Over at First Things, David B. Hart has an interesting essay on what he calls Anarcho-Monarchism that touches on the basic problem of political power, which is that it is most sought by precisely the sorts of people who ought not to get it.  I like this metaphoric description of in particular:

We all have to make our way as best we can across the burning desert floor of history, and those who do so with the aid of “political philosophies” come in two varieties.

There are those whose political visions hover tantalizingly near on the horizon, like inviting mirages, and who are as likely as not to get the whole caravan killed by trying to lead it off to one or another of those nonexistent oases. And then there are those whose political dreams are only cooling clouds, easing the journey with the meager shade of a gently ironic critique, but always hanging high up in the air, forever out of reach.

Read the rest.  To the extent that I allow political philosophy to intrude on my thought, I am definitely in the latter category.  And I would also say that I have much sympathy with both the anarchic and monarchic arguments made by Mr. Hart.  (The discussion, by the way, is a development of ideas put forth in the correspondence of J.R.R. Tolkien – with a helping of snarky asides about Salvador Dali- and there’s some interesting back and forth in the comments about the governance of the Shire as a reflection of those ideas.)

Advertisements