The Rise Of The Orthos

Most thinking conservatives believe that the modern West has gone off the deep end, and most of them also identify a particular historical event as the start, or at least the first major symptom, of this development. For many modern cultural conservatives, that event was the moral revolution of the 1960s; for some on the American right, it was the Civil Rights movement, the New Deal, or the end of the Civil War; and for certain counterrevolutionaries, it was the French Revolution.

But for a loose affiliation of conservative bloggers and authors who have recently taken to calling themselves “orthos”, the sources of our modern malaise lie farther back in time, and are more deeply embedded in our presuppositions and prejudices. Their critique of the modern Left is far more philosophically substantive and, for better or worse, far more radical than most of its competitors. Their main target is not postmodern relativism, redistributive left-liberalism, Frankfurt School cultural radicalism, or Marxian socialism; for although they deplore these things, they also regard them as mere symptoms of a deeper problem.

I pause here to note that it is difficult to summarize the orthos' beliefs succinctly. This is partly because of their often high level of philosophical abstraction, and partly because the orthosphere (the orthos' term for the network of blogs and websites they administer and write for) is a loose coalition of people who do not necessarily agree about everything. Still, I think the founding idea of the orthosphere can be fairly oversimplified into this sentence: “The problem with the modern world is modernity itself”. For the orthos, the philosophical core of modernity is the rejection of the Aristotelian-Catholic idea that there are objective essences and purposes in the world. Many of the orthos trace this idea back to the nominalism of late-Medieval scholastics like William of Ockham, although they would also argue that it did not culminate until the 18th century and the Enlightenment. In philosophy, this modern nominalism gave rise to the idea that the world consists of nothing but meaningless, purposeless matter, and thence to modern atheism, materialism, relativism, and finally the complete nihilism which today is increasingly engulfing America and Europe. In ethics and politics, it produced a worship of autonomy – the idea that every individual can and should define its own purpose and destiny, unfettered by tradition, authority, or higher truth – which became the founding idea of every modern political ideology, from the classical liberalism of Locke to the redistributive leftism of the modern state. (The American philosopher Edward Feser, while having given no indication that he considers himself part of the orthosphere, provides an excellent overview and critique of this modern anti-essentialism in his book The Last Superstition.)

This is a radical idea, and it entails a radical conservatism. The orthos reject the Enlightenment project entirely, and espouse many ideas that are unfashionable even on the Right, including theocracy, censorship, and absolute monarchy. Their ideology centers around the defense of particular loyalties and moral communities, of traditional authority, traditional morality, the monarchy, the patriarchal family, the ethnos, and the Church. Many of them draw inspiration from the throne-and-altar conservatism of counterrevolutionaries like Joseph de Maistre, Louis de Bonald, and Juan Donoso Cortés, and seek to rescue the Middle Ages from the historical scrapheap. Needless to say, orthodox Christianity is central to the their thinking (hence the name) – in fact, I have yet to come across an ortho who is not a traditionalist Catholic or a conservative Protestant.

But beyond the ideas, who are the orthos themselves? Although the term itself was only coined in late 2011, most of them have been active for much longer. My own introduction to the movement came in early 2010 through the blog Throne and Altar, “devoted to defending the legitimate authority of God, tradition, fathers, and kings against the diabolical partisans of freedom and equality”, which is run by an American Catholic who writes under the pen name Bonald, a reference to the 19th-century French counterrevolutionary. Considering that Bonald appears to have no formal education in most of the subjects he writes about, the breadth and erudition of his thinking is truly astounding. Of particular note is a series of essays, with titles such as “In Defense of Tradition” and “In Defense of the Patriarchal Family”, in which he ably explains and defends his basic ideas. Another American ortho is known as Proph, and runs Collapse: The Blog, which is devoted to “making sense of our ongoing social catastrophe”. Although he began his blogging career as “a Druckerian pseudoleftist” who was largely preoccupied with economics, Proph gradually moved to the Right and increased the scope of his writing, culminating in his recent (and still incomplete) conversion to Roman Catholicism. Also of note are the Australian Mark Richardson of Oz Conservative and Bruce Charlton, the author of the recent book Thought Prison, in the comments section of whose blog the term “orthosphere” was coined. While the American authors Lawrence Auster and James Kalb have not, to my knowledge, commented extensively on the phenomenon, their ideas are very similar to the orthos' in a number of ways, and are frequently cited with approval by the orthos themselves.

