Monday, July 10, 2017

The Difficult Position of Modern Monarchs

It is an issue that comes up with reliable regularity these days; someone who is generally correct about the unhappy state of affairs prevailing in the world today who, and we are speaking particularly of a western/European context on this point, out of anger and frustration begin to view the largely ceremonial monarchs of our time with the problem rather than the solution. This is extremely unfortunate but, alas, cannot be considered all that surprising. It is the inevitable result of the impossible position that the liberal ascendancy has placed monarchs in as well as the result of the extent to which almost everyone has adopted what I have previously termed the “republican mentality” which is to say the mentality that the monarch answers to the people rather than the people to the monarch and so you will find those who might even describe themselves as monarchists who still insist that if their monarch does not act as they, themselves, think is best, then the monarch has to go.

A couple of these came my way recently, one directed at the Prince of Wales who has certainly said things which often cause me to roll my eyes or bristle in frustration. He has also, to be fair, said many things I fully agree with such as his support for hunting rights, traditional architecture and British farmers, particularly organic farming which, while I am not necessarily devoted to, I at least support in as much as I support farming and farmers overall. Any country should produce as much of their own necessities as possible in my view. On the subject of environmentalism, the Prince has often frustrated me but I will also add that while the “green movement” of today is nothing but thinly veiled Marxism, concern for the environment, conservation, clean air and water are certainly good things and things which I support and all of which were once far more dominant on the political right than on the left (Bismarck being a good example of a very illiberal conservationist).

In the case of the Prince of Wales, as with many other royals and royal heirs, I think, and have said before, that I do not think it a coincidence that he was the first British heir to the throne to be educated alongside his future subjects rather than in the palace by private tutors. This is one of those “little things” that I consider to have been extremely important. The Prince of Wales, like his continental counterparts, thinks the way he thinks because it is how he was taught to think by people whose worldview is certainly vastly different from my own. Given that, will he make for a good monarch? Being no prophet, I cannot say nor would it be for me to pass judgment on him. His worthiness in my estimation, nor any other person, should have any impact on his birthright. I will say with relative conviction that he will not be another King Edward III, Henry V or any of the other English monarchs that I most admire. The world today is not what is was in those days, the people are different, their values are different, their priorities are different and no single monarch could change that if they wanted to.

However, criticism of the Prince of Wales, in this regard, also tends to run over to criticism of Her Majesty the Queen as well. I have heard the complaint many times, whether directed at Queen Elizabeth II, King Philip VI of Spain or others (though those two seem to be singled out the most) that they did nothing while all sorts of laws were passed which, I fully agree, are disgusting and reprehensible. Why did they not stop the legalization of abortion or gay “marriage” or, more often in the British case, to the violation of sovereignty that came with joining the European Union? This is, of course, a completely ridiculous argument to make as it takes for granted that the monarch *could* have stopped any of these things if they wanted to when we know that not to be the case. All the monarchs can do is advise and warn, they can no longer veto bills they disapprove of and, for all we know, they may have advised and warned against them all.

I must, again, it seems remind readers of the sad case of King Baudouin of the Belgians who was in exactly the same position. A bill legalizing abortion was being passed through the Belgian legislature and, being a devout Catholic, King Baudouin made it clear that he could not give his royal assent to such a law. In the past, this would have been sufficient, even in Belgium, to kill such legislation but times had changed as they tend to do. The politicians ultimately had to circumvent the King by declaring him incompetent, unfit to reign, effectively deposing him, passing the law on their own authority and then, on the following day, declaring him competent and fit to reign again. King Baudouin had done everything that it was in his power to do. His only options were to sign or not sign and he refused to sign, yet the bill became law anyway. Successive monarchs, King Albert II and currently King Philip, have not taken similar stands. What would it accomplish if they did? The monarchy would be immediately accused of tyranny, abolished and the bill would become law anyway so nothing bad has been stopped but only added to as in addition to abortion being legal, the monarchy and centuries of royal tradition is destroyed as well.

