The Benefits of Monarchy

King George VII will be better at limiting political power than any future American president.

Earlier this week a future king of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth Realms was born. It is a strange feeling being the citizen of a country and being able to see a photo of your country’s future head of state as an infant. However, when one reflects on the influence of the British monarchy on politics, the sight of a future king is no more depressing than the sight of upcoming 2016 candidates. 

The idea of monarchy is understandably abhorrent to many Americans. The policies of King George III of the House of Hanover were the source of the complaints outlined in the Declaration of Independence, and his intransigence led to the Revolutionary War. But it's also true that a constitutional monarchy can provide a better check on political power than constitutional democracy. Before you accuse me of being anti-American, old fashioned, or some sort of red coat interloper, let me explain.

After winning the Revolutionary War the Founding Fathers created a system of government based on the principles of limited government. Their best intentions aside, the U.S. is no better than the despot against which it fought when it comes to inherited power, nepotism, abuse of political power, or extravagant tradition.

While it might initially seem that the men and women who sit in the House of Commons and the House of Lords act as a check on the powers of the British monarchy the reality is that the British monarch actually provides more of a check on the U.K’s elected and unelected legislators. In the last hundred years many European nations have experienced fascism, communism, and military dictatorships. However, countries with constitutional monarchies have managed for the most part to avoid extreme politics in part because monarchies provide a check on the wills of populist politicians. European monarchies--such as the Danish, Belgian, Swedish, Dutch, Norwegian, and British--have ruled over countries that are among the most stable, prosperous, and free in the world. Constitutional monarchs make it difficult for dramatic political changes to occur, oftentimes by representing traditions and customs that politicians cannot replace and few citizens would like to see overthrown.

Something else that can be said in favor of a constitutional monarchy is that it allows for the head of the state to not be a political figure. Whether Democrat or Republican, the American president represents the country as the head of state, meaning that regrettably American culture, traditions, or interests are never represented by anyone other than a politician. British interests have been represented for decades by the same person who embodies the non-political customs and traditions of the U.K. In the U.S., every four years America could be represented by someone who has a different sense of what it means to be an American than whoever previously lived in the White House.

While the U.S. might not be a monarchy its political culture has a level of nepotism that puts the British monarchy to shame. The Bushes, Kennedys, and Clintons have all exploited family connections for personal and political gain and have established themselves as de-facto aristocracy in the United States. These American aristocrats have much in common with the British Royal family, especially given that while perhaps not the richest people in the country they certainly don’t mind building on a family brand complete with mansions, eccentricity, fame, and mythology. If you are worried about the unfairness of heredity privilege it is hard to see how a constitutional republic is preferable to a constitutional monarchy.

Although not granted their position in virtue of their birth, American presidents enjoy some lifestyle perks that are similar, if not superior, to the perks the British royal family enjoys. The White House is a mansion that resembles a palace, yet the British prime minister, the most powerful politician in the U.K. and the American president's counterpart, gets to live in the comparatively modest 10 Downing Street, an attached office and living area that does not have the absurd amenities that the president enjoys in the White House, such as a bowling alley, swimming pool, tennis court, and cinema. Neither the Queen nor her prime minister get a security detail anywhere near as large as the American Secret Service.

Whatever the arguments might be against inherited power, it seems that in the absence of a monarchy Americans have managed to develop and foster a sort of American royalty. Oftentimes it seems that the only difference between the heads of state in the U.S. and the U.K. is that the regal handing over of power is scheduled in the U.S., unlike in the U.K. where the death or the abdication of the monarch marks a handover of power. 

I admit that I don’t like many things about the British monarchy, an institution I absolved all allegiance to when I became an American citizen. The pomp and circumstance is irritating, and the seemingly blind observance of tradition many British royalists demonstrate is at times disturbingly cultish. In fact, I would not count myself as a royalist, and would support the U.K. undergoing some rather significant constitutional reforms that would change the role of the head of state. Despite its flaws the fact remains that an unelected head of state provides a check on political power that keeps politicians comparatively humble, something America's founding documents, some of the most brilliant pieces of political theory in history, have not been able to achieve. 