It is ironic that virtually all of the orthos come from the English-speaking world, since many of the ideas they oppose are British or American in origin. They themselves appear to be well aware of this irony. In an essay entitled “Can there be an American conservatism?”, Bonald contradicts virtually everyone else on the American Right and strongly repudiates the Founding Fathers, whom he describes as «liberals who hated tradition and piety» and «traitors who deserved to be hanged». (However, he goes on to caution that while Americans should reject – and indeed, in practice, have rejected – the radical liberalism of the Founders, they should still revere their symbolic role as fathers of the nation.) Bonald goes against the grain in other ways as well – for example, he is less hostile to Islam than many others on the Right, and has even suggested that American and European conservatives might benefit from an alliance with socially conservative Muslims.

It would be wrong, though, to think of the orthos as mere iconoclasts. For one thing, they themselves would reject the label – they are, after all, self-described authoritarians who see no inherent value in dissent and radical change. For another, their arguments and ideas, which I have not done justice in this article, are far too serious and substantive to be labeled so glibly. We may disagree with them, but we can not dismiss them. And although they are mostly American, British, and Australian, their thoughts are in many ways inherited from the European Right. Agree with them or not, those thoughts may provide just the intellectual reinvigoration we on the continent need.

Geert Wilders


Instead of debating whether protestantism or any other form of Christianity appears to be 'the best one' (whatever that may signify!), I like to throw Geert Wilders new blog ( into discussion. I have no doubts, that Christian moral does not play any concern to Wilders, whereas this blog may not survive much time on an open forum like the internet. Yet, considering BJs history, I am much interested whether the readers/commentators will come forward with some explanation. Does THE WEST depreciate the East as such as it is, do we not accept Eastern persons in our midths, do we really fear for our jobs (and the protestant morality which lays behind this), or do we realize the failure of our economic policies and do fear, whatsoever, alien involvement?

Common sense in short supply

In principle there is nothing wrong with seeking information on real-life 'problems', such as crime, illegal ("black market") labor practices, etc....The more important question is how authorities should deal with the information thus obtained or revealed.  In my opinion, they should insist on 'rule of law' and not tolerate illegal behavior by anyone, and especially not by foreigners.    

It is utterly nonsensical to talk in this specific context (as opposed to a general one) about "the failure of our economic policies" without specifying what is meant by that.  Again, in principle, if the presence of foreign workers can say anything at all about "economic policies", it is that such policies are worse in the home countries of these workers than in their host country.  Their very presence in a host country is indicative of that.  People in general do NOT seek employment in countries with worse economic policies than their home country.   This is just common sense, which the previous commentator does not seem to possess.      

curious common sense

"... if the presence of foreign workers can say anything at all about "economic policies", it is that such policies are worse in the home countries of these workers than in their host country." It seems marcfrans wants to stop all migration, the travel industrie will be alarmed!

@ kappert

Like everybody you have your good and your bad days.

This was a catastrophic day for you.

First you didn't understand marcfrans at all.

Second marcfrans himself is a migrant.



Maybe you're right - it's Carneval. I suppose most of us are migrants, people having grandmother living in the same village are quite rare, but I stumbled on the 'economic reason' of migration. I know a lot of migrants leaving their home country out of curiosity, social binding and search for work. The idea that migrants want to get rich in a foreign country, seems to be a fairytale. By the way, marcfrans did not comment on Wilders' 'central and eastern Europe' bashing - I'm still waiting for some explanation.

,@ kappert

Because of my life I know thousands of migrants and NONE, absolutely NONE of them migrated out of curiosity.

Social binding as excuse for migration is something you really have to explain to me.

ALL the migrants I know did it for economic reasons.

Nobody wants to migrate without a certain economic benefit.

Your Wilders question to marcfrans is for him to answer you, if he wants to.


@ Traveller

1) My first paragraph provided a sensible answer to the "Wilders question", at least that was my intention.   If that wasn't clear enough, I put the blame squarely with the original questioner, who does not excel in asking 'clear' questions.   I bet you that 3 different readers could easily interpret his "Wilders question" in 3 different ways.   Asking good/clear questions presupposes clear thinking. 

2) It is probably true that most migrants do it (primarily) for "economic reasons".  But, surely not all!  Many do it for NONeconomic reasons. Sometimes for positive reasons, e.g. for 'love', or for seeking greater freedom; and sometimes for negative reasons like 'running for dear life' (in unfree societies).   As you stated, I am a migrant too, but "economic reasons" had INITIALLY little to do with it.  Over time, though, economic reasons can become of greater importance in many individuals' lifes, and can become increasingly hard to separate from other considerations.              


