Why is it that Monarchical Kings are not viewed with the same infamy as Dictators?

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What I am saying is that Medieval Kings that look like this:

image

Are not as viewed with the same amount of infamy and disdain as more modern secular military dictators that look like this:

image

Even though both are guilty of having absolute power and none of the common people have any freedoms and rights under both kinds of rulers.

So why is it that Kings do not COMPLETELY have that negative image compared to Dictators?

Short answer, that was then, this is now. People view things "in the old days" very differently.

But yeah, there's a massive disconnect and romanticism about the idea of hereditary despotism hundreds of years ago. Mind you, many forms of kingship, not all had unlimited power.

Thaluikhain:
Short answer, that was then, this is now. People view things "in the old days" very differently.

But yeah, there's a massive disconnect and romanticism about the idea of hereditary despotism hundreds of years ago. Mind you, many forms of kingship, not all had unlimited power.

And mabye because there were indeed GOOD Kings in history?

I'd put forth the argument that kings in ye olden days had a veneer of respectability because they had the air of legitimacy about them. Kingship as a form of ruler was already established as was the principles of succession. Dictators tend to be those who have seized power, and thus do not have that benefit.

Also, usurpers who seized the throne also tended to have problems because their claims to the throne were not considered legitimate by quite a few folks. As a result, they had to perform their own clamp-downs on the populace in much the same way dictators did/do.

davidmc1158:
I'd put forth the argument that kings in ye olden days had a veneer of respectability because they had the air of legitimacy about them. Kingship as a form of ruler was already established as was the principles of succession. Dictators tend to be those who have seized power, and thus do not have that benefit.

Also, usurpers who seized the throne also tended to have problems because their claims to the throne were not considered legitimate by quite a few folks. As a result, they had to perform their own clamp-downs on the populace in much the same way dictators did/do.

The tyrants of Ancient Greece had that issue, but some solved it by populist measures, public works, religious festivals and so on. What we think of as dramatic arts is in large parts derived from Dionysian festivals instituted by the tyrant Peisistratus of Athens, and another greek tyrant played a large part in the adoption of roofing tiles.

OTOH, even if you have a good tyrant the people like, after a generation or two his successor gets chased out by an angry mob for being the sort of person that gives tyranny a bad name.

EDIT: After they got rid of Peisistratus' son and came up with that democracy thing, they had a public official they called a King for ceremonial reasons, because you do need a king to be legitimate, even if they don't do much and you change every year.

Samtemdo8:

Thaluikhain:
Short answer, that was then, this is now. People view things "in the old days" very differently.

But yeah, there's a massive disconnect and romanticism about the idea of hereditary despotism hundreds of years ago. Mind you, many forms of kingship, not all had unlimited power.

And mabye because there were indeed GOOD Kings in history?

In the same way you can have good dictators, yes.

Honestly, historically autocratic leaders tend to get a pass that we don't let slip by on a lot of modern rulers. When you get down to it, a Shogun was effectively a military dictator of feudal Japan, yet they tend to not be judged as harshly because they didn't have modern sensibilities. Despite the fact that Shoguns could be pretty damn brutal.

It's history, not the kind of leadership. We technically have modern kings who wield unchallenged power, and they're looked down upon with disdain. Just look at Saudi Arabia.

That being said, on the flipside no one ever talks about General Tito enough. He's basically the closest we've ever gotten to 'benevolent dictator' ... that Hobbesian desirable state of which is utterly undesirable if only because it's next to impossible to realize. More impressively, doing so in the immediate carnage and realization of the total horrors of WW2 in Eastern Europe.

You have Saudi Royals who are effectively dictators and royalty.

I feel like 'dictator' is merely reserved to how close they are to being personally realized. Saudi royals still exist. Queen Elizabeth I does not. Moreover, it's not like the people could point to something better.

It's just the passage of time, and the accompanying shift in cultural values. It's easier to eulogise a tyrant hundreds of years after his death and the death of everyone he hurt.

