Only a monarch can control the elites: Democracy enables the deep state to rule us. By Curtis Yarvin. Modern democracy has evolved to become a front for a largely invisible and irresponsible oligarchy.
There are only three forms of government:
- monarchy (rule of one),
- oligarchy (rule of few), and
- democracy (rule of many).
Monarchy is good because it is better than oligarchy. Democracy is neither good nor bad — it is just impossible. With today’s voters, at least. It is not just that voters are not wise enough to control the government. It’s worse: the voters are not powerful enough to control the government. They — or at least the politicians they elect — have not had significant power for decades.
Monarchy is both the most common form of public-sector governance in history, and the universal form of private-sector governance (all corporations have CEOs). Any private-sector firm could operate as a republic or other oligarchical form. None do. There are no senates, assemblies or supreme courts in the private sector — let alone anything like the administrative state. Monarchy — ideally accountable monarchy, with a board of directors or some other safety mechanism — just works better.
Elizabeths, comparing two Queens of England:
At the birth of Elizabeth I, England was a minor power. At the death of Elizabeth II, the UK will be a minor power. In between, Britons ruled the world for a century and a half. In Elizabeth I’s time, England was a rising power. In Elizabeth II’s time, England is a fading power. …
It was Bagehot, the 19th-century theorist of the English Constitution, who best described the difference between Elizabeth I and II. Bagehot divided sovereigns into the effective (actually in control of the state) and the dignified (a crowned Kardashian, a long-haired Merovingian man-doll). A more modern version of these labels might be operating and ceremonial. Elizabeth I was the operating Elizabeth. Elizabeth II is the ceremonial Elizabeth. A costume Queen. …
The real thing
Sometime in the last 50 years, democracy became ceremonial too:
One way to identify a ceremonial or dignified institution is to detect a situation in which a seeming organ of power is vestigial. An organ or organisation in a larger regime is vestigial if the regime could continue operating as usual without it. When Elizabeth I kicked it, that was the end of Elizabethan England. What followed was still very cool, but it was not Elizabethan England. … If Elizabeth II passes away tomorrow, the trash in London will still be picked up. If the monarchy did not exist, Whitehall would function as usual. If Parliament, the Cabinet, and the voters did not exist, Whitehall would function as usual.
What this “Elizabeth test” teaches us is that it is obvious to even the dogs in the street that democracy has gone the way of monarchy, becoming ceremonial or dignified. The 20th-century removal of politics and politicians, and hence voters and elections, from actual authority over the government, was the century’s great changing of the guard.
The Trump administration did not disrupt the elite. Disruption can be measured by number of jobs destroyed. How many elite jobs did Trump destroy? He annoyed and energised the elite. He was the best thing that ever happened to the New York Times. Thousands of public-spirited Ivy graduates must owe Trump their jobs to this day.
Brexit did not disrupt the elite. If anything, Brexit gave power back to some purely British institution — such as Whitehall (for Yanks, the British deep state). But Whitehall would much rather implement directives from Brussels — freeing the native mandarins from responsibility, the bane of all bureaucrats. The only possible recipients of power in Brexit did not even want it. The voters? They voted for Brexit, accepted a few weird bureaucratic complications, and went back to their fish and chips. …
So we are ruled by an oligarchy centered on the bureaucrats, and both modern democracy and the English monarchy are but ceremonial fronts:
As Bagehot explains, putting a fake power in front of the real power has tremendous benefits. It is even better to have two layers of fake — both monarchy and democracy. This double panel acts as a perfect bullet-absorber for the civil-service oligarchy, which, though young, was already building its strength in Bagehot’s time. …
Ultimately, the purpose of a ceremonial monarchy is to prevent the existence of a functional monarchy. Where a puppet reigns, no one else can reign; so no one reigns at all. So a murky, distributed oligarchy can rule — unchallenged by the clear, clean sunlight of irresistible central power. …
Imagine if Elizabeth I returned to England today and exercised her powers:
We can look at the UK today and ask: what would Elizabeth Tudor do? When we imagine Elizabeth Tudor waking up in the rejuvenated body of Elizabeth Windsor, it makes little difference that their actual roles in government have changed. Nothing at all has changed about the English constitution. The Queen reserves all her royal prerogative.
It is customary for the British monarch to use prerogative power only under her ministers’ advice — except in an emergency. While monarchy is nothing without a deep respect for custom, unfortunately it is an emergency. And has been, Elizabeth Tudor will tell you, for at least the last half-century.
The new old Elizabeth declares martial law and puts the police under her direct orders. She never considers the possibility that she has anything less than absolute power. Bobbies everywhere are shutting down the oligarchy — padlocking the buildings, imaging the servers, freezing the accounts. All state, media, quango and university employees are retired. Even primary schools are closed for the reset. Only essential productive workers still work — for now, everyone else can chill, and still get paid. As we learned under Covid, the paycheck is the essence of the bullshit job. …
All agencies other than the army and police can be retired. This cannot be done with the security forces. No one wants anarchy in the UK. …
Under direct royal command, military and police leadership must undergo a rapid purge and reshuffle. Staff who can show their (prior) commitment to the new regime are rapidly advanced; those known to be sympathetic to the old are sidelined. It may not be fair. What is? What ever was? …
If there is any set of people who need to be challenged the most, it is the highest elites. An aspect of the Elizabethan court which is almost impossible to explain to the modern world is that it is the centre of excellence in everything. In the early Elizabethan era at least, the best plays and poems in England were by courtiers. In the modern era, a royal court in the Elizabethan style would be surrounded by the country’s best scientists, filmmakers, mountain climbers. Not only would royal sponsorship select and fund the best people; it would even lead them stylistically. The style of the king would become the fashion of the country.
As opposed to — where does style come from, nowadays? Centres of excellence are hidden to those not in the know; they are widely spread across fields; sometimes they are taken over by bad people, and become centres of badness. But elites benefit from concentration; concentrating the elite of an elite around one centre is the way to create the most awesome elite. Such is the job of a royal court.
Of course, it all depends on the right king. In the history of kings, which is most of human history, there are awesome kings and not-so-awesome kings. But if we accept Elizabeth II’s responsibility for the condition of England, and try to hypothesise Elizabeth I’s reaction to that same condition, “not so awesome” doesn’t cover it. Imagine her inspecting some of what you chaps call “council housing”.
The man thinks big.