Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Mad Monarchist Q&A

Please note, I have had to paraphrase some of the questions to keep this from running too long or shorten them to the basic question. The questions posted appear in white, my responses in yellow. -MM

Ps Earth asks: Why did you start blogging about monarchies in 2009?
I started before that, just started in 2009 at the current web log.
How did you become so interested in monarchies?
Answered that in a previous Q&A, the video is on YouTube
Do you do a lot of reading or research on the monarchies or do you “just know”?
It’s a combination of both. A lot is from memory but I have a library full of books for when I need to check facts.
Do you believe in reincarnation?
Not generally, but, of course, I believe “all things are possible”.
Is it true there is not a lot of writings regarding Emperor Puyi, why is this?
There is a fair amount on him just not much that can be trusted. Best book in my view is “Twilight in the Forbidden City” by Reginald F. Johnston. His account is first-hand and he is an impartial, outsider with no reason to be dishonest.
What is the true essence of a monarch?
No idea what that means. I’m not sure what the “true essence” of me is much less anyone else.
Which Texas city/town/area is the “heart” of Texas?
San Antonio
Would you consider Duke Cosimo Medici of Firenze a monarch?
Of course, he was, I think, the first Grand Duke of Tuscany and I believe I wrote a profile on his consort a year or two ago.
If you happen to know about traditional Texan buildings or sites, would you suggest some for reminiscing trips into histories?
For the same reason as above I would say San Antonio. Aside from the Alamo there is La Villita, the missions and the old Spanish Royal Governor’s Palace (pics in the “Monarchist Destinations” posts) or Goliad to have a look at a mission and a Spanish presidio.
What’s your take on and knowledge about the love life of King Ludwig II of Bavaria?
Don’t really have a “take”. As I recall, there wasn’t much to talk about in that department for Ludwig II. The rumors of course were that he was ‘a certain way’ but restrained himself from giving in to that.

Drake Heath asks: What’s the difference between usurpers like Phocas and many other Roman/Byzantine usurpers vs. people like William the Conqueror or the Hongwu Emperor who also took their thrones by force?
I’m not sure exactly what your asking as to differences other than that Phocas was eventually overthrown and William I and Hongwu were not.
And monarchs who were from peasant backgrounds like Basil I? Would they count as usurpers since they didn’t have a dynastic claim to the throne?
There was no one single “legitimate” Byzantine bloodline so usurpers were commonplace. They usurped power but in that time and place that was rather standard procedure.
Can new royalty (whether it’s just a dynastic change or governmental change) be considered legitimate after a few generations? How about new monarchs who created their monarchy out of a republic like Augustus?
As with most things, some will accept them and others will not. It depends on the country and the accepted source of royal legitimacy which does vary from place to place. Napoleon was accepted by some in France but most monarchists did not and never would accept anything but the original bloodline. Augustus was different, his legitimacy was never in question. He was raised to his “exalted” status by the existing, legal procedures of the Roman Republic.
If a new monarchy arose out of a republic today with a previously non-royal family would they be legitimate (even if the country formally had a royal family) or just pretenders? If generations passed and they stayed would they eventually become legitimate monarchs?
This sounds like you’re fishing for a particular answer. Re-read my answers above. In the first place, I cannot imagine such a thing happening, secondly, some would and others would not. It more or less happened that way in Albania but the new monarchy didn’t last long enough to see if it would have been accepted by the wider community of European royals. It might be more likely today than in the past since today marrying commoners is the rule rather than the exception and the emphasis is on royals being ‘just like everyone else’ rather than something special set apart from all the rest.

James Destry asks: You said in the last response to me that you would support a coup to restore a monarchy. Would you support a revolution? Really, what I want to know is what method of restoration you would not support, if any?
I thought I made it clear, I can’t really think of any such circumstances. A revolution to restore a monarchy would be a counter-revolution and I have supported every one of those that has happened.

The Bavarian Monarchist asks: What do you think, can a monarchist support politicians like Francisco Franco in Spain or Engelbert Dollfuss in Austria, even if they have no intention of (immediate) restoration of the monarchy?
If they are moving a country toward a more monarchial position, I would say you could or if the other side would be more detrimental a monarchist could support them. If there is no progress toward restoration support can be withdrawn. I know these ‘strongmen’ types can be attractive and I have come across many “monarchists” wishing to ditch their own royals in favor of some caudillo figure but it would be a wasted effort. “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars/ But in ourselves.” In Thailand the King has just about as little actual political power as any European monarch but he has been able to intervene in national affairs in the past and take decisive action because his country reveres him, trusts him and is absolutely loyal to him. Monarchs in Europe with much the same powers do not intervene because, frankly, their people are not so loyal. If the loyalty of the people were unconditional, even constitutional monarchs could work wonders. In other words, don’t blame monarchs for the faults of their subjects.
In reference to right-wing, nationalist organizations, which allies do we monarchists have (or do we at all?) in our struggle, not only in Germany, but worldwide?
It often seems there is not many, mostly because almost everyone today has adopted revolutionary values and the revolutionary mindset, even most of those on the so-called “far right” or “third position” types still have the socialistic, egalitarian, “it’s all about the people” mindset. Some traditionalist and nationalist type groups can, perhaps, be helpful but we must always be very careful of them.

Patty Shaw asks:
What’s the difference between pious and religious?
The difference is easily found in any dictionary.
Why would you say “sanity is for the weak”? Isn’t sanity needed to have a good night’s sleep?
Not at all, I sleep like a baby.
Does the boogie man really exist?
Oh yeah, ran into him just last week.
Have you checked out the following music?
Have you been to Bavaria before?
Why did you think I had mistaken you for someone else?
Because you were writing in very familiar terms.
And also, will you be my pen-pal?
Don’t be silly. Observe for yourself or ask others -I’m not friendly, I’m not nice, I’m very unpleasant, I’m overall horrible -you don’t want anything to do with me.