I mean, sure; there were good kings and bad kings. That's gonna happen when you select your leadership by primogeniture. It's a mixed bag.

bastardofmelbourne:
It's just the passage of time, and the accompanying shift in cultural values. It's easier to eulogise a tyrant hundreds of years after his death and the death of everyone he hurt.

IDK ... a living tyrant is pretty scary not to praise. Whereas the title of 'benevolent dictator' is still used on Josip Broz Tito to this day, both while alive and now deceased.

And Tito did not have it easy. He personally lead probably the most successful partisan organization during the war, he basically rebuilt a broken state that was utterly demolished by prolonged fighting, juggled a ridiculously high casualty rate of soldiers and citizenry both, he radically expanded the skills base of his country, quintupled the number of public universities (built, not just made them public), utterly transformed its infrastructure to better than pre-war conditions in a matter of years, and kept the peace so well that after he died it all came crumbling apart.

He was basically a one man superglue of nations, both in a literal and figurative sense. Very much a dictator. The scary question we have to ask ourselves is whether any democracy can be as hypothetically effective as a good-natured person otherwise doing 'bad' things like saying; "I'm banning fascists. Period. Freedom of speech in these regards are suspended. There will be zero tolerance of ethnonationalist identification that any righteous soul squashed in the past. Now help me finish this new railway line."

Its an important attribute of any historian to judge people by the standards of their time. There wasn't democracy yet and Kingship was the norm so its weird to fault anyone for that system.

Hades:
Its an important attribute of any historian to judge people by the standards of their time. There wasn't democracy yet and Kingship was the norm so its weird to fault anyone for that system.

Then again Democracy and/or Republics were attempted in the past, and they still end up failing because I believe mere human ambition resulted in those earlier democracies to fail.

Makes me wonder how Democracy and such made a better and permenant comeback now then it did in the Greco-Roman times.

I thought Ho Chi Minh would be another benevolent dictator

trunkage:
I thought Ho Chi Minh would be another benevolent dictator

Well, more like a commander. He didn't actually 'dictate' in a conventional sense given he didn't get to live that long and there wasn't any actual realized idea of Vietnam given French Indochina was still a thing, and yku had various other parties involved... by the time Ho Chi Minh had stepped down and appointed Le Duan (arguably not his first pick) and the consolidated remainder of the Viet Minh party and military, there still wasn't as if a complefe idea of a unified Vietnam, nor even one that had been totally liberated of European or U.S. interests. It's kind of like calling a general a 'dictator' because they're leading troops, and they just so happen to inherit temporary responsibilities of providing security and order amidst a group of people that just so happen to be in the area.

And there is also the fact that he probably wouldn't have been a dictator once borders had been consolidated and independence unchallenged. In the same way it didn't actually take that long for a consolidated Vietnam to take a radically different direction in its political landscape once the war had actually ended. Like, seriously .... the type of 'Soviet Union but East Asian' narrative of the U.S. was easier averted by leaving the country and allowing the South Vietnamese Junta fall... because only years after it did, Vietnam took a much different political direction compared with Mainland China at the time.

It's reasonable to look at Ho Chi Minh like a father figure of a nation to be and that his goal wasn't the consolidation of power.

Samtemdo8:
So why is it that Kings do not COMPLETELY have that negative image compared to Dictators?

Partly because of the era; democracy didn't meaningfully exist when a lot of monarchs were around for them to be compared unfavourably against.

Also bear in mind a substantial number of monarchs were not absolute rulers; it varied according to the customs and times of the country. Even in the feudal era, a monarch was (theoretically at least) supposed to adhere to codes of honour to protect those in their domain. I'm not sure your average dictator really has those same sorts of things.

Agema:

Samtemdo8:
So why is it that Kings do not COMPLETELY have that negative image compared to Dictators?

Partly because of the era; democracy didn't meaningfully exist when a lot of monarchs were around for them to be compared unfavourably against.

