“As God had promised to extend his care to the poor and afflicted among his people, David, as an argument to enforce the prayer which he presents in behalf of the king, shows that the granting of it will tend to the comfort of the poor. God is indeed no respecter of persons; but it is not without cause that God takes a more special care of the poor than of others, since they are most exposed to injuries and violence. Let laws and the administration of justice be taken away, and the consequence will be, that the more powerful a man is, he will be the more able to oppress his poor brethren. David, therefore, particularly mentions that the king will be the defender of those who can only be safe under the protection of the magistrate, and declares that he will be their avenger when they are made the victims of injustice and wrong. . . .
“But as the king cannot discharge the duty of succouring and defending the poor which David imposes upon him, unless he curb the wicked by authority and the power of the sword, it is very justly added in the end of the verse, that when righteousness reigns, oppressors or extortioners will be broken in pieces. It would be foolish to wait till they should give place of their own accord. They must be repressed by the sword, that their audacity and wickedness may be prevented from proceeding to greater lengths. It is therefore requisite for a king to be a man of wisdom, and resolutely prepared effectually to restrain the violent and injurious, that the rights of the meek and orderly may be preserved unimpaired. Thus none will be fit for governing a people but he who has learned to be rigorous when the case requires. Licentiousness must necessarily prevail under an effeminate and inactive sovereign, or even under one who is of a disposition too gentle and forbearing. There is much truth in the old saying, that it is worse to live under a prince through whose lenity everything is lawful, than under a tyrant where there is no liberty at all.”
Tag Archives: Monarchy
In point of fact, we have made spirited defences of restoring the Stuarts in real life among both friends and strangers, to little effect, but still the effort was made.
Yet, labels do not fit us well, for we are also culturalists, subsidiaritists, and tribalists, and tribal English anarcho-monarchic localism, doesn’t really roll off the tongue.*
But, we are also Christian. In fact, our Christian identity should supersede our other identities (at least philosophically, if not always in practice).
So today, we will examine the neoreaction by the Bible (or at least part of it). For what is more reactionary than following the natural laws dictated by God thousands of years ago and sustained by tradition over millennia.
So, what does the Bible say of monarchy:
So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking for a king from him. He said, “These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen and to run before his chariots. And he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his servants. He will take the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. He will take your male servants and female servants and the best of your young men and your donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.” (1 Samuel 8:10-18)
That’s kind of harsh towards monarchs.
But notice, a tenth. The king only takes a tenth. Our blessed, generous democratic government takes four-tenths, more if you dare provide good service to your fellow citizens.
Even God himself only asked for one-tenth, yet the democrat asks for many times that.
The king thinks himself the equal of God; the democrat thinks government to be greater than God, if not God itself.
If one-tenth was tyranny, what is four-tenths?
Anyway, it should come as no surprise to anyone reading this that the masses desired more tyranny, so God gave them their king.
So, a monarch may take less than the democrat, but God and his servant clearly believe that is tyranny compared to what came before, even if the mob demanded tyranny. So, what came before?
And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, wbut they have rejected me from being king over them. According to all the deeds that they have done, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you. Now then, obey their voice; only you shall solemnly warn them xand show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.” (1 Samuel 8:7-9)
Prior to the monarch God ruled directly. More accurately, the people constantly rebelled against the True King, got themselves in trouble in their rebellion, and then God rescued them through a judge, only to be abandoned once again.
And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals. And they abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt. They went after other gods, from among the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed down to them. And they provoked the Lord to anger. They abandoned the Lord xand served the Baals and the Ashtaroth. So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he gave them over to plunderers, who plundered them. And he sold them into the hand of their surrounding enemies, so that they could no longer withstand their enemies. Whenever they marched out, the hand of the Lord was against them for harm, as the Lord had warned, and as the Lord had sworn to them. And they were in terrible distress.
