Friday, August 31, 2007

Quote of the Month

Writes Mr. Jim Matthews at An Unquiet Mind:

[A] democracy assumes that there is no ultimate good, that there is only more or less bad, and therefore the two sides of a binary, which should, in theory, represent the polar opposite beliefs regarding whatever subject, can only bicker back and forth, struggling for power without achieving much other than the establishment of the notion that we can only hope for a less bad government. Meanwhile, monarchy, for all its tyrannical possibilities, also offers the only possibility of a truly good government, a government undiluted by power-plays and greed and the innumerable other vulgarities that any number of men thrown together might use to manipulate the governance of a country to their own private ends. A monarch who recognizes the responsibility of reigning sovereign over men doesn't face such scheming, and, consequently, may more easily install a just order within his domain.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

American Party System – Failure

Over at the Intellectual Conservative, Justin Soutar debunks the American two-party system, calling it a catastrophic failure.

While I am generally skeptical to the factual reliability of articles claiming Abraham Lincoln to have had a firm stand against slavery, the article certainly has its points.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Goethe 258

Today is the 258th birthday of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. A quote of choice:

Ich habe gar nichts gegen die Menge;
Doch kommt sie einmal ins Gedränge,
So ruft sie, um den Teufel zu bannen,
Gewiß die Schelme, die Tyrannen.
which translates roughly into:
I have nothing at all againt the masses;
but if they come in a tight spot,
then they call, to avoid the devil,
those scoundrels, the tyrants.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Romania Enters the Great War

91 years ago today, the Kingdom of Romania declared war on the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary.

The Farce on the Top of the World Continues

Nepalese Royal StandardWhile the Nepalese Maoists claim Uncle Sam is trying to save the monarchy on the top of the world, royalists have begun to fight back.

So Nepal News and the Economic Times of India Times report respectively.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Elections and the Tower of Babel

Apparently, it does not matter whether the electors actually understand the business on which they are voting.

There's an upcoming local election in Norway. Election Day is September 10. All legal permanent residents having resided legally in Norway for 3 years or more have the right to vote for representatives to local bodies.

The Royal Municipal and Regional Department has distributed information on voting rights in no less than 8 languages in addition to the official language; English, Turkish, Russian, Somali, Vietnamese, Arabic, Persian, and Urdu.

A lot of Norwegian-speaking people are not able to demonstrate sufficient knowledge to vote responsibly, but how are people who are not proficient in Norwegian, let alone neither in Norwegian or English, able to?

Long live the efforts to bring ignorance to the polls!

The Myth of the Rational Voter

The Myth of the Rational VoterDr. Walter Block reviews Dr. Bryan Caplan's The Myth of the Rational Voter.

Read on.

Friday, August 24, 2007

The French Revolution

The Storming of the BastilleThere's an interesting post on the French Revolution at Le Fleur de Lys too.

Via: Tea at Trianon

Marie Antoinette

Marie AntoinetteThere's an interesting post on Marie Antoinette at Tea at Trianon.

Hoppean Ghanaian?

I came across an interesting blog post from apparently a Ghanaian.

The blog post starts off strongly Hoppean, blaming a lot of the problems of our times on modern democracy.

What I, however, find peculiar is, that after having attacked democracy for short-termism, our African blogger concludes by proposing to keep the modern party system while introducing term limits for political parties as a whole.

Also found here.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Usurpers Grab Palaces

The usurpers in Kathmandu claim the ownership of royal palaces. So the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

Franz Josef 177 – a Posteriori

The 177th birthday celebration of HLIRM Franz Josef went well in Zell am See. So a press release reports.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Germans Warm to Vilified Prussia

Coat of Arms of the House of HohenzollernGermans are starting to rethink their negative views about Prussia. So Madeline Chambers of Reuters reports.

Bhumipol Explained

King BhumipolAt the News Straits Times, W. Scott Thompson explains King Bhumipol and his reign to the Wilsonian world.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The "Crown" Star in the Star-Spangled Banner

Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Hawai'iFour dozen years ago today, the occupation of the Kingdom of Hawai'i was taken a step further, "elevating" it to statehood in those United States, and thus being "guaranteed" a republican form of government.

Please also feel free to visit Free Hawai'i.

The Case for a Shah of Iraq

Over at Enter Stage Right, Bruce Walker argues for an Iraqi Shah.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Wilson to Argue Ratification

On this day in 1919, the Persona Non Grata of this blog appeared before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee to argue for ratification of the Versailles Treaty.

Grimmelshausen Passing 331

GrimmelshausenFriday was the 331st anniversary of the passing of Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen. A quote of choice:

Es ist kein Schwerdt, das schärffer schiert,
Als wann ein Baur zum Herren wird.
which translates into:
There is no sword that cuts sharper
than when a peasant becomes master.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Reactionary or Progressive?

