Saturday, May 31, 2008

Not the Cutty kind

The island of Sark has been forced by the EU to give up its monarchy. From Count Robert Décsey von Deés.

Constitutional Monarchy

Andrew Cusack urges Her Majesty not to sign the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. Constitutional monarchs are expected to sign whatever madness the elected officials take it into their heads to pass. Mr. Cusack discusses the precedents over the last century of constitutional monarchs refusing.

Theodore at Royal World, however, points out that this generally results in their being exiled. I would prefer to keep the constitutional monarchs in the Palace until they are restored to their proper function.

Tea, dammit.

I just came across this bit of quintessential Britishness in Marvin Liebman's Coming Out Conservative. It's about British comedienne Hermione Gingold:

"I always thought of Hermione during the war as the epitome of British pluck. When she walked to the theater during a bombing raid, she would simply unfurl her umbrella and carry on, certain that she would be shielded from any bomb."

English Tradition

Anger as Labour's 'petty vandals' strip Black Rod of half his powers

Labour was accused of "petty parliamentary vandalism" last night over a decision to strip Black Rod, the personal attendant of the Queen in the Lords, of his historic powers.

The current holder of the 658-year-old post, Lieutenant General Sir Michael Willcocks, is being forced to quit the job two years earlier than expected ? and his successor will have only half his powers.

Masters of the loonyverse: One writer's search for England's greatest eccentric

How I Joined The Tiny Monarchist Conspiracy And Found Inner Peace

When I first started seriously following current events and taking part in grassroots politics some years back, I discovered that political involvement is pretty much a recipe for manic depression. That's regardless of where you are on the spectrum. Today you'll be elated that Proposition X was defeated and Senator Jones elected; two days later you'll be downcast because Proposition Y was defeated and Senator Smith got elected.

It didn't help that I saw much graver reasons for despair. Like most conservatives of any variety, I believe that it was in the 1960's that things really went to hell. Oh, it took decades (one could argue, centuries) of corruption to make the 60's possible, but that's when the weeds took over the garden. I was born in 1970, which meant that my teachers and the parents of my classmates came of age and went to college during the most morally depraved era of American history. Even as a small child, I instinctively recoiled from the bad morals the adults were shoving down my generation's throat. I doubt most of them really understood what they were doing, but the zeitgeist of the time was so effective that they didn't have to; in the classroom, they would present historical or current events in a way that would plant the seeds for appeasement policies when we were old enough to vote, and then on the playground, they would cheerfully watch as three or four of the biggest boys chose a smaller child to beat up on. I am unfortunately not surprised to read articles about British subjects being arrested for using Imperial measures or for making remarks which someone pretended to misinterpret as racist, while violent criminals are given at most a good talking to. That is precisely the kind of discipline I saw at the schools I attended, so I can't even be shocked.

(Things would probably have been better had I been living in a small town, those being notoriously slower to shed their values, or had I attended a parochial school, but my parents were not religious and were rather startled to see my strong innate urge to be religious manifesting itself without any encouragement from them.)

I have always been, and still am, intensely patriotic. Unfortunately, for a long time I did not merely love my country and its spirit, I also believed that its institutions were the best possible. But all around me I saw deep-set corruption, ranging from a ruinous welfare system and a constantly shifting foreign policy to schools that cannot even prevent eight-year-old boys from beating up their female classmates.

So far as I could see, the best possible system would work for a few generations before its founders' spoiled great-great-grandchildren ruined it. Like the pessimist in the old joke, I didn't believe we were living in the best of all possible worlds, I knew it. It seemed to me futile to even try reforming things, since history showed that a republic will just mess things up again a century down the road.

When "progressive" Americans don't like what's going on, they threaten to move to Canada or one of the more left-wing nations of Europe. They almost never actually do so, of course, but they say it all the time. But when a conservative American is disgruntled, where can she threaten to move to? I am already in what is probably the most conservative nation on the planet. (Which, considering that we're the ones who spawned Woodrow Wilson and that it was here that the European Frankfort School incubated, is quite ironic.)

Seeing clearly what is wrong with America today while simultaneously believing that republic is the best form of government is ample cause for despair. I used to say, sincerely, that there are only two forms of government: bad, and worse. I was very grateful that my country had a bad one.

Thank goodness I eventually figured out what should have been clear all along: that there is a form of government which has stood the test of time, which has a far better record of withstanding the naturally corrupt tendencies of mankind, and which, by the way, has eventually supplanted every republic in history. When I search for websites about monarchism, I often come across blithe statements that it would be impossible for the world to ever go back to monarchy now that it has experienced the ecstatic wonders of elected government. I have to smile. So too did the Romans, Greeks and French revolutionaries once say.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Understatement of the decade.

Trading a monarch for a Maoist may backfire on Nepal

Ya think?

Monarchist faces execution

May 29, 2008: Monarchist reportedly faces imminent execution in Tehran. Dr. Forood Fouladvand, a self-styled monarchist who disappeared along with two associates on the Turkish border with Iran on Jan. 17, 2007, now faces imminent execution by the Iranian authorities, Iranian exiles in London tell FDI. According to these sources, Dr. Fouladvand will be executed tomorrow. "He is like the Robert Spencer of Iran," one supporter in London said. "He has been studying Islamic texts and using them to convince people to leave Islam" on radio and satellite television broadcasts from London.

Dr. Fouladvand heads a group called Anjomane Padeshahi Iran (API), the Kingdom Assembly of Iran, which advocates restoration of the constitutional monarchy abolished by the Islamic Republic in 1979. He had gone to Iran, apparently lured by promises from an opposition group that was either infiltrated by the regime or that had been cooped by the regime. Fouladvand was traveling with a fake passport under the name of Jahangir Irani and disappeared along with two supporters, identified on his website as Simorgh and Kouroshe Lor.


Hat tip: Gates of Vienna.

Kings without Thrones

What do monarchs do next?

We do not yet know what King Gyanendra is going to do, but the article speculates and discusses what other deposed monarchs have done over the past century. Very informative article.

I gather King Gyanendra was not a very good king (I haven't read much on him so I can't really say), but I can only think of two Americans who respond to bad presidents by saying, "We shouldn't have any more presidents!" and I am one of them. I am living in dread of this November.

Godfrey Bloom is one of my heroes.

Godfrey Bloom: A brave new world that restricts our rulers

AS a regular speaker at schools and universities, one of the regular questions I ask young people is in what kind of world would they wish to live.

It is a particularly difficult question because being a student is a highly protected occupation. It is difficult to avoid the "motherhood and apple pie" answer.

