This blog is about my opinions on whatever subjects I am interested in – usually politics, history, religion, morality, and philosophy. I describe myself as an “Anarcho-Monarchist.”
What is Anarcho-Monarchism? Admittedly, the term appears to be a paradoxical one. But it’s only paradoxical if one were to advocate some of form of government that was simultaneously anarchist and monarchist at the same time. I do not. Anarcho-Monarchism is, in itself, not a cohesive ideology. It is merely a starting political position; we advocate either anarchism OR monarchism. Others may have their own descriptions for Anarcho-Monarchism (such as instilling some symbolic tribal king over an anarchist community), but these ideas appear nonsensical to me. David B. Hart has an article over at First Things, in which he details his own views on Anarcho-Monarchism, within the context of the views of J.R.R. Tolkien and Salvador Dalí, that I find much in agreement with.
The foundational structure behind the idea of advocating either anarchism or monarchism for a political system is one with deep roots in a variety of soils. These soils are representative of a number of different time periods and locales, and the political terms that go with them have deeply varied connotations depending upon the soil. This foundation rests primarily upon paleolibertarianism and paleoconservatism. The Ancient Hebrews of the Judges Period, the early Chinese Taoists, Aristotle, the Greek Stoics, the early Christians, the Saracens, the Medieval Catholics, the Scholastics, ‘classical’ liberalism of the 17th and 18th centuries, the French Counter-Revolution, American anti-federalism, both the Southern Confederacy and the abolitionist movement (in very different ways), the Austrian School of Economics, the 19th Century American Individualist Anarchism movement, the Southern Agrarians, the Old Right of the 1930s, Ayn Rand’s Objectivism, the Libertarian movement, the New Left of the 1960s and 70s, the Traditionalist-Conservative movement, ‘classical’ Monarchism, and Murray Rothbard’s Anarcho-Capitalism have all helped mold and fashion my philosophy. At the heart of the matter, I am a liberal traditionalist. Here, again, we come to terms that appear paradoxical. But liberal traditionalism has a long and rich philosophical history in the West.
To detail ideological and philosophical history is a complex process, one in which there are hundreds of names of importance that influenced hundreds of other names, but if one were to – somewhat arbitrarily – pick four great thinkers to represent four general tendencies within Western philosophy, then Aquinas, Calvin, Rousseau, and de Sade would be as good of representatives as any. In this sense, Calvin would stand for rigid authoritarianism, Rousseau for totalitarianism, de Sade for hedonistic individualism, and Aquinas for liberal traditionalism. This generality certainly doesn’t mean that these thinkers contributed nothing else to philosophy nor does it disregard other thinkers’ ideas; neither does it disregard economic interests that have greatly influenced historical events as much as philosophical ideas. Rather, it is a general classification, only, of the History of Ideas in Western philosophy. In this caricature of these thinkers, it is Aquinas that Anarcho-Monarchists hold most in high esteem. His promulgation of reason rooted within faith, individual liberty within community, and authority within subsidiarity are ideas vitally needed to be revived in our age of cultural decay and political tyranny.
Reactionary, conservative, traditionalist – all three have very similar meanings, and depending upon one’s disposition, the Anarcho-Monarchist would find agreement with all three. First of all, I am a reactionary. In this, I mean no specific ideology but only a frame of mind and starting reference point. I see no particular advantage in the viewpoint of the progressive, in believing in ever increasing societal progress. I oppose the spirit and trends of our times, and seek to restore the spirit and virtue of bygone periods of Western Civilization. As an authentic reactionary, I support the five roots of a civilized Western culture (adapted from Peter Viereck): the stern moral commandments and social justice of Judaism; the love for beauty and for untrammeled intellectual speculation of the free Hellenic mind; the Roman Empire’s universalism and its exaltation of law; the spirit of grace and freedom of Christianity; and the Aristotelian-Thomism, anti-nominalism, and decentralist-polycentric-pluralism of the Middle Ages. Although I am a radical for liberty, “radicalism” in today’s age of collectivism and statism practically requires a reactionist starting position. Again, this reactionary position is not an “ism” or ideology, but “the systematization and reaffirmation of the permanent values of Western culture and civilization.”
