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Tolkien's Ideal of Monarchy

Aldarion

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A post about Tolkien's ideas and ideals of monarchy.
 

Hlaalu Agent

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Interesting read.

A post about Tolkien's ideas and ideals of monarchy.
That actually sounds pretty interesting, and does have some resonance with my beliefs. I have been moving towards subsidiarism, but I am a believer in Republican and Popular governments. However, a government limited in scope and zealous in its defense of its citizen's liberty sounds very good to me.
 

Aldarion

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Interesting read.


That actually sounds pretty interesting, and does have some resonance with my beliefs. I have been moving towards subsidiarism, but I am a believer in Republican and Popular governments. However, a government limited in scope and zealous in its defense of its citizen's liberty sounds very good to me.
That is actually why I became a monarchist. I will be writing more about it in some time, but essentially, by promoting the idea of the government as a legitimate representative of the people, democracy promotes centralization, large government and tyranny.

I wrote in more about monarchy here:
 

Terthna

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A good king is almost always going to govern better than any sort of democracy; the problem is it's just a matter of time until you end up with a bad king, and those tend to utterly ruin their nations. Tolkien understood this; just look at what Denethor II (who was king in all but name) almost managed to do to Gondor while he ruled it.
 

Aldarion

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A good king is almost always going to govern better than any sort of democracy; the problem is it's just a matter of time until you end up with a bad king, and those tend to utterly ruin their nations. Tolkien understood this; just look at what Denethor II (who was king in all but name) almost managed to do to Gondor while he ruled it.
That argument however applies almost exclusively to modernist states. In other words, a democracy and an absolute monarchy. A traditional or a federal monarchy, especially of a premodern setup, is far superior to either because government as such is much weaker.
 

Terthna

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That argument however applies almost exclusively to modernist states. In other words, a democracy and an absolute monarchy. A traditional or a federal monarchy, especially of a premodern setup, is far superior to either because government as such is much weaker.
Could you give me an example of what constitutes, in your mind, a "traditional monarchy"? And please; I want names and dates.
 

ATP

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A good king is almost always going to govern better than any sort of democracy; the problem is it's just a matter of time until you end up with a bad king, and those tend to utterly ruin their nations. Tolkien understood this; just look at what Denethor II (who was king in all but name) almost managed to do to Gondor while he ruled it.
Bad king and his minions could be easily removed,but what about bad democratic goverment?
In Poland,for example,we have 20% of population which descend from people supporting commies/or they supported commies/ and now they would support anybody who pay them - except Poland.
What to do with such big minority? we could not just kill them,and in democracy they still have right to vote.
 

Navarro

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That argument however applies almost exclusively to modernist states. In other words, a democracy and an absolute monarchy. A traditional or a federal monarchy, especially of a premodern setup, is far superior to either because government as such is much weaker.
Tolkien's utopia (the Shire) has a monarch (the Thain) whose role boils down to ceremony and commanding the militia in times of war and an elected civic official (the Mayor) who runs the police/border patrol and the postal service (which constitute the entirety of the Shire's civilian government). Extremely minarchist to say the least, but not purely monarchistic.
 
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Terthna

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Bad king and his minions could be easily removed,but what about bad democratic goverment?
In Poland,for example,we have 20% of population which descend from people supporting commies/or they supported commies/ and now they would support anybody who pay them - except Poland.
What to do with such big minority? we could not just kill them,and in democracy they still have right to vote.
Have you ever tried to remove a bad king? It's not as easy as it sounds.
 

Aldarion

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Could you give me an example of what constitutes, in your mind, a "traditional monarchy"? And please; I want names and dates.
Holy Roman Empire.
East Francia.
Frankish Kingdom.
The Heptarchy.
Kingdom of Croatia.
Kingdom of Poland (pre-1500).
Kingdom of Hungary (pre-1526).
...

Tolkien's utopia (the Shire) has a monarch (the Thain) whose role boils down to ceremony and commanding the militia in times of war and an elected civic official (the Mayor) who runs the police/border patrol and the postal service (which constitute the entirety of the Shire's civilian government). Extremely minarchist to say the least, but not purely monarchistic.
This is basically Tolkien's ideal:
 

ATP

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Have you ever tried to remove a bad king? It's not as easy as it sounds.
But still doable,becouse he have no standing army.Modern state have it - and part of population is always profiting from persecuting others.
 

Aaron Fox

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Here's the thing, reality outright backs the economies of scale to the hilt. In terms of organization, bigger is actually better. If you want to fight corporations, you need a powerful government or you get shit like the Gilded Age. If you want to keep rule of law, you need a government powerful enough to ensure that.

Then add this little-accepted idea that technology adds to the general context of things and you'll need strong, centralized governments to ensure civilization is viable.

We've callously ignored papers like MIT's 1996 paper 'Electronic Communities: World Village or Cyber Balkans' because we constantly shat on philosophers like Machiavelli, Locke, Hobbes, and Chinese Legalists when the reality is, sadly enough, they're pretty damn close to the money.
 

