Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Consensual Government?

There is nothing truly consensual about government. It is always and everywhere based on force, intimidation, and violence. When the founding generation formed a confederacy with the Articles of Confederation, and later the Constitution, it was at least a voluntary union of the states. The citizens of each state understood that their state, and all others, was free and independent and sovereign. They were free to participate in the union, or not.


~Malice Toward All, Charity Toward None: The Foundations of the American State

Whenever I start pointing out the reasons that elected government is a bad thing, or even suggest limiting the franchise, people almost invariably recite the phrase, "the consent of the governed".

My usual retort is that I didn't consent to be governed by people chosen by college students and atheists.

That retort really ought to demonstrate the fallacy of the entire argument. Democrats don't consent to be governed by Republicans who win elections, or vice versa. None of us consent to the rules of the FDA, DMV, EPA, or dozens of other power-mad government agencies, though we follow them if we wish to stay out of prison.

There is no such thing as the consent of the governed, unless you count "not blowing up Capitol Hill" as "consent". Government is about force. The talk about "the consent of the governed" is rhetoric intended to make the subjects of a democracy feel as if they are not sheep being shorn until time for the barbecue. Time for adherents of elected government to come up with a better argument.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Quotation of the Day

"For every monarchy overthrown the sky becomes less brilliant, because it loses a star. A republic is ugliness set free."
~Anatole France

From Wilson Revolution Unplugged.


Source.

Also, a cartoon about Emperor Norton of the United States.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Quotation of the Day

"Louis XIV was very frank and sincere when he said: I am the State. The modern etatist is modest. He says: I am the servant of the State; but, he implies, the State is God. You could revolt against a Bourbon king, and the French did it. This was, of course, a struggle of man against man. But you cannot revolt against the god State and against his humble handy man, the bureaucrat."

Bureaucracy by Ludwig von Mises

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Monarchist News from Around the World

Cambodia's monarchy quietly evolves

PHNOM PENH - Five years on from King Norodom Sihanouk's intricately-scripted departure from the political stage, Cambodia's new monarch Norodom Sihamoni is quietly and finally emerging from his father's shadow.

Enthroned by French colonial authorities in 1941, Sihanouk grew into a national symbol and wily political operator, entrenching himself at the center of the country's political life through his Sangkum Reastr Niyum, or People's Socialist Community, which ruled from 1955 to 1969. Unpredictable to the last, the often tempestuous monarch announced his surprise abdication on October 7, 2004, ending an era that spanned six decades and countless political and royal titles.

The monarchy was officially re-established under Sihanouk in 1993 as part of a United Nations-sponsored peace process and the country has since been governed as a constitutional monarchy. However, Sihamoni, Sihanouk's son and hand-picked successor, was always going to find it hard to live up to Sihanouk's colorful and often controversial legacy.


Iran activist sentenced to death for election protests

The first death sentence has been passed against a defendant accused of involvement in the mass protests in Iran against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed re-election, prompting fears of a wave of executions against opposition activists.

A revolutionary court in Tehran handed the penalty to Mohammad Reza Ali-Zamani, 37, after convicting him of muhabereh – taking up arms against Iran's Islamic system.

The sentence was imposed after he confessed to working for a little-known exile group, the Iran Monarchy Committee, which Iranian officials describe as a terrorist organisation. Prosecutors alleged that he plotted political assassinations with US military officials in Iraq before returning to Iran "aiming at causing disruption during and after the election".


Mujib killers were told that Bangladesh to be monarchy

Dhaka, Oct 7 (IANS) Mutineers who killed Bangladesh’s founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975 were provoked by an army officer with a ’story’ that their country was about to be declared a ‘monarchy’, which would be subservient to neighbouring India, the Supreme Court has been told.

A bench of the apex court, which resumed after many years the murder trial and appeals by some of those convicted and sentenced to death, was told that Lt. Col. Syed Farooq Rahman had made a confession about this before a magistrate. Rahman was later dismissed from the army.

The former officer said that Aug 14, 1975, he “had excited his colleagues, saying that the president would proclaim monarchy in the country on Aug 15, the democracy will be damaged and the country will go under the possession of India and therefore they should depose the government of Sheikh Mujib,” The Daily Star reported Wednesday.

Royal News

Heady odour of the last French Queen set to roll on to market
£1,000 will buy perfume of a tragic royal


A FRAGRANCE worn by Marie-Antoinette, a woman sometimes described as the world’s first fashion victim, has been re-created by a French perfume-maker for an exhibition at the Palace of Versailles.

