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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/16697/god-save-the-duke-and-duchess/

God Save the Duke and Duchess!

April 29, 2011 by

There is a remarkable outpouring of enthusiasm and affection occurring right now in London’s Trafalgar Square over the wedding of Prince William and the beautiful Kate Middleton. As I am writing, the couple has just stepped out from Westminster Abbey onto a balcony to wave to the crowd and smooch it up.

On the BBC, there was even an old gent interviewed who described himself as an “unabashed royalist” and who led a small crowd in pitchy rendition of God Save the Queen.

Also remarkable was one of those rare moments when the opinion of the royal family made a small stirring in the world of politics. The current Tory Prime Minister David Cameron was invited to the nuptials, but the two recent Labor Prime Ministers (warmonger Tony Blair and the bureaucracy-loving Gordon Brown) were not.

All this makes me wonder, why not use this nostalgia and popular acclaim as momentum to transfer some real power back to the House of Windsor, and maybe even the House of Lords too?

Anyone who thinks such an idea is self-evident folly should read Hans-Hermann Hoppe.

The defining characteristic of private government ownership is that the expropriated resources and the monopoly privilege of future expropriation are individually owned. The appropriated resources are added to the ruler’s private estate and treated as if they were a part of it, and the monopoly privilege of future expropriation is attached as a title to this estate and leads to an instant increase in its present value (“capitalization” of monopoly profit).

Most importantly, as private owner of the government estate, the ruler is entitled to pass his possessions onto his personal heir; he may sell, rent, or give away part or all of his privileged estate and privately pocket the receipts from the sale or rental; and he may personally employ or dismiss every administrator and employee of his estate.

In contrast, in a publicly owned government the control over the government apparatus lies in the hands of a trustee, or caretaker. The caretaker may use the apparatus to his personal advantage, but he does not own it. He cannot sell government resources and privately pocket the receipts, nor can he pass government possessions onto his personal heir. He owns the current use of government resources, but not their capital value.

Moreover, while entrance into the position of a private owner of government is restricted by the owner’s personal discretion, entrance into the position of a caretaker-ruler is open. Anyone, in principle, can become the government’s caretaker.

From these assumptions two central, interrelated predictions can be deduced:

  1. A private government owner will tend to have a systematically longer planning horizon, i.e., his degree of time preference will be lower, and accordingly, his degree of economic exploitation will tend to be less than that of a government caretaker; and
  2. subject to a higher degree of exploitation, the nongovernmental public will also be comparatively more present oriented under a system of publicly owned government than under a regime of private government ownership.

EDIT: I forgot that this doesn’t go without saying for everybody, so I’d better say it.  Hoppe says that given the existence of the state, monarchy is preferable to democracy.  But for Hoppe, the ideal state of affairs is neither of those two, and instead what he calls “natural order” (anarcho-capitalism).

Myself I am not completely sold on Hoppe’s argument. I am currently leaning toward David Hume’s preference for a true separation of powers (not the phony separation of powers we have in the Colonies) provided by the rivalry between Monarch and Commons. It was under a monarchy weakened by the Commons (following the Glorious Revolution) that Great Britain enjoyed its most liberal policies. But it was after the House of Commons became all-powerful in the late 19th century that Great Britain became a welfare-warfare state.

God save the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge!

{ 41 comments }

Richard April 29, 2011 at 7:52 am

One of the reasons the Monarchy is so popular over here (Britain) is because it is above politics. The Monarchy is not the same as the state.

Franklin April 29, 2011 at 8:44 am

Who’s paying for this nonsense today, including its impact on taxpayer funded commons?

Richard April 29, 2011 at 11:06 am

The taxpayers, who are overwhelmingly pro-monarchy.

J.K. Baltzersen April 29, 2011 at 11:06 am

Being above politics and being above party politics are two different things.

Being above – as in over – and being ejected to total irrelevance – as in totally on the side – are also two different things.

As Confucius told us, when words lose their meanings, the people lose their liberty.

fundamentalist April 29, 2011 at 7:59 am

“But it was when the House of Commons became all-powerful in the late 19th century that Great Britain became a welfare-warfare state.”

