Revisiting the mode of government question

I used to be a big defender of the idea of monarchy as the best (of a selection of admittedly bad) form of government.  I was aware of the dangers of monarchy, but I reasoned that they weren’t as bad as the abuses of democracy, and I think that is still true today.  Several things have come up that made me nuance my views:

  1. I am a Celtic-Anglo-Saxon, and so I draw from that heritage.   After Elizabeth Tudor English kings have been terrible.   Even today I don’t see a monarch on American soil, given our cultural heritage.
  2. Instead of opting for a “Hebrew Theocratic Republic” ala some old-school recons, I go with Calvin:  an aristocracy might be better.  Aristocracies allow the “better” of society to rule (and if they are incompetent they won’t survive that den of vipers known as politics) and curbs the excesses of the illiterate mob.
  3. Until Richard Cameron, even the most theocratic presbyterians allowed for monarchy as a legitimate (if not always the best) form of government. In fact, the Solemn League and Covenant seems to presuppose the idea of a king.
  4. Despite God’s warnings against kings in 1 Sam 8, the Old Testament allows for (and even normatizes) both types of government.

6 comments on “Revisiting the mode of government question

  1. Justin says:

    1.) I agree that it is very unlikely that a monarch will rule here, although it might someday be the case that we have a king in fact and deed if not in name.
    2.) This is interesting, and I am tempted to tenatively agree with the idea of an aristocracy, with certain qualifications. Can you give me a reference to Calvin’s treatment of this subject? I’d like to look into this more.
    3.) When I first read the SLC, I too noticed that it does seem to presuppose a monarch. I do not think that a monarchy is necessarily an evil or an intolerable form of civil government.
    4.) This is a fact often overlooked or at least one that goes unknown.

    I also agree with you that the abuses under democracy can be every bit as bad or worse than those possible under a monarchy.

  2. Fr. John+ says:

    Curious- Now that I can peruse your site, I am starting with this post, the most recent…

    What do you think of Kinism? I guess that would be my first question.
    For, if in analyzing Monarchy, we don’t also see it either as the Orthodox did- as a ‘Little Father’;
    or, as the Kinists, ‘as ‘someone of your blood/kith/kin to rule over you,

    Then yes. I can see no reason in this day and age to even BEGIN to think that Monarchy might be possible. A ‘multicultural Monarch’ such as ‘Elizabeth the Useless’ beggars the point that the Sovereign has our best interests at heart….

  3. olivianus says:

    Definitely have to go with the Hebrew Theocratic Republic. My 5th Great Grandfather fought King George and I will go down in the grave a subject of no king.

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