Thursday, February 25, 2016

Hope for Libya?

Having just criticized the Washington Post, I suppose I must praise the New York Times for publishing this at all, though they can't resist quoting someone who thinks monarchists are "living in cloud cuckoo land," which I guess is a revealing indication of what much of the modern world thinks of people like me. Long live the Kingdom of Libya!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Trump: Our Charlemagne?

Well this is one of the most bizarre historical analogies I've seen. I'm not a Donald Trump supporter--for one thing, I don't vote--but "Trump is bad because he's like Charlemagne," as if that would be a bad thing, is not an argument that is going to impress those of us who revere Charlemagne, who did far more for Western Civilisation than The Washington Post ever has. The writer, who claims to be a history professor, ignores Charlemagne's monumental positive contributions to European education and culture, which Mr. Trump is unlikely to be able to equal. But then, I love everything this liberal American writer decries: I admire "Altar & Throne" medieval Christendom, which would not have taken shape as we know it without Charlemagne, and believe in Christian Monarchy, not American "Liberty." While those of my American monarchist friends who do support Mr. Trump may feel vindicated by this odd analogy, I'm pretty sure that as Lloyd Bentsen said about Dan Quayle and Jack Kennedy, Donald Trump is no Charlemagne.

Friday, February 19, 2016

On Nostalgia

Regarding Europe, I'm really only nostalgic for periods before 1914, though in those countries that kept their monarchies, subsequent decades can be considered preferable to the present in some ways. But regarding parts of Asia and Africa, I'm quite fond of the moderate Muslim monarchies of the mid-20th-century (particularly those of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran) and the last Christian Empire of Ethiopia, which takes us into the 1970s. So how long it's been since things were sort of acceptable depends on what part of the world I'm thinking about. It would have been interesting to have been alive at the time of the Shah's 1971 Persepolis celebrations, if only to follow the coverage from afar--and then horrify leftists by defending the Shah throughout the 1970s. There are no really controversial monarchical regimes today I'm interested in defending.

The Western Hemisphere, it seems, has been largely a lost cause from a monarchist point of view for a long time, certainly since Brazil fell in 1889, Canada and the Caribbean excepted.

Of course, ideally monarchism should not be primarily about nostalgia: if more monarchies had endured into the present, if one could visit the official websites of the current Shah of Iran or Emperor of Ethiopia or King of Hungary or Tsar of Russia or King of France, there would be no need for us to be as fixated on the past. I want Monarchy to belong to the future as well, but sadly the world does not seem to be listening.

Persepolis Remembered

The BBC's new documentary on the Shah of Iran's 1971 celebrations of the 2500th anniversary of the Persian Empire is now online. I do not, of course, endorse the BBC's evident anti-Shah bias, but there is some terrific footage in this, and some eloquent pro-Shah interviewees as well. Grand spectacle has been a part of all great monarchies, but in Iran too many people were seduced by evil revolutionaries like Khomeini while the naive Carter administration put pressure on the Shah that only emboldened his enemies, paving the way for the Revolution (in my estimation one of history's three worst, the other two being the French and Russian) that destroyed nearly everything he had achieved for Iran. Implicitly blaming the 1971 Persepolis festivities for all Islamic terrorism since 1979 is unfair and myopic. As for SAVAK, well, when I see what republicans in today's considerably gentler constitutional monarchies do with their Freedom, I have a hard time feeling sorry for the Shah's opponents. In the end he was if anything too indulgent. But I wish I could have called such a king mine.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Communism: A lesser evil?

I have long despised the conventional wisdom that Communism "in theory" was at all admirable, or superior to Nazism. I feel so strongly about this issue that I would like to reproduce this comment of mine, made in the context of a Facebook debate on the Allied bombing of Dresden (71 years ago this weekend), here:

I absolutely and categorically deny that the ends of Communism, let alone the means, were in any way preferable to those of Nazism and am frankly appalled at the suggestion that they were. As a Monarchist the very idea of Equality is utterly repugnant and abhorrent to me, and not "better" or "ideal" at all, even in theory. While the rich are obliged to help the poor as they can, it is meet and right that some should be rich and others should be poor and that there should be different classes in society. Communism is inherently incompatible with monarchy, aristocracy, and traditional hierarchical Christianity and as such is fundamentally evil to the core, and not only in how it was (inevitably) applied. I would rather die than live in a world without Monarchies. From my perspective, communism is worse than fascism because fascism can sometimes coexist (however uneasily) with Crown and Church, while communism cannot. Nazism, it must be said, was not all that different from communism in its attitudes towards the royal families (Hitler reportedly once joked that the only good thing about the Social Democrats was their anti-monarchy platform), though it was initially happy to take advantage of royalty and monarchists when convenient.

There is no civilisation without inequality; there is no beauty without inequality. The divine order God created is unequal. This is why attempts to abolish it
always lead to greater misery. Thank God for Inequality! And may the satanic spirit of egalitarianism be crushed forever.