Indulging in a bit of post hoc fallacy?

Danny Sanchez April 29, 2011 at 8:03 am

It was meant as an illustration, not as an argument. The argument is in the theoretical propositions of Hoppe and Hume.

fundamentalist April 30, 2011 at 9:09 am

Sorry! I misunderstood. Like you I’m not convinced by Hoppe’s argument. I think he is very selective about the monarchs he upholds as ideals.

I would agree that a good monarch (one who enforces principles) is better than a typical democracy. But a good democracy is no different from a good monarch or good anarchy. Any means of organizing government is fine as long as they uphold principles.

The question is which form of government, monarchy, democracy or anarchy is most likely to uphold principle? Democracy is more likely to do so than is monarchy, but neither as well as anarchy.

J.E.C. April 29, 2011 at 8:22 am

Hoppe’s argument is historically ignorant. The difference between a king and a bandit is two or three generations; the proper response to monarchy and hereditary ‘nobility’ is the guillotine.

The Anti-Gnostic April 29, 2011 at 9:19 am

Yes. Let’s trade rule by one man with an ownership interest in the polity who can be easily assassinated if he steps out of line for a million envious rabble with the mandate of ‘the people’ on their side.

Beefcake the Mighty April 29, 2011 at 9:24 am

+1

J.E.C. April 29, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Do you have any concept of the realities of the system you’re defending? It’s all well and good to daydream about theoretical private states, but the historical reality of monarchy is unrelentingly hideous.

Jock Coats April 29, 2011 at 7:08 pm

I have no dog in this fight, but how much more unrelentingly hideous than the mostly at least nominally democracies that have killed two hundred million plus of their own citizens in the last century?

But as an aside, I think we also have to evaluate Hoppe’s argument against what he sees as the ideal size for such a state. He’s not talking about a monarchy the size of Britain, nor even Wales, but of a population the size of Cambridge.

Whilst this is bigger even that the micro-states of Europe which I think Hoppe uses as his examples, these only really function as monarchies (and only really Liechtenstein and Monaco are such anyway) because they are nothing more than playgrounds of the rich, with populations not much bigger than DisneyWorld on a quiet day.

I can think of nobody, no family, in Oxford here, for example, who could possibly command the loyalty of this city’s population, let alone based on the hereditary principle into the future unconditionally. Whilst our city council is undoubtedly a tyrannical bunch when elected “democratically” and its bureaucracy venal and slow, if we were a “state” in our own right, I think it most likely that it would quickly become a true market-based anarchy of competitive entrepreneurs vying for the custom of neighbourhoods and individuals in delivering things they need.

That said, since the introduction of elected executive mayoralities in the UK a few have shown unaccountably strong loyalty to individual figures, but I’d suggest that these are closer to Paine’s idea of “government” than “state” and would certainly not be supported were they to make a bid for some kind of personal power. Such arrangements may, I suggest, be a better path to autonomy in small scale “city states” of the sort Hoppe seems to argue for. They may provide a certain “stability” during the period of secession which would then be replaced by more individual sovereignty and market driven processes fairly quickly.

These are figures that we can go and argue with in person and from a position of roughly equality – we owe a mayor no more than consideration at the ballot box and could relatively easily I think persuade fellow members of the community of their uselessness.

I like Hume’s idea, since it places most of the power in the hands of the lowest unit, and a similar suggestion more recently is the idea of “cellular democracy” promoted by Fred Foldvary. These are inherently powerless unless the small electorates that elect the representatives from among themselves decide to give them powers over particular, agreed, functions.

J.E.C. April 29, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Nominal democracies (like People’s Republics) aside, actual democracies are comparatively extremely benign towards their own citizens- a claim that cannot be made of monarchies. The difference between a ruling (as opposed to reigning) king and a thug like Stalin is that the king’s father was also a thug, while Stalin’s father was no one special.