LindyAF

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Tolkien's utopia (the Shire) has a monarch (the Thain) whose role boils down to ceremony and commanding the militia in times of war and an elected civic official (the Mayor) who runs the police/border patrol and the postal service (which constitute the entirety of the Shire's civilian government). Extremely minarchist to say the least, but not purely monarchistic.
Fairly close to how mid-late medieval England worked then, IIRC, since mayors started being elected in the 12th century.

One difference is that The Shire is small enough that there's only one mayor, so it's a position of comparable stature to the Thain, whereas no mayor was equivalent to the king.
 

Aldarion

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Here's the thing, reality outright backs the economies of scale to the hilt. In terms of organization, bigger is actually better. If you want to fight corporations, you need a powerful government or you get shit like the Gilded Age. If you want to keep rule of law, you need a government powerful enough to ensure that.

Then add this little-accepted idea that technology adds to the general context of things and you'll need strong, centralized governments to ensure civilization is viable.

We've callously ignored papers like MIT's 1996 paper 'Electronic Communities: World Village or Cyber Balkans' because we constantly shat on philosophers like Machiavelli, Locke, Hobbes, and Chinese Legalists when the reality is, sadly enough, they're pretty damn close to the money.
Unfortunately, yeah. And powerful institutions attract psychopaths which means that, as Metallica says, "the soothing light at the end of your tunnel / Is just a freight train coming your way".
 

Aaron Fox

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Unfortunately, yeah. And powerful institutions attract psychopaths which means that, as Metallica says, "the soothing light at the end of your tunnel / Is just a freight train coming your way".
You read far too much into the minimalist/anarchist BS that loves to stay around. When you actually look into it, a bigger, stronger government tends to be safer for it will be harder to push a psychopath's way. The opposite is also true, a smaller weaker government tends to be unsafe for it is infinitely easier to push a psychopath's way.
 

Aldarion

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You read far too much into the minimalist/anarchist BS that loves to stay around. When you actually look into it, a bigger, stronger government tends to be safer for it will be harder to push a psychopath's way. The opposite is also true, a smaller weaker government tends to be unsafe for it is infinitely easier to push a psychopath's way.
Except larger government attracts more psychopaths because it is more powerful. As a result, while it may be technically harder to push the psychopaths' way, in reality it is no less likely - and often more so, because joining powerful government is far more attractive to a power-hungry psychopath than joining a weak one.

Historically, greatest factor leading to genocides was concentration of power. Which typically, though not always, meant big government.
 

Bear Ribs

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What does "push a psychopath's way" mean in this context? It seems like it could be either of them.

As far as being conquered obviously a smaller kingdom will usually go down to a larger one, all else being equal. However if the government is relatively weak compared to it's citizens, regardless of nation size, that provides said citizens with a certain level of protection from their own government, regardless of actual nation size.
 

ATP

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Here's the thing, reality outright backs the economies of scale to the hilt. In terms of organization, bigger is actually better. If you want to fight corporations, you need a powerful government or you get shit like the Gilded Age. If you want to keep rule of law, you need a government powerful enough to ensure that.

Then add this little-accepted idea that technology adds to the general context of things and you'll need strong, centralized governments to ensure civilization is viable.

We've callously ignored papers like MIT's 1996 paper 'Electronic Communities: World Village or Cyber Balkans' because we constantly shat on philosophers like Machiavelli, Locke, Hobbes, and Chinese Legalists when the reality is, sadly enough, they're pretty damn close to the money.
In economy smaller business are most effective then big corporations,that is why big support socialists - becouse they would destroy small and medium competitors for them.
But,for doing that,big corporations need big state.Small state could not destroy medium or small ,even if it wont it.

So,small state with strong King capable of beheading anybody who attack others - and we have our ideal.
 

Bear Ribs

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Here's the thing, reality outright backs the economies of scale to the hilt. In terms of organization, bigger is actually better. If you want to fight corporations, you need a powerful government or you get shit like the Gilded Age. If you want to keep rule of law, you need a government powerful enough to ensure that.
Economies of scale only exist for a specific subset of businesses. These are the businesses where the equipmentis particularly expensive and small-scale equipment doesn't exist. F'rex farming, because there's no such thing as a small combine suitable in price and function for a ten-acre spread. Factories as well since there are no single-person operable factories (Though 3D printer is moving in that direction).

On the flipside, retail and food are areas without those costs, where big business tends to be far less efficient. Mom N' Pop grocery stores and family owned restaurants tend to beat the pants off of the big chains, because equipment scales to every level. Every restaurant, f'rex, needs it's own oven and you can't buy a colossus oven that cooks for twenty restaurants. Meanwhile the big business tends to have all the various extra expenses of corporate headquarters, corporate oversight, legal, bribes, etc.

Big box retailers and major chains only win against family businesses via either dumping (Walmart's notorious for this) or by colluding with lawmakers to give themselves legal advantages via zoning or even outright using eminent domain to seize choice land for themselves. Walmart's attempt to break into Japan notably crashed and burned spectacularly when they tried their usual tactics there without being hand-in-glove with the government.
 

DocSolarisReich

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'Strong' and 'Large' are not synonyms. Large government is not strong, it is weak, which is why it has to be large in the first place. The strongest government is also the smallest, the rule of the one.
 
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