I cannot resist to recall that human beings have more in common with a Chimpanze than with mud or clay (allegedly God built Adam out of that). It may be noted that nature equipped most living beings with a male and female component. God needed some time to notice that (as least the Roman Fairy Tale called Bible says so). The question whether human societies should resemble a fish swarm (communism) or a lonely predator (monarchy) may be discussed continuously ...

@ kappert

You seem to have forgotten that Darwinist evolution is also claiming that we all started as some type of mud or clay with a lot of acids in it.

Chimpanzee and human and everything else.

orthodoxy and law

I have time to mention one other point that could be of interest; it is certainly germane to the topic, especially in keeping with my other brief comment. When considering “orthodoxy” (I am happy that Professor Bertonneau defined what is meant by the term: I was exactly unsure of its meaning within the present context) we may turn to A Discussion of Jurisprudence: Naturalism v. Positivism, a seminar featuring both Leo Strauss and Russell Kirk, among others (the article can be found in a freely downloadable form with a proper Web search) .

Strauss discusses a prevalent but non-classical and non-traditional modern-day political orthodoxy, and then contrasts it with similar and dissimilar views.  Here, orthodoxies are based upon either an intrinsic rightness or, today, a more popular democratic majoritarian view-a view that may or may not turn on normative judgments.

Categories distinguished are various relativisms highlighted in positive law; pragmatism claiming an ethical base, but a base grounded in variable “customs and impulses;” rational idealism positing universally valid standards, but not within a metaphysical notion of natural ends (or Aristotelian-Thomistic teleology)-here I believe he refers to Kantian pure reason; and finally the earlier natural law theories, where the end is contained within the very essence of a thing.

For his part, Russell Kirk highlights a human dignity grounded in “a source more than human” when speaking of the human nature.

orthotic modernity

I've not heard the “ortho” terminology, although these arguments can and should be taken seriously. They are certainly not “new” arguments, but are often rarely discussed. First, the material is rather arcane for public debate, and second, generally we are wont to accuse more contemporary problems as the basis of our discontent.

I am reminded of a 1941 essay (On German Nihilism) by the bane of both “conservatives” and “liberals,” Leo Strauss. In this seminar address to the Graduate Faculty of the New School, Professor Strauss, in what was actually a more “relaxed” critique of Carl Schmitt's Concept of the Political, points to the idea that modern nihilism, the rejection of civilization, is in fine a reaction against modernity, albeit a reaction without a clear understanding of purpose. The lack of a clear purpose is due to the poverty of thought existing within the academy from those teachers unable to adequately understand modernity and its genesis, or confront either its intellectual foundation (Enlightenment thinking) or its subsequent intellectual critique (Rousseau and Nietzsche, the former standing in relation to 1789 as the latter to 1932). Certainly one must not be too literal, but as Strauss wrote: “...interpreting Nietzsche in the light of the German revolution, one is very unjust to Nietzsche, but one is not absolutely unjust.” [italics in original]

Strauss to a point agrees with Nietzsche's criticism of the Enlightenment and pre-Enlightenment English derived intellectual influence (Hobbes, Newton, Locke, Hume), but then states that Nietzsche “forgot” to consider the English “prudence to conceive of the modern ideals as a reasonable adaptation of the old and eternal ideal of decency [and] rule of law...” Ironically, the moral rejection of modernity and the modern project's establishment of a Bergsonian open society resulted in an immoral vulgar regime.

The roots of the modern project can be seen metaphsically in epistemological nominalism, and the current political liberal project can be traced back at least to Thomas Hobbes. The medieval schoolmen were Christians. Hobbes, one would doubt, given his materialist psychology.

On the “Orthos”

Herr Sellanraa, who has done us a service by broaching the topic, is quite right that the “Orthos” are a quirky lot.  “Ortho” is a foreshortening of “orthodox” or “orthodoxy,” but oddly enough among those who advocate against modernity for a revival (as it is possible) of an older, “orthodox” view of life, and I count myself among them, there is a variety of thinking.  The contrast with the left-liberal faction could hardly be greater, for it is there that one finds rigid, formulaic doctrine, sloganeering, really, and a conformism that is dehumanizing.  The case of the “Orthos” and the American Founding Fathers points up the individuality of “Ortho” thought.  Two years ago Marc Huybrechts and I had a long exchange at The Brussels Journal the gist of which was that we agreed to trace contemporary American liberal-totalitarianism not from the “Virginia Gentlemen” (the Founders), but from the Puritan Colony in Massachusetts, a theocracy.  I would add to Sellanraa’s description of the “Orthos” one or two specifics: That among the authors from whom the “Orthos” take orientation, Eric Voegelin is central – they have largely taken their critique of modernity from his New Science of Politics and Order and History; also, as it seems to me, the “Orthos” tend to have Catholic and Jewish backgrounds more than they tend to have Protestant backgrounds.