Arguments like Hoppe’s are useless at best and harmful to the cause of liberty at worst, because they exist in some crystalline realm of the mind, divorced entirely from history and current realities. Perhaps in some theoretical fairy-land a proprietorial city-state would be superior, but in reality the Tarquins were evicted just as the Stuarts were, and the history of the Greek cities is replete with examples of hereditary rulers of small polities who were vicious thugs.

Boston Rob April 30, 2011 at 9:26 am

“because they exist in some crystalline realm of the mind, divorced entirely from history and current realities. ”

Pot, meet kettle. You’ve just described a great deal of libertarian thought here.

The Anti-Gnostic April 30, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Which “actual democracies” and which monarchies are you comparing?

Jock Coats April 29, 2011 at 8:23 am

I have long liked Hume’s “Idea of a Perfect Commonwealth”.

Jock Coats April 29, 2011 at 8:25 am

Come to think of it, it might be the quickest way to a stateless society in Britain to put Charles in charge of everything.

jguzman April 29, 2011 at 8:26 am

I think it should be pointed out that Hoppe is not a monarchist, this is only a comparison strictly between “Democracy” and “Monarchy”

Beefcake the Mighty April 29, 2011 at 8:30 am

Yes, thank you for pointing this out. Too many people lose sight of this point: he’s doing a comparative analysis.

J.E.C. April 29, 2011 at 9:17 pm

And a damned foolish one at that; one that purports to analyze without reference to the copious historical record monarchies have left us.

Blag the Ripper April 30, 2011 at 9:49 am

Someone doesn’t understand what a comparative analysis entails.

Danny Sanchez April 29, 2011 at 9:58 am

Right, I just get tired of having to make that disclaimer each and every time. But it’s probably necessary, so see the edit I added.

Orone April 29, 2011 at 8:48 am

“Unemployed English Girl to Wed Soldier from Welfare Family” … and what a welfare family: a 30 millions GBP wedding!

Aristippus April 29, 2011 at 9:53 am

William is not the Prince of Wales – his father is. William is now the Duke of Cambridge (a defunct title revived for him). It may be worth noting that the first four Dukes of Cambridge died in infancy…

Danny Sanchez April 29, 2011 at 10:00 am

D’oh, of course! Thanks. [Ninja edit]

J.K. Baltzersen April 29, 2011 at 11:01 am

provided by the rivalry between Monarch and Commons

Wouldn’t that be the Monarch, the Lords, and the Commons, sir?

rfaramir April 29, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Are not the Lords the Creature of the Monarch? Do they not exist at his whim? If I’m right (I’m no scholar of UK History or Politics), this does reduce the rivalry down to Monarch and Commons.

Perhaps I’m wrong, and the Monarch can create Lords but cannot remove their titles. Then you’d be correct. I seem to remember something big about the Magna Carta where the Barons forced their will upon the Monarch to gain some measure of Liberty for themselves.

J.K. Baltzersen April 29, 2011 at 2:39 pm

It’s not a “clear cut” case, sir.

Yes, the Sovereign can create peers. The House of Lords Act was needed to remove some of them (a lot) in a fairly recent case. Of course, the Sovereign can create enough peers to outnumber the existing. This was what the Cabinet threatened with circa 1910. King George V agreed to it, whereas King Edward VII demanded support for this through elections, which was not achieved. The House of Lords let itself be blackmailed, and the chamber was reduced to having a delaying veto – with an exception for Acts to extend the life of Parliament.

Ohhh Henry April 29, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Myself I am not completely sold on Hoppe’s argument. I am currently leaning toward David Hume’s preference for a true separation of powers (not the phony separation of powers we have in the Colonies) provided by the rivalry between Monarch and Commons.

The only separation of powers that makes sense is a separation based on the lines between different persons’ private property. In that case there is no need for any formal definition of “lords” and “commons”. Each person is a sovereign individual and it is neither moral nor practical to pretend that any person or group has the right to infringe on someone other person’s property.

