One of the things that often frustrates me is the people who pose questions with the perceived goal of looking for an excuse to be disloyal. They come up with all sorts of hypothetical situations, asking if, under these certain circumstances, would rebellion be justified? My usual answer is “no” as, for me, the fundamental basis of loyalty to monarchs is simple, being based on religious conviction. “My son, fear the Lord and the King: and have nothing to do with detractors (rebels)”, Proverbs 24:21. That’s simple enough and good enough for me. Without doing intensive research, I was unable to come up with any Scriptural justification for rebellion. Throughout the Bible, it doesn’t happen much, the most prominent rebellion that comes to mind is that of the Maccabees which was a rebellion against a foreign conqueror, the Seleucid Empire which was one of the successor states of the “world” dominion of Alexander the Great. In the Christian era, people were told to “render unto Caesar”, to “fear God and honor the Emperor” and to obey “not only the good and the gentle but also the harsh”. And, as we know from history, even in the worst periods of immorality and even persecution, there were no massive Christian rebellions. On the contrary, Christians were sent to their deaths protesting their loyalty with the usual phrase, “Hail Caesar, Emperor of Rome, we who are about to die salute you”.
This has occupied my thoughts as of late because of a growing concern that the time may be approaching (or even near upon us), in my country at least, where the issue becomes pressing as to whether one can morally pay taxes and submit to a government that is doing immoral things. Certainly, one can imagine that when Jesus Christ said, “render unto Caesar” that some of that money was going to further causes the audience being addressed would have considered immoral. The Caesar at that time was the Emperor Tiberius who went rather off the deep-end morally at the end of his life, according to most accounts, but even at best we can imagine that tax money would be spent on things like sponsoring pagan Roman temples which the Jewish leaders Jesus was addressing would have surely denounced as idolatry. Yet, the command was to pay your taxes and be loyal to the Emperor. Does this apply to us today in the same way? It seems to me that an answer might be dependent on whether you live in a republic or not or even as to what sort of monarchy you live in. Pondering the issue has made me wonder (not much, because the answer seems obvious) whether or not people realize how morally hazardous a republic can be. When considering what the difference would be between the people, taxes, laws and overall situation of those in the time of Christ versus those here and now the answer I came up with has, at its heart, the issue of sovereignty.
This is an opinion piece and others may disagree, but these are simply my thoughts for your consideration. It seems to me that one reason for the lack of rebellions or authorization for rebellions in the old days (very old days) is because people were not expected to sit in judgment of their superiors. For the Jews of the Old Testament, God was in charge and God picked who would be king over them. They were to be loyal to that King who was responsible to God for his actions and if he acted wrongly or misruled his people it was God that would deal with him. This was basically stated in the covenant God made with King David, establishing his “divine right” to rule God’s people. God said that if the descendants of King David ruled badly, He would punish them but that their divine right would never be taken away for the sake of King David, the man after God’s own heart. The people were to obey so long as the authorities did not demand them to act contrary to the law of God and even then, as we see in cases such as that of Daniel, the response was disobedience but not disloyalty or rebellion. God was considered to be the master of kings and princes and the one who directed the fate of the nations. So, when Israel and Judah were conquered by the Romans, they considered that was the will of God and as their king submitted so too did they. Basically, how the Emperor behaved was God’s problem to deal with and not their’s.
That may sound flippant but the underlying point is extremely serious because today is not at all the same in most republics and even some monarchies. The point is that, in the past, when the government did something wrong, the King and the King alone was responsible to God for it. Today, where I live and probably a majority of those reading this as well, it is “we” who are responsible when the government does something wrong and the reason is sovereignty. Let us take the example of the United States, a republic familiar to all. Before independence, King George III was the sovereign, holding sovereignty over what would become the original United States of America. Although one could substitute the word “Parliament” after 1688, according to the letter of the law, George III was King “by the Grace of God”. Parliament passed laws in the name of the King, who gave assent or vetoed them as he pleased (though George III never vetoed anything as most know) and he reigned by God’s grace because it was God who made him the sovereign of England, Scotland and Ireland and all their dependencies. Then, along comes the American War for Independence and the birth of the United States of America; a federal republic. Instead of an hereditary monarch, the United States would have a President, chosen by the Electoral College through the democratic process because the people said, in so many words, ‘we will have the leader we choose, not the leader God chooses for us’. But was the President then the sovereign of the United States? Perish the thought!
