Sunday, January 3, 2010

Tolkien 118

J.R.R. TolkienTwo years short of a dozen decades ago today, J.R.R. Tolkien was born.

Writes Vox Nova:

Tolkien chose monarchy as the form of government which most satisfied him because, looking to history and knowing how monarchies worked, he saw that monarchs rarely were concerned about the lives of ordinary people and let them therefore live, as they would like, as long as the people themselves did not organize themselves as a threat to the monarch’s power (despite what “democratic” propaganda might suggest). Again, the Shire presents this picture well, because the Shire existed in its anarchical state under the auspices of Gondor; the king in theory had authority to dictate laws, but in practice, rarely had the need to do so because the people of the Shire caused no major disruption when left to themselves. Tolkien thus understood that monarchies, by their very nature, tended to be more anarchical, and this makes sense, because there is, in theory, far less heads and people vying for (and claiming) power in a monarchy than in other forms of government.

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