In the 1999 referendum on the republic, defenders of the monarchy failed to drive a stake through the heart of the Australian republican movement. The votes had hardly been counted before republicans were invoking their presumptively perennial right to demand a rematch at a time and on terms of their own choosing. If monarchists are ever to achieve a decisive victory, they must not rely upon republicans to shoot themselves in the foot, once again, with another deeply flawed model of the “politician’s republic.” Should republicans succeed in their campaign to abolish the constitutional monarchy, the repercussions will be felt far beyond Australia’s shores. Indeed, the fate of what used to be called the British race may very well hang on the outcome of this constitutional battle: The abolition of the monarchy in Australia would weaken the institution elsewhere, further fracturing the already fragile sense of kinship between the peoples of Britain and the old settler dominions.
Of course, the recurrent splits in the republican camp may well doom them to yet another defeat. But if republicans believe that popular support for the monarchy is minimal, limited to a minority of spoilers, they will never rest content until they achieve their objective—and who could blame them? Unless and until the British monarchy, understood and accepted as such, captures the hearts and minds of the Australian people, it will be living on borrowed time. Our rulers no longer conceive Australia as a country, the homeland of a particular people sharing a language, a religion, and their own distinctive folkways. Instead, Australia has been reduced to an economy, open to the free flow of capital, technology, and labor in a global system of production, distribution, and exchange. Swamped by “the rising tide of color”1 washing in from every overcrowded corner of the Third World, the old Australian dream of a new Britannia in the Southern Ocean is now little more than a faded memory. Only a miracle can save us now. Australia desperately needs a Patriot King to spark new life into the ancient British constitution, rekindling the ancestral spirit of Anglo-Saxon liberty in an ever more rootless, deracinated, and fragmented population.
As things stand now, the hard core of support for the monarchy is to be found in a parochial party of the past possessing few friends among opinion leaders in the state or the corporate sector, the universities, or the media. Many ordinary Australians do still revere the monarchy as an essential feature of our constitutional heritage. Their loyalty to the Crown reflects the historical experience of a distinctive people rooted in a particular place, sharing a collective memory of their genesis in the epic history of the British Empire. Republicans often assert that they have a lock on the younger generation; still, not all Australian monarchists are only a few steps away from the grave. Generations of republican ideologues have themselves grown old satirizing the hidebound conservatism of Australian monarchists, forever ridiculing the British monarchy as an anachronistic and obsolescent relic of the colonial era. During the 1999 referendum campaign, members of the Australian Republican Movement (ARM) cast themselves as the progressive party of the future. But the future they proposed—a cosmopolitan, inclusive, multicultural regime open to the world with a resident for president—ran head on into the “parochial” traditions of Australian patriotism.2
Far from throwing in the towel, republican leaders will now pursue a more subtle strategy. Having already foreshadowed one or more “indicative” plebiscites leading up to a second referendum campaign, their aim is to wear down the opposition, stripping the constitutional monarchy of its legitimacy before committing themselves to any particular model of the republic. This war of attrition will be supplied and directed from the commanding heights of political, corporate, and cultural power. Indeed, the final push for a republic might even produce an unprecedented revolution from the top down. Relying on the best kept, dirty little secret of Australian constitutional law, republicans could break a deadlock by proceeding under §15 of the Australia Act 1986(UK), permitting a phalanx of Labor-controlled Commonwealth and state parliaments, acting jointly, to proclaim a new republican constitution (thereby bypassing the referendum procedure requiring a majority of the popular vote in a majority of the states).3
Republicans are already accustomed to rule from above, being massively overrepresented among the managerial and professional classes. Republicans attract significant support from non-European migrant communities, but their most important constituency is found in prosperous inner city electorates within easy reach of an international airport. Priding themselves on their cosmopolitan sophistication, republicans are more likely than those who voted No in 1999 to deny that Australia is a much better country than most other countries. Similarly, republicans are less inclined to agree that they would rather be a citizen of Australia than of any other country.4
The typical, well-educated republican regards himself as a citizen of the world. Although republicans loudly proclaim their national pride, in the end their loyalty is to a state, or more accurately, the transnational state system, not to a particular people. When republicans refer to the sovereign people they do not mean a pre-political community defined by historic ties of language, religion, and blood, but rather the more or less random collection of individuals who find themselves resident, for the time being, in Australia.
