An interesting (if snide in parts) article from July brought to my attention today admits (unsurprisingly to experienced monarchists) that overall, monarchies outdo republics in statistics pertaining to quality of life. This is one reason why most people who live in constitutional monarchies are happy with them, even if they're not the sort of people who would write a monarchist blog. If only such facts could help persuade more residents of countries that once had monarchies of their own but sadly no longer do to restore them! In anticipation of a possible republican argument, it might be pointed out that some republics such as Switzerland, Finland, and Iceland also enjoy a superior quality of life. I would maintain that this does not actually strengthen abolitionist republicans' case, because these countries never had a monarchy of their own that had to be abolished in order to create their republic. If one makes the fairer comparison of European countries that have kept or restored their monarchies versus European countries that have abolished them (usually in violent revolutions), excluding republics that were founded as republics (a scenario obviously unavailable to current monarchies), the superiority of monarchies is even clearer. Even if it could be proved that the material advantages enjoyed by most residents of today's constitutional monarchies could be maintained without them (and of course I don't think so), it is quite clear from modern history that the inherently divisive and debilitating trauma of abolishing monarchies is detrimental to a nation's stability and contentment.
Speaking of differences between monarchies and republics, I think that someone able to cite more specifics than I am able to produce should write what could be a very interesting article on two quite distinct but oddly similar phenomena that as far as I know have never been compared to each other or discussed in the same piece.
It is occasionally observed in discussions about contemporary Christianity, particularly Protestantism, that while exceptions in both directions abound, generally churches that maintain a relatively traditional liturgical worship style with an emphasis on classical sacred music and caring for their historic buildings tend to be fairly liberal politically and theologically, while many theologically and politically conservative churches embrace a contemporary style with praise bands and austere modern architecture. (I believe this is somewhat less true in Catholicism, where advocates of Latin and Gregorian chant are likely to also vigorously uphold doctrinal orthodoxy, though the aesthetically modernist/theologically conservative combination certainly exists.) Various explanations for what might seem to an outsider like a curious state of affairs (why do comprehensive traditionalists and comprehensive modernists seem to be relatively rare?) exist, but if the generalization is valid it remains somewhat mysterious.
Could a similar pattern be observed when comparing European countries that have kept their monarchies to those that have not? Obviously, broadly speaking, keeping a monarchy is a conservative thing to do and getting rid of it a radical one. But when it comes to certain divisive issues (mostly related to sexuality) that have arisen relatively recently (issues this blog normally avoids with good reason!), as well as some older economic questions, it often seems like the Eastern European republics, almost all of which fell to Communism but shook it off near the end of the 20th century, are now more "right-wing" (see previous post) than the Western European constitutional monarchies, without (alas!) much if any momentum towards royal restoration (Serbia possibly excepted). Even in Western Europe, while this may be changing, the republics of Ireland, Portugal, and Malta have been generally more socially conservative than the constitutional monarchies. An openly homosexual person (even if republican in principle) would probably be much happier in the kingdoms of the Netherlands or Sweden than in the republics of Poland or Russia, and a socially conservative Catholic or Orthodox Christian (even if monarchist in principle) would probably be more comfortable in the East.
Are these two ironies, if indeed they are ironies, comparable? Do modern constitutional monarchies, by providing a veneer of tradition analogous to historic churches with organs & choirs, actually enable more radical social change than republics? Especially republics that experienced a sort of cultural "freeze" during the Cold War and are now fertile ground for various forms of anti-leftist (but, apparently, rarely pro-monarchist) backlash? Does the same sort of principle apply to religion? As one who tries to be a more or less consistent traditionalist (but unlike some reactionaries is determined to support Europe's existing monarchies) I am not necessarily saying this dichotomy is a good thing, but it might at least be interesting to explore in more depth.