While it is understandable that the Founding Fathers would have wanted to avoid installing hereditary power into their new system of government, it seems modern Americans aren't exactly opposed to the idea. Would Madison and his colleagues have acted differently if given a glimpse of the awful regal spectacle that the American presidency would become? 

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  • Caleb Turberville||

    I maintain that the British government is superior to ours, but only because they still have a non-popularly elected Higher House that still acts as a check to the popularly elected Lowet House.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    *lower

  • Paul.||

    The unarmed, camera-laden land of Britain agrees!

  • Caleb Turberville||

    The government is superior in form , but not in action or in founding principles. But I still like the structure and form better.

    The American system could be better if the Congress were allowed to appoint a Head of State, separate from the Chief Executive, to a lifetime term.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Heck, just invest the duties of the Head of State in the appointed, life-time tenured Chief Justice and be done with it.

  • Free Society||

    I maintain that the British government is superior to ours, but only because they still have a non-popularly elected Higher House that still acts as a check to the popularly elected Lowet House.


    absurd. the British form of government is superior because the Americans have the 17th Amendment? You can check the power of the lower, popularly elected house all you like, the government as whole has almost no limitations placed upon it.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Actually, what's absurd is that anyone thinks the House of Lords has become anything other than a rubber stamp for the Commons. No since the 1920s has it had any real ability to stop legislation. And the Monarch hasn't has that power since sometime during Victoria's reign. Both are mere trappings these days. Parliment is quite literally wimmer take all in terms of power and authority.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    You then have to concede Canada and Australia have superior forms of government too since we're part of the Commonwealth.

  • ||

    "The unarmed, camera-laden land of Britain agrees!"

    Because we know that Americans use their guns to fight the government...

  • Pro Libertate||

    I don't agree. While our civil liberties have been trickling down the drain, theirs are flowing out by the gallon.

    I do think a written constitution has some serious advantages, as do the additional checks we have in separating the executive from the legislature.

  • Paul.||

    I don't agree. While our civil liberties have been trickling down the drain, theirs are flowing out by the gallon.

    This is kind of how I see it. They don't even really have codified protections for the parliament to ignore, like we do.

  • Paul.||

    If the right people are in charge?

  • Raven Nation||

    "In the last hundred years many European nations have experienced fascism, communism, and military dictatorships. However, countries with constitutional monarchies have managed for the most part to avoid extreme politics in part because monarchies provide a check on the wills of populist politicians."

    Hmm, in 1940 George VI wanted a PM that would deal with Hitler. It was against his preference that the non-appeaser Churchill became PM.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Constitutional monarchies like Germany?

  • amagi1776||

    The Weimar Republic replaced the Imperial German State of the Kaisers. Hitler grew out of a "Republic" not a Monarchy.

  • Raven Nation||

    But the kaisers' state still had an elected parliament of some description and managed to help initiate WWI, trampling on a lot of rights along the way.

  • Stephdumas||

    We could wonder what if there was someone else who was the emperor instead of Wilheim II, like Frederic III, if things could had been different?

  • Hash Brown||

    And Italy?

  • Raven Nation||

    And, I should clarify: G6 wanted a PM who would DO a deal with Hitler i.e. accept some form of armistice in 1940.

    Yeah, that German constitutional monarchy worked out real well after 1900.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    By the way, am I the only person who read this in English Bob's voice?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Duck, I says.

  • Floridian||

    I heard you broke your damned neck.

  • Duke||

    Billiards?!

    I see I’m about five hours late to this party...

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    I read it Lord Grantham's.

  • Spiny Norman||

    I went with Carol Burnett as Queen Elizabeth.

  • Almanian!||

    I went with Carol Burnett as that drunk she played in "Annie".

  • gaoxiaen||

    We all got it coming, kid.