As I said when addressing the relatively recent, and extremely unfortunate, remarks of the King of Norway, I view any opposition to the monarchies of the world on these grounds as ill-directed anger. Usually, I am just as upset as any about the issue or issues in question but to target the monarch is to miss the real enemy. Monarchs today can be viewed as little more than well-pampered hostages whose fate hangs on the whim of a political elite that barely tolerates them and frequently uses them as a target for public anger to take the focus off of them, who actually hold power. Rather than blame the monarch, I say the monarchs of today must be rescued by their loyal subjects from the politicians who have caged them. It may be that I took for granted that every royalist would instinctively understand this because it was always something that I seemed to take for granted myself. From my earliest years I can remember having the idea that the term “prime minister” invariably meant the wicked villain of the story who deceived and manipulated the King who was good and benevolent. And, bear in mind, this was when I was watching cartoons, not political news and commentary. Later on, I learned what a prime minister actually was but it never seemed as though my original understanding was all that wrong.

This could all be seen, I suppose, as a sort of loyalty test and, unfortunately, it is not one everyone deals with very well. Some, like St Joan of Arc, persevere and are loyal to their king even if that king is not always perfectly loyal to them. Others, however, adopt the republican mentality that if the leader of your nation does not please you, then you can simply change that leader for one of your liking. There is probably no better illustration of these than the current crop of Spanish “neo-Carlists” who largely exist only on the internet where they can troll the existing Spanish monarchy without fear of the consequences that actually living up to their professed beliefs IRL would bring down upon them.

In this regard, the neo-Carlists can be differentiated from the modern day Jacobites who, regardless of whether one agrees with them or not, have at least been consistent. The neo-Carlists, on the other hand, have totally abandoned what the original, actual, Carlists were fighting for and become rather more like the Hanoverians than the Jacobites, going far down the genealogical line in order to find a royal who fits their desires and simply declaring that person “legitimate”. The Hanoverians, discounting the Catholic Stuarts, had to go all the way to the Elector of Hanover to find a royal relative who suited their fancy while the neo-Carlists have had to go all the way to the younger brother of the heir to the former Duchy of Parma. That is some of them of course, not all of them, as this sort of set-up has of course led to a number of divisions within what was a factional group to begin with. Based on my experience, they have no argument to support their whims, thinking that simple name-calling (“Traitor”, “usurper” etc) suitable substitutes for facts.

The Jacobites have at least stuck to their original point of the legitimacy of the existing Stuart line and have adhered to it as it passed to the House of Savoy, the Modena branch of the House of Habsburg and today to the House of Wittelsbach. Originally, the actual Carlists made the same case, arguing that King Fernando VII of Spain had illegitimately changed the law of succession to allow his daughter, rather than his brother, to succeed him. They did have a point, the King had not gone through the traditional steps to change the law, simply doing it on his own authority as an absolute monarch. Oddly enough, it was the Carlists who proclaimed themselves the defenders of the absolute monarchy while at the same time saying that the King did not have the power to do what he did just as their rivals, the Cristinos, proclaimed themselves the champions of constitutional monarchy while basing their case on the absolute power of the former king. If only that were the only inconsistency. However, after losing three wars against their rivals from 1833 to 1876, all in the name of their candidate for the throne being the senior male heir (which he was), the senior male line came to an end with the death of the Duke of San Jaime in 1936 after he was hit by a truck while crossing a street in Vienna. With his passing the senior male heir of King Carlos IV of Spain was King Alfonso XIII of Spain who had lost his throne in 1931 to the Second Spanish Republic.

As an interesting aside, by that time the Carlist claimant also claimed to be the legitimate heir to the throne of France which would have put them at odds with the Jacobites who regarded all actions by the post-James II monarchs of Great Britain as invalid, including their renunciation of their claim to the French throne, meaning that they still regarded their pretender, at the time the former Crown Prince of Bavaria, as King of England, Scotland, Ireland and France. However, it was at that point that the Carlists decided genealogy and royal bloodlines were not so important after all and switched to the Bourbon-Parma branch of the Spanish Royal Family to find another royal to rally behind in their continued opposition to the now senior male line of the family. It all adds up to people who will not have a king that they do not judge to be satisfactory and that rather runs contrary to the idea of monarchy which is to accept whatever heir, by the grace of God, happens to be born.

