been broached since I have been in the political theatre, there is one which has lately seized the minds of men, that all things must be done for them by the Government, and that they are to do nothing for themselves: the Government is not only to attend to the great concerns which are its province, but it must step in and ease individuals of their natural and moral obligations. A more pernicious notion can not prevail. Look at that ragged fellow staggering from the whiskey shop, and see that slattern who has gone there to reclaim him; where are their children? Running about, ragged, idle, ignorant, fit candidates for the penitentiary. Why is all this so? Ask the man and he will tell you. ‘Oh, the Government has undertaken to educate our children for us.’"

~~John Randolph. Proceedings and Debates of the Virginia State Convention (1830)

Moshea bat Abraham said...

Thank you for that excellent quotation, sir!

Hummingbird said...


Are you familiar with the writings of Aurel Kolnai? He was an Austro-Hungarian political philosopher, born in 1900. He developed a conservative political philosophy which saw institutions like hereditary monarchy & aristocracy as safeguards of liberty. Many interesting essays, such as "Privilege and Liberty," the "Utopian Mind," and others. He opposed both Nazism and Communism, and eventually had to flee the Nazis and ended up in North America.

Thanks for linking to my blog, by the way.

Moshea bat Abraham said...


I hadn't heard of Aurel Kolnai, but I will certainly look him up. Thank you for telling me about him!

And I'm glad to have you on my blogroll!

Mike Fulton said...

As a school teacher, an American, and a Monarchist, I wholeheartedly agree with your posting. Especially with regard to the information you present on education. Education is the temple and teachers, unfortunately, are the new priesthood for democracy, under the guise of so called "civics" classes.

I think why government, specifically the United States government, hates aristocrats is because we have become more narcissistic as a people. Our vanity has duped us into thinking that we should force everyone to be equal rather than assuring that everyone has equal opportunity. For example, take my school district, which has a "college bound culture" program. It ultimately seeks to promote college education to every student regardless of handicaps, ability, and interest. Many of the high schoolers I teach simply are not interested in college. Which is a shame as our school used to have great vocational programs (auto mechanic apprenticing, woodshop, etc), but these have all been scrapped to make way for collegiate promotion and workshops. This goes against Madisonian and Hamiltonian ideas that state Americans should pursue their interests freely in order that our nation can produce "an aristocracy of talent."

There is no other time in the history of this country where the evidence is clear that we need aristocracy and monarchy. It is only when people are united under such a symbol that they truly know who they are. And to know who you are is true freedom.

Moshea bat Abraham said...

Mike, thank you for your insightful comments. I'm going to have to start reading your blog!

I see you're a Texan. I lived in Texas for five years and miss it awfully.