  • ArbutusJoe||

    Jackie Wright

  • Hawk Spitui||

  • Hugh Akston||

    One nice thing about monarchy is that instead of impeachment, you have the guillotine.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    "A president...Well, why not shoot a president?" - English Bob

  • pmains||

    Where do you think we got our impeachment from? The idea was to check the power of the monarchy by picking off his cabinet members when they (on behalf of the king/queen) got uppity.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    ARE YOU SERIOUSLY COMPARING ENGLAND TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA? We're the world's greatest country, partly because we scoff at the idea of royalty.

    Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to read up on what the Kennedys are up to.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    One of them was just nominated to the Ambassadorship to Japan, wasn't she?

  • Paul.||

    Send him over by having him pilot himself in a small plane.

    *ducks*

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    It was Caroline. It's basically a giant fuck you to Japan, and a warning that the United States won't be of much diplomatic help if they decide to get into with China over any islands.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Or if Godzilla attacks.

  • ||

    You rang?

  • ||

    "Uh, folks, we’re experiencing some moderate Godzilla-related turbulence at this time, so I’m going to go ahead and ask you to put your seat belts back on. When we get to 35,000 feet, he usually does let go, so from there on out, all we have to worry about is Mothra, and, uh, we do have reports he’s tied up with Gamera and Rodan at the present time. Thank you very much."

  • ||

    I'm just trying to hook up w/ some of those hot-ass stewardesses they still use on Asian airlines.

    True story: when flying out of Hong Kong, despite their enormous airport, I could immediately identify the ticket counter for the American-owned airlines, because it was the only one staffed with frumpy overweight women in their 40s, instead of smokin' hot young Asian chicks.

  • Paul.||

    True story: when flying out of Hong Kong, despite their enormous airport, I could immediately identify the ticket counter for the American-owned airlines,

    Truer story: Flying Singapore air first class is on my bucket list.

  • ||

    I think you get a hand-job along with your complimentary drinks in first class on an Asian airline.

  • Silly ol' Bear||

    Gonna start flyin' Asian then! *lol*

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "I'm sorry, but Bertha here has seniority."

  • Paul.||

    "Uh, folks, we’re experiencing some moderate Godzilla-related turbulence at this time, so I’m going to go ahead and ask you to put your seat belts back on.

    Faaake! Didn't even mention tray-tables.

  • ArbutusJoe||

    Krugman has already wished this.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    Is it? Japan likes face, and getting an important donor might be considered good.

  • pmains||

    I think I'm going to slip that into conversation next time somebody mentions Japan. I don't know what it means, but it sounds just cryptic enough that people aren't going to challenge you on it.

    [thought-bubble]They like face. Hmm. Like, they don't want to lose face? They value face-to-face communications? They like Caroline Kennedy's face?[/thought-bubble]

  • pmains||

    I remember reading Caroline's "book" on the Bill of Rights in High School. I was doing a paper on the 2nd Amendment and wanted to get different viewpoints.

    Well, she started out with some snide comment about Americans wanting to be John Wayne. Then she danced around for several pages without saying much of anything, before finally moving on to quartering soldiers in peacetime.

  • Tejicano||

    Ha! Japan.gov is very happy with this arrangement - see how quickly they voiced approval - because they love having an ambassador who is way in over their head. Makes it easy to lead the ambassador around like a little puppy and get everything they want.

    They will let her make some vaguely feministic speeches about one thing or another but they pretty much have free reign for the rest of this administration.

    Jayzus, O'Bozo is such an amateur!

  • ||

    Of course the Englishman would pen this article, without even the goddamn common decency to use an American nom de plume to cover up his royalist (and thus automatically pro-serfdom) point of view.

    We'll bow down to your kind no more, English! For Scotland, and FFRREEEEEEDDOOOOOOOMM!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Hugh Akston||

    Jimbo's favorite movie features men wearing skirts.

  • ||

    Have you ever worn a kilt? The chicks have been holding out on us; skirts are infinitely more comfortable on a hot day than pants!

  • Xenocles||

    Yes they are. I went through a brief kilt phase that included a cross-country drive, and a heavy wool kilt served me just fine in the winter along I-90.

    You could say they look ridiculous but I suspect that's a relative judgement, not an absolute one.