The perfume, Sillage de la Reine (In the Queen’s Wake), is likely to be put on a sale by the palace, which has been inundated with requests from people who want to smell like the Austrian-born Queen beheaded during the French Revolution. A thousand flacons are set to be made available at a price of around €1,500 (£1,050) each, with the profits being used to restore Marie-Antoinette’s furniture and objects.

Sillage de la Reine, which can be inhaled during pre-booked tours of the Marie-Anoinette exhibition at Versailles, was made by Francis Kurkdjian, one of France’s most celebrated perfume-makers. It is based on the ingredients and methods used in the late 18th century by Marie-Antoinette’s personnel supplier of fragrances, Jean-Louis Fargeon.

The perfume contains essence of citron tree, lavender, rose petal, jasmin, galbanum, iris, musk, tonka bean, ambergris, vanilla, benjamin, cedar and sandalwood. Elisabeth de Feydeau, a French historian, discovered the recipe during research for a biography on Fargeon.

“It is a superb floral bouquet made with entirely natural products,” she said. “It does not have the tenacity or the amplitude of a modern perfume, but when I tested it, everyone wanted to know what it was and everyone complimented me on it. It unleashes emotions that we no longer know.”

In her work, published last month, she says that Fargeon supplied the French court with an array of luxury cosmetics as well as toothbrushes, combs and tongue scrapers that were used to fight bad breath.

Marie-Antoinette’s taste for luxury contributed to the unpopularity of the French monarchy and ultimately turned her — literally — into the first ever fashion victim.


Former member of terrorist FLQ promises 'fireworks' during Prince Charles's visit

Pierre Schneider, once a member of the long-defunct Front de liberation du Quebec, predicted "fireworks" during the visit but refused to offer any details in order to keep them a surprise.

But he said there will be no violence.

"We don't need to commit violent acts, as we did in the past, to get the message across the world that Quebec doesn't want the monarchy," he said.


Gov. Gen takes heat for 'head of state' self-title

Canadian monarchists and constitutional experts are raising strong objections to a speech given this week in Paris by Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean, in which she referred to herself twice as Canada's "head of state" -- a position formally occupied by Queen Elizabeth.

The phrasing is controversial because the Governor General is normally referred to as the "Queen's representative in Canada," a vice-regal delegate who routinely performs the functions of the head of state but does not carry that title.


Dutch royal budget should be cut, lawmakers say

Some 39.6 million euros (54.3 million dollars) have been budgeted for the monarchy in the coming year.



Off with my head?
Our Royal Blogger wonders whether his attitude to the monarchy would have done for him in less enlightened times?


I have also lived for a time in the United States which, of course, prides itself on not being a monarchy. All I can say is that I don’t feel any more free or less tramelled with rules and regulations there than here.


I'm going to add this gent's blog to my blogroll: The Royal Blog.

Albania wants remains of Mother Teresa, king

TIRANA, Albania — Albania wants the remains of Nobel Peace laureate Mother Teresa and the only post-independence monarch to be returned to the country, the prime minister said Friday....

Zog was the small Balkan country's first — and only — post-independence monarch, reigning from 1928 to 1939, when he fled after Albania's occupation by fascist Italy. He died in France in 1961, and is buried at the Thiais Cemetery near Paris.

"The Albanian government took this decision recognizing Ahmet Zog ... as one of the greatest, most distinguished personalities with a major contribution in the history of the Albanian nation," Berisha told a news conference.

Berisha said the king's remains would be re-interred at the former Albanian royal family's private cemetery near Tirana, without specifying when that was expected.

There has been no reaction from the royal family or French authorities.

Albania's communist rulers abolished the monarchy in 1946, but the exiled royals insisted that Zog's son Leka Zog I was the country's legitimate ruler.

Since the fall of Communism in 1991, Albania has been a parliamentary republic. A small royalist party is allied to Berisha's 16-party governing Democrats' coalition.

Albanians voted against restoring the monarchy in a 1997 referendum.

A couple of thoughts on government.

It must be granted that government by persons that were ordained by God, the Rich or a voting majority might not be optimally wise, just or successful. At the same time, the decisive question is not the immaculate perfection of governance. The issue to be decided is why such authority should be regarded, on the basis of logic and experience, to be less benign than the dominance by those who feel deputized by the “logic of history” or that are bureaucratic planners implementing “progress”?