The history of Britain since 1066 has essentially been a war between different factions over who should get the most loot out of the country as a whole. The four different factions for most of that time have been – (i) the monarch and his immediate family and friends (the royal party) (ii) the landed aristocracy who owed their estates to monarchs having confiscated them from previous owners and given them to either themselves or their ancestors (the so-called lords), (iii) wealthy merchants and manufacturers who owed their fortunes partly to their own enterprise and partly due to special protection received from the other parties (the so-called commons), and (iv) the actual public (a.k.a. the masses, peasants, plebians, proletariat). The last group don’t wield any power at all, except as a mob likely to explode if taxed too heavily or if not bought off with sufficient welfare. The plebes are usually considered to be a participant in the House of Commons but this is a joke, given the raw corruption and other conniving schemes which are used in order to give seats to MPs. The nearest that the plebes come to actual power is by organizing into voting blocks controlled by unions, but in this case the union leaders who are the greatest beneficiaries of the scheme resemble the protected merchant class more closely than anyone living in the plebian class.

If all of these groups respected each other’s private property then they could coexist peacefully. There is nothing wrong with owning land or a business, having a job, or hiring other people to work for you. But there is always the idea that in certain situations, people somehow have the right or the need to steal from and kill other people. If you concede that this right or necessity exists, then you must invent the theory and practice of government. Yes, you say, the King needs to threaten to kill his own people if they do not give him a sufficient amount of their money so that he can raise an army to fight for his “right” to be the King of France in addition to the King of England. Therefore he needs to be able to compel the lords and the commons to send representatives so that they can “agree” (under the swords of the king’s retainers) to a higher tax rate. But what about checks and balances? Well the merchants wish, in return for paying the king an exorbitant tax, to have their special monopoly protection preserved and extended, so that they can prevent any outsiders from participating in their particular trade. The lords demand from the king a share of any land which he succeeds in stealing from the French. Do you see the trend? Stealing and murder need so-called “checks and balances” to be negotiated. Peaceful trade and private property do not.

Steve W April 29, 2011 at 4:45 pm

The idea of advancing the institution of royalty appearing in an Austrian Economic Forum is shocking.

The simple question of “who owns you?” drives home the afront to the inalienable rights of man the abhorrence of the concept of royalty, much less its foul practice.

Even when a crime against the nature of man is done with style, by the amiable, and with populace’s support, it remains a crime.

Shame to even suggest furthering the damages.

Elliott May 1, 2011 at 1:04 am

Did you even read the article before you decided to comment on it? It seems not. And if so, you couldn’t have been paying much mind to it as you were. Re-read.

Vincent Cook April 29, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Once again, members of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg/Battenberg/Saxe-Coburg-Gotha pretend to be British and pretend to be relevant. What a farce.

Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s case for monarchy is just as silly. A monarch is no more the “owner” of the state than an elected politician is a “representative” of its victims, and politics doesn’t magically come to an end when a crown is put on someone’s head. As Murray Rothbard frequently pointed out, all states are de facto oligarchies.

Ohhh Henry April 29, 2011 at 11:45 pm

HHH’s doesn’t advocate monarchy, but that he noted it is usually a better form of government with more respect for human life and property than in a democracy.

The monarch’s claim to own the state is of course illegitimate. But because he considers himself the owner of the state for life, and he expects that his descendants will in turn be the owners for their lives, it causes him to rob and kill his subjects with far less voracity than does a mere politician who only controls the state for a few years at most.

That is why most monarchs imposed tax rates which would be considered extremely low by any modern, democratic standard. While monarchs tended to debase their currency, none of them ever imposed hyperinflation of the kind seen over and over again in republics and constitutional states. And no monarch ever fought a war as suicidal or genocidal as the wars of the democratic 20th century.

To reiterate, monarchs are a class of criminals who wish to steal and kill at a rate which can be sustained indefinitely, whereas a politician is a criminal who must get out of the state as much as he possibly can in the few years that are allotted to him.

That is the extent of HHH’s advocacy for government. Anarchy is the best state for the most people. Very small city states are next best (because the competition for trade and immigrants with other city-states imposes strict limits on the rulers’ propensity to steal and kill). Monarchies are the next best. Democracies are the worst of all.

Bruce Graeme April 30, 2011 at 3:32 am

Which Way Western Man?

William Gayley Simpson

Chapter 11.

The Necessity of an Aristocracy.


