Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Rereading Hoppe

Hans-Hermann Hoppe's book Democracy: The God That Failed, which I've owned since I lived in Miami (2002-04) and have recently been revisiting since a friend I'd loaned it to returned it to me, is interesting and useful, but depressing.

"...the transition from monarchical to democratic rule must be explained as nothing but a change in public opinion. In fact, until the end of World War I, the overwhelming majority of the public in Europe accepted monarchical rule as legitimate. Today, hardly anyone would do so."

Well, Prof. Hoppe, there are a few of us!

"On the contrary, the idea of monarchical governments is considered laughable. Consequently, a return to the ancien régime must be regarded as impossible. The legitimacy of monarchical rule appears to have been irretrievably lost."

Perhaps, but if public opinion changed once, why can't it do so again?


Flambeaux said...

Because the cat is out of the bag.
The restored monarchy, or a new monarchy, would only be permitted to run so long as the demos approved of the monarch's decisions.

Which isn't really monarchy as anyone who historically lived under one would recognize.

Aaron Traas said...

The only way it would ever happen, particularly in a widespread fashion, is a massive financial or social collapse, or some other grand catastrophe. And even then, in most cases, it would be more akin to starting over in pre-monarchical times. The monarch would first be there by popular will, then a few generations later, by tradition, and only after a few more generations would the institution be enshrined the way it was before.

I could see it going back to the way it were in a small handful of locations where monarchical rule was deposed both recently and against popular will. Ethiopia and Iran come to mind.

This book has been on my to-read list.