Saturday, October 31, 2009

Quote of the Month

Writes American Monarchist:

There is no such thing as the consent of the governed, unless you count "not blowing up Capitol Hill" as "consent". Government is about force. The talk about "the consent of the governed" is rhetoric intended to make the subjects of a democracy feel as if they are not sheep being shorn until time for the barbecue. Time for adherents of elected government to come up with a better argument.

Bertrand de Jouvenel

Daniel J. Mahoney: Bertrand de JouvenelFive score and half a dozen years ago today, Bertrand de Jouvenel was born.

To quote:

Where is liberty?

For two centuries now this European society of ours has been seeking it; what it has found has been the widest, the most cumbersome, and the most burdensome state authority ever yet experienced by our civilization.
The mistake is one which was exposed in advance by Montesquieu: "As it is a feature of democracies that to all appearance the people does almost exactly as it wishes, men have supposed that democratic governments were the abiding-place of liberty: they confused the power of the people with the liberty of the people." This confusion of thought is at the root of modern despotism.
When at a given moment of historical development we find Power making laws with the assent either of the people as a whole or of an assembly, and being unable to make them except with this assent, we are apt to interpret these rights of the people or assembly as a limitation on Power, as a decline from its primitive state of absolutism. But this primitive absolutism is pure myth. It is not true that mankind has emerged from a former state in which magistrates and monarchs dictated out of their own heads the rules of behaviour. They had not in truth such a right, or, more accurately perhaps, of such power.
It is possible, with the help of prudently balanced institutions, to provide everyone with effective safeguards against Power. But there are no institutions on earth which enable each separate person to have a hand in the exercise of Power, for Power is command, and everyone cannot command. Sovereignty of the people is, therefore, nothing but a fiction, and one which must in the long run prove destructive of individual liberties.
[Authoritarianism] could, no doubt, have been avoided if there had been a stable, vigorous, and unified executive to which the legislature acted merely as limitary principle. But in fact, as we have seen, the contrary happened: the legislature made itself the ruling sovereign.

His Britannic Majesty Spoke to Parliament after Declaration of Independence

Allan Ramsay: King George III (in coronation robes), 1761-62233 years ago today, King George III gave his first speech before the British Parliament since the leaders of the American Revolution came together for the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Happy Halloween!

Halloween (photo: Toby Ord)If I could find a way to dress up as Wilsonian mass democracy with no clothes, I could scare the pumpkin out of all the neighbors.

Friday, October 30, 2009

The October Manifesto

Ilya Repin: Demonstration 17 October 1905Eight long dozen years ago today, the October Manifesto was issued.

Ottoman Surrender

Sultan Mehmed VISeven baker's dozen years ago today, the Ottoman Empire surrendered to the Allied Powers.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Jane Addams

Jane AddamsHalf a dozen years short of a century ago today, Jane Addams wrote to the bête noire of this weblog, arguing the dangers of preparing for war.

Turkish Republic Proclaimed

Sultan Mahmud IIFive decades and three dozen years ago today, Turkey was proclaimed a republic.

Lew Rockwell on the Young Turks:

Who were the Young Turks? A bunch of pro-British militarist-nationalists in WWI Turkey, engaged in helping overthrow the Ottoman Empire, and setting up a military dictatorship, which exists (slightly disguised) to this day. The Young Turks also committed genocide against the Armenians, and ethnically cleansed the Greeks. The Brits (and the French), for their part, wanted to open up former Ottoman provinces like Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine, etc. to colonialization. The whole area, as David Fromkin shows in his magisterial A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East, has been in turmoil since the Treaty of Versailles. The Ottoman Empire was sort of an Islamic Austro-Hungarian Empire, multinational and therefore anti-nationalism, pretty tolerant of ethnic and religious minorities, decentralzed and against religious extemism, since the Sultan, himself a religious figure, wanted no competition. But war criminals like Winston Churchill wanted chaos in the Middle East, the better to expand British imperialism and enrich the special interests that profited from oppressing and ripping off foreign peoples. This is just more evidence, of course, for thinking that WWI was the worst political and humanitarian disaster in the history of the West. After all, WWI also led to Leninism and Hitlerism.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

House of Lords Act

Their Lordships' chamberTen years ago today, the House of Lords passed the House of Lords Act 1999, altering the upper chamber beyond recognition.

Swedish-Norwegian Dissolution

Peace monument in Karlstad commemorating the peaceful dissolutionEight baker's dozen years ago today, the Swedish-Norwegian Union was dissolved.

Mr. Trond Norén Isaksen has more photos of the peace monument.

Brazil vs. Germany

Brazil92 years ago today, Brazil joined the Allied Powers.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Allies Leave Austria

Habsburg double-headed eagleSix years short of six decades ago today, the Allies left Austrian territory according to the Austrian State Treaty. The treaty's full name was:

State Treaty (with annexes and maps) for the re-establishment of an independent and democratic Austria.
One of the provisions read:
Austria further undertakes to maintain the law of 3rd April, 1919, concerning the House of Hapsburg-Lorraine.