Republicans believe that time is on their side, that the republic is inevitable. They hope that the parochial party of the past will simply fade away, overwhelmed and demoralized by the relentless onrush of replacement migration from the Third World. Should patriotic sentiment continue its steady decline in Australia, as it has elsewhere in the West, they may turn out to be right.
Patriotism is a tie that binds members of a particular community together through time. It is a sentiment that acknowledges the obligation on those of us now living to respect the interests of both the dead and the unborn. “In the Greek the word patriotism goes back to love of one’s fathers, and,” according to Robert Nisbet, “to this day is quite evidently strongest where a political nation is overwhelmingly composed of citizens who can be thought to be of common ethnic descent.”5
Patriotism presupposes a durable community of memory and for that reason a hereditary monarchy provides a natural focus for patriotic sentiment. But no successful patriotism can be anchored solely in the past. Patriotism must also generate the energy and commitment to carry a people forward into the future. Patriotic triumphs are never inevitable—they are the fruit of will, courage, and determination.
If and when it occurs, the advent of an Australian republic will replace the traditionalist patriotism spontaneously generated within a free society with a narcissistic nationalism manufactured by the interlocking ideological media of state and corporate power. Cosmopolitan elites with no loyalty to the constitutional monarchy already manage almost every aspect of organized social life. Even the private realm has been invaded by highly refined techniques of media manipulation, therapeutic intervention, and disciplinary normalization. Accustomed to being in the driver’s seat, members of the managerial overclass remain confident that, sooner or later, they will reeducate the hybrid population of a rootless mass society to accept one of their own as head of their own self-legitimating state.
Make no mistake about it. The republic is a constitutional device to expand managerial control over everyone within the territorial jurisdiction of the Commonwealth government. By getting rid of a British monarch and removing the Union Jack from the flag, republicans aim to detach the federal constitution from its original, or core, ethnocultural identity. Once the supranational authority of the British Crown has been nationalized, citizenship will become the exclusive property of the Commonwealth government. At that point, the corporate welfare state will be free to create a new Australian nation in its own disembodied image. The ideological mullahs of the managerial regime aim to purge the Australian people of their historic Anglo-Celtic, or British, identity.6
Australian elites were once ashamed of their convict origins. Nowadays the great and the good are embarrassed by any mention of their “English” Queen in the presence of visiting foreign potentates. In fact, of course, the Australian nation-state was created by a proudly British people for whom it was a matter of historical record that the English Crown—in and out of Parliament—was the original source for the fountain of law and justice. They understood that the term “British” is not simply an ethnic category; its widespread modern usage grew out of a major constitutional achievement, the rise of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Ironically, historians tell us that British patriotism flowered within the neo-classical traditions of eighteenth century Anglo-American or Atlantic civic republicanism.7
Despite the fact that the English, the Welsh, the Scots, and the Irish were separate and distinct, albeit closely related ethnic groups, theyhad all taken on a common, or British, civic identity by the end of the eighteenth century. In the settler colonies ethnic differences were even more readily submerged in a shared civic identity so that colonial Americans and, later, Australians, Canadians, and New Zealanders became more British than the British.8 Throughout the Empire, increasing numbers of French-Canadians, Jews, Afrikaners, Germans, and Indians, to name but a few, were steadily incorporated into a global community of British subjects owing allegiance to the Crown.
Nevertheless, it must be acknowledged that “Britishness,” understood as a civic identity, could never have arisen, nor could it survive, apart from the core ethnocultural identity provided by the English people in particular. Indeed, the greater the genetic distance between any given ethny and the English people, the more likely they are to resent and resist their full assimilation into a British society.9 Throughout the old white Commonwealth, even ethnies phenotypically similar to the English, such as the Irish, the Quebecois, and Jews (whether Orthodox separatists or secular humanist advocates of mass immigration and multiculturalism), have worked, each in their own way, to sever the civic significance of British identity from its ethnic roots.
Today, Australia’s still predominantly Anglo-Celtic political class also rejects as “racist” any suggestion that the nation possesses a core, specifically British, ethnocultural identity. Contemporary Australian citizenship is grounded, not in ethnicity, but in bureaucratic paperwork. Our rulers are dissolving the old Anglo-Australian nation to put a newly disaggregated, polyethnic, and multiracial people in its place.
