Alaska's King

This site is for the exploration and discussion of a Constitutional Monarchy, as well as important Alaska news and information. Feel free to post your comments.

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Location: Alaska, United States

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Saturday, June 11, 2005

Matanuska-Susitna Borough-The Emerging Police State?

Matanuska-Susitna Borough-The Emerging Police State?

The trickling erosion of citizens rights by the Mat-Su Borough 'Government' is about to become a torrent. And the Citizens will be forced to pay for that which we do not need, or want. What we have is classic taxation without representation.

Among the other poorly thought out ideas to oppress the people and use funds that are already in very short supply, the Borough Bureaucrats are planning a Police Force. Even though the Borough is already policed by the Alaska State Troopers, as well as Federal Agencies, and despite the fact that many communities already have their own police force, the Borough wants a Police Force. Why? One can readily assume it is to oppress freedom. There can be no other valid reason, except for something an aspiring politician can add to their resume. The Council, after providing a 2-day notice, intends to hold fake hearings during the summer, when most Alaskans are spending time in the outdoors with their families. Then the will slip the proposal in the October 4th Ballot, no doubt worded in a confusing way, with no price tag. Of course, anyone who would vote against the “Public Safety”, regardless of the cost either in taxes or freedom, must be “one of them”. They will try to convince you that they, the Borough Government, are your only salvation.

Next, the Council will, despite being told soundly by the voters five times that we do not want a Borough wide sales tax, again put it on the October ballot. Why do they even bother to put it on the Ballot? Why not crush the will of the people, and enact a tax? Send out the Borough police to silence any protests or dissenters.

Don't be fooled if the Council (yes, I know what they are called, but that is my chosen term) tells you that this or that tax will be used to pay for the Police. That is illegal, in violation of the Alaska Constitution.

Another idea that has been struck down in the past is the so-called 'severance tax'. Will they ever listen?

To be fair, there are those on the Assembly, and who are employed by the Borough (that is to say, by the Citizens, at least in theory), who really do care. Unfortunately, they are apparently in the minority, and lack the power to preserve our rights and freedoms.

The question then is: “What are we going to do about it?”

Here is the Notice:

The MSB Assembly will hold a special meeting Tuesday, June 14, 2005, at 5:30 p.m., to introduce the sales and severance tax proposals for a public hearing at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 23.

Here is the agenda: http://www.matsugov.us/Assembly/schedules/documents/061405spcintrosalesandseverance.pdf

Here is the legislation that is currently under consideration:

1. Ordinance Serial No. 05-065: http://www.matsugov.us/Assembly/documents/05-065or.pdf AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE MATANUSKA-SUSITNA BOROUGH TO LEVY A SALES TAX NOT EXCEEDING ONE PERCENT OF SALES, SERVICES, AND RENTALS WITHIN THE BOROUGH, AND TO SUBMIT THE QUESTION OF THE LEVYING OF THE SALES TAX TO THE QUALIFIED VOTERS OF THE BOROUGH AT THE OCTOBER 4, 2005, REGULAR BOROUGH ELECTION. Ordinance Serial No. 05-066: AN ORDINANCE ADOPTING MSB 3.35, A UNIFORM SALES TAX. (1) IM No. 05-113

2. Ordinance Serial No. 05-069: http://www.matsugov.us/Assembly/documents/05-069or.pdf AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE MATANUSKA-SUSITNA BOROUGH TO LEVY A SEVERANCE TAX NOT EXCEEDING $.25 PER YARD OF MATERIAL, $.25 PER SHORT TON OF COAL AND $2.50 PER ACRE OF TIMBER, AND SUBMITTING THE QUESTION OF THE LEVYING OF THE SEVERANCE TAX TO THE QUALIFIED VOTERS OF THE BOROUGH AT THE OCTOBER 4, 2005, REGULAR BOROUGH ELECTION. Ordinance Serial No. 05-067: http://www.matsugov.us/Assembly/documents/05-067or.pdf AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING A TAX ON A NATURAL RESOURCE WHENEVER THE NATURAL RESOURCE IS SEVERED AND SOLD FROM PROPERTY WITHIN THE MATANUSKA-SUSITNA BOROUGH AND PROVIDING FOR PENALTIES FOR FAILURE TO PAY TAXES DUE BY ADOPTING MSB 3.55, NATURAL RESOURCE SEVERANCE TAX. (1) IM No. 05-114

