The disease runs deep. How deep? So deep that our entire perspective is polluted with assumptions that affirm the steps preceding our current condition. This creates a sense of learned helplessness: we see no other way than what we have now, and while what we have now is bad, it is stable and so we put up with the long slow decay.
That’s normal — people have been doing this for over 2,000 years. For a long time, we were able to coast in the middle where we were slightly dysfunctional, but historical events pushed that over the edge. Now, if we want to get back to before the decline and start over, we are going to have to take on a truly ancient outlook:
For in truth the notion of monarchy had, by that time, undergone its own period of absolutism to become its own opposite as well, and the German kings of England were there by the sufferance of oligarchic powers.
To get a true idea of kingship, we will have to go back a bit, not merely to the middle ages, but even as far back as Aristotle.
As liberal democracy melts down into a puddle of entropy, and we see that for the past two centuries our leaders have steadily worsened in their mismanagement of our wealth and futures, the idea of looking for alternatives raises its head. Who wants to have to constantly fight over elections, political ideologies, and whether one form of control brings more “freedom” than another? And our results could not be any worse than a series of world wars, disastrous social experiments like equality and diversity, and other frivolous nonsense that anyone with a brain would reject — but which, in groups, even intelligent humans enthusiastically affirm despite their being obvious signs of these paradoxical practices failing all around them.
In fact, Ed West — a good guy to read — thinks we may be entering a golden age of monarchy:
Monarchies are proven to help build social solidarity, creating a sense of continuity and togetherness around one family; they are also a healthy way for a country to project patriotic feelings, which otherwise might turn nasty. Monarchs serve as relatively neutral figures, especially useful in societies that are beset by class, clan, ethnic, religious or linguistic divide.
My feeling is that not only is he right that monarchies are superior, but that monarchies are returning. Democratic governance, like unions, adds a huge overhead and creates a parasite class which is much broader than an aristocracy could be. Because democracy must mobilize large groups of people around ideas, all notions are simplified and turned into victimhood narratives. There is no way to make a sane decision with this approach.
And yet, what would it be like to really roll back to an ancient aristocratic system? Plato gives us the lynchpin in The Republic:
When discord arose, then the two races were drawn different ways: the iron and brass fell to acquiring money, and land, and houses, and gold, and silver; but the gold and silver races, not wanting money, but having the true riches in their own nature, inclined toward virtue and the ancient order of things.
There are two basic approaches to choosing leaders. Either you see who gains power, and let them have it, or you see who are your best people, and give them power and wealth. The former picks people who are good at elbowing others out of the way, and the latter chooses those who are good at making situations excellent by looking past our immediate fears and pragmatic constraints. The ancient aristocracies were of this latter type.
Plato describes an archetypal class warfare situation, sort of like Revolution 0.1b: the top of the IQ and character curve are the gold and silver races, and they fascinate themselves not with methods, but with outcomes. Below them are those who are interested in methods, and finding methods that work best to take wealth from the combined bounty of society, which rewards cleverness and a meanness of spirit. Profit after all requires that more be taken than is given, and while in healthy capitalism there merely an exchange of values that benefits all, as soon as civilization encroaches on that business, it raises costs and creates an adversarial relationship.
A better technique is to make method secondary to goal. Aristocrats function in terms of goals, not methods, and as a result, they reach good ends; others focus on methods, and let those methods determine the end as a side-effect of self-interest to the exclusion of all else, also called “individualism.” As a society grows, it inevitably generates more people than it can employ, and those then need subsidizing, which converts self-interest into individualism as people desperately try to find ways to keep all that they have.
In every sense of the word, Leftism is one of these workarounds. We proclaim everyone equal and give them all subsidies, but then, some people gain privilege in the centralized system required to administer this giveaway. They in turn benefit because dumping money on the clueless means that these people then spend that money crazily, rewarding businesses of a crass type which tend to have higher margins than difficult or thoughtful work.
Every human civilization in history has gone out at some point through this mechanism. To a Leftist, this means that civilization itself is doomed; to a more sensible analyst, it means that the method that “seems” right is in fact wrong, much like throwing water on an oil fire is a terrible idea, but not a visually and immediately perceptible one — until it is tried. Civilizations destroy themselves through equality and the resulting dependency it creates.
Monarchism is an antidote to this process of decay. The best people are entrusted with wealth and power as caretakers of it, preventing reckless growth. This means that people have work and can live on a lot less, so they are under a lot less stress. This in turn promotes a greater enjoyment of life, and a tendency to spend more time on experience and less on proxies for sustenance.
If we go to monarchy, there is no point going half-way. We need a redesign of our economies, politics, and society. This only occurs by changing a centralized principle, and by reversing the direction of wealth from method to goal, we create that change in a way that will always point us toward the better.