Why I’d Rather Live Under a Monarchy than a Democracy

Regular readers will understand that I don’t want to live under any dominance hierarchy. But the truth is that monarchy, overall, was a far less oppressive system than what now passes for democracy.

Regular readers will understand that I don’t want to live under any dominance hierarchy. But the truth is that monarchy, overall, was a far less oppressive system than what now passes for democracy((And please read issue #42 of the Free-Man’s Perspective newsletter (The Truth About Democracy) for the proper background on this.)).

Of course this is a fairly ignorant thing for me to say, having never lived under a monarchy, save for short stays in Monaco. But I think there’s a strong case to be made for this, and I’d like you to see it.

Point #1: Who’s to Blame?

When things went badly under a monarchy, everyone knew who was to blame: the monarch. Kings and princes weren’t nearly all-powerful, and a king who did stupid things got a lot of pressure. They were regularly threatened and fairly often overthrown.

Now, under “democracy,” everyone is to blame, which means no one is to blame. As John Kenneth Galbraith wrote in The Age of Uncertainty:

When people put their ballots in the boxes, they are, by that act, inoculated against the feeling that the government is not theirs. They then accept, in some measure, that its errors are their errors, its aberrations their aberrations, that any revolt will be against them.

Sure, some measure of responsibility attaches to a president, but nothing like what attached to the king. Some of the best modern thinkers have concluded that democracy depletes the will of people to rebel. Alvin Toffler, for example, specifically blames elections, which he calls “reassurance rituals”:

Voting provided a mass ritual of reassurance… Elections symbolically assured citizens that they were still in command… Elections took the steam out of protests from below.

Allan Bloom wrote something similar in The Closing of the American Mind:

[S]ycophancy toward those who hold power is a fact in every regime, and especially in a democracy, where, unlike tyranny, there is an accepted principle of legitimacy that breaks the inner will to resist…

Because people have been assured that they are ruling themselves, their will to resist has been drained away, and they simply submit. Needless to say, this is a very serious danger.

Point #2: Whose Debt?

Kings and princes were personally responsible for the loans they took. When they defaulted, as they did fairly often, the lenders were simply out that money. As Meir Kohn of the economics department at Dartmouth University writes:

The debt of a territorial government was essentially the personal debt of the prince: if he died, his successor had no obligation to honor it; if he defaulted, there was no recourse against him in his own courts.

But along with democracy – with people believing they were themselves the ruler – came the concept of public credit. And that meant that the debts of the rulers passed to the people and become their responsibility.

And so the politicians who borrowed the money were disconnected from the obligation to pay it back. Instead, all debts passed to the people (and their children) who had no part in the original transaction.

Average people had no idea that democracy would load them with massive debts, of course, but that’s how it happened anyway. Democracy massively indebted the people and provided unheard of levels of protection to the bankers.

Point #3: Democracy Is a Cult

Go to a cocktail party anywhere in the Western world and ask people what the best form of human governance is. Almost universally, they’ll say, “Democracy.” Ask them why they believe such a thing, however, and you’ll mainly get blank stares. On occasion you’ll get, “Democracies don’t go to war with other democracies.” (Which isn’t true((A list of such wars can be found here, and it fails to mention the UK and Argentina going to war in 1982.)).)

In other words, a solid billion people have unquestioned faith in democracy, with more or less nothing backing it up. This is a far worse level of dogma than ever was enjoyed by the Catholic Church. It at least had to contend with the Bible as an external reference. Granted, literacy was poor, but memory was good, and people heard the scriptures at church. All the reformers used the Bible to dismember Church dogma.

What do we have now? Democracy is an idol without a natural antagonist. Everyone knows it’s the greatest thing, because everyone knows it’s the greatest thing. For the sake of human sanity, democracy must, at the least, be fiercely challenged.

Last Words

Democracy is the greatest!

Democracy gave us medicine!

Democracy gave us technology!

Democracy gave us freedom!

Democracy gives us peace!

Except that none of the above is true. They’re all empty dogmas.

Democracy released the ruling class from most of its restrictions and was a godsend for big banks. It saddled the people with endless debts, grew government to an unimaginable size, and drained the will to resist.

Monarchies were highly variable of course, but on average, they left people far freer, more awake in important ways, and massively less indebted.