Until relatively recently, we have lived in a fairly free society. Before the Great War, a gentleman could travel all over the world with just a visiting card. He could set up a business with almost no interference. Some of the great national icons, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury's and Boots, were created from nothing. There was a concept of public service, duty and tolerance that we can only dream of today.

Mr. Bloom also, on the subject of the EU's new £3 million rival to Facebook, said, “They must have more money than sense – but it’s not their money, it’s ours.”

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Spoof article

Alas, the below is not true. And even aside from the obvious fiction, there's piles of historical inaccuracies which would have made a better satire if they'd been corrected.

MPs vote to reestablish autocratic monarchy, public beheading

Britain is to become the world's newest dictatorship, ending centuries of contentious parliamentary rule and the farce of a purely ornamental monarchy.

At a special assembly meeting in the Commons yesterday, MPs overwhelmingly voted to abolish themselves and reestablish the traditional glory and tyranny of the British Crown and Empire.

The proposal has now moved to the House of Lords and a vote is expected by the weekend.

Specially trained Royal guards wearing the Queen's colours across their flak jackets have been reassigned to Westminster in preparation for the upcoming vote to assure that any debate on the floor makes the best use of time and that no misunderstandings occur.

The approved proposal states that Britain and all her dominions, past and present, is hereafter and forever "an independent, indivisible, sovereign, autocratic and essentially neo-fascist nation heading a far-flung regime dedicated to pillaging and the exploitation of indigenous populations."

Only four members of the assembly opposed the change, and have since been reported missing by their families.

Royal privileges "will immediately and automatically become entirely unchecked, reinstating such nostalgic monarchal powers as the right to condemn subjects to execution without trial, random imprisonments in the Tower of London and beheading on the spot for minor infractions such as spitting on the sidewalk or mentioning Dunkirk", the declaration says.

It also states that the houses of parliament must be vacated within a fortnight, the Palace of Westminster to be transformed into a pig farm and gift shop.

Several thousand people began celebrating in the streets when the news was announced last night.

"This is the people's victory," former Czarist supporter and monarchist 'Queen Mudder', 102, told Reuters news agency.

"With the glorious restoration of the oppressive and inbred English monarchy that made our empire great, loyal Britons have, at last, achieved their collective dream."

This news story concludes with two choruses of "Rule, Britannia."

A King of the House of David

Since I am a Jewish monarchist, I have just added links to sites relating to the Davidic dynasty and Jewish theology as it relates to monarchy to my sidebar.

There are three main reasons that I hope that someday Israel will revive its monarchy. Firstly, the Tanach (the Old Testament) makes it abundantly clear that this is God's intention. Secondly, my studies have convinced me that monarchy is the best possible form of government.

The third reason is specific to Israel. Its role is to give our long-suffering people a homeland, a place to flee to when we are persecuted. In its present democratic form, Israeli Arabs are allowed to vote in Israeli elections - to help choose who the government will be. At this moment, the majority of Israelis are Jewish, but borders and populations and fertility rates shift constantly. It is not impossible that at some point in the future, Arabs could be a statistical majority in Israel, or close to it. If that happened, the political power would be theirs. Israel would then cease to be a Jewish state, would in fact cease to exist.

If Israel were a monarchy, this worry could be laid to rest. The monarch would always be a Jew, always be of the line of David, hence the nation would remain Jewish.

I have to say that the prospects for a kingdom in Israel anytime soon do not look good. Even aside from the contemporary anti-monarchist sentiment, we are a stiff-necked people. I once heard a Jewish lecturer recite an old joke: "Ask two Jews, get three opinions." A man in the audience stood up and corrected, "No, no, it's ask three Jews, get four opinions." We cannot agree on anything. Getting a majority of Jews to agree to return to monarchy - and then, to get us all to agree on a particular sovereign - would make herding cats look simple.

Still I have hope that in time, we shall heed the words of Theodore Herzl, founder of modern Zionism: “Democracy is a scientific nonsense acceptable only by the masses in moments of revolutionary excitement.”
Austrian monarchists call for Central European monarchy

Posted on : 2007-11-12 | Author : DPA
News Category : Europe

Vienna - An Austrian group calling for the reintroduction of hereditary monarchy in Central Europe said they were discriminated against in their attempts to re-establish an Austrian empire despite public support. Sporting the traditional Habsburg colours, the Black-Yellow Alliance (SGA) on Monday presented its manifesto, complete with plans for forming a monarchist party and to replace the country's elected president with a monarch in the long run.

Austria by itself would however be too small to support an emperor, SGA said, therfore they were working towards a union of Central European states like Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria or the Czech Republic, united under a common crown and emperor.

A substantial part of Austria's population believed that monarchy was the only solution in politically difficult times such as now, SGA leader Manfred Koerner told a press conference. Furthermore, a "democratic monarchy was the best possible form of government."

Austrian monarchists however were discriminated against, and met with public scorn, the pro-Habsburg movement said, but refused to comment on its own membership numbers and only claimed that approximately 30 per cent of the Austrian population were inclined towards some sort of a monarchy.

The self-styled pro-monarchy, pro-tolerance, pro-democracy movement announced plans to hold protest marches to rally more of the those believed to be supportive to their cause.

After more than 800 years of Habsburg rule, Austria dissolved its monarchy in 1919 after World War I and introduced a parliamentary democracy. Members of the Habsburg family had to renounce all claims to the throne and spent the following decades in exile.

Notice the blithe "Austria dissolved its monarchy in 1919". The phrasing implies that Austrians took this action of their own accord instead of being forced to do so, and provides no reason for them to have done so.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Religion and Monarchy

I have noticed that most of the other monarchist bloggers are Catholic. (I myself am Jewish.)

This is worthy of mention because last week, I came across a blog post by a gentleman who claimed that his religion, Catholicism, required him to hold his particular set of political beliefs. That set consisted, as far as I could determine before I stopped reading, of social conservatism, socialist economics, and republicanism. (He specifically ranted against the "reduction" of citizens to subjects.)

I can't claim to be an expert on Catholic theology, but I would take a guess that if this gentleman were right, at least a couple of Popes would have noticed. I don't recall reading anything about Popes trying to convert feudal estates to kibbutzim, or suggesting holding elections.

That Popes have a long history of alliances with kings, crowning kings, naming kings defender of the faith, etc., also throws a bit of a monkey wrench into his theory.

I'd go find the post again and point this out to him, but he made quite a few historically inaccurate remarks just in the couple of posts I read, so I doubt it would be a constructive use of my time.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Course of History

Conservative Critics of Modernity: Can They Turn Back the Clock?