Source.

Whenever an election is held in Iraq or Afghanistan the high turnout is always praised. But no mention is made of what the voters are voting for. They aren't voting for tolerance, pluralism, democracy, or any of the other platitudes advocated by the Bush State Department. Rather, the Sunnis are voting to put themselves in power, the Shia are voting to put themselves in power, and so forth. The turnout is high because no faction wants any other faction to have power, which inevitably means suppression of all other factions, plus control of oil wealth and other perks.

Back in the Sixties, the left would sometimes theorize about what would happen if we had an election in America and everybody came. The belief was that a 100 percent turnout would mean the have-nots would outnumber the haves at the ballot box and would vote to plunder the nation economically, which they saw as a good thing. I don't know if that's really what would have happened, but the left saw "democracy" as the proverbial two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner. That's how most of the world views it outside of Western Civilization, as we're seeing in Iraq. It should be a warning to everyone about what diversity leads to. Instead, our neocons nurture pipe dreams of a pluralist Middle East where everyone gets along once "democracy" is imposed everywhere.


Source.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Vive la France!

Duke of Vendôme Jean d’Orléans stakes his claim to French throne

It reads like a manifesto for a return to past French glories, with a strong army, a thriving economy and a society united around family values.

The author, however, is no ordinary politician. Jean d’Orléans, 44, the Duke of Vendôme, does not want to become President of France. He wants to be its king.

The man who claims to be heir to the French throne has signalled the start of his campaign to sow the seeds of a monarchist revival with the publication of Un prince français (A French Prince). The work suggests that the 1789 revolution was a mistake, that the French Republic is inherently unstable and that France should renew ties with ancestral tradition.

“The King, contrary to the President, is not subjected to elections,” the Duke, who descends from Louis-Philippe III, says. “And that changes everything. A prince does not govern according to opinion polls. He can therefore listen to everyone, neglect no one, take advice from all and decide in all honesty, guided only by a desire for the common good.”

The problem with being an American

The problem with being an American and becoming disenchanted with certain of the country's actions and beliefs is that you can't say a word about it to anyone who isn't already thoroughly acquainted with your new worldview. Otherwise, the worst sort of person thinks you are on their side, and the best sort (well, second-best sort) thinks that you are their enemy instead of being a purified form of their own side. Friend and foe alike misapprehend everything you say.

You can't just casually say that America shouldn't be butting in on the affairs of every other nation in the world, because Americans and foreigners alike will believe that you mean, "When the twin towers fell, we should have APOLOGIZED to those poor terrorists for having upset them so much! 9/11 was probably an inside job anyway," or "It was terrible the way we kept threatening the poor Soviets, who really just wanted to live in peace with everyone and were only kidding when they stated that they intended to enforce communism on the entire world by military conquest," or some such madness. People who share these sentiments and people who abhor them will both believe that is what you are saying. You can only say it to traditionalists and paleocons who understand that what you mean is that we should have stayed out of World War I.

You can't casually say that you don't agree with the systematic export of the American way of life to every place in the world, for a lot of reasons. For one thing, the belief system we object to isn't actually an American invention. It was created by the Frankfort School, which was made up of German and Italian refugees who came here to spread their nonsense. Arguably, certain weaknesses in our own proper, native worldview, such as a faith in elected government, made us susceptible to the Frankfort School's propaganda and allowed them to incubate their plot here. Indubitably, they used the power and wealth which America would never have achieved without the labor of people who shared none of the School's insane notions to advance their agenda. But we were the first victims of these people, not unlike the carrier of some science-fiction virus which not only transforms the carrier but gives it a compulsion to spread the infection to others. Most of us who value this country believe that the American way is on the verge of extinction, while what's being exported is for the most part a later aberration. If the way of Little House on the Prairie were being exported, that would be all very well, but instead the way of Taxi Driver is what we're spreading through the world.

In short, the rest of the world did pick up the odious habit of wearing comfortable clothes from us, but we ourselves got it from hostile foreigners in a Trojan horse.