* * * * *

As it turns out, history was never too hard to understand; they just told you the wrong story.

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Get it at Amazon or on Kindle.

* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg

Why the Real Founders of Democracy Would Be Pissed if They Saw What We Did…

democracyThe word democracy is held in awe these days. Mention it almost anywhere and you’ll get instant nods of approval.

People actually believe that democracy gives us harmony and peace, not to mention wealth. They are sure that it is the ultimate and inevitable end of human development, created by the wise and noble Greeks and given to us, the enlightened society that took it to the ends of the Earth!

But if the ancient Greeks could see what we call ‘democracy,’ they would spit at it. They’d probably want to burn it down.

As many problems as they had (and they had plenty), they were not fools, and it wouldn’t take them a day to condemn what the West now worships.

Why would the old Greeks be so upset? Let’s take a look at their (Athenian) system and see how our modern form stacks up:

#1: Greek citizen assemblies met 40 times per year in an open, public forum. Any citizen could speak and any citizen could vote. A vote of those present was final.

Contrast that with what passes for (American) democracy now: Only special people are allowed to attend the assemblies. On top of that, there are far, far more meetings than anyone could hope to follow: General sessions, meetings for dozens of committees, party caucuses and more, running at all hours. No one person can come remotely close to keeping up with it all.

The citizen is clearly unable to participate or even to understand what’s going on. Just this fact would cause the “fathers of civilization” to pronounce our system a fraud, and rightly so. The citizens are non-participants.

#2: Laws were inscribed on stone pillars (stelae) and posted in prominent locations so that everyone would see them.

Greek laws were accessible to every Greek. Not only were they required to be posted, but this requirement also guaranteed that there couldn’t be too many of them.

If you were to take an ancient Greek to see “our laws,” they’d be looking at more than 80,000 pages of almost indecipherable language. (And those would be only the Federal laws.)

Because of this, the Greeks would be insulted when you assured them that we have “the rule of law.” They would say that when people can’t know the law, they are living in a tyranny, and no amount of fancy argumentation would convince them otherwise.

And, again, they would be right. If you are ignorant of the law (80,000 pages of government-speak) but are still subject to punishment under the law, you are living in a tyranny. The founders would have no confusion about that.

#3: A Council oversaw the daily affairs of the democracy. Each of ten tribes provided 50 men. But, only one tribe’s men (50 of them) served at any one time, and only for one month. (The Greeks had ten months in their year.) And once any person served as a Councilor, they were forbidden from serving again for ten years.

Under this arrangement, playing tricks became almost impossible: as soon as the first of the month came along, the next tribe could turn your tricks around and do worse to you.

Contrast this with senators and congressmen who stay in office for decades on end, selling all sorts of favors, amassing multi-million dollar campaign funds, and making themselves rich in the process. Most of them never really go away.

At this point, our philosophical forefathers would be looking for places to buy torches… and they would be ready to beat anyone who called a system that supports such shenanigans a democracy.

#4: Citizens chosen for positions like overseer of the marketplace were chosen completely at random.

Imagine choosing the boss of the IRS at random. We all know what would happen: You’d get a housewife from Portland one year and a plumber from Topeka the next. And they’d act like humans, rather than unfeeling automatons. The sanctimonious abuser state would crumble.

#5: At the beginning of their democracy, the citizens of Athens were divided into ten tribes (and NOT along regional or family lines). This was done specifically to break the power of the aristocratic families.

Have you paid attention to the DC crowd lately? Have you noticed that they never leave? Instead, they slide back and forth between congress, commissions, agencies, lobbying firms, mega-corps and media. Have you noticed how often their children marry each other?

Look at the Presidential lineup: Bush – Clinton – Bush – Obama – Clinton? – Bush?

That’s called “aristocracy.” However, people who are emotionally bound to the system can’t see it. The Greeks certainly wouldn’t be fooled.

Losing Our Religion

Do you remember a haunting song from the ’90s called “Losing My Religion“? If so, cue that up in the back of your mind, because that’s what stands in front of the people of the West.

The majestic “Democracy” that was supposed to be our savior is actually an abusive fraud. It’s time to let it go. That’s not easy, I know, but it needs to be done.

Will you take the first step?

Paul Rosenberg