Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Some Thoughts on the Subject of "Unity"

There is a great deal of talk in the western world lately, most of it specious in my opinion, on the importance of “unity” along with denunciations of “division”. Much of this has been aimed at the current American president, some even setting up non-stop live stream sessions of people chanting, “you will not divide us”. For most of these people, I have no doubt, it is nothing more than the latest, fashionable, mindless talking point because, under other circumstances, they love nothing more than dividing people. They love dividing people so much that when they have exhausted existing divisions, they invent completely new ones to focus on. There have long been racial divisions, ethnic divisions, religious divisions and of course political divisions but in many parts of the world those were no longer sufficient. In much of Europe, for example, everyone in a given country was the same race and ethnicity, so there were no divisions there. Most people had given up on their own religion and had generally prohibited religious division anyway (when northern Europe became officially Lutheran the Catholic Church was quickly banned) so there was nothing to do on that front. Even in the area of politics, liberalism had won the day and no alternative was given serious consideration.

Obviously, given such a situation, the only thing to do was to import people of different races, different ethnicities, a different religion, though, because the government was behind this, people who could be expected not to immediately shake the boat when it came to politics. In the “battle of the sexes” the fight had pretty much ground to a halt. The feminists had won. They got the vote, they got disposal marriage, they got abortion, they got tax-payer funded birth control and so on. Women live longer than men, are now more educated than men and, as usual, are not imprisoned like men. They are even putting women in combat units, on warships, even in submarines and when your feminist devotion is pushing you to fight for the right to spend over a month sealed in a metal tube hundreds of feet under water, cheek by jowl with dozens of unwashed men breathing recycled farts and body odor, you are most likely running out of things to demand. So, new divisions had to be invented, like the “transgender” phenomenon. Now we get to argue over which bathroom can be used by someone who claims to be a woman but who still has a penis.

Obviously, I doubt the sincerity of people who claim to want unity, who chant “better together” while also arguing that “diversity is strength”. For those who may be slow in the etymology department, the root word of “diversity” is “divers” which comes from Latin via the French for “separate” or, in other words, “division”. Claiming you want unity while arguing that divisions make us stronger is rather nonsensical to put it mildly. However, unity is something that everyone claims, at least, to be thirsting for. You have people on the far left marching in the street championing unity, though of what sort I honestly have not the first clue, while on the far right you also have people arguing for unity which, agree with them or not, at least seems to make more sense when one looks at their program which generally includes making societies more homogenous in one area or another. It is rather complicated. The far-right basically says that birds of a feather should flock together. The far-left seems to be saying that we should always be creating new divisions only to then ignore them but even then, only in certain areas while not ignoring them in others. The same people who say “race is a social construct” are the same ones who push racial quotas. Don’t ask me to explain it. These are, by the way, usually the same people who complain about how huge the gap is between the very rich and the very poor while simultaneously importing more extremely poor people every year. Go figure.

Why do I bring this up here? Because, once upon a time, monarchists tended to list greater unity as being one of the perks of having a monarchy. In the past, and perhaps still today though it is doubtlessly declining, there was polling data to back this up. There was more social cohesion in countries which had a monarch as their Head of State. This was traditionally explained by pointing out that modern constitutional monarchies have a head of government who is a partisan, political figure but a separate Head of State who is a non-partisan, non-political, totally impartial figure who is tied to everyone in the country by way of history, culture and tradition. All of that is true, however, it has been increasingly less effective as the monarchy itself has been the cause of division in a number of countries. Some people wish to maintain the monarchy while others actively campaign to abolish it and turn their countries into republics. Australia is an example of this as is Spain. To a lesser extent, one could say the same of Canada. In that country the monarchy is largely ignored but when it is brought up, immediately one sees divisions between those who support the monarchy and those who want it abolished as an outdated relic of their colonial history as part of the British Empire.

The problem relates back to one that we have touched on here before. For most of our history, the monarchy was a source of unity other than the occasions in which the monarchy itself was fought over in succession disputes. However, that all began to change with the French Revolution and the proliferation of mass-politics, representative government and, to put it simply, liberalism. Prior to the revolutionary period, politics as we know it today did not exist. The monarch ruled and policies came and went depending on the situation, what worked and what did not. The people may have liked certain policies and disliked others but there was little to no ideological divisions in society. Then came the revolutionary period, then came liberalism and suddenly everyone was involved in politics, suddenly there were political parties at war with each other in every country. Suddenly there were ideological factions battling for control of the government. It became impossible for many people to evaluate policies based on their effectiveness because they were blinded by their ideological loyalty. However, it was still possible for there to be unity around the monarch because the monarch, where they still reigned anyway, was above all of that tumult.

Today, however, we are seeing that this situation has its limits. The liberal model, as I have said before, is based on a sort of social contract. It is based on a set of rules that everyone must abide by in order for the system to function. If one side decides not to follow those rules, the system breaks down. It functions only so long as everyone agrees to keep it functioning. We are now seeing the same applied to monarchy. Yes, the monarch can be a source of great unity and a real strength in that regard but only so long as everyone agrees to bow before the throne. In the old days, this was not an option. The monarch ruled and if you in any way opposed this you were a traitor and would be dealt with rather harshly. Today, under the liberal system, this is no longer the case. You are, in most monarchies, free to oppose the monarchy and so the monarchy ceases to be a source of unity and becomes an object of division. This is not, obviously, the fault of the monarchy but rather the fault of the liberal system as a whole.

