Wednesday, August 16th, 2017
The modern era is defined by the focus on the human individual which is its core. That perspective inverts, or changes into its opposite, every value of the past, because those values were not focused on the self but on the order outside of the self. We must re-learn everything that was common sense in the past because we have not forgotten it; it was altered.
Such is the case with aristocracy, which modern people do not understand at all. To them, aristocracy means “rule by rich people.” This is typical of the modern materialist view which judges people as economic and political actors only, and is blind to the actual question of humanity, which is individual quality by wisdom, intelligence, spirit, moral character and talents.
Aristocracy recognizes that most humans are low in ability and motivation to do anything more than serve a relatively limited role in a local area. It also sees that, in emulation of nature, humans are pack animals who need strict hierarchy so that each individual knows what to do at any given time. If that is not present, humans revert to their monkey nature and become destructive.
The order of the pack can be achieved several ways. The simplest is combat; the strongest and best fighter wins. The problem with this is that it excludes wisdom, so humans sometimes choose instead those who make the best leaders, which is a combination of fighting and intellectual skill. This produces leaders who are able to manage others and understand long-term goals, and under that, we prosper.
In this way, aristocracy rises naturally. Any group of two or more people requires a leader, much as every home has a Man and Wife in complementary roles. The leader is not chosen by a vote, but by natural ability, judged by those who are most likely to be his peers; in other words, a hierarchy forms from the top down, and choices pass this way as well. This process emerges from human behavior.
To the dismay of moderns, this means that not only is there no voting about who should be the aristocrats, but there is also not universality. That is, if you are on the bottom of the pyramid, it is not expected that you would understand the choice per Dunning-Kruger and therefore, your opinion is not sought or wanted. Those of the highest ability, as demonstrated and perceived by others of high ability, make these choices.
Even more to their surprise, this means that aristocracy is the exact opposite of what they think it is. They think it means that we give power to the wealthy; what it actually means is that we find our best people, and give them wealth and power. This way, they will use that wealth and power toward good ends, and have no need for more so are uncorruptible.
The point of aristocracy is to conserve the good in our society by placing it on top of the hierarchy as an example and so that the rest of us benefit from its abilities. These good people then own most of the land, and tend to keep a good deal of it natural, as the “green belt” in Britain was before it was torn down to make housing for immigrants.
In turn, aristocrats are permanently bound to duty. Rarely do any quit their positions, and they know that they and their descendants will be held responsible for whatever they do. Further, they are not politicians who view their roles as a job, and society as something contracting with them, but representatives and part of that society, inseparable from it.
It is not surprising that aristocrats in the past and present tended to be hard-working and diligent about getting the details right, something none of our politicians seem to care about.
Aristocracy includes a hierarchy and caste system. The hierarchy expresses itself in different levels of aristocrats — kings, dukes, counts, lords — who form a cascading power structure from the king downward (empires are generally a religious construction, and violate the principle of nationalism, so will not be discussed here).
Power is strongest when it is most local. The lord of a certain parish or county will have more direct power over his citizens than the king, who has no limits on his power, but tends to administrate at a higher level. This means that instead of bureaucracy, case-by-case decisions by those actually in power are used to regulate society, making law and red tape less important than anticipate consequences of any action. A law says that pollution from a plant must be below a certain level; a lord may order the plant to cease any action that pollutes at all, or any other action that in the view of that lord, disrupts the local community.
As a result of its cascading structure, aristocracy creates a society around it that follows a mesh pattern as seen in agrarian societies. Instead of huge cities as hubs, there are many smaller cities surrounded by towns and outward from that, villages. These overlap to some degree such that while the individual is never that far from civilization, human habitation is also dispersed so that its negative effects are lessened and no one is anonymous. Instead of a binary hierarchy, where there are those in control and those who are subject masses, there is a tiered hierarchy where everyone has a place and, unless they prove grossly incompetent, will retain that place on the basis of its local connections. This spreads stability and security, and ends the competition that has incompetents aggressively campaigning to become wealthy.
In addition, under aristocracy civilization is liberated from herd opinion. There are no thronging masses waiting to be inspired by the political trope of the day spoken from on high. Instead, there are leaders who are directly accountable for their actions, and who can filter out troublemakers by exiling them. Aristocracy inherently recognizes that whatever is popular is wrong, and that what requires someone of intelligence, moral character and experience to see is what will work best in the long-term, which is the only time scale that counts because only when people can rely on their surroundings to be consistent throughout the ages can they trust that their work and efforts are worth doing.
