Wednesday, December 24, 2008

What British monarchy is NOT about

1. The Popularity of the Queen: Believe it or not, it is not about Her Majesty, it is not because the Queen has been a dutiful head of state or that she is the most experienced statesperson in the world. It is not really about the Sovereign, Her Successors or the Royal Family. Preservation of the monarchy should not hinge on the specific character or personal attributes of the Monarch. Saying that we should keep the monarchy because the Queen is a lovely lady is patently absurd;

2. Promoting Tourism: Also ridiculous is defending the notion that the British Monarchy is a wonderful “tourist attraction”, as if safeguarding the institution was akin to preserving family trips to the city zoo, which has to be one of the saddest arguments ever devised in its favour. In any event, this would only be true as it relates to the United Kingdom. Canadian or Australian monarchists could not plausibly argue that the monarchy has been good for their tourism, nor could Britons convincingly make the case that tourism would suffer catastrophically if the monarchy was abolished;

3. Taxpayer’s Money: It is not because it generates revenues for the state, or costs the treasury a mint to operate, or bequeaths a sizeable net profit to taxpayers. There is no proof that a republican head of state is any more cost-effective than a monarchical one on a net revenue minus expense basis, but even if there was, who cares? I should hope that a monarchy is more costly than a republic. Magnificence comes with a price;

4. Colonialism: It is not about protecting hangovers from “colonialism”, that old canard which reveals the self-inflicted inferiority complex of those who make it. Memo to the masses: Some of us actually liked the Empire and thought it did some real good in the world. Besides, you cannot stand there and pretend you were not part of the enterprise, or that you were somehow victimised by it when your adopted country or your British ancestors enthusiastically fought for it, defended it and was loyal to it. You were not suppressed from afar, you willingly partook in the great adventure. So kindly get unstuck from your colonial mentality;

5. Sentiment and Nostalgia: It is laughable to assert that only monarchies are susceptible to cringe-inducing bouts of the most empurpled sentimentality. The “I have a dream” swooning over Princess Obama currently underway in America surely testifies to the “moist, vapid emotions of the Diana cult” that are clearly prevalent in the “Great Republic”. The lack of stoicism and emotional dignity is a plague that affects modernity in general, and is no reasonable basis for defending the monarchy. Please vote for Obama if you want your misty-eyed fairytale.

1 comment:

Curt said...

Monarchies have three purposes

- To place limits on the military, so that it cannot be usurped by force and violence

- To place limits on the courts, so that they cannot be usurped by judicial means

- To place limits on the government, so the people's rights cannot be usurped, by political means

Monarchy is the only form of government that we know of that can perform these functions. These functions duplicate the paternal limits of the family, inside of which the rest of the family operates with freedom. Freedom because they are not prescriptive in action, only limitation. They do not tell us what to be. They tell us only that no man may usurp the people's individual freedom, in the pursuit of political freedom, which is a group freedom, which turns groups of people against people for their own benefit. It is the highest form of government the world has ever known. It is the most common government in history. It is the only government then men understand. It is the only government that is rational.

It is only when a monarch violates these, by interfering in individual freedom (which means property), rather than safeguarding that freedom, by establishing himself as a political power rather than a monarch, that he becomes what he exists expressly to protect against. For this reason, no monarch may create laws. That is the purpose of our government. The purpose of a monarch is to assent or veto laws, because they have been created by the political process for political ends, to usurp the power of some, at the expense of others.

In summary, the purpose of a monarch is to provide boundaries that are immutable beyond which none may pass. And as such, the pupose of a monarch, and the only purpose, is to deny others power.

There is no price for this service that a people can pay, that is high enough to compensate for its value.

If one must appeal to more intellectual standards, Hoppe has shown that it is not a matter of preference, but one of NECESSITY: no good governmnet can stand the test of time that is not a monarchy, because the incentives possessed by the fashions of the people, and the fashions of the merchant classes, will elect into office those people whose only incentive is to SPEND the cultural capital that they have by their behaviors and sacrifices, accumulated over time.

Or to take it even beyond Hoppe, from necessary incentives, to necessary logic:

Human beings cannot make judgements about almost any practical topic without the technologies of property, money, prices, and time. This is the set of technologies that allow us to compare things that are beyond our individual perceptions. The individual can manage his property, the parent the property of it's family, and the king, his property: his property being his position, and maintain that position only by protecting the property of his citizens from usurpation. Without these technologies we literally cannot reason. Without this structure, we are simply engaged in communism, a process by which we destroy the human ability to make rational allocations of resources over time -- the process by which we commit cultural and economic suicide. (see L Von Mises).

London is burning it's cultural capital by the barrel full, and everyone outside of London knows it. The English desire to feel as if they still have the empire by which to lead the world, despite the fact that they squandered it, is as foolish as the French belief that they can 'be the light of the world' despite the fact that they killed french enlightenment, and it's philosophy with the revolution. A self destructive process of murder, and self loathing matched only by the Russian communists. (see FA Hayek)

The queen is perhaps the world's most admired woman. Monarchs are regarded everywhere, clearly in the data, as recently as in Spain, as consistently thought well of, while governments are consistently thought poorly of.

So I will happily shout at every opportunity: "God save the Queen."

Moreover, I pray to a symbolic god few of us think exists, and as such is an appeal to men and fate, but which is an improvement on the original:

"I pray thee God, deliver us unto Kings, and save us from the people".