Monarchy can easily be debunked, but watch the faces, mark well the debunkers. These are the men whose taproot in Eden has been cut: whom no rumour of the polyphony, the dance, can reach – men to whom pebbles laid in a row are more beautiful than an arch. Yet even if they desire mere equality they cannot reach it. Where men are forbidden to honour a king they honour millionaires, athletes or film stars instead: even famous prostitutes or gangsters. For spiritual nature, like bodily nature, will be served; deny it food and it will gobble poison.
C S Lewis.
Monarchy is the one system of government where power is exercised for the good of all.
Aristotle, 322-384 BC.
Disclaimer: The above statement does not imply that all monarchies exercise there power for the good of all, it does imply that monarchies are the only government where such is possible.
People often ask me: “What political party are you?”. That is a hard question to answer for a person who has no inherent interest in party politics, who doesn’t believe the authority given to a leader by voting, who could never feel loyalty to a leader simply because he garnered more votes, and worst of all who is doomed to leave in 8 years. There is no party for those who think a democracy, or even the will of the people, is not a proper or legitimate government. Who do I support in 2008? I throw my entire support behind the Queen Mother herself.
The problem with democrats is that they do not understand politics or history. The problem with republicans is that they do not understand philosophy or ethics. These are the two parties which form the majority of our country. Even those who claim independence from such categories often fall into the same problem. They are either overly idealistic, and as such refuse to recognize the inherent limitations of our political system, or they are overly realistic and fail to grasp the revolution of ideologies in the 20th century. Both of these limitations make an understanding of foreign politics and domestic issues completely impossible, and as such makes for a completely ignorant basis for a voting populace.
A great majority of modern citizens know nothing about democracy as a government. They know about American democracy and the founding fathers, but they know nothing of previous democracies or the inherent problems of a democracy. Our founding fathers picked democracy for a reason, and what little of it was not ideological, was rational and based on the inability of a democracy to progress. A democracy is inherently slow, cumbersome, burdened, argumentative, and completely contradictory. This was the government the founding fathers wanted… and they wrote a constitution to reflect this. Unfortunately for our founding fathers, they knew nothing of 20th century ideologies, international terror, nuclear and biochemical weapons, or most importantly a civilization with ADHD.
Our government no longer has the time to wait. This is the lesson of Pearl Harbor. Technology has outstripped the usefulness of democratic deliberation. Ideology has created the desire of entire countries to obliterate entire cultures and technology has given them the ability to achieve this desire. A government must be built on the ability to keep its citizens safe and that can no longer happen in a slow and deliberative pace.
If our century has not outgrown the usefulness of a slow and deliberate government, our citizens certainly have. If progress is not made immediately then the process is deemed a quagmire and any error or flaw in the plan is immediately uncovered and deemed unethical. A democracy was not designed to operate in these conditions. Freedom of speech itself is designed to be responsible and informed, but we no longer have the time. Media makes more mistake than governments, but has no one to answer too. The end result is a government that cannot make plans or advance because it is too afraid to make mistakes, but at the same time cannot maintain a slow and deliberate pace do to outside control. A democracy in the 20th century is incapable of acting for the good of all, lest it be destroyed by its own people.
In a democracy the government is responsible to the people. In order for it to act for the benefit of all people, then every person needs to know what is good for them. If there is anything more obvious to any studier of ethics, philosophy, or history, it is the FACT that people almost never know what is best for them, especially when they are in large groups. It may be slim that a monarch could ever do this, but it is downright impossible for a democracy to do it. Not only is it impossible but it often leads to crimes of good intention. Wars, depressions, and even downright racism have been enacted out of intentions of safety and progress. This is what a democracy does.
I guess it comes down to who you support. Are you a bush-guy or a kerry-guy. For me Bush is the perfect democratic president. He acted swiftly and got re-elected. He is the reflection of the government that he was elected to serve. Democracies are inherently secretive, judgmental, sporadic, and inefficient. Of course Iraq is a mess. Of course Vietnam was a mess. Democracies cannot wage war because its entire government is doomed to switch after 8 years (max). No war can be won completely in 8 years. Every president knows he will only be responsible for his 8 years (even though the consequences are often much longer lasting) and that their only job is to get re-elected. This is the inherent product of voting and term limits. The people who imposed these constitutional limitations knew this, we do not. So instead of understanding we get angry at a regime who is only doing what a democracy demands they must do.
Technology has destroyed the idea of isolationism. Like gunpowder removing the protective nature of the Great Wall, the ability of mass obliteration has demanded that a democracy be internationally active. Unfortunately, a democracy, being slow and inefficient, cannot compete with fascism and terrorism (or any other ideological movement). The only thing that has kept us safe thus far is a giant pond and monarchal support. The advent of nuclear missiles, biological warfare, and terrorism have created an atmosphere where initiative means life or death of the entire system. Democracy will always choose safety over freedom, and equality over prudence. Modernity, on the other hand, demands speed over justice. If you are going to keep your people safe then you must do it fast, and quickness lends itself to error and atrocity. It is either make grievous errors or risk destruction. That is a heavy coin to flip. One that a democratic leader is never prepared to do, and almost always chooses incorrectly. It is the job of the voter to call him out on these errors, I agree, but it isn’t going to help anything.
It is time that we face history and inevitability. The democracy has outgrown its usefulness.
This war would never have come unless, under American and modernizing pressure, we had driven the Habsburgs out of Austria and the Hohenzollerns out of Germany. By making these vacuums we gave the opening for the Hitlerite monster to crawl out of its sewer on to the vacant thrones. No doubt these views are very unfashionable….
Winston Churchill, 8th April 1945.
If the Allies at the peace table at Versailles had allowed a Hohenzollern, a Wittelsbach and a Habsburg to return to their thrones, there would have been no Hitler. A democratic basis of society might have been preserved by a crowned Weimar in contact with the victorious Allies.
Winston Churchill, 26th April 1946.
The Queen’s appearances abroad do more in a day to gain goodwill for Britain than all the politicians and diplomats lumped together could achieve in years.
Sir Alec Douglas-Home (Prime Minister 1963-64).
The Tarquins, meanwhile, had taken refuge at the court of Lars Porsena, the King of Clusium. By every means in their power they tried to win his support, now begging him not to allow fellow Etruscans, men of the same blood as himself, to continue living in penniless exile, now warning him of the dangerous consequences of letting republicanism go unavenged. The expulsion of kings they urged, once it had begun, might well become common practice; liberty was an attractive idea, and unless reigning monarchs defended their thrones as vigorously as states now seemed to be trying to destroy them, all order and subordination would collapse; nothing would be left in any country but flat equality; greatness and eminence would be gone for ever. Monarchy, the noblest thing in heaven or on earth, was nearing its end.
Livy, The History of Rome from its Foundation, Book II.