Wednesday, June 8, 2011

QA with MM

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.
Q: But why associate with the memory of someone like him instead of a more upstanding sort of monarchist?
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.


  1. This was an enjoyable read, I think the interviewer got more then he bargained for when he tried to shoot you fast questions. One question I have though, "upstairs" of the movement? Who exactly did you peev off?

  2. MM, you just made it onto my personal hero list.

    I can only smile at the political naivety on show: "But hasn’t there been more progress and prosperity...?"

    Zap. You could practically hear the synapses shorting out. Bravo.

  3. SoC, it was some people who consider themselves very important and who tend to think that the world of monarchy starts at Hampstead Heath and ends at Wimbledon Common, and probably one or two in America as well. I don't want to say more because I don't want to take swipes at people whose goals I support even if they'd like to see me swallowed up by the earth.

    Mac an Ri, I did have to bite my tongue on that one. I am amazed that anyone can think the 20th Century was so wonderful -there has never been a bloodier century in human history; and that's saying something. People these days just seem very limited to only their own immediate surroundings and personal experiences. If things have been good for them, they must have been good for everybody right?

    It should also be kept in mind that the person who directed the interviewer to me came to work all dressed in black the day Bush was elected and considers his 8 years the worst in human history. I think she's take anyone over George Bush, even Adolf Hitler, with the exception of Sarah Palin. If Satan himself were running for President against Sarah Palin this woman would be out campaigning for the "Son of the Morning" I promise you. So, not exactly what I would call a balanced outlook on the world.

    But what do I know? I'm the crazy one...

  4. Great answers MM. So it's a safe bet that you stand out from your fellow Americans with an opinion like this. Because of this, a few questions arose:

    We all know that Texas has more than a few Traditionalists and Conservatives, Tridentine Masses are avalaible for the faithful and pretty much everyone agrees that abortion is murder. So no questions there.

    But how on Earth did you become a Monarchist? I mean, no average US high school or uni student goes like; hey, these founding fathers had it all wrong, God save King George, right? You're pretty much alone saying that you'd have fought on the side of the loyalists in the War of Independence, right?

    One more thing, these problems with "upstairs", how serious they are? I mean, can you take a stroll on the streets of Austin without policemen beating you up?? :-)

  5. lol I probably would get beat up on the streets of Austin, but that is an ultra-leftist island in the conservative sea of Texas. Down here we call it the "People's Republic of Austin". But I live a very, very long way from Austin so I'm in no danger. The problems mentioned happened some years ago when I belonged to several monarchist organizations, again, I don't want to mention any names because I have nothing against what they do, but the last big-shot who would speak to me (and I havn't heard from him in all the years since) advised me to lay low and I promised I would do so. Hence I now avoid being a member of anything.

    As to how I became a monarchist, it just sort of grew up in me over time, I had no "come to Jesus" moment. I'm sure it grew out of my upbringing which was always anti-leftist, conservative and traditional. In college I came to the view that there is such a thing as "legitimate" authority and I was also influenced just by reading history with a critical eye. Even as a schoolboy I noted how very slanted the history books were in dealing with the American War for Independence, how the least action of the Crown was decried as the harbinger of slavery while George Washington was glorified to the point that they could make getting beaten and retreating sound like a brilliant strategic maneuver! The more I looked into it, the more I studied, the more it made sense and the more I understood that civilizations peaked under monarchies but have almost without exception gone down hill as republics.

  6. You know I have a great deal of sympathy with monarchies, MM. I like the ideals of beauty, order, dignity, personal responsibility, personal loyalty and service which a monarchy can embody, I like the way the monarch represents the whole nation, above all parties, and I agree with what you say about the monarch having a vested interest in promoting the country's long-term welfare. It is, however, also perfectly possible for a monarch to be selfish and foolish and to create a mess for future generations (Henry VIII comes to mind). Conversely, it is also possible for an elected politician to be principled and genuinely dedicated to the public good. (Among others, I think of the President of Finland during the Winter War, Kyösti Kallio). Granted, we don't seem to see this kind of devotion very often in today's republics, but perhaps that is a reflection, not so much of the form of government (republic vs monarchy) as of the character of the people themselves, imbued in a culture of moral relativism and hedonism. Good character in the population is what matters most; without it, the best of constitutions will fail.