The Australian nation-state will cease to exist if republicans have their way. It will become a state without a nation. Patriotism will be displaced by new forms of statist idolatry. “Constitutional patriotism,” as the new state religion is called, disapproves the love of fathers. Instead, we are to transfer our loyalty to an impersonal state liberated from the bonds of history and law. Lest the managerial regime be confined within the old superstitious rituals of “ancestor worship” associated with the common law jurisprudence of liberty, progressive judges have already transformed the meaning of constitutionalism itself. The constitution is no longer a set of fixed rules and principles intended to limit the potentially despotic reach of governments. On the contrary, in well-managed, modern republics, constitutions are heavily watered, “living trees.”10 Open to perpetual innovation from the top down, their function is to enhance the power of the state. Tradition, authority, and the common law spirit of liberty: All will be sacrificed on the multiculturalist altar of equality.11
Patriotic resistance could still derail the “inevitable” victory of the managerial republic. However, such a struggle must be waged in the name of the Australian nation, understood as part of a particular ethny. “An ethny,” according to Frank Salter, “is analogous to a population of cousins.” Anglo-Australians share myths of common ancestry, historical memories, and many elements of a common culture with their ethnocultural “cousins” in the various polities created out of the historic British diaspora emanating from the ancestral homeland in Britain.12 That Australians can never be an island unto themselves is something that was well understood by our forefathers. They valued their special relationship with other British-derived nations, especially but not exclusively those which still owe allegiance to the Queen, such as Canada, New Zealand, and the UK itself.
Together with the USA, those nations inhabit a common English-speaking world, the Anglosphere, with its own distinctive language, history, and civic culture.13 Strong traditions of English individualism dating back to the Middle Ages, if not to prehistoric times, lent dynamism to the British diaspora and provided the cultural basis for the most successful liberal democracies and free market economies.14 In the future, as in the past, the fate of the Australian nation, no less than that of the British monarchy, will depend upon the capacity of the English-speaking peoples to preserve the vitality while enhancing the strength of their common civilization.
For tactical political reasons, even the organization leading the No campaign in the 1999 referendum, Australians for Constitutional Monarchy (ACM), has been loath to acknowledge openly the British character of the Crown. Australian patriots may love the forefathers who framed the Australian Constitution, but they often forget their kinship with the Canadians who drafted the British North America Act. Even the rebellious American colonists who produced a rough facsimile of the eighteenth-century English constitution at the Philadelphia convention of 1787 have slipped from their rightful place in the pantheon of British liberty. Tracing our constitutional ancestry still further back, to the Anglo-Saxon patriots who resisted the imposition of the Norman yoke, is no longer done in polite society, much less the classroom.
By inducing the constitutional amnesia causing us to forget who we are and where we came from, governments in every British dominion, including Britain itself, have effectively corrupted “their” respective peoples. Having transformed British subjects throughout the Commonwealth into Australian, Canadian, New Zealand, and British (now on the road to becoming European) citizens, the managerial state now asserts its own control over questions of national identity.
We have forgotten what it means to be freeborn British subjects. At the same time, Australian citizenship amounts to little more than a legal formality. Citizens may be entitled to an Australian passport or compelled to vote and serve on juries. But we can no longer take it for granted that voters or potential jurors speak the same language. Citizenship is now a vertical relationship between individuals and the state; it does not imply membership in a community of memory. By contrast, old-fashioned British patriotism gathered the far-flung subjects of the Crown together in a common world that would outlive them all. That was then. For decades now, Australian governments have been busy hollowing out the social and cultural significance of the same statutory citizenship they were so eager to substitute for our common law status as British subjects.
All our connections to the ancient British constitution have been severed—save one. That one is the hereditary monarchy. The authority vested in the monarchy has waned, at times precipitously. But the Queen still serves as the only available polestar of constitutional legitimacy for subjects cut adrift from a durable past by creeping republican governments brazenly acting in the name of the Crown. Could it be that only a Patriot King can now save a people that have grown terminally corrupt?
Only the hereditary monarchy can call both despotic governments and corrupted peoples back to the original principles of liberty owing their genesis to the ancient British constitution. At any rate, that is what the eighteenth-century opposition leader Viscount Bolingbroke tells us. Fearful that the rise of a vast, impersonal system of finance capital would transform government into a sort of self-imposed Norman yoke, Bolingbroke wondered “whether, when the people are grown corrupt, a free government could be maintained, if they enjoy it; or established, if they enjoy it not?”15 Certainly an elective monarch (whether called a president, a governor-general, or a king) was ill equipped and unlikely to save a corrupt people from themselves.