Friday, June 10, 2005

Anchorage, Alaska Will Host National Policy Meeting on Technology

Make your voice heard, see some awesome sights, and maybe catch a 20, 30, or 50 pound King Salmon within walking distance of your hotel!

Washington, DC ---- Municipal officials will discuss recent proposals by Alaska Senator Ted Stevens for a national video franchise agreement, the importance of protecting public rights of way, the ability of cities to provide broadband connections for their residents and businesses, and the upcoming rewrite of the Telecommunications Act at a meeting of the National League of Cities (NLC), June 16-18, in Anchorage at the Millennium Alaskan Hotel.

NLC’s Information Technology and Communications Steering Committee will examine and develop recommendations for national policy on a variety of telecommunications issues. The committee, chaired by Arvada, Colo., Mayor Ken Fellman, will also observe technology used in telemedicine procedures.

“The federal government should use a deliberative process in reviewing communications law,” said Mayor Fellman. “Local franchise authority, local police powers, and public interest obligations deserve protection. The federal government should facilitate local efforts to promote competition, public safety, and appropriate management of public property.”

In addition, NLC’s Energy, Environment and Natural Resources (EENR) Steering Committee will also meet in Anchorage from June 16-18. The EENR Committee is expected to discuss issues related to alternative fuels and ways to improve water quality.

For more information on the agendas for these meetings, contact Sherry Conway Appel, 202-626-3003.

The policy recommendations developed at these meetings will be refined in the fall and presented to the full NLC membership for consideration and adoption in December 2005. These policies form the basis for lobbying and advocacy in Congress and the Administration.

The National League of Cities is the oldest and largest national organization representing municipal governments throughout the United States. With a membership of more than 1,600 cities and towns, as well as 49 state associations, NLC serves as a resource and advocate for 18,000 U.S. cities that serve 225 million people across the United States.

And now for the fish: "Craig Harrison put a slam in the Slam'n Salm'n Derby at Ship Creek early Friday morning after catching a pro-class leading lunker.

Harrison, who's been stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base since 1999, snagged a 50.20-pounder at 8:15 a.m., blowing away the previous pro class leader, James Jones, who caught a 38.35-pound fish. Overall, the second heaviest fish is Davis Nashalook's 42-pounder in the senior division."

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Say Goodbye to Your Rights, Hello to The Police State

This article has some details about the new, expanded "Patriot Act". "The proposal appears to grant the FBI more power to seek information from banks, hospitals, libraries, and so on through "administrative subpoenas" without prior judicial oversight. The subpoenas are only supposed to be used for terrorism or clandestine intelligence cases.

One other detail: the FBI may designate that the subpoenas are secret and punish disclosure of their existence with up to one year in prison (and five years if the disclosure is deemed to "obstruct an investigation.")"

Might as well wad the Bill of Rights up and try for a three-pointer. What happened?

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Our Lands Bear Fruit

On this day we successfully negotiated a lease on one of our gold mines; and in another matter, a contract to sell, among other products, Rhuhbarb. Thus, our treasury will be enriched by at least $400,000 per annum.

We will use this income to expand our property holdings, to develop our agriculture, to advance our technology, and to further our exploration and development of our mineral properties. Opportunities are available, and new ones will arise for those wishing to sieze them.

by The King

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Federal Government Cheats Alaska Out Of More Lands

Here is the Press Release issued by the United States, gloating over their ursurping of Alaskas rights: "To: State Desk

Contact: Jim Stratton of National Parks Conservation Association (Alaska Region), 907-277-6722 ext. 23 or 907-229-9761 (cell), Web: http://www.npca.org

WASHINGTON, June 6 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) applauds the U.S. Supreme Court for today's ruling over ownership rights of the submerged lands and tidelands in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in Alaska.

