The Dutch king has to throw toilet bowls to entertain Dutch peasants
Something trivial for today. It’s increasingly starting to look like the Dutch monarchy is going to be abolished, with the whole thing ending after Willem Alexander calls it quits. I don’t like this, even though the Dutch king has done nothing to earn my sympathy. I enjoy monarchies, they make the world a more interesting place.
The monarchy is criticized for being unequal. It’s thought that the whole concept of being born as a king doesn’t fit our society anymore. And I agree, but I consider our society to be an attempt at building hell on Earth, so anything that doesn’t fit into our society must have a virtue of sorts. So it is for monarchy. I like monarchy, precisely because it is unequal and unjustifiable.
Unless you think there’s a reason Willem Alexander was born into this position he was born into, the whole thing is fundamentally not justifiable. And with nobody, including Willem Alexander himself, still seriously arguing that human beings are born into a particular womb for reasons beyond our understanding, the whole thing becomes indefensible and bound to die.
The real problem here is that our society has replaced power based on mysticism, with power based on the will of the masses, which we consider reasonable and fair. We still believe that God decides who is destined to reign over a nation, but we have redefined God to mean the general public. And so rather than Willem Alexander’s position being a product of the will of God, it becomes interpreted as an aberration, an obstruction to God’s will.
We’re not going to save the monarchy, unless we get rid of one idea: That everyone is born equal. This is the fundamental error we’re dealing with, an idea we take for granted that nobody can ever prove. It’s clear that none of the people in this country consider pigs to be equal to humans, the people happily shove them into the gas chamber to make money. But when it comes to human beings, as soon as they fall out of the birth canal they’re seen as fundamentally on equal footing. To ask for any sort of justification for this mentality, to ask why we need to treat everyone as equal, enrages people.
As long as Willem Alexander adjusts to this mentality, as long as he continues trying to fit his role into the system, he erodes what little chance he has left of saving the position he inherited. He wants to be a “people’s king”. He doesn’t want to be known as Willem IV. He shows up once a year to participate in some silly games in some village somewhere, but beyond that he mostly wants to enjoy his luxury lifestyle with his family. He pretends he likes the satirical voice-overs people make about him for TV, or worse, he genuinely enjoys being laughed at.
But the more you adjust to the will of the people, the more you start to seem like just another guy to them. And as you start to seem like just another guy, your position becomes increasingly indefensible and irritating to them. We can tolerate people’s power over us, when they genuinely appear powerful to us. When they cease to feel powerful to us, their power over us becomes an annoyance.
The family wants to hold onto their position of privilege, I doubt they genuinely still believe in the myth that gave birth to the monarchy themselves, so they look for other ways to justify their position. And like many powerful and privileged families, they blend in like chameleons, they try to justify their position based on whatever the new dominant ideology happens to be.
If the Americans conquer your country, you’re genius businessmen. If the Soviets conquer your country, you’re just really good at hauling coal out of a mine. In our case, the Dutch royal family is just really good at being woke. The niece of the Dutch king “explained the BLM movement to her parents” and explained “why you really can’t say blue lives matter”.
And of course, as we live in a meritocracy, the Dutch royal family also just happens to be extremely competent. The Dutch heir Amalia had to promise her parents to stop getting such high grades in school, or so we’re told.
So rather than their position being based on God’s divine will, they now try to justify their position based on being woke and good at school. This is a natural human instinct, we generally try to frame our own position as a product of pursuing the values our society endorses.
If you live in a tiny house and ride a bicycle, you don’t tell people it’s because you don’t have any money. You definitely don’t tell them you don’t have any money because you prefer smoking weed over a 40 hour cubicle job. No, you tell them it’s because you value ecological sustainability. And if you’re part of a wealthy powerful family, it’s seductive to tell us it’s because you just happen to be woker and better at getting high grades than the rest of us.
But this doesn’t work in the long run. If you constantly have to make concessions to egalitarianism, the end result will be that your position becomes an unjustifiable eyesore to people. The Dutch monarchs have constantly made such concessions, it now threatens the end of their dynasty.
The only way out of this march towards oblivion, is to reject the fundamental notion that is eroding their position: Equality. You can either endorse people’s egalitarian notions, which will lead you to be seen as a hypocrite clinging onto undeserved wealth, or you can reject egalitarianism.
The reason monarchies work, is because of mysticism. The claim to power has to be based on something that humans can’t prove or disprove, on something we can only believe in. And then the task of the monarch becomes to aid us in sustaining our suspension of disbelief.
If the king acts like he’s an ancient tourist attraction who has to play games with the peasants and whose position is justified based on GDP growth from trade delegations, then the whole thing will die. If, like Elisabeth in the UK, the king acts like he has to suffer under a kind of divine obligation placed upon him, then the monarchy will survive as long as the ocean doesn’t swallow this place.
There’s talk of ending the Dutch monarchy, the Scandinavian monarchies aren’t doing any better. But nobody ever wanted to kick Lizzy out of her throne room. And the reason for that is really really simple: She preserved an aura of mysticism. Like the oldest monarchs in the history books, she was only half human, the other half a mythological being.
Lizzy still had to suffer indignities, the mythological being had to hang out on video with another mythological being (Paddington bear), but that’s the sort of price you pay for having a son who claims he didn’t have sex with a 17 year old because he has a genetic inability to sweat. That’s the sort of scandal that would now immediately end the Dutch monarchy, the British monarchy’s ability to survive that shows how good Lizzy was at her job.
Ultimately, mysticism isn’t just a blunt tool for the monarch to preserve his dynasty however. It’s also the main appeal of monarchy for the general public. We go along with this, because there’s comfort to be had from the idea that we’re not just subject to the dictates of power hungry charismatic climbers. It’s a comforting idea, that a principle as fundamental in life as power is not under human will.
And personally, I don’t mind inequality. What I do mind, is modern meritocratic inequality. It leaves you forever stuck with the haunting idea that if you have the right college degree, if you have sufficient charisma, if you’re willing to lie to the general public and offer promises you can’t keep, then you can rule a nation. What I mind is the “that could’ve been me” model of inequality, which leads to endless competition for status and thus to burnouts and overall misery. I don’t mind the “this is my station in life” model of inequality, which destroys any incentive to overexert yourself.
When we have no way to escape our status as humble proles, then we can at least demand a dignified situation as proles. But in today’s society that doesn’t happen, because if you live as a prole, you’re taught to see it as your own fault: You’re not a member of an oppressed proletariat, you studied the wrong thing in college, you bought the wrong stock, you didn’t work enough overtime.
I’d rather live in a society where I have absolutely zero chance of escaping the factory line, along with everyone else at the factory line, as that means people stop imagining they can escape the mediocrity on their own initiative.
Socialism died once people were led to believe their children could simply get high grades and become doctors and lawyers. And just as the proletariat was taught to stop thinking of itself as born into their situation, the aristocracy was taught to stop thinking of itself as born into theirs.
I want the Dutch king to save his throne, because that means at least the highest most prestigious position in society will not be subject to a zero sum competition among status hungry caffeine addicted corporate climbing narcissists. The prime minister is always just a glorified bureaucrat at the end of the day.