Consider the status of democracy. Is it really the best form of government or the one toward which all nations are converging? Every serious conservative must wrestle with these questions because the deepest prejudice of our age is the belief that democracy based on human rights (liberal democracy) is the best, indeed the only legitimate form of government. Thomas Jefferson said the idea was “self-evident” to all enlightened minds and therewith shut down discussion of the issue. He made it seem un-patriotic to question this view, although patriots like Alexander Hamilton did entertain the possibility that monarchy was better. One should also remember that most of the great political thinkers of the classical and Christian tradition were at odds with present thinking. Despite the differences among Plato, Aristotle, Saint Augustine, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, John Calvin, and the early American Puritans, all agreed that democracy is not the best form of government and that monarchy, aristocracy, or some kind of mixed constitution is the best regime in most cases. It would be a major step in liberating our minds if we could recover their reasoning and take it seriously once again.

Their argument, in a nutshell, is that democracy is not the best regime because it tends to level distinctions between high and low in society and in the souls of citizens; and this leveling tendency undermines the quest for virtue or human excellence. Instead of judging life by the peaks of humanity—the philosophers, saints, and heroes—democracy glorifies the tastes and opinions of the average man, producing a popular culture or mass society that weakens the highest impulses of the soul. In extreme forms of mass democracy, the people as well as the educated elites become ashamed of the moral superiority implied in true virtue and tear it down by treating it with indifference or contempt. This leads to “democratic tyranny,” something we have witnessed in violent forms under socialism or communism and in softer forms in the debased mass culture of America and the social democracies of Europe.

Because democracy tends to level distinctions between high and low, the classical and early Christian thinkers favored more hierarchical regimes than democracy. Following Plato’s maxim that the “regime in the city shapes the regime in the soul,” they favored monarchy or aristocracy in order to perfect the minds and characters of citizens; or they defended mixed regimes that combined wisdom and virtue in rulers with the demands of the people for consent. Of the various models proposed, the one that makes the most sense to me is Saint Thomas Aquinas’s idea of mixed or constitutional monarchy—a regime that combines elements of kingship, aristocracy, and democracy in a balanced order. This was the order of the English Constitution for centuries, a balance of King, Lords, and Commons. It was also the order of the Spartan regime, which combined kingship (actually two kings) with an aristocratic body of venerable elders (the gerousia) and the elected representatives of the people (the ephors). The mixed constitution was also the political order endorsed by the great conservative, Edmund Burke, and by Plato in his Laws and Cicero in his Republic. It is the basis of the Catholic Church, which I would describe as an elective constitutional monarchy in which the supreme Pontiff is elected by the College of Cardinals and governs in communion with the bishops, the ordained priesthood, and the people. It is the regime underlying most corporate hierarchies in business, the military, and tribal life where one boss or chief governs by consensus in partnership with qualified elites and the broad mass of people.

Woodrow Wilson and the Habsburg Empire

In American schools, or at least the ones I went to, the Great War is virtually ignored. Indeed, the only reason I really knew that it happened at all is that they wouldn't have called the next big war "World War II" if there hadn't been a "World War I".

As an adult, I became a conservative who constantly searches history to find out how on earth we got into this fix, and it wasn't long before I discovered what my teachers had never told me, and probably didn't know: That it was the Great War that gave birth to the modern world, and destroyed the old one.

This fascinating essay discusses how the First World War caused the beginning of the end of monarchy, and allowed the rise of the Nazi and Soviet regimes:

The Tragic Death of the Habsburg Empire

* Eventually, however, the German Empire was re-created as Nazi Germany, and the Russian Empire was re-created as the Soviet Union. By the late 1930s, each was moving decisively to fill the vast power vacuum that Mitteleuropa had become. The first successor empire to that the Habsburgs became that of the Nazis. After the Second World War, a major part of which was fought over Mitteleuropa, the Soviets became the second. It is fair to say that, by 1950, there were almost no nationalists left in any of the successor states who concluded that, all things considered, they preferred the rule of either the Nazis or the Soviets to that of the Habsburgs. Since the national independence of the successor states proved to be an illusion, if not a delusion, their peoples would have been wiser to stay with the empire with which they first began. As it was, there was a certain amount of dark and cosmic justice in their having to pay the consequences for their hubris and their foolishness in bringing about the Habsburg Empire’s dissolution.

* The most interesting counterfactual history, however, would have unfolded in the arena of international politics. Let us stipulate that Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union would have developed largely as they actually did, and each would seek to expand into the Central Europe that lay between them. However, if the Habsburg Empire had survived, they would have confronted a Catholic, conservative Great Power there, one which would have good reasons to oppose each of them, not only because of power-politics calculations, but also because of ideological and theological convictions.

* In the actual history, however, the absence of the Habsburg Empire opened the doors to the Nazi conquests of Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland in 1938–39; to German domination or invasion of Hungary, Romania, and Yugoslavia in 1940–44; to the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941; and to the Holocaust in 1941–45. And finally, after the Soviet Army ultimately prevailed over the German Wehrmacht in the longest and most deadly military campaign in history, it surged into virtually all of Mitteleuropa, bringing with it rape and pillage, death and destruction, and Communist revolution. Stalin established a brutal second successor empire to the Habsburgs, tearing Mitteleuropa away from its dense ties with the West and converting and reducing it into being merely Eastern Europe.

A very good post about egalitarianism.

From the blog Roman Christendom:

Hierarchy or egalitarianism: what's the issue?

Consider a practical situation: if we are all absolutely equal and the majority is to dictate our morality because no man has any other moral authority over another, then all authority is merely delegated by the majority to the office-holders in society.

These office-holders must then be obeyed in all they ordain within the authority given to them by the majority.

Indeed, the ordinances of the office-holding delegates must then be considered by all others in the community to be morally right and so must obeyed.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Most Dutch Content with Monarchy

The majority of people in the Netherlands are opposed to abolishing the monarchy, according to a poll by Maurice de Hond. 70 per cent of respondents think the Netherlands should remain a monarchy, while 25 per cent would prefer to establish a republic.

DNA findings ensure monarchy is dead

What matters to the Kremlin is that this announcement means there can be no heirs to the Russian throne.

To be sure, the matter may seem irrelevant given the almost 90 years that have passed since the murder and the fact that Russia's monarchists are hardly a viable political group.

Here's the rub: They don't need to be....

This Kremlin paranoia may seem farfetched if viewed from the United States, with its 200-plus years of democratic tradition.

But in Russia a revolt led by a pretend heir to the throne would have plenty of precedents and would fit right in with Russia's Byzantine politics and the paranoid mind-set of its leaders. Ironically, two such revolts were headed in the early 17th century by Dmity Medvedev's namesakes, Lzhedmitry I and Lzhedmitry II, or False Dmitry I and False Dmitry II.

