HM Queen Elizabeth II

Originally published in Defense & Foreign Affairs Special Analysis


Current Estimate 

Analysis. By Gregory R. Copley, Editor, GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs.

Global political polarization between urban globalists and sovereignty advocates — the “global civil war”1 — has begun, finally, to focus, as far as the urban globalism movement is concerned, on the growing momentum of many societies to return to support for traditional governance structures, specifically monarchies. 

The opening round of the new assault on monarchies, both constitutional and nominally absolute, was fired by an anonymous three-page attack in the left-globalist weekly, The Economist, in the lead report of its International section of its April 27, 2019, edition. It was triggered by the transfer of the Japanese Chrysanthemum Throne from Emperor Akihito to Emperor Naruhito on May 1, 2019.2

The extent of the report — three pages of small type is a lot for that supposedly establishment UK publication — was particularly significant, given that it was largely bereft of facts but replete with emotive and pejorative attacks on a particular form of governance which has been historically associated with national identity and the alternative to the many forms of republicanism. 

The unnamed author of The Economist report noted, in a clearly subjective opinion, offered as objective reporting or analysis: “If monarchy did not exist, nobody would invent it today. Its legitimacy stems from ancient rituals and childish stories, not from a system based on reason and intended to achieve good governance. It transfers power through a mechanism which promotes congenital defects rather than intelligence. It is sexist, classist, racist and designed specifically to prevent diversity, equality and personal merit from creeping into its inbred ranks.” 

[See: https://www.economist.com/international/2019/04/27/how-monarchies-survive-modernity]

The article, just in that paragraph, employs all the trigger words currently being employed by the radical-left to mobilize its base: sexist, classist, racist, diversity, equality, personal merit. And throws in “congenital defects” and “inbred ranks” to stimulate a belief-driven momentum, rather than attempting to debate the merits of various governmental forms objectively. The article makes sweeping and unsubstantiated judgments throughout. 

Statistical historical evidence, in fact, refutes all of the subjective allegations of The Economist diatribe. It is not insignificant that the US-based Standard & Poors credit rating agency strenuously supported the fact that monarchies — particularly constitutional monarchies — enjoyed better governance institutions and creditworthiness than republics.

In a 2015 report entitled Are Monarchies More Creditworthy Than Other Types Of Sovereigns?, S&P noted: “The average long-term foreign currency rating on the 39 monarchies that we rate is ‘A-’, which is slightly higher than the average sovereign rating for all 129 sovereigns that we rate, which is around ‘BBB’ to ‘BBB-’. Among the rated monarchies, constitutional monarchies have a slightly higher average rating of ‘A+’, compared with ‘A-’ for absolute monarchies.”3 

As this writer noted in the Defense & Foreign Affairs May-June 1990 special edition, the great US social scientist, Pitirim Sorokin, in a study entitled Monarchs and Rulers: a Comparative Statistical Study, published in Social Forces in March 1926, noted that the average age of ascent to the throne was 31.1 years. He measured 300 monarchs’ records to achieve that measure. The average age of ascent for US presidents, on the other hand, was (until that time) 55 years of age [as of the 2017 assumption of office by Pres. Donald Trump, the average age of US presidents on assuming office was just more than 55 years], and 59.5 years of age for French presidents. 

“This suggests the following conclusion,” Sorokin said: “Insofar as the greater age is connected with greater conservatism, the system of recruiting presidents and other executives of State … through election, tends to select the more balanced and conservative people than the system of social inheritance of a social position [ie: monarchs].” It was, however, noted by Sorokin that hereditary rulers tended to hold their posts longer than elected leaders; some 32 percent of monarchs studied reigned longer than 19 years, and nearly 58 percent reigned longer than nine years, compared with the usual two-term US president’s tenure of eight years.

And to those who have argued that the system of monarchical rule is inequitable and denies the top position to “upstarts”, not of royal blood, Sorokin noted that the position of monarch has not traditionally been closed to these “upstarts”. But the percentage of these within monarchical societies fluctuates from time to time, country to country. 