The President is certainly not the sovereign of America as it was stated very clearly from the outset that the United States was to be based on the principle of “popular sovereignty”. That means everyone is king which is the same thing as saying there is no king at all. Sovereignty is claimed by the collective and invested in the public at large as “we, the people”. Did anyone then or does anyone now realize what a truly terrible responsibility that represents? This is why, for example, if one were to commit a crime or, excuse me, if one were to be *unjustly accused* of committing a crime (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) north of the border in Her Britannic Majesty’s Dominion of Canada your case would be referred to as “The Crown versus Stickyfingers McGuilty” whereas in these United States, under the same circumstances, it would be, in federal cases, “The People of the United States versus Shiftyeyes O’Liar” because the sovereign is the basis of law and authority and in Canada that is Her Majesty the Queen, which is to say, “The Crown” of Canada while in the United States there is no sovereign but the collective sovereignty of “the people”. How many people recognize the moral ramifications of this? Likewise, in Britain, laws are enacted in the name of the Queen whereas in the United States, with popular sovereignty, they are enacted in the name of “the people”. Can everyone see the important difference and what this means?
In a country based on traditional authority, in which the monarch is sovereign, as was universally the case in the old days, this meant that if a bad law was enacted the sole responsibility fell on the shoulders of the monarch. However, by trying to take power into our own hands and claiming popular sovereignty, sticking with the illustration of America, it means that everyone is tainted, so to speak, by a bad law because everything that is done and every law that is passed is done so in the name of and by the authority of “we, the people”. This holds true even in the case of money and taxes. What did Jesus Christ first ask about the coin when questioned on paying taxes? He asked, who was pictured on that coin and the answer was, of course, Caesar as the profile of the Emperor appeared on all coins just as, again to bring it forward, the profile of Queen Elizabeth II appears on all the coins in a country like Canada. So, He said, “render unto Caesar that which belongs to Caesar”. Was this based solely on cosmetics? I don’t think so and such a thing could not be applied to the United States wherein coins feature the profiles of presidents long dead like Lincoln, Jefferson, Roosevelt, Washington and Kennedy. We could hardly ‘render unto’ these men who are no longer alive, nor would it be right to do so because none of them were sovereigns.
The underlying point is that the currency Christ held up was a Roman coin backed by the authority of the Emperor. In the United States, the power to issue currency is reserved to the Congress, the representatives of, again, “we, the people”. That is then combined with the fact that the power of the purse is reserved to the people’s elected representatives and that means that the general public is, to some degree, responsible for all that is done with it. Power and responsibility is, after all, a two-way street even if it may be comfortable to ignore the fact. By demanding that, “we, the people” should all be sovereign, that we should all collectively hold power and authority, we are then all collectively responsible for all that comes as a result of this. What is more revealing, at least to me, is that everyone seems to realize this when it is convenient to their cause. For example, many people, certainly in America, will have heard of the anti-war campaign “Not In My Name”. It was a very widely used slogan in the opposition to the Iraq War and has been used by numerous causes around the world, most of them of very leftist origins. These same people, however, claim to be totally oblivious to this concept when traditional Christians oppose “gay marriage”. Most Christians don’t give a toss what people get up to in the privacy of their own homes but what they do object to is the idea of the government, acting in their name, saying something in law which they believe is untrue. Thanks to collective sovereignty, it is forcing traditional Christians to make liars of themselves.
This hardly seems fair to those who did everything possible to stop perceived wrongs done by their government. They may have voted, participated in debates, perhaps even held public protests but, fair or not, “we” asked for this situation. In fact, “we” demanded it and shed blood to achieve it. To make matters even more unfair, it is not as though “the people” actually rule, ever have or ever will but the people went along, the people participated or at least submitted to this and the political leaders of the revolutions of the world made it sound so empowering when they said, “We will hold power, but it will be in your name” because there is no higher power than “the people”. This grand sounding ideal, however, was actually a sort of suicide pact which enables all to be tainted by the actions of 51% of their number, sometimes even less. If we are going to say that power comes from the people and not from God then it is the people who are responsible to God for all that their fellow members of the collective do. In a traditional monarchy, if the King misruled, the King would die and go to Hell. With popular sovereignty, everyone risks being dragged down to the infernal regions by the most politically successful. We used to have a monarch to blame. Now, we have only ourselves.
I too have felt this way previously. A good example would be unjust wars. Previously the sins of such only fell on the King who enacted such a war. Now, since in a Republic the approval of the majority is needed to declare a war and the media goes to great lengths to whip up a bloodthirsty fervor to approve the wars, it is possible that God would place the burden of those sins on all shoulders instead of just the King's.ReplyDelete
I have a question which I often ponder. I know if I had a king I cannot rebel, but the irony here is, in a Republic built on the principle of rebellion, I am confused as to what is proper. Since many claim the Constitution supreme, would not rebellion against an "usurping" President be "loyalty" to the Constitution? Republics dig their own graves because it is unclear just what loyalty is, and who exactly is being the rebel (is it the government for straying? or the people who disobey the inevitable strongmen?).
