A better world is possible, but it all depends on what your definition of better is, doesnt it? From 1789 onwards, we've had any number of people tell us that a better world was possible for everyone, and if everyone didnt want that better world then the people offering us all this chance at utopia would shoot the dissenters until we all got the message and marched forward into paradise together.previous
Friday, November 30, 2007
At the Ludwig von Mises Intitute, Kevin D. Rollins claims there never was a real gold standard after World War I.
Also, Clifford F. Thies goes through the monetary history of those United States.
Further, Robert Blumen comments Benn Steil's The End of National Currency.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
Over at Enter Stage Right, I have an article published today in support of King Juan Carlos and his outburst “por qué no te callas?” against the Venezuelan President.
Please also feel free to visit or revisit this post.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Today, there were supposed to be elections for the Nepalese "Constituent Assembly," as these had been postponed from June 20 this year. Now, as recently reported, they have been postponed. Again! Indefinitely!
Who now is in doubt that what we are seeing on the political circus stage in Kathmandu is only an appetizer for those who can stomach it for what is to come once the monarchical brake is permanently removed?
For those who put their faith in courts to protect people from politicians, this news report might give you second thoughts on that issue.
Supposedly and reportedly, Nepalese royalists are demanding a referendum. Reportedly, Ms. Sujata Koirala-Jost has recently spoken for a revival of the 1990 Nepalese Constitution.
The people might not get what they want in a democracy. It has been said that in a democracy the people at least get what they deserve. It would be more precise to say that the people get what the majority deserves.
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.And:
There, right in the midst of our lives, is that which satisfies the craving for inequality, and acts as a permanent reminder that medicine is not food. Hence a man’s reaction to monarchy is a kind of test. Monarchy can easily be ‘debunked;' but watch the faces, mark the accents of the debunkers. These are the men whose tap-root in Eden has been cut: whom no rumour of the polyphony, the dance, can reach - men to whom pebbles laid in a row are more beautiful than an arch. Yet even if they desire equality, they cannot reach it. Where men are forbidden to honour a king they honour millionaires, athletes or film-stars instead: even famous prostitutes or gangsters. For spiritual nature, like bodily nature, will be served; deny it food and it will gobble poison.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
91 years ago today, the long reign of Franz Josef of Austria-Hungary ended.
As a curiosity, Graf von Berchtold, who pushed his Emperor to war, died on the day a couple of baker's dozen years later. I do not think we can complain about the extent to which he got to see the consequences of his politics.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
In this day and age, where we are told monarchs are merely to smile and shut up, while this is not done in a very royal or diplomatic tone, I just have to post this. A king tells or more precisely, rhetorically asks an elected politician to shut up.
While a lot of people, most fortunately, cheer King Juan Carlos I of Spain on this occasion, we do in response hear questions like:
- Is this not the 21st century?
- What is a king doing in a political meeting?
- Have we not progressed from families running the world?
The answers are:
- Yes, it is, and the previous century was the 20th, with the war that ended the world of liberty as a war between peoples, not governments, and new ideologies taking over from dynastic rule of old, with all the following consequences. The point is?
- What is Hugo Chávez doing at this meeting? People need to wake up from the erroneous, deceiving conception that elected politicians have a right to a political agenda, whereas hereditary monarchs shall not interfere whatsoever. Please do tell us what other exhibit material you need, other than Hugo Chávez, to see the shortcomings of the modern political system!
- Evolved, yes, or more precisely, revolved. Progressed, no. See answer to question 1.
A monarch telling an elected politician to shut up. Way to go!
The BBC reports that ringtones, mugs, t-shirts, and web sites are selling well.
I really would love to get one of those mugs or t-shirts.
Viva España! Viva el Rey!
Wherefore being all of one mind, we do highly resolve that government of the grafted by the grafter for the grafter shall not perish from the earth.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
As the Parliament of the Kingdom of Nepal reconvenes tomorrow, Maoists demand enforcement of a non-binding resolution to abolish the monarchy. So Reuters reports, and AHN too.
Reuters also reported on the adoption of the non-binding resolution. Mr. Maila Baje has commented on the resolution.
Given the history of the 20 th century, we really must put our trust in the Nepalese Maoists. Indeed!
Saturday, November 17, 2007
I had the pleasure of a one week's stay in Antalya, Turkey last week.
I stayed at the Topkapı Palace Hotel, next to the Kremlin Palace Hotel. My business all week took place at these two hotels. I can actually say I walked several times a day from the Topkapı Palace to the Kremlin and back.
This was actually quite enjoyable. However, from time to time, something got in the way. Why can't modern Turks make a concept like this without a scratch? Why do they have to put a monument of Atatürk in each hotel lobby? Have they no sense of consistency at all?
The concept is the Ottoman residence, and what they do is put a monument to honor the founder of the Turkish Republic in the lobby. Give me a break!
My last full day there was November 10. Supposedly, there is a moment of silence at 0905 hours that day every year to honor this man. People put wreaths at his monuments. They hail his achievement of ousting the “antiquated” Ottoman Empire.
From what I can tell, Atatürk must be modern Turkey's secular God. We say that government rather should be of laws than of men.
The ruling principle in Turkey must be government by a single dead man!
Friday, November 16, 2007
Reportedly, a Nepalese politician has said:
[We] would not go for any move that would deprive the people of their right to choose the political system of their choice.Is that why these politicians have abolished the monarchy in all but name?
The function of Liberalism in the past was that of putting a limit to the powers of kings. The function of true Liberalism in the future will be that of putting a limit to the power of Parliaments.Yet, we are met even today with boatloads of people who are far more concerned with kings not having power than the extensive powers of modern parliaments. They even claim that those of us who believe in figures with crowns live in the past.
