“In a Democracy, the real rulers are the dexterous manipulators of votes, with their placemen, the mechanics who so skillfully operate the hidden springs which move the puppets in the arena of democratic elections. Men of this kind are ever ready with loud speeches lauding equality; in reality, they rule the people as any despot or military dictator might rule it.”
It's true that there are serious incentive problems with democracy, whether direct or representative. In theory, a monarchy sounds nice because it makes economic sense to give somebody (or his/her family) stewardship over a nation, since they have a vested interest in keeping the land economically prosperous. Democratic leaders on short-term election cycles have an incentive to loot as much as they can before they're kicked out.ReplyDelete
However, when you give somebody the property rights to an entire nation (or more correctly, a claim to a small percentage of that nation's national income), you invite hostilities. Being king or queen is a valuable capital asset for which, as history as shown, many are willing to fight terribly destructive wars.
How can we institutionalize the domestic stability of a sovereign without inviting hostile takeover attempts? Can we, in principle, refuse to recognize the right of conquest?
If you're looking for some political formula that will compensate for human flaws, ambition, corruption, plain bad decisions and be so perfect that no matter how bad the people or leaders are everything will still be just fine, free and prosperous regardless of our behavior, well, you'll be looking for quite a while.Delete
Until Jesus shows up, I'm not looking for or expecting perfection and I don't believe in magic political formulas or ideologies for that very reason.
I'm looking for no such thing. I'm looking for the opposite: Given human flaws such as "ambition, corruption, plain bad decisions..." etc., can we expect the net benefits of monarchy to be higher than constitutional democracy? The answer appears to be yes, if certain key conditions are met. I was hoping you, as the maintainer of a pro-monarchy blog and somebody who seems to be quite knowledgeable about the subject, had an answer regarding the most salient costs of a monarchy vis-a-vis a constitutional democracy.ReplyDelete
The rulers of a constitutional democracy are not residual claimants to the nation's income; they don't have as large as an incentive to start a war with the intent of conquering another nation as a monarch, who is a residual claimant on his/her country's income. So it seems the choice is between a constant level of waste/inefficiency in the case of a constitutional democracy, versus periodic highly destructive conflicts in the case of a monarchy. I'm assuming you have reasons to suppose the costs of the former are larger than the costs of the latter; I just wanted to know what those reasons were.
Yes you are, whether you want to admit it or not. The glaring fact is simple enough to grasp that everyone knows it by now, some people just like to pretend otherwise. The odds of having one good monarch are far greater than having a majority of the mob making electoral decisions ALL being good men and women with sound judgment and motivations.Delete
As for war -give me a break. Democrats "...don't have as large an incentive to start a war with the intent of conquering another nation as a monrch..."
Have you ever heard of World War II? In fact, since the end of World War I, when monarchies became the exception rather than the rule around the world, how many monarchs can you name who led their countries in a blatant war of conquest? Because I could name a TON of elected (and "elected") republican leaders who did.
Pretenders and usurpers often go to war over a throne for four main reasons:ReplyDelete
(1) To obtain power.
(2) To obtain property.
(3) To defend an idea.
(4) To overthrow an arbitrary monarch
Reason 1 is, with the rise of nation-states, plain unthinkable. This has falsely been the most know reason for royals to go to war. Disney overplayed the sibling rivalries, along with other countless entertainment industries. In another respect, minorities have historically used this reason to overthrow and then exploit the majority.
Reason 2 often involved rivalries between royal houses. Again, with the rise of nation-states and the phasing out of the right of conquest, this is unthinkable. The War of the Austrian Succession is a good example. Austria's enemies did not care for how illegitimate the queen was, they just wanted to defeat and exploit Austria.
Reason 3 is the most used example today. See the Legitimists v.s. Orleanists v.s. Bonapartists of France, the Jacobites of Britain, the Carlist of Spain, or the historical Miguelists of Portugal. The disputes between thrones in the examples often arise from political conflict.
Reason 4 is best symbolized with the Mandate of Heaven. The monarchs who become arbitrary will meet unrest, and soon a usurper.
First of all, sorry for my long vanishment MM.Delete
Reason 1, some times this is a legitimate casus belli, for example i am the King of X country and you are sitting in my other throne because you where the second in the line of succession and because the nobility of Kingdom Y disliked a forgein monarch they declared that my reign over them was void and gave you the crown, in this case i have a legitimate casus belli, to retake my crown, and of course my childrens will.
Reason 2, may be a settled peace in an Reason 1 war, like the Spanish War of Succession.
Reason 3, sometimes it could be valid...
Reason 4, it is valid because the arbitrary monarch doesn't have Divine Right to Rule, so in my opinion the throne should pass to the second, third, fourth and so on in the line of succession (of course if they supported the rebellion), and if there isn't a legitimate future king in the line of succession it would be the leader of the rebellion or another, if god approves.
PD: All this is based in the Divine Right of the Kings.
Hi from Argentina, i will be in touch, but i was always reading the MM.