The Mad Monarchist debunks a few of the many myths about monarchy.
From The Mad Monarchist
Rebutting Republican Myths
Monarchies are un-democratic!
Not true. Actually, most monarchies in the world today are more
democratic than most republics in the world. Further, in most republics
(even the United States) the President is not directly elected by the
people anyway. However, being democratic is not necessarily a good
thing. Benevolent leaders and bloodthirsty dictators have both come to
power through democracy.
Monarchies are too expensive!
Not true, not by a long shot. Some monarchs (such as the Prince of
Liechtenstein) cost the public nothing at all. In the United Kingdom,
the money the Queen grants the government from the Crown Estates is
considerably more than the allowance she receives from the Civil List,
so Britain effectively makes money off the monarchy. Republics often
spend more on their presidents, past presidents and first families than
monarchies do on their royal houses. Many countries (like Australia,
Jamaica or Canada) share a monarch and pay nothing and monarchies do not
have the constant, massive expense of elections and political campaigns
for the top job.
Hereditary monarchy just isn’t fair!
Why not? How can any system for determining national leadership be
absolutely fair? It hardly seems fair that one person should receive the
top job simply because he or she is more popular. Surely the correct
criteria should be how qualified a person is rather than if they are
good at making speeches, more photogenic or being more gifted at graft
and deceit. In a monarchy the top job goes to someone trained from birth
to fill that role. In a republic, even under the best circumstances, an
elected president will take half their term learning to do the job and
the other half campaigning to retain it; hardly a model of efficiency.
Hereditary succession seems much more “fair” than granting power to
those able to swindle enough money and promise enough favors to the
powerful to obtain the highest office in the land.
Monarchies are dangerous! What if the monarch is incompetent?
The same question could be asked about republican leaders. However, rest
assured, monarchs who are not capable of fulfilling their duties can be
replaced and have been throughout history. Take two of the oldest and
most stable monarchies; in Great Britain, when King George III became
incapacitated the Prince of Wales was made regent and exercised his
duties for him. Similarly, in Japan, when the Taisho Emperor was no
longer able to fulfill his duties, the Crown Prince took over those
duties for him as regent. On the other hand, even in the most successful
republic in the world, the United States, only two presidents have ever
been impeached and neither one was actually removed from office.
Monarchy is an archaic throwback! It’s simply out of date!
Certainly monarchy is an ancient institution as it developed naturally
from the dawn of time and the growth of human civilizations. However,
democracy and republicanism is just as archaic. The Greek city-states of
ancient times tried direct democracy and found it of very limited
value, lasting only so long as people found out they could vote
themselves the property of others. Republicanism was tried on a
large-scale by the ancient Romans and yet they too found that it caused
too many divisions, factions and civil wars before they decided a
monarchy was preferable. The oldest republic in the world today was
founded in 301 AD. How out of date is that?
What about cruel monarchs like Nero or Attila the Hun? Surely no benefits could be worth risking leaders like that!
Actually, far more people have been butchered in wars or massacred by
those in power since the start of the revolutionary period than in all
history previously. Nero or Attila the Hun were unsavory characters but
nowhere near as bad as republican monsters like Joseph Stalin, Adolf
Hitler, Mao Zedong or Pol Pot. It has only been in the
post-revolutionary era of mass politics and political ideologies that
governments have taken to killing their own people in huge numbers. Nero
was cruel to his own family and later persecuted Christians who were
still a tiny minority and Attila the Hun, as ruthless as he was toward
his enemies, ruled his own people well from what we know and with
justice. No monarch ever wiped out as many of their own people as the
communist dictators of the Twentieth Century, all of whom did so in the
name of “the people” and “fairness”.
Royals are too out of touch. They have no idea how regular people live.
Some people believe this, but it simply isn’t true. Queen Elizabeth II
was a mechanic and truck driver during World War II, the King of
Thailand is a renowned jazz musician and composer, Queen Margrethe II of
Denmark has painted illustrations for several books, including the
Danish edition of “The Lord of the Rings”. The Emperor of Japan grows
his own rice, the King of Cambodia was a practically anonymous dance
instructor before coming to the throne and many royal heirs take
ordinary jobs, often in obscure places where they are unknown, after
finishing school. Despite what people think, royal life is not all
champagne and caviar. Compare this to many presidents who have often
never worked outside the public sector in their entire lives, never
served in the military (as most royals do) or ever known any other life
besides making speeches and casting votes.
At best, monarchs are unnecessary. A president could do just as good a job.
Not true at all. Some republics have ceremonial presidents that are
supposed to be non-political but they still invariably have a political
background and are beholden to the party that appoints them. A monarch,
on the other hand, is above all political divisions and has a blood
connection to the history of the country, its traditions and most deeply
held beliefs. No politician could ever represent a people in the way a
monarch can whose family history has been the history of the country
Monarchies must be bad or else there would be more of them!
That argument could only begin to make sense if most monarchies had
fallen because of a conscious decision by the whole people to see them
end. This has certainly not been the case. Most monarchies have fallen
because of brute force exerted by a powerful, motivated minority or
because their country was defeated in war and their state collapsed. How
about looking at how people live? The Organization for Economic
Co-operation and Development annually puts out a list of the best
countries to live in based on a variety of factors and monarchies
invariably outrank republics by far. Last year, 2012, is a typical case
with 8 out of the top 10 best countries to live in being monarchies; the
only republics to make the top 10 were the United States and
Switzerland. If republics are so great, shouldn’t their people be living
better lives than those in monarchies?
Monarchs are so set apart, they cannot represent ordinary people.
Actually, that is precisely why they can represent everyone in a way no
politician ever could. President Hollande of France is an agnostic
socialist, so how can he truly represent those French who are Catholic
or capitalists? President Napolitano of Italy was a long-time communist,
which is certainly not representative of most Italians. President Obama
of the US, a liberal from Hawaii, cannot have much in common with a
conservative from South Carolina. Yet, a monarch, because they are set
apart, can represent everyone because they are not from any particular
Republics bring progress, monarchies only oppressed.
Historical fact says otherwise. Time and time again history has shown
that the end of monarchy makes things worse for a country, not better.
In France it resulted in the “Reign of Terror” that saw tens of
thousands of people get their heads chopped off. In Russia, the loss of
the monarchy allowed the Bolsheviks to take power who then created the
Soviet Union which spread oppression around the world and murdered
millions of people. In China the result was a chaotic period of warlord
rule followed by the bloodiest civil war in human history and then a
communist dictatorship that took the lives of 60 million people. The end
of monarchy in Germany and Austria resulted in divided republics that
allowed Adolf Hitler to come to power, devastate the continent and
butcher 9 million people. The fall of the Shah of Iran allowed a radical
theocracy to take power that has spread terrorism around the world and
brutally oppressed its own people. These are only a few of the examples
that could be cited and the facts are inarguable.