These people seem very concerned about if not obsessed with the excesses of kings of old. Now, these excesses should of course be taken seriously. However, these people do not seem to have woken up to the excesses of modern democracy.
One could wonder who is living in the past.
Mr. Chris Roach, over at The Joy of Curmudgeonry, noted:
[T]he myth that nothing has gotten worse when it so clearly has. When things reach the absolute bottom, we'll be told that we're resisting the inevitable and living in the past, no doubt.Again, who is living in the past? Those who react to the negative features of our time? Or those who act like such negative experiences never happened?
Churchill uttered a few famous words about democracy just over three score years ago.
Who is living in the past? He who cites Churchill without giving the 60 years since of unchecked majority rule or majority representative rule a single thought? Or he who actually considers the 60 years since and the experience even before Churchill's speech for that matter?
It is indeed interesting that those who reject customs as “belonging in the past” so often are the same people who so easily refer to a 60 year old quote in their defense.
Who is living in the past?
He who is stuck with the wisdom at the end of the 18th century? Or he who takes lessons also from the history since?
He who is stuck in the 1940s with a famous Churchill quote? Or he who takes lessons also from the history since?
He who is obsessed with the excesses of kings of old? Or he who takes lessons also from the experiences of modern tyranny? From our very own times?
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I am 2007 JCI World Debating Champion.
For reference, please see this summary.
Disclaimer: In no way whatsoever is it to be construed that JCI or affiliated organizations in any way whatsoever, in content, form, or otherwise, endorse this weblog. Moreover, this blogger does not necessarily endorse the positions taken by him in the roleplays which the championship debatings are. This also goes for debatings for training and demonstration in connection with such championships.
Monday, November 12, 2007
On this day seven score and one year ago, Sun Yat-sen was born. Sun started a process that has given China more than a little headache to say the least.
He was given shelter in Macau, where his house, which I have visited, still stands today or at least it did in 1999.
Macau was at the time of the sheltering a colony of Portugal, where the monarchy fell in 1910. With the help of Sun Yat-sen, the Chinese monarchy fell in 1911.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Today is the diamond anniversary of Winston Churchill's famous dictum on democracy being the least bad form of government.
The speech in its entirety is available in the Commons Hansard for November 11, 1947. The speech may also be available in Churchill speech collections.
While sadly having no regrets about being on the side of the emasculation of the House of Lords when creating Parliament Act 1911, Winston Churchill spoke on this November day against further emasculation, proposed by the Attlee Cabinet.
Would you have guessed that this dictum was from a speech defending the rights of the House of Lords?
Please feel free to visit or revisit my article that revisits Churchill on democracy.
Seven score and a dozen years ago today, Søren Kierkegaard passed on.
There are certainly aspects of Kierkegaard's philosophy that we could use today.
Joachim Garff, Bruce H. Kirmmse, and Tom Carter note:
Politically, Kierkegaard, was an extraordinarily conservative defender of the aristocracy. A close political ally and acquaintance of the king of Denmark, Kierkegaard expressed a mixture of fear and disdain toward the emerging socialist and democratic movements in Europe.Further:
By and large, Kierkegaard, a misogynist himself, regarded the masses, or he called them pejoratively, “the multitude,” as the inferior “woman” in the struggle between the classes (p. 483). With equal measures of arrogance and fearfulness, Kierkegaard regarded the broad majority of ordinary people as “the most dangerous of all powers and the most insignificant”Moreover:
Kierkegaard argued that democracy, not monarchy, is “the most tyrannical form of government,” and that of all forms of government, the government by a single individual is best: “Is it tyranny when one person wants to rule leaving the rest of us others out? No, but it is tyranny when all want to rule”To add:
“A people’s government,” wrote Kierkegaard, “is the true image of Hell” (p. 487). Kierkegaard was unabashedly an apologist and supporter of the monarch, and when democratic revolution swept the country in 1849, Kierkegaard hid in his apartment and hoped it would all blow over.We could certainly use some of Kierkegaard today. Indeed we need more such philosophers alive and ticking!
Update: discussion on this post here
Friday, November 9, 2007
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Monday, November 5, 2007
Saturday, November 3, 2007
Friday, November 2, 2007
- Independence: 42 (30 %)
- The Federal Reserve: 34 (24 %)
- The federal income tax: 19 (13 %)
- The "Civil War": 12 (8 %)
- Fiat money: 12 (8 %)
- Popular Presidential elections: 6 (4 %)
- The U.S. Constitution of September 17, 1787: 5 (3 %)
- Popular Senatorial elections: 4 (2 %)
- The republican form of government: 3 (2 %))
- None of the above: 3 (2 %)
The Parliament of the Kingdom of Nepal has thus far failed to reach a conclusion on the motion to abolish the monarchy outright. So the AFP reports.
See also reports here, here, and here.
The Nepali Times says the conflict prolongs the life of the monarchy. I might add that that's a good thing. In the present situation buying time could serve well for exemplifying what life under a democratic republic can be like.
Shastri Ramacharan has an interesting column. So does Shirish Ranabhat, who actually acknowledges that there are worse things than absolute monarchy.
Chinese Professor Wang Khongwe has given an interview, where he states:
The only force authorized to decide the fate of Nepali monarchy is Nepali people.Oh, yes! That popular sovereignty! It has given so much progress to the West and the world at large since the days of the French Revolution!
See also a report on China's relation.
Our system is based upon the assumption, popularly regarded as implicit in the doctrine of equality, that everybody is educable. This has been taken without question from the beginning; it is taken without question now. The whole structure of our system, the entire arrangement of its mechanics, testifies to this. Even our truant laws testify to it, for they are constructed with exclusive reference to school-age, not to school-ability.