Then the Lord raised up judges, who saved them out of the hand of those who plundered them. Yet they did not listen to their judges, for they whored after other gods and bowed down to them. They soon turned aside from the way in which their fathers had walked, who had obeyed the commandments of the Lord, and they did not do so. Whenever the Lord raised up judges for them, the Lord was with the judge, and he saved them from the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge. For the Lord was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who afflicted and oppressed them. But whenever the judge died, they turned back and were more corrupt than their fathers, going after other gods, serving them and bowing down to them. They did not drop any of their practices or their stubborn ways. So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he said, “Because this people have transgressed my covenant that I commanded their fathers and have not obeyed my voice,I will no longer drive out before them any of the nations that Joshua left when he died, in order to test Israel by them, whether they will take care to walk in the way of the Lord as their fathers did, or not.” So the Lord left those nations, not driving them out quickly, and he did not give them into the hand of Joshua. (Judges 2:11-23)
The entire book of Judges is simply an endless repeat of variations on the same story. If we go even earlier in the Bible, we can see that the ruling of these judges was a part of the law of God:
“The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen— just as you desired of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die.’ And the Lord said to me, ‘They are right in what they have spoken. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him. (Deutoronomy 18:15-19)
This tells us about leadership during crises but how about political leadership in everyday life? To that we can go to the law on how leaders were chosen:
“You shall appoint judges and officers in all your towns that the Lord your God is giving you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. You shall not pervert justice. You shall not show partiality, hand you shall not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of the righteous. Justice, and only justice, you shall follow, that you may live and inherit the land that the Lord your God is giving you.(Deutoronomy 16:18-20)
“If any case arises requiring decision between one kind of homicide and another, one kind of legal right and another, or one kind of assault and another, any case within your towns that is too difficult for you, then you shall arise and go up to the place that the Lord your God will choose. And you shall come to the Levitical priests and to the judge who is in office in those days, and you shall consult them, and they shall declare to you the decision. Then you shall do according to what they declare to you from that place that the Lord will choose. And you shall be careful to do according to all that they direct you. According to the instructions that they give you, and according to the decision which they pronounce to you, you shall do. You shall not turn aside from the verdict that they declare to you, either to the right hand or to the left. The man who acts presumptuously by not obeying the priest who stands to minister there before the Lord your God, or the judge, that man shall die. So syou shall purge the evil from Israel. And all the people shall hear and fear and not act presumptuously again. (Deutoronomy 17:8-13)
Before the monarch, Israel was a series of tribes, 12 tribes to be exact, who more or less ran themselves locally with the help of the priestly tribe. In times of trouble, a leader appointed by God would save their stubborn asses. Law and politics was handled by locally appointed judges and priests.
Theocratic tribalism was the order of the day in Israel.
The priestly tribe, although given much political and legal power, was set apart:
“The Levitical priests, all the tribe of Levi, shall have no portion or inheritance with Israel. They shall eat the Lord’s food offerings as their inheritance. They shall have no inheritance among their brothers; the Lord is their inheritance, as he promised them. And this shall be the priests’ due from the people, from those offering a sacrifice, whether an ox or a sheep: they shall give to the priest the shoulder and the two cheeks and the stomach. The firstfruits of your grain, of your wine and of your oil, and the first fleece of your sheep, you shall give him. For the Lord your God has chosen him out of all your tribes to stand and minister in the name of the Lord, him and his sons for all time. (Deutoronomy 18:1-5)
It’s almost platonic in nature. A tribe of philosopher-kings (theologist-kings?) running the show, but who are not allowed to accumulate wealth or land.
God did allow for “political evolution” though.
“When you come to the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and you possess it and dwell in it and then say, ‘I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are around me,’ you may indeed set a king over you whom the Lord your God will choose. One from among your brothers you shall set as king over you. You may not put a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. Only he must not acquire many horses for himself or cause the people to return to Egypt in order to acquire many horses, since the Lord has said to you, ‘You shall never return that way again.’ And he shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away, nor shall he acquire for himself excessive silver and gold.