Currently, as stated, for the neo-Carlists on the right that is Prince Sixte-Henri of Bourbon-Parma, for those on the left it was his older brother Prince Carlos Hugo (ex-husband of Princess Irene of the Netherlands), also claimant to the title of Duke of Parma which ceased to exist in 1859 when Parma was annexed to the (now also former) Kingdom of Italy but since his death in 2010 it falls to his son Prince Carlos. So, one can take your pick. Until his death in 1953 some Carlists also supported the Austrian Archduke Karl Pius because, well, why not? None of them are valid heirs to the Spanish throne according to the laws of Spain today or the laws of Spain as they were in the time of Fernando VII either. Ultimately, it all boils down to the fact that some people refuse to accept a monarch they do not approve of. Just as many, if not most, modern day royals have been taught to think as they do, so too have many monarchists been taught to think like republicans, to think that they can decide whether a royal heir is worthy or unworthy of their loyalty and to switch their allegiance to someone else as they see fit.

It is a fantasy world and not a reactionary one, make no mistake about it. Having a monarch that is totally legitimate but not universally approved of is hardly new, only the idea that such monarchs can be disregarded is. It is all the more strange that this seems to be more prevalent in current and former Catholic monarchies than Protestant ones. Yet, once upon a time, it was not uncommon for Catholics to have even a Pope that they did not particularly like very much, yet who they never questioned was the Pope whether they liked it or not. Today some have fallen rather far from that, refusing to submit to a King or Queen, not because they have ruled you badly, but because you blame them for not ruling at all. Yet, when you point this out to these people, when you point out that it is the people who support the ruling class who holds power over the monarch as well as over you, they will say that votes should not matter, votes have nothing to do with what is right or wrong. I would agree with that but it is also completely irrelevant unless you have some other means of enforcing your will besides the legal political system and I have yet to see any neo-Carlists or anti-Windsor “royalists” with an army behind them.

They do not because, again, they are focusing their fire in the wrong direction and perhaps intentionally so because they lack the courage to direct it where it matters. On the rare occasions when I have been able to have an intelligent conservation with one of these people, such as a neo-Carlist, I have asked them what they think would happen if tomorrow King Felipe VI suddenly abdicated and Prince Sixte-Henri took his place, what do they think would change? Would the Spanish public suddenly stop supporting divorce, abortion, homosexuals or “diversity”? The obvious answer is that of course they would not as they did not get into this mentality overnight and one elderly royal is not going to make them stop. So, changing the king would ultimately do nothing anyway they it certainly helps the leftist revolutionary republicans to drain any and all support away from the monarchy as possible. The King is not the problem, even the politicians are not ultimately the problem, rather the real problem is the mentality of the vast majority of the people that keep the politicians in power.

The leftist radicals figured this out long ago which is why they consciously decided to get into education, the media, entertainment and politics in order to change the values of the people away from traditional values toward their own Marxist ideology. It took them a long time to make things as bad as they are today but too many on the right side are too blind or too lazy to realize that. Maybe they don’t want to risk unpopularity or social isolation, but for whatever reason they prefer to aim at undermining a ceremonial monarch and risking centuries of tradition rather than focusing on converting those around them. If the public changes, I expect they would find most royals and most monarchs would be in agreement as they would, as in the past, shift as society shifts. Until then, monarchists should remember that the leftist republicans who, in virtually every country, still demand the abolition of even ceremonial monarchs are not acting without reason and you should think long and hard about finding yourself on the same side as communists, greens and social democrats. They want to tear down the last vestiges of traditional western civilization because they know that what comes after will be more to their liking. If you consider yourself any sort of royalist and think for a minute that the current trajectory would result in a ceremonial monarch being replaced by an absolute one, you are sadly mistaken.