Aristocracy also implicates a caste system, which generally fits the form of 1% Brahmins, 9% Kshatriya, and 90% Vaisyas and Sudras. Brahmins are the leaders, priests and wise men; Kshatriya are the warriors and artisans, and make up today’s middle classes; the Vaisyas are the merchants, and while they can be quite wealthy, are not accorded respect as leaders, and Sudras are the working class with several levels within it. This caste system ensures that each person can compete at a level where they can do well, and that they are not given power they do not understand how to use.
This caste system arises from an understanding that traits are heritable, as Charles Darwin taught us in the West. Someone who is good at leadership, if he marries a woman of similar ability, will have children with that ability unless they are abused or have some mutation so grotesque that it damages them. In the same way, the other castes perpetuate their traits as well, and the only way for people to rise in status is through multiple generations of actions which are above and beyond what others at their level do.
Such as it is, this outlook is cynical about wealth. Those who are good at making money are bad leaders because the two are entirely different skills; someone who is good at making money aims only toward a narrow end, profit, while someone who is a good leader aims for good results in reality, which means something that benefits civilization as an organic whole, or an entity in which each of us serves unequal roles apportioned to our abilities. Aristocracy is based in duty and excellence, and the ability to make money easily implies an opposite of that, which is why aristocrats do not behave like our rich people now.
Inherently nationalistic, aristocracy recognizes each nation as a tribe of its own and the interests of that nation as inseparable from those of the tribe. There can be no separate entity, like government, which manages society for its own ends; aristocracy manages society to thrive because only that grants the aristocrat success, and since they already have money and power, only success at real-world tasks will allow them to advance in stature in their society. Since humans are social animals, and status competition is a hard-wired behavior, this redirects an otherwise abusive human behavior into a constructive one.
Those who criticize aristocracy generally mention its downfall, but few mention that it avoided the worst of the wars which we unleashed on ourselves later, drove off the worst of the threats, and made our society prosperous enough that mass revolt was even possible. As we have seen through the last few centuries of conflict, corruption, social decay and a failure of our cultures to produce the same abundant art, learning, architecture and literature that they did under the monarchy, we were better off in the long-term with aristocracy.
Monday, July 24th, 2017
As our regular readers know, Amerika represents roots conservatism, which is the habit of preserving what works and then gradually improving it qualitatively that has guided humanity since the dawn of time. That basic philosophy takes many forms, which have their own principles and methods interpreting it, but is more radical than anything else in that it faces the basic patterns of reality instead of focusing on categorical, material and discrete symbols as replacements for that reality. Part of this realism is recognizing the importance of aristocracy, or a leadership based on quality of people and not inverted assessments like wealth or elections or even popularity, and to that end we are monarchists, or those who want an escape from democracy to the more stable times of kings, lords and honor. One of the most persuasive writers about monarchy, The Mad Monarchist has explored not just the reasoning behind monarchy, but the remaining royal houses and the slow but gradual increase of interest worldwide in a restoration. For a monarchist, one cannot restore Western Civilization without also bringing its ancient leadership caste back to life. We were lucky to get a chance to interview this creative and dynamic, if hardline traditionalist, thinker.
The big question: why monarchy? What does it offer that nothing else does, why is it the best option, and how do people get to the point of realizing that this is true?
That is usually the first question; I have been asked it many times and have given many different answers. For some, the answer is based on religion, in my case Christianity which commands it. Yet, there are also practical reasons. Monarchies today are more cost-effective than modern republics, their populations are more united, they are disproportionately more prosperous and so on. They tend to be more durable and resilient than republics. The United States is the oldest major republic in the world and yet it is as a child compared to the longevity of monarchies such as Japan, Denmark, Great Britain or even tiny Monaco. All of these would, I think, make a strong case for monarchy being the “best option” but it is also part of how monarchies tend to be organic. This is partly why they are so different from each other and so long lasting. They grow up along with a nation and so are a natural fit for their people and culture rather than being something which an elite group “invents” according to a particular ideology and then expects everyone to adapt to.