  • ||

    Fuck how they look, I rock a utilikilt during the summer.

  • Xenocles||

    The beauty of relative judgements is that they are subject to the judgement of everyone else - including the person being judged.

  • ||

    Very Zen of you.

  • Xenocles||

    I get that a lot.

  • Paul.||

    Fun fact: The Traditional Scottish Kilt is neither Scottish, nor Traditional.

  • Xenocles||

    Neither am I, so it works.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    GOVERNMENTS ARE INSTITUTED AMONG MEN, DERIVING THEIR JUST POWERS FROM THE CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED. U! S! A! U! S! A!

    It looks like I'm going to have to watch Patriot tonight to cleanse my palate of this nonsense.

  • MJGreen||

    Why should I trade one tyrant 3000 miles away for 3000 tyrants one mile away?

  • Almanian!||

    Because?

  • CE||

    Because the distant tyrant's cavalry commander just burned down a church full of women and children and killed your son, that's why.

  • Xenocles||

    Ideally we should evaluate government by its results, not by its methods. This is apparent in the extremes; nobody sane would claim to prefer a democratically elected Hitler over a hypothetical King George Washington. It becomes murkier when we realize that we have no guarantee of good results from any system and have to play the odds. So what are the odds that an given system will produce good results (defined as the reader wishes, but broadly we should be able to agree that "good results" will involve deference to the rights of the people over the personal gain of the government's officers, however defined)?

    I would rule the country as a libertarian dictator, but what are the odds my successor would? How many years can we expect before a monarch becomes a despot? Republics are not exempted from answering this question about themselves, either.

  • CE||

    I would start from the principles of self-ownership and non-aggression. Forcible government of any kind is immoral.

  • Xenocles||

    That's a great start, but it's not stable. I'd rather fly everywhere rather than walk, but I am resigned to learn to walk well in the meantime.

  • Hash Brown||

    A shit sandwich vs. a shit sandwich with moldy bread. Does it matter which one is "better"?

  • Ballz||

    shyte

  • Tak Kak||

    Is Hans Hoppe catching on at Reason?

  • Libertymike||

    He is with this poster.

  • Aresen||

    Something else that can be said in favor of a constitutional monarchy is that it allows for the head of the state to not be a political figure. Whether Democrat or Republican, the American president represents the country as the head of state, meaning that regrettably American culture, traditions, or interests are never represented by anyone other than a politician. British interests have been represented for decades by the same person who embodies the non-political customs and traditions of the U.K. In the U.S.

    This is the sole real benefit of a Constitutional Monarchy*: The Head of Government is not the Head of State, which makes the government leader just another politician and thus less able to "wrap himself in the flag." Opposing the government leader's policies - particularly foreign policies - is not subject to smears of being disloyal to the country.

    However, the same benefit can be obtained by having a Ceremonial President and giving the real power to a Premier or Prime Minister.

    *One can make a special case for the British Monarchy benefiting the UK by way of billions of dollars in tourist revenue from those who enjoy the antics of a dysfunctional family of uppercrust parasites who dress up in fancy clothes.

  • Bam!||

    A representative democracy seems to be at odds with a limited government, but those squishy, non-authoritative European monarchs haven't done any better.

  • Tony||

    Whatever the disagreements major and minor about the direction of the United States, one thing that is in our DNA is the rejection of hereditary privilege. Before we try out monarchy, let's work on the examples of hereditary privilege you cited and all the others that do, indeed, make our system even more cancerously aristocratic, in a de facto way, than states with actual aristocracies. So folks, how high should the inheritance tax be?

  • ||

    So folks, how high should the inheritance tax be?

    ZERO.

  • Tony||

    Assuming you believe there need to be some taxes, where should they come from? More on working poor people buying groceries, but not so much on people whose accomplishment was choosing the right parents?

    You ever sit and wonder why you're OK with all the taxes poor people tend to pay but adamantly oppose all the taxes rich people tend to pay? Ever think, what an amazing coincidence, my moral principles lead me to defending maximum wealth concentration in the hands of the few, like, it couldn't be any more efficient to that end than if it were specifically designed for it.

