When Marie-Antoinette's brother, Emperor Joseph II, was visiting Versailles, some pro-American French lady kept badgering him about the colonists' revolt. Finally, the Holy Roman Emperor curtly replied: "Madame, I am a royalist by profession."previous
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Today would have been the 98th birthday of Erik Maria Ritter von Kuehnelt-Leddihn.
You might like to read the Acton Institute Obituary, Andrew Rogers' page on EvKL, or Dr. Enrico Peppe's review of Leftism Revisited.
May this great knight of Austria continue to rest in peace.
A reader has just recently responded with a question on taxes before the democratic republican age.
Based on footnotes in Hoppe’s Democracy the God that Failed, Peter Flora’s State, Economy, and Society in Western Europe 1815-1975: A Data Handbook should be a good place to start.
These books may also be of interest:
- Douglass C. North and Robert P. Thomas: The Rise of the Western World: A New Economic History
- Paul Johnson: Modern Times: The World from the Twenties to the Eighties
- Carlo M. Cipolla: Before the Industrial Revolution: European Society and Economy, 1000-1700
To my most recent LRC article a reader, Steve G., responds:
Democracy has its origins in pagan Greece and Rome. How can the Christian expect to exist in harmony and thrive in a pagan form of gov't?Published with prior consent of my correspondent.
Americans have [been] socially engineered to idolize democracy. The corruption of the American gov't is the [natural] result of pagan democracy.
So the answer?
The probem with most monarchies is the leadership has assumed a type of (god) status. The title of these leaders assume God titles i.e. My Lord, His Excellency, Your eminence. These leaders are still men and not Gods and should not be compared to as such.
I believe in Monarchies but a Christian monarchy leader should assume the title of chief. Therefore his status is under the rank of God, and even a king, and recognized by all as such. Still he would be the ultimate authority but not being referred to in the excellent godlike title. A chief was always under a king and since Jesus was the king of kings, this chief will should assume the proper subservient title and subservient role to God laws, and commandments.
That my friend is the proper way to begin a monarchy.
Monday, July 30, 2007
Congratulations to Prince Hans-Adam II and his consort Princess Marie on their ruby wedding anniversary.
Warm wishes to a Prince who in our Wilsonian day and age lives up to Kaiser Franz Josef's response to POTUS Theodore Roosevelt*:
to protect my people from their governmentand his consort.
Es lebe Seiner Durchlaucht Fürst Hans-Adam II von und zu Liechtenstein und seine Gemahlin, Ihre Durchlaucht Fürstin Marie von und zu Liechtenstein!
Gott erhalte und beschütze den Fürst und die Fürstin!
Long live His Serene Highness Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein and his consort, Her Serene Highness Princess Marie of Liechtenstein!
God save and protect the Prince and the Princess!
*modified to singular from the plural original
Sunday, July 29, 2007
The upcoming August 18 is the 177th birthday of HLIRM Franz Josef of Austria-Hungary.
Celebrations take place in Bad Ischl on August 16 (I've heard there's a mass on August 18 there as well), Cormons and Giassico August 17 through 19, and supposedly Millstatt.
The Austria Imperial Festival's web site is not updated from last year's event. This is not a good sign. The festival is not connected directly to Franz Josef's birthday. It takes place in the "monarchist nest" of Innsbruck. I had the pleasure of going to the festival in August of 2004, after which I wrote this. The year after I attended they cut the ball and they split the rest in two, having only the concert in August, and the rest in October, more specifically in connection with Emperor Karl's Feast Day. Sadly, this makes it less interesting for people travelling from afar.
Over at the Guardian, there's a relatively sensible piece on monarchy.
Prof. John Gray writes:
It has become part of the liberal creed that monarchy and empire are anachronisms. The first embodies the hereditary principle, which no modern thinker can accept as a legitimate basis of government, while the second represents something still worse - the subjugation of peoples who should govern themselves. In future, the world will be organised into self-determining republics where all citizens enjoy equal rights. When empires are no more and kings and queens have been retired from service there will be enduring peace, and freedom will for the first time be universal.
This fable has a certain innocent charm. It turns the ironies of history into a simple morality play, and in a time that demands emotional uplift before anything else it has a powerful appeal. Yet this liberal narrative involves a massive simplification of events, and the ideal of self-determination it articulates has proved dangerous in practice.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Thanks to a response to my most recent LRC article, I was made aware of a proposal regarding voting rights in Australia, which is more related to my recent posts on voting age and universal suffrage than the article. Not that that makes it uninteresting or without value. By no means!
