Friday, March 30, 2012

Mad Rant: The Republican Illusion

We are coming up on election time in the most powerful, most successful republic in the world -the United States of America. Once again we are being told that THIS election is the most important election of our lifetime. Now, I don’t like to go so far as those who snidely quip that if elections actually mattered they’d be illegal but, honestly, the truth is not terribly far from that. Elections are, to a large extent, illusory. The United States government knows that, they knew from the beginning that democracy would have limits and could not and should not be applied in any and all cases. That is part of the reason why there is an Electoral College and it is why, originally, only landowners could vote and senators were appointed by the states rather than popularly elected. Democracy is not always fair or honest and we should all know that. For example, when the French made their peace with the Communist North Vietnamese they agreed that there would be elections in the not-too-distant future to determine under which government (Hanoi or Saigon) Vietnam would be reunited. However, neither the South Vietnamese (who still had an emperor at that time) or the United States signed on to this agreement nor did either plan to follow through on the elections. Each realized that with a Communist dictatorship already controlling more than half the country a truly free and fair vote would be impossible and the communists would win. So, they said ‘to heck’ with that idea.

Is it a different story in the United States, the “Great Republic”? Of course, but not completely. After all, look at the Republican Party primary. The candidate (Moderate Mittens Romney) was effectively chosen long before most people ever got a chance to vote. The states with the three largest populations, New York, Texas and California, had yet to hold a single primary when Romney was effectively declared the “inevitable” nominee. The Party big-shots liked him, the Bush family endorsed him, most of the state governors endorsed him and everyone else was effectively told to shut up, get in line and accept him as the nominee. After all, what are Republicans who don’t like Romney going to do -vote for Obama? As if! We saw the same thing happen on the other side in the last presidential election. Hillary Clinton was very popular, she had more experience, more name recognition and so on and so forth but Obama had the support of big-shots in the Democratic Party, from the union bosses to the Kennedy family and he was declared the winner. In fact, the Democrats are even more blatant about thwarting the will of voters than the Republicans are since they openly have “delegates” and “super delegates” so that the Party bosses can pick who they want regardless of popular will.

Take someone like myself for example. As I sit here on the Texas-Mexico border, we have yet to hold a primary and the available choices are already down from around 10 candidates to 3 candidates. And, before anyone here has had a chance to vote, we are being told to ignore 2 out of the 3 because Romney already has it in the bag and you would only make things worse by voting for someone else. Also keep in mind that where I live, forget the candidates, I don’t often have even a choice of party. I live in a very predominately Hispanic area that is so heavily and faithfully Democratic territory that for most local offices the Republican Party doesn’t even bother to run candidates. So many people simply vote for whoever has a “D” after their name that the Republicans consider my part of the state a waste of resources to campaign in, so for most local offices ballots have one name beside them -take it or leave it, like it or not, you get whoever the Party chooses to run. Is that what passes for democracy? And I’m sure that in other parts of the state the Republican Party dominates in exactly the same way and if you are a Democrat living in one of those areas you are out of luck.

So, what does any of this have to do with monarchy? It involves monarchy because it is all a result of the republican mind-set that, among other things, sees democracy as the cure-all for any country and any situation. In the pre-revolutionary days of absolute, traditional monarchies the Prince (King, Grand Duke, Emperor etc) ruled his people as he saw fit, having a personal interest in doing so to the best of his ability because it was “his” country and would be handed down to his children and so on. No human system will ever be perfect but, on the whole, it worked and because of that persisted as the dominant form of government, naturally arrived at, by most of the world for most of human history. However, today the majority want no part of that, mostly because it just doesn’t “sound” nice, so instead we have the farce of republicanism foisted on people across the globe where we go through this regularly scheduled dog and pony shows to make people believe they really have some sort of control over how they are ruled when, by and large, we really do not. I know, I know, that sounds terribly harsh and cynical, and I’m not saying elections don’t matter at all but just bear with me for a minute here.