  • Jordan||

    More on working poor people buying groceries, but not so much on people whose accomplishment was choosing the right parents?

    Yes, please tell us what we believe. No, do go on. You haven't learned anything in the time you've been here. It's fucking embarrassing.

    Ever think, what an amazing coincidence, my moral principles lead me to defending maximum wealth concentration in the hands of the few, like, it couldn't be any more efficient to that end than if it were specifically designed for it.

    Says the guy who supports the Federal Reserve, the regulatory state, and corporate subsidies and bailouts.

  • Tony||

    So no taxes? Or how about a quick sketch of your tax regime. Where on the regressive/progressive spectrum does it fall, overall?

    I favor some targeted subsidies and the removal of the necessity of bailouts. The subsidies would, of course, not go primarily to CEOs in my world, but to workers doing the work.

  • Jordan||

    Yes, please tell us what we believe. No, do go on. You haven't learned anything in the time you've been here. It's fucking embarrassing.

    How about you do your own homework? But since I'm feeling generous, you can find libertarians who support the following: a land value tax, a flat tax with exemptions for food, clothing, medicine and other things that poor people spend most of their income on, tariffs as noted by cavalier973, or just plain user fees.

    I favor some targeted subsidies and the removal of the necessity of bailouts. The subsidies would, of course, not go primarily to CEOs in my world, but to workers doing the work.

    Yes, we know you favor rainbows and kittens.

  • cavalier973||

    A low revenue (not protective) tariff is all the FedGov should be allowed to collect.

  • Jeff||

    So folks, how much money is the government entitled to steal because someone died?

    Not a fucking red cent, you dumb bitch.

  • XM||

    Don't worry man, some left wing site is going to link to this article as proof that "right wingers" really love the monarchy, and want to elect a king.

    There shouldn't a inheritance tax. This is a libertarian site.

  • CE||

    Tax me once, shame on you. Tax me twice, shame on me.

  • ||

    So folks, how high should the inheritance tax be?

    If you expect the people at the top to actually support and vote for an inheritance tax big enough to end all notions of aristocracy, then you haven't been paying attention.

    They'll tweak it, just to appease people, while they still get rich, the old fashioned way: spending other people's money. Maybe you should tax that, i.e., not give it to them?

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Whatever the disagreements major and minor about the direction of the United States, one thing that is in our DNA is the rejection of hereditary privilege.


    Because hederitary privilege has to be much worse than purchased privilege... somehow.

    Before we try out monarchy, let's work on the examples of hereditary privilege you cited and all the others that do, indeed, make our system even more cancerously aristocratic


    You mean we're not there yet???

    The Clintons, the Bush Dinasty, the Kennedys, the Rockefellers, Lady Demi and Baby Ashton...

    So folks, how high should the inheritance tax be?


    What THE FUCK does that have to do with anything?

  • R C Dean||

    So folks, how high should the inheritance tax be?

    0% sounds about right to me.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    It really is evil that when my parents pass on, their properties will automatically trigger a tax (capital gain) to which we, the children, will have to pay. I know there are ways to avoid this sort of stuff, but my father opted not to. Result? Government steals its cut.

  • Tony||

    One of these days I'm gonna just paste something you've written and watch you disagree just for the sake of disagreeing.

    Isn't meritocracy the whole point behind the system you advocate? Or is it just Darwinism all the way down? Feudalism and its descendant aristocracy maintain themselves because a few wealthy families get to pass the wealth down over generations. This country is seeing wealth increasingly concentrated with a few wealthy families, so shouldn't we do something to prevent the development of an aristocracy? Or something to break apart the one that you apparently agree we already have?

    No, the entire point of your existence is to defend what wealth is already in the hands of the very wealthy, no matter how it got there.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Feudalism and its descendant aristocracy maintain themselves because a few wealthy families get to pass the wealth down over generations.

