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Spain´s New King

July 2, 2014 in Economics

By David Howden


Over at Mises Canada, I discuss the crowning of Felipe VI as the King of Spain. Austrian economists are in a good position to understand the role of monarchy in the political system since Hans Hoppe has written extensively on the topic in his A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism. Among other things, Hoppe outlines the longer view that monarchs were able to take over their Kingdoms, in contrast to the short-sighted nature of today´s politicians.

In fact, Spain´s new King assumed the throne after his father exercised just one example of this strength.

How man politicians voluntarily leave their position for the “good of the party”? Richard Nixon famously resigned office rather than be embarrassingly impeached, but otherwise I´m hard-pressed to come up with an example in recent history.

In fact, King Juan Carlos I gave up the throne twice. This more recent abdication was foreshadowed (in a way) in 1976. After the demise of the Franco dictatorship, King Juan Carlos became ruler of Spain. To forestall another bloody civil war he gave his responsibilities to the Congress in order to save his Republic. (Not only that, the man he appointed as the first prime minister of the newly democratic Spain, Adolfo Suarez, was the leader of the Movimiento Nacional Party. It included members who voted against recognizing him as King.)

Say what you will about him as a man, I can´t think of too many elected politicians that voluntarily renunciate their powers for the good of their country. King Juan Carlos did it twice.

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