“And when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself in a book a copy of this law, approved by the Levitical priests. And it shall be with him, and he shall read in it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God by keeping all the words of this law and these statutes, and doing them, that his heart may not be lifted up above his brothers, and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, either to the right hand or to the left, so that he may continue long in his kingdom, he and his children, in Israel. (Deutoronomy 17:14-20)
Despite his warnings of the corruption of kings later on, God did allow for Israel to appoint a king. Allowance does not mean it’s for the better though.
It’s almost as if monarchy itself were the first progress. This raises the question: is monarchism reactionary or are monarchists simply not dark enough? At the risk of trying to be darker than thou, should theocratic tribalism be what reactionaries, Christian ones at least, be working towards?
I don’t think it’s too important, either would be better than rule by the ignorant and apathetic and both were allowable and recommended by Old Testament law. Just something to think about.
Also, note how important the rule of law was under both tribalism and monarchism. It’s fairly obvious that the rule of law was more important to God than the specific ruler or method of ruling.
Who exercises power is less important than that there be law and the law be upheld justly.
From these readings we can tell the natural political order blessed by God is theocratic tribalism, although monarchism is allowable, even if it has its downsides (10% tax! The tyranny!). The rule of law is more important than either of these forms though.
At some point, I plan to look to the New Testament to see if there is a Christian political order apart from the Israelite order.
* Note for those who may be stupid: These are not code words. We are not white nationalists, white supremacists, nor white [insert label here], as whiteness is far too diverse and amorphous to base a community around (what have I to do with a Spaniard and what has he to do with me?). Neither are we racists, by any reasonable definition of said term. By culturalist and tribalist, we mean that people prefer to associate with people similar to them; either as close kith and kin (local tribalism) or by shared cultural understandings (culturalism). These are the two things one can build a cohesive society around: family or shared culture. For English nations, We advocate a return to a society based around the family, local community, and English culture. For non-English folk in English countries, we advocate them either accepting English culture and becoming English, or emigrating/separating to build their own societies however they please.
Over at the Neckbeard Chronicles, I came across the term anarcho-monarchism. This is a very small ideology that doesn’t even have it’s own wiki page and I don’t know much about it, but it really appeals to me.
There’s no big analysis today, just some quotes on it from other sources:
The individual person has the self-evident, God-given rights of life, liberty, and property. These rights are best exercised in a capitalist-libertarian, Stateless society. However, this does not mean that a form of government and authority is not required. For any civilized culture, order must be maintained, and thus, authority is indispensable. But it is essential to understand that there is a difference between the State and authority, and how authority is natural and good, whereas the State is evil and unnecessary. Natural government and authority only has one purpose: to secure these individual rights. Acceptable forms of a minimalist government, as laid down by such intellectual giants as Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas, include traditional monarchies, aristocracies, and republics. The plan envisioned by the Anti-Federalist Founding Fathers, in which the rule of law is bound upon a Constitutional republican confederation in which there is a strictly limited, weak, and anti-centralistic federal government alongside weakened, yet sovereign, independent states (in the colonial American sense), with respect for jury nullification, peaceful secession, and of Natural Law, is possibly the best man-made governmental system ever devised. Regardless of the form of government, the objective of good government should be to promote the common good, individualism, liberty, order, and free markets.
This synthesis of anarcho-capitalism with respect for monarchism, Christianity, traditionalist values, and proper authority is what I call ‘Anarcho-Monarchism.’ It is an anti-collectivist, anti-democratic, anti-statist, anti-nationalist, and anti-totalitarian, conservative-libertarian Rightist movement that stresses tradition, responsibility, liberty, virtue, localism, capitalism, civil society and classical federalism, along with familial, religious, regional, and Western identity. It celebrates in the diversity that God has created among man, and believes in the maxim of ‘Universal Rights, Locally Enforced.’