Benjamin Constant

Benjamin ConstantA score dozen and two years ago today, Benjamin Constant was born. To quote:

In a word, despotism [i.e., absolute monarchy] rules through silence and leaves man the right to remain silent; usurpation [i.e., dictatorship] condemns him to speak, it extends this persecution to the private sanctuary of his thought, and by forcing him to lie to his conscience it robs him of the last consolation which is still left the oppressed.
In certain historical periods one has to make the full circle of follies in order to return to reason.
Both quotes can be found in Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn's Liberty or Equality.

George III to Address Grievances

His Britannic Majesty George III, mezzotint after a painting by Johann ZoffanyFive years short of a dozen score years ago today, the First Continental Congress petitioned His Majesty George III to address grievances.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Peace of Westphalia

Gerard ter Borch: The Ratification of the Treaty of MünsterThirty dozen and one year ago today, the Treaty of Münster was signed as the second part of the Peace of Westphalia.

French Republican Calendar

The French Republican CalendarEighteen dozen years ago today, the Jacobins adopted the French Republican Calendar.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

W.E.H. Lecky

William Edward Hartpole Lecky at Trinity College, DublinEight long dozen and two years ago today, William Edward Hartpole Lecky, who stood up against the rising age of democracy, passed on from this world.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Karl and Zita

The Imperial-Royal FamilyToday is Blessed Emperor-King Karl's Feast Day. A couple of years short of a century ago today, then Archduke Karl married Princess Zita.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

Surrender of Cornwallis

John Trumbull: The Surrender of Lord CornwallisEleven score and eight years ago today, General Lord Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown.

Russell Kirk

Russell Kirk91 years ago today, Russel Kirk was born.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Alaska from Russia

Check used to pay for AlaskaA couple of years short of a dozen dozen years ago today, Alaska was transferred from the throne of Russia.

José Ortega y Gasset

José Ortega y GassetSix years short of three score years ago today, José Ortega y Gasset passed away.

Ortega y Gasset worked against the monarchy, but was nevertheless an opponent of the rise of the rule of mass man.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Tea Act Criticized

Flag of the British East India CompanyA couple of centuries and three dozen years ago today, the Tea Act was criticized in the “Philadelphia Resolutions.”

Queen Murdered

Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun: Queen Marie Antoinette of FranceEighteen dozen years ago today, the Queen of France was brutally murdered.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Canada 1812

Sir Isaac BrockThree years short of a couple of centuries ago today, Canada was saved – under the leadership of Sir Isaac Brock – from takeover from the American Republic.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Anatole France

Anatole FranceSeven dozen and a year ago today, François-Anatole Thibault, also known as Anatole France, passed on.

To quote:

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

Robert E. Lee

Five score and three long dozen years ago today, Robert E. Lee passed away.

Pedro I of Brazil

Dom Pedro PrimeiroA baker's dozen years short of a couple of centuries ago today, Dom Pedro Primeiro proclaimed the Empire of Brazil and himself as Emperor – on his 24th birthday.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Thomas Konow

Thomas KonowTwo centuries and a long dozen years ago today, Thomas Konow was born. A dozen decades and eight years ago today, he passed on.

Thomas Konow was the last survivor of the Norwegian constitutional fathers. He lived to see the beginning of the “constitutional crisis” that would ultimately wreck the regime established by the constitutional fathers.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Siege of Vienna

The Siege of ViennaA score years short of half a millennium ago today (September 27 in the Julian Calendar), the Siege of Vienna commenced – ending 17 days later.

Bosnia under Austria-Hungary

Medium Coat of Arms of Hungary-CroatiaA century and a year ago today, the Danube Monarchy annexed Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Lord Cornwallis

Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess CornwallisTwo centuries and four years ago today, the Most Honourable General the Marquess Cornwallis passed on from this world.

French Revolutionaries Disestablish Christianity

Notre Dame de ParisFour years short of eleven score years ago today, Christianity was disestablished in France.

The Kingdom of Portugal

99 years ago today, the Kingdom of Portugal fell.

Viva o Rei de Portugal!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

François Guizot

François Guizot222 years ago today, François Guizot was born.

"Making the World Safe for Democracy"

The Executive Mansion 'making the world safe for democracy.'91 years ago today, the German Empire sought an armistice with the Persona Non Grata of this weblog, who later the same month “responded,” saying only a “democratic Germany” would be dealt with.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Friday, October 2, 2009

Life after Democracy?

North Block in New DelhiOver at The Nation, Ms. Arundhati Roy ponders modern democracy, especially in the Indian context.

H/T: Mr. Charles Featherstone of the LRC Blog

Thursday, October 1, 2009

French Legislative Assembly

The French RevolutionTwo years short of eleven score years ago today, the French Legislative Assembly convened.

French Support of the American War of Independence

John Trumbull: Surrender of General Burgoyne233 years ago today, the rebels learned of increased French support.

The Second Jacobite Rising

A Race from Preston Pans to BerwickA long dozen score and four years ago today (September 21 in the Julian Calendar), the Battle of Prestonpans of the second Jacobite Rising took place.

Lawrence of Arabia Takes Damascus

Lawrence of ArabiaNine years short of a century ago today, Lawrence of Arabia overtook Damascus.

Max von Baden Takes Office

Prinz Maximilian Alexander Friedrich Wilhelm von BadenSeven baker's dozen years ago today, Max von Baden succeeded Georg von Hertling as Chancellor of the German Empire.