Update on Monarchy Project

A while back I had mentioned to some privately (and probably on this blog) that I intended to write a short book or long essay extolling monarchy as a superior form of government as opposed to liberal democracy.  I put that project on hold for a while.  Several huge difficulties appeared concerning the nature of the case (bear in mind, though, that I have not changed my position on monarchy–it is the superior government).

The first difficulty is in comparing governments in general.  When I compare monarchy to republicanism, or anarchy to Marxism, am I comparing them along historical lines or on logical-conceptual lines?   If the former, I am writing merely a history book and add nothing to the discussion.  If the latter, I run the risk of extolling the ideals of monarchy.  While that is necessary and good, it, too, adds nothing to the project, for then the republican can extol the ideas of liberty, equality, and fraternity.

It should be noted, though, that if the above critique (or difficulty) holds true, it doesn’t so much refute writing about monarchy but writing about government at all.

The second difficulty, assuming the first is ever solved, concerns the scope of the literature.  Related to this is distilling this literature into an intelligible medium.  I have since realized I am way out of my league (but then again, so is every book at Books-a-Million under the “Politics” section).   I am almost finished with Ernst Kantorowicz’s The King’s Two Bodies, which is a brilliantly dialectical deconstruction of later medieval (and modern) political theory.  (Incidentally, which Kantorowicz is not always aware of his argument in this regard, he does note that the dialectic in Western history moved from a liturgical monarchy ala the Eastern Romans into a secular juridical monarchy in the West).

So, the project is still on.