Probably, one large reason that people today balk at the idea of aristocracy is that they have no true conception of what it is. (…) Almost universally today, men think of the aristocrat as a rich man, and, in particular, they suppose that the alternative to democracy is dictatorship. With democracy, they have what they believe to be freedom, and they assume that if they were to abandon that they would land in oppression. Whereas, in fact, the king has been looked upon as the protector of the people and the guardian of their liberty, and it was the spread of Democracy in Europe that finally made dictatorship inevitable and which is bringing us every day nearer to the very enslavement that we dread. A people is no more capable of governing itself than is an army or the crew of a ship. And when their efforts to be democratic have reduced the society to chaos and anarchy, the only way left to escape disaster is the man on horseback. (…)

when I espouse the cause of Aristocracy, even of Monarchy, it does not mean that I have lost my concern for the fullest possible well-being of the common people. On the other hand, let me now say the worst that I must admit. If it prove necessary that some group or stratum of society be sacrificed, it ought to be the lowest. (…) Nevertheless, I am utterly ingenuous when I declare that my belief in Aristocracy is rooted as well in a concern for the best good of the common man as in a concern for the fullest fruition of genius and spirit. And I believe that both of these ends can be ensured better under a sound Aristocracy than in any other way.
(…)
what are the chief functions that any people may justly look to its aristocracy to fulfill? Three things stand out in my mind: leadership; protection; and the preservation of the people’s entire welfare.(…)

The first function of an aristocracy, then, is to provide a people with farsighted, enlightened, beneficent, and sagacious leadership.

Next, I would specify protection. I have in mind protection in general—the protection of the weak against the strong; protection against the corruption of the courts of justice; protection against the misuse of the means of public entertainment and information to mislead and to debauch the people; protection of our wild life and our forests, our water, our soil, our food, our air, our resources, and perhaps above all the quality of our genes, our breeding stock, against waste, contamination, and destruction through the ignorance, the folly, or the greed of man. And protection against many other evils.

But in particular, I wish to stress the need of protection against a cancerous, all-enveloping growth of the Money Power, of International Finance, whose fierce and utterly ruthless passion for gain, and even more for power, lies at the root of so large a part of the disintegration, debauching, and threatened destruction of our country and our people. I am thinking not so much of the accumulation of vast wealth in the hands of a few (though certainly of that also) as of the peculiar development and expansion of High Finance in modern times that has enabled it to paralyze, to circumvent, to override, and in the end virtually to supplant each nation’s values, will, and essential sovereignty.

The last of the functions to be mentioned here, which I think belong to every true aristocracy, (…) constrains me to think that the whole people’s good would be served best by an aristocracy that came to a head in a king, not by an aristocratic oligarchy, but by a monarch, whose authority and power were supreme over all, commons and nobles alike.
(…)
To the discerning eye, we are perilously near chaos. Europe is already far advanced in barbarism. Much of it is on the verge of anarchy (…) My study of our present situation, viewed against a background of considerable historic fact, has led me gradually to believe that a people’s best refuge from such a fate is a king, who rules under the tradition of looking after the welfare of his people like a father, and who is too secure in his position to be deterred by motives of personal loss or disadvantage from speaking the truth or from espousing an unpopular cause.
(…)
There is an institution as old as the world: Monarchy—Kingship. In most places and inmost times men have agreed to be governed by Kings, having found in such government something consonant to their nature. In one man there seemed to stand incarnate all the men of the community and to be concentrated in him their common weal. He was the visible symbol of their unity.
(…)
every people of sound instinct will not only, as an inescapable necessity, devise a means by which to set apart a group of highly superior men dedicated to it, but also provide them with the security and all the other conditions needed, for making it their full-time and life-long pursuit. Only so can a people get the skill and sagacity in government that its supreme importance requires. And of all the known means of providing an aristocracy with security, the best seems to me to be that of endowing it with landed wealth. (…) I am entirely ready to grant that in paying the rents of the landed proprietor, people all over the country will be yielding up to him some part of what they have produced by their labor and may seem to get nothing tangible in return for it. But I believe that in good government, in wise and efficient provision for the people’s entire health and happiness, any real aristocracy that is true to its tradition and to its avowed responsibilities, will more than pay for what it may cost a people to allow it economic security and ample means for the exceptional needs incidental to the fulfillment of its function. A people is as dependent upon an aristocracy for its fullest welfare as are the passengers and crew of a ship, upon the officers on the bridge.
(…)
But many of my readers may have been wondering what would become of individual liberty under an aristocracy. Well, after no little historical investigation, it is my considered judgment that a man may well have enjoyed more essential freedom, more freedom of a sort that really mattered to him, under the “despotic” Tudors, for instance, than is enjoyed by a modern citizen of democratic America.
(…)
Any advocacy of aristocracy must, of course, raise one more question, and with my answer to this I will bring my discussion to a close. “How ever is an aristocracy to come into existence?” Let it be said, in the first place, that it is never “set up,” especially not by writers and talkers, theorists and idealists, people full of mere ideas. It will be brought about by men who not only have ideas but are capable of prompt, heroic, and effective action. However, such action, when the time for it arrives, may be in no small part the result of, and directed by, ideas that have long been germinating in the people. But I think it must be frankly admitted that in the past, as a rule, an aristocracy has been composed of warriors. It has rested on conquest. It has represented a superiority in character and capability displayed at the first in the use of force. The Children of Israel set covetous eyes on the “land of milk and honey” and, sword in hand, went up and took it.