re: on the orthos

Indeed, Mr Sellenraa has provided a useful service for, surely, there are other TBJ readers (including myself) who know very little about "orthos".  And Tom Bertonneau has, once again, provided a guidepost by emphasizing the centrality of Eric Voegelin in this regard.  My knowledge on the latter subject is so deficient that I could not possibly engage him again in another "long exchange" on this matter. 

If it's true that Orthos espouse ideas like theocracy, censorship and absolute monarchy, then - at a superficial level - they seem not very different from contemporary Western illiberal leftism.  It appears to be just a different form of intolerance, but an equal rejection of the Enlightenment and modernity.  As mpresley points out, Leo Strauss saw modern nihilism as "a reaction against modernity".   

In Traveller's comments, I find a description or a view of modernity with which I can agree, i.e. modernity is about individual freedom and (legal and moral) equality of all within a political community.  And I would define the latter as a polity with a common civic culture and/or 'political religion'.  

The American Revolution was a rejection of absolute monarchy, and the Virginia Gentlemen among the Founding Fathers were primarily concerned with the curtailment of absolute power, not just the politically powerful of the (then recent) past, but especially the powerful-to-be in the future.  Needless to say, much of contemporary American liberalism has forgotten that.  

Bertonneau's (empirical) observation that orthos are less likely to have protestant backgrounds is not surprising.  After all, protestantism was rooted in a reaction against religious power concentration.   The subsequent decline of many protestants  into their own (new) forms of intolerance says something about the eternal human condition, i.e. that modernity may remain something of an unattainable or at least unsustainable goal.  Which is not to say that we should not keep trying...        

Modernity is not whatever you like


Actually,  Modernity is about individualism and rights, but also about totalitarianism. and also about scientism, and also is about antihuman ecologism. and so on. You can not isolate your "good Modernity", that you advocate, from the "bad Modernity" that others, for example, the left, advocate, because this time is this time as a whole, and in fact your good modernity has too much in common with the bad modernity. In fact your good modernity is contradictory in its own terms, since  a " common civic culture and/or 'political religion'" implies very strong limits to "individual freedom and (legal and moral) equality" . Ihe reconciliation of both in the same phrase demands weak thinking.  And weak thinking is, in ithself, a sign of our time. The Greek Philosophers or the medieval Fathers  of the Curch would laugh at this definition. To beging with what you consider bad, without some degree of authority, loyality and censorship there is no society possible. Not to mention moral inequality. Do you agree to tolerate the promotion of  pedophilia? Poligamy? Terrorism?

The enlightemment gave us all the kinds of modernity, weither you like it or not.  Western Liberal Leftism is his most direct political son. If you molest yourself in looking at the sequence of historical facts, the Act II of Enligthenment,  the French Revolution, was not exactly a rejection of Enlightenment, but the desire of its triumph by totalitarian means.  And this is the true nature of modernity.  

The most cogent study of modernity I know is, thanks to Mr Bertonneau, from Voegelin. 

Modernity is unsatisfaction with the real state of things and the desire of  inmanent (in this life) salvation trough wathever fashionable idea. The modern despise the past and is in search of novelties that could transport oneself or the society to the eden. From new tecnologies, to new politics, new sciences or new anti-age products, diets, cults. After the "revelation" of the new "thing"  the modern initiates a "revolution", either a personal revolution or a collective one. A bloody one or a "change" where the nonbelievers are condemned to social death. Enligntenment was the "revelation" for the french revolutionaries.  Technophyles live for the next technological revolution. In the middle, eugenesism gave up Nazism etc. As Voegelin says, the suffix "ism" was invented ih the XVIII century. 

But humans and the human society can not be reinvented. Humans and human societies, like all natural things, are given. Modernity is a rejection of human nature and human society. Is the desire of reinvent ourselves, and the belief that this is possible, Paradoxically, it implies the rejection of a rational study of man  and society "as is" while indulges in its transformation without proper previously adquired knowledge. Thus, modernity is dominated by viscerality and sentimentalism, the only driving force when prudence before the unknown  is rejected.




