I have been asked many times by many different people in various parts of the world, what exactly a frustrated monarchist can do to advance the cause, to restore a fallen monarchy or defend an existing one. The persistence of these questions gives me the impression that many find my answers unsatisfying. That is understandable. We live in a world which has fallen so far from traditional values that there are few satisfying answers to be had. Of course, as I have mentioned before, there are little things anyone can and should do in their daily lives to support the monarchist cause. Display your loyalty proudly, refute revolutionary lies with royalist truth, do not let a distortion go unanswered, point out the hypocrisy of the republican activists, mark important occasions and never allow anyone to cause you to think of yourself as the one with strange views (particularly if you are a subject of a monarch), start with your family and friends and stand together with like-minded individuals. In many cases, religious institutions can be a good focal point as well. However, the wider “war” is a more difficult matter and it is on that front that I fear too many have given up or simply fail to give battle because of a desire for someone else to do the hard work for them or on their behalf. This is what I want to address today.
On numerous occasions I have said that what is required is a conversion of the modern culture. That is a difficult task and requires a different sort of commitment than that of someone fighting for king and country in a military struggle. It calls for dedication, patience and resilience. It is a long, tiresome competition that rewards endurance more than decisive action. Sadly, far too many prefer not to try even attempting so daunting a task with a final goal that is so far out of sight. This causes not a few monarchists to, almost subconsciously, switch priorities and demand that their monarch (if they have one) stand as their champion rather than acting as the champion of their monarch. They look at society and wonder why the monarch does not do something to make it all better. This often leads to disenchantment and frustration and then anger. They begin to actively blame their monarch for the ills of modern society and effectively become republicans by either abandoning their allegiance outright or backing some ideal era from the past or a rival royal line from history that is not involved in modern society, has never been involved and so cannot be blamed for anything but upheld as a pristine, imaginary alternative. Although they could never bring themselves to call themselves republicans, they become effectively that by joining the side of those who wish to see the remaining monarchies of the world pulled down.
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.
It is important to keep priorities in order and not to stand on the sinking deck of the Titanic arguing over whether the captain was properly certified or not. As stated at the outset, that does not mean letting everything else slide and just trying to wage some sort of a moral campaign but it does mean that the problem of the republican mindset is not simply a political one. This sort of thinking is, in itself, a product of the post-revolutionary, ideological world. We have been taught to think in ideological ways and that everything will be perfect if we can just find and implement that perfect political formula that always seems so elusive. The problem is that there is no one, rigid, ideology that would well serve everyone in the world. Peoples and cultures are too different for that, even in these modern, globalist times when it sounds like everyone is repeating the same talking points peppered with popular phrases like “equality”, “sustainability” and “social justice”. Some countries have different priorities than others, some are much more regulated than others, some are much more monolithic than others and what works in one place might not work in another. So, the arguments and the tactics for trying to restore the monarchy in a country like Portugal is going to be vastly different from the arguments for restoring the monarchy in a country like Russia. What might be the best approach in Italy may not be the best approach in Nepal.
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.
Every revolutionary republic is like a country cutting off its own head and expecting a new one to grow in its place. It doesn’t happen, so they flail around trying to find a replacement, constantly trying to reinvent themselves until they reach the point that they don’t know who they are because they have forgotten who they were in the first place. That is why I cover a great many historical subjects and figures (I’m also just interested in the subject on my own) because people must be awakened to their own history -and the TRUTH of history so that they begin to feel a real connection with the past. Even the largely ceremonial monarchs that are most common today are still historical figures in that, even while not impacting policy and world events as in the past, they are a living link with the history of their country and their people. They embody history and the history of themselves and their family is the history of their countries and peoples as a whole. If, for example, one is a citizen of the Czech Republic, the history of your country as it is today only goes back as far as 1993. Prior to that, it was a part of Czechoslovakia and even then, the Czechoslovakia of the post communist era was a totally different thing than the Czechoslovakia of the communist era which was totally different from the original Czechoslovakia which was still a very young country. Yet, if you are a Czech aware of your history, you know a land and a people that stretched back to the Moravian Empire and which had been part of the Austrian Empire which was a successor state of the Holy Roman Empire which was a revival or an attempted revival of the classic Roman Empire that goes back to the beginnings of western and European civilization under a monarchy that was, indirectly, a continuation, in some way at least, of those original Roman Emperors.