Also bear in mind a substantial number of monarchs were not absolute rulers; it varied according to the customs and times of the country. Even in the feudal era, a monarch was (theoretically at least) supposed to adhere to codes of honour to protect those in their domain. I'm not sure your average dictator really has those same sorts of things.

And usually you were tied to a lord. They may be tied to a king but its at least a degree removed

Absolute Monarchs didnt really happen until feudalism broke up and so did the power of the local lords

Past is often romanticised.

davidmc1158:
I'd put forth the argument that kings in ye olden days had a veneer of respectability because they had the air of legitimacy about them. Kingship as a form of ruler was already established as was the principles of succession. Dictators tend to be those who have seized power, and thus do not have that benefit.

Also, usurpers who seized the throne also tended to have problems because their claims to the throne were not considered legitimate by quite a few folks. As a result, they had to perform their own clamp-downs on the populace in much the same way dictators did/do.

That, and dictators usually come to power after(or based on a promise of) overthrowing status quo. They're revolutionary agents. While Kings, being perceived as annointed by God and whatnot, were taken as continuators of old order and tradition, stabilizing agents.

Addendum_Forthcoming:
That being said, on the flipside no one ever talks about General Tito enough. He's basically the closest we've ever gotten to 'benevolent dictator' ...

Josip Bro(z) Tito was pretty alright, but i feel there's a reason why he seems to be an exception.

And then there's fallout after his death, that kinda drives home why steady institutions are better idea than leaving everything in one man's hands.

I was thinking about this a while back. With so many movies and shows and books about returning the rightful heir to the throne, I think, why? How has their luck of birth given them any legitimacy to rule?

There are two answers I can think of, at least when concerning stories.

1. Stability. People understand monarchal rule and their place in it. Doesn't men they are happy with it, but it holds less surprises.

2. These stories tend to be about loyalty. Loyalty as a moral aim in and of itself. What ultimately happens after the fact doesn't matter, you can't see the future. You were loyal and so you know you did the right thing.

In works like game of thrones which are very focused on political intrigue, these don't hold up. They cover too large a context to simply enjoy someone being loyal. The story if dishonored, of putting the rightful princess back on the throne, isn't about the ruler, or what the princess will ultimately do, it's about the knight being loyal to the end.

MrCalavera:

Addendum_Forthcoming:
That being said, on the flipside no one ever talks about General Tito enough. He's basically the closest we've ever gotten to 'benevolent dictator' ...

Josip Bro(z) Tito was pretty alright, but i feel there's a reason why he seems to be an exception.

And then there's fallout after his death, that kinda drives home why steady institutions are better idea than leaving everything in one man's hands.

And from the other end of the spectrum, Franco in Spain and Salazar in Portugal. Not that they were benevolent, but that their ideas did not long outlast them.

Because there wasn't really an alternative back then. Being a king in a world where everyone lives under a king is just standard. Being a dictator in a world where there are plenty of democracies is actively taking the dickish route.

MrCalavera:

Addendum_Forthcoming:
That being said, on the flipside no one ever talks about General Tito enough. He's basically the closest we've ever gotten to 'benevolent dictator' ...

Josip Bro(z) Tito was pretty alright, but i feel there's a reason why he seems to be an exception.

And then there's fallout after his death, that kinda drives home why steady institutions are better idea than leaving everything in one man's hands.

Yeah, there is that argument that basically when you set up a 'president for life' that you damnwell better have a good idea of succession that everybody can get behind. And if the political dynamics and power is concentrated so much, it's not like you can adequately test whether a successor will actually be as gifted, charismatic, or determined as someone like a Tito that they will be replacing.

You end up in a situation of; "Well, this person can actually die. Whether inevitably through age or something more abrupt... so what we'll do is create a cabinet, and then what we'll do is create a bicameral/unicameral panel to determine eligibility of positions held as well as the validity of hypothetical legislation they want to pass while in that cabinet... and to guarantee that this panel will not be out of touch with the common person, we'll create a democratic institution for their election for all permanent residents living within the country who may be affected, and then we'll ... oh wait."

