[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.previous
Friday, August 31, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007
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
Ich habe gar nichts gegen die Menge;which translates roughly into:
Doch kommt sie einmal ins Gedränge,
So ruft sie, um den Teufel zu bannen,
Gewiß die Schelme, die Tyrannen.
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
While 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
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!
Friday, August 24, 2007
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
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
At the News Straits Times, W. Scott Thompson explains King Bhumipol and his reign to the Wilsonian world.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Four 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.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Es ist kein Schwerdt, das schärffer schiert,which translates into:
Als wann ein Baur zum Herren wird.
There is no sword that cuts sharper
than when a peasant becomes master.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
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.Further:
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
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).
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Friday, August 10, 2007
On 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
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
According 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
According 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.
King Gyanendra is under no compulsion to pack up and leave Nepal just because interim legislators or ex-rebels say so.
Saturday, August 4, 2007
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 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.
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!