It would come as a surprise to no one who knows me that I am a staunch monarchist to the bone. One question I often get, however, is why. The short answer is that it is because I consider it the best system of governance on the planet, but of course you’re probably expecting a bit more than that. Very well, I shall oblige.
For the sake of simplicity, I will be referencing the British Monarchy quite extensively here. As a Canadian the Queen is the monarch whom I am most familiar with and who applies to my own personal circumstances. The following arguments could be applied to any monarchy, however, and are not exclusively the domain of either Canada or the greater British Commonwealth.
If you’re even mildly engaged in either politics or public policy, you’ll doubtlessly have heard the constitutional/legal arguments for monarchy. I won’t bore you by dwelling on them repetitiously. It is sufficient to say that monarchies are less prone to despotism, more stable domestically, AND are actually less expensive to the taxpayer than most Presidential/Republican systems are.
But the true reason I am a monarchist goes much deeper and more personal than that. The great flaw of liberalism, and the political program of the left in general, is it’s devotion to reason and logic above all else. This all makes for fascinating discussion in tutorial for Political Theory 101, but in the real world often is quite wanting when it comes to setting up a genuinely healthy foundation for a society. A people, a demos, needs something greater than just day to day survival and a quest to fill one’s belly and find a place to rest one’s head at night. What is truly needed is a hope, a belief, a founding mythos and identity which binds people together into a cohesive whole. A crown, a throne, and the individual that occupies both can be such a hope and belief. That is what Crown and Monarch represents in Canada. The Queen is not just a head of state but an embodiment of thousands of years of history and identity. She is a living representation of the continuity that is the covenant between those passed and those present and those who are yet to be.
A monarch is also something more. Monarchy is, at its best, the ultimate exemplification of nobility. Now that’s a word that truly drives progressive proles bonkers. Nobility, hierarchy and inherited privilege are of course baaad, being representations of elitism. Of course, what the lefty fool blindly refuses to realize is that hierarchy is as inescapable as your own shadow. Throughout history, in every society known to man, a small number of people have told everyone one else what to do. Whether that small group is the 1%, the Politburo, or the landed aristocracy that simple truth is consistent. What varies is the form, and it is in that regard that the Queen truly represents the best of what nobility can be. Let us look at the Royal Family for a moment. Queen Elizabeth II is a woman who from her youngest days has dedicated herself solely to serving her country and people, and done so without the slightest complaint or hesitation. Her son and heir, Prince Charles, gets more flack because he tends to speak his mind a bit. And what horrible subjects he chooses to speak out on! The persecution of Christians in the Middle East, the need for Muslim immigrants to truly adhere to British values, the failings of modern architecture, the necessity of caring for the planet if we as a species are to continue living on it. What truly vile causes to advocate for (oh, and he also had a bad first marriage – like modern society as a whole has any right to complain on that front). It’s also worth noting that Prince Charles, and both his sons, have all served with distinction in the British armed forces (and Prince Harry even has fought in combat in Afghanistan). Can you imagine an investment banker’s son being encouraged to do something along those lines?
That is the true power of monarchy. How it couples both noble privilege with noble obligation. How it recognizes that society will always have elites, but those elites have a duty in turn to society and a moral obligation to fulfill it. A King lives for his people, a King dies for his people, because a King recognizes that he is nothing without his people. It is a concept that is sadly lacking in our modern society, which has seen liberalism effectively “free” us from any kind of true obligation and duty we owe to one another and to the nation as a whole (excluding of course such boilerplate claptrap as “the rich paying their fair share” and other such irrelevant nonsense). It is a great power and it is a terrible power. It is certainly something I would never wish upon myself, but it has been shouldered by each King and Queen of Britain unflinchingly since the first King sat upon the first Throne all those thousands of years ago. We are all the better for it.