Arguably a benevolent dictator only works longterm if you can guarantee they're immortal.

Monarchies 'worked' if only because power struggles often only left one victor, and there was at least a certain idea that that victor was either more charismatic, had already secured enough loyalty, or because they were a better strategist. Given that there was nothing betteravailable, maybe those criterion of being able to kill/render ineffectual all other claimants alone would guarantee someone half-fit for the throne.

Really, plenty of kings are. Do many people have a good word to say about Henry VIII, who swung his power about indiscriminately as many dictators do?

The Romanticism of Kings and Kingdoms certainly contributed, I mean you won't see a modern Dictator portrayed in this fashion:

Literal centuries of good PR campaigns.

Samtemdo8:
The Romanticism of Kings and Kingdoms certainly contributed, I mean you won't see a modern Dictator portrayed in this fashion:

Of course, both of these are from British writers from the first half of the 20th Century.

Also from the same time these writers were born?

image

Queen Victoria Building, Sydney ... the statue is, of course, Queen Victoria.

It's actually probably the most pretty and regal shopping mall in existence.

It's not really 'romanticism' (either in an artistic movement sense or reimagined definition of it to solely mean a rose-coloured perception of the past) when even the colonies were producing grand architectural facades dedicated to European monarchies and their power.

And this particular bit of architecture is from the Federation era. You know... instead of building more railways, roads, universities, libraries, and expanding health care ... no, overly designed marketplaces for late colonial day trade of luxury and consumer goods. Priorities, you see.

This particular edifice to an English monarch becomes even more absurd when you consider it was designed by a Scottish emigre to Australia who later naturalized and was a critical part of developing the architecture of buildings that would later accelerate and come to partly represent the birth of the Commonwealth of Australia and a formal shift from colonial dominion to true self-governance.

Samtemdo8:

Even though both are guilty of having absolute power and none of the common people have any freedoms and rights under both kinds of rulers.

So why is it that Kings do not COMPLETELY have that negative image compared to Dictators?

Because they are not even remotely the same thing.

A dictator has near absolute power - a king doesn't

A tyrant took the throne by force (there was usually some conflict and thus enemies) - a king (usually) doesn't

A tyrant (and nearly every dictator) only ever emerges in a time of instability - a king is usually a sign of stability

A tyrant (and nearly every dictator) has a legitimacy problem - a king (usually) doesn't

Because of this nearly every tyrant and dictator can only cling to power through use of force, which tends to make people quite unhappy. And uses up a considerable amount of the ressourced the state produces which is bad for the economy and makes people eben more unhappy (which increases the need of suppression)

Most monarchs were supported by their subjects amd thus far less in need of those very unpopular suppressive systems. And feudalism is one of the cheapest small gouvernment systems ever developed that still could work for a big area/populance. It is increadibly efficient. (It does that by cutting corners however leading a lot of bad side effects)

Really, to put a dictatorship/tyranny and a monarchy in the same basket only because they (most often) don't have an election and a son is most likely to take over, is like declaring the French Republic and the Papacy to be more or less the same thing because there is some kind of election and the leadership position is not hereditary.

Samtemdo8:
And mabye because there were indeed GOOD Kings in history?

No, it is because if you compile a list if the 100 WORST kings ever, you will find that 90% of them are on the list because they were also regarded as tyrant or dictator in their own time.

That people hate dictators is nothing new. The hate was already there when monarchy was the accepted way to rule a country.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

Monarchies 'worked' if only because power struggles often only left one victor, and there was at least a certain idea that that victor was either more charismatic, had already secured enough loyalty, or because they were a better strategist. Given that there was nothing betteravailable, maybe those criterion of being able to kill/render ineffectual all other claimants alone would guarantee someone half-fit for the throne.

That is rubbish.*

Monarchies worked because:
- A monarchy concentrates considerably less power in the hand of the monarch which kind of makes the transition a lot easier and the competence requirements for the heir lower

- A monarchy has proven rules of succession. And people tend to like following established rules. Everyone starts with the same expectation who should be heir.