The Australian proposal of introducing voting rights for all persons born, parents exercising them until their kids reach the majority age, resembles a proposal put forward by HIRH Archduke Otto in The Social Order of Tomorrow. The Archduke recommended giving the voting rights to the family provider. This sounds like something giving the family provider a stronger position vis-à-vis his rival the Provider State – a.k.a. the Welfare State.
Also, giving more voting rights to people with children will tend to give more voting rights to people who are more future-oriented.
However, with all due respect, I am skeptical.
The practical problem of deciding how two parents can decide their kids’ votes – or in the case of the Archduke’s proposal, in cases of doubt deciding who is the family provider – I consider minor compared to problems with the concept itself.
Firstly, the history of the expansion of the franchise has not exactly proven to be a history of increased protection of the individual vis-à-vis the government.
Secondly, in our present situation there is a considerable risk that more votes to families with minor kids will lead to a demand for more tax funding of parental leaves, schools, etc. I.e., there is a risk that it is the Provider State that will be strengthened, not the traditional provider.
Thirdly, when a political innovation is embraced by leftists, there is reason to watch out. I’m not saying that what leftists believe in necessarily is bad, but I’m saying that one needs to be careful.
Fourthly, assigning a vote to every citizen no matter the age, leaving it to a parent or guardian in cases of legal minority, strengthens political egalitarianism and the thought that one’s value as a human is dependent on the right to vote. Political egalitarianism needs weakening, not strengthening, and we need to rid ourselves of the concept that human value is somehow derived from the right to vote. One should also note that telling the government that “we need votes, otherwise we do not matter” also is telling the government how important it is.
Friday, July 27, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
With the ongoing public debate about expanding the franchise to even younger people, it is time for a few quotes from Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn.
From Liberty or Equality:
[T]he democratic principle of "one man, one vote," viewed against a background of voting masses numbering several millions, only serves to demonstrate the pitiful helplessness of the inarticulate individual, who functions at the polls as the smallest indivisible arithmetical (and not always algebraic) unit. He acts in total anonymity, secrecy and legal irresponsibility.Also from Liberty or Equality:
While it is perhaps true that "one cannot fool all the people all the time," it seems that one can fool millions for centuries.From Leftism Revisited:
Sometime in the coming century, people will rack their brains pondering how nations with tremendous scientific and intellectual achievements could have given uninstructed and untrained men and women the right to vote equally uninstructed and untrained people into responsible positions.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
In this oil kingdom, there is a certain push for expanding the suffrage even further. The push is for 16-years-olds to be included in the electorate. This might even lead to some 15-year-olds getting the right to vote, as today's limit of 18 years of age actually applies to the age one has at the end of the year. An election expert has even suggested a lower limit of 12 years of age.
Over at the Guardian, Jonathan Pyke argues for lowering the UK voting age to 16.
"Deogolwulf" responds excellently.
I would add a few points.
The voting age should be raised rather than lowered. Limiting the franchise further through other qualifications wouldn't be a bad idea either.
What is it with this suffrage expansion ideology? Do people seriously believe that the right to vote is the check on power? Trumphing all others in effectiveness? And that the disenfranchised are denied this very valuable protection? Hence, political equality must rule to the widest extent possible?
Please do wake up and smell the Malabar!
With the expansion of the franchise and of democracy in general, for that matter we have had expansion of the reach and the size of the state. The price for universal suffrage seems to have been very high indeed, for it is not far from obvious that the price is liberty itself!
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
There is a petition up to restore a hereditary House of Lords. The petition may be signed by British subjects and residents including in overseas territories, Crown dependencies, and Sovereign Base Areas, but excluding Commonwealth Realms.
If you are eligible, please do feel free to sign.
Writes Tim Walker with Richard Eden at the Sunday Telegraph:
Few people will be implementing the smoking ban in England today with less enthusiasm than the Queen. Although she has consented to have no-smoking signs erected in the public areas of Buckingham Palace to comply with the new regulations, she has made it clear to courtiers that she would have preferred to continue to offer visitors the use of ash-trays rather than outlaw the practice.As for the seat belt, Her Britannic Majesty seems to be "echoing" her first cousin once removed His Late Majesty King Olav V of Norway, who also refused to wear a seat belt, after having asked the politicos about the relation between individual freedom and seat belt regulations.
"HM is a confirmed non-smoker but she is also a great libertarian and has no time for political correctness," says my man at the Palace. "She has always made cigarettes available to her guests. I might add that she also refuses to wear a hard hat when she is out riding and she refuses, too, to wear a seat belt when she travels by car."