@ Memetic warrior

I assume you were addressing me, and I agree that modernity is not "whatever you like", where "you" could stand for anyone really.  Did anyone claim such a thing?  I talked about A VIEW (about modernity) that I liked or could agree with, which is not exactly the same thing.   Frankly, I find such semantic sparring rather boring. 

You mention a variety of 'loaded' phenomena/opinions (totalitarianism, scientism, "weak thinking", "Western liberal leftism",   etc...) which have historically occurred AFTER the Enlightenment. In some sense, then, one could say that they are "fruits, political sons, etc..." of the Enlightenment.  However, surely you canNOT think that such or similar phenomena did not occur before the Enligthenment in the pre-modern world?  Totalitarianism may be a 'modern' word, and we think of Stalin and Mao and Saddam and Hitler etc... as totalitarian leaders, but do you really think such totalitarian leaders did not exist before the Enlichtenment?  Absolute power was NOT an invention of the Enlightenment.    

I read your characterisations of "modernity" in your last paragraph with interest, and detect great dissatisfaction on your part with the world "as is" in the sense of the world today.  However, I think that much of what you say appllies equally to the pre-modern world and  does not enable for a clear distinction between modern and pre-modern.  So I would make a plea for flexibility, imagination, and tolerance of diverging interpretations of what "modernity" SHOULD mean, even if it actually means something else in your mind.   Or, in other words, I find a 'positive' definition of modernity a rather hopeless undertaking, and prefer to stick to my (or Traveller's) normative definition.   

Frankly, I feel a bit insulted that you would ask me a rethorical question like..."Do you agree to tolerate the promotion of  pedophilia? Poligamy? Terrorism?"... At the same time, I can assure you (with great certainty) that such phenomena occurred in both modern and pre-modern times.  Perhaps, you have a problem with human nature "as is", just as much as the moderns (of your imagination) do.

Totalitarianism is the radical form of Modernity



Wether totalitarism has happened before the Totalitarian regimes depend on how weakly it is defined. 

In the limit, under a weak  -modern- definition, everithing that is not dead is potentially totalitarian. Under a more precise definition,  if Modernity is the affirmation of Reason as good   and the diminish of Tradition as evil.  then totalitarianism is the logical consequence of Modernity.  Because only under Modernity  the claim of having Reason and good motives  gives the iIluminated the right to reshape man and society acconding with its will, even by force without regard for tradition. According with this definition, totalitarianism had never happened until Modernity.

On the contrary, even the power of the absolute monarchies or, if you like, the Egyptian Pharaons were constrained by religion and other traditions, The higuest authority over political authority were God or goods and the sacred books (that acted as true, original constitutions). The traditional institutions acted as limits of power.  Every society has had a system of power control, contrary to what modern mentality posits. Except the totalitarian regimes.  

I do not say that every society is the same. Some societies work better that others, but even Islam has worked for 1400 years while Comunism and Fascism lasted for less than a century. Tradition is a collection of best practices, "those things that work in a certain society under a certain environment".  Ancient rulers had to conform to tradition and traditional institutions. Such tradition include knowledge about what  is good government, what is bad and what happens with bad rulers, among others. Traditions and values are the congenital and adquired knowledge incorporated in the societies and in the minds of men in the form of common sense, transported by sacred books, oral traditions and genes produced as results of by the historical   processes of social and biological evolution. That knowledge is not only diminished but attacked under totalitarian regimes , but also is diminished and very ofte attacked by Modernity in general.

If the ruling class diminish tradition, the society will fail just because human reason can only cope with very little amount of information and the sciences accumulates very incomplete knowledge specially about what is more important for the life of Man in society. The inexorable failure of Modernity happens specially fast with totalitarianism, that is the radical form of modernity. Under a liberal democracy, the survival of society will depend only on the degree in which people respect tradition and common sense.


Qualified agreement

 @ memetic warrior

Instead of continuing a semantic discussion, I will express qualified agreement with your last sentence, i.e. that... Under a liberal democracy, the survival of society will depend only on the degree in which people respect tradition and common sense.".  Qualified, because I would remove the word "only" from your perceptive sentence.  

At the same time, I think that my contention that...modernity is about individual freedom and (legal and moral) equality of all within a political quite compatible with your emphasis on "tradition and common sense".