Bolingbroke was convinced that such a people might indeed be saved but only “by means of a very different kind.” That manner of salvation will not be open to us, Bolingbroke suggests, “without the concurrence and the influence of a Patriot King, the most uncommon of all phenomena in the physical or moral world.” For Bolingbroke, it was axiomatic that “[p]atriotism must be founded in great principles and supported by great virtues.”16 Therefore, if the people have fallen away from the spirit of liberty once associated with the ancient British constitution, it is the patriotic duty of their king to call them back to the first principles of free government.
The conventional wisdom has it that the monarch has no role to play in any decision to expunge the Crown from the Commonwealth Constitution. The Queen herself has said it is a matter for the Australian people and that she will accept whatever decision they make. In that respect, Her Majesty has behaved in the regular and thoroughly predictable manner expected of her. But no one should doubt that the monarch possesses a prerogative power to act, spontaneously and unpredictably, in defense of the constitution. Australia’s then governor-general, Sir John Kerr, made that clear on November 11, 1975. Ignoring the convention that the governor-general can act only on the advice of his ministers, Kerr invoked the reserve powers of the Crown to dismiss the Whitlam Labor government.17 The Labor ministry still commanded a majority in the House of Representatives; nevertheless, it immediately surrendered office to a caretaker government under Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser. Gough Whitlam’s diehard supporters remained in a state of denial for many years afterward, but at the time of his dismissal the Labor leader himself never dared to call into question the authority behind the viceregal decision.18
The constitutional efficacy of Kerr’s action illustrates the truth of Carl Schmitt’s dictum that the “exception in jurisprudence is analogous to the miracle in theology.”19 Rooted in the faculty of freedom, political action always interrupts automatic and petrified processes; it represents a new beginning, breaking into the world as an “infinite improbability.” For that reason, Hannah Arendt maintained that “it is not in the least superstitious, it is even a counsel of realism, to look for the unforeseeable and the unpredictable, to be prepared for and to expect ‘miracles’ in the political realm.”20
It is therefore worth asking whether the reign of a Patriot King in Australia could “effectively restore the virtue and public spirit essential to the preservation of liberty and national prosperity.”21 Could the hereditary monarchy, once again, become the hinge upon which the whole constitution moves?
In his day, Bolingbroke knew, such a suggestion would “pass among some for the reveries of a distempered brain.”22 Today, the ability of the monarch to act independently is even more hemmed in by rigid laws and conventions. But both reason and experience confirm that neither a king nor his subjects can be transformed forever into automatons. Certainly, as Bolingbroke knew, the ancient British constitution has always stood upon a dual foundation: the common law gave expression to both the inchoate needs of a self-governing society and the sovereign will of an emergent state.
Without question, the legal forms and political conventions of parliamentary sovereignty are an essential feature of our constitutional order. But the constitution dwells, as well, in the spirit and character of the people. Bolingbroke warned that the preservation of liberty depended upon “the mutual conformity and harmony” of those two elements.23 Once the spirit of the people is broken or corrupted, the fundamental order of the constitution must be altered, if not destroyed.
Our cosmopolitan elites believe that decades of mass immigration have transformed the character of the Australian people. Certainly, republican manifestoes regularly assert as established fact the conclusory claim that “We are no longer a British people.” True, they do not put the change down to immigration alone. For decades, they have complained that the United Kingdom abandoned the dominions to enter Europe. Interestingly, John Hirst attributes some of the blame for that betrayal to the Queen, who went “to Strasbourg to give her sanction to British membership of the European Community.” In so doing, Hirst charges, she became “one of the enemies of rural Australia.”24
Hirst’s argument implies, of course, that the Queen owes a duty of protection to all her subjects wherever they may be. Bolingbroke agreed, declaring that when a people establish a free constitution, their kings come “under the most sacred obligations that human law can create, and divine law authorize, to defend and maintain the freedom of such constitutions.”25 The Crown has always been under a positive duty to protect the spirit of British liberty. That obligation became especially compelling once universal suffrage permitted every elected government to identify its own absolutist pretensions with the will of the people. Today, the allegedly enlightened despotism holding sway over the British peoples threatens their very survival. In the name of universal human rights, our historic claim to secure possession of an ethnic homeland has been cast into doubt, both “at home” and in the old white settler dominions.
In Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, and even in the United Kingdom, not to mention the United States, the ultimate genetic interests of the Anglo-Saxon ethny are at risk. Ethnies, like individuals and families, have an interest in securing “the indefinite survival of their own distinctive genes and their copies, whether these be resident in the individual, its descendants, or its collateral relatives.”26 Governments opening their borders to Third World immigration and enforcing policies of official multiculturalism have seriously compromised the genetic interests of the Australian ethny. The Anglo-Australian people constitute a large, partly inbred, extended family, within which even distant kin “carry genetic interests for each other.” But, because—at any given level of technology—the Australian landmass has a finite carrying capacity, mass immigration must replace Australian children with those of other, more or less unrelated, ethnic extended families. If immigrant groups are genetically distant from the Australian ethny, the damage to its genetic interests will be especially pronounced. If England, for example, received 12.5 million closely related Danish immigrants, Frank Salter has calculated that the genetic loss to the remaining English would be relatively low, amounting to the equivalent of 209,000 children. But the same number of immigrants from India would cause a corresponding loss of 2.6 million children. Bantus are even more genetically remote from the English. An influx of 12.5 million Bantus would displace the equivalent of 13 million English children. If Indians or Bantus displayed higher fertility rates than the host population, the genetic losses incurred by the English would be higher still.27
The abolition of the White Australia policy has had similar consequences. Australians have been stripped of the ethnic monopoly over their antipodean homeland that the federation of the colonies in 1901 was designed to secure. The resultant damage to their genetic interests can also be understood as an attack on the foundation of their constitutional freedom. The word “freedom” is derived from an Indo-European root meaning “dear” or “beloved.”28 In its primordial sense, then, freedom is the right to belong to a community of dearly beloved people, the family being the first and most important model for every such form of association. (Significantly, slaves were denied the right to marry or to raise a family within the walls of their own household.) Every ethny is an extended family with a genetic interest in its own survival and enhanced vitality. Just as parents have a duty to care for their children, it might be said that every free person has a moral obligation to defend his own ethny.29
Unfortunately, over the past half-century, governments throughout the Anglosphere have encouraged us to ignore the genetic interests of our ethnic kin through systematic campaigns of indoctrination and legal coercion. Such policies not only subvert the genetic continuity of the Australian ethny, they also deprive us of the right to belong to a community of free people inhabiting its own homeland. But perhaps we are our own worst enemies. To the extent that the Australian people have been willing to squander the genetic interests of their own ethny by directing scarce territorial, cultural, and economic resources to non-kin, they have been corrupted in a manner and to a degree hardly imaginable to Bolingbroke and his eighteenth-century contemporaries. Whether committed by a single individual or an entire race, suicide is a sin.
The problem Bolingbroke identified so long ago has finally come to a head: What can or should the reigning monarch do to restore the lost freedoms once enshrined in the ancient British constitution? Governments pursuing policies of forced integration in the name of an unachievable ideal of equality have trampled upon the freedom of association as well as the rights of free expression and private property. Having been denied or downplayed for the last three centuries now, the crisis of the ancient constitution has deepened to the point where the very existence of the British people, at home and in the overseas dominions, is now up for grabs. As a consequence, a Patriot King worthy of the name would recognize a moral obligation to defend to the death the genetic interests of his own ethny.
It was once taken for granted that the King would defend his realm personally, by force of arms if need be. But George II was the last British monarch to lead his armies into battle. Nowadays, the greatest threat to the survival interests of the British peoples comes, not from without, but from our “own” governing classes. To save his people today, a Patriot King need not take up arms; he could rely instead upon the power of reasoned speech to rouse his people to the dangers of demographic decline and territorial displacement. A modern patriot prince would defend the genetic kinship between hereditary kings and their historic peoples against managerialist regimes bent on extinguishing the ancestral spirit of the ancient British constitution, not just in Australia but throughout the entire Anglosphere.