Really, look at the US with their "Vice presidend takes over when presidend dies even without a new election". That works (nowadays, the first case was different) exacly the same way as royal succession and it works for exactly the same reason. If Trump dies, no one expects a civil war over weather continuing with Pence or holding new elections.

*(Yes i know, Ottomans ect. But as this kind of stability is one of the defining points of a monarchy, i'll ignore exceptions this time)

Satinavian:

*(Yes i know, Ottomans ect. But as this kind of stability is one of the defining points of a monarchy, i'll ignore exceptions this time)

One could argue that the Ottoman system of feudalism was so alien from the Western European model to not be comparable. Apples and Oranges. Kings to Sultans. I would say the existence of the Ottoman system is another feather in the cap of Western Feudalism in comparison to dictatorships, as Sultans were a step closer to dictators than Kings.

Heck, the Ottoman system was just a powderkeg every time the Sultan passed, or even before with the princes essentially being REQUIRED to assassinate their elders in order to survive, and then being forced to watch their own backs from their younger brothers doing the same to them.

Something people have to remember is that Democracy and Republicanism didn't exactly have a good rap before the Enlightenment. Athens had it for a century, and it collapsed. Rome was a Republic for a few centuries, but then the system nearly collapsed and its transition to an Empire had the approval of the people of Rome for a reason. Before the US there where basically no examples of a successful democracy and only two examples of a successful Republic, Venice and the Netherlands. One thing a lot of people forget about history is that Democracy and Republicanism are still new concepts in terms of how we understand them today, and the American Civil War pushed things back decades in Europe. It took the English 300 years of slow reforms to set up the system that exists now (and a few bloody wars as well), the French adopted Republican Democracy by accident (they couldn't find a legitimate successor to the throne, after all the civil wars and revolts and revolutions, that's how they finally ended up with it), Spain has it because after Franco died the king decided to transition back to it (and was even asked by the military if he'd like them to reverse that for him, his answer being obvious), Portugal and much of South America adopted it because the lower ranks of the Junta decided it was time to use the West's model, and the list goes on.

Democracy and Republicanism are still new ideas, they haven't actually proven themselves to be capable of standing the test of time like monarchism has, and has shown itself to be just as capable of producing bad leaders, political instability, and all the other negatives one could claim about monarchs. Hell the worst dictators of the 20th century didn't come out of monarchies. The Soviets didn't overthrow the Tzar, they overthrew the Republican government. Mao didn't fight Chinese Imperial forces, he fought Republican forces. The Junta of Iberia and Latin America didn't replace monarchies, they replaced Republics. The only places that come to mind where a secular dictator overthrew a monarch during the 20th century is the middle east and north africa, and I don't think most of us would consider them better then the monarchies they replaced. Oh sure Libya was better under Gaddafi then it is now and Syria would likely be better under Assad then under rebel control, but I don't see many people claiming they where better at ruling then the Senussi or the Hashemites.

Satinavian:
That is rubbish.*

Monarchies worked because:
- A monarchy concentrates considerably less power in the hand of the monarch which kind of makes the transition a lot easier and the competence requirements for the heir lower

- A monarchy has proven rules of succession. And people tend to like following established rules. Everyone starts with the same expectation who should be heir.

Really, look at the US with their "Vice presidend takes over when presidend dies even without a new election". That works (nowadays, the first case was different) exacly the same way as royal succession and it works for exactly the same reason. If Trump dies, no one expects a civil war over weather continuing with Pence or holding new elections.

*(Yes i know, Ottomans ect. But as this kind of stability is one of the defining points of a monarchy, i'll ignore exceptions this time)

Okay .. then let's actually look at the number of years of which claimancy was challenged across Britain over the first five hundred years of the 2nd millenia, shall we?

1066...

1066-75

1135-54

1215-17

1286-98

1296-1328

1296-1357

1337-1453 (If we're including greater Plantagenet continental aspirations such as the War for Brittany)

1455-1487

Did I miss any? And those are just wars for a throne or part of hereditary title... not including all the usual argy bargy.

