Monarchy or Democracy?



A friend recently told me he never believed in democracy, and that a benevolent monarch would be a better choice any day. No, he is not a Marxist or fascist.

What do citizens need from candidates that reflects our love for our city?

The six forums that I witnessed were all similar. Every candidate elaborated on their special projects. Even when asked about the future, the answer was about their projects implemented then. The rest was reiterating status quo issues or political pawns like the village entrance or low cost housing with more intangible solutions. Can’t we work on these endless issues after the election anyway?

Where is Laguna’s charm and its preservation? Many leaders of this town delude themselves with outdated memories of what this town once was. They are calling it charm, art town and preservation of the good old life, which all seem to be only real in our minds. When I walk downtown, I see a town that does not seem to care for itself, not charm or anything to preserve. Similar, the canyon and much of Coast Highway looks like they have little juice left before they turn Laguna into a ghost town. Don’t look at their form, but what Dana Point and Corona del Mar have done recently, shows that they care about their town and how fast one can implement restoration. Why can Laguna’s leaders not adapt revamping the city in the same vein as they did with Heisler Park and the Montage?

The reason why we are stuck in our minds as in our traffic is that our opinions are reactive instead of proactive. Everyone in this town has an opinion, which is good, but without defining what one would like instead, those opinions are mostly duds. Yes, it is easier to focus on what we don’t want, but it keeps us relying on a memory of a Laguna whose time has past.

Citizens look to have something in common with the leader they vote for. It is even better when a leader has a vision that captures a future that the voter desires and wants to see implemented.

That’s why we have to start proactively start thinking about our future or get a benevolent monarch that makes decisions for us.

Michaell Magrutsche, Laguna Beach



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  1. “The reason why we are stuck in our minds as in our traffic is that our opinions are reactive instead of proactive.”

    I sarcastically disagree. Laguna Beach has the Village Entrance, a project it has wasted time and many millions of dollars on since the
    20th century.

    “That’s why we have to start proactively start thinking about our future or get a benevolent monarch that makes decisions for us.”

    Sadly, our BIGOTED City Manager, HERR Johnny Pietag thinks he is such
    a person, even though he runs a FACIST city government, hiring more bigots in his own image such as Chief LYING laura farinella, and sending his dog jeff calvert to the FBI academy.
    Sadly, there is no benevolent monarch, even though it sounds ideal.

  2. Michael

    Can you name one “benevolent monarch” who controls their county’s government? I think this is an ilyllic hope, not reality, equal to
    people saying the election of President Obama showed that racism in America was no longer a problem. Please name just one example.

    The term you used is usually stated as a “benevolent DESPOT”, which is another way of saying a nice dictator. Power corrupts and total power totaly corrupts ( look at Herr Johnny and his puppets in our city government, lying laura farinella leading the local Keystone Kops,
    and on Laguna’s city council) for contemporary proof.

    Who is the benevolent monarch you are thinking about, Michael?

    • Eli, it is a rhetorical thought about getting things done i.e. 50 plus years village entrance discussions, loss of Laguna’s artistic relevance only 6% visitors come for art and 88% for the beach and the fact that everyone is acting as everything is wonderful. We can’t move forard without recognizing “what is.” Sorry Eli for making this point not clearer.

  3. Michael

    Thank you for your response. I understand rhetorical.

    Good luck with your wishes in a town whose governmental loyalty is to Laguna’s malevolent despot, City Manage HERR johnny pietig, and NOT to it’s citizens.

  4. I can think of at least 1 example of the benevolent dictator: Lee Kwan Yew, founding MP of Singapore. He was known (died only last year) as a strong-man type leader who pulled the tiny city-state from 3rd world to 1st in 2 generations. World-class airline, world-class airport, transformation into one of Asia’s main financial hubs, the list goes on and on. So yes, the benevolent dictator model will show positive results in short order. But of course the flip side is that Singaporeans have had to give up on multi-party democracy, free-speech, free-association and many other privileges afforded by a liberal democracy (and before anyone jumps in, I know the Singaporean constitution claims to afford all of these rights to its citizens too, but these ‘rights’ are so severely ‘conditionalized’ and asterisk-ed that they are mere fig-leafs to give the appearance of a true democracy).
    So, voters in the US and Laguna Beach have to decide whether they are so fed up with ineffective government, back-door deals, obstructionism, etc. that they are willing to forego their established rights in return for progress under a non-democratic model.

    • I remember him, not his name, for banning chewing gum. Good idea for keeping a nice area nice, but a little weird. Good answer, especially using dictator instead of inherited Monarchy.

      My only guess for benevolent Monarch might be the royal family of Monaco, which Grace Kelly married into. This is only a guess because I
      am not positive about how they rule Monaco, or if the DO rule instead of having a governmental hierarchy that makes the laws.


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