See also:
On the Legitimacy of Monarchs
My Thanks to the Duke of Bavaria
King Harald Goes Full SJW

16 comments:

  1. I sympathise with this post, but the truth is that most monarchs and their heirs are absolutely useless. It is true that the Queen could not publicly oppose the abominable laws that allowed for the practice of sodomy and infanticide, but the younger members of the Royal Family have joined the cause of the enemy with enthusiasm. Prince William, for example, appeared on the cover of a homosexualist magazine. While it is true that I would rather that the legitimate line were upheld in normal times, these are not normal times, so I can understand the inconsistency of the Carlists who support Enrique 'V'. In a way, they are not being inconsistent, as Carlism is diametrically opposed to the Marxist ideology which the legitimate heir professed. I am a Catholic before I am a monarchist, but also a monarchist because I am a Catholic. I see our situation as a repeat of the fall of the Roman Empire, and we can see that after the disastrous period after the fall of Rome finished, the Catholics did not insist on re-establishing the Roman Empire as it was. Of course, I would be distressed at the abolition of the British monarchy, but I think it is coming. If it is not abolished, it will descend to farcical depths of undignified practice. You are absolutely correct in your last few paragraphs; monarchy will return when this morally degenerate period ends, and this will come with the return of the Catholic faith, if Mohammedanism does not conquer the Western world, which is something I greatly fear. I do not believe that this will happen in our lifetimes, if it happens at all. Our Lord promised that the gates of hell will not prevail against his Church, but that simply means that it will exist until the end of time, not necessarily that the Catholic monarchical and confessional state will return. Let us pray that I am incorrect, and that we may see a turnaround before our deaths.

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    1. You seem confused. A photo of Prince William on a 'homosexualist magazine' is enough to justify disloyalty, yet you then offer support to a homosexual prince who tried to murder members of his own family. Odd. You say Catholics did not insist on re-establishing the Roman Empire, yet many would argue that is what most have sought ever since. Look back at past posts here about the Roman Empire and notice that when Christ commanded the people to "render unto Caesar" the Caesar he was talking about was the Emperor Tiberius who was a pagan living in paranoid and unnatural debauchery on Capri. They did not give up their loyalty, they worked to convert the empire and the emperors which they ultimately did. The Catholic Church itself, for example in the time of Pope John XII, fell to a "morally degenerate period" and yet Christians did not forsake their loyalty but sought to restore the Church and its leadership to something better. They did not abandon it to start all over again. Reread your New Testament and take note of the command to obey, "not only the good and gentle but also the harsh". The faithful will not abandon those in the clutches of darkness but instead will seek to save them.

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    2. My point is that one cannot really expect the 'neo-Carlists', as you call them, not to support the more traditional heir over the current Bourbon monarchy. The current Royal Family is not very traditional. As to this murderous homosexual prince to whom I supposedly offer support, I have no idea who this could be. I offered no support for any pretender in my comment. I look forward to your next post.

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    3. Why not? The loyalists of the House of Habsburgs accepted the Pragmatic Sanction and remained loyal to clerical and somewhat anti-clerical monarchs and remain united today behind the Imperial-Royal Family with no such similar disputes even though they say much the same things as the reigning Spanish Bourbons. If the one is "not very traditional" it is difficult to see how the other could be.

      As to the prince in question, I think anyone who reads your post would accept that you at least heavily implied support for the current neo-Carlist favorite. Those who know him are well aware that he is a homosexual, though they try to gloss over it with the usual (now rather out-dated) terms such as "not the marrying kind" or "lifelong bachelor" etc. It is also not hard to find information about the shooting that took place at the gathering of left-wing neo-Carlists being held by his brother the Duke of Parma and (then) wife Princess Irene of the Netherlands. Princess Irene was quite clear in an interview on the subject that her then brother-in-law had intended to shoot herself and the Duke but instead shot the two people sitting in front of them. It was quite big news at the time.

      None of this would be an issue of course if people simply accepted one set of rules and stuck to them but, your response shows the problem when people set aside the simple rules. The "more traditional heir" was the phrase you used but, who decided who is more traditional? Salic law was only "traditional" since the Bourbons came to Spain, as the persons of Queen Isabella I and Queen Juana of Castile illustrate. Again, consider if the followers of the Habsburgs had taken such a position, there would have been no Empress Maria Theresa, no Franz I, no Franz Joseph, no Blessed Charles. It would be hard for me to imagine that possibly being a good thing.

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  2. This post is just great! If only "monarchists" understood this instead of squabbling on the internet, we would be doing more for the cause of monarchy. I'm probably going to send more neo-Carlists your way because I'm sharing this. Keep up the great work, you madman.

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    1. If monarchists would unite against liberals instead of squabbling among themselves, then monarchy could actually be restored, but liberals also say see no-one wants a monarchy, because we don't focus on the real enemy of liberals.