In a sense, every government anywhere that is or ever has been has been to some extent “democratic” in that people get the government they deserve. No government, no matter how totalitarian it pretends to be, can exist without the support or at least the acceptance of a majority of the people. However, for the most part, countries are governed as their rulers see fit regardless of the popular will. Take the United Kingdom for example, where republican malcontents rail about how “un-democratic” it is to have a hereditary head-of-state rather than an elected one. Yet, the vast majority of laws which govern the modern United Kingdom are made in Brussels by the European Union which is led by a ruling clique and a President that no one in Britain (or any other country) ever voted for. The only people in the EU that are elected have very little power over anything of importance. In fact, in Brussels, the biggest pain in the posterior for the EU ruling elite are those shouting for “freedom and democracy”. It may also be useful to compare the United Kingdom to the current Republic of Italy. In the U.K. the Queen is not elected but has very little power. The Prime Minister is elected and s/he actually governs the country. In Italy the President is elected by Parliament, not by a popular vote of the people, but also has very little power. However, the current Prime Minister of Italy, the man who actually governs, is, in this case, a man who was not elected and, in fact, never elected to any prior office in his life. In which case do the people have more control over their government?

Of course, I’m sure republicans would say that, while this may be troubling, the important thing is that people have rights, guaranteed in law, by their respective constitutions, to protect them from any overreach by government. Yes, well, the Jews had “rights” in Germany too before the Nazi government decided to take them away. Religious people have “rights” in the People’s Republic of China, they have freedom of religion enshrined in their constitution, but try being a priest and saying that the one-child policy is immoral and see how quickly you end up in a “reeducation through labor” camp. In the United States, in the 1940’s when America went to war with Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Imperial Japan over freedom for the world, everyone had “rights” but, of course, Black people had far fewer “rights” than White people and many Japanese, German and Italian Americans had “rights” up until the time the government decided to put them all in internment camps. Am I trying to argue moral equivalency here? Of course not. I live not far from where one of those internment camps used to be and, as bad as it was that people were treated like that, they were certainly not being worked to death or sent off to gas chambers. My only point is that the “rights” the government grants can be easily suspended or taken away by that same government, no matter what sort of government it is. When you get down to it, most people are not nearly so “free” as they think.

However, the drive persists with the belief in republicanism and democracy assuming an almost religious status. I say “almost” because this belief is a mythology which requires a greater leap of “faith” than even most mainstream religions. Religious figures like Jesus Christ, the Apostles or the Buddha or Confucius are all real people who actually existed and taught people things. In the case of Confucius, his descendants are still alive and well in China today. Yet, when it comes to the republican mentality, people blindly go along thinking that they have “freedom” because they have elections in spite of the fact that governments today, even the most liberal and democratic ones, more heavily regulate the everyday lives of ordinary people than at any other time in history. Everything from the food you eat to the air you breath, the car you drive, the house you live in, even the light bulbs you use are regulated by the State. And the people making these regulations are not like the monarchs of old. They are written by politicians with no vested interest in the welfare of the people or the good of the country, people who are in office for limited period of time and are eager to get what they can while they can and they are influenced by crony capitalists looking to enrich themselves or social activists and other assorted lobbyists with narrow self-interests looking out for number one and no one else.

Whether it was Christ, Mohammed or Buddha, there were people who knew these men, people who saw them, heard them, listened to them and were moved by them. Even people who did not accept their teachings still testified to their existence in history. The “gods” of democracy and republicanism, on the other hand, are more akin to gods like Jupiter, Mars or Neptune, who were worshipped in spite of the fact that no one knew them, no one saw them but were told that they were nonetheless responsible for everything that happened in the world. And, like Baal or Moloch the gods of democracy and republicanism demand more than your prayers, personal virtue or some incense -they demand sacrifice. This can be by taxation, and humanity has never been more heavily taxed than since the rise to dominance of the post-revolutionary republic where the state is responsible for almost everything, but they also demand that you sacrifice certain “rights” in order to be granted certain other “rights”. Such cases have today reached downright farcical proportions. The hypocrisy, contradictions and double-standards when it comes to things like the “right” to free speech could not be more blatant.