The Czar's direct descendants may have been wiped out, but there are still Romanovs in the world, and now that the Soviet Union is no more, the proper course is to invite one of them to reclaim his - or her - rightful throne.

Good news

Proposal to abolish Norwegian monarchy scrapped

May 22, 2008, 13:49 GMT

Oslo - A proposal to scrap the Norwegian monarchy was voted down Thursday by a strong majority in parliament.

The opposition Socialist Left Party introduced the proposal to re-write the constitution.

The party has 15 seats and garnered 21 votes, including from the opposition Liberal Party, while 106 members of the 169-seat parliament voted against.

A similar proposal in June 2004 garnered 26 votes in favour of doing away with the monarchy.

Berit Brorby, member of the Labour Party, the main force in the ruling red-green coalition, said the monarchy worked well and had strong public support, Norwegian news agency NTB reported.

Joseph P. Kennedy on the Queen

I generally am not keen on the Kennedy clan. Indeed, one of the most discouraging things to my hopes for an American monarchy is that many of those who like the idea (including many who would like us to have a ceremonial monarchy like that of today's England) see the Kennedys as prime candidates for the position. I, on the other hand, take the view that their far-left politics, dodgy political machinations, shameless pandering to the media, rampant promiscuity, and the tendency of the women with whom they carry out that promiscuity to turn up dead in suspicious circumstances, all disqualify them for any responsible post, including Registrar of Deeds. Not, that is, unless we wish to take Machiavelli's book as a model for our monarchy. Also distressing is that many contemporary Americans consider the Kennedys to be "aristocratic" or "upper class", apparently unaware that a mere century ago, they were peasants fresh off the boat. I am, of course, very much in favor of upward mobility, but a century of financial success and pandering to the electorate for political power does not make a family "upper class".

However, today I came across a statement made by Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., the patriarch of that troublesome family, that made me think just a little more kindly of him. In 1940, explaining why he was trying to keep America out of World War II, he famously told reporters, "Democracy is finished in England. It may be here.” The scandal over this bit of pessimism destroyed his political career. But in the same conversation, he made a very sensible remark:

"Now, I will tell you when this thing is finally settled and it comes to a question of saving what's left of England, it will be the Queen and not any of the politicians who will do it. She's got more brains than the Cabinet."

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Lord Tebbit

Lord Norman Tebbit is a man I admire very much. Google Alerts sends me regular updates on him, along with Sir Patrick Moore and Mr. Godfrey Bloom - three members of a dying breed. Here's a short bit about him from here:

The EU agreed a £20 million deal to buy the Conservative Party’s former headquarters in Smith Square, Central London, to house a European “super-embassy”. Lord Tebbit, the former party chairman, said: “This will be regarded as another example of the conquest of Britain by Brussels.”

EU pornography

I can hardly believe this.

It's red faces all round over EU's dirty movie

The European Union has turned to shock tactics in its latest bid for self-promotion... making its own dirty video.

In a bid to boost interest in the workings of the EU, the communications commission have made a video of 18 couples having sex.

The promotional 44-second video, posted on the website YouTube, opens with a man and a woman stripping each other naked.

What follows are a series of bed-rocking scenes, with sweaty passionate clinches in all manner of positionings. Two gay couples are included in the interests of sexual equality.

The highly charged scenes are interchanged with snaps of bottles rattling on a shelf and an egg on toast shaking under a grill.

The film, entitled "Film Lovers Will Love This", finishes with the couples' orgasms and the double entendre "Let's come together".

It then tells the audience "Millions of cinema lovers enjoy European films... every year. Europe supports European films".

But not everyone who has watched the video, found it amusing. Maciej Giertych, an MEP with the League of Polish Families said the EU was using "immoral methods".

Godfrey Bloom, a UKIP MEP, said: "I suppose this film is appropriate. The EU has been screwing Britain for the past 30 years."

The costs of monarchy vs. the costs of democracy

I wasn't going to waste a post on this, but I keep seeing this argument, so here goes.

In a few different places now, I have encountered the argument that monarchies are "more expensive" to the taxpayers than democracies. Let's examine this assumption.

One of the good things about monarchy is that its subjects nearly always enjoy far more personal freedom than the citizens of a democracy do, contrary to popular belief. In a democracy, all rights and liberties are up for grabs to any well sufficiently well organized pressure group. Any person with a grudge against the world can feel important by lobbying to enforce his pet notions on all of his fellow citizens. Bureaucratic sorts have free rein to come up with new ways to impose their personality disorder on everyone else. In a monarchy, by contrast, most subjects went for years at a time without any contact with their government. (That is, a monarchy where the sovereign actually ruled, rather than the ornamental monarchy of today.) Try avoiding the government for even one day in America.

Because a monarchy is made up of one sovereign who has been accustomed from birth to being powerful, rather than legions of busybodies for whom adding one more rule to be imposed upon everyone is their big chance to feign a sense of efficacy, it does not generate the massive bureaucracy that a democracy does, or the alphabet soup of agencies designed to intrude into every imaginable aspect of life. I could not even begin to calculate the amount of money stolen from the American taxpayer to support these leeches, but it has to be in the billions.

The other enormous cost of democracy is that of bread and circuses. Again, even those who won't (not can't) work themselves can vote in a democracy, and what is more natural than that they should vote for the candidate who promises to steal from those who do work and give their money to them? While monarchies practiced almsgiving and other charity, it never enslaved the productive to the lazy, or funded fatherless families, as democracies do. It didn't have to; monarchs didn't need to court the shiftless vote.

People who wish to claim that monarchies are more expensive than democracies point to the lower tax rate of America as opposed to England and whatever constitutional monarchies are left in Europe. What they ignore is that this happened to England and Europe only after their monarchs were reduced to figureheads and the real power was put in the hands of elected politicians. And the slightly lower tax rate in America exists only because many of us have fought the burgeoning welfare state so fiercely, still remembering when we were a genuine republic, a free country. I'm sure the English and others fought it as well, but we have the advantage that our democracy is structured a bit better for fighting changes we don't want than that of England.

Sometime I will have to discuss the reasons why occasionally, republics work well, as in Greece, Rome and America. (I'll mention one reason now: when all the living creatures within five miles of your home are coyotes or buffalo, it's kind of hard for the gummint to pester you to say that there's nothing but coyotes and buffalo for 8.04 kilometers. Besides, most of the Senators are busy dealing with coyotes around their own homes.) In every case, however, they eventually degenerate and destroy themselves, and that has been happening here for the last few decades. Europe and England did not have a halcyon period of a well functioning republic, it had mobs of leftists with a totalitarian agenda worming their way into Parliament and expanding its powers beyond those of any medieval king.