In a way it does sort of provide us monarchists a loophole since they have enshrined rebellion as a form of loyalty (as a "duty" should the government become half as abusive as it is now).
But at any rate, the American experiment will destroy itself. Either the Presidents will gradually become Emperors (at which point a new monarchy could be born) or the nation will split apart before that can happen. If the left-wing wins another election, I guarantee without a doubt that a midwestern state will leave the union and cause a domino. Hopefully it is all peaceful, but it appears we monarchists will finally be able to point out that America was only a temporary anomaly, and not as good of one as "patriots" claim it to be.ReplyDelete
It has had a short 220 year history, during which slavery propped it up (similar to the Roman Republic) mostly in the beginning, had a violent civil war, and only maintained a "rugged" spirit so long as it had a "frontier" constantly expanded west. California/Arizona were well-settled by about the 1920's and it was the 1930's when there were no more frontiers it turned to socialism like every Republic does. And America was only a "superpower" for about 60 years which is a pretty short run of it! By comparison, Britain was a superpower for arguably half a millennium. I would say America's only been a superpower since the Suez Crisis, when America betrayed Britain and destroyed it's Empire. Although maybe the blame should be put further back to when the USA got Japan and Britain/Netherlands to fight each other, specifically on the Hull Note when the USA goaded Japan into attacking it with the Pacific Fleet served on a silver platter at Pearl Harbor instead of it's usual location in San Diego against the protestations of many Admirals. There needs to be more research into the Japanese side, I'm fluent in Japanese and I was reading shocking material from their WW2 leadership (which is when I discovered the Hull Note for example that Tojo said the Hull Note was an "ultimatum") about how America was basically embargoing and then taking hostile actions against Japan prior to Pearl Harbor for example the USA actually sent dozens of airplanes with American pilots to China (and one of these pilots was the head of the Chinese airforce, which I learned while in Taiwan) and these shot down over 300 Japanese aircraft in mid-1941. That's active warfare basically.
The reason I say this, is if America hadn't goaded Japan into attacking, there would of been no UK declaration of war on Japan (Dec. 8, 1941) and thus the fall of Singapore might not have occurred which was viewed as the turning point against colonialism/empire. So whether wittingly or unwittingly it was America, rather than Japan, that started pushing the dominoes. And with the Suez Crisis it's more than apparent that America was wittingly trying to destroy the British Empire. America in a way suffered for it's actions since it lost tens of thousands in Korea/Vietnam which would of been stable Japanese colonies instead of civil war-torn commie insurgencies had America not destroyed the Japanese Empire.
I have mentioned in past posts and on a YouTube video (not the best) how FDR in fact ordered the bombing of Japan prior to the attack on Pearl. He signed off on a plan to firebomb five major Japanese cities using American bombers flown by American pilots but with the Republic of China flag on them so that when Japan retaliated (as anyone would), he could then claim that Japan had made the first aggressive move. I also mentioned in a recent post how it was the U.S. that basically forced Britain to end its long-standing alliance with Japan prior to WW2. We basically told the Brits that they could be friends with us only if they stopped being friends with Japan. Had it not been for that, things would have gone very differently in the East Asia.Delete
Anyways it always heartens me to know of fellow monarchists in Texas. The time to right the wrongs of history is close at hand.ReplyDelete
China (another blowback threat to the USA because of WW2 actions) is about to become the "#1" in GDP which will certainly silence many of the mouths mindlessly droning "USA #1!" because then we can say that "No, actually China is #1 now". The only thing we have to do is when America is falling apart and China rising, we have to provide an alternative as the media will try to push China's version of authoritarianism as an answer. Perhaps a movie promoting an alternate history where America remained a colony or where George Washington became King (and perhaps Robert E. Lee one of his heirs, which means no civil war) and how better off we'd be could be made. Such ideas are so far out of the mainstream that they could be smash hits. Monarchists do write the best epic novels (LOTR, Narnia, etc.) since we understand spiritual nature so well.
Personally though, I think we'd have to create a new monarchy perhaps descended of a Texas Republic leader like Houston or Austin from scratch rather than invite a Bourbon or other descendant of a past King of Texas.
We need to brainstorm some sort of methods of promoting monarchy (besides my movie idea). Perhaps a parade with themed on the "Texas Kingdom" each year in all major cities of Texas, which would emphasize our Spanish and French heritage or creating some sort of group analogous to the International Monarchist League but with a more distinctly Texan or American feel to it. I feel like, with more Americans than ever in love with the medieval period, it we are missing a great opportunity.
