I will say that this is probably the best and more careful argument I’ve seen Mr. Wright write about his point of view on authority. And some of it seems to be a fair attempt to argue the superiority of a republic over a monarchy – whether it is successful or not this is a perfectly fine and reasonable debate to have.

But I still have some issues with it.

Note: Spacing is going to be weird because I copied much of this from somewhere else and I don’t find it important enough to bother to fix things.

EDIT: Fixed!

The submission to an elected representative, or winning an election, is not the same as being born in service or born into leadership. One is by birth, hence unrelated to merit; the other is based on the ability to persuade voters to vote for you.

This is quite simply untrue. Let us say I vote for a different representative, or did not vote at all, as a form of protest. I am not thus exempt from submitting to the elected representative, nor was I allowed to pick the government I was born under; I was simply born there.

Mr. Wright seems to think that everyone who disagrees with him is actually a monarchist. I am not a monarchist. Even if I did think monarchy was probably the best form of government – I don’t know this is the case – I still would not have any particular desire to be above or below Mr. Wright.

Another form of the argument is to point out that it is self evident that all men are created equal, and therefore the form of government rests on their consent, or else it is unjust. Where men are equal, the process of changing the form of government can be accomplished peacefully; whereas those who profit from an unequal form rarely if ever surrender power peacefully.

This argument is pertinent only when dealing with brave, free and honest men, who are too proud to bow to any mere mortal as king. The studied policy of the Left for several generations has been to eliminate as far as possible those things which encourage bravery, freedom, and honesty from our lives.

The public school system teaches conformity, non-competition and girlishness to drive out bravery; the popular entertainments preach and the welfare state pays money to encourage selfishness and self-indulgence to drive out freedom; and the news preaches political correctness to drive out honesty.

A people who are craven, slavish, and dishonest not only yearn for superiors to rule them, they require it.

Both of these arguments are conditional, and depend on the habits and the character of the people, to make the correct assessment as to where the greater danger rests.

Likewise, most nations for most of history consist of a ruling class peopled with the descendants of conquerors. Maintaining their hold over the conquered requires a class division. The abolition of civil rights among the conquered, in order to prevent their arming themselves, speaking of uprising, or gathering in assemblies, is needed to police their discontent and prevent mutiny. Such states, however, do prevent anarchy. The overthrow of such states is not a matter to be undertaken for light or transient reasons.

Hence, even when among a slavish and undisciplined people whose disorders demand a despot’s iron scepter to crush their excesses, the natural rights of one and all are equal, and the legal inequalities are still a moral evil, excused by the necessity of keeping the public order.

So all men are created equal…but not Americans. Americans, you see, are good and noble enough to shun kings. It’s only the inferior folk – one might, in fact, say those who are unequal to us – who need a boot on their throat.

And I guess he is a utilitarian, since he says point blank that moral evil can be “excused” for a greater good. Since he has been very clear this whole time that moral evil is directly related to political authority, I guess he believes the ends justify the means.

…Or he doesn’t mean that. In which case, what exactly is he saying? Is monarchy ever a good idea? Or is it is never a good idea? And if it is a good idea, what on earth would make you think that a country that within a mere 200 years legally sanctioned by the sword the murder of the unborn in numbers that make a mockery of the Holocaust is in any way fit to be kings of themselves?

In the final desperation of a man whose arguments are not being heard, I resort to a simple and clear challenge:

Do those who yearn for inequality wish to be placed in the political order above me, to give me orders from an unearned position of authority; or do they wish to be placed below me, to take orders in an undeserved posture of submission?

Certainly I do not think any man is under me or over me in terms of human dignity. In terms of political authority? I’d imagine we should probably be on the same plane…though if he WERE my king, unlike him, I would indeed tip my cap.

If you’re wondering why I’m saying this here and not there, I did try and discuss it with him, several months ago. He insulted me viciously, cruelly, and repeatedly while I tried to be as polite as possible. He then apologized. I accepted. But I’ve learned that I simply cannot discuss the subject with him, in any case.

I say that if it is the second, claiming to be below me, then as the superior, I here and now order and command silence on this point. As an inferior in political rank, political matters are beyond your ken. Without any showing of merit on my part, or any reason given, I am allowed to silence all further argument: you are by birth born obligated to obey me. So shut up.

I believe one respondent argued that this proposal was unfair, because a highborn man should be highminded enough to listen to wisdom from any source, even from a slave.

My answer is that this is quite the democratic sentiment coming from a monarchist: but the judgment as to when and where to listen rests with he who has the right to speak, and not with he who lacks that right.

A general can debate a private if he wishes, but the private cannot debate a general without his superior’s leave. (And even so, the general is not allowed to hold such a debate if and when it risks detracting from unit discipline, by encouraging familiarity, fraternization, or insolence.)

And finally – what makes him think that our country’s political leaders in any way need to listen to the writings of anybody they consider “beneath” them? Last I checked the President picked a personal council of advisers to carefully filter what advice they did or did not get. How is that different than any king deciding which advice he does or does not hear? Even Alexander the Great respected Diogenes.

A large portion of this is a very well-argued and rational argument for the superiority of republics over monarchies. Okay. I have no problem with that. And then he veers off into stuff that I find completely bizarre.


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10 Responses to Hmmmmmm

  1. Scholar-at-Arms says:

    I agree this is his best effort yet. He still segues jarringly at places though. I think because it is necessary to get from his premises to his conclusions.

  2. GJ says:

    A typically bizarre screed, ending off by exhibiting the liberal’s insane obsession about his place in the totem pole, and not being ruled by people considered undeserving:

    Do those who yearn for inequality wish to be placed in the political order above me, to give me orders from an unearned position of authority; or do they wish to be placed below me, to take orders in an undeserved posture of submission?