Shall I do the Kingdoms of Spain? Or France? Or the various shadowy intrigues and upsets of Polish-Lithuania in the early modern era?

Which exceptions won't you ignore?

1066 ... William the Bastard comes over the sea to carve out his own kingdom. While using a very weak succession from Edward to Herald to do so to mask it a bit, he doesn't even try to reestablish the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex to its former glory. He is a conquerer building a new kingdom with new rules.

1066-75 And because that was not a royal succession it took him this long go get a hold of was later to become England even after the big battle was over. He was a classical tyrant lacking legitimacy and it shows. But he did manage to start the kingdom of England. Notably it was a rough start because there was not yet an established succession. William wanted to divide his realms between his elder sons, but his subjects wanted a single ruler.

1135-54 The Anarchy. The last son of William had died. A couple years before most of the retinue of the king, including most of his family and pretty much all legitimate heir had died when they travelled on the same ship and that sunk, leaving only long-shot successors with barely any claim. The king had decided to go for his one surviving daughter instead but that was against the succession rules and his subjects did not accept her.

1215-17 John Lackland. A particularly bad king losing lots of wars and having dictatorial aspirations alienating his vassals. The continuing power grabs and economic difficultie let to an uprising during which the king died. But the succession was not difficult at all.
Yes, a mayor uprising still running, a former king squandering most of his influence and loyalities and the nine year old heir becomes the new king pretty much uncontested

1286-98 Endless wars, increasing taxes beyond every tradition to pay for those and trying to take church income/property. Not actually any kind of succession crisis.

1296-1328 I am not even sure what you mean. The end of Edward II would actually count but that is from 1321 - 1328 at best

1296-1357 what is this supposed to have been ?

1337-1453 The 100 years war is not a succession crisis of the English throne

1455-1487 Now the war of the Roses is a succession crisis and does count

Did I miss any? And those are just wars for a throne or part of hereditary title... not including all the usual argy bargy.

How many of those instances do fit your earlier claim of

Monarchies 'worked' if only because power struggles often only left one victor, and there was at least a certain idea that that victor was either more charismatic, had already secured enough loyalty, or because they were a better strategist. Given that there was nothing betteravailable, maybe those criterion of being able to kill/render ineffectual all other claimants alone would guarantee someone half-fit for the throne.

None of those fit your description at all. Only the first one comes anywhere close.

Zontar:
The Soviets didn't overthrow the Tzar, they overthrew the Republican government.

The Soviets overthrew the Tsar as well. The Petrograd Soviet (the first formal attempt at Soviet government) predates the Russian provisional government and was instrumental in the February revolution. Initially, the soviet and the provisional government cooperated in a "dual power" system, but the provisional government became increasingly unpopular and the soviet became increasingly powerful, leading to the October revolution.

Zontar:
Mao didn't fight Chinese Imperial forces, he fought Republican forces.

He fought both.

Aisin Gioro Puyi was the last Emperor of the Qing dynasty. After being forced to abdicate in the Xinhai revolution, he defected to Japanese Manchuria and became the puppet ruler of the state of Manchukuo, believing that he would be restored to the throne upon a Japanese victory. In 1934 he was crowned Emperor of Manchukuo.

Although it was effectively a Japanese colony, Manchukuo did have its own (spectacularly poor quality) army, which did clash routinely with communist and nationalist guerrillas and infiltrators whose loyalty lay with the united front government, which included Mao.

On the subject, Imperial Japan was a monarchy, I'm sure the people of Japanese occupied areas of east Asia were comforted to know they weren't oppressed by one of those mean dictators..

