Sunday, April 19, 2015

Monarchy as the Enemy of (and Remedy for) Oligarchy

One obvious starting point for discussing the value of a particular form of government is an assessment of its ability to resolve serious temporal problems---not just for a brief moment, but, rather, for a reasonably long period of time. Many Catholics consider the most pressing problem facing us today to be the threat presented by militant Islam. Although I by no means wish to downplay that particular menace, I am nevertheless convinced that the current Moslem peril is itself the product of a still more powerful and persistent evil that only a proper government can eliminate; an evil that has all too long been central to our daily political and social life.

The evil in question is the domination of the West---and now seemingly the entire globe as well---by an oligarchy whose victory has been responsible for innumerable and willful ills, the regrettable strength of Islamic terrorism among them. To paraphrase Léon Gambetta: l’oligarchie—voilà l’ennemi! And examination of the character of this hostile oligarchy is a highly suitable introduction to understanding the great value of the monarchical principle, the unfortunate problems that often impede its beneficent anti-oligarchical action, and how these flaws can be overcome.

Oligarchy’s unforgiveable “sin against the Holy Spirit” lies in its reductionism: its replacement of the pursuit of the common good by a hunt for the satisfaction of the particular narrow interests of an identifiable minority of the population. In principle, such blatant and shortsighted self-serving should offer an easy target for an assault by intelligent opponents. But this, sad to say, historically has not been the norm, at least in the western world, for reasons that seem tied to the ever troubling power of the strange mystery of iniquity.  (more...)

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