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.
No matter if one is from China, Turkey or Ethiopia, although they have very few similarities, a proper understanding of history will awaken people to the fact that the end of the era of monarchy was a break with the natural history of their land and people that included some bad times certainly but also their proudest moments of national greatness and achievement. Sure, modern mainland China may have shot some junk into space and have nuclear weapons, but they have never built anything to rival the Ming architecture of the Forbidden City or produced any philosophers anywhere close to being on the same level as Confucius nor had any national leader as revered as the KangXi Emperor. Modern Iran has a history limited to the life of the Ayatollah Khomeini while Imperial Iran had a lineage that went back to the likes of Cyrus the Great, and, I might add, the last Shah made a point of trying to acquaint his people with the entirety of their cultural legacy, not just on the post-Islamic period, but back to ancient times when Persia was a world super-power.
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.
Good stuff as usual, MM. But I have to wonder how you would apply your ideas to a country like the United States where technically speaking we've never had a monarch. I suppose for Native Americans they could easily reflect upon their own history, but what of those of us who are not or who's ancestry lies across the water? Or should we resort to finding pride in those monarchs who's colonies resided where we are now? I suppose this could go for any country today where Monarchy is no longer or has not been the norm. It seems quite the task. I for one simply use my Catholicism as a link to various monarchs and countries more traditional and their histories. Your thoughts and advice?ReplyDelete
Eph 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.Delete
Eph 6:13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
Well, as you're from the US, why not have a suitably regal portrait of the Queen of Canada somewhere in your home? Not perhaps as prominent as over the fireplace, but somewhere that isn't tucked away or hidden. It might make an unusual conversation piece, add a touch of the unusual and might even imbibe your home with a dash of some of Her Majesty's own mystique. =)Delete
Canada is rather like the "alternate history" version of the US - if the War of Independence had been lost by the rebel colonists, it's most likely that a larger version of Canada would be the result today. Since the US has no formal monarchical ties itself; why not celebrate the Canadian monarchy and show some brotherly support for your neighbours of the north? ^^
Excellent post. There are so few places on planet earth whose history is not tied up with that of a monarchy as to be almost not worth mentioning in any serious way. Even the greatest of all Republics, the United States, was founded by and remains profoundly and almost unalterably influenced by British Law and Customs. Perhaps it is mere hubris, but I would dare say virtually every good thing about the United States we inherited from our Mother Country. Almost anytime the Supreme Court actually renders a sane ruling (albeit, a rare occurrence these days), you can find echoes of their decision in the Acts of Parliament and decisions of the Queen's Bench from a time when the Monarch (and the Lords) still exercised some level of authority.ReplyDelete
My final evolution as a monarchist took place when I realized this. Ironically, that was in a Constitutional History class where the Professor was a mad defender of Republicanism, spending an inordinate amount of time praising the regicide of Charles I, as some kind of precedent that no one was above the law (save Oliver Cromwell, I suppose). I was already sympathetic to monarchy, but realizing that even in the United States good law and custom came, ultimately, from standards set down and upheld mostly by monarchs. There is an irony if you are a raving republican.
The leftists that have been the historical agitators for republicanism prefer to see history as a long stream of victims and so good law to them mostly concerns destroying traditional institutions. They have become ever more consistent in their deranged and infantile minds in destroying the institutions that maintain society. I tend to think that traditionalists/monarchists need merely to wait for it all to come crumbling down and the only option left is to restore the traditional state. Of course, by then I fear there won't be much left to "restore." I'm no doomsayer, but it is hard to have a positive view of the future of Western Civilization in the present malaise.
I disagree with the idea that America has never had a Monarchy. While it is true that not all of the States that comprise the modern United States of America formerly belonged to the Same Empire, the fact is that as a corporate entity the United States of America traces its roots back to the British Empire, and evern today all across America we see this. Every Fourth of July when the US Celebrares independence Day you have people in every State, incliding States like Alaska, which was a part of the Russian Empire and was simply sold to America in the mid 19th Century, saying “We broke from Britain”. Geography is far, far less impotant than cultural identity, and America has a shared cultural identity and sence of History. The fact is, while I don't want to belittle french or Spanish or other Imperial Invovlements in the New World, the US as a corporate entity is an offshoot of the British Empire. The Federal Government was developed based on the Parlaimentry Model, though it has been modified, and Federal Law is rooted in English Common Law, as is the Law in 49 of the 50 States, with Louisiana beign the only exception. AMERICAANS, think of themselves as breakign from Britain, no matter what State they are from.ReplyDelete
Had America not broken from britain, and yet soemhow stull managed to aqire all the Terrotiry is now holds, it is no question that they would all be British Colonies, and when Modern Americans think of Monarhcy they think of the British Monarchy.