So the present higher tax rate of England as opposed to America has nothing to do with England's being a monarchy. It was the elected politicians of Parliament who imposed the high taxes, not Her Majesty. And we former colonials are well on our way to joining you.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Some interesting thoughts on aristocracy

Though not from monarchists.

Of course, we are often told, “Why, yes, Plato, he was an aristocrat - but he had other ideas as well.” Thus, the undesirable elements in Plato - for instance, eugenic programmes in Republic - are written off as aristocratic nonsense. Or, again, we know that Montesquieu was a baron, but that is second only to his proto-liberalism; afterall, the American Founding Fathers, those impeachable democrats, would never find inspiration in an aristocrat. Let’s not forget Condorcet, a marquis who died during the Revolution under suspicious circumstances, who just happened to overcome his social origins and embrace liberalism. And, again, despite being an aristocrat, Alexis de Tocqueville is said to have written the best book on America or democracy. We read aristocrats in spite of who they are. (The only exception, and it is quite notable, is Nietzsche. But, it is hard to tell if his aristocratism was but an early symptom of his later madness.)


For among the best people there is minimal wantonness and injustice but a maximum of scrupulous care for what is good, whereas among the people there is a maximum of ignorance, disorder, and wickedness; for poverty draws them rather to disgraceful actions, and because of a lack of money some men are uneducated and ignorant.

Old Oligarch/Pseudo-Xenophon in Athens, quoted here.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

What would Rumpole say? I ask you.

England's Courts Drop Wigs From New Dress Code

Morning Edition, July 13, 2007 · After almost four centuries, England's lawyers and judges working in non-criminal courts may shed their ceremonial wigs. The wigs were criticized for being expensive, not to mention uncomfortable. The few who did like them say they provided anonymity and an air of authority.

As long as I'm on about the metric system:

Pound for Pound, A Veggie Peddler Takes On the EU

East London's Ms. Devers Snubs the Metric System; Selling by the Bowl Is Alleged
January 22, 2008; Page A1

LONDON -- London's East End is notorious for its criminals, from serial murderer Jack the Ripper to mobsters the Kray twins.

The latest candidate for this rogue's gallery is Janet Devers, a 63-year-old woman who runs a vegetable stall at Ridley Road market. Her alleged crime: selling goods only by the pound and the ounce.

Ms. Devers, whose stall has been in the family for 60 years, faces 13 criminal charges stemming from not selling her produce by the kilogram and the gram. She stands accused of breaking a European Union-instigated rule that countries must use metric measures to standardize trade. The rest of Europe is metric.

But Brits drink their milk and beer by the pint. On the road they rack up miles. Imperial measurement "is what we know, how we are. Who's to tell us to change?" said Scott Lomax, a fellow vegetable-stall owner.

Ms. Devers, who pleaded not guilty in a court appearance on Friday, is being lionized for her stand in Britain's feisty tabloids. If convicted, she could be fined as much as $130,000.

"It's disgusting," said Ms. Devers of the charges. "We have knifings. We have killings," she said. "And they're taking me to court because I'm selling in pounds and ounces."

And, equally illegally, in bowls. Ten of the counts against her relate to purveying produce, such as hot Scotch-bonnet peppers, by the bowl.

The United Kingdom wrote an exemption into its measurements law to meet the EU metric requirement in 2000, as Brussels allowed. It stated that traders must use metric weights, but they could use imperial measures as well. The problem is that Ms. Devers allegedly didn't have metric prices on all of her produce when she was charged late last year, and two of her scales only measured in pounds and ounces.

The British imperial system dates back at least to medieval times. Notable holdouts still using it are Britain and the U.S. It doesn't help that the metric system was created over 200 years ago across the Channel in France, England's ancient archrival.

Lingering Reluctance

Aversion to the metric system is one of many signs of the U.K.'s lingering reluctance to integrate with its continental neighbors. Britain shuns the euro in favor of the pound sterling, drives on the left-hand side of the road and has a tradition of "euroskeptic'' politicians who thrill some sections of the public by bashing the Continent.

One recent overcast Thursday afternoon at Ridley Road market in Hackney, a low-income district in East London, shoppers from Turkish, Asian and Afro-Caribbean communities browsed the stalls. Shouts from traders touting deals like "50p a basket of mangoes" mingled with reggae music blasting from a stall that sells posters and T-shirts.

Insulated from the chilly January day in a faux-fur- trimmed hat, Ms. Devers chatted up customers from behind her covered stall piled with eggplant, ginger, green beans (£1 a pound for the beans). Though her signs currently carry prices in pounds as well as the equivalent in kilograms, she said her customers prefer pounds -- and sometimes complain when she uses kilos that she's trying to cheat them.

"I always shop in pounds," said Sophia Levicki, a 60-year-old part-time shop clerk and a regular at Ms. Devers's stall. "If it's good enough and cheap enough, I'll buy it," she added, as she asked for two pounds of shiny, purple-skinned eggplant.

Nearby stall owner Mr. Lomax added prices in kilos as well as pounds to his signs after warnings from local authorities in recent years. "The customers don't understand kilos," he said. Like many stall owners he uses metric scales, which he got after the EU metric directive was introduced into U.K. law in 2000.

Ms. Devers's trouble with the law began one Thursday this September, when two representatives from the local government council, accompanied by two policemen, came up to her stall and seized her imperial scales. They told Ms. Devers she was using illegal scales and that she wasn't allowed to weigh in pounds and ounces, she said. "I was furious," said Ms. Devers, who asked the police officers if the council was allowed to do that, to which they responded that it was.

Around Christmas, a 67-page letter landed in her mail. It outlined 13 criminal charges against her, including one charge of improper pricing of goods and two charges related to using imperial scales. She also faces 10 counts related to selling by the bowl.

"I think it's so ridiculous," she said, noting that pricing per bowl is common practice because customers perceive it as good value. "If they're going to do me for bowls, they have to do the whole country."

Alan Laing, an official with the local authority that is prosecuting Ms. Devers, said that "making sure traders comply with weights-and-measures legislation is also part of the job."

Metric Martyrs

Ms. Devers wouldn't be the first to be pounded down by the metric law. Four market-stall owners -- including her brother -- lost an appeal to the High Court in 2002 for not using metric measurements. They received conditional discharge -- which means no further action is taken as long as they don't break the law again within a specific period of time. A group campaigning to pardon them is helping coordinate financing for Ms. Devers's case and calls them "metric martyrs."