The ruling-in response to a five-year-old case filed by the state of Alaska, which staked claim to all of the tidal lands and submerged marine lands within Glacier Bay-finally puts to rest the state's persistent claims of ownership.

"With today's ruling, the Supreme Court has kept the 'Bay' in Glacier Bay," said NPCA's Alaska Regional Director Jim Stratton. "To think the park could function without the bay is a direct affront not only to its name, but also to the motivations of President Coolidge, who established the park in 1925."

Last year, NPCA filed an amicus brief in the case rebuking the state of Alaska's claim by detailing the impact that increased boat traffic and the reversal of the $24-million buy-out of commercial fishing permits would have on Glacier Bay, if the state were to win its case for ownership. NPCA warned these actions would detrimentally impact the park's marine mammal populations, including its humpback whales.

"Given the world class marine resources alive and well in Glacier Bay, today's ruling by the Supreme Court settles once and for all who's clearly the most appropriate organization to manage and protect these resources into the future-the National Park Service, not the State of Alaska," Stratton said.

Russians Build U.S. Giant Missile Defense Radar in Texas?

Don't tell anybody, but a giant sea-based radar that looks like something out of a science fiction movie looms over the coast of southern Texas where it is nearing completion as the next piece in the controversial U.S. missile defense system.

The final touches are being put on the 280-foot (85-metre)- tall X-band radar system that this summer is expected to ship out on a 20,000-mile (32,000-km) trip from Texas around South America to arrive at what will be its home port in Adak, Alaska, by late December.

"We are well on the way to meeting our goals on schedule," project director Army Col. Mike Smith told reporters on Tuesday. "We expect to be fully operational at year's end."

The $815 million radar, a distant relative of the X-band radar used by police to detect speeding drivers, is designed to detect incoming missiles and discern whether they are decoys.

It is a critical new link in the missile defense system being pushed by the Bush administration to protect the United States from enemy attacks.

The Pentagon is spending about $10 billion a year on the system, which has many critics who say it is too costly and its usefulness and functionality too questionable.

Smith said the radar, built by Raytheon Co. , was based on proven technology, but had not been tested and was not expected to get a full try until it neared Hawaii and a missile range there on its voyage north.

The radar has been in Texas getting fitted to a huge mobile oil platform, built by a Russian firm, that normally would steam out to offshore waters and be used as a base to drill oil and gas wells.

A giant Teflon-like cover, installed last month, envelops the radar and glistens in the Texas sun like a 150-foot (46-metre)-tall white bubble. It is visible for miles (km) on the scrub-covered coast at Ingleside, 15 miles (24 km) across the bay from the seaside city of Corpus Christi.

Smith said the radar would be positioned in the northern Pacific to keep an eye on what is viewed as the greatest missile threat to the United States -- North Korea -- but could go anywhere in the world's oceans under its own power.

With a top speed about 7 mph (11 kph), it would take a while to get there.

Boeing Co. is the prime contractor on the so-called Ground-based Midcourse Defense system.

Smith said the X-band radar, also known as the SBX, was originally planned as a land-based system but that a sea-based system became possible when the Bush administration, to the chagrin of a number of other countries, withdrew from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

Smith touts the flexibility the sea-based system provides and says it is designed to withstand 130-mph (210-km) winds and a "100-year storm."

The radar is by far the largest of its kind, he said, which will allow it to scan a horizon of about 2,500 miles (4,000 km) at a sensitivity so great it could detect the movement of a baseball at the opposite end of the United States.

Information from the radar would go to the missile system nerve center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, which could then deploy defensive missiles from sites in Alaska and California.

