Friday, May 9, 2014
Restoring Monarchy - What It Takes
I have personally seen this pattern of behavior more often than I would like and some fly through the stages faster than others. Some have even ended up becoming republicans outright after they realize that their idealistic, imaginary sort of monarchism gets them nowhere and often involves a falling out with their handful of on-line confederates who each tend to think that their way is the only way. The real problem though, is the one they fail to address and shirked from in the first place; the conversion of the culture. A monarch cannot change society when that society does not even take their monarch seriously. They can do scarcely little for a people who have forgotten what true loyalty really is. Too many today have no conception of real loyalty, too many have no conception of what a monarch really is, their place in a country or nation and, increasingly, many have forgotten what even a nation is or why it is important. They have allowed themselves to become small, focused only on their whims and appetites, relativistic in their thinking and while patting themselves on the back for being so broad-minded they feel a false pride while they themselves, their society, even their nation willingly allows itself to shuffle toward extinction.
What is common to all is the fact that each republic represents a people who have (often violently) cut themselves off from their own history. It is a fact that, rightly or wrongly, many European monarchies (and Commonwealth Realms like Australia and Canada) have tried to deemphasize their own history in an effort to encourage and facilitate multiculturalism. Some monarchists in these countries do not see that as a bad thing and are proud of the ability of their monarchs to unite various people from various religious and cultural backgrounds. However, even if one regards that as a positive thing, the same circumstances do not apply to republics. Where monarchies remain, their monarchs have presided over the change in their countries toward multiculturalism and so everything was done under the “umbrella” of the existing monarchy. In republics, on the other hand, this attitude would not be possible as the new populations of immigrants and the descendants of immigrants really have no connection with the former monarchy, most of which have not existed in the lifetime of anyone still above ground. For countries like this, it would be extremely difficult for the public to ever even open their mind to the idea of restoring the monarchy without getting in touch again with their own history, the unique story of their people in which monarchs invariably played a large part.
Far too many people are ignorant of their own history, their own national story. Even those which seem to be obsessed with the subject are often only fixated on holding on to past grudges rather than having a full understanding of where they come from. Not long ago I had a verbal altercation with a Korean woman who was, as usual, accusing the Japanese of denying history. Yet, she was totally unaware that the last Crown Princess of Korea was Japanese and left Japan to spend the rest of her life in Korea, caring for the most vulnerable of the population. She said she had never been taught this in school and I have no doubt that is true. She could detail every real or imagined injustice Korea ever suffered during the rather brief period of Japanese colonial rule but that is not a true understanding of Korean history, just a determination to hold a grudge against Japan and claim victim status. A true understanding would not reduce Korea to being known simply as a battlefield of the Cold War and a Japanese colony but would cover vast centuries of trials, triumphs and accomplishments from King Munmu of Silla to the grandest heights of Sejong the Great. That is also another byproduct of the “small thinking” of modern times that so many people today seem to want to be pitied rather than admired or respected. It is sadly not at all uncommon, particularly in formerly colonial countries that have been less than a roaring success.
My point is that for monarchy to be revived, attitudes and values must be changed. People must be convinced of the truth of ancient wisdom, which some would call common sense because it has to be in order to last long enough to become ancient. They must be brought to a more traditional way of thinking, with a proper respect for tradition itself, for religion and things like national myths and folklore. They must also be made aware of their history. These are not easy things to accomplish, which is probably why so many ignore them and simply damn their constitutional monarchs for not snapping their fingers and changing the world by magic. However, we can influence them in a million different ways, often by things that seem inconsequential. It may seem like a little thing, but it makes a difference which can be seen by how the communist Chinese government has reacted to the hanfu movement (mentioned here not long ago) which simply seeks to revive traditional Han Chinese dress and customs. You can do it by doing something like that, wear something that attracts attention, fly a flag, wear a ribbon on your lapel, put a royal portrait in your cubicle at work -anything that will encourage someone to ask you a question and thus give you an opportunity to explain to them, first that monarchy is important to you, and later, in time, why it should be important to them. Most of all, remember that in a struggle such as this, the thing that pays off the most is simple persistence.