As to how people get to the point of realizing the truth of this, the open-minded can, of course, be persuaded by reasoned arguments but such individuals are few. People also do tend to adapt to their circumstances and, despite what they claim, usually do not want any radical changes. However, I think there does come a point when people or their republican rulers must face the fact that their system is not working. Republics, at least in modern times, post-revolutionary republics, tend to be very Utopian and ideological and this will inevitably end in disappointment as they promise something, a Utopia, which cannot be achieved. At that point, I would think, people would have no choice but to look back to more “ancient wisdom” for a viable alternative. Democracy does complicate this point as it can be either a help or a hindrance. In China, for example, after tens of millions of people died and the rest remained mired in poverty, the ruling Communist Party did finally admit to itself that communism had failed and they began to abandon it but this would not have been possible if China had been a democracy. At the same time, it also means that the form of government itself is almost impossible to change by any orderly process.
Do you prefer absolute hereditary monarchies, or constitutional monarchies?
I would prefer either to a revolutionary republic but, of the two, I tend to incline toward absolute hereditary monarchies though, it must be said, the same thing will not work for everyone in every part of the world. My general preference is a traditional monarchy in which the monarch rules and is, as Bishop Jacques Bossuet wrote, “absolute” but not “arbitrary.” The two are not always so opposed as they seem. The former Empire of Japan was technically a constitutional monarchy, yet the Emperor had, effectively, absolute power in the end. Monaco has been a constitutional monarchy since the reign of Prince Albert I and yet he and every successive Sovereign Prince until the current one has suspended the constitution at some point. I prefer a monarch that is absolute in that his (or her) position is inviolable and beyond dispute but not arbitrary in the sense that he can do whatever he pleases. The monarch should be absolute but I think everyone should be absolute in terms of what is their own.
How does monarchy relate to caste?
I would say it relates to it only in as much as the historical conditions which led to the development of caste systems usually led to monarchy as well, which is not saying much as almost every people on earth, left to their own devices, naturally developed into a monarchy, even if only of the primitive, tribal variety. However, as caste deals with people interacting with each other rather than the ruled interacting with their ruler (which most of the ruled never have and never will) it has meant that caste is not as easy to eradicate as monarchy. Caste systems continue in a number of republics in spite of efforts to stamp them out. Similarly, republics themselves tend to ape monarchy after being without it for a sufficient time or, in some cases, almost immediately out of force of habit. Monarchies have tended to simply embrace caste differences and make them more beneficial and less cruel. Though, much of that will depend on things like religious differences. For the same reason that getting rid of the aristocracy never resulted in equality, I find it hard to imagine a world in which no trace of caste remains.
Are monarchies nationalist by nature?
Many will doubtless be upset with this answer but I would have to say, “yes” though, as always, this is not invariably the case. Monarchs tend to be bound up with the history of their nation, some more so than others but ultimately this is usually the case. Certainly, in cases such as France, the history of the monarchs is the history of the nation. Monarchs have often represented the way nations viewed themselves as a unique and special people, which I think is a healthy thing and which has certainly been proven to aid in longevity for a people. For a nation such as Japan, this is quite obvious. In others, it is harder to see but, as I have often said, even in the past when nationalism was not the most important thing to western peoples, that still did not mean that it was unimportant.
Many, incorrectly I think, attribute nationalism to the revolutionary era but ultimately it was the revolution, the downfall of monarchs and the elevation of “equality” and the “brotherhood of man” that led to internationalism and globalism. I have also said more than once that it was hardly a leap to go from arguing that the bloodline of your ruler does not matter to arguing that the bloodline of the people themselves does not matter, which is where we have come to today. I also think it no coincidence that in surviving monarchies which have done away with male primogeniture, which technically means a change in dynasty every time a girl is born first, has come about at the same time that western countries have abandoned the nation-state in favor of the multi-cultural, come one, come all approach to the demography of their populace.
Do you think monarchism is more likely, or less likely, to have a revival now — 228 years after the Revolution™ — as opposed to a previous time?
This is the sort of question that tempts me to dishonesty. I tend to be very pessimistic yet am stubborn enough to carry on regardless of the chances of success. I was born within sight of the Alamo so it is not in me to give up a fight simply because there no possible way to win. Most, however, are not like that and so you must hold out some hope for them to be motivated. Thankfully, I do think there are legitimate grounds for hope that can be found in almost any historical era and recently I have seen some that such is the case today. We are seeing increasingly the vanguard of the liberal mindset eating its own tail. The flaws in their utopian ideology are becoming evident as they are forced to violate their own principles in order to keep the façade of their model state from collapsing. I do not see how people can fail to notice this.