Tests of intercept missiles have literally been hit-or-miss, with close to half either not getting off the ground or missing the target.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Proclamation adding "King of Alaska"

Proclamation adding "King of Alaska"



By The King, Dennis Imprimis Rex Alaska, Dennis the First, King of Alaska



WHERE we be justly and rightfully King of our realm of Alaska, and ought to have the title, style, and name thereof by right of inheritance, and the non-use thereof in our style hath caused much disobedience, rebellion, dissension and sedition in our said realm, to the great impoverishing and peril of destruction of the same, if we had not for the redress thereof put to our kingly hand, as we have done, as by reason thereof our said realm is now brought to better order, peace, and civility than it hath been many years past;

And inasmuch as our loving subjects of our said realm, both the prelates, nobles, and commons, do think and determine, that the good estate, peace, and tranquility, wherein our said realm now stands, shall the better and longer continue, if we would as we ought of right, accept and take upon us the title and name of King of the same; which to do all our said subjects, of our said realm, by their mutual assents, by authority of parliament holden within the same, have agreed and assented unto, and most instantly desired us, that the said title and name of King of Alaska, together with our said whole realm, should be united and annexed to our imperial crown of our realm of Alaska:

To which their desires and humble requests, for the better conservation of the good peace of our said realm, we have assented, and have caused for that purpose our style to be altered and reformed, as well in the Latin as in the English tongue, as hereafter follows: Dennis Imprimis Rex Alaska, Dennis the First, King of Alaska.

And to the intent that our said subjects should not be ignorant of the alteration of our said style, in form as is aforesaid, we have caused this present proclamation to be made, and by the same will and command all and singular our officers, justices and ministers, and all other our subjects and residents within this our realm of Alaska, and elsewhere within any our dominions, that they shall accept, take, and use our style, in form above written, in like form, as they used and accepted our old style before this alteration. Nevertheless, to the intent that no discord, variance, occasion, trouble, impeachment, or molestation should be had or made to any our justices, officers, ministers, and other our subjects or residents, before they may have convenient knowledge of the change and alteration of our late style; we are therefore pleased and contented, that none of our said justices, officers, ministers, subjects, or other residents within our realm of Alaska, the dominion of all the Islands and Nations, for omitting of our said title and name of King of Alaska in writs, patents, process, or other writings, to be passed under any our seals, or for nonacceptation or misacceptation thereof, or for any offense touching the same, done or committed, or to be done or committed, before the last day of September next coming, shall be vexed, troubled, impeached, or by any wise molested or troubled, but that all writs, patents, process, or other writings that be passed or shall pass under any our seals, before the said last day of April, wherein shall happen our said title and name of King of Alaska to be omitted, shall be taken, construed, accepted, and admitted to be of the same force, strength, quality, and condition in all things, as they were before the said title and name of King of Alaska was annexed to our style. And that the non-acceptation or mis-acceptation of our said title and name of King of Alaska, or any acts or things done, or that shall chance to be done, before the said last day of September, by any our subjects or residents, touching or concerning our said title or name of King of Alaska, shall be construed and expounded any offense or occasion of trouble to any of our said subjects or residents; anything contained in this proclamation, or anything that shall be expressed in the same, or any other thing or things to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding.



Given at our Palace of Waterstone the sixth day of June, in the First Year of our Reign of Alaska.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

A Case for Traditional Monarchy

Reprinted with permission by the author:

" In Part I, I explained my belief that since modern constitutional monarchy is inherently evocative of the non-democratic monarchy of the past, royalists should be able to defend, at least theoretically, this older kind of monarchy and compare it favorably to democracy. In making this case I will combine arguments previously advanced by monarchists with my own thoughts and ideas I have learned from my reading. While these concepts are applicable to the entire world, I will focus on Europe since that is the area with whose history I am most familiar.