Anonymous asks: As you have talked about other territorial disputes, what are your thoughts on the dispute between Spain and the UK over Gibraltar?
Disputes like that between monarchies bother me because monarchies are so few they should be sticking together. As I understand it, Britain won Gibraltar fair and square but the dispute stems from some Spanish understanding that it was supposed to be returned to them and was not. I don’t see why Britain needs it but as long as the people want to remain British, Spain will just have to deal with it or live with the problem. Even if Britain turned it over to Spain, most of the people (and their wealth) would probably leave and even those who didn’t would likely be a problem. Plus it would ratchet up the pressure for Spain to return its North African holdings to Morocco. My biggest problem with these disputes is the moaning and whining, for years and years, whining to the UN or whining to some other international organization. I say, put up or shut up. If it’s that important, then fight for it but if you’re not willing to take the risk and make the sacrifice then just stop complaining, accept that what is lost is lost and get over it.

James Destry asks: How you think that nation that have not had a monarchy in centuries (Case and point, Ireland, Switzerland, US) can establish one?
Ireland had a monarchy not so long ago, the British monarchy, and if the people were willing could reestablish the old Kingdom of Ireland tomorrow if they so desired. Switzerland used to be part of the Holy Roman Empire but the United States is an ‘invented’ country so it is a little different. However, as with any place, there are two ways: legal and illegal. The illegal method would be to use force, the legal method would be to have the states vote on constitutional amendments to change the U.S. to a monarchy and then invite someone to assume the throne.

Sung asks: In light of the question above, how do you think young countries with very little history and more than one nationality such as Singapore for example, could establish monarchies?
The same way any other country does or has done. In the case of Singapore, it used to be a monarchy as part of the British Empire and that was an entity with a vast array of nationalities which, most of the time, didn’t seem to bother anyone.

Drake Heath asks: How much do you know about Ancient monarchies (like Babylonians, Egyptians, Alexander’s successor kingdoms and ancient China) and pre-Christian European monarchies?
Not as much in the case of Babylon, a little bit more with Egypt, not much on the Alexandrian states and ancient China depends on your definition of “ancient”. My formal education on China covered mostly Qin Dynasty onward, before that -not so much. For pre-Christian European monarchies, same answer, unless you count Rome which I’ve studied quite a bit.

VictoryGinRB asks (I think): I was about of directing to You some particular questions…about philosophical groundings of monarchism by more modern thinkers…as J. Evola, Ortega y Gasset, Spengler, Toynbee and others connected with doxas of ant modernism and cultural pessimism (mainly anti-democratic, anti-secularism, historical regression etc) and was curious if You have interest in directing some attention to those questions in future and how well You are into that sphere…
You would probably be disappointed. That transcendental stuff, what I have studied on, I mostly keep to myself. I’ve read quite a bit of Evola but even he was more of a theoretical than actual monarchist, not as familiar with the others besides Spengler and, again, nothing very “monarchist” jumped out at me about him. I probably wouldn’t cover much of that sort of thing here because, from those I have read up on, their “monarchism” was all very theoretical, far off in the future, sometimes even other-worldly and I think it more practical to not lose focus on the here and now before all traces of monarchy are gone.

Anonymous says: I’ve never been able to wade through all of the propaganda to find out if the argument that women were seen as lesser citizens in monarchies is really valid…Perhaps you could offer me some resources as well.
Not sure what you mean by “resources”, I certainly don’t have or know of any books specifically on that subject. All I can say is that the status of women has changed over time in various countries regardless of whether they were monarchies or republics. A woman in the Republic of Venice had no more rights than a woman in the Kingdom of France in that time. Likewise, this is usually more of a cultural issue than a political one. China and Vietnam, in the old days, were both Confucian-based monarchies and yet the status of women in Vietnam was much higher than in China because of the history unique to that country. Today, women are certainly treated better in the United Kingdom or the Kingdom of Belgium than in the Islamic Republic of Iran but then again women have more rights in the French Republic than in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I recall reading, many, many years ago, an account by an ambassador from Turkey (the Ottoman Empire) to Vienna where he was shocked to see the Emperor of Austria step back and allow women to cross in front of him on the street (he attributed this to the influence of the cult of Mary in Catholic countries). Both Turkey and Austria were monarchies but the status of women was very different because of the different cultures and religious beliefs of the two places and each would be viewed very differently from the modern standpoint.

Emperor Romanov asks: How did lords properly “tax” or in this case demand/collect rent from the peasants? What prevented the lord from demanding too much payment or services? Is the lord’s power restricted by some force or organization what prevents him from arbitrarily ruling with his private military? …Did lords charge rent to cities that did not get a charter of autonomy?
As usual, the answer to that varied somewhat from place to place. In general, peasants worked on the land of a lord and part of that land was reserved for the peasant himself so that was his payment for working the lands of his lord. The lord was restricted from asking too much in a number of ways. The local Church would chastise him and simple common sense and self-interest would tell him that if you take too much the peasants will not survive and you lose your workforce and your lands become worthless. As for his private military, you have to remember, the peasants themselves were the bulk of his military so if they all refused to cooperate there was not much he could do. As for the cities, it varied a great deal and there were not many cities in those days because people were more self-sufficient and most big cities, the few there were, had an independent or autonomous status under their own leadership.


  1. Your answers to Patty Shaw's questions were hilarious.

  2. Ah, I wanted to ask if the "mad" part referred to fandom or editorial involvement in a mag featuring Alfred E. Neumann - because you don't fit the other descriptions of the word, especially not when writing. Would FAQ page comment be the appropriate place?


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