    • GJ says:

      One of the highlights is Wright basically admitting that his position arises from him being “too proud to bow”. Otherwise it’s mostly the standard harping on ‘equal’ and what Equality truly means, while doing a sleight of hand to smuggle into the discussion what the equals are supposed to possess qua equals.

  3. Zippy says:

    The reason everyone is free and equal is because my kind is so much better than your kind; which is also why my insane ideology should rule comprehensively over everyone everywhere and ensure, good and hard, that freedom reigns.

    • That’s what struck me here. All men are created equal, which is a tautology, except for those groups clearly inferior to us noble Virginians. They need somwbody who is superior to them to guide them, or else they might use their freedom wrong.

      Virginians, being wise and brave, should of course die before admitting someone may be better than they are.

  4. Zippy says:

    Also, I think you sell yourself short.

    Wright often employs a rhetorical trick wherein if you believe in nobility that supposedly places him above you; therefore he commands that you shut up from his superior position vis-a-vis nobility.

    But he is the one who doesn’t believe in nobility, in hierarchy. He has by choice placed himself on the lowest tier
    of nobility, equal to savages and rebels and not even the peer of a commoner. By natural right he should bend the knee to every true superior, and he has chosen inferiority of his own accord.

    A commoner who acknowledges nobility is more noble than a commoner who does not. Therefore by natural right he should doff his cap to you, and his refusal to do so simply reflects his deliberately chosen base position w.r.t. nobility: his abdication of even a commoner’s nobility by adopting the posture of a savage or rebel.

    If you decline to point this out it can only be a gesture of largesse on your part, from your naturally superior position vis-a-vis nobility.

  5. Pingback: Ignoble savage | Zippy Catholic

  6. John says:

    One big reason why people reject monarchy seems to be because of a voluntarist conception of authority. Such a thing reminds one of how Pope Francis dismissed some of the more problematic cardinals who are more challening to him without citing any reason other then that he simply can. On the other hand, an intellectualist authority would at least give good reasons for why it does things, maybe even allow people to go off with a warning if they do something wrong or unseemly without requiring a tax or punishment.

    And if Wright is so disgusted by the idea of having to bow down to a king, then I think a king who only demands a Franco-style salute would be more his type.

    Not that I’m a monarchist myself, though.

    In fact, the Nazi salute was in part designed to embody the virtues of duty, honor and respect without making things too uncomfortable with bows or the doffing of the cap.

  7. Crude says:

    I enjoy Wright’s arguments – he actually GIVES arguments – but his love of flowery words and theatrics always put me off. The dude hams it up a bit. Must be a writer thing.

    Anyway, to contribute…

    Do those who yearn for inequality wish to be placed in the political order above me, to give me orders from an unearned position of authority; or do they wish to be placed below me, to take orders in an undeserved posture of submission?

    I’ve got a third option: “Get outta here. I don’t want to deal with you at all.”

    Not to Wright personally, who I like. But the most important type of inequality around is the right to remove someone from the equation altogether – the relation of ‘equal’, ‘superior’ and ‘inferior’ is ditched altogether, and they can go off into the woods or be among their people or whatever they please, so long as what they please is out of here.

    I don’t want to lord over the inferiors (no one’s inferior in my view anyway, at least not metaphysically): I want people to get lost. I damn sure don’t want to submit to them – nor, for that matter, to their votes. And they, by the way, are entirely free to tell ME to get lost too.

    That’s inequality without a caste system. I have rights and a say that they don’t have – specifically the right to have some say in a given nation, or even some community within a nation. We’re not equal. But there’s no caste system.

    That’ll do.

  8. Valtandor says:

    I know I’m late to this discussion, but a few thoughts anyway.

    My first point of contention with Mr Wright’s argument is that he is implicitly claiming, by his reference to a disputant needing to assert whether he is Mr Wright’s superior or inferior, that the contradiction to, “All men are equal,” is, “No men are equal.” This is obviously false; the statement he is looking for is, “Not all men are equal, though some may be.” Once this is conceded, the possibility that I am, in fact, equal to Mr Wright is a live one, and his attempt to argue me into a corner (where I must either submit to him or be prepared to oppose him with physical force) goes away.

    My second is that, just because all men are equally entitled to life, liberty and property (that is, to three specific private rights), it does not necessarily follow that all men are equally entitled to a share in the government.

    It can be seen that the very practice of representative government means that some people, in fact, have a much greater share in government than others. That is, the representatives have a much greater share in government than those who are represented, insofar as in practice, when they vote in the assembly, their own interests are going to be pressing much more heavily on their minds than those of their constituents. Unless Mr Wright proposes to abolish representative government and introduce a version of direct democracy that would put the Swiss model to shame, he has to concede that he actually thinks a measure of distinction between the governors and the governed is appropriate.

    One can assert that the best, if not the only, way to safeguard the private rights of life, liberty and property is to see to it that all who have these rights also have an equal share, if not in government directly, at least in the choice of representatives, since only in this way are their just interests in protecting these rights represented in government. However, this assumes that the rights of those who enter the political fray and lose are going to somehow be better protected by the winners than the rights of those who are barred from entering the political fray to begin with. The history of electoral democracies with universal suffrage would certainly call this assumption into question, especially since in such a case the “winners” know that their majority protects them from any effective retaliation by the losers.

    Indeed, it seems that rights are probably at least as well protected if the governors are a small elite who have a justified fear of revolution (whether a monarchy or an aristocracy) as they are in a democratic republic.

    Now, I know that in these days, a dictator, small oligarchy, or representative government could procure an army of mercenaries (or, perhaps in the near future, robots) that would allow them to overawe the people and crush any attempt at insurrection. But at this point we have moved beyond the question of republic versus monarchy.

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