In the United States, for example, we have seen, with the election of Trump, the revelation of the hypocrisy of our ruling class and our institutions on a scale that certainly took me by surprise. You now have leftists championing states’ rights, pledging absolute faith to the intelligence agencies they ridiculed under George W. Bush and former peaceniks now clamoring for war with Russia or Syria. Likewise, you see Republicans unwilling to embrace “free market” healthcare, dropping any pretense of opposition to the homosexual agenda and admitting that their system of classical liberalism means that Satanists must be treated exactly the same as Christians. Other countries have different situations but I think many are coming to a similar climax. In Europe, the backlash against multiculturism has been good to see, though not as successful as I would have wished. I do see some reason to hope that in the republics, a rejection of the current system and a desire to reassert national distinctiveness could result in the restoration of fallen monarchies. However, I do also worry that, in their unthinking fury, some surviving monarchies may fall victim to these same forces which seek to tear down what exists.
Many have said that democracy has fallen, and others like Samuel Huntington have intimated that the age of ideology is over. With democracy and ideology dead, what is left, and how does this lead to monarchism?
My only question concerning the death of democracy would be whether it was ever truly alive in the first place. Ideology does seem to be on the decline somewhat, mostly because of the failures I mentioned above. People see the system failing to deliver paradise, they see the hypocrisy of their rulers and they are becoming restless. What is left will be a vacuum and that can lead to monarchy but only if the new leadership that comes along can keep a cool head and if the people have truly abandoned their slave-like devotion to the old liberal god. My concern is that the people have still not realized that utopia is unobtainable and they simply want some other system or ideology to deliver it. Likewise, as mentioned, I worry that existing monarchies and other traditional institutions could be torn down by hotheads who blame them for simply adapting to their environment. I see many on the right rejecting existing monarchs because they go along with the current ruling class and often mouth the same platitudes. I see them rejecting Christianity and embracing a sort of Germanic neo-paganism because they see the major churches likewise going along with the ruling class and repeating the same mindless, liberal “social justice warrior” type talking points. This greatly concerns me.
It concerns me because it is clearly understandable, yet to my mind is extremely tragic because, by turning against these things, the leftists have effectively prompted the right to do their job for them. The revolutionary types overthrew everything traditional that they could but for those institutions that they could not overthrow, they infiltrated them, spread garbage all around them, indoctrinated their members until we have reached the point that the right views them as tainted and is ready to tear them down for them. Because, rest assured, no matter how much the Prince of Wales talks about global warming or how often the King of Norway talks about a borderless world, diversity and inclusivity, the left still does not view them as allies or trust them to be genuine about these things. If they did, they would not prevent these monarchs having any actual power, they would not constantly be holding the threat of a republic over their heads. Modern, reigning royals can repeat all the popular leftist lines but the leftists do not think they really mean it. Unfortunately, many on the right think they do. I would hope the right either learns to disregard what modern, effectively caged, royals say and do and focus on the institution, the legacy and the heritage they represent. At the same time, I would hope that these royals overcome their Stockholm syndrome and take care not to get on the wrong side of their people.
If that happens, I think traditional monarchy could be the ideal solution, perhaps the only solution as one of the things that makes it most appealing to me is that traditional monarchies had government without politics. They had no political parties, good government was not hampered by two feuding camps locked in perpetual ideological war and people could focus on their own lives.
How did you get started out writing, and is this something you have trained for or self-instructed?
It was something I always seemed to be drawn to, won some awards for in school more years ago than I’d like to say, though I do remember being extremely terrible at spelling as a boy. One teacher, I think in the third grade, even gave me a pocket dictionary because my spelling was so consistently bad. I have never had what I would call formal training for it, I did take at least one writing class in my university days as I recall but my focus there was on history and geography.
What first drew you to monarchism, and how hard was it to break out of the conventional thinking that progress is real, the present is the best human society, that democracy is the only functional form of government, and so on? Did you receive pushback from family, friends, romantic interests and business associates?
I was fortunate in that I come from a very conservative family. I had my usual round of youthful foolishness in high school but by the time I went to college I quickly came to be solidly monarchist. I was probably never more monarchist or religious than when I was in a university that did nothing but try to convince me to be the opposite every day. Breaking out of the conventional thinking was not difficult for me. Given how my father and one of my grandfathers were ardent Confederate sympathizers, the idea that the U.S. government was God’s gift to the world never occurred to me. My late mother, I can remember as a child, also kept up with the Windsors and the Grimaldis and older members of my family, even the most “American” of them, were never really opposed to monarchy on principle. Being very religious, very “Bible-thumping” types, simply relating the passages of the Bible commanding obedience to kings was enough to get them on side or at least to admit that they could not object to monarchy.