Coat of Arms of the Family von MisesSaid Ludwig von Mises:

The usual terminology of political language is stupid. What is “left” and what is “right”? Why should Hitler be “right” and Stalin, his temporary friend, be “left”? Who is “reactionary” and who is “progressive”? Reaction against an unwise policy is not to be condemned. And progress towards chaos is not to be commended. Nothing should find acceptance just because it is new, radical, and fashionable. “Orthodoxy” is not an evil if the doctrine on which the “orthodox” stand is sound.
What would have happened to Western civilization if its peoples had always shown such liking for the “new”? Suppose they had welcomed as “the wave of the future” Attila and his Huns, the creed of Mohammed, or the Tartars? They, too, were totalitarian and had military successes to their credit which made the weak hesitate and ready to capitulate. What mankind needs today is liberation from the rule of nonsensical slogans and a return to sound reasoning.
H/T: J.R. Sjöberg

Remember the Maharajas

Today is the diamond anniversary of the Independence of India. The independence created, India and Pakistan, the latter with a western and eastern part, of which the latter today is Bangladesh.

India was not proclaimed republic before 1950, but it was with independence that the princely states were forced to become part of either of the centralized states of India and Pakistan.

The Wilsonian principle of self-determination meant not only the end of colonialism, but also outright centralized democratic republicanism.

One could also wonder how "freedom from colonialism" is used consciously and unconsciously to legitimize power. When I was in India a couple of years ago, a "professional" tourist guide failed to be able to talk civilized with me about the title of "Emperor of India" under the British Raj. In any case, the Coronation Durbar in Delhi seems to be getting a revival – at least as a tourist attraction. Please see pictures from the site below from August of 2005.

Please also feel free to see a piece of mine on India published today (in Norwegian).

Coronation Durbar -- overview
Coronation Durbar -- from afar
George V from afar
George V
Coronation Durbar Column
Coronation Durbar Column
Coronation Durbar -- text

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

China and Germany at War

90 years ago today, another newly established Republic, the Republic of China declared war on Imperial Germany.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Defence of the Realm Act

On this day in 1914, the British Parliament passed the Defence of the Realm Act.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Monarchy versus Democracy

Richard, Sieur de Brantigny reflects on monarchy and democracy.

Austrian Empire

Emperor Franz203 years ago today, Franz II assumed the title of first Emperor of Austria, thus becoming Emperor Franz I of Austria.

Weimar Constitution Adopted

On this day in 1919, Germany adopted the soon-to-fail Weimar Constitution.

Friday, August 10, 2007

French and Ottoman Falls

The Dying LionOn this day in 1792, the Tuileries Palace was stormed. The heroic Swiss Guards are commemorated in Lucerne, Switzerland with the Dying Lion.

128 years later, the Treaty of Sèvres was signed, recognizing the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire.

Update: also at Tea at Trianon

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Habsburg and Ottoman Transition

Dr. Valentina P. Dimitrova-Grajzl of the Central European University in Budapest has a paper on transition in the former Habsburg and Ottoman Empires.

H/T: Stephan Kinsella

Gingrich: POTUS Race Close to Insane

Newt GingrichFormer Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Newt Gingrich debunks the verge of insanity of the process of electing POTUS. So CNN reports.

Franz Josef 177 Next Week

Kaiser und König Franz JosefCome Saturday next week, HLIRM Franz Josef will have his 177th birthday. Zell am See will be celebrating, openPR reports.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Ambassador Powell Arrives

Ambassador PowellAccording to the (dubious) weblog United We Blog! for a Democratic Nepal, Her Excellency Ms. Nancy J. Powell, the new United States envoy to the Royal Court of Nepal, has recently arrived in Kathmandu and will (erroneously) be presenting her credentials to the Nepalese usurper, interim PM tomorrow.

Let's see how much Wilsonianism Her Excellency is able exercise.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Archduke Otto – Too Political to Be Emperor?

S.K.u.K.H. Erzherzog OttoAccording to Karin Mollberg, HIRH Archduke Otto would not have preferred to be a monarch, as he is "too much of a political animal."

It seems that this might be from a Der Spiegel interview (July 2, 2007) by Joachim Kronsbein; „Jawohl, Majestät!” – Audienz bei Otto von Habsburg, dem Sohn des letzten Kaisers von Österreich und Königs von Ungarn.

Bhutanese Transition

The Asahi Herald reports on the Bhutanese transition to democracy.

New Nepalese National Anthem

It's official; there's a new "monarchy-neutral" national anthem in the Kingdom of Nepal. So OhmyNews International reports.