No-smoking signs are already up at the entrances used by members of the public when they receive honours, but there will be none at those used by the Queen, members of the Royal Family or their senior aides. "She has agreed to comply, but can't bear the Government meddling with every aspect of an individual's life," adds the courtier.
Visiting the Realm of New Zealand, I told some Kiwis and fellow travellers about our late King's attitude. A Canadian responded almost fiercely that the Queen has no rights in Canada, and that if the Governor-General did something similar, he would be Governor-General no more.
Now, apparently, the Queen of Canada does do something similar. Whether she does so on Canadian soil, the story does not say.
Randy Dotinga reviews Catrine Clay's King, Kaiser, Tsar: Three Royal Cousins Who Led the World to War.
The overall impression one can get from the review is that George V, Wilhelm II, and Nicholas II were to blame for the Great War.
I guess it is fashionable to blame it all on the monarchs. It is especially amazing when it comes to His Britannic Majesty, who at the time hardly can be said to have wielded enough power to bring the nation to war, or to stop it, if that was what the politicos wanted.
It is probably true that the monarchs of the time could have done more to prevent the outbreak of war. They certainly should have. However, what tends to be a feature of monarchs is that they take responsibility. They don't tend as easily as the politicos to pass the buck. One should consider the role of others though, such as Parliaments. What did they do to prevent war? It is possible that the book touches such issues. The review does not.
To those who complain about the too extensive powers of monarchs it is fitting to ask the following question: Should the monarchs have had and exercised more or less power? Which is it?
Mr. Dotinga concludes his review with:
Then again, "King, Kaiser, Tsar" makes it clear that close family ties offer no immunity from war. Ultimately, the cousins were more interested in preserving their crowns than one another. The world is still paying the price for their hubris.It is perhaps their hubris we are paying the price for. We are at least still paying the price for the Great War, and part of that price is the modern democracy that emerged after the war.
One could get the impression from the review that this war was some sort of family feud. Even Winston Churchill in his The Second World War noted that World War I was a war of peoples, not of governments. This made things considerably worse.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Over at Taki's Top Drawer, John Zmirak debunks the French Revolution.
While Dr. Zmirak certainly makes good points in his comparison of the French and American rebellions, I have reservations to some extent about his positive view of the American variant.
Please also do feel free to visit or revisit the following vintage reading material:
- Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn: Operation Parracide
- H.A. Scott Trask: What Brought on the French Revolution?
- H.A. Scott Trask: Inflation and the French Revolution: The Story of a Monetary Catastrophe
Friday, July 13, 2007
93 years ago today, the Austrian investigation of the assassination in Sarajevo concluded.
Note that Count von Berchtold declined to share the findings with the Emperor, as they were not as he the Count that is would have liked them to be.
Ten days later the ultimatum to the Kingdom of Serbia was issued.
Yet 5 days later war was declared on the Kingdom of Serbia from the Kaiservilla in Bad Ischl.
Note that it is debatable that this war declaration started World War One. Arguably, it was the Russian general mobilization instead of a mobilization against Austria-Hungary that turned the local conflict into a world war.
FirstWorldWar.com has more on the July Crisis and the origins of the war.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Nepal, His Excellency Mr. James F. Moriarty, reportedly, promotes the Wilsonian doctrine of transition to full-fledged democracy until the bitter end. While it may be argued that this is soft Wilsonianism, it still is Wilsonianism.
The Telegraph Nepal reports on the change of the guard here and here.
There is so much about the situation in Nepal that reminds us of Europe around World War One. With the Maoist threat present it is perhaps ironic that we can recall Karl Marx:
History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.There is probably little hope that this change brings much substantial change. Her Excellency Ms. Nancy J. Powell will probably be as Wilsonian as Moriarty. It is to be hoped, however, that the next change in this regard will be substantial, with the next President of those United States, Ronald Ernest Paul.
An important part of the Wilsonian world order is the European Union. Now the European Commission President, José Manuel Barroso, tells us the EU is a "non-imperial empire". It is not imposed from a center.
I guess that means it's just like modern democracy; "we" always have the right to kick "them" out of office. Well, I guess it's all right then?
BTW, those United States of America were also originally in a voluntary union. I wrote a piece on this a few years back.