  7. I completely agree, I was simply speaking about general concepts, not individuals. I know I've mentioned before that I consider Gabriel Garcia Moreno a good man, despite being a president, and everyone remembers Louis XV's famous words, "Apres moi, le deluge". But that is not the normal, natural human response. As Jesus said, who would give his son a stone when he asks for bread?

    As for the public, again, I agree completely, which is why I said I don't believe any ideology has all the answers and I also why I don't hold to the thinking that if only modern constitutional monarchs would go against public opinion they could somehow force people te become more moral. I do think it matters, what type of government you have, but I certainly did not intend to give the impression that the form of government matters more than good character.

    Sweden, for example, is a monarchy (barely) and has an established church and as such is an officially "Christian" nation. Yet, the United States, a secular republic, has a far more religious population than Sweden.

  8. You are obviously, sir, much more old school than the average monarchist. However, there are old school monarchists who apparently do not have the same problem of being pushed out.

    I know you do not want to mention names, but I am curious as to what exactly it was that made you "deserve" this.

  9. Obviously, which is probably why I'm a little short when Carlists (such as on the "Theoretical Monarchist" rant) chew me out for not being 'old school' enough. As to what happened, of course I don't think I deserved it at all and at the end of the day I don't know why they chose to react the way they did. Were I to say more, I would doubtless let the cat out of the bag for those who have kept up with me till now. I'm not trying to be cute or anything but I gave my word, I'm doing my best to keep it and I really don't want to make anybody upset -especially those prone to overreact (in my opinion).

    There are *plenty* of people who don't like me though, even monarchists. I'm too "this" for some and too "that" for others. Believe it or not, people who admire Woodrow Wilson don't like me either!

  10. Great Interview, you shut up all the arguments of the republicans, talking about your interviewer he seems as a man that is always going to the extreme of all things.

    How he could say: "Hasn’t the popularity of republican governments, starting in the last century proven that republics are better?",lets see, weimar republic led to hitler, the second spanish republic tried to kill all the priest of spain, the R.O.C led to the P.R.C, the islamic republic of iran led iran to the stone age again..., the XX century showed that the y to republic is the worst way to rule a country, so history shows again that the monarchy is the only way to rule a country.

  11. I have found that to be rather common. When they think of republican leaders they think of Washington crossing the Delaware and when they think of monarchs they don't think of modern monarchs constrained by constitutions, no, just mention the word and they think every monarch is another Caligula.

    And I'm sure there are alot of people, in North America or Western Europe, who think the 20th Century has been a swell time. I strongly disagree.

  12. MM-

    I have found that to be rather common. When they think of republican leaders they think of Washington crossing the Delaware and when they think of monarchs they don't think of modern monarchs constrained by constitutions, no, just mention the word and they think every monarch is another Caligula.

    Yehah Ive encountred this as well. I must agree that this was a terrific interview.

    I was also unaware that there is an upstairs to Monarchism.

  13. What if we would of lost the Revolutionary war do you feel we would be better off?Didn't the American Colonies huge war debt for the French and Indian war and high taxes?

  14. As I said, no one can know what would have happened, all we can know for sure is what did. In my own opinion, I don't think we'd be that different in terms of our standard of living etc.

  15. On that note I’d like to add, what high taxes?

    The mythic version has a huge, oppressive Tax burden placed on the Colonies, but in reality the Taxes were moderate, much lower than in the Motherland, and ultimately only on consumption, so you could avoid them if you really wanted to.

  16. Exactly, most income came from consumption taxes, import duties or fees. What makes my eyes roll is listening to otherwise rational American libertarians denounce King George III and the British Crown while proposing to fund the government in almost exactly the same way the colonies did while under the Crown.

  17. Just out of curiosity, what are your thoughts on the Roman Republic?

  18. You'll have to be more specific as to *which* Roman Republic (the ancient one, the French one, Mazzini's etc). I have *very* different views concerning the original Roman Republic versus the later efforts.


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