It is ironic that it is these democratic-republican types who are today the ones at the forefront of pushing for secularism, most likely to call themselves atheists (proudly) and oppose any support for traditional religion while at the same time displaying such mindlessly slavish devotion to their own faith in the “god” of republicanism. “Republicanism is the answer”, they say even though the vast majority of the worst, most arbitrary tyrannies in the world today are republics. “The world needs more democracy” they say, even though democracy has not exactly worked out well on the countries it has recently been imposed upon. You can point out to them the long list of brutal tyrants who gained power via the democratic process, you can point out how un-democratic their most ideal societies and organizations today are and it does not shake their blind faith in their failed “god”. “Liberty, Equality and Fraternity” are their “holy trinity” and they go on applauding and justifying the French Revolution and every other revolution no matter how horrific the consequences. It reminds me of the words of Lady Thatcher who pointed out that, “Human rights did not begin with the French Revolution” and that when it came to, “Liberty, equality, fraternity’ -they forgot obligations and duties I think. And then of course the fraternity went missing for a long time”.

But none of it matters to the devoted faithful it seems. The Revolution is their Genesis story, democratic republicanism is their sacred doctrine and the voting booth is their high altar where we must all go and pay obeisance no matter how little it actually does. Now, let me state again, I’m not saying elections don’t matter at all, I am not saying you should not go out and vote but I am saying that those who consider such things absolute goods and the answer to every ill in life are, at best, extremely foolish. Regular democratic rituals will not save the world, they will not change society and they will not relieve you of your burdens. The fact that so many still think it will, in spite of the mountain of evidence to the contrary, makes me a very … Mad Monarchist.

12 comments:

  1. The Fact is the the GOP are a bunch of Pandering Impotent Losers who are afraid to challenge the Democrats (just like the Whigs in the 1850's) and if they Nominate Mittens, they will Lose, and forestall any chance of putting a halt to the Great Dictator Ubama.

    The Fact is that Elections boil down "who will give me the most stuff", now many in the electorate do NOT think this way, people of the Libertarian and Tea Party mindset, while not necessarily Monarchists like you or me, they hail from the idea of letting people live their lives without the Government. However as we see, their voices are drowned out by the "Gimmie" Crowd and The Impotent GOP elite.

    Elections cannot save us Hard Working average people, their are too many forces gunning for your Money, Property, Livelihood, and Guns.

    The Idea of "Oh well we lost this election, but maybe next time we will after the Looters have taken More of our Money, Liberty, and driving us deeper into a hole."

    I find it quiet sad that many of my Political Associates are slavish to that idea. They could have Gestapo Agents come and arrest them and their only response is "Well, this will stop if we win the next election"

    True Liberty is not guaranteed by people who make it a platform to take it away from you and "give it" too others. It can only be guaranteed by G-d, the Ultimate Monarch.

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  2. Didn't Sir Alexander Tyler warn us about this?

    A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse form the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years.

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  3. Your little corner of Texas sounds an awful lot like my neck of the woods here in Philadelphia. This city has been under one-part Democratic rule for 60 years, to the point where the Republican party does not contest most city council seats and typically nominates only a token "sacrificial" candidate for mayor. The city charter guarantees 3 seats to the minority party, so the Republicans automatically get those 3 and leave the other 14 to the Democrats. The Democrats have a large enough majority to amend the charter, so they could take those seats away any time if the Republicans do something to make them angry (such as by actually trying to defeat any incumbent Democrats), so the Republican establishment tries their hardest to protect the status quo. For the past 6 decades, every successive election has yielded the same basic results.

    Its not all that different than the situation in the former East Germany, where the government proudly boasted to the world that they were, in fact, a democratic multiparty republic, because not all members of the Volkskammer belonged to the SED. They of course failed to mention that the State determined which parties were allowed to run for which seats, only one candidate could run for each, and the SED always had the majority assigned to them.

    Of course, even at its best and most functional, elections in the United States still give you at most 2 choices. In any election, you have a 50% chance of guessing the outcome correctly before a single vote is cast, and the end result is you get a politician.