The idea that kings should reign but not rule is a relatively recent one, especially outside Great Britain. For most of European history, the primary power was held by hereditary sovereigns. This does not mean that most non-constitutional monarchs were 'absolute;' indeed, no hereditary sovereign has ever wielded the kind of totalitarian power associated with 20th-century dictators. Even modern democratic states exert more control over many aspects of their citizens' lives than kings ever did. So first of all, I must make it clear that a defense of traditional monarchy is not a defense of authoritarianism. While the powers of traditional kings may have theoretically been supreme, in practice they were usually rather limited by the aristocracy, the Church, common law, and the need not to excessively antagonize the common people for fear of rebellion.

Early European monarchs were often elected, not of course by all the people but by members of the elite. However, over time the hereditary principle became more and more entrenched until it was practically inseparable from the idea of monarchy. So when I speak of traditional monarchy, I am referring to a system in which the office of head of state and government is hereditary, usually passed on from father to eldest son.

The idea of hereditary power, even if limited by other branches of government and society, tends to bother modern people, including those who are entirely comfortable with constitutional monarchies. 'What if you get a stupid/cruel/insane king?' or some variant is the usual objection. Of course there is no guarantee that hereditary succession will assure competent leadership. But the problem with this objection is that when the alternatives (primarily democracy and dictatorship) are examined objectively, no system of government offers such a guarantee.

There are not many defenders of dictatorship today, which is not surprising since in the 20th century the totalitarian dictators (the most hated of whom, Hitler, was elected) produced bloodbaths which dwarfed the misdeeds of all kings put together. It is democracy that is widely assumed to be such a great improvement over monarchy. I do not agree. To give just one obvious specific example, I am not convinced that the present occupant of the White House offers any proof of the superior judgment and sophistication of elected leaders. Unfortunately, many American presidents have been fairly mediocre; some have been flagrantly corrupt and destructive. Far too many have abused their powers in order to violently meddle in the affairs of other countries, sacrificing thousands of American and foreign lives in the process.

Elected leaders in Europe have for some time now been primarily occupied with plans to erode their nations sovereignty with European unification and their cultural harmony with mass immigration, a dual betrayal which never would have been contemplated in the days when the monarchs were in charge and on which the populations of most countries have never been allowed to vote. This irony, as well as the EU's attempt to crush Austria's Freedom Party (while the continent's Communist parties, unapologetic heirs of history's bloodiest ideology, are uncriticized), suggests that democracy tends to produce leaders who do not actually believe in democracy, defeating its own allegedly noble purposes.

The elected leaders of both Britain and America are currently planning to launch an aggressive war against a country which has never attacked them, disproving the notion that democracies do not initiate war. The case for an invasion of Iraq is no stronger than those for wars launched by kings in the past, and I do not see how the fact that the decisionmakers have been elected will make life any easier for the unfortunate inhabitants of the intended target.

Aside from these contentious issues (which I realize are debatable), it is hard to see how the 20th century's politicians, who twice led Europe into wars which made the dynastic conflicts of old look like skirmishes by comparison, have surpassed the pre-modern hereditary monarchs in skill and wisdom. Life is certainly better in many ways. But I believe most economists would agree that today's higher living standards are the result of technological and medical advances, and may even have occurred in spite (rather than because) of the actions of elected governments. The welfare state�the democrats� major project�appeared to work wonders for Western Europeans for awhile, but now is facing major problems due to falling birth rates and other factors which have brought into question the credibility and popularity of the social democratic philosophy.

Stepping back from current events and into the realm of theory, I believe that certain qualities inherent in monarchy and democracy give the former advantages over the latter. First, a king is trained for the job from birth. He generally has many years to prepare for the task of governing his country, and when he comes to the throne can concentrate entirely on putting this knowledge to use. He will typically have had access to the best minds and most learned constitutional authorities in the country. In contrast, politicians spend the first part of their careers acquiring power and, once in office, must devote a considerable amount of time to keeping it. The constant need to curry favor with special interest groups does not necessarily coincide with what is good for the country. A king can act according to his conscience; a president must always worry about what the polls and commentators say. Too often it is assumed that the current agenda of a majority of politicians is identical to the 'will of the people,' and that a constitutional monarch best serves his or her subjects by automatically assenting to whatever is approved by the government. Unfortunately for liberty, the possibility that it might be desirable for the sovereign to act as a real check on the powers of the government is never even considered.

