Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Royalty over Politicians

I gather most of my fellow countrymen watched the debate tonight. While they were doing that, I watched Bertie and Elizabeth, about how bravely George VI and his Queen did their duty during the Second World War. Seeing the courage of English civilians during the blitz was far more uplifting than anything I could possibly hear about what's going on today. And as a descendant of Englishmen, I cherish such glimpses of an England that no longer exists.

There was a delightful anecdote. The Dowager Queen - the mother of Edward VII and George VI - told her family that she had followed the exhortations to the public to give rides to servicemen. "I gave a ride to an American. Wonderful man. But I think he had no idea who I was." If that's true, it's priceless.

The movie is excellent, and I recommend it to everyone. As a bonus, it is the only movie I know of that portrays Wallis Simpson as the selfish gold-digger she likely was, rather than romanticizing her story.

2 comments:

The_Editrix said...

That is an unexpected surprise! You are seeing "The Woman He Loved" exactly as I do when all the world is raving about this "triumph of love". (Profanity warning!)

Maybe you will enjoy this and this as well.

I find it interesting that an American, and specifically one of Jewish heritage, should favour monarchy over democracy when your and the ancestors of gentile Americans have left their homes and went to found America precisely to overcome the old order. One of my pet theories is that antisemitism is, compared to Europe, so relatively scant and less vile at your end because America is free from the burdening heritage of the medieval estate system.

However, I see your point and find it an interesting topic to discuss.

Moshea bat Abraham said...

Thank you for the links! You were right, I did enjoy them!

I don't really think that most people who came to America did so with the idea of overcoming the old order. They came here because they wanted to make money, because they wanted religious freedom (the Puritans), because they were in trouble in the Old Country, things like that. The idea of creating a new order came later.

You may be right about the reason America is less antisemitic. Also, the Puritan influence on our country is strong, and Puritans placed much more emphasis on the Old Testament than most Christians, a habit which has spread over the centuries to other American Christians; I think this makes them more sympathetic to us.

Also, while to Europeans Jews were usually the most "exotic" people they encountered, in America there were Africans and Indians. And a lot of quite understandable hostility towards and from them. With opponents who were so different, Jews must have seemed far less alien and threatening.

Yes, I'm a deeply patriotic American; that's why I favor monarchy, because I want my country to last. And no democracy has ever lasted more than a couple of centuries (at most) before deteriorating into despotism. This has been happening incrementally during my lifetime. Monarchy is better for all people, Jew and gentile, except for aspiring demagogues.

Really, as soon as I questioned whether democracy was really better than monarchy, I was soon astounded that I had ever been able to believe that it was.