Monarchy and Autonomous or Alternative Communities

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Unless the people themselves get to elect their own king, as was the case to a certain extent in the Nordic regions during the Iron Age, then on the surface, monarchy is incompatible with democracy. So are organisations that have no regard for the rest of society and therefore insist on creating their own undemocratic communities within the society at large.

Nonetheless, some of Europe's most stable democracies are also monarchies, so-called constitutional monarchies, in which the king or queen is officially head of state but has no political power in practical terms.

In several European countries, and in the United States and Canada, there are communities that isolate themselves from the wider society in order to form alternative societies. These could be religious or anarchist organisations that wish to promote their religion or ideology. Sometimes such coexistence has been peaceful; at other times violent confrontation with the constitutional state has been the result.

A common denominator for the monarchy and the alternative communities is that the boundaries for their autonomy have to be regulated rather strictly by the democracy. At the same time however, it is a sign of democratic good health when a democracy has the capacity to harbour them within itself, because it means that it is a strong democracy that is able to handle its own antithesis.


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