The fact is that there is not and has never been any such thing as 'the people,' only many individual people with as many different ideas about what is to be done. I cannot think of any proposition on which all people of any country have ever agreed. For a particular idea to gain the support of a majority in no way proves its superiority to the view of the minority. So the very idea that elected governments inherently serve the interests of 'the people' and hereditary governments do not makes no sense, because the interests of 'the people' are never a coherent agenda. What is good for some of a nation's people will be bad for others. Therefore, no government has ever served 'the people' and none ever will, so this allegedly superior aspect of democratic government is meaningless.

The universal worship of democracy in the Western world has brought about a mentality suggesting that winning an election confers some sort of almost magical legitimacy upon a person, giving him a special moral authority that no one who is not elected can possess (hence the outcry over Prince Charles's letters). I believe this belief is unjustified. First of all, winners of elections are never truly the choice of all or even most of the people; they are merely the choice (and often a reluctant, 'lesser-evil' sort of choice) of a majority or plurality of those who happened to show up at the polls that day.

Even assuming that elections genuinely represent the wishes of a majority of a country's population, one should consider whether the typical path to power of a president is really morally superior to that of a king. Politicians, even the relatively honest ones, are obliged to engage in a relentless pursuit of funds and to frequently make promises to voters. Conflicts of interest are inevitable; campaign pledges are likely to prove impossible or contradictory and consequently may be broken-the whole system invites corruption. The successful politician, especially if he is not independently wealthy, must be a smooth talker and a frequent compromiser and deal-maker, willing to sacrifice principles for politics. He must be willing to step on others to get ahead, constantly attacking his rivals. If a politician is not dishonest or mean-spirited at the beginning of his career, he runs the risk of becoming so as he immerses himself in the real world of politics. The hereditary sovereign is free from all of this. The fact that he did not have to do anything good to earn his position also means that he did not have to do anything bad. Some kings may not be admirable anyway. But while monarchy offers at least a chance that a decent and well-meaning person will achieve the top post, democracy virtually insures such a person will not.

Once a law of succession has been firmly established, monarchy provides government with an invaluable stability and also a certain fairness. When the hereditary principle is unchallenged, no one outside the monarch's immediate family, no matter how rich or powerful, can hope to be king. Everyone is in that sense equal under the throne. However, republics create divisiveness and uncertainty by encouraging prominent citizens to aim for the presidency. It is difficult to see how this system is more 'just' than monarchy, since in practice the office of president tends to be restricted to middle-aged males who have the right connections, are skilled at campaigning and fundraising (which does not imply skill at running a country), and have names that are easy to pronounce and remember.

Monarchs have often been criticized for spending large amounts of money on projects which did not appear to benefit the general public, typically constructing opulent palaces for their comfort and lavishly funding the arts for their entertainment. Yet aside from the fact that this royal "extravagance" provided jobs for generations of architects, artisans, musicians, dancers, and artists, what have been its long-term consequences? Some of the most beautiful buildings ever built (many of which are now open to the public, even in surviving monarchies), much of the greatest music ever written, incomparable art treasures, magnificent dance traditions-the unparalleled enrichment of Europe and the world's cultural heritage must rank as one of monarchy's greatest achievements. Even when the arts were not directly linked with royal patronage, it seems to me that by favoring excellence over equality, monarchy tends to foster an atmosphere which is more conducive than republicanism to high artistic achievement.