Criticisms of the way our economy functions will be taken as an attack on capitalism and property itself, by both those who hate those things and those who esteem them. I don't know of a succinct way to explain that while capitalism is necessary unless you want a half-starved populace without sufficient shelter or medicine, capitalism by itself will not magically transform a society into a moral one. I think that most readers of the monarchist blogosphere will understand this without my explaining in tedious detail, but not many others will. And, of course, those on the left have no comprehension of the fact that capitalism is swiftly vanishing from this continent. I have seen left-wing journalists write, in all sincerity, that "a little more government oversight" would have prevented the recent financial crisis. Um, no.

Focus your criticism on the elected form of government and nearly everyone currently alive, regardless of their nation, will be uncomprehending. History textbooks carefully gloss over the armed aggression by which America and the Soviet Union both forced elections upon Europe and Japan, and how America used military force to help deprive other New World nations of their rightful European sovereigns. That is why, when my other obligations ease a little, I am going to write that series of essays I've occasionally threatened, in which I detail how every country in the world lost its monarchs. Most Americans have no idea that Woodrow Wilson is to blame for much of the "democracy" in the world. Most people of all nations believe that the world just naturally became democratic as we ascended to our current dizzying height of enlightenment. This is on a par with late nineteenth-century books which blithely state that the world has outgrown war. (Also late twentieth-century books which blithely state that the world has outgrown war.)

When I criticize my beloved country, do not take me for one of them. In the words of Confucius, "One cannot be loyal to the sovereign without admonishing him."

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

New addition to my blogroll

New Zealand Monarchy.

Another quotation of the day

"I prefer the old Adam of strife and carnage to the new Prometheus of peace and human rights. Better a world torn apart by Husseins and Qaddafis, better a war to the knife between the PLO and the Likud Party, between Zulus and Afrikaaners, than a world run by George Balls and Dag Hammarskjölds, because a world made safe for democracy is a world in which no one dares to raise his voice for fear that mommy will put you away some place where you can be reeducated."
~Thomas Fleming

Quotation of the Day

“Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”

~James Madison, The Federalist Papers (Federalist Number 10)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Monarchy news

Thai King’s illness deepens uncertainty — Pavin Chachavalpongpun

King Bhumibol, the world's longest-serving monarch, was crowned on May 5, 1950, at a time when the monarchy was weak and vulnerable. In 1932, what is believed to be Thailand's first military coup ended 150 years of absolute monarchy under the current Chakri dynasty and changed the face of Thai politics.

For the next 20 years, Thais lived in fear that their monarchy might actually become extinct. Its long existence had transformed the institution into one of the main pillars of the Thai state. Therefore, for Thais, living without a king was, and is, almost unimaginable.

But the fear gradually subsided as King Bhumibol embarked on a lifelong project to turn the marginalised monarchy into what American journalist Paul Handley has described as the single most powerful component of the modern Thai state.

Regarded by the Thais as semi-divine, King Bhumibol has emerged as a guarantor of stability, occasionally intervening directly in times of political crisis. On occasion, his interventions have stopped the bloodletting between political opponents. The footage of General Suchinda Kraprayoon, a general-turned-prime minister who was one of the leaders of the February 1991 coup, and his opponent Chamlong Srimuang, leader of anti-military demonstrators, prostrating themselves before the King in May 1992 is one of the most memorable images in modern Thai history.


The Supreme Court is a perfectly English idea
Don’t let them tell you this is another American import. It is modelled on the free democracy of Britain in the 18th century


In 1729, Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, arrived in England. By then, he was well into his Grand Tour, studying the political systems of Italy, Germany and the Netherlands. But he was most interested in England since it was here, as Voltaire had suggested, liberty was at its fullest. And Montesquieu was not disappointed. “England is at present the country in the world where there is the greatest freedom,” he wrote in his Pensées.

Seeking to understand the foundations of such freedoms, Montesquieu threw himself into British public life. He sat through interminable debates in Parliament between Robert Walpole and his foes, mingled at the court of George II, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, and declared himself amazed at both the stupidity of the English aristocracy and their childish love of practical jokes (one of which involved Montesquieu, at a country house party, falling through a false floor into a bath of cold water).

But what really impressed Montesquieu was English freedom. In contrast to the fearful royal absolutism of Louis XV’s France, the English enjoyed the right to worship, trade and speak their minds. And this was the direct product, Montesquieu thought, of the English constitution’s separation of powers. It was an idea he was led to appreciate by Viscount Bolingbroke, the Tory philosopher-politician. An opponent of Walpole, Bolingbroke had long accused the King and his ministers of undermining Parliament by buying off MPs. “In a constitution like ours, the safety of the whole depends upon the balance of the parts, and the balance of the parts on their mutual independency on each other.”