For their part, constitutional jurists committed to the preservation of a free society should begin at once to consider how the ethnic patriotism of a reigning monarch could be reconciled with his role and responsibilities within the Australian constitutional order. Analysis of that issue must begin from the premise that the Queen is not the Australian head of state—that function is performed by the governor-general. 30 This proposition—a staple item in Australians for Constitutional Monarchy’s intellectual armory—is sound as far as it goes, but it does rather beg the question of what the Queen actually is. The best answer is that she is the head (or sovereign) of a society, one extending far beyond the territorial limits of any single state. The most salient feature of that society is its overwhelmingly British, ethnocultural character. Though governments and, today, even the Queen, are loath to admit it, the British monarch is the de facto and even de jurehead of a globe-girdling ethnic community. But the ethnic solidarity, much less the constitutional unity, of that community can never be taken for granted. Nor can it be assumed that the continued passivity of the reigning monarch is a permanent feature of the constitutional landscape. Almost by definition, the sovereign possesses the power to decide and the capacity to act in exceptional circumstances to save his people.31
The king has always been the parens patriae, the father of his country. That kinship metaphor is deeply entrenched in the constitutional and legal history of the British dominions. It implies that the king could be held morally, perhaps even legally, accountable should he fail to defend the interests of his ethnic family against a clear and present danger. Unfortunately, regal breaches of ethnic loyalty are not at all unknown. Indeed, in her 2004 Christmas broadcast, the Queen celebrated the Third World invasion of the British homeland. Lending her authority to the multiracialist dogma that “diversity is indeed a strength and not a threat,” Her Majesty even took a swipe at those “extremists at home” who posed the only apparent danger to “peaceful and steady progress in our society of differing cultures and heritage.”32
Clearly, the Queen recognizes no duty of loyalty to her coethnics. Even so, the people of the British diaspora should retain their historic allegiance to the Crown. Sooner or later, the Queen or one of her heirs and successors will be forced to recognize that the fate of the hereditary British monarchy is inseparably linked to the ethnic constitution of a particular people. If not and the managerial classes continue their relentless campaign to detach the British (or the Australian) state from the British (or the Anglo-Australian) nation, the monarchy is doomed.
It follows that the British monarch speaks not just for herself or even for her subjects in the here and now; she must also give voice to the needs and interests of the dead and the unborn—but “not any dead and unborn: only those who belong” to the particular, cross-generational, pre-political community constituting the British ethny in the United Kingdom and the old white Commonwealth. “Not being elected by popular vote, the monarch cannot be understood as representing the interests of the present generation.” Speaking for absent generations, monarchs “are, in a very real sense, the voice of history.” There is a spiritual dimension to the kingly office that cannot be replicated, much less usurped, by modern governments managing mundane and material affairs of state in pursuit of yet another short-term electoral mandate. Indeed it is precisely because the ancestral authority—literally, the genetic legitimacy—of the British Crown transcends the temporal powers of government that republicans want to rid themselves of it. They know, if the Queen does not, that the fate of the monarchy is bound up with the history and destiny of the British ethny. 33 Fortunately, that history is not yet a closed book.
So long as the British monarchy survives, the succession of a Patriot King, or even its widely perceived possibility, could set the Australian Republican Movement back on its heels. If Bolingbroke was right, “a king can, easily to himself and without violence to his people, renew the spirit of liberty in their minds.”34 Kings can quicken the dead letter of the old constitution. To confirm that proposition one need only imagine how the republicanism debate in Australia would be transformed were the Queen, Prince Charles, or Prince William to champion the constitutional unity of the British peoples. No doubt any such breach of convention would be met with a firestorm of outrage. Our political class expects the royal family to conform to a rigid code of personal and political behavior. But, for just that reason, a patriot prince refusing to remain silent in the face of vital threats to the common interests of the monarchy and his people would demonstrate that freedom of action is open to any citizen possessing the courage of his convictions.
In seeking to renew the freedoms of the ancient British constitution in a modern Australia, a Patriot King would move beyond a sterile and backward-looking defense of the past. Instead, a patriot prince would inspire a forward-looking reconstruction of a British, or, more broadly, Anglo-American, civilization. By helping us to recover our historic identity as a British people, such a prince would inspire efforts to establish closer ties with our natural allies in the English-speaking world, including the most important British-derived nation, the USA.
At present, the Queen presides over a Commonwealth that is expanding its membership to the point of absurdity. A British Commonwealth that includes Mozambique but not the USA will be patently irrelevant to the future of Anglo-American civilization. Of course, those hostile to the British ethny don’t much care. Managerialist republican visions for the future depend on the deliberate devaluation of our British past. Australia’s future, they believe, lies in Asia. Meanwhile, their self-loathing counterparts in the UK look set to submerge themselves in Europe. In both cases, history, politics, and culture are to be subordinated to geography and economics.