This reactionist viewpoint notwithstanding, I am not opposed to change and reform – only that I am of the persuasion that change and reform should be evolutionary in nature, rather than revolutionary. Many conservatives and reactionaries of the past were opposed to societal change and used the powers of the State to cement society into stagnation. This was an utter mistake and failure that bred nothing by tyranny and injustice. The aim of the traditionalist should not be a totally static and immutable world. The world of ants and bees is static and unmoving; the world of man is one of change. We only seek that, again, change should, in general, be more of an evolutionary movement rather than a revolutionary one. There are, of course, caveats to this general principle: a revolutionary radicalism against a terrible evil can be justifiable, such as against chattel slavery (as in the case of John Brown), a Hitler, or a Stalin. But there is always an inherent danger with violent revolution, as the liberators against the tyranny of a Charles I, Louis XVI, or a Nicholas II well know. Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn made this point perspicuously clear when he wrote,
If we investigate the propensities of the masses we find that they frequently sacrifice freedom, this condition so fundamental to various intellectual and spiritual ends, in order to enjoy material or psychological advantages. Only certain elites have a real stake in the liberty of self-expression. Thus liberal revolutions come from above while their democratic counterparts come from below. To the former belong the risings and rebellions of 1215, 1222 (Golden Bull, Arany Bulla), 1688, 1776, 1789 (Lafayette, Noailles, Mirabeau), 1825 (Dekabrists). Yet it must not be forgotten that liberal revolutions (by the very fact of being revolutions) suffer from the inner contradiction of having to use force, a principle opposed to liberty. Moreover, by breaking up familiar patterns they create uncertainties and fluctuations which cannot be easily controlled, and result in conditions which are the very opposite of the liberal blueprints. The devotees of Voltaire never suspected the rise of a Robespierre or a Napoleon; the Madrid professors who hailed the establishment of a republic in 1931 hardly envisaged the rise of a Negrín or a Franco; little did the Russian intelligentsia expect a Red October, and to the enthusiasts of the Weimar Republic it was by no means manifest that the fall of the Hohenzollerns rendered the rise of Hitler possible.
In general principles, the liberal traditionalist opposes revolution (which is usually just an aggrandizement of State power in actual practice) from both below (the mob) and from above (the rulers). Rather than either the societal stagnation of some European reactionaries or the permanent revolution of Lenin, we should seek organic progress – progress that is rooted within the preservation of real values while integrating new values that harmonize with Western patrimony. The problem from our point of view, is that none of the so-called progress in the political realm of the 20th Century is progress at all. We must be radical and get to the root of the matter. We must be reactionary to throw back the encroachment of statism that has occurred endlessly the past few centuries. As Murray Rothbard said,
One of the authors of the Daniel Bell volume says, in horror and astonishment, that the radical right intends to repeal the 20th century. Heaven forfend! Who would want to repeal the 20th century, the century of horror, the century of collectivism, the century of mass destruction and genocide, who would want to repeal that! Well, we propose to do just that.
With the inspiration of the death of the Soviet Union before us, we now know that it can be done. We shall break the clock of social democracy. We shall break the clock of the Great Society. We shall break the clock of the welfare state. We shall break the clock of the New Deal. We shall break the clock of Woodrow Wilson’s New Freedom and perpetual war. We shall repeal the 20th century.
We also realize that there is no salvation to be found within practical politics. As Evelyn Waugh stated in England, “the Conservative Party have never put the clock back a single second.” Instead of political programs, we need a Weltanschauung; not an ideological blueprint on how to manage society, but a world-view of general principles. The following is a summary of some of these principles. This blog as a whole is an attempt to define the Weltanschauung of a liberal traditionalist; of an Anarcho-Monarchist.
I am emphatically a Christian, with a genuine liberal outlook (in the classical sense, otherwise known as a libertarian) and agrarian-distributist propensities. I believe that God has created man uniquely, that He calls out to us to be free, that He has created us with the capabilities of morality, and that He has created man to be sovereign over his own life. Theologically, I am of the Charismatic-Pentecostal persuasion – this in spite of the fact that I am generally opposed to the Reformation and to some of the gnostic underpinnings of Pentecostalism. Though not a member of the Catholic or Eastern Orthodox faiths, I find much value in their histories and traditions. I am a traditionalist in that I favor and respect forms and institutions that have grown organically over a long period of time, over untested utopian ideals that seek to reform and restructure society. I am a radical in the sense that I seek to take the ax to the root; I care little for the repeal of this or that legislation, as I desire nothing less than the revocation of modern society. I see the 20th and 21st Centuries as being a culmination of all the evils released within the French Revolution, itself being a hotbed of every imaginable heresy going back two thousand years. I agree with Eric Voegelin’s thesis, that an assortment of Ancient movements – Esotericism, Gnosticism (Manichaeism, Valentinianism, et al), Neoplatonism, Hermeticism, Magic, Antinomianism, the Apocalypse tradition, and so on – laid the foundations for nominalism, positivism, relativism, Hegelianism, Marxism, nationalism, egalitarianism, utilitarianism, populism, and every other variant of modern Leftism. These in turn burst forth in the 20th Century as the revolutionary horrors of Fascism, National Socialism, Nazism, and Communism; as well as marked the rise of the Total State in all its manifestations, including the ‘softer’ variant of totalitarianism – that of Social Democracy.