From the Bosphorus - Straight : Osman Ertuğrul: 1912 -- 2009

Over the weekend, Turkey laid to rest its last man in the direct line of accession to the Ottoman throne, Osman Ertuğrul who died last week at the age of 97. The complexity of Turkey’s relationship with the dynasty of an abolished monarchy was reflected in the attendence at Saturday’s funeral. As our story today notes, many leading political figures were there as well as religious figures. The industrial Koç family came. So did Yaşar Kemal, the leftist writer and intellectual. As one newspaper noted, perhaps only Ertuğrul in death could assemble such a diverse gathering in life....

On the concept of monarchy: “A monarch is brought up to reign and can be the right person, as he doesn't owe anything to anybody because he is not elected. But on the other hand he may be an idiot.”


Ferry tragedy 'may fuel democracy push'

Mateni Tapu'eluelu, of pro-democracy newspaper Kele'a, has clear memories of the 2006 pro-democracy riots in the capital Nuku'alofa in which eight people died and more than $100 million in damage was caused.

They were the most violent civil protests ever seen in the Pacific and were fuelled by Tongans' anger that the country's move away from the monarchy and towards a more democratic political system was taking too long.

Tongans now had more reason than ever to seek a change of government, Mr Tapu'eluelu said.


Wait, they should switch to democracy because people who want it kill a lot of people in their rallies?

He said the people were very aware the king had left the country when they needed him most.

"The people will look at the monarchy as not the kind of system that will provide them with proper leadership during a crisis like this.

"The calling now is for democracy and making sure that it does happen as soon as possible."


Nepal's Deposed King Gyanendra Expresses Concern About Country

A year after he stepped down, Nepal's deposed King Gyanendra has expressed concern about his country. The end of the monarchy had raised hopes of bringing political stability to the tiny nation, wracked for a decade by a Maoist rebellion.


...Wait, by ending the legitimate government and giving in to the people who were causing the trouble, they hoped to attain stability?

The king handed power to political parties in 2006, following weeks of street protests. This paved the way for Maoist rebels to end a violent insurgency, sign a peace deal and come to power.


They had the opportunity to stop being violent, because violence had finally given them what they wanted! How nice!

Ex-king "very perturbed" at turn of Nepal events

Nepal's deposed King Gyanendra said he was "very perturbed" at the lack of progress in establishing peace and prosperity for the people of the Himalayan nation a year after the end of the monarchy.


Ending monarchy doesn't bring peace or prosperity. Who knew?

Brussels Journal

A couple of recent Brussels Journal posts discuss monarchy in history a bit. Not monarchist, but of interest to monarchists.

Music and the Rise and Decline of Western Civilization

Ohmyrus believes, like myself, that the West is in decline, not just in relative terms as a percentage of the global economy or population but in real terms. He points to structural flaws in our democratic political system, which “tends to divide people, pitting one race against another and one economic class against another” and is by the nature of its short election periods not well suited for long-term planning. European civilization reached its peak when it was pre-democratic, and Muslims have found it easier to penetrate democratic than pre-democratic Europe. In nineteenth century Britain, Queen Victoria and the aristocracy were not as powerful as their ancestors had been, but they wielded more power than today. Power was divided between the monarch, the House of Lords and the House of Commons in Parliament. This corresponds to what ancient political theorists such as Aristotle would have called a good balance between the monarchic, the aristocratic and the democratic elements of society.


“The Catastrophe” - Part 2: What the End of Bronze-Age Civilization means for Modern Times

...Ionians gradually resettled in parts of Greece beyond Attica, extending their sense of enlightened order well beyond their home base – in particular to the coastal areas of what is today Turkey. The Ionians, unlike the Dorians, discarded many of the institutions of the Bronze Age, most especially kingship, but also the habit of the fortified city. Where kingship remained in the Ionic world, it persisted only as a ritualistic vestige. The new dispensation in Ionia inclined to the democratic. Doric institutions, as at Sparta or in Crete, remained tribal and hidebound. Spartan hegemony in Laconia gives some idea of the original Doric attitude to the conquered – utter dominating bigotry and, in practice, enslavement or Helotism. Originally it would have been contempt sprung from envy: the envy of the savage who sees across the borders into the ease and luxury of a more highly developed way of life and schemes how he might profit by the labor of others.