    I think your understanding of feudalism is much the same as your understanding of everything else: Lacking. Feudalism was a contractual arrangement and the Lord had the right of revocation at any time for any reason. A Lord could strip his vassal of lands, incomes, and titles at a whim. As a consequence, this is why aristocrats spent so much time and money trying to impress their Lords and stay in their good graces.

    This country is seeing wealth increasingly concentrated with a few wealthy families, so shouldn't we do something to prevent the development of an aristocracy?

    Question Begging Tony continues to beg the question. But sure, let's start by stripping George Soros of all his filthy lucre and sending him to the guillotine.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Did Tony just equate feudalism to inheritance?

    Of the many wows he's pulled here that's one of the wowiest.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    And in your system merit is the equivalent of existence. I deserve all these goodies from the government because I was born. So what if I didn't bother to apply myself, or got an art history degree. These are my dreams and dammit I deserve to be paid by others for them whether they are valued or not. Meanwhile the 1% tend to stay married, tend to have more (and more valuable) education, tend to work more -you know, things that have, um, merit. Clearly they deserve to be punished. All praise the Grasshopper! Punish the greedy Ants for not sharing!

    On the other hand there are a ton of limousine liberals I would love to see cut off from daddy's trust fund, but unlike you I can't come up with a logically consistent and moral argument for doing so.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Hey.

    I have a history degree.

  • ||

    I can't come up with a logically consistent and moral argument for doing so.

    FYTW. You just have to turn off your brain for a minute. Just don't forget to turn it back on like Tony did.

  • ||

    I deserve all these goodies from the government because I was born. So what if I didn't bother to apply myself, or got an art history degree.

    Hell, what if I'm a murdering thief? If I get out, and I earned it, I get to collect Social Security and extend my life as far as possible through Medicare. Thanks, taxpayers. I'm glad that I'm spared the indignity of having to ask for charity, and I don't have to worry about how my deeds may have come across to potential benefactors.

  • ||

    I deserve all these goodies from the government because I was born. So what if I didn't bother to apply myself, or got an art history degree.

    No, it's value.

    You may think it sucks that Britney Spears makes more money than a person who would cure cancer, but it also means that, if I can find people who want what I have and are willing to pay a lot for it, I don't have to worry about moralistic busybodies whining about the unfairness of it all.

    Sorry: I spent a great deal of time studying in school, when a bunch of my friends were drinking and screwing each other. At this point, I'm happy with how my facebook page has turned out.

    Now, if I have to get taxed more because of my meritocratic success, what do I get? Can I travel back in time and let them sit in my room studying their asses off, while I drive around, smoke pot, and screw? Where's my jacking around time? I don't have the free time that poor people have. When do I get some of theirs?

    Maybe that's how it could work: I could hire them to do some of the work around the house, save me some of the trouble...hmmmm...kinda like a...free...market....or something.

  • Arn0||

    "Isn't meritocracy the whole point behind the system you advocate?"

    No: liberty is the whole point.

    (And prosperity.)

    http://www.woldww.net/classes/.....uality.htm

  • Silly ol' Bear||

    You want to talk about tradition? Our family moved to the Americas in 1608. We helped found a good bit of it. We carried boatloads of folk over here from a corrupt society in England. We never forget our place nor do we ever misuse it. I really don't care about royalty (it's stupid), and I certainly NEVER want to see it here in our glorious country.

  • Silly ol' Bear||

    We fought and died in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Civil War, WWII, and Korea. Somehow we kinda missed the Spanish-American War and WWI, oh well, can't fight them all! *lol*

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Revolutionary, Spanish American, Indian, WWI, and Cuban Missile Crisis for mine.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Oh and if having your neighbor's house blown up by a German counts, I got one in WWII.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    German *bomb* to be specific.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Interesting family history. Must be fascinating and never a dull moment.

  • Ballz||

    My GAWD! Those awful hats.
    and what would happen to the monarchy if the designated penis failed to function?

  • Silly ol' Bear||

    I am surprised Charles could "get it up."

  • AlmightyJB||

    Hail to the King Baby!

