Monday, October 24, 2011

Malaysian Sultan Turns 81

The Mad Monarchist sends congratulations to (deep breath) His Royal Highness Sultan Ahmad Shah al-Mustain Billah ibni Almarhum Sultan Abu Bakar Riayatuddin Al-Muazzam Shah of the state of Pahang in the Kingdom of Malaysia. You can keep up with the goings-on of the nine Malaysian kings at Radin's Blog.


  1. Hey MadMonarchist,
    I just had a conversation with an anti-monarchist about the Queen's visit to Australia. He said the monarchy was unfair (you answered that objection with a great post in the past), and asked 'how did the monarchs get there in the first place? Oh, their ancestors stole the land from others and declared themselves King.' I couldn't really answer this objection - how are monarchies instituted in the first place? Does a guy conquer others' land and declare himself King, do the people appoint him as leader (similar to a democracy), is he crowned by the Pope? How did monarchies start? He says that if your ancestors stole something, their descendents don't have a right to it - I agree with this in principle, but its isn't something you can practically enforce.

    Secondly, he says that back in the times of monarchies, the King owned you and your land. So he could throw you off it anytime he wanted - now governments must compensate you if they want your land, at least in Australia. Is this true? I have heard of the term 'Crown Land', but I always thought that referred to the land the King had jurisdiction over, not land he actually owned.

  2. Sretan Rođendan His Royal Highness Sultan Ahmad Shah al-Mustain Billah ibni Almarhum Sultan Abu Bakar Riayatuddin Al-Muazzam Shah of Pahang!

  3. Gamer -don't put up with this crap, that's my advice. I do my best to never answer hypotheticals. Give me specifics and I will give you an answer. So, name a royal house - As for the Queen of Australia, her family came to the British throne via the law passed by Parliament making the Elector of Hannover next in the line of succession. No conquest there. The Bernadotte family in Sweden, came to the throne by vote of the government. In Norway, they seceded from the union with Sweden, voted to become a monarchy and then chose a Danish prince to become their King. And where was this guy you were having the conversation with? Not Australia or the Americas I hope or by his standard he'd have to move to Europe because those lands were stolen from the native peoples.

    In the past, some did gain their thrones by conquest, some at the hands of the Pope and others in other ways. Again, you would have to be specific. I know the British, Spanish, Dutch, Belgian, Swedish, Norwegian and Luxembourgish families did not gain their thrones by conquest. As for land ownership, again, be specific. I don't know of that ever being standard procedure. Today in Britain the Queen does have her own properties and she surrenders the income from them to the government in exchange for an allowance (called the civil list) which is actually a lesser amount. No, the saying that "An Englishman's home is his castle" has been around for a very long time. Any place where the King could arbitrarily take whatever he wanted from anyone would very quickly be devoid of people.

  4. Most of his crap I do ignore. But some things I try to refute just for my own peace of mind.
    What he meant by how did the King become King in the first place, is: let's look back to the very first King or ruler in a monarchy (Mieszko I in Poland,Eric the Victorious for Sweden, etc) - how did they become rulers? So, why was this particular family chosen to rule the land?
    I assume that the people just saw him as a great guy, like a military commander or something, and decides to make him and his decesendents their rulers.

    And yes, he is in Australia. But he is also from Israel. I pointed out that Israel had a long line of monarchs, but he is one of those people who just assume that democracy is god and monarchy is an unjust system from the past.
    Thanks for your reply.

  5. That's just silly. What's the point? Those families no longer rule, they're all dead and so are all they great-great-great etc grandchildren. At the time, republicanism didn't even exist and those that had centuries earlier fell apart and had to be "saved" by a monarch (Greece, Rome etc). The current British/ Australian Royal Family came to the throne by marriage (Albert & Victoria), prior to that it was an Act of Parliament that brought the Hanoverians to Britain and prior to that it was done peacefully as well, the last Tudor died and the closest heir was the Stuart King of the Scots. Henry VII took the throne by conquest (and marriage to a degree) but it is not as though there was a democratic option.

    Plenty of republics have begun or maintained themselves by force too. Even the United States (which has done better than most) would not exist as it is today had they not used military force to crush the southern states and enforce their rule over an unwilling populace. In fact, most republics in the world today only exist because some faction or strong man won a war or successfully managed a coup -not by pure democracy. And again, by his standards, he should not be in Australia, that is stolen from the Aborigines, so everyone else would have to go. Even Israel might be in trouble, Abraham was born in Iraq as I recall and the Israelites conquered what is now Israel on orders from God. Their only "out" is that the people they drove out, to the best of my knowledge, don't exist anymore.

    It doesn't sound to me like this is the sort of person one can have a rational debate with.

  6. That makes perfect sense. He certainly is not someone you can have a rational debate with, but unfortunetaly, he has a sway over people. That's why democracy doesnt work haha.

    Thanks for your replies - they were very helpful!

  7. Another idea might be to try to point out a few statistics that demonstrate that, overall, monarchies do tend to outperform republics, and Australia is in very good company, as HM Queen Elizabeth II's countries tend to do even better than "typical" monarchies.

    Monarchies constitute about 15% or so of all the world's countries, yet according to Transparency International, 7 out of the 10 least corrupt countries in the world (eg, 70%) are monarchies. In addition, Elizabeth II is queen of less than 8% of the world's countries, yet her realms occupy fully 5 out of the top 20 least corrupt governments.

    This is because monarchies, even limited constitutional ones, have a crucial check and balance that republics lack - a check on the power of elected politicians. In a republic, every single part of government is under the control of, and therefore beholden to, politicians in some way. Even the judiciary isn't really independent, if judges are appointed by an elected politician, then confirmed by a body of elected politicians.

    Someone who has to run for office, run for reelection, gain popular support for initiatives, and raise money to fund campaigns is a person that is easily influenced and corrupted by special interest groups. A monarch acts as a balancing check on that political class. In most modern countries, the monarch has little involvement in the day-to-day affairs of government, but there are important reserve powers that can be called upon in emergencies to protect the country from tyranny or abuse. Australia has a very good example of how this works in the Constitutional Crisis of 1975, which was dealt with by Sir John Kerr as Her Majesty's representative.

    Of course, monarchies also tend to be wealthy, stable, and generally quite contented in a world context. When surveys are done on the best places in the world to live, monarchies (the UK, Denmark, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Luxembourg, etc.) routinely rank at or near the top. The United States is pretty much the only republic that often winds up in that mix, and almost never at #1 - and of course, the American presidency was specifically modeled after a monarchy (combining bits of Great Britain and Poland). Why have a pale imitation, when you can have the real thing?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...