These different types of monarchy may be vastly different but there is no fundamental reason why they should be antagonistic toward each other. Certainly, not being an Arab or a Muslim I would certainly not wish to live in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. However, as I am so far removed from it, what they do and how they order their society is none of my concern. The current situation with the absolute monarchies of the world, be they Saudi Arabia, Swaziland or Brunei, calls to mind some memorable lines from Bishop Jacques Bossuet's book, "Politics Drawn from Holy Scripture". In it the Bishop writes, while explaining the difference between absolute power (which he is for) and arbitrary power (which he is not) and laying out exactly what constitutes arbitrary power that,
"I do not wish to examine whether it is permissible or illicit. There are nations and great empires which are content with it; and it is not for us to awaken doubts in them about the form of their government. It suffices for us to say that it is barbarous and odious. These four characteristics are quite far from our own customs; and so among us there is no arbitrary government."
For those western monarchies that have been reduced to a totally or almost totally ceremonial status, I find this situation less than ideal but still preferable to having no monarchy at all. That is the direction that the arc of history has, unfortunately, taken. Personally, I prefer the traditional absolute (but not arbitrary!) form of monarchy but just as I would prefer a monarch that shared power to a monarch with no power at all, so too do I prefer a monarch with no power to having no monarch at all. There is, however, the added difficulty that, for me and most in the circles that I move in, a rather different set of circumstances than what most other monarchies have to deal with that takes priority. This is that, alongside the problem of having fewer monarchs with increasingly less authority, you have an overall decline in the traditions, culture and even the populations themselves of these nations as a whole. Between the centralizing, secularist forces of the European Union, the "social justice" movement, the open borders obsession and so on, the cultural and even physical distinctiveness of western monarchies is under immense threat.
In short, I think all are worth defending, whether for what they are or for what they could be. The constitutional monarchies of Europe may not look like much today, but has a European republic ever done better? The most sustained example one could point to would be France and history clearly shows that most of their strength came from the gains they made during their on-again, off-again periods as a monarchy. No, all of these countries rose to their grandest heights as monarchies, the monarchy is integral to their cultural heritage and that alone should make them worth holding on to. Most also came to be what they are because of their own unique history, over a great length of time. This is because monarchies, in their purest form, are organic. Despite the best efforts of the Stuarts, the history of the British Isles, the growth of the parliamentary system in England, the tribal feuding of Scotland and Ireland, meant that Great Britain was never going to become a centralized, absolute monarchy like Bourbon France. The Dutch monarch should not be powerless, but given the history of the Netherlands, no Prince of Orange was ever going to be like the Czar of Russia. By that same token, although many advocate for it today and I am all for them, it is quite impossible for me to imagine Russia having a largely ceremonial monarch. Nonetheless, I want them all to have one.
|"Tomorrow in the Senate, let them offer the sands of Libya|
as my kingdom ... I will accept."