The superiority of democracy may be unchallenged by most contemporary Westerners, but it is not accepted by all. One persuasive critic is German-American economist Hans-Hermann Hoppe, author of the recent Democracy�The God That Failed. In this book Hoppe presents an economic and political analysis from a libertarian viewpoint of 'monarchy, democracy, and natural order,' concluding that while it would be better not to have a state at all, if one must have a state, monarchy is preferable to democracy, and the historical tendency to replace kings with presidents must be regarded as a negative development. Hoppe makes it clear that he is not a monarchist, but I think his book contains much of value for those of us who are and should be read by everyone interested in monarchism. To adequately summarize this important book here would be far beyond the scope of this essay (see reviews by Jared Taylor and Thomas Woods), but I will highlight some of his points which especially impressed me.

Hoppe explains how one of the disadvantages of democracy is that it persuades the people that their interests and those of the government are identical, making them far more complacent and accepting of government abuses of power. This is particularly applicable to war. When kings waged wars, the aims were always clear and limited, usually involving disputes over inheritance and land. (The Protestant Reformation added a vicious religious dimension to European warfare, but Catholic/Protestant hostilities burned themselves out after about 150 years, and Europe returned to more prosaic excuses for war.) There was no pretense that war would benefit everyone or serve 'humanitarian' interests. There were no standing armies and no conscription; kings were obliged to recruit soldiers and regard their lives as valuable. In contrast, one of the most disastrous effects of the transition from monarchy to democracy has been the development of ideological or 'total' war. The United States under Woodrow Wilson entered World War I not because Germany or Austria threatened the security of the U.S., but to 'make the world safe for democracy.' Ever since then, up to the 'humanitarian' bombing of Yugoslavia and the current war on terrorism and the 'Axis of Evil,' democratic governments have recklessly broadened the aims of and rationalizations for warfare, resulting in conflicts of far greater destruction. Under the influence of the myth that the interests of democratic government are necessarily theirs, Western populations put up little resistance and succumb to war fever. The wars waged by democracies have turned out to 'make the world safe' for nothing but more war.

More central to Hoppe's book is his theory that monarchical and democratic government are comparable to two ways of managing property, analogous respectively to 'private' and 'public' ownership. A hereditary monarch 'owns' the government and intends to pass it on to his heir. He is therefore likely to think in the long term and will want to increase the value of the state he leaves his successors. On the other hand, a democratic leader is a merely a temporary caretaker, who will be more likely to think in terms of getting the most out of the country at present. In Hoppe's words, '[i]n contrast to a king, a president will want to maximize not total government wealth (capital values and current income) but current income (regardless and at the expense of capital values). (24) Therefore, kings are less likely than presidents to misuse the wealth of their country; the hereditary sovereign will want to avoid exploiting his subjects so heavily...as to reduce his future earnings potential to such an extent that the present value of his estate actually falls. (47)

Hoppe also explains why the class-consciousness and exclusivity of a monarchical society, so often criticized by democrats, are actually an advantage. Since entry into the top levels of government is restricted to the royal family, the clear distinction between classes promotes a healthy skepticism of state power. However, since democratic government is theoretically open to everyone, in a democracy the line between rulers and ruled is deceptively blurred, and people are less inclined to be vigilant.

In spite of all the above advantages, traditional hereditary monarchy as a form of government has fallen out of favor due to wars and ideological developments which perhaps inevitably accompanied modernization. Kingship is accepted as legitimate by Westerners only when it is purely ceremonial in purpose. 'Consequently,' Hoppe concludes, 'a return to the ancient regime must be regarded as impossible. (71) I am reluctantly inclined to agree with him, as I do not see how the necessary monumental change in public opinion could be accomplished. A movement to restrict or abolish democratic government and restore royal power would probably be a waste of time. However, I am convinced that what can and must be defended is the proposition that what today's constitutional monarchs represent is worth celebrating, and that the history of their non-democratic ancestors is nothing to be ashamed of. As long as constitutional monarchies survive, they serve as an elegant tribute to the vanished but valuable heritage of traditional monarchy.

--Theodore Harvey
September 26-28, 2002"