The Biblical Nature of Hoppean Monarchism
by Ryan Bassett
Hoppe has been widely recognized for stating the advantages of a
traditional monarchy over that of what is essentially mob rule,
that is, Democracy. While it is true that Hans Hoppe is not a monarchist
but rather an anarcho-capitalist his insights into the frailties
and destructive nature of Democracy are thorough and convincing.
His brilliant work, Democracy:
The God That Failed, is to date probably his best scholarly
work on the subject.
very idea of monarchism is completely antithetical to modern sensibilities
in the West. This is particularly true in the United States where
a traditional European-style monarchy has not existed since the
founding of the nation during the late 18th century. Having been
founded upon republican principles, supposedly the official gateway
to liberty, Americans possess a natural inclination to dismiss the
very idea of monarchy out of hand, branding it as being contrary
to a liberty-based and economically prosperous civilization. While
it is true that monarchies fail to provide the libertarian panacea
many naturally crave it is also an intellectual mistake to envision
a republican or democratic form of government as the ideal for liberty.
Christians, despite their monarchist past, are just as adamant in
their protestations toward any form of civilization outside the
mainstream view of republicanism and democracy, erroneously viewing
it, like their secular counterparts, as the height of human civilization.
Is this actually the case however?
having read a preterist interpretation of the Book of Daniel something
leapt out of the page. There appears to be a biblical basis for
the Hoppean thesis of the corrupt nature of Democratic mob rule
as opposed to the somewhat lesser tyranny of traditional monarchism.
Notice the following excerpt from
a discussion regarding the prophesy of the 7th chapter of Daniel:
like Daniel two, measures the time for Christís appearance against
world events, placing his kingdom and coming in the days of the
forth world empire. Both visions cover precisely the same period
and events, but chapter seven provides greater detail. Before
looking directly at chapter seven, it will be useful to glace
momentarily at chapter two.
of chapter two portrays four world empires in the form of a human
image or idol; the kingdoms are demarcated by various metals:
the first division is a head of gold, the second chest and arms
of silver, the third belly and thighs of brass, the fourth legs
of iron and feet partly of iron and partly of clay. We are expressly
told that the head of gold is Nebuchadnezzarís Babylon. With this
piece of information, it is a small matter to trace the successive
kingdoms to the time of Christ: 1) Babylon, 2) Mede-Persia, 3)
Greece, and 4) Rome.
in the metals seems to point in the first instance to the declining
glory of the monarchial power through its division and
diffusion in the successive kingdoms. Babylon had a sole monarch,
but the Medes-Persian empire had peers to the crown and satraps
with almost independent power; the kingdom of the Greeks was divided
among Alexanderís generals; and Rome was a Republic ruled by a
"senate and people." The Roman Republic ended about
49 B.C. with Julius Caesarís civil war against the senate and
Pompey. Imperial Rome seems to be signified by the images feet
and toes, which Daniel describes as "iron mingled with clay."
The custom of Babylonians, the Mede-Persians, and Greeks was to
allow subject peoples to retain their kings, who swore an oath
of fealty to the conquering monarch and paid him tribute. But
the Roman practice was direct administration of conquered peoples
by presidents and procurators, by which the iron rule of Rome
was intermingled with the clay of conquered peoples. The imageís
toes almost certainly point to the ten senatorial provinces created
by August Caesar in 27 B.C., which became a permanent identifying
feature of the Roman Empire from then on. A further interesting
fact is that gold is incorruptible, silver slightly less so, but
brass and iron are easily corrupted. This may say something
about the corruptible nature of popular governments (democracies
and republics) over against monarchy and aristocracy.
The declining value of the metals seems also to point
to the baseness of their rulers: Babylon and the Mede-Persian
Empire were friendly to the cause of God and his people: Nebuchadnezzar
converted to the true faith and Cyrus and his successors made
specific provision for rebuilding Jerusalem and its temple, bearing
its cost and those of its sacrifices. But the Greeks and Romans
were overtly hostile to the worship of God, boasting Ptolemy Philopater,
Antiochus Epiphanes, and Nero Caesar among those who persecuted
the Babylonian monarch eventually converted. Traditionally, ancient
Babylon and the Mede-Persians allowed their subject peoples to retain
their kings, that is, or at least some measure of independence,
as opposed to the Romans whose iron fist was given birth by "people's
governments" in the form of a Republic or Democracy. This in turn
led to not only empire but a desire for absolute world dominance
on a [then] global scale. It reminds one of the United States, where
it too was founded as a people's government (a republic) which has
become so decadent and corrupt that its blatant hypocrisy should
probably have become obvious beyond the small multitude of individuals
who rightfully recognized it before the advent of the internet.
statements are not an endorsement of monarchy per se nor
for the ancient kings of the aforementioned kingdoms/empires. However,
the Bible does appear to indirectly display the increasingly decadent
nature of so-called people's governments wherever they have been
implemented. When the European monarchies in Eastern Europe collapsed
after the First World War it eventually became obvious how tyrannical
in nature the alleged people's governments of National Socialism
and Soviet Communism were.
head of gold seen in Daniel's prophetic vision describes why Hoppe's
view of a traditional European monarchy is preferable to the unstable
and decadent nature of the type of government that forms of the
feet of clay, that is, the decadent mob rule of [Republican] Democracy
that currently exemplifies the West. In fact, it could be argued
that the current moral degradation that the West is experiencing
is in fact a byproduct of so-called people's governments.
they be fascist, socialist, republican, or democratic, they are
exceedingly difficult to change given that under these so-called
people's governments one is more easily labeled a political terrorist
for advocating the head of its leader. The latter typically resorts
in individuals viewing such an advocate as an "enemy of the people"
since the leader was elected by the majority rather than an inheritance
by right of birth. Under a monarchy however, since a monarch's realm
is privately owned, individuals are not as easily inclined to view
a rebellion against said monarch as "unpatriotic" or "terrorist"
governments in all its forms is always and necessarily tyrannical,
might we not give Rothbardian anarchism a chance? Have we not attempted
every other form of government with increasingly disastrous results?
keep in mind that this article is not a discussion on the legitimacy
or illegitimacy of preterism per se but rather to display
the biblical basis for dispelling the idea of republican or democratic
form of government as a panacea for liberty]
Bassett [send him
mail] resides in Georgia.
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