http://wwwm.biz.tc/wwwm11.html

Jock Coats April 30, 2011 at 4:26 am

To be perfectly honest, I think the whole issue is moot.

If we were at the point at which a critical mass of people wanted to throw off their current governmental systems, the very last thing we should be doing is providing arguments for any alternative sort of a regime of status.

Our argument should be that all that they think a state is necessary to provide can be provided by other, market, means; that every form of state known so far is, as Oppenheimer called it, “the organisation of the political means” which is to say that it is the way of living off other peoples’ resources.

You may see a different form of state as a step in the right direction, but I don’t think that would be the case at the point at which the next 1776 comes along and people are ready to do something so entirely different from the past century or so.

Martin OB April 30, 2011 at 11:18 am

Even though I like the idea of having a fresh look at political blasphemies from time to time, I remain largely unconvinced by Hoppe’s defense of absolute monarchy as better than democracy.

First, I think he sometimes compares apples and oranges, so to speak. For instance, in the owner vs caretaker argument. Of course, if you own a property, you will worry about its future more than if you are just a temporal caretaker; that’s why when you hire a caretaker you make him sign a contract with specific obligations, and you prefer to hire a caretaker with good references, and so on. You don’t give the house keys to a stranger for a few months or years, let him do with it as he sees fit, and then pay him and let him go. You keep an eye on him. If you don’t like what he’s doing, you fire him and you hire a new one. That’s how representative government is supposed to work.

Second, the whole business of defending absolute monarchy is hopeless and moot. The anti-authoritarian ethos of classical liberalism brought the idea of democracy as preferable to absolute monarchy. There’s no way back except through a return of autoritarian thought, a new dark age where oppression of dissenting voices is seen as the right path. But the whole point of the criticism was to prove that democracy is more oppressive than absolute monarchy.

Even if you proved a king is better than a president, then who is to be the king? Either the king is democratically elected or the most powerful warlord becomes the king. Again, either democracy or authoritarianism.

Sure enough, there are plenty of examples (for instances, in Africa and the Middle East) where democracy seems to produce less prosperity, less stability and even a worse human rights record than authocracy. But the problem here is not democracy, it’s crazy borders which tie together very different and often incompatible populations. The solution here is to favor the much-needed processes of secession, reunification and migration, and make them as orderly and peaceful as possible.

