Wednesday 20 May 2020

One is not a monarchist for reasons

'A monarchy is its own ideology.' Mark Steyn

One is not a monarchist for reasons. Monarchists despise reasons just as no-one has a reason for loving sunsets or the paintings of Claude Lorrain. But practical reasons for a monarchy are as many as the grains of Libyan sands. If you exhaust all the others, Romania supplies another desertful.


  1. One is not a monarchist for reasons. Monarchists despise reasons just as no-one has a reason for loving sunsets or the paintings of Claude Lorrain.

    I'm inclined to think that's true of most (if not all) political ideologies. Marxists, Trotskyists, libertarians, Social Justice Warriors and rabid free-marketeers might all tell you that they've adopted those ideologies after carefully weighing up all the evidence but I don't believe them. I believe they simply gravitate towards an ideology that satisfies them emotionally. They love their ideologies the same way people love sunsets.

    I think it applies to almost all ideological positions. If you look at global warming true believers and global warming sceptics, immigrationists and anti-immigrationists, internationalists and nationalists, social conservatives and social liberals, you'll find that people choose their positions on those issues based on their own emotional needs and responses. People believe things because they feel deep down inside that those things must be true because anything that feels so true must be true.

    The reasons they cite for their beliefs are just rationalisations, or arguments they use to try to make converts.

    I'm not sure whether to be depressed or encouraged by this.

  2. I agree completely and I do not know either. 'All philosophy is disguised psychology' said Nietzsche. And people often carry around with them the political ideas they formed by age 20, when they did not think well but were full of youthful emotion. This is the reason there are so many very stupid arguments by intelligent people for things like mass immigration, to take one salient example, and for international organisations and world government.

    But Mark Steyn's point is that monarchies do not need to rationalisations. One could talk about the importance of hierarchy but that is not the reason monarchists are monarchists. It is because of tribe and tradition and the beauty of something very old but these are not an ideology but an instinct.

    1. 'because of tribe and tradition'

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    2. I think monarchism is the least bad form of government but I'm sceptical of constitutional monarchies. I think Britain provides us with a fine example of the failure of constitutional monarchy. Having a constitutional monarch has done nothing to prevent Britain from sliding towards totalitarianism.

      I'd prefer the monarchism of Charles I or James II to the monarchism of Elizabeth II.