It's about "who governs Britain," says campaigner Neil Herron, from Sunderland, England.

With the help of her brother, Ms. Devers found lawyers willing to take on the case for a nominal fee. Their planned legal strategy is to argue various technicalities such as a loophole for imperial scales that predate the law. They plan to lean on what they see as a recent softening in Brussels. After pressure from U.K. companies as well as others that trade with Britain and the U.S., the European parliament recently adopted legislation that would let the U.K. continue to use imperial alongside metric measures indefinitely, instead of phasing it out by next year. The measure is awaiting European Council approval.

Her legal team may also call customers as witnesses to say that they like paying pounds for pounds, one of the lawyers involved said.

'It Would Ruin Me'

Ms. Devers faces fines of up to $10,000 per charge, or a total of about $130,000. "It would ruin me," said Ms. Devers, who declined to detail her earnings. She says she canceled a planned trip to New York with her twin sister, because having a criminal record could make entering the U.S. difficult.

On Friday afternoon, Ms. Devers appeared in Thames Magistrates Court in East London. She pleaded not guilty.

Her barrister, Nicholas Bowen, mocked the nature of her alleged crimes. "If somebody sells a punnet of strawberries at Wimbledon is that a criminal offense?" he asked. A punnet, as all Britons know, is roughly the equivalent of a couple of handfuls -- or about half a liter.

Ms. Devers and her legal team won a victory of sorts. The magistrate granted their request that the case be tried by a jury. Jurors, with perhaps some shoppers among them, will likely be sympathetic, Mr. Herron says.

Ms. Devers smiled as she left the courthouse to go back to her stall. The scales of justice sit, she said, "in the hands of the people."

Write to Cassell Bryan-Low at cassell.bryan-low@wsj.com2

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The Swan

The Queen Apologizes for Naughty Swan Attack

A six-year-old who was bitten by a swan in a Cornwall park has received a letter of apology from the Queen of England after informing the monarch that her swans had been “naughty.”

Elishia Stevenson wrote a note to the Queen after being informed by her mother that all swans in Britain belong to the Monarch. Elishia included a picture of the naughty swan to ease in its identification.

Last week the six-year-old received a reply in which the Queen informed the upset victim that she was “sorry to hear about the swan.”

Yeah, Her Majesty oughta make her swans behave better.

The comments insist that "some staff member" actually wrote the letter and demand to know when the Queen is going to apologize for killing Diana. *rolls eyes* There was one good comment, though, probably from someone as sympathetic as myself to the latter charge: "She ordered that swan to attack the girl and I know it."

Metric Martyr

'Metric martyr' finally stopped

BATTLING butcher Edward Smith has finally lost his battle to keep using old-fashioned pounds and ounces at his South Yorkshire shop.
Mr Smith, aged 64, who runs the family butchers in Thorogate, Rawmarsh, has spent the past three years fighting trading standards over the use of his old Imperial scales.

He has stopped a number of attempts by officials to take away his scales and to force him to use metric weights and measures.

Mr Smith claims 99 per cent of customers still ask for their meat in pounds and ounces and backed his fight.

But trading standards officers who arrived at his shop armed with a warrant from Rotherham Magistrates' Court finally put his scales out of action.

What do you think? Post your comments below.

They have put a lead seal on the side of the equipment which means it will be illegal to use it in future.

Mr Smith is now using a metric scale but said: "I am determined to continue my fight and get this overturned. It is important for British people to be able to do what they want to do without feeling oppressed."

The butcher has even threatened to stand as an MP for weights and measures to bring to people's notice his stance over the metric system. Butchers can display imperial measurements as long as metric markings are more prominent.

A Rotherham Council spokesman said: "We are aware of Mr Smith's standpoint and have been advising him on how to comply with the legislation and the penalties for non-compliance."

Neil Herron, campaign director for the pressure group Metric Martyrs, said: "If this is at the top of Rotherham Council's priorities it is in a sorry state."

And Yorkshire Euro MP Godfrey Bloom, who has been supporting Mr Smith, said: "I think this is appalling. I wonder what sort of country we live in."

Another article about this heroic man here.

In America, we only use the metric system for cocaine. Which is the only thing it's fit for.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The last testament of Flashman's creator: How Britain has destroyed itself

No generation has seen their country so altered, so turned upside down, as children like me born in the 20 years between the two world wars. In our adult lives Britain's entire national spirit, its philosophy, values and standards, have changed beyond belief.

Probably no country on earth has experienced such a revolution in thought and outlook and behaviour in so short a space.

Other lands have known what seem to be greater upheavals, the result of wars and revolutions, but these do not compare with the experience of a country which passed in less than a lifetime from being the mightiest empire in history, governing a quarter of mankind, to being a feeble little offshore island whose so-called leaders have lost the will and the courage, indeed the ability, to govern at all.

This is not a lament for past imperial glory, though I regret its inevitable passing, nor is it the raging of a die-hard Conservative.

I loathe all political parties, which I regard as inventions of the devil. My favourite prime minister was Sir Alec Douglas-Home, not because he was on the Right, but because he spent a year in office without, on his own admission, doing a damned thing.

This would not commend him to New Labour, who count all time lost when they're not wrecking the country.

I am deeply concerned for the United Kingdom and its future. I look at the old country as it was in my youth and as it is today and, to use a fine Scots word, I am scunnered....

My generation has seen the decay of ordinary morality, standards of decency, sportsmanship, politeness, respect for the law, family values, politics and education and religion, the very character of the British.

Oh how Blimpish this must sound to modern ears, how out of date, how blind to "the need for change and the novelty of a new age". But don't worry about me. It's the present generation with their permissive society, their anything-goes philosophy, and their generally laid-back, inyerface attitude I feel sorry for.

They regard themselves as a completely liberated society when in fact they are less free than any generation since the Middle Ages.

Indeed, there may never have been such an enslaved generation, in thrall to hang-ups, taboos, restrictions and oppressions unknown to their ancestors (to say nothing of being neck-deep in debt, thanks to a moneylender's economy).

We were freer by far 50 years ago - yes, even with conscription, censorship, direction of labour, rationing, and shortages of everything that nowadays is regarded as essential to enjoyment.

We still had liberty beyond modern understanding because we had other freedoms, the really important ones, that are denied to the youth of today.

We could say what we liked; they can't. We were not subject to the aggressive pressure of specialinterest minority groups; they are. We had no worries about race or sexual orientation; they have. We could, and did, differ from fashionable opinion with impunity, and would have laughed PC to scorn, had our society been weak and stupid enough to let it exist.