Elliott May 1, 2011 at 1:25 am

Hoppe most certainly is not putting forward absolute monarchy as the best sort of government. What Hoppe discusses as a lesser-of-evils government is a hereditary institutional arrangement as existed in Medieval Western Europe. Until the late 13th Century, nothing existed in Europe that could be described as a “State” in the modern sense. Indeed, though the state began to emerge after that point, it did not congeal into the modern state form (or, conversely, the states as the they existed in the Classical West, or in the East throughout its history) until the mid-16th Century. Before then, Europe had an extremely complicated governing system that could not accurately be described as “states”. There was no monopoly exerciser of coercion. There were, instead, an array different structures formed by hereditary estate, historical and personal oaths of fealty, burgher mayoral & merchant class city administration, Church civil law courts, trade courts, county hundreds and shire reeds (sheriffs), overlord duchies, and super-lord kingdoms. It should also be noted that the lords of the realm could indeed buy and sell their titles, privileges, and estates. In Medieval times, there are many instances of lords putting their dominions up for sale or hoc. The Duke of Flanders (I believe it was Flanders) put his duchy up for hoc (and lost it, as it turned out) to raise money to participate in the First Crusade. There was no central authority in Medieval western Christendom, just a large and varying set of competing institutions. This is the system Hoppe has in mind.

David S May 1, 2011 at 9:06 am

As a ‘citizen’ (and taxpayer) of Britain the idea that the monarch is “overwhelmingly” popular is absurd – though the “the firm” as the royal family and the institution of the soveriegn are referred are extermely adept at creating this impression; the people have never been asked whether or not they would like to elect their head of state.

For those who buy into the nonsense that the monarch is somehow benign, a few home truths:
The sovereign and her family are the richest most powerful family in the country and among the richest in the world. Queen Liz is the only person in the country who can invest her wealth using assumed names so it is impossible to know exactly what she owns and controls around the globe – interestingly, she is also exempt from involuntary taxation and can not be audited by the nation’s tax authorities. Further, she enjoys private (un-minuted) weekly meetings with the PM (he is required to travel and visit her). In addition, the entire royal family have been further exempted from information requests (FOIA), so even if there was evidence of the monarch overstepping, the ‘commoners’ of this country have no right to know. The sovereign is also immune form prosecution, a further example of the power of birth right in Britain

This family sits atop an immovable class system in the UK that is easily the largest impediment to the nation’s development. Having such a heft of power and privilege vested with one family in perpetuity is an anachronism and works to ensure the longevity of a vertical, immovable class system based on birth right. Democracy is certainly a work in progress, but if you think enfranchisement is a hassle,, try living in a system in which 2/3s of the parliament is unelected and the head of state (also the head of the state religion, the UK does not a have codified constitution) is determined by blood (and all the corruption that comes with this)… democracy starts looking pretty good.

Beefcake the Mighty May 1, 2011 at 10:01 am

I’m not sure what any of this has to do with monarchy per se. But this was noteworthy:

“This family sits atop an immovable class system in the UK that is easily the largest impediment to the nation’s development. ”

You mean a bigger impediment than the mass importation of Muslims, who threaten not only the nation’s historical demographics but also whatever tradition of Western, classical liberalism that still exists? This kind of immigration is of course entirely consistent with the incentives faced by democratically elected rulers (as Hoppe would note), and in fact similar patterns are seen throughout the democratic West (or former West, really).

David S May 2, 2011 at 9:00 am

“You mean a bigger impediment than the mass importation of Muslims, who threaten not only the nation’s historical demographics but also whatever tradition of Western, classical liberalism that still exists?”

Yes. Or more precisely, the ghettoization of Britain which has allowed Islamism to grow and strengthen across the UK is a direct result of a class system supported and reinforced by the institution of monarch. In the UK there is little in the way of community cohesion and this was the case before the mass, largely un-regulated immigration of the last 15 years or so. Power – in its various dimensions – is centralized around the crown in the UK – the closer one is to this institution, the more power and privilege one is afforded: it is vertical, not horizontal. So when immigrants arrive there is little for them to ‘join’ or be part of aside from taking their place in the vertical, immovable class totem. This makes it very difficult for those who want to integrate to find anything to integrate into, while those with the intention of establishing Islamic enclaves, for example, find little resistance from an atomized society with little in common, aside from class and privilege, holding the nation together.

Vanmind May 2, 2011 at 7:30 pm

The planet’s vilest crime family.

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