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    2. Adam nailed it. That's it exactly. And Bizcocho, I really do not need the headache of dealing with anymore neo-Carlists but I would also point out, as your avatar reminds me, of something related to this same point. While the Carlist Spaniards were fighting other Spaniards, the regular Spanish army was dealing with them and trying to defend places like Cuba and Puerto Rico from the Americans. Surely it would have been better if all Spaniards had been united rather than divided while the last remnants of the Spanish empire were being plucked away.

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    3. You're both right. We all need unity for monarchy and to acknowledge the true enemy, liberals. Also, I believe that the wars over the Crown were the reason Spain could not defend her empire and is why she lost her last colonies. This is something I need to emphasise since in Puerto Rico people are constantly taught, by the government and our elderly, that Spain did not care for us and gave us up at the first sight of big trouble, which is also the reason a lot of Puerto Ricans at the time relinquished their citizenship since from their perspective they were winning. Fun (not quite sure if it is) Fact: Puerto Rico was called the most loyal of the colonies since it never had a real rebellion against the Crown, probably because of the large migration of Spaniards from other colonies after the wars for independence were lost. One can find a lot of souvenirs displaying this title in antique shops.

      Moreover, liberalism is not just the enemy of monarchy, but it's also the reason why people here continue relishing the status we're in and don't want any real change. It's "free" money, no one denies it, and it's the true reason why it continues. How I wish my island would wake up from the deceit of the black legend and realise that we should return to the Motherland. At least we have a movement that is doing something, even though it's quite small and I'm rather wary about it since it has a lot of liberals in it and it's not monarchist per se, although I think I prefer helping them than doing nothing at all.

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    4. I fully agree and I hope beyond hope that Puerto Rico does NOT become a state in the Union. See what happened to the French in Louisiana or the natives of Hawaii. Many Puerto Ricans would leave, many more Americans would move in and you would soon find yourselves a powerless minority, the Spanish language would disappear and the culture would be lost forever. A short-term gain for the politicians would mean long-term death for everyone else.

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  3. I am curious to your position in Pinochet. What's your thoughts on him?

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    1. Pinochet was certainly far from ideal, however, I salute him for having the courage to take action to stop the establishment of a Castro-style communist regime in Chile. He seems to have left the country in better shape than he found it. Chile went from being one of the poorest countries in Latin America to the wealthiest, so I'd call that a good thing. If the people he "disappeared" were communists, well, I for one will lose no sleep over that.

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    2. How do you think hereditary lifelong dictatorship differs from monarchy? Suppose pinochet ruled for life and passed it on to his son and his son passed it to his son and so on?

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    3. I'm not big on playing with words. You could do the same thing by saying that the President of the United States is an elected monarch with a four-year term or that the Holy Roman Emperor was an elected President with a very restricted franchise. It seems ridiculous to me. Of course, there have been presidents who became presidents for life and then declared themselves monarchs and many have accepted them. Usually, I would say these have been improvements but, in the case of Chile, a monarchical tradition already exists, a Royal Family already exists so they could simply restore the monarchy and still keep their independence as part of a personal union with the Crown of Spain.

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    4. When Augustus Caesar seized power he kept up the sham of republicanism by keeping the senate and by refusing the title of "Rex'' or King preferring to call himself "Imperator'' or Commander. And being Augustus he was commander in chief of the Roman army which is one of the keys to his power.

      Now of course we all know he is a King in all but name. But given how Romans despised Kingship and Monarchy. Pretenses were kept. Which was later dispensed with and the true nature of monarchy is shown forth.

      Given such historical precedent this does seem to be one of the ways Monarchies can restore itself.

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  4. Can you talk a bit about the Cambodian Restoration? Given that it was a fairly recent restoration you would think it would be rather significant to monarchists but I have been having trouble finding information about it.

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    1. True, probably because the late King Sihanouk is considered a fairly unsavory character for most people (though he seemed popular enough in China and North Korea, most of his own people revered him as well). If your interested I did write a length article on him some time ago that has been quite well received:
      http://madmonarchist.blogspot.com/2010/02/king-norodom-sihanouk-ultimate-survivor.html

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