"Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ." - Jerome

Saturday, October 18, 2008

We need a monarchy

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising them the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy."

-Dr. Alexander Tytler


Matthew Bradley said...

Great quote, Jared.

Just for fun, what do you think will or should replace our democracy when it finally fails? Monarchy? Practically this would be difficult, of course. Socialism isn't an option because that will in fact be what our system is by the time it collapses. Perhaps a reorganized democracy, or a modified democracy?

What do you think of the idea that monarchy is the only God-ordained system of government? I mean, if you don't think about it historically (in other words, try not to hear all the arguments along these lines that were used to prop up monarchies or to provide them with greater authority by appealing to God as the one from whom they derived their authority), it is an intriguing argument. The divine system of government is an absolute monarchy. Is there not some strength to the argument that the best government will mimic the divine? And since all human systems of government are flawed, shouldn't we pick the flawed system with a divine precedent? Not only is God an absolute monarch, but he set Israel up as an absolute monarchy (except for the primacy of God over the king). So in the only government instituted directly by God, he chose to set up a monarchy. Is this just a function of the time and place in which he set it up?

If getting such a government set up right now were not a practical impossibility (in other words, let's pretend), could you argue in favor of it?

What say you?

Jared Nelson said...

My title is in jest. Jay will tell you our form of government is nearly divinely inspired, but I think democracy as an element is not bad, but I honestly wish the United States Government was less democratic. If I could change certain aspects of the US government I would do this:

1) Repeal the 17th Amendment that provides for the direct election of Senators. Instead, go back to the state government selecting a Senator, giving state governments more direct influence in federal government.

2) Tie number of Representatives to population. We did not always have 435 representatives, but increased based on population. more representatives would make the House more Representative as the Senate became less.

3) Look into further restrictions on voting (employment, etc.)

I don't think any form of government is God-ordained. Even Israel was not always a kingdom and had a time of Oligarchy under the Judges.

Historically, it is interesting that democracy was a bad word before the French Revolution because it was associated with Salamis, where a democratic government overruled the courts to execute their generals. Pure democracy seems to head into problems like that: majority over law/mob rule.

Matthew Bradley said...

#1 is solid. That is the whole point of the Senate: Not to necessarily reflect the popular sentiment, but to be free to vote on issues based upon what is in the best interest of the body politik. The people have the House to represent them.

#3 is along the lines of what I was discussing with friends over dinner last night. Tough to do this without being labeled any number of nasty things. But in the end, I'm Hamiltonian (which many would consider an ugly label anyway!)

That said, I still think we'd be better off as a monarchy. Hamilton was right to question the intelligence of the masses.

Jared Nelson said...

Hamilton rocked! Federalist Party all the way. I just changed my facebook political views to that. Have you ever read Russell Kirk's Conservative Mind? Kirk identifies John Adams, Hamilton and Fisher Ames as the voice of Burkean Conservatism in early America.

Monarchies are hard to set up. Maybe when Socialism is implimented and then the economy crashes then a dictatorship will be set up and then that will turn into a monarchy. I'd prefer a Republic (not democracy) though.

So you don't think we can reimpliment property requirements for voting?

Jared Nelson said...

On #3 - can we make people choose: either pay taxes and have the right to vote, or don't pay taxes and not have the right to vote. Now that 40% of the population pays 0% income tax, when are we going to get to the point where a majority of people have a government paid for by the minority? Another reason democracy sucks: democracy is the systematic abuse of the minority by the majority.

Wesley said...

By Jove! God save the Queen!

Actually, I'm in agreement. I would support a constitutional monarchy in the US. But until then,(if ever) all those proposals sound good.

But about number 3...yeah...called lots of nasty things. I think it we will become a monarchy before that happens.

Jared Nelson said...

I'd support a constitutional monarchy for Britain. They need to get back to one...