There is another Reactionary tradition within European history, of which Julius Evola is probably one of the foremost advocates for, that I believe is an illegitimate philosophy for Anarcho-Monarchists to uphold. This position by Evola rightfully opposes materialism, democracy, and egalitarianism, but these reactionaries don’t stop with revolting against modernity; they believe, as well as other thinkers like Nietzsche, that the Christian West is what needs to be revolted against. Pre-Christian Europe – Roman mystery cults, German and Norse paganism – is what needs to restored. Evola’s flavor of traditionalism is valuable for a variety of reasons, but his esotericism and hermeticism should be rejected as nonsense.
I utterly reject many facets of modern society, both from the political right-wing and left-wing, including: majoritarian politics, materialistic libertarianism (hedonistic libertinism), the faux conservatism and capitalism of Big Bankers and industrialists, and the welfarism craved by the masses.
I am a lover of liberty, but an opponent of equality.
I advocate a legal order based upon anarcho-capitalism (more precisely called free market anti-statism). The position towards monarchism is merely thus: given the existence of Nation-States, monarchy is preferred over democracy as the governing political system. I am a defender of monarchy, while an advocate of anarchy.
Though I am firmly opposed to the modern idea of the compulsory bureaucratized Nation-States which came into existence around the 16th Century, I am not an ‘anarchist’ in the sense that one opposes natural authority, law, hierarchy, religion, or of general governance. This philosophic opposition to the modern State in particular has no real appropriate term for its identification; anarchism approximates it, but this philosophic anarchism should in no way be confused with terrorists, with violent rebellious adolescents, with Leftist anti-authority socialists, or with ‘chaos’ and ‘disorder.’
The individual person has the self-evident, God-given rights of life, liberty, and property. These rights are best exercised in a capitalist-libertarian, Stateless society. However, this does not mean that a form of government and authority is not required. For any civilized culture, order must be maintained, and thus, authority is indispensable. But it is essential to understand that there is a difference between the State and authority, and how authority is natural and good, whereas the State is evil and unnecessary. This divide between “natural government” and statist government was best explained by the anarchist Victor Yarros when he stated that
Anarchism means no government, but it does not mean no laws and no coercion. This may seem paradoxical, but the paradox vanishes when the Anarchist definition of government is kept in view. Anarchists oppose government, not because they disbelieve in punishment of crime and resistance to aggression, but because they disbelieve in compulsory protection. Protection and taxation without consent is itself invasion; hence Anarchism favors a system of voluntary taxation and protection.
Natural government and authority only has one purpose: to secure these individual rights. Lysander Spooner, Murray Rothbard, Morris and Linda Tannehill, David D. Friedman, and Hans-Hermann Hoppe are just a few of the anarchist thinkers that have developed the political theories as to how order, justice, law, and governance would function in a Stateless society.
Despite the fairly tolerant view I give towards certain forms of statist government, I want to stress that I am not a minarchist. The State and monopolist government is evil, and I am firmly in the tradition of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Mikhail Bakunin, Peter Kropotkin, Benjamin Tucker, and Lysander Spooner. Anarchism is the only moral political system that best promotes freedom, peace, and prosperity. What exactly is anarchism? According to Kropotkin, it is ”the name given to a principle or theory of life and conduct under which society is conceived without government – harmony in such a society being obtained, not by submission to law, or by obedience to any authority, but by free agreements concluded between the various groups, territorial and professional, freely constituted for the sake of production and consumption, as also for the satisfaction of the infinite variety of needs and aspirations of a civilized being.” From this principled bedrock of freedom and voluntarism sprang forth different ideas on how best to handle the needs of humanity within an anarchist society. Proudhon advocated mutualism, Bakunin and Kropotkin were for non-Marxian communism, and Tucker and Spooner were for non-capitalist “individualist socialism.” Decades later, Murray Rothbard would integrate the anti-plutocratic and anti-statist aspects of the classical anarchists with the free market economic views of the Austrian School. I believe it ideal for Anarcho-Monarchists to advocate the anarcho-capitalism of Rothbard, while being tempered by some of the aspects of Proudhon’s mutualism, G. K. Chesterton’s distributism, and Wilhelm Röpke’s ordoliberalism.