What's the ultimate point here? That for every republic that falls to dictatorship (usually due to incredible political instability) there are examples of monarchs being overthrown, often in the course of creating those republics. The idea that the French stumbled on democracy by accident is laughable, heck, the French monarchy was already flirting with democracy and constitutionalism before the revolution in a desperate (and doomed) attempt to avert the impending disaster. In England, the primacy of parliament was established when Charles I was tried and executed after his amazing defence of "the king can do no wrong" somehow failed to win over his accusers. The second Spanish republic was declared by popular plebiscite after the king supported a military dictatorship. Italy, similarly, is a republic because Victor Emmanuel III supported Mussolini. Wilhelm II was overthrown by popular revolt at the end of the first world war.

Monarchism has not withstood the test of time at all. It has completely collapsed to the point where only a few bizarre and thoroughly horrible regimes like Saudi Arabia still adhere it. For most of us, it's a toothless relic of an archaic, dead world which has no merit or reason to exist.

evilthecat:
Monarchism has not withstood the test of time at all. It has completely collapsed to the point where only a few bizarre and thoroughly horrible regimes like Saudi Arabia still adhere it. For most of us, it's a toothless relic of an archaic, dead world which has no merit or reason to exist.

It has existed very long and was extremely successfull.

It is not a good mode of gouvernment now because times have changed. Its benefits are less interesting, its drawbacks seem mpre severe.
The most important thing is the technological progress making communication and travel incredibly fast and cheap together with ultraefficient agriculture allowing for unprecedented degree of urbanisation and professional specialisation.

We nowadays can afford an administrative bureaucracy several orders of magnitude larger than what the Byzanthine empire had and still be faster, less corrupt, more efficient and closer to the ideal of rule of law. We can also have regular election where pretty much everyone gets a vote and it is neither prohibitive expensive nor so slow newer anything gets done. We even are able to inform most of the voters about who the candidates are and what they (supposedly) want.

People always praise the virtues of democracies but completely forget the kind of luxuries that make modern western democracies actually possible in the first place.

Yes, monarchies stayed far longer than they provided the best available option. So they appear inefficient and outdated at the time where they were abolished. But the reason they still stayed so long and people were so incredibly reluctant to give them up was because they had proven to be so successfull for a very very long time.

And if democracy gets replaced by e.g. AI assisted Technocracy 200 years from now on it will only have been a short fad compared with monarchy.

Satinavian:
It has existed very long and was extremely successfull.

I think the operative word is "was"

And success is relative. Even in dispassionate terms of administrative quality, the Roman Republic lasted for 500 years (possibly longer, the transition from republic to dictatorship to monarchy is blurry and takes a long time, even the Byzantine Empire still had some dictatorial rather than monarchical elements) and was vastly more sophisticated, centralised and robust than the majority of pre-modern monarchies.

Satinavian:

Yes, monarchies stayed far longer than they provided the best available option. So they appear inefficient and outdated at the time where they were abolished. But the reason they still stayed so long and people were so incredibly reluctant to give them up was because they had proven to be so successfull for a very very long time.

Successful by which metrics? Because if you judge monarchy on the same metrics we generally judge democracy it is an abject failure on every level.

What monarchy has going for it, more than anything, is that it provides a stable mode of succession. No matter if it is primogeniture, gavelkind or elective, a monarchy knows who's the next ruler, which provides a degree of stability (due to the intricacies of noble marriages, it also tends to ensure a level of peace with some neighbors due to inter-marriage). If we look at Europe, the reason this stability was needed was because the feudal system had an inherit problem with nobles amassing too much power, which needed to be counter-acted by someone who had equal or more power.

Just because something has stuck around for a long time that's no indication it is successful. Monarchy and feudalism stuck around because the people with power to change to something else overwhelmingly benefited from the systems that enabled them undisputed power over everyone else. Change only came around when the lower classes (the burghers) begun amassing enough wealth that they could challenge the nobles hegemonic position as the only people with economic means.

If you wanted to show that monarchy and feudalism contributed in positive ways to society and development, and not just survived for a long time, you'd need to show how it was better then either of the Roman systems of government, for example.

Dark Age's ignorance and propaganda. Commoners were kept in the dark, and the religious institutions (the main source of teachings) supported the monarchies. There is a reason monarchies are no longer mainstream in Western society.

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