Anarchy and Monarchy

Neither anarchy nor monarchy is well understood in America today.  To most Americans, anarchists are violent nihilists and monarchs are laughable buffoons.  So when I advocate something like ‘anarcho-monarchism’, the masses really get confused.  In addition, many leftist anarchists claim that rightist anarchism (anarcho-capitalism, anarcho-monarchism, etc.) can’t even exist.  But that is a criticism that is rooted in ignorance.  An appreciation for both monarchy and anarchy is nothing new.  Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, one of the first anarchist philosophers, had no love for the ‘common man,’ that trait most prevalent in modern democratic societies.  While opposing all forms of Statism, Proudhon recognized that democracy was the worst.  He wrote that “democracy is the ideal of the State projected to infinity” and that “Democracy is more expensive than monarchy; it is incompatible with liberty.”  This brilliant anarchist stated that

. . . because of this ignorance of the primitiveness of their instincts, of the urgency of their needs, of the impatience of their desires, the people show a preference towards summary forms of authority. The thing they are looking for is not legal guarantees, of which they do not have any idea and whose power they do not understand; they do not care for intricate mechanisms or for checks and balances for which, on their own account, they have no use; it is a boss in whose word they confide, a leader whose intentions are known to the people and who devotes himself to its interests, that they are seeking. This chief they provide with limitless authority and irresistible power. The people, considering everything to be just which they consider useful to themselves, since they are the people, ridicule all formalities and do not impose conditional limitations on the depositories of power.  Inclined towards suspicion and calumny, but incapable of methodical discussion, they believe in nothing definite save the human will. Their only hope is man. They have  confidence only in their creatures... They expect nothing from principles—which alone can save them. They do not have the “religion of ideas.”

Elsewhere, he wrote that

Left to themselves or led by their tribunes the masses never established anything. They have their face turned backwards; no tradition is formed among them; no orderly spirit, no idea which acquires the force of law. Of politics they understand nothing except the element of intrigue; of the art of governing, nothing except prodigality and force; of justice, nothing but mere indictment; of liberty, nothing but the ability to set up idols which are smashed the next morning. The advent of democracy starts an era of retrogression which will ensure the death of the nation and the State. . .

Despising the materialism of the masses, he wrote that “Money, money, always money, that is the essence of democracy.”  Understanding a key philosophical difference between monarchy and democracy, he illuminated the inherent totalitarianism of democracy when he stated that “Authority, which in monarchy is the principle of governmental action, in democracy is the aim of government.”  While Marquis de Sade and the Republicans in the French Parliament were calling for evermore egalitarian measures to extend suffrage to women, children, and criminals, Proudhon ironically suggested allowing donkeys and horses to vote as well.

Even more explicit was when he stated that

Democracy is nothing but tyranny of the majorities, the most execrable tyranny of all because it rests neither on the authority of a religion, nor on the nobility of race, nor on the prerogatives of talent or property. Its foundation is numbers and its mask is the name of the people.

Other illuminating statements of his include

Democracy is an aristocracy of mediocrities.

Democracy is, in fact, essentially militaristic.

My views on the family are not unlike those of the ancient Roman law.  The father of the family is to me a sovereign … I consider all our dreams about the emancipation of women to be destructive and stupid.

When we say “the People” we always unavoidably mean the least progressive part of society, the most ignorant, the most cowardly, the most ungrateful.

This elitist aspect to Proudhon is what separates him from other democratic-collectivist anarchists such as Bakunin and Kropotkin.  And it is precisely the Proudhon branch of anarchism (out of those early forms of anarchism) that most influences my own political views.  But even Bakunin, committed as he was to both anti-statism and egalitarianism, recognized that political leveling and democracy were dangerous to liberty in a centralized regime

We are convinced that if France has lost her liberty on two different occasions, and seen her democratic republic transformed into a dictatorship and a military democracy, the fault does not lie with her people but with her political centralization.

