The Benefits of Monarchy

Friday, July 26th, 2013

Libertarian ex-Brit Matthew Feeney describes the benefits of monarchy:

The idea of monarchy is understandably abhorrent to many Americans. The policies of King George III of the House of Hanover were the source of the complaints outlined in the Declaration of Independence, and his intransigence led to the Revolutionary War. But it’s also true that a constitutional monarchy can provide a better check on political power than constitutional democracy. Before you accuse me of being anti-American, old fashioned, or some sort of red coat interloper, let me explain.

After winning the Revolutionary War the Founding Fathers created a system of government based on the principles of limited government. Their best intentions aside, the U.S. is no better than the despot against which it fought when it comes to inherited power, nepotism, abuse of political power, or extravagant tradition.

While it might initially seem that the men and women who sit in the House of Commons and the House of Lords act as a check on the powers of the British monarchy the reality is that the British monarch actually provides more of a check on the U.K’s elected and unelected legislators. In the last hundred years many European nations have experienced fascism, communism, and military dictatorships. However, countries with constitutional monarchies have managed for the most part to avoid extreme politics in part because monarchies provide a check on the wills of populist politicians. European monarchies–such as the Danish, Belgian, Swedish, Dutch, Norwegian, and British–have ruled over countries that are among the most stable, prosperous, and free in the world. Constitutional monarchs make it difficult for dramatic political changes to occur, oftentimes by representing traditions and customs that politicians cannot replace and few citizens would like to see overthrown.

Something else that can be said in favor of a constitutional monarchy is that it allows for the head of the state to not be a political figure. Whether Democrat or Republican, the American president represents the country as the head of state, meaning that regrettably American culture, traditions, or interests are never represented by anyone other than a politician. British interests have been represented for decades by the same person who embodies the non-political customs and traditions of the U.K. In the U.S., every four years America could be represented by someone who has a different sense of what it means to be an American than whoever previously lived in the White House.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Tolkien’s thoughts on Anarcho-Monarchism in the Shire.


  1. Victor says:

    Italy had a constitutional monarch, Vittorio Emanuele III, but he collaborated with Mussolini’s fascists.

  2. Isegoria says:

    No true monarch would collaborate with fascists.

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