Some may scoff at an attempt to reconcile these influences, but I believe it is quite logical, and indeed absolutely necessary, to synthesize cultural conservatism with radical anti-statist libertarian-anarchism. I view the modern Nation-State as an unnatural outgrowth of conquest and modernity — not of social contract (the classical liberals were wrong in this regard)— that inevitably foments decivilization and cultural decay as a means toward perpetuating its own parasitical existence at the expense of family, locale, and transcendent spiritual values. I categorically and fundamentally reject the modern democratic, egalitarian, and majoritarian State in favor of natural libertarian hierarchy, polycentric law, paternalistic society, and private-property anarchism.
One can at least sympathize, then, with Tolkien’s view of monarchy. There is, after all, something degrading about deferring to a politician, or going through the silly charade of pretending that “public service” is a particularly honorable occupation, or being forced to choose which band of brigands, mediocrities, wealthy lawyers, and (God spare us) idealists will control our destinies for the next few years.
But a king—a king without any real power, that is—is such an ennoblingly arbitrary, such a tender and organically human institution. It is easy to give our loyalty to someone whose only claim on it is an accident of heredity, because then it is a free gesture of spontaneous affection that requires no element of self-deception, and that does not involve the humiliation of having to ask to be ruled.
The ideal king would be rather like the king in chess: the most useless piece on the board, which occupies its square simply to prevent any other piece from doing so, but which is somehow still the whole game. There is something positively sacramental about its strategic impotence. And there is something blessedly gallant about giving one’s wholehearted allegiance to some poor inbred ditherer whose chief passions are Dresden china and the history of fly-fishing, but who nonetheless, quite ex opere operato, is also the bearer of the dignity of the nation, the anointed embodiment of the genius gentis—a kind of totem or, better, mascot.
As for Tolkien’s anarchism, I think it obvious he meant it in the classical sense: not the total absence of law and governance, but the absence of a political archetes—that is, of the leadership principle as such. In Tolkien’s case, it might be better to speak of a “radical subsidiarism,” in which authority and responsibility for the public weal are so devolved to the local and communal that every significant public decision becomes a matter of common interest and common consent. Of course, such a social vision could be dismissed as mere agrarian and village primitivism; but that would not have bothered Tolkien, what with his proto-ecologist view of modernity.
And from another site:
Philosophically speaking, anarchism has a strong anti-democratic tradition that, far from seeing anarchism as being democracy carried to its logical conclusion, is actually far closer to being instead aristocracy universalised. Monarchy can be reinvented as a concept to serve a distinctively libertarian ethos, if one can see in the monarch a symbol of sovereignty that is reflected in the absolute sovereignty of the free individual. The word ‘king’ is derived from the word ‘kin’ – so kingship denotes kinship, the king or queen being a symbolic guardian of the people’s freedom and self-determination. Thus handed down generation to generation, the monarch carries the genetic inheritance of the people in a bond of mutual co-inherence. This is beautifully and poetically proclaimed in the tradition of British mythology that refers to King Arthur and the quest for the Holy Grail, in that the concept of kingship that is envisaged in the Arthurian mythos is interpreted as one of service and humility towards the people whom one ‘rules’. A similar theme is found in the Christian Gospels where Jesus says to his disciples ‘Whoever shall be considered the greatest, let him first become the least and the servant of all.’ (And in this mythological context, Christ is the fulfilment of all archetypes such as Arthur, as well as the indigenous British and Norse mystery traditions such as druidism and Odinism in particular.) The scriptures appear to suggest that at the end of time Christ will abdicate his throne, having maintained a reign so beneficent that all humanity is brought into such a state of spiritual perfection that the need for restraints and for government vanishes (1 Cor Ch. 15 vv. 24-28) – an eschatological realisation that transcends kingship and monarchy into an enlightened theocratic anarchy.
The most contemporary proponent of anarcho-monarchy has to be the fantasy novelist J. R. R. Tolkien, whose book Lord of the Rings has become the international best-seller of the century. Concerning his political leanings Tolkien said: ‘My political opinions lean more and more to anarchy (philosophically understood, meaning abolition of control, not whiskered men with bombs) – or to ‘unconstitutional monarchy’. Further on, he said some years later: ‘I am not a ‘socialist’ in any sense – being averse to ‘planning’ (as must be plain) – most of all because the ‘planners’ when they acquire power become so bad.’
