The case for the monarchy

Imagine this scene: a group of city-states existing in peace and harmony and trading goods, services and culture between themselves.

Now imagine that one city-state sees the wealth of the other city-states and decides it wants to increase its own wealth at the expense of theirs. It does this by developing a ruthless military base as its prime civic function. Eventually the power of this military base is such that it can launch an attack on the other city-states and capture their wealth and government.

If you’re a member of the offensive city-state then you will probably welcome the newly acquired riches of goods and slaves; your life has been materially improved.

In evolutionary terms, the militaristic state has reduced the development of society into the default primitive mode of strength defeats all.

If the other city-states wanted to resist any future invasions they will have to resort to a militaristic solution themselves if they ever get the chance.

Ultimately, one city-state will dominate the area and attempt to unify its empire through force. A ruthless king or queen will emerge to head the ambition of the empire.

The king or queen will reward loyal servants with land and appoint them as governors in this empire. Once this elite has stabilised the empire they need to entrench their own positions through a system of law enforcement. The function of this law is to ensure stability and continuity. As those in power write the law, it is perfectly reasonable for them to want to ensure the continuing prosperity of their families and so they make hereditary inheritance a lynchpin of the law.

This stability of the empire and its apparatus of administration via the law is personified by the lineage of its head of state—the further back the family history of the king or queen goes back, the greater the legitimacy of the heredity rule.

Once entire dynasties have invested into this system they are unlikely to want to change any of the rules (especially hereditary ones) as it might threaten their own prosperity.

These dynasties weald great power and influence so change is unlikely except through the advent of revolt that, ultimately, bring an overall reduction in wealth.

It is this long-term stability of a state that encourages others to invest in the area and increase its prosperity.

In summary: a powerful clan of warriors will inevitably dominate an area. Once they have power, a predictable and accessible (if biased) means of prosecution is established to satisfy the poorer citizen’s desire for justice and to suppress any resort to revolution.

Over time, an ossification of the law occurs which makes any significant change unlikely and unwanted. The monarchy was once the bullies that dispensed stability through the threat of retribution. Other would-be bullies, by default, had to defer to the higher power and thus any disruption in the form of uprisings was minimised.

The monarchy is a stabilising blanket of oppression on all of society. It is a natural consequence of the laws of power politics. To dismantle it is to invite instability and chaos, better to keep it than tamper with it.

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