  • Almanian!||

    +1 sawed off shotgun

  • R C Dean||

    I like having a ceremonial head of state. Should be the last President, IMO. One six year term as Pres (perhaps renamed the Government Manager), one six year term as HoS, and off you go to a modest retirement. If the HoS dies in office, then his predecessor can take over, or if he's not available, "promote" the Secy of State (who, needless to say, will be ineligible henceforth to serve as GM).

    Oh, the HoS gets the White House. Give the GM wherever the Vice President currently stays. The VP can rent a fucking apartment.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    The UK monarchy is purely decorative. That's the only reason, IMHO, that they don't cut off their heads.

    Maybe a monarch with real power would have vetoed some of the censorship laws, the CCTV nonsense, etc. Until their heads got cut off.

    Instead, the Royal Family is like Hollywood, supplying the people with entertaining celebrities.

    Americans get the best of both worlds - they don't have to pay for the UK monarchy but they get to watch them on TV and fulfill their princess fantasies.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    I waited and read down the thread until someone realized the Monarchy has no real power. Congrats Edouard.

    I'm not sure what the author is arguing given the Monarchy is a figurehead. Unless I'm confusing how it is here in Canada with the UK but I thought this was the case for the Commonwealth as a whole.

  • CE||

    The article misses the main advantage of a monarchical system over an electoral one:

    When the leader is elected by vote, he's always a power mad wannabe dictator, and his time horizon is one or two terms. Unless he's an unusually forward thinking conscientious person for a power mad wannabe dictator.

    When the leader is determined by birth, he or she is sometimes a deranged tyrant, and other times a forward thinking conscientious person, with a much longer time horizon, since he or she is leaving his or her nation to his or her progeny.

  • Mickey Rat||

    ",,,he or she is sometimes a deranged tyrant, and other times a forward thinking conscientious person..."

    Your mistake is thinking these two leadership types are mutually exclusive.

  • Free Society||

    But it's also true that a constitutional monarchy can provide a better check on political power than constitutional democracy

    The US is a constitutional republic. There's a huge difference. A republic is a form of government, a democracy is a mechanism for the popular distribution of power.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • cavalier973||

  • Hawk Spitui||

  • PH2050||

    Jesus Fucking Christ on a bicycle, the comments make me want to pull out my hair and write angry emails asking why high school graduates don't know more about biology.

  • Sevo||

    "The Benefits of Monarchy"
    It keeps all the congenital idiots in one house?

  • ToiletsonIce||

    I find what the author said to be interesting food for thought, yet I would have to disagree with him, that is, if he weren't already of the appearance of disagreeing with himself.

    As for Madison, although he did have some chewy political insights, he wasn't exactly the most minarchist of the Founding Fathers (unless of course you compare him to Hamilton, in which light Madison would appear fairly anarchist himself).

  • MappRapp||

    Dude knows whats going on over there man. Wow.

    www.GotMy-Anon.tk

  • Slothrop||

    You know, the Germans actually do elect a purely ceremonial Head of State. They're a federal, multicameral parliamentary republic with a Head of Government elected by the legislature, but every few years they also vote for a "President" who basically doesn't do a single goddamn thing that the Queen of England doesn't do. (S/he marches in parades, conducts ceremonial visits to other countries just to stand around waving at people, signs meaningless symbolic documents, that kind of thing--all real executive power is in the Chancellery.)

    The 1871 constitution created the office "Reichskaiser", then the Weimar constitution replaced the Kaiser with an elected President who had basically the same job Then Hindenburg supported Hitler's emergency decree (giving the Presidency a bad reputation that persists to this day, from what I understand), then when Hindenburg died Hitler decided he might as well be "Reich President" and "Reich Chancellor" at the same time.

    So, thanks to Hindenburg and Hitler, the BRD constitution basically sets up the office "President of Germany" as that of a person who is elected to be disregarded and mocked as a powerless figurehead.

    The German sense of humor is somewhat underrated, if you ask me.

  • ReeceExaminer||

    I recommend Democracy: The God That Failed by Hans-Hermann Hoppe to the author of this article. Hoppe makes the case that monarchy is better than democracy, but that market anarchism is superior to both.

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