H/T: The Brussels Journal.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
The Honorable John Shimkus, United States Representative from the 19th district of Illinois (GOP) reportedly told the State Journal-Register (Springfield, IL):
When I taught government and history by definition, what is the best form of government, the most simple, is a compassionate monarchy - a monarchy that loves and respects its citizens and … is able to make easy decisions without the weight of a bureaucracy we’d have to fund.It should be noted that the Congressman, reportedly, taught at a private high school.
While I certainly would not put out the ability to make decisions easily as the foremost advantage of monarchy, and while I have certain problems with what the Congressman otherwise says to support his being "democracy guy," this Congressman from Illinois must be commended for making such a statement. In particular, he should be praised for his courage, especially since the interview was published on the American Independence Eve.
I would add though that the bureaucracy you find in those United States today hardly brings one to think of small or limited government, or "land of the free" for that matter.
Congressman Shimkus' statement has caused a few comments, not only at the site of the State Journal-Register, and a lot of them are quite hostile. Apparently, there are a lot of ignoramuses who make comments when such statements are made. The ability to distinguish between monarchy and dictatorship, e.g., is seemingly not impressively present. It is even claimed that monarchy is the "least limited government known to man." Some obviously need to be made aware of or reminded of some words of Prof. Dr. Hoppe:
[D]emocracy is worse than monarchy at keeping the size and reach of the state in check.Comments on said United States Representative's statement can be found here, here, here, here, here, and here.
What is it with these Americans? Yes, I'm well aware that not all of them are like that, but a lot are.
For the record, I am perfectly aware that the American Republic was not created a democracy. I am also aware of the (dubious) claim that those United States still are not a democracy. Yes, the popular majority's representatives are not necessarily in power, but that goes for almost any representative democracy.
Monday, July 9, 2007
Notes Charles A. Coulombe in an excellent article from the November/December 2000 issue of the Barnes Review:
[M]onarchies have lost much of their ability to serve their people through acceptance of the myth that the politicians really do speak for the people or for that matter, that whatever the majority of the people want at any given time ought to be given preference over objective right and wrong.
Sunday, July 8, 2007
Saturday, July 7, 2007
Today is the 60th birthday of His Majesty King Gyanendra of Nepal.
Foreign envoys declined to attend a reception yesterday. Attendance was reportedly said not to be “helpful.”
The envoy of His Majesty King Harald V of Norway to the Royal Nepalese Court, His Excellency Mr. Tore Toreng, confirmed to me Thursday this week that he would not attend. I have protested the Norwegian Ambassador’s non-attendance.
Among the alternatives; Wilsonian, full-fledged, unchecked mass democracy, Maoist rule, being swallowed by India, or whatever other alternative there might be, Nepal and her people is probably very lucky if they get away with some variant of Wilsonian democracy. For the record, that’s not supposed to be a compliment to Wilsonian democracy.
Neither SPA, SPAM, nor the process now going on are “helpful.”
See also news reports on the birthday celebrations here and here.
Congratulations to His Majesty King Gyanendra on his 60th birthday. May the Kingdom of Nepal prosper!
Please feel free to visit or revisit my article published on King Gyanendra’s 59th birthday.
Update: VOA News reports on the celebration.
Thursday, July 5, 2007
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
On this day, some may appreciate visiting or revisiting the late Dr. John Attarian's perspective. Note also today's LRC article by Gary North on rising taxes since the days of the American War for Independence.
Others may appreciate visiting or revisiting an audio recording of a more moderate lecture by the now late Dr. Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, including the statement that the American fight for independence was not initially anti-monarchical. The declaration celebrated today merely asserted His Britannic Majesty's personal unfitness for rule of a free people.
Some may appreciate both.
Yet all should note Dr. Kevin R. C. Gutzman's statement on "spreading democracy":
The fulfillment of the 4th of July will come when the United States has sponsored democratic revolutions throughout the world.BTW, yesterday was the anniversary of the end of the Battle of Gettysburg. Had that battle gone the other way, we very well might not have known the term "Wilsonianism."
No. Both George Washington (in an address he co-wrote with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay) and Thomas Jefferson counseled that the U.S. avoid foreign entanglements, and thus foreign wars.
Monday, July 2, 2007
Sunday, July 1, 2007
Geoffrey Wheatcroft at the Boston Globe writes on why George III would have found himself at home in today's District of Columbia.
While Mr. Wheatcroft certainly has some points in his article, he fails to recognize or at least fails to demonstrate such recognition the immense expansion of the reach and the size of the state since the times of George III. Both the London and the Washington, D.C. of our times are probably far beyond what George III could have dreamt of.