Few comments

The problem I have with your argument is, I guess, that the enlightenment and the resulting utopians seems nothing more to me than christianity without any symbolism, without churches, without remembrance of the glories of Rome. The focus is on the weak, traditionalism has to be, in my mind, about strength, glory, fire, in short: it´s about inequality, hundreds of hierarchies between individuals and groups of individuals, everyone trying to climb up at least a few one. The scriptures have not much to offer in this respect, catholicism on the other hand offers at least some solutions.

Having said that, pagans like me and christians will have to work together anyway in order to survive, so I´m surely going to check out some of the suggested websites.

Oh, and coming from Austria, I can only confirm the argument about monarchy. That my people cast out the Habsburgs has to be a candidate for the most stupid move in european history, just think about it: On one side the tale of a dynasty that ruled significant parts of the world, chased the turks off the balcans, had a continuity of about 800 years, on the other side a nation that has a modern definition of itself as "We are not part of the germanic Nazi-gang", gee, what pride, what symbolism! People from all over the world come to see imperial Vienna, not Mauthausen.



Living in Belgium under a parasitical self-defending monarchy, I really cannot see the philosophical pattern which leads to the defense of a monarchy.

But that is a minor objection, I have a much bigger problem with total conservatism notwithstanding the fact that I am a partial conservative myself.

15.000 years ago something happened in Sumer and complicated thinking processes, writing, reading, calculating, complicated designing all started.

The most important part for the human beings of that time was their mythology which led to development of laws and the creation of nations. The nation was subservient to the King and formed a tightly knit unit.

Further development over 15.000 years brought us more intellectual development and better education.

The thinking individuals started to want more personal freedom and that idea was reinforced by Jezus who gave a path of total individual freedom. The Catholic Church twisted that around for many centuries, replacing the worldly power of the Roman emperors.

But the basic teachings of Christ about freedom of choice and equality for every human being are still the most important ones as far as I am concerned.

Which leads me to the simple conclusion that tradition, old morals etc. etc. are good in as far as they support individual freedom and development and freedom of choice, together with equality for all.

In that respect monarchy and Islam are disasters, as well as global government, United Europe, United North America and all kinds of global block forming where the individual drowns completely.

I am absolutely opposed to the central power idea in all its forms and want individual freedom in small units.

Next comes the development of our "God Idea" or "Who created us and in that case Who is our Creator?". We are absolutely nowhere in that direction and because we are nowhere we tend to ignore it as a fairy tale, inventing all kinds of excuses to avoid thinking about it. At the same time we forget that the idea of a Creator and a God has led us to where we are today, after 4 million years of misery and darkness.

Something happened 15.000 years ago and as long as we don't understand what happened and what drove humanity to burst on the intellectual scene, we are nowhere.

The moment we do understand what happened we will know where we are going, which for the moment is dubious and totally opaque. Hence the many wars and power games under all kinds of excuses.

To conclude, yes some conservative morals are good, but no any central power is unacceptable, because we are ignorant human beings who have no clue where we are going and until we understand ourselves and our origins we have no choice but stay totally individually free.

It's better to research our sources and origins with an open mind, keeping in mind that it definitely happened in Sumer first, than to stick to old traditions which didn't survive the human development towards individual freedom. If one forgot, that's why monarchism and Marxism failed and that's why US and European imperialism will fail.

I packed probably too many ideas in one short comment but that's my eternal problem.


Thanks for this very interesting article.  I see I will have to revise my self-image as a right-winger.  A republic governed by the most suitable governing class, literate males with property, still seems to me the best form of government, at least for the United States, and generally superior to a factional oligarchy armed with the shield and sword of legitimacy, aka, a monarchy.  So, three cheers for the Founders! 

Acton thought that constitutional monarchy was better equipped than democracy to defend civil rights.  Our British and Dutch friends have managed to prove him wrong.

RE: Orthos


I'm glad you found the article thought-provoking. As I said, the orthos hold a wide variety of views, and not all of them are neccesarily absolute monarchists. Lawrence Auster's stance on the Founders, for example, is very similar to yours, and I myself am also inclined to view them a bit more favorably than Bonald. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, and the fact that the United States is still arguably better off than Europe -- though it still has its share of problems, of course -- seems to indicate that the Founders were not completely off-base.

Monarchy, though, is also a fine political system when it works properly. (If you haven't already done so, read the essay on Throne and Altar entitled "In Defense of Monarchy".) The problem with Britain and the Netherlands (I'd also add Scandinavia to the list) is not their monarchist systems, but the fact that the monarchs there have become impotent puppets of the Leftist elites.