    We love to talk about the wondrous system of checks and balances contained in our Constitution, and how it limits the power of each branch, but what people don't realize is that it does nothing at all to limit the power of the political class. Every single office in the legislative and executive branches is held by a politician, and even the "independent" judiciary is not really independent, as all judges are appointed by politicians and confirmed by other politicians.

    A hereditary monarchy is the only way to provide a true system of checks and balances and a truly limited government, but republicans in general and Americans in particular are in love with their own lies.

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  4. God save us from any politician who could command 51% support.

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  5. Thanks, and by the way, why not you Compose a Book titled "A Case for Monarchy"?... It'll be of Great Help to our Most Great of All Causes!

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  6. Hi, Mad Monarchist. Interesting and insightful article.

    Although I do respect democracy, I too can see it's clear limitations and the harm that democratic decisions can bring about. Just because a majority of people say something is a "good" idea, it doesn't make it so. A bunch of knit-wits can destory things just as well as one tyrant.

    Of course, the positive part about democracies is that people have at least some shot at changing things. But it is utterly frightening to think that something that has defined a moral behavioral code or stood as a nation for centuries can be destroyed by "the will of the People", whatever that means. I'm thinking particularly of abortion and same-sex marriage and of this ludicrous Scottish Independence vote coming up in 2014.

    The contempt in which some Americans hold hereditary monarchies is shameful. Of course, the Brits have their own group of avid republicans, too. I'm afraid that some of them are letting their heritage slip down the tubes.

    God Save us all.

    Have a Blessed Eastertide.

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  7. Great rant, though I do believe that some of the religious comparisons and contrasts were a bit off. I'm specifically thinking of the comparison you made between the exaltation of democratic-republicanism to the worship of gods like Jupiter and Mars. In the eyes of the followers of these ancient gods, the evidence for their existence could be seen by witnessing worldly phenomena. The evidence for Apollo rested on the existence of the sun. The evidence for Mars rested on the existence of war and the state. The sky and thunder was the evidence for Jupiter. Furthermore, priests were believed to have had a private relationship with these gods (sounds very Catholic, I know). Now I don't actually agree with this worldview, but it's no less rational than the Abrahamic religions.

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    1. If you find all religions equally irrational I shall not persuade you otherwise. However, I will not give up my initial point unless you can point me toward some evidence that anyone of ancient times ever even claimed to have met and spoken with Jupiter, Mars or Neptune. Christ actually existed. There are people who met him, spoke with him and his interactions with the civic authorities were recorded by the record keepers. You can believe or disbelieve his spiritual assertions -but he did exist. Confucius did exist. There can be no doubt about it. His descendants are still around today. Accept his philosophy or not, regard it as rational or not, the fact is, he was a real person. The same cannot be said for pagan pantheon.

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  8. You wrote "As I sit here on the Texas-Mexico border." Should you on some occasion find your self in Brownsville, I would be honored to invite you for coffee ......

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    1. I appreciate that but my health being the way it is, I don't get about much anymore. It is an interesting area though and I think by now I've done several posts on republican vs monarchist clashes in the Brownsville/Matamoros area.

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  9. *sigh*

    I live in one of the most anti-monarchy countries in the world, (Not that it matters as I plan on moving) and have had the idea of a Republic drilled into my skull from the moment I stepped outside my house.

    Why am I monarchist then? Because I am not blind.

    I've see presidents, prime ministers, and premiers in elections get 100% of the vote in some districts, (That, as anyone with a brain knows is, impossible) I've seen populations get twisted around a "democratically elected" leader's little finger. And I've seen entire parties do nothing to stop a virtual dictator in the hopes that when his terms up, they'll have just as much power.

    And I have seen twice as many revolutions, genocides, and cruel dictatorships in democracy's short lifespan versus years of monarchies.

    And then those who argue with me have the audacity to quote Einstein's "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." to me in regards to having a monarchy.

    If I did not live in it, I would mistake the world for some massive comedy.

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