‘Middle Earth’, the imaginary world Tolkien created, was based on north European mythology; it functioned as what Tolkien himself described as ‘a half-republic, half-aristocracy’ – a sort of municipal decentralised democracy (as opposed to a representative democracy) based in a holistic conception of the integrity of the local place and idiom. The emphasis in Tolkien of tendencies towards some kind of hierarchy, however libertarian, and of self-government only being consistent with kinship and loyalty to a particular place, has made Lord of the Rings popular and required reading amongst the radical-decentralist right.
Lord of the Rings is having a profound influence on the contemporary green and environmental movements in that, seen in our present historical context, it provides a coherent and inspirational critique of the modernist unholy trinity of state power, capital and technology. (For an excellent book on this very subject and more see Defending Middle-Earth – Tolkien: Myth and Modernity by Patrick Curry, Harper Collins 1998.) Tolkien, with keen prophetic insight, foresaw that at the close of this millennium the struggle for humanity and nature would be between the diversity of local distinctiveness, place, identity, and culture against the globalist unity and monoculture that turns everywhere into the same place. Also, it turns everyone into the same person with the same status as a passive ‘consumer’, where once they may have been an active citizen or ‘member of the public’.
Something to look into.
I am a libertarian with a strong bent towards subsidiarity, I support individuals’ freedom to engage in economic, personal, and social activities with minimal intrusion by a central government.
I am also a constitutional monarchist, and a supporter of the anglosphere. I support the Queen and am in favour of expanding the monarchy’s power so the monarchy has real control over the executive branch of government. As a supporter of both the anglosphere and the monarchy, I am in favour of the increased union of the English nations (the UK, US, Canada, Australia, and NZ) until all Englishmen are confederated under the British Monarch.
Now, monarchism and libertarianism are often not grouped together; libertarianism is about self-determination, while monarchism is about inherited rule, seemingly contradictory impulses.
How do I reconcile them?
Libertarianism* is based on the notion of private property right; you own yourself (or, for the religiously inclined, God, not man, owns you) as private property and and you are able to own external goods.
Most libertarians acknowledge the need for a state to ensure property rights, enforce agreements, and prevent/punish aggression.** Most use social contract theory, whereby individuals contract away some of their freedoms for protection, but that leaves the control of the limited libertarian government as common property, even if that common property is run through the “self-determiniation” of democracy.
That’s where the monarch is brought in. In a libertarian monarchy, the realm is the private property of the monarch.
The monarch would have no power over the private property of any individuals, but would own the state apparatus (ie. the executive branch), “public” lands, and other “public” property as the private property of the monarch and the monarch’s house.
The benefit of this is that the monarch would have an incentive in running the state and public property efficiently and effectively, as it would be her own property to be passed down to her children.
The monarchy would also be able to take the long view of the realm’s affairs, rather than the short-term view the electoral system forces on prime ministers and presidents.
The parliament would still create laws and the monarch would have to abide by the constitution (whether codified or uncodified), acting as a check on the monarch’s power.
If the parliament and/or monarch became too corrupt or power became too centralized, the free citizenry would have the muzzles and blood to rectify the situation.
That’s the political system I would create if given my druthers.
* We will focus on right-wing libertarians, ignoring libertarian socialists, ie. anarchists, who are whole different breed.
** Anarcho-capitalists and objectivists would disagree.
God save our gracious Queen
Long live our noble Queen,
God save the Queen:
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us:
God save the Queen.
O Lord, our God, arise,
Scatter thine enemies,
And make them fall:
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On thee our hopes we fix:
God save us all.
Thy choicest gifts in store,
On her be pleased to pour;
Long may she reign:
May she defend our laws,
And ever give us cause
To sing with heart and voice
God save the Queen.