A man after my own heart

The Tudors: Historical Inaccuracies

While searching for information about one of the actresses in the series, I came across a Daily Mail article quoting various people as ranting about the historical inaccuracies. I clicked because I hoped that the article would tell us what some of those errors are; I've caught a few, but I'm hardly an expert on the Tudor period. Instead, it was just people venting their spleen that the errors exist. The only substantive comment was that Jonathan Rhys-Meyers does not resemble the historical Henry VIII, which is true, but his portrayal of a powerful and obsessed man is so excellent that I don't care. The same person complained that Mr. Rhys-Meyers has "black" hair instead of Henry's red, which reflects a bit badly on her other remarks, as the actor's hair is brown.

There were also a lot of complaints that there is too much sex in the series, which I agree with.

In any case, it inspired me to search out articles about the historical inaccuracies. Here are a couple of good ones:

The Tudors Historical Inaccuracies and Mysteries

Historical Discrepancies in the Showtime Television Series The Tudors

One point that is made repeatedly is that Katherine of Aragon was a blonde and was only six years older than Henry VIII. Maria Doyle Kennedy gave an excellent performance, but she was probably cast because she resembles the popular idea of what a Spaniard looks like, despite being Irish!

This reminded me of a silly remark I saw in a newspaper when the TV movie of the abysmal Gone With The Wind sequel Scarlett was being made. Someone or other was quoted as complaining that Scarlett O'Hara should not be played by a brunette actress, as she was Irish-American and therefore should be blonde or redheaded. This tells us several things about that someone: 1. She hadn't read the book. 2. She was unaware that, like many people, Scarlett O'Hara had not only a father but also a mother! And her mother was of French descent, a nationality that produces plenty of brunettes. 3. The someone got her ideas about Ireland from soap commercials.

The Tudors and a possible motive for unrestrained immigration

I was just indulging in the guilty pleasure of watching last week's episode of The Tudors and a bit of dialogue struck me. An English monastery is being raided of its treasures, and a young man asks the priest, "Father, who are these men?"

"Bretons, from France. Huguenots," the priest answers. "Perhaps Mr. Secretary Cromwell felt that he couldn't trust Englishmen to destroy their own heritage and besmirch their own faith."

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Y'all don't mind getting outdated links, do you?

Because I keep finding things from a few years back that are eminently worthy of passing on.

Danish queen warns against rise of Islam
Queen Margrethe II says in her new book people must on occasion show their opposition to Islam.

"We have to show our opposition to Islam and we have to, at times, run the risk of having unflattering labels placed on us because there are some things for which we should display no tolerance," she said.

"And when we are tolerant, we must know whether it is because of convenience or conviction," added the queen, who has reigned since 1972 and celebrates her 65th birthday on Saturday.

Denmark has in recent years been accused of fuelling xenophobic tendencies after implementing a slew of measures aimed at curbing immigration. The government has argued that it wants to focus efforts on improving the assimilation into Danish society of immigrants already in the country.

HT Gates of Vienna.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Era of a new breed of royalty

Not content to be silent figureheads, today’s royals in Malaysia, as in other countries, have assumed new roles and placed themselves above partisan politics.

Hat tip: World of Royalty.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Interesting though slightly outdated article

On the other hand, monarchists take the long view instead of thinking only of the moment, so what matter if this article was first published six months ago and I have only now come across it?

Party seeks to restore monarchy
Koruna Ćeská would rebuild the ancient Czech Kingdom

And another from a few years back:

Norway's monarchy turns 100

The Windsors

Until my study of monarchy inevitably put information about the Windsors into my path, I knew nothing about them that couldn't be put into a large headline on the front page of the National Enquirer. Had I had anyone else to do my grocery shopping for me, I wouldn't even have known that much.

I even avoided articles in more respectable publications about them, lest I be mistaken for the kind of troglodyte who reads People Magazine. It didn't help that an acquaintance with whom I am unfortunately saddled is an avid devourer of such things, and worships the late Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson.

When I started seriously studying monarchy, I quickly discovered that royal watchers could be divided into two categories: the Diana camp and the Charles camp. The Diana camp considers the late princess a troubled saint who lived a romantic life, despite being stuck with a dour unreachable husband, and praises the way she "connected the monarchy to the modern world" or "made the monarchy relevant" (condemnations if I ever heard them). The Charles camp praises the restraint of his and the Queen's behavior as they endured Diana's bulimia, numerous affairs, extravagance, cutting, and suicide attempts (one when she was pregnant with her older son).

It's probably obvious which camp I belong to. As I read, I was interested to discover that people in the Charles camp generally agree with me about other important matters, while those in the Diana camp have embraced the corruption engendered by democracy and the crassness of the modern world, both of which ought to be incompatible with an interest in monarchy, if human behavior were logical. They seem to have reconciled this by turning royals into a sort of real-life soap opera.

I thought about continuing this post with a rundown of why I side with Charles instead of Diana, but Theodore Dalrymple, Florence King, and others have done it for me.

Hawaiian Monarchists

Famous Are the Flowers: Hawaiian Resistance Then--and Now

Why is Hawaii a U.S. state instead of a sovereign monarchy? I only learned anything about this in school once, and what I learned was that the Hawaiians demanded to be admitted to the union and demonstrated until they were allowed to join. Considering that my teachers also told us that the "minus" of communism was "lack of motivation" (not planned famines, salt mines, or arrests in the middle of the night) and that American currency was on a gold standard (it was... before my parents were born), I shouldn't be surprised to learn that they lied to us about Hawaii too.

HT to Le Fleur de Lys Too.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

I love the James Bond novels.

Requiem For The Cold War

Jacalyn Friedman, in a 1965 essay, accurately pointed out that despite all the secret agent trappings, the James Bond novels were in fact laments for the British Empire....

The villain has always been key to the Bond series. In the novels he is an alien, an outsider even when he is a British subject. The non-Britishness of the villain is important because Fleming defines the villain's character by his ethnic identity. This plays into Ms. Friedman's statement that the novels are laments for the British Empire. The Empire is in decline, leaving the non-British subjects to run unchecked across the world, wreaking havoc in the process. (This sounds racist, but keep in mind that Fleming was of a generation that believed the British Empire to be the height of civilization, just as many contemporary American conservatives believe that present-day democracy and cultural imperialism are the height of civilization.)

Friday, May 9, 2008

A couple of articles

These are by an occultist monarchist.