The Dual-Monarchy of Austria-Hungary is often pointed as an example to illustrate a number of points, good and bad. By the time it had become “Austria-Hungary” it clearly represented something rather out of step with the rest of most of its contemporaries. The American diplomat James W. Gerard famously observed, “That extraordinary empire known as the Austrian-Hungarian Dual Monarchy is less an Empire or a Kingdom or a State than the personal property of the Habsburgs, whose hereditary talent for the acquisition of land is recorded on the map of Europe today!” Gerard was somewhat accurate in this observation, given that he was looking from a modern perspective at a political entity which had evolved from a different era. There had, of course, been efforts to foster greater internal unity in the past but these met with fierce resistance and ultimately failed. Back when it was still, nominally, the “Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation” the Emperor Joseph II tried to enforce German as the official language for all people in his polyglot empire but was not successful. Ultimately, all that did unite the peoples of Austria-Hungary was their shared loyalty to the Habsburg monarchy. Germans, Magyars, Slavs, Protestants, Catholics, Jews and Muslims all coexisted so long as loyalty to the Crown was enforced. Without that, there was nothing to hold them together and what had been Austria-Hungary divided and then divided further.

Another illustrative case is the Russian Empire. Russia, after all, was the last major power among the Christian countries to be an absolute monarchy. Prior to 1905 there was no constitution of any sort, no elected national assembly, no political parties or anything of the sort. There was simply the Czar, his word was law and there existed no higher authority beyond the Czar to which one could appeal save for God. Today, people tend to laugh or roll their eyes when they hear of how Czar Nicholas II resisted power-sharing in a constitutional monarchy by pointing to his British cousins as his “nightmare scenario”. People find it funny that the Czar seemed to think the British were in a terrible situation because of their political system while he had to deal with periodic uprisings, terrorist attacks and a seemingly unending string of assassinations. However, this is to miss the point of what the Czar’s perspective was. He was thinking not of how peaceful or moderate the country was overall but rather at the institutionalized divisions of the British government, at the ideological warfare going on between the Labour Party and the Tories which this manifested. Russia may have had very serious problems of its own, but things were more clear cut. The Czar was the “Emperor and Autocrat of all the Russias” and he decided what direction the country would take and you were either with him or against him and that was that.

It may be that this traditional sort of political system is so far removed as to be beyond the capacity of your average, modern person to fully grasp but it was, I assure you, once taken for granted as being the norm. The important point that should be grasped, however, is that a constitutional monarchy, as part of a liberal society, is not immune from harm and cannot but be effected by the sea that it swims in. Today this is becoming all too noticeable given how the liberal mask is starting to slip ever more and we see just how little they truly believe in what they have so long claimed to champion. This matters because, so long as liberals maintained their adherence to the rules of the game, it was possible to argue for a largely ceremonial monarchy as being of great practical benefit. If, however, the current trend continues in which liberals become increasingly overt in suppressing all opposition, only a robust, traditional monarchy will suffice. Personally, I am content to allow the liberals to go on with their hysterics as they are helping to prove the point that any compromise with them is impossible. If they want to play the game of ‘either we suppress you or you suppress us’ then, I for one am perfectly open to suppressing them. At that point, unity can be achieved.


  1. Sorry this isn't directly related to your post but when I got on your site there was a pro-Planned Parenthood ad to the left of the article. I thought you should know about that.

    1. Saw one once myself but there's nothing I can do about it. All I can say is don't click on it and they should move on to 'greener pastures'.

    2. After I sent that comment I saw ads for things related to things I had looked at elsewhere online (like trumpets), so now I'm confused because I have not gone on Planned Parenthood's website or anything that I know to be affiliated with it.

      Thank you for the advice, and I didn't click on it: I refreshed. Hopefully I won't see anything like that again--and if I do, I'll just refresh again. Sorry about this.

  2. One question for you Mad Monarchist, sorry if you have already cleared this point in one of your previous articles, if it is so, I haven't seen it, much as I like to read all your articles. Were the habsburgs to rule Austria again, what form would that Monarchy take, something very different from Austria-Hungary from the early 20th century I believe?

    1. It couldn't be Austria-Hungary unless all the successor states decided to get back together again. For Austria itself, it could be whatever it wanted as the source of monarchial legitimacy has been reduced to elected governments. So, they could decide to restore the monarchy as the "Empire of Austria" and have a Kaiser again, or they could count as lost what has been lost and just be the sovereign "Archduchy of Austria".

      In the old days a higher traditional authority had to bestow a title but that isn't done anymore and, in any event, there is no emperor in the west anymore and I doubt the Pope would do such a thing so a government can decide to call their country and their head of state whatever they wish.

      Take, for example, Monaco. Originally, the rulers were simply called the "Lords of Monaco" but then, starting with Honore II, the King of France raised them to the status of princes. Today, there's nothing to stop them making Prince Albert II "King Albert II" other than most people would probably think it crass and rather nutty.


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