Monday, January 4, 2016

The Incoherence of the Austrian Republic

Watching the Vienna Philharmonic New Year's concert, I am once again struck by the impression that modern Austria is the most schizophrenic and hypocritical of all the European republics that used to be monarchies. Everything they pride themselves on, everything they market to tourists, everything they present to the world, is from the time of the Habsburg monarchy and indelibly linked to it. There is no attempt to hide this or pretend that Austria is all about being Modern. Yet they insist on maintaining this drab ahistorical Republic, in which even the use of "von" is illegal, voting for horrid Socialists, and treating my friends in the heroic Die Monarchisten - Schwarz-Gelbe Allianz (whose stickers I proudly display on my car) like irrelevant harmless eccentrics at best, traitors at worst. The mind boggles. Austria, like the rest of Central Europe, needs an Emperor, not a President! Restore the Habsburgs!!!

(At 14:00 there's an interlude in which Dame Julie talks about how Queen Elizabeth II recently became Britain's longest-reigning monarch, but the length of her reign was exceeded by Emperor Franz Joseph's, with footage of the Emperor, concluding the narration in the room where he died in 1916.)

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