Now, the way I see it there are two ways to restore Monarhcy in America, although neither are really liekly to occure. Hwoever, no matter how unliekly something seems at present, there's always a chancee. After al, History has shown that the Unliekly often becomes the Inevitable Fact given enough Time., so it is possibel that it may well yet coem to pass that America adopts Monarhcy as its own, abandinign its Republciansim, though I doybt it will be soon.
The Firts way is to simply restore the British Monarhcy. Again yes, I know, not all the Ttes were under the British Crown, but the peoelin those States certianly share in the prideof breakign form Britain every 4th of July and this is what they themselves wudl recognise.
The seocnd is to create a New American Dynsasty.
Either woul work, but I doubt many Americans woul wlcome, say, the Spanish or French Monarchs.
We must have hope. If I as a former right wing republican atheist can become a monarchist, anyone can become a monarchist. I too became a monarchist following a more in depth study of history, particularly during one of my university courses on the American Revolution. I entered the course as a committed republican, full of zeal for the cause of the revolution and a mind awash in the radical Whig propaganda upon which my historical narrative had been fed. However, I emerged from the course dumbfounded that there actually was such a revolution, and it made me realize how powerful the confounded New England "Yankee" Whig narrative has been in shaping not only the events leading up to the rebellion, but the continued religious-political narrative in which the only true American is a "Yankee" American. Truly the Puritan mindset has been far more destructive and influential in both the shaping of the United States and the fabrication of its historical narrative as embellished in the republican ideal and taught to American school children and adults alike.ReplyDelete
A portrait of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II now adorns my study wall, and the Union Flag and flag of England is flown at my home on special days from St. George's Day and the Queen's Birthday, to Empire Day on May 24th. It's time to return to the historical ties which made us who we are. To live severed from our connections and ties to the past, is to live blindly and in ignorance of who we really are and what our ancestors did for us and our collective present.
God Save the Queen!
@zarove & New Brittania:ReplyDelete
I agree wholeheartedly. Interesting book to read that I rediscovered today while moving is Russell Kirk's "America's British Culture." Also, thinking about even our thoroughly republican/"democratic" educational system, at the level of literature and culture, we clearly identify "British Literature" as part of our own patrimony more so than the literature of other Western countries. I remember learning the King Arthur myths as a young child, not so much as foreign myths about a land across the seas, but as my own national myth. Maybe this is reflective of my own traditional upbringing (if so, I thank my parents), but I don't think it is that abnormal.
Also, look at when the British Monarch make a visit here. It's not like when other Monarchs make the occasional visit. It's like welcoming home a lost member of the family. We break out parades, have media spectacles, the works. This is because we retain our natural affinity with our Mother Country, and, it seems to me at least, we have some kind of natural belief that Her Majesty is our Queen in some sense and that their Royal Weddings are our Royal Weddings. I don't know how the United States has kept this heritage in total spite of the war made on it by the political classes and left-wing intelligentsia, but it demonstrably has.
On a more popular front, if you talk to someone from outside the political class about politics and you say something like "I'd rather have Queen Elizabeth II back than our corrupt politicians" one is bound to encounter some sympathy, even if they wouldn't necessarily vote for restoration in some kind of referendum, much less agitate for one. However, such common sense monarchist sympathy might migrate to a viable movement if such existed. Making that exist is an entirely different beast and is the real problem. There doesn't seem to be a viable intellectual and political center of gravity for that kind of movement to go very far right now. That may change with internet networking and the polarization of politics as people search for different ways of doing business, and that maybe the old ways really were the best.
I truly love your blog and the unique angle it brings to a modern world view. Please keep it up as your madness is required. The most profound aspect of this particular post is written between the lines and affected me as it is also very symbolic of the ultimate monarchy to be restored on earth, that of Christ.ReplyDelete