Also, if you could email me (in my profile) I have some influence with certain legislators here and I'd like to have some ideas for policies that would either directly or indirectly help support the growth of monarchy in our state. I've thought of things like that Parade but perhaps other collaborations could be called for. I find it rather fun to use the system against itself.
China is not nearly as well off as people think. Just recently there have been increasing attacks and demonstrations by disgruntled peasants because the CCP big shots and their buddies are getting richer than rich while the common people, particularly in the interior, are as poor as ever.Delete
As for monarchists in Texas, there are a number and I think they have a group on Facebook of some sort. Feel free to look into that, I have no part in it, partly because experience has taught me there's little point to 'American monarchism' (just my POV) and because I don't join organizations or things like that. I don't play well with others. Emphasizing the monarchist past of Texas is a good idea and I've tried to do that somewhat here. All of our oldest historic landmarks have monarchist origins and, though not often remembered, the largest battle ever fought on Texas soil was a fight between republicans and royalists -and the royalists won!
I take the opposing view on the "pointlessness" of American monarchism. America is on the verge of unraveling, so we as monarchists have to explain WHY it fell apart ahead of time (as well as prophetically predicting it's fall), because for a thousand years humanity will be discussing the fall of America and it's causes and we need to set the story straight from the getgo lest a different system becomes the new norm (i.e. State-run Capitalist oligarchic dictatorships in the vein of China).Delete
If you don't believe me about it unraveling in the next 2-8 years as I predict, you have to recognize that the Supreme Court, one which has gotten even more liberal since it struck down DOMA, is about to rule that out-of-state gay marriages have to be recognized by all states (which means all gays can get married if they simply drive to Vegas or a different state and then come back and have it recognized). Once that happens, all those pastors/patriots/etc. yelling about America's "divine providence", and the "holy constitution" (have heard this sadly), and the "sacred" land of "American exceptionalism", will all be silenced or perhaps even start condemning the nation they were the proudest champions of. If they yell their patriotic blasphemies, members of the laity (myself for sure) will point out (or even yell out) that America has embraced sodomy and shares the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah. Basically the most patriotic members of society will be shifted into it's greatest detractors. The uniting fabric will be torn, and nothing unites Americans anymore: not race, not religion, not even language (in some areas).
We are at a crossroads with a great opportunity before us.
What makes this ironic is that the notion of collective guilt is, at the same time, devalued in republics. The opposition gets the sense that since they opposed it by voting for the other guy or against the legislation, they've done their part. They don't really have the blood on their hands, so to speak. This is why after every election you see the bumper stickers "Don't blame me, I voted for John Smith" despite the fact the blood is on everybody's hands (even people who don't vote, whether on principle or neglect).ReplyDelete
On the contrary, monarchies seem to have a more proper notion of collective guilt. Improper actions by the monarchy taint the entire society. However, one person is peculiarly responsible for them. Whereas responsibility is diluted even in the smallest republic so that few feel much responsibility for the whole mess, one person in a monarchy has the obvious power and responsibility to take action to correct injustice. One person being responsible for ethical behavior makes such behavior more likely to occur, unless that one person was an utter reprobate (or sociopath, if you prefer) who lacked any notion of guilt at all.
I apologize for asking a question that doesn't have to do with the article, but what are the uses of titles, especially in our day? It may sound a bit dumb of a question and it probably is, though I've looked around just out of curiosity and haven't found an answer. I have an idea of what it was used for in the past, but not much about when it comes to today. At the same time I understand that this is a very general topic and there probably isn't a solid answer.ReplyDelete
It really depends on what country you're talking about. In most western countries these days they are simply a matter of tradition with no special privileges attached to them at all. Their "use" is simply that of an historical reminder for certain families. Of course, I may be misunderstanding the question. I never considered a title (or a surname for that matter) in terms of its "usefulness".Delete
I personally, separate nobility from monarchy. I think titles are extremely useful, however the most prestigious must be based on merit, or if any are inherited they must be able to be revoked and should only be maintained by the heir(s) which contribute similarly to the nation.Delete
The use of titles is because it gives the powerful (wealthy/militarily/philosophically) a stake in the nation. They become pointless however, when destitute, craven men can have a title from birthright that puts him alongside a powerful military hero or generous philanthropist. At the very least they should have to serve in the army to maintain it.
Even Napoleon recognized the uses of titles and brought them back, and it's much of what kept together his regime at points. The problem is an entrenched nobility. Again it must be merit-based, and must be revocable as well. Although I recognize that long hereditary lineages go far in furthering the renown of a title, I think if they want to retain it they must fight to keep it. Then the fact that they all have meritorious service only gives further weight and prestige to the title they retained from their ancestors.
I think that so many people go out of their way to do philanthropic, entertainment, or other causes just to get an OBE proves my point about it being useful.