“In some countries,” Sorokin said, “it was as high as the percent of presidents of democracies who came out of the poor and humble families.” But significantly, monarchies — particularly constitutional monarchies — do not govern; they reign. Governance is the business of elected parliaments. The Economist’s anonymous polemicist ignores the reality that most societies with monarchs tend to reflect a consistent level of satisfaction and identification with their monarchs, even when — as is most republican societies — they express a low regard for elected politicians. 

A survey published by Italy’s Instituto Piepoli in late 2018 noted that some 12-million Italians — 15 percent of the population — favored a return of the country’s monarchy, despite the consistent demonization of the monarchy by Italian republican political leaders from the left and the right since the end of World War II. In Serbia, the Kingdom of Serbia Association, in just one week (November 21-27, 2016) collected 123,000 signatures petitioning for the restoration of the monarchy there. 

In Ethiopia, the momentum toward the restoration of the 3,000-year-old Solomonic Crown has reached tsunami proportions since the communist Tigre Popular Liberation Front- controlled Government was forced out of office on April 2, 2018. And in all of these — and numerous other — instances around the world in favor of existing or overthrown monarchies, the motivation has been to restore effective democracy, not to supplant it. 

In Australia, the leading contender to win the May 18, 2019, general election was the Australian Labor Party, which has vowed to replace the nation’s constitutional monarchy with a republican structure, knows that it cannot afford to put the proposition to the electorate as it was put in a referendum on November 6, 1999, when it was rejected by 54.87 percent of the electorate at a time when the monarchy was at its lowest public opinion ebb. Today, support for the Australian Crown is dramatically higher. But Labor leader Bill Shorten is likely to attempt overthrowing the Crown without a full vote by the public. 

For the ideology of globalism (as opposed to the mechanics of globalization of trade and communications), monarchies represent, for individuals, identification with sovereign societies, which traditionally are a refuge in times of threats to economies and security.

Footnotes

1. Copley, Gregory R.: see the chapter “World War III as a Global Civil War”, in Sovereignty in the 21st Century and the Crisis for Identity, Cultures, Nation-States, and Civilization. Alexandria, 2018: The International Strategic Studies Association. The author of that book, and this report, is also President of The Zahedi Center for the Study of Monarchy, Traditional Governance, and Sovereignty, at the International Strategic Studies Association, the publisher of Defense & Foreign Affairs reports. He is also Editor of the Defense & Foreign Affairs group of publications.

2. His Majesty the Emperor (Tennō Heika), Akihito, at 17.00 hours local time on April 30, 2019, formally ended his reign — the Heisei era — by abdication. He then received the title of Jōkō, an abbreviation of Daijō Tennō (Retired Emperor, or “Emperor Emeritus”), and the new era, Reiwa, was to begin on May 1, 2019. Emperor Akihito was succeeded to the Chrysanthemum Throne by his eldest son and heir, Naruhito. The naming of the new era as the Reiwa era was announced on April 1, 2019. The enthronement ceremony — the coronation — of Emperor Naruhito was expected to take place on October 22, 2019. Emperor Akihito’s younger son, Prince Akishino, the brother of Naruhito, was then expected to become heir presumptive because incoming Emperor Naruhito had no sons, and the throne can only be passed to male heirs. The Era names for the Shōwa and Heisei eras had been kept as state secrets until the deaths of the previous Emperors, but that was not possible in this case, because an abdication had been unprecedented since the 1885 Meiji Constitution was adopted.

3. Mukherji, Joydeep: Are Monarchies More Creditworthy Than Other Types Of Sovereigns? New York, August 5, 2015: Standard & Poors Rating Services. The report can be accessed at the Zahedi Center website on:
http://strategicstudies.org/Monarchy%20Center/Resources/RatingsDirect_AreMonarchiesMoreCreditworthyThanOtherTypesOfSovereigns__31943010_Jan-09-2018.pdf

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