A Small {r} Republican’s Argument for Monarchy

Imagine teaching an infant to be a lumberjack.  I don’t presume to know all of the skills that a lumberjack would need, but we can just deal with a few which are intuitive.  A lumberjack must be able to navigate rugged terrain, in any sort of weather, and handle heavy and dangerous equipment like axes, hammers, and chain saws.  We have pretty much ruled out infants from this recruit class, right?  Infants are not autonomous.  They lack strength, and if the once in a 40,000 year infant did have the strength, he or she likely would not have the judgment to handle dangerous equipment.  

This is a very good analogy for expecting human societies to embrace democracy.  Don’t get me wrong, I am a strong proponent of democracy, but, it is like Winston Churchill said, “democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”  The main problem with democracy is that it is a system to organize human civilizations, and humans are about as ready to handle democracy as infant are to become lumberjacks.

One of the main problems with our constitutional republic, based upon an idea, is that most people are not good with theory and principle.  We debate the meaning of our foundational principles, like life, liberty, and justice to stultifying and disastrous effects.  Our current state of affairs in the US has us essentially decaying into authoritarianism because the informed populace required for our constitutional republic has not evolved to the point where it can adequately sustain democracy.  

One tiny example is the manner in which many, a sufficient number, of Americans understood the second amendment.  I have argued with countless individuals that the Constitution does not include within it, a provision to make war against itself.  A sufficient number believed such an absurdity to allow a losing President, with designs on becoming an American Caesar, to be duped into making war against their government…as a patriotic act.  This act of manipulation by a would-be authoritarian is only possible because Americans have a hard time grasping the principles of American democracy. 

The argument for a monarchy is that much of its symbols were developed for an illiterate populace, and presented in such forms that, they can not be disputed, or perverted.  A person, as the embodiment of the nation, is simplified to the most basic state.  In the UK, the members of parliament handle policy, and the royal family parades as what a British person should be, separate from policy responsibility.  

My personal preference is a democracy, with an informed populace, who handle their civic responsibilities and vote regularly.  I want that for the US, and the rest of the world.  I see myself as a free individual, acting within the law, in pursuit of my subjective happiness.  But, let’s face it.  America is not up to that.  America is too busy voting for musical acts on reality tv shows, or following conspiracy theory fantasies like “Q”, rather than caring about who their Secretary of State is.  I used to think monarchies were just an absurd anachronism.  I don’t think so any longer.  Monarchies are how people understand their respective countries.  Constitutions are not.