Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Debate on Democratic Universalism

Last month there was a debate in London:


Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Birthday to Her Britannic Majesty!

Her Britannic Majesty is 88 years old today. Happy Birthday!




Coronation of William and Mary at 325

William and MaryA baker's dozen quarters of a century ago today (April 11 in the Julian Calendar), William III and Mary II were crowned, following the “Glorious Revolution.”

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!




Saturday, April 19, 2014

Italian Claim on Austria

South Tyrol is not Italy95 years ago today, the Paris peace negotiators started talking about Italian claims on Austro-Hungarian territory.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Anatole France at 170

Anatole France170 years ago today, François-Anatole Thibault, also known as Anatole France, was born.

To quote:

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

Tocqueville Passing at 165

Tocqueville at the 1851 'Commission de la révision de la Constitution à l'Assemblée nationale.'Eight score and five years ago today, Alexis de Tocqueville passed away.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Diversity

Mercurius Pragmaticus quotes Rein Staal in Modern Age (1996):

The spirit of neologism is perhaps best illustrated when it fastens on a word in common use. Note the recent career of the word “diversity.” This term denotes a key conservative theme. As is pointed out by Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn in writings including his classic Leftism (1974), a devotion to diversity arguably distinguishes the Right from the Left. The elements of this devotion are many; consider, for example, respect for regional traditions, the insistence that human beings are not interchangeable, the tendency to think in terms of distinct persons rather than large classes of people, support for various institutions that shield individuals from the State, as well as the related belief in decentralization. We are now expected to restrict the term to one explicit, technical meaning, one that refers to a specific demographic distribution. Not surprisingly, the new usage is explained and enforced by a phalanx of experts. Note also that, in a characteristic tour de force, the term is now compatible, not only with intellectual conformism, but also with the pursuit of economic and political integration on a global scale.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Monarchy to Return in Libya?

The Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Libya
Libyans debate a monarchical restoration. So Magharebia reports.


H/T: Royal World

Currency Masquerading

U.S. gold coin
Over at LewRockwell.com, Dr. Donald W. Miller, Jr. dissects the concept of the U.S. dollar.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Amritsar Massacre at 95

Memorial of the Amritsar MassacreFive years short of century ago today, in the aftermath of the Great War, the Amritsar Massacre took place.

This was most unfortunate in many ways – to put it mildly. And one can certainly understand why many Indians didn't want to continue with the British Crown – and still have a hatred towards the British Raj.

That being said, it can absolutely be argued that India is no better off – in several aspects – than under the Raj in best case, and probably worse.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Monarchy vs. Republic in Oslo

Last Sunday yours truly went to a debate at the local Literature House between republican Mr. Erik Lundesgaard and monarchist Mr. Nils August Andresen. The audience was overwhelmingly republican. The debate was organized by the republican movement but open to the general public.

Yours truly is probably considerably more of a paleomonarchist than Mr. Andresen, the former being less satisfied with the status quo than the latter – most likely. Your host blogger is probably more skeptical of democracy and popular sovereignty than the monarchist panelist.

However, Mr. Andresen should be commended for saying:

  • The monarch represents balance against democratic power, especially for permanent minorities.
  • More democracy is not necessarily a good thing (in every situation).
  • The Whig theory of history is incorrect.
  • That the King of Norway stood up to the politicians when they wanted to remove the confessional requirement for the monarch was a good thing.
  • Democratic institutions may be questioned more in the future.
Mr. Lundesgaard countered Mr. Andresen's concept of balance of power with what nowadays is the concept in use, namely a functional separation (a governmental division of labor of sorts), saying that the concept of balance of power is outdated. Lundesgaard may be right in what is the order of the day. Unfortunately. Fortunately, it doesn't have to stay that way forever.

Lundesgaard stated that the litmus test [note to Mr. Lundesgaard if he should ever read this blog post: litmus test is “syretest” in Norwegian] for being a principled monarchist is if you would set up a brand new state with a monarchy. Andresen responded that he didn't accept his definition of a principle, stating that he hoped that such a situation never should be the case, previously having stated that he would not set up a new monarchy.

Andresen and yours truly seem largely to be in agreement that constitutional design is not a good thing. Let's remember the wise words of Edmund Burke; that constitutions are grown, not made.

Yours truly might be more inclined to set up a new monarchy than Mr. Andresen, but it would all depend on the situation. It is not considered normal to establish new monarchies in this day and age, but a new monarchical age may dawn. Yours truly may be more welcoming to such a new age than Mr. Andresen, but he can speak for himself.

Mr. Lundesgaard claimed that it is only a question of time before we have a Norwegian republic. He also claimed to know about a lot of closet republicans. The Norwegian republicans in 1905 thought King Haakon VII's reign would be a short one. They were wrong. The republicans can be wrong again.

As for the possibility of closet republicans, Lundesgaard may be right. However, there are probably quite a few closet democracy skeptics as well.

Several republicans had the floor for comments and questions. There was a Dane who apparently tried to demolish Mr. Andresen's concept of historical legitimacy by stating that Denmark has a historically legitimate claim to Norway. The Dane did not mention that Denmark-Norway was based on a union treaty, not on some sort of ownership by Denmark of Norway. In any case, the Danish republican apparently thought that historical legitimacy means that anything that has been in the past can be justified, an interpretation that was effectively rejected by Mr. Andresen. Andresen also in a way made a case for the union of Denmark and Norway, historically, also culturally during the union with Sweden. Your host blogger would say that the good aspects of Denmark-Norway have been underrated.

A Swedish republican also took to the floor and managed to say that democracy is the finest thing there is. Seriously? Some democratic-republicans apparently have a deviating view of what is the finest thing there is (most people find this outside the realm of politics – enough said). You cannot make this stuff up. Mr. Andresen, being a gentleman, did not fall for the temptation to make a point out of that. He merely took note that there are different views on democracy, and that republicans apparently don't acknowledge those other views.

Mr. Andresen did a good job in the debate. Although he apparently is far from as paleo as yours truly, he should be commended for being – philosophically at least – considerably more balanced on democracy than the general pseudo-religious democracy view that is so common in these times.

BTW, popular support for a restoration in Serbia – through an opinion poll not too long ago – of around 40 percent is fueled by exactly the kind of dropping faith in democratic institutions – or the elected politicians – that Mr. Andresen talked about. 40 percent is more than ditching the monarchy has ever received in any opinion poll in Norway for at least some decades. And republicans have the nerve to claim that once a monarchy is gone no one – apart from very minor groups – ever seriously wants it back!

We should also keep in mind the opinion poll conducted in connection with the Norwegian coronation centennial in 2006, where 20 percent approved of increasing regal powers – 30 percent amongst those thirty and younger.