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Do We Need a Monarchy? Response to Russell Brand’s latest YouTube video

May 15, 2021

Russell Brand has lately been providing a more critical perspective on power and the elite within society, informed by intelligent and reflective thinking on the subject matter. In this post he was questioning the purpose of Monarchy and how they have to walk a thin line between being relatable to regular people, at the same time as seeming distant and superior in some way to justify their continued privilege. Here is a link to his video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zU0o2_4YdM . At one point he argues it is hard to defend monarchy from a rational perspective when one thinks about it. And I responded with the following rational way in which one could potentially defend an institution such as monarchy, even though I don’t personally agree with monarchy:

A rational way to look at this also involves thinking about what happens when you create a void of power in a society. Something is going to fill that void, and you have to ask the question if it will be any better or any worse than what is currently entrenched in power? In that sense there are perfectly reasonable ways to defend monarchy, if you want to go down that path. A common alternative to Monarchy is what we see in France and the US, with republican style societies. The original republican society in France turned to a nightmare very fast, and the extreme individualism and Capitalism of the US has to be something also of great concern and seems related to its republican as opposed to monarchy based society. Other rational based societies in history include the Nazis in Germany the communists in Russia, and currently the authoritarian communism in China. I mean are we seeing much better in any of these cases filling the void where monarchies once were? It seems instead they are replaced by people even more ruthless and even more power hungry to control every aspect of society.

And I am not in any way a defender of monarchy. I often consider that they should be made defunct, and particularly if all they are going to contribute is to blabber on about global warming then they should definitely be made defunct. But equally our whole democracy is becoming redundant right now. Our votes clearly don’t count for anything any more, the extreme wealth inequality allows the rich to basically buy elections if not through direct cheating like we see in the US elections then through massive advertising and propaganda campaigns against any political candidate they want to demonise and not get elected. Add to this the fact that most people in the younger generation now are growing up under a science based education system, which I argue has gone too far in its science worship, and involves believing things such that there is no such thing as free will, because all is determined and predetermined by scientific laws. If you have a whole generation of people growing up who believe this kind of stuff then the very foundation of democracy no longer even exists anyway, because that foundation was based on the belief that, in voting, people have free will and agency to make their own informed decisions.

That was my response, and it raises the question is Monarchy a lesser of evils, as far as a means of ordering society goes? The value historically of such an institution is that, based on human nature, we know it is inevitable that people will organise into hierarchical orders, and so an institution least likely to become corrupted is one of passing on a familial tradition. The reasoning being that other types of order involve giving power to people who feel they have somehow “earned” that position. So they tend to become more authoritarian as they feel their power is not an obligation and a duty, but it is a justified thing based on their personal superiority to other people. When you get people like this gathering at the top of a society, I argue, you get the kind of thing we see in the US today. This is people who feel they are inherently superior and justified in wielding that superiority to teach everybody else a lesson. The lesson right now seems to be that we are going to do whatever we want with society and mould it however we feel, regardless of how you vote democratically. And the problem is that these people really think they no better. The spiritual and life connection in society is under attack by people of this kind, and they are hollowing out meaning and value for the rest of us, by turning society into an instrument tuned to fulfil only their needs and desires. The result of this will be the destruction of vitality and creativity in human beings and an increasing inability to change path and adapt when a serious crisis comes upon us. Maybe Monarchy would fair us no better, but I would say the path we are currently following is even bleaker.

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