In Defense of Kingship and Divine Right

Since the death of Absolutism, monarchy all over the world has given way to all sorts of supposedly “populist” governments: Democracy, Republicanism, Communism, Fascism, Socialism, and all points in-between, all under the banners of “Freedom”, “Liberty”, “Equality”, and the like. Here in the west, the few countries that still maintain a monarchy do it purely for show. Their sovereigns have been almost completely stripped of their authority and function merely as tourist attractions and topics of conversation, while parliaments and congresses of elected officials who supposedly represent the people have taken over the role of leadership. But do they really represent us? Rarely. If anyone, they represent the campaign contributors who actually put them there. Once in office, they are under no obligation to keep the promises they made to the public, and they only respond to public sentiment when they are about to be voted out of office. They have no sense of responsibility to the people they govern, and no loyalty to their oaths of office. Here in America, the Constitution is regularly pissed upon by those who find the First Amendment inconvenient and the Second Amendment dangerous. Unlawful searches and seizures occur daily in the midst of this ridiculous Drug War, and people under the age of 18 are considered less than human, without freedom of speech or movement. And the voters, an ignorant, apathetic bunch, gladly allow their rights to be trampled on in the belief that the Crime Bill will stop crime or that the Tobacco Bill will prevent lung cancer. They actually believe that Big Daddy Government is going to take care of them, often arguing that we should be more like “the rest of the civilized world”, meaning Europe, where guns are illegal, taxes of all kinds are exorbitant and personal freedoms are more like privileges. They are willing to look the other way as elected officials commit heinous crimes and sell our futures off to foreign interests simply because of a seemingly healthy economy, when in fact international banking families and the non-elected Directors of the Federal Reserve Board have more influence over the economy than any politician. In effect, what we have in America is neither a Republic nor a Democracy, but an oligarchy operating under the guise of mob rule.

Monarchy: The Primordial Form of Government

Furthermore, the people knew they could count on their monarch to watch over them like he would their own children, to be fair and honest, to protect them from invasion, and to maintain the proper relationship between God and the kingdom. They desired to make their kingdom on Earth reflect the order and perfection that existed in God’s kingdom in Heaven. For thousands of years before the modern era, when 90% of the population was not intellectually capable of participating in government or making electoral decisions, monarchy stood as a bulwark against the disintegration of the societal unit, providing a stability that otherwise could not be achieved. If monarchy had not been invented, human history could never have happened.

A couple of links of interest

The argument for aristocracy

In his book, "Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy," Joseph Schumpeter offers a sly plug for aristocracy. He suggests that without the protective function of an aristocratic (i.e., warrior class), the free market and its denizens have no practical means of defense. In other words, if a money-minded society does away with aristocratic privilege and status, it also does away with its own "protective strata."

Democracy and Aristocracy (Part 1) - Peter Kreeft

Fleur de Lys on democracy not working

Things I ponder

From my how can anyone think democracy works...

Liberals manufacture crisis' and convince the masses that only they can solve the crisis. They are then elected to run the government. Here are some examples...

In 2007 the City of Raleigh, North Carolina found itself, as well as other large cities in the area, in the midst of a level 1 drought. At first the city asked for voluntary water conservation, then the city enacted mandatory water restrictions with a warning for first time abuse, Then a small fine was enacted for first time abusers, then the city increased fines for abusers no first time grace. The city was able to reduce its requirements by 20%. Although we have several weeks of rain and the reservoirs have filled to overflowing, to the point that 50 million gallons are dumped each day into the Neuse River, the city has yet to remove the water restrictions. I wish that I could end the story there, unfortunately I can't. It seems that, the City of Raleigh in reducing the water use 20%, has lost revenue in water bills. So now there is an idea floating around Raleigh to increase the water tax by... 20%.

You are probably saying to yourself why don't they just lift the water restrictions?

Because there is a crisis!

Thursday, May 8, 2008


On the Monarchy

As a teenage Leftie I was an instinctive Republican, and believed that the monarchy should be abolished. A few years later I moved to Turkey to teach for a few years. One of my students gave me a different view.

“When we went to school, they told us that the Republic was the best form of government, and that Monarchy was primitive and medieval. But we looked to our neighbours on one side, Iraq, Iran, Syria, the Soviet Union, and we saw that these are all republics, and they are all authoritarian police states. Then we looked to Europe and we saw countries like Great Britain, Holland, Belgium and Sweden, and these are all rich democracies where people are free, and yet they are all monarchies. We knew which ones we preferred.”

I stopped being such a knee-jerk republican after that. The world is often more complex than it first appears.

Hitler thought that democracies were inherently weak, and he had no fear of them. The only country he feared in Europe was Great Britain, because he thought that it wasn’t really a democracy. Maybe he had a point. A think-tank in the 1990s published a survey of how democratic various countries are, and Britain came out well below places like the Czech Republic, on the grounds that we have an unelected head of state, an unelected upper house, and no written constitution. But for all that, Britain is still one of the most tolerant nations in the world, although feminists and cultural Marxists are doing their best to change that. They, not the Royal Family, are the real threat to civil rights in these islands.

Monarchy and Modern Medicine

Like many of you, I have been watching The Tudors despite the historical inaccuracies and excessive sex scenes. (For one thing, the historical Henry VIII was actually a serial monogamist, not the sex maniac the series implies.)

While watching the fruitless attempts of Henry's first two wives to give him a son, and reflecting on the attempts yet to come, I couldn't help but speculate. Modern prenatal care and care for premature infants has advanced astronomically. Women who have difficulty conceiving have more hope than ever before. And finally, a laboratory can actually separate the Y and X chromosomes before fertilization, allowing parents to choose the sex of their child. Imagine if the Bennets had had this technology available to them! All right, we would have been robbed of one of the best novels ever written, but for the Bennets it would have been highly beneficial.

It seems to me a shame that institutions that actually worked very well, such as monarchy, hereditary titles and primogeniture, were done away with just as these advances were beginning to be made. History is filled with the tragedies of barren queens and families that needed sons and couldn't produce them. The marriage of stable social institutions and modern technology would likely have been a happy one indeed. Unfortunately, we haven't had the chance to find out.

I believe that we shall, however. Almost all of recorded human history has been monarchical. Every republic in history has eventually returned to this form of government. To the extent that such manmade institutions as government can be called "natural", monarchy is clearly the most natural form of government, and its return is inevitable. The only question is, will the havoc currently being wreaked on civilization by the twin forces of cultural Marxism and militant Islam cause us to lose our present scientific advances before the world comes to its senses?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Native Hawaiians blockade historic palace

(CNN) -- A group of native Hawaiians occupied the grounds of the old Hawaiian monarchy's royal residence Wednesday, vowing to stay and do the business of the kingdom's government.

"It is through a greater realm than ours" that the group took this action, said Mahealani Kahau, elected leader of the group, called Hawaiian Kingdom Government. "Today and every day, we will be here to assume our role."