I don't know if it will be of interest to anyone, but recently I was interviewed by a member of the Political Science Club from my former university. It was supposed to be a "rapid fire" session so I could not get into too many details and it seemed to rather get 'off the point' to me but, if anyone is interested, I thought I would post it here.
Q: Why is a monarchy better than a republic?
A: There are many reasons, one being that a monarch has a vested interest in doing their best to pass on a prosperous country to his son whereas transitory politicians are simply out to get as much as they can while they can.
Q: Is any revolution ever justified?
A: It’s hard to make a blanket statement like that but I would say that any violent revolution against a legitimate authority is unjustified, so long as that authority is not endeavoring to force you to act against God. However, some revolutions have certainly been more justified than others.
Q: So, the American Revolution was not justified then?
A: Absolutely not. It was a revolt of the rich, led by a bunch of spoiled elites who were afraid that their free ride was coming to an end. I will grant though that it worked out better for America than in most places, and, it was not a true revolution but rather a war for independence or a war of secession.
(PSC: Keep it short remember.
MM: I am trying.)
Q: Am I correct to assume then that the French Revolution was unjustified?
A: Yes, absolutely and of course it was far worse. However, the French at least had the excuse of actually suffering. The American colonists were living better than the people in England were.
Q: Hasn’t the popularity of republican governments, starting in the last century proven that republics are better?
A: LSD was popular in the 70’s, didn’t make it a good thing.
Q: But hasn’t there been more progress and prosperity in this and the last century under republican rule than there was under the monarchies of history?
A: Depends on what you consider “progress”. The last century also gave us the two worst wars ever fought on earth, the Cold War, the breakdown of the family and now the War on Terror. I wouldn’t call the 20th Century a resounding success.
Q: Would you at least agree that government today is more accessible than in the absolute monarchies of the past?
A: Are you trying to be funny? Of course not. Even in pre-revolutionary France any peasant could walk into the palace at Versailles and talk to King Louis XIV if he wanted to. Try that at the White House and you’d never get past the front gate.
Q: Do you think America would be better off today if the British had won the Revolutionary War?
A: I can’t say, I have no crystal ball to see alternate realities but I do know we would not be an oppressed nation of enslaved peasants. We would probably be a more conservative version of Canada with the Queen on the dollar bill.
Q: Doesn’t democracy make governments more accountable?
A: Not all republics are democratic, first of all, but no, any government can be accountable or unaccountable as they choose. Their title makes no difference.
Q: But doesn’t it help being able to vote the President out of office?
A: Not really, because he knows he only has 4-8 years at best anyway and during that time can pretty much do as he pleases.
Q: He can be impeached though. Would a monarchy be better if the king could be impeached?
A: First, impeaching the President is debatable. In the US, the oldest major republic in the world, only two presidents were ever impeached and neither was actually removed from office. On the other hand, monarchs have been impeached throughout history, it just rarely comes to that because it is rarely necessary.
Q: But can’t leaders elected from among the people, who are one of the people, look after their interests better than a hereditary monarch just by being one of them, even though the monarch may have all the best intentions?
A: Again, definitely no. And history will support me. Chairman Mao was “one of the people”, so was Hitler, so was Stalin, so was Pol Pot.
Q: So a popular leader is always bad in your view?
A: Certainly not, but being ‘of the people’ does not always mean doing what is best for the people. Julius Caesar was an aristocrat but he was for the ordinary people and it was the ordinary people who loved him and the aristocrats who murdered him.
Q: Is there any question you can answer without a caveat attached?
A: Of course I can, but it may not be likely.
Q: Now who’s trying to be funny?
A: I’m perfectly serious and this is why I don’t believe in ideologies. I don’t believe there is any one system or any one political formula that, if everyone just adhered to “this” we would have paradise on earth. Humanity doesn’t work that way.
Q: And monarchy isn’t a political ideology?
A: No, which is obvious by how different even the few monarchies in the world today are. The Netherlands in not like Liechtenstein, Sweden is not like Monaco, Japan is not like Brunei and so on.
Q: So there is no “monarchist” political system, so to speak.
A: Not really, no.
Q: Then is there any practical benefit to having a monarchy that is just symbolic?
A: Absolutely there is. Even on their own, symbols have power. Ask the kid who tried to burn the American flag at LSU. Symbols are very important.
Q: What is it then that monarchies today symbolize?
A: As in all times, they symbolize the total history and experiences of their people, they symbolize the country itself. In Japan, the constitution spells it out exactly that way, the Emperor is the embodiment of Japan itself. Go across the world to Norway, it is the same story, the King of Norway is the symbol of Norway. The history of his family is the history of the country.
Q: One last question, why is Baron von Ungern so prominently featured on your blog, almost like an alter-ego or something? Wasn’t he about as horrible as you can get?
A: By most accounts he was pretty horrible, I’m not sure I believe all of them.
A: The shortest answer would be because I just like to push the buttons of the revolutionaries and besides which, for staunch republicans, no matter which monarchist I used for a mascot they would consider them just as bad, I’m sure, as my friend the Baron. That, and they have absolutely no sense of humor.
Q: Nothing to do then with why you don’t use your real name?
A: No, believe it or not, I’m very unpopular in the “upstairs” of the movement and many years ago I promised to shut up and go away. I havn’t heard from any of them since, I think they’re trying to forget me but I decided to use a pen-name so I could continue to do what I believe in without breaking my word.
PSC: Thanks for the time. I’m sure this one will stand out.
A: Probably a safe bet.