Being a radical for anarchism, however, does not mean that one cannot look historically at the philosophy of statist government and prefer some forms to others. If for the sake of argument we accept the premise of centralized statism, then we must acknowledge that there are better forms of government over others. These “acceptable” forms of minimalist government, as laid down by such intellectual giants as Aristotle, Polybius, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Edmund Burke, include traditional monarchies, aristocracies, and republics. The plan envisioned by the Anti-Federalist Founding Fathers, in which the rule of law is bound upon a Constitutional republican confederation in which there is a strictly limited, weak, and anti-centralistic federal government alongside weakened, yet sovereign, independent states (in the colonial American sense), with respect for jury nullification, peaceful secession, and of Natural Law, is one of the better man-made statist systems ever devised. One of the primary principles here is a regard for mixed government. The tradition in the West has always been a polycentric, mixed form of government. Absolutist monarchy was an innovation – “the Revolution from above” – and was rightly rebelled against. Traditionally, there was always a balance and a competition of allegiances between nobles, aristocrats, kings, priests, and parliaments. Regardless of the form of government, the objective of good government should be to promote the common good, individualism, liberty, order, and free markets.
This synthesis of anarcho-capitalism with respect for monarchism, Christianity, traditionalist values, and proper authority is what I call ‘Anarcho-Monarchism.’ It is an anti-collectivist, anti-democratic, anti-statist, anti-nationalist, and anti-totalitarian, conservative-libertarian Rightist movement that stresses tradition, responsibility, liberty, virtue, localism, capitalism, civil society and classical federalism, along with familial, religious, regional, and Western identity. It celebrates in the diversity that God has created among man, and believes in the maxim of ‘Universal Rights, Locally Enforced.’
Some may scoff at an attempt to reconcile these influences, but I believe it is quite logical, and indeed absolutely necessary, to synthesize cultural conservatism with radical anti-statist libertarian-anarchism. I view the modern Nation-State as an unnatural outgrowth of conquest and modernity — not of social contract (the classical liberals were wrong in this regard)— that inevitably foments decivilization and cultural decay as a means toward perpetuating its own parasitical existence at the expense of family, locale, and transcendent spiritual values. I categorically and fundamentally reject the modern democratic, egalitarian, and majoritarian State in favor of natural libertarian hierarchy, polycentric law, paternalistic society, and private-property anarchism.
While the idea of Anarcho-Monarchism springs forth from many diverse philosophical streams, the thinkers throughout history that have most contributed to it are those individuals that specifically and adamantly believed in the liberty of the individual, the importance of private property, the value of the family unit, the diversity of humanity, the natural conditions of hierarchy and authority, the utter horrors of war and the necessity of peace, the principles of free trade and freedom of exchange, the deception of hedonistic libertinism, the dangers of the mob, and the tyrannous nature of the State. These illustrious individuals include Edmund Burke, John Adams, Benjamin Constant, John Randolph, Alexis de Tocqueville, Lysander Spooner, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Lord Acton, Albert Jay Nock, J. R. R. Tolkien, F. A. Hayek, Frank Meyer, Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Robert Nisbet, Murray Rothbard, and Hans-Hermann Hoppe.
While being an extreme liberal of the Far Right, I reject all (what I would consider) irrational fringe elements on the political spectrum. Despite the misguided attempts by some I admire to appeal to the fringes, I repudiate the filth propagated by racists, white supremacists, white nationalists, race separatists, neo-nazis, 9/11 Truthers, “conspiracy theorists“, anti-Semites, Holocaust deniers, pseudo-scientific peddlers, and other cranks. The biggest threat to a legitimate Rightist ideology is populism, properly understood.
Above all, I stand for diversity, variety, individuality, and a humanism rooted in the Christian concept of the soul.
All of that being said, I try not to take myself too seriously, and I enjoy learning new things and tweaking my opinions on subjects.