What Bakunin failed to realize, however, that Proudhon and many others did not fail to see, was that political centralization and political egalitarianism go hand in hand.  You cannot have one without the other.

As I’ve stated as elsewhere, I am not a monarchist.  I am an advocate of anarchy, while a defender of monarchy.  The transition of rule from monarchical families in the 18th Century to bureaucratic majorities today was not progress.  What would have been progress would have been a rejection of mercantilism for Manchesterism; a rejection of authoritarianism for true self-government; a rejection of artificial privilege for natural hierarchy and nobility.  Instead, the West got big business state capitalism, corporatist socialism, centralist totalitarianism, and oppressive egalitarianism that continually stagnates our culture and society.

Now granted, the term ‘anarcho-monarchism’ itself is paradoxical.  Anarchy literally means without rulers, while monarchy literally means rule by one.  So, I’m not advocating some sort of anarchist state with an absolute king (that is nonsensical).  My goal is anarchy (a Proudhon-Tucker-Spooner-Rothbard form of anarchy) but I also seek to correct misconceptions about monarchy.  Democracy is not a step in the right direction towards self-government or liberty.  Monarchy is.

17 Responses to “Anarchy and Monarchy”
  1. Hindsight says:

    You do realise that anarchy completely contradicts the concept of monarchy and that neither are in the least bit compatible. Monarchy also contradicts per definition egalitarianism. Seeing as monarchy is based on the notion of inequality and subjugation because of birth and position.

    • Jason (Admin) says:

      Monarchy and anarchy are incompatible. My position is thus: of all centralized states, the least evil form is not democracy but rather monarchy. But monarchy itself has several limitations and injustices. I am not trying to reconcile monarchism with anarchism. I advocate anarchism, while having a traditionalist appreciation for monarchism.

      Regarding egalitarianism, I am no egalitarian. Leftist-socialist anarchists advocate egalitarianism, but I do not. Diversity is natural, equality is not.

      • J.P. Katigbak says:

        Jason, can you explain to me regarding the true merits of having a constitutional monarchy especially? I would like to learn well on the historical subject of monarchy in general.

        Thanks very much. – J.P.K.

        P.S.: Equality is not really a solution to the present woes, nor does democracy will do. What you really have to consider is to have a monarchy, especially under constitutional edicts.

        • Jason says:

          The starting points for appreciating monarchy begin with Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn and Hans-Hermann Hoppe. Check out their works and go from there.

    • Nijos says:

      Read the fucking post you idiot.

  2. From which of Proudhon’s books are you quoting, if I may kindly ask?

    • Jason (Admin) says:

      Most of them are from Proudhon’s “La solution du problème social” and “Du principe fédératif.” I came across the sources from Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn’s book, “Leftism.”

  3. LordOrlock says:

    Rothbard? Really?

    Your argument is better than I expected… It was actually much better than most arguments for either anarcho-capitalism or other forms of anarchism.

    But Anarcho-Capitalism is even more contradictory than capitalist democracy, sorry. Actual anarchists want to save themselves from the state AND corporate power. One cannot be free without confronting both. Read some Marx, and less Rothbard.

    But really, MURRAY ROTHBARD? Couldnt you at least choose a fraudster like Friedman instead of a nut like Rothbard?

    • Jason (Admin) says:

      I agree that persons should be free from both the State and corporate power. I essentially feel this way about both the State and corporate power: “I like people with property. I am not at all enthusiastic about the rootless fellow in an apartment house, with a social security number as his main distinction. I loathe the capitalism that concentrates property in the hands of a few, no less than socialism which wants to transfer it to that great nobody, the hydra with a million heads and no soul, Society. I like people with their own abode, their own field, their own views prompting them to independent action…I hold that state, business, manufacture are the great slaveholders of our times. John Doe works like his spiritual ancestor, the medieval serf, one and a half days a week for his landlord. Of four weekly checks he hands over at least one to the corporation which rents him his habitat. Failure to do so would result in dispossession, a menace unknown to the villein of the thirteenth century. In the factory he slaves, unlike the guildsman, for unknown investors as well as for corrupt labor leaders, if not, as in the USSR, for a combination leviathan of State and Society. The workers should own the tools of production; there is no earthly reason why they should not own the factories in a literal sense or be the holders of all shares distributed after a certain key. A plant could be a living community no less so than the medieval workshop.” – Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn

      I agree with the goals of Proudhon, G. K. Chesterton, and Hilaire Belloc, in that property is liberty, and property should be widely distributed. However, none of them fully understood economics, and in this respect, one must look to Eugen Böhm von Bawerk, Ludwig von Mises, F. A. Hayek, and Murray Rothbard. True laissez-faire is a bulwark against corporatist power, and it is to that, that I cling towards, not towards Saint-Simon, Marx, or other socialists.

      • Mirta says:

        I think it would require quite a zlaoet to say that a constitution sized (one can argue the current administration is constitution sized, since everything a government does is legal) minimal government is just as bad as the system we have now. An objective anarchist would state that a minimal government is philosophically inconsistent, but from a zero-sum perspective, I’d be hard pressed to find somebody to say that less tyranny is just as bad as more tyranny, simply because there’s some’ tyranny.Furthermore anarchists argue that things would be better’ absent government, but not *always* the case. What I mean is that overall, things will be better, but you can always take particular moments and go aha! this is worse than governments!’ Of course, what are statistic but particular moments? I find this line of argument is best solved by appealing to theory regarding what precisely statistics are, which gets into ideas like trends and other technical issues. Aiee .I really wish anarchists and libertarians could be friends. The basis behind their philosophies are very similar, and since the current system is not libertarian, it doesn’t hurt to have a first step as a truly libertarian USA, then see where we go from there.

  4. WmGilleMoire says:

    Translation to Spanish of “Anarchy and Monarchy”. Please check it (I’m not a professional, and my English is not perfect, but I think this translation is ok)

    May I translate and publish more articles? I am an anarcho-monarchist.

    Dios, Patria (chiquititititita -á lá Hoppe) y Rey y/o Anarquía (or -why not?- Panarchy -á lá John Zube)

  5. P James says:

    Democracy is actually a system based on equal rights, not just majority voting. Without the equal rights, you can have a form of majority voting but not democracy.

  6. P James says:

    “Regarding egalitarianism, I am no egalitarian. Leftist-socialist anarchists advocate egalitarianism, but I do not. Diversity is natural, equality is not.”

    Total strawman. Egalitarianism does not mean uniformity or absence of diversity. You are simply conflating terms here.

    • Nuralit says:

      The endgame of modern egalitarianism is the absence of diversity.
      Taking every different facet of a thing and throwing it in a melting pot where diversity is no longer existent and differences are minimal.
      You can see this with race-mixing, where it seems people want there to be one single mixed race, therefore culling any sort of diversity.
      You can see this with modern gender discussions, where the idea of gender is made completely devoid of value in a way that people can simply invent genders at will.

  7. Jonathan says:

    I came here googling the quote that begins with “My views on the family…”
    I had come to the notion of anarcho-monarchism independently as a pun on “sovereign individual”. I hadn’t realised it was a “thing” until recently.
    For me it answers three political aspects:
    First, the literal aspect of sovereign political freedom;
    second, it accounts for the fact that “the people show a preference towards summary forms of authority”, and have the sovereign right to associate and dissociate with whomever they choose [subject to actual contract rather than mythological social contract]. If they wish to live in “City States”, that is there right as much as isolationism; and
    third, it half-trolls the point that “All is ultimately anarchy. The Sovereign States, as Persons possessing and controlling varying amounts of capital, interact amongst each other in the absence of a higher self-imposed archon. Anarchy is the absence of the State, not the absence of government.”

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