Two more fundamental and “theoretical” defenses of monarchy are: the notion (well-articulated by Filmer among others) that the king is the “father” of the nation, figuratively and, in some sense, literally; and the related (but potentially conflicting) notion of the king as representing the “hereditary principle” and hence the absolute and inalienable right to property …If you view the family as an organic unit with a natural (male) head, with (theoretically) absolute authority over the other members of the family, then monarchy is a very natural extension of this model to the larger political community – and, by means of dynastic alliances, can hold that society together in its most natural manner. Starting from the other end, if you view the nation in organic terms as a biological entity, united by descent from a common ancestor, it makes sense to think about a representative head of the nation boasting line of heredity back to said ancestor.
So what could possibly motivate monarchical yearnings among American conservatives? A fear that the American people have failed and need to be properly directed by the right people. A fear that existing privilege cannot be maintained without explicit resort to violence as a political principle. A resolute inability to identify with the majority of the citizenry, the abiding conviction that one is a member of the natural but unrecognized elite. I think the right word for this kind of thing isn’t reactionary but fascist.
Published by The American Conservative, 6 January 2015.