King Gyanendra is under no compulsion to pack up and leave Nepal just because interim legislators or ex-rebels say so.

English Cultural Revolution

English Cultural RevolutionDr. Paul Edward Gottfried reviews Dr. Sean Gabb's Cultural Revolution, Culture War: How Conservatives Lost England and How To Get It Back.

Knights of Malta

Dr. John Zmirak reminds us of the Knights of Malta. In order not to get carried away in respect to what actually is today's reality, you might also want to read a presentation by Matt Rosenberg.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

U.S. "Neutrality" Proclaimed

On this day in 1914 the Persona Non Grata of this blog formally proclaimed neutrality of those United States, of which he was President, in the Great War, which rather should be called "neutrality." Also on this day in 1914, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland declared war.

Friday, August 3, 2007

The Lamps Went Out

Sir Edward GreySeven years short of a hundred years ago today, Germany and France declared war on each other.

Sir Edward Grey, UK foreign secretary, is known to have said on that night:

The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.
Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn added that they would not be seen lit in his lifetime either, also asking:
How did Europe plunge into the bloodiest war in world history, a war that so radically altered Western civilization?
One could also ask if they will be lit in ours.

World War I – which also has been labeled "the war that ended the world of liberty" – was the greatest mistake our civilization ever made. William S. Lind noted just about a year ago:
[W]hen Americans and Europeans wonder today how and why the West lost its historic culture, morals and religion, the ultimate answer is the Allied victory in 1918. Again, the fact that World War I occurred is the greatest disaster. But once that had happened, the last chance the West had of retaining its traditional culture was a victory by the Central Powers.

Monarchy's Roadblock?

Over at the Guardian, Graham Smith debunks John Gray's relatively sensible piece, mentioned previously at this blog.

Now, there's a point in monarchy not preserving freedoms, especially in modern times, since it has not stood in the way of the politicos. What whould, however, have been the result of the opposite? Little imagination is needed to see that there would have been an outrage. As it is said: Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Also, Mr. Smith has a point when expressing concern for the enormous personal power of the British PM and "sovereignty of Parliament," but that's a consequence of the unfortunate devlopment in the United Kingdom based on the flawed concept of popular sovereignty, which Mr. Smith praises, a concept which in the form it has taken accepts no other authority than the popularly elected House of Commons.

Moreover, Mr. Smith might be right in that monarchy per se is a neutral factor when it comes to liberties and civil rights. Democracy and monarchy are about who governs. How it is governed is a different matter. However, there are tendencies in human nature that make monarchy preferable to democracy. Even the seemingly nonexistent powers of today's European monarchs may be missed come a crisis.

Mr. Smith does not comment on the conflict of liberty and democracy. It should be added that even democracy per se is neutral vis-à-vis liberty. However, there are tendencies in human nature that indeed make democracy perilous for liberty.

Mr. Smith seems to be praising written constitutions as a protection of liberty. History suggests that these paper tigers are just that; paper tigers. At least in modern, universal suffrage democracies, where the myth that we rule ourselves has all but erased the distinction between the rulers and the ruled, and hence resistance against rule has all but vanished. A written constitution may have some substantial effect in a milieu where there is a considerable conception of distinct parties to this constitution. Otherwise it is likely to be just a paper tiger.

Mr. Smith remarks in parantheses that kings and queens have resisted freedom. Mr. Smith does not make the typical rebublican argument that history is a fight for freedom between princes and the politicos, the latter being benevolent freedom fighters, and hence the resisters should be dethroned and the freedom fighters enthroned with no checks at all. Sorry, of course, I mean checked by a nonresisting electorate, whose majority of course is completely disinterested – not to speak of uninterested – in oppressing minorites. That the nouveau régime has less resistance is of course completely irrelevant.

It is those who talk of the excesses of monarchs of old, which I do not deny, without including the excesses of politicos and electorates of new in their analysis, who are the Sleeping Beauty, who has not woken up to modern day tyranny. Are not they the ones living in the past? (Mr. Smith does not seem to be concentrating so much on the past, but he sure seems to be ignoring the pervasive government of our times, with his praise to modern day "liberty constitutions.")

May I suggest a study of Martin van Creveld's The Rise and Decline of the State?

Have I now disturbed an "intelligent and sensible" discourse? That was my intent!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Russian Imperial Family Route

Nicholas IIA Russian Imperial Family tourist route is set to open in August of 2008. So Russia-InfoCentre reports.

Franz Josef Reigns

On Google:

Apart from a few more exception and generally a smaller gap, also in Austria they seem to care more for their beloved Emperor of old than the current democratic republican leaders:

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Great War Was a Reality

93 years ago today, Imperial Russia and Imperial Germany declared war on each other, with the French Third Republic ordering general mobilization.