second to none?

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One of those little bugs that gets under my skin is the Churchillian canard that "democracy is the worst form of government except for all the other ones".

I suppose it means that even though our political culture sucks, this is as good as it gets. I find this kind of glib bullshit particularly objectionable. In the first place, it's a particularly banal form of fatalism. Far be it for me to argue in favor of political activity, but I at least support the pursuit of knowledge about politics and political theory, which this defense of democracy ignores. If it doesn't ask you to ignore your objections to democracy, at least it whistles past the graveyard.

Second, and possibly more damning, the sentiment is demonstrably untrue as many examples in history illustrate. For one example, the form of government originally set up by the founders (a republic with limited sufferage) was far superior to our current one precisely because it was less democratic. The mob could howl but not legislate. For another example, the small bands of prehistoric humans that roamed the earth for millennia were not organized at all into governments, which seems to be a more natural state of organization for our species. It at least limits our capacity for tyrannical behavior, given our penchant for status signaling and other such stupidities.

But such superior forms of government have often been short-lived in civilized times, which is I suppose their great shortcoming. The fault lies, though, not in the structure (or lack thereof) of these systems but rather with the people who select the leaders. When good government goes bad, it may very well be a leadership problem but it's a safe bet that at bottom the blame lies with the hoi polloi. In our current mass man system, the fulcrum of every election is the "undecideds" -- a cud-chewing herd of ignoramuses who haven't a clue about public policy, but they know what buzz words ring the nicest in their fat, stupid ears. Bah. Any proper form of government requires a better selection process for its leaders than this insipidity.

A limited constitutional monarchy might be a much better form of government than democracy for promoting liberty and freedom. Professor Hans Hoppe has been delving into this thought experiment for some time, and I have to say that I'm half way convinced. At least it'd be easier to know when the time comes who it is that needs hanging.

3 comments:

goooooood girl said...
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Curt said...

Monarchy is the best form of government for a number of reasons:

Per Hoppe: because they make decisions that create cultural capital by taking the long view. They treat their rule as property, and therefore maintain it, rather than try to consume it before someone else does.

Because the government is fundamentally weaker at being able to impose it's will on people, (and as Hoppe states, because you can kill a king who gets out of hand - and it's usually done by his family members)

Because it is harder to concentrate capital necessary for creating wars of expansion. (Democracies it turns out are more warlike, and the nation states are nation states in an effort to counter the napoleonic problem of mobilizing a nation for total war)

Because a monarchy can't get very big without a government working for it, yet it can dspose of that governmnet when it gets out of hand. ("While Her Majesty Rules, none can take over the army, none the judiciary, none the state. This is her highest purpose." Denying power.)

Because a monarch with a government working for him, must deal only with exceptions - with threats to the people in the abstract: by preventing the accumulation of power by anyone. This is the true purpose of kings: to deny others power. To permit government while denying power to government.

Because the purpose of government is creating and administering social services. Because the purpose of the king is to prevent the usurpation of power. These two things must exist in a division of labor for complex motivational reasons.

Because people can understand a monarchy. It is similar to a family, and it something we all understand. It is understood the world over.

Because people will love their king, queen, monarch . Otherwise they will hate themselves. It prevents nihilism.

Because people can move between monarchs, between kingdoms, creating competition for government services, and competition for delivering them cheaply and effectively.

Because kings are intimately intertwined with Property Rights, and Economic Calculation, and Money, and Tradition, and as such are a better means of preserving those tools, institutions and freedoms. (A statement too hard to defend on a blog entry.)

The german princedom's were the highest form of government we yet produced. They survived partly because the larger states agreed along with the papacy, not to interfere in german affairs, since germany defended europe against the east. We should instead restore monarchies because they defend all of us against not just the east, but the avarice of our own people.

Kings were undermined all across europe, by making a laughing stock out of the divine right of kings. We must make a laughing stock out of the divine right of the masses, and the divine wisdom of democracy. Monarchy works because of epistemeological reasons that no other governmnet form can manufacture.

In the end, the history of man is the history of the development of monarchy, with brief and painful interludes between. Monarchy is the rule, not the exception, and it is so because it is simply a better method of organizing the world we live in, in every possible dimension.

Government by contrast, using other methods, is simply a means of institutionalizing theft by one class from another.

CounterClckWise said...

Cogent argument for the monarchy, Curt!