Monarchy is a principle as old as history itself. The natural order of human history was with notable exception a society based around a king and his court, or the chief and his tribe from the noble to the yeoman down to the serf. It is a principle which was held to have an authority not based, as one would have it, on just blood or wealth or prowess in battle, but rather from one’s force of personality. The other characteristics mentioned, the nobility and wisdom, the “grace” ascribed to the throne ideally emanated from one’s being king rather than giving one the right to kingship. It was this aura that gives us tales of a royal disguising himself among a crowd as a commoner and still being identifiable as king, or the old myths about the health and fruitfulness of the land being correlated with the health and vitality of the monarch. Most importantly, the throne was a sacred authority bestowed upon a king not from “below”, or from the masses but from above, from Divine authority. This was a key element to understanding the high regard for the throne and royal blood in virtually all societies prior to the Enlightenment.
Today monarchy is regarded in the United States and a good portion of the rest of the world as an antiquated system, a feudalistic throwback, something humanity has outgrown. The few remaining ruling royal dynasties either rule remote, geopolitically irrelevant enclaves or worse, simply exist as powerless figureheads with virtually no responsibilities; celebrities with royal titles and nothing more. The sorry state of monarchy today is a far cry from its place even a century ago when despite the gains of revolutionary democratic and republican movements, most of the world’s population lived and died under the leadership of a king or emperor.
The negative view of monarchy today is tied to the quasi sacred belief in the idea of “progress” in which history is viewed as a continuous marching forward, with advancements socially, culturally, technologically, one in which primitivity and barbarism is the starting point and civilization is a sort of eternal end point. The liberals and so called progressives label anything that is contrary to their own ideological leanings as “reactionary” or regressive as it is far easier to dismiss something as backwards than actually judge it on its own faults and merits. Throughout history, this view was not the case as people understood their societies as part of organic unities with constant cycles of birth, growth, decline and death. Civilization is not infinite, and eventually all societies begin to decline, regardless of their political alignment. We must remember that the age of republicanism is historically speaking, a blip in the radar, only the most arrogant type would assume any system or nation is permanent.
A monarch gives a nation a sense of destiny and continuity an elected figure never can, as the throne transcends time limits and links one generation to the next in a way some four to six year term limit never could. More importantly, the king’s position is one that unites a nation in a way no political faction could, as the throne is by its very nature above political parties. What party did Cyrus, Alexander, Frederick Barbarossa, or Peter the Great belong to, or what use did they have for political parties? It is easy to point to one or two bad kings, or a dynasty that has declined and say kingship is bad because of individual bad kings. But a bad king does not make kingship bad in and of itself. As Benito Mussolini said the best of blood will sometimes get into a fool or a mosquito. It is the crown, the scepter and sword, as symbols of a nation that matter more than the individual man wearing the purple. Certainly many of the decadent absolutists who abused their position for cheap amusements and most of the spineless kings and royals of the last century shoulder much of the blame for the collapse of traditional monarchy. When corrupt monarchs are overthrown in the last century, the solution has been to do away with the monarchy altogether, rather than simply doing away with the monarch! While there are bad kings and good kings, a politician is by nature a careerist whose positions are based on maintaining his party’s position. By and large, even a well meaning politician is by his very nature shackled to interest in career and towing a party line. This is the case in both states that purport to be republics and most of the constitutional monarchies with a parliament. Politicians with strong views rarely come to the forefront, as they risk alienating a potential percentage of their constituency. Sometimes a nation’s destiny requires a drastic move on the part of the leadership which may cause temporary discomfort to the people or some group that will be of tremendous benefit later on. Politicians would sacrifice long term gains for short term political victories as these are far easier to point to than the risky move of pushing for something that may be unpopular but is infact crucial to national growth or even its survival. It is not uncommon for politicians to completely backpedal on an issue based on some change in party line, or indication their view may cost them votes or funding. One look at the campaign trail and the nauseating pandering candidates do should be enough to call people to wonder about why they let these people decide anything for them!
It should be noted that advocating a monarchy does not mean advocating a tyranny, as the two are frankly quite the opposite. Plato noted in his Republic that the “philosopher king” was the first and ideal form of government, and the worst, the last devolution of government before its fall was tyranny. In the first, the best rules his natural lesser in a manner that is neither self serving, nor dictatorial while in the latter the best of men are ruled by their inferiors without any pretence of legitimacy in a fashion that is self serving, cruel, and ultimately destructive to everyone but the tyrant and his immediate entourage and flatterers. What else is our class of politicians today, than essentially a class of tyrants who rule primarily for their own benefit while putting on a song and dance for the people?