Why what happens to Prince William and Kate Middleton is important for British libertarians.

David Davis

The point about the importance of the British Royal Family is that, in my view, the future of libertarianism depends on how well Libertarian philosophy – and its actual living adherents, who can type and post and get out to the www – survive. In an increasingly hostile world. The political climate is less destructive for us, I think, in constitutional monarchies such as here and in the Scandinavian-and-Dutch-type “bicycling-King-kingdoms”. Therefore we ought to want the survival of the one here in the UK for as long as possible. I think that the William-Kate thingy will help us, as Libertarians, in the decades to come.

True, the Queen has done next-to-nothing as a constitutional Head of State, to oppose the tyrannical posturings and imposts of her various governments, to say nothing of the EU and its baleful effects, but that does not make the system we have a wrong one.

This was out 6th-December-2006 post, the first on the subject and the one whereby I could say “you have read it here first”:-


5 responses to “Why what happens to Prince William and Kate Middleton is important for British libertarians.

  1. Most countries that get rid of monarchies or other long established institutions end up with something far worse. This would probably even be so if Saudi Arabia was to dispose of the House of Saud. It’s a stunning thought – Saudi Arabia could be even worse! This rule of thumb works in European countries, Islamic ones and in sub-Saharan Africa too. (Progressives being immune to learning any lessons from history or even personal experience will have difficulty with this idea.)

    On the other hand the USA is one of the few counter examples.

    Any established institution that helps to unite British people and sustain a national identity should itself be sustained for the simple reason that the alternative is worse. Not some libertarian paradise, but the anti-democratic “progressive” Utopia the EU becoming yet stronger and harder to escape from.

    Like the vestigal or shadow existence of the Westminster Parliament, our Monarchy is one of the tools for our future escape from the EU.

    Accordingly, I wish William and Kate a rapid, long and happy marriage.

  2. Mr. Davis,

    While I respect your viewpoint on the stability of constitutional monarchy, I cannot agree that it could ever be considered a libertarian institution.

    If only a matter of principle, citizens of the UK and Commonwealth Realms remain ‘subjects’ of the Queen. As I’m sure you know, this holdover from feudalism renders you, de jure, the property of the Queen.

    The greatest accomplishment of bourgeois revolutions of the post-Enlightenment was to gain recognition for the right of (almost) every human being to own himself and his property. They may seem trivial, but these theoretical realities shape the political culture in far-reaching, subtle ways.


    If a republic were to have a president whose selection and responsibilities mirrored that of the British monarch, such as the presidents of so many parliamentary republics, then that could be argued to be a safeguard of liberty.

    Your monarch is not your guardian, but your keeper.

    With Respect,

  3. Useful comment from Otto.

    To Mike Vine: I never actually meant to say that the constitutionaly monarchy in the UK is a real Libertarian institution. What I meant (badly expressed perahps) was that its survival, in the closest possible form to what was intended in 1688, is our best hope for the right external political conditions for a proper Libertarian revival in the west.

  4. Howard R Gray

    The monarchy may not be libertarian per se, but the constitutional arrangement prevented the devine right of kings from being the order of the day.

    The English constitution is a boon as it allows the incubation of a poltical future, perhaps a more libertarian one?

  5. Dear Howard!

    How very nice to hear from you! I hope you will visit more often. (Oh and I agree absolutely with your comment. You are the first person to understand why I am going on about this particular matter.)