"I take it you are watching this year’s Presidential election in the U.S.," I said.I think Lind is one of the most insightful commentators around*. He was perhaps the first American military theorist to define and explain Fourth Generation War, and his insights on how it would turn out for us have been more accurate than not, which is actually saying quite a bit since 4GW is such an amorphous, multi-variable event. That said, I think he suffers a real blind spot when it comes to monarchy, which he quite seriously equates with conservatism.
"The flea circus? That’s part of it," said the Kaiser. "It nicely illustrates one of democracy’s contradictions, namely that no one who is willing to crawl and grub for votes can be worthy of the office to which he aspires. There’s no place for the nolo episcopari in democratic politics, it seems, nor for anyone with the slightest shred of character. Your Giulianis and McCains, Clintons and Obamas are happy to eat every toad in the public garden."
"I think the American public is no happier with their options this year than is Your Majesty," I replied.
"Thereby illustrating another funny aspect of democracy," the Kaiser shot back. "Who do they think is responsible? They are, of course. No candidate who told them the truth could get above 10% in the polls. They want nostrums, bromides, comforting lies, and they won’t tolerate anything else. America speaks of citizens, but all it has are consumers whose heads are as fat as their bottoms. That too is where democracy leads, to an ever-declining lowest common denominator. It cannot do anything else."
In some ways he is correct: Heaven is not a republic**. But it is rather silly to assert that our sorry collection of dwarven presidential wannabes is any worse for their would-be subjects than the motley collection of bleeders and droolers that have passed for royalty throughout human history.
A monarchy is the perfect form of government so long as one has the perfect monarch. However, while history has placed able men such as Marcus Aurelius on the throne, it has also placed Kim Jong Il there. Where Henry VII has shined, Henry VIII has floundered. Where Victoria provided stability, Mary I bathed in blood and psychosis. Monarchy results in the undiluted projection of one personality onto an entire nation, and if that personality is a diseased one, as seems to occur more often the longer a line lasts, then the entire nation cannot help but be polluted by it.
The things he says about American democracy are mostly true as well: those who seek power are among the very last people to whom it should be entrusted. But in that same boat ride the inbred, psychotic children of royalty. How can one assert that being ruled by Al Gore would be any worse than being ruled by his ideological twin brother, Charles of Windsor? At least Gore would go away*** after 8 years.
The problem of human governance is not one of choosing the perfect ruler; even if you find one he will die, and as Solomon wondered of those who would succeed him, "Who can tell whether he will be a wise man or a fool?" It rather lies in finding a way to limit the damage that the fool who will rule can do to those within his power.
* It is no coincidence that of all the libertarians and Paulistas at LewRockwell.com, Lind is the only commentator I read regularly. In fact, My link is to his page, and if I'm really bored, I'll click over from there to Lew. I suggest reading and re-reading Lind.
** But while Jesus will rule as a king, Moses did not wear a crown. Monarchy may be the government of heaven, but it is a demonstrably poor one among men, and God warned as much when his people demanded a king for themselves: "You have this day rejected your God, who himself saved you out of all your adversities and your tribulations. You have instead demanded, 'Set a king over us.'" - 1Sam 10:19.
*** I just wish Jimmy Carter would.