For the same reason, they never believed democracy was the last word in government as they knew from their Bible lessons that the majority usually do what is wrong and only a few will do what is right, so none of that was very difficult. One incident that did impact me which I will never forget, though it was a great many years ago, was reading a passage out of my Grandfather’s encyclopedia which demonstrated “spin” by showing two passages about Britain’s King George III, each relating basically the same information about the man but one making him seem very good and the other very bad. That one event really opened my eyes and after that it became almost a game for me to read through my history books and pick out the facts from the opinions. That had a tremendous impact on me, particularly concerning the American War for Independence. As for family, friends, girlfriends, there has been no serious pushback or opposition. Everyone I was around for any considerable period of time was, I am proud to say, either converted to being pro-monarchy or at least not anti-monarchy. That being said, most of my immediate family is gone now, I live 50 miles from the nearest thing that could be called a city and I don’t travel anymore so my only contact with friends is by internet or telephone. As far as romantic interests go, my personality was more “pushback” than my opinions ever could be.
As for business interests, that was never really a problem. I did teach for about five minutes, realized that job would require far, far more patience than I would ever possess and I did know that any higher academic career would go nowhere with my opinions and my inability to keep quiet about them. Thankfully, none of that was necessary. I worked for my father growing up, whose views are not radically different from my own and today I have reached the point of being independent and self-sustaining in economic terms so I have no business partners or anyone over me that I have to worry about upsetting.
How does monarchy relate to aristocracy and feudalism?
Much the same as with the question about the caste system, they tend to coincide though they do not necessarily always go together or one lead to the other. There have been aristocratic republics and some would say that republicanism itself could be viewed as an overly complicated sort of feudalism. Monarchy, I would say, sits naturally at the apex of the feudal pyramid and in terms of aristocracy, monarchy takes the natural and inevitable divisions of society and smooths out the rough edges, making it more beneficial. Even in a monarchy these things can get out of hand, no system being immune from human error, but monarchy does not deny human nature as a modern, “egalitarian” republic would. For example, many American Senators and Congressmen occupy seats that their fathers and grandfathers occupied in their turn. A monarchy recognizes this, codifies it and you get a House of Lords, which is more direct and honest. A monarchy also makes these things work better by using human nature to best benefit. Prior to the Revolution, the French aristocracy had fallen into a terrible state but had King Louis XVI, a very upright and moral man, remained on his throne for the rest of his natural life, I have no doubt that the aristocracy would have changed to follow his example. Monarchs have also been able to do a great deal of good by using the natural drive to “keep up with the Joneses” to benefit the whole of society.
How could a modern republic — let’s pick a hard one and say the USA, or at least Texas — transition to monarchy? Can this be done through democracy, ironic as it may seem?
Technically speaking, it can be done through the existing legal process. In the case of the USA it would simply require a number of constitutional amendments and, while very difficult, there is provision for that in the current system and unlike many younger republics there is nothing in the constitution to forbid it. Texas could become a monarchy by amending the U.S. Constitution to do away with the requirement that state governments be republican. Of course, the Texas constitution would also have to be amended but this is easier. The alternative would be more difficult which would be for Texas to secede from the Union and then write an entirely new constitution that would make Texas a monarchy. The problem there, of course, is one illustrative of the flaws in the U.S. system itself which is that secession has been ruled to be impossible by the Supreme Court, unless, perhaps, the other states agree. Even the most idealistic republics, when all else fails, revert to “might makes right” and such a thing could still be possible but would require the use of force to accomplish it. Many years ago I had a list of the constitutional amendments that would be required, at minimum, to make the USA a monarchy but I have long last track of it. It can be done and, unless one is willing to resort to illegal means, is the only way one has to proceed. However, I think history will support me in saying that no ruling elite which truly ruled ever gave up power simply because of a vote.
If people are interested in what you do, where should they go looking for your work and news about what you have been up to?
Simply punching in “The Mad Monarchist” to your Google machine would probably work, I am told that after nearly a decade at this, mine is the first to come up on such searches. However, to go the source directly, I can be found at madmonarchist.blogspot.com where I have long been. My posts are less frequent but more substantial than they were in years past but, over this much time, there is much for new readers to peruse.