Like Turkey, which cannot decide whether to join Europe or remain part of Islamic civilization, Australia has become a “torn country,”35 split asunder by the deepening division between cosmopolitans and parochials. But, in a curious twist, it is the cosmopolitan, republican elites who have promoted the most parochial understanding of citizenship, carving up the Anglosphere into sovereign states, whose peoples are deemed to be foreigners to each other, despite their common origin in the British diaspora. A Patriot King would help us to see over the walls that governments have erected around us.
Governments have an obvious interest in ensuring that people owe no allegiance to any authority above and beyond themselves. For much of the twentieth century, state-building took the place of empire-building, much less nation-building. The appearance of a Patriot King would restore the true image of the British Commonwealth as an association of free people “united by one common interest and animated by one common spirit.” A patriot prince would no longer aid and abet the division of the Anglosphere into separate, mutually indifferent, and increasingly hollow nationalities. Instead, he will “endeavor to unite them, and to be himself the center of their union.”36 It is not at all obvious that Australians, Canadians, and New Zealanders have become freer through the systematic obliteration of their common law status as free-born British subjects.
Both the Queen and her most loyal subjects must now bend the knee before statist definitions of national identity. ACM is always careful to present the monarchy as an Australian institution. One can, of course, point out that Australia is still British in a formal or at least a residual sense by virtue of its allegiance to the Crown and that most of its people trace their origins back to the United Kingdom. But this cuts no ice with officialdom, not even with Her Majesty’s judges in the High Court of Australia. In their newly minted vision of an autolegitimating state, the Constitution creates the nation, not the other way round.37
Given the current ideological climate, one can hardly fault the monarch for remaining silent in the face of endless insulting references to our “foreign” Queen. In fact, the Queen is no more foreign to Australia than the spirit of the ancient British constitution, without which the formal, black-letter text of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1901 (Imp) could never have sprung into life. But if not even the Queen is prepared to do battle with the enemies of the ancient constitution, small wonder that ordinary citizens sometimes give up the ghost. Indeed, many now feel like strangers in their own land. To resist the massed wealth and power of the political, economic, and cultural elites railroading us toward a republic is no easy task. Yet there can be no doubt that our future as a free people hangs in the balance.
Doubts over our fidelity to the original principles of constitutional liberty became unavoidable once the creation of an Australian republic was touted as the first step toward full membership in a new regional polity. Under the Keating Labor government, it seemed that Australia was ready to defect from the West. Indeed, postmodernist republicanism already assumes that the constitution of our Asian future will not be a liberal democracy on any European or Anglo-American model. Alastair Davidson, for example, admits frankly that we may have to jettison a basic premise of Western constitutionalism, namely, the presence of citizens capable of thinking for themselves. Australians, he says, “will have to come to terms with an ideal of Confucian origin that says that wisdom teaches men and women to fit in and that life is suffering.” Alone in Asia, Australians will have to “accept what Montesquieu called despotism.”38
In reality, neither the republic nor the Asianization of Australia is inevitable. Moreover, Australian republican rhetoric is fixated on an obsolescent model of sovereign statehood and national independence. International politics is in fact no longer dominated by power struggles between independent nation-states exercising sovereign control over territory, resources, and populations. Even the ideological struggles of the Cold War era have given way to deeper cultural cleavages between civilizations.
According to Samuel Huntington, Australia sits near the intersection of several geopolitical fault lines. Asia is not a homogeneous entity. It is divided between Sinic, Buddhist, Hindu, and Japanese civilizations, not to mention the Islamic and Orthodox countries also to be found there. The “strange multiplicity” of Asia offers new opportunities for trade, commerce, and intercourse but it also poses a perennial danger to Anglo-Australian civilization. Whatever else they may be, Asian peoples are overwhelmingly non-Western and, not infrequently, anti-Western to boot. Australia, by contrast, is part of the globe-girdling Anglosphere, still the most dynamic and powerful element within Western civilization.It would be an unmistakable sign of Western weakness were Australia to drift away from its ancient constitutional mooring into the vortex of inter-Asian rivalries. A patriot prince will challenge the ideological hegemony enjoyed by deracinated Australian republicans eager to “bandwagon with rising non-Western civilizations.” 39
In a new world order marked by pervasive conflict between cultures and civilizations, it makes little strategic sense for the Australian people to renounce their (distinctively Anglo-American) Western identity. Australia is not alone in the world. The Crown can act to reinvigorate the ethnocultural community uniting us with English Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and, above all, the USA. A patriot prince would crown his reign with everlasting glory by reawakening American citizens to the British roots of their own proudly independent, if increasingly incoherent, sense of nationhood.
