Monarchy vs. Republic

by Otto von Habsburg
We come here to the formal aspect of the State -- the question of monarchy versus republic -- which is mostly discussed from a highly emotional rather than a rational point of view. The debate proceeds by arguments ad hominem. A few undignified occupants of royal thrones are enumerated, and are then presented as examples of monarchy as such. The defenders of monarchy are no better. They point to corrupt professional politicians, of whom there exist a sufficient number, and claim that this is the necessary consequence of a republican constitution. Neither is a rational argument. There have been good and bad monarchies -- good republics (like Switzerland), and others which are far from living up to the same standard.

Every human institution, after all, has its good and bad sides. As long as this world is inhabited by men and not angels, crimes and mistakes will continue to occur... Republicans are fond of claiming that a monarchical regime means the rule of the aristocracy. Monarchists, on the other hand, point to the economic difficulties, the tax burdens, and State interference in private life in present-day republics, and compare this state of affairs with the freedom and economic well-being under the pre-1914 monarchies. Both arguments are unconvincing. They use the old propagandist trick of comparing results brought about by entirely dissimilar causes. Anyone who is honest will compare present-day monarchies with present-day republics. It will then be apparent that the aristocracy of birth occupies no greater share of leading positions in monarchies than in republics, and that all states, whatever their form of government, are equally affected by the serious problems of the present day.

Republicans frequently claim, in addition, that monarchy is a form of government belonging to the past, while republicanism is that of the future. Even a slight knowledge of history is enough to disprove this. Both forms have been in existence since the earliest times (though the monarchical periods have usually lasted considerably longer than the republican ones). In any case, it is misleading to call an institution which we already find in ancient Greece, Rome and Carthage, the form of government of the future.

This was written by HIM Otto von Habsburg, son of Saint Emperor Karl von Habsburg.

House of Hapsburg

de Brantigny


J.K. Baltzersen said...


Isn't that portrait of Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises?

de Brantigny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
de Brantigny said...

I was mistaken and it is fixed. I must be getting old.

Thank you my friend.