A modern patriot prince, Bolingbroke reminds us, would “deem the union of his subjects his greatest advantage.” At the moment, the fissiparous forces of disunity are in the ascendancy. That is why a Patriot King would be today, as in the eighteenth century
the most powerful of all reformers; for he is himself a sort of standing miracle, so rarely seen and so little understood that the sure effect of his appearance will be admiration and love in every honest breast, confusion and terror to every guilty conscience, but submission and resignation in all.40
To a Patriot King, the governments of the dominions would appear as so many factions inhabiting a common civilization. Bolingbroke maintained that
In whatever light we view the divided state of a people, there is none in which these divisions will appear incurable, nor a union of the members of a great community with one another, and with their head, unattainable.41
Precisely because nothing can be more uncommon than a Patriot King, he may be able to accomplish what common sense tells us is improbable or even impossible. Once he succeeds to the throne, nothing less than the hearts of his far-flung people “will content such a prince; nor will he think his throne established, till it is established there.” Nowadays Australia is a country whose “people is divided about submission to their prince.”42 Unity can be restored only when a patriot prince demonstrates that allegiance to the British Crown enhances rather than diminishes the dignity of Australian citizenship.
One hopes that Bolingbroke figures prominently in the education of young Prince William. But all of us should heed Bolingbroke’s advice to do everything we can to become the sort of people worthy of a Patriot King. We must prepare ourselves for great changes in the world and in ourselves. Bolingbroke predicted that, after the succession of a Patriot King, the people would remain outwardly the same but “the difference of their sentiments will almost persuade them that they are changed into different beings.”43
The appearance of a patriot prince would be a miracle indeed. But those who pray for such a deliverance must not neglect such means as are in their own power “to keep the cause of reason, of virtue and of liberty alive.” The blessing of a patriot prince might indeed “be withheld from us” but to “deserve at least that it be granted to us, let us prepare to receive it, to improve it, and to co-operate with it.”44
Were a patriot prince to campaign in defense of the monarchy, he would be subjected to a raging torrent of criticism and abuse. Yet when a good prince is seen “to suffer with the people, and in some measure for them…many advantages would accrue to him.” For one thing, the cause of the British peoples generally “and his own cause would be made the same by their common enemies.”45
What is the nature of that cause? In short, a patriot prince will call forth a spirit of resistance to both managerial statism and the abstract universalism of the capitalist marketplace. He will do everything in his power to civilize those too often wild and amoral forces. But, unlike the long-awaited Australian republic, the appearance of a Patriot King is not inevitable. Indeed, only a people whose lost liberties are restored to memory will recognize his coming as an opportunity to reshape their allegedly preordained future.
The tables must be turned on Australian republicans. They aim to corner the market on both cosmopolitan tolerance and national pride. All defenders of the monarchy must therefore cast ARM in a new light. Behind the progressive face of official republicanism lie the sordid realities of worldly ambition, class privilege, and the pursuit of power. Considered in the cold light of class analysis, a republican victory would enthrone the overbearing self-importance and ideological zeal of shortsighted provincial elites willing to sacrifice the genetic interests of their own people in return for a mess of postmodernist pottage.
Sociologically speaking, republicans represent the local branch plant managers and bureaucratic nodes of a transnational corporate state system ever more dependent upon the inscrutable workings of the divine economy. Having embraced the materialist religion of humanity, republicans rush to renounce their historical roots and traditional allegiances, thereby subverting the constitutionalist culture of mixed monarchy. Playing an important supporting role in the managerial revolution of our time, an all-pervasive, creeping republicanism is steadily deconstructing the fabric of British civilization.
We no longer publicly call upon God to save the Queen. The ritual absence of the monarch from everyday life is but one more sign that we are no longer a serious people. Forswearing the faith of our fathers, we surrender our bodies to the state and our souls to the gospel of wealth. In the end, a Patriot King may have to save us. Remember, though: a king is, indeed, like unto God;46 he cannot save those who will not save themselves.