There is a really excellent article in the Remnant Online, the first of a multi-part series, by John C. Medaille, stating the case for being a monarchist in the modern age. This first part compares and contrasts monarchy and democracy in light of his contention that monarchy better represents the will of the people; he then examines the reasons why modern democracies become instruments of oligarchy.
In his opening salvo, he states the plight of a confessed Monarchist pretty well:
The announcement that one is a monarchist is greeted with the same regard as the announcement that one has joined the Flat-Earth Society, or espouses geo-centrism, or has expressed a belief in a world only 6,000 years old.
Politically, monarchism has a prestige just a tiny bit better than fascism, but not nearly as respectable as being Amish.
Funny– and true. But read on:
Therefore, it behooves me to cut directly to the chase, and state very clearly why I am a monarchist: I am a monarchist because I am a democrat. That is, I believe that the will of the people, their traditions and customs, their concern for their families, their communities, and for the future should determine the shape of any political order. And monarchy is the highest form of this democracy.
Now, the first response to that is likely to be, “That is what our democracy does, and what a tyranny doesn’t do; democracy enthrones the will of the people, while monarchy enthrones the will of the tyrant.” But it is clear to me, especially in this late date of our democracy, that it enthrones the will of determined and well-financed minorities, that it dissolves the customs and traditions of the people, and that it has no concern for the future. And a king may indeed be a tyrant, but such is the exception rather than the rule.
Tyranny is a degeneration of proper monarchy and generally happens only in degenerate times, and even then, the king has to be speaking for some other and greater force, such as a strong army or a commercial oligarchy. A king, no less than a president, must consider the forces and interests in his kingdom. But a king is free to judge the justice of the arguments; a president is free only to count the votes. And while the president might attempt to engage in persuasion, in the end he himself can only be persuaded by power, that is, by whoever controls the votes, which is very likely to be the one who controls the money. A king may also be persuaded by power and money, but he is always free to be persuaded by justice. And even when a king is a tyrant, he is an identifiable tyrant; much worse is when a people live in a tyranny they may not name, a system where the forms of democracy serve as cover for the reality of tyranny. And that, I believe, is our situation today.
The remainder of this first installment contains a critique of democracy as it exists today. If you have an open mind– that’s if, mind you– then I suggest you might enjoy the piece.
Read the rest of the article here.
OK, one more quick paragraph I liked:
But in abandoning both the past and the future, democracy abandons even the ability to represent the present, because without the guidance of the past and the concern for the future, even the present moment loses its reality. The present moment is always ephemeral, because as soon as one grasps it, it is already history. Without tradition and an orientation to the future, the present moment becomes a kind of cultural Alzheimer’s, with no memory and no direction.
From STLToday, with no comment from me:
Standoff with man threatening explosion ends in Fairview Heights
By KIM BELL
No one was injured, he was taken into custody and neighbors who had been evacuated were being allowed back into their homes.
During the standoff, the man wore what he claimed was a suicide belt strapped to his waist. He also had 55-gallon drums he said would explode. Only after the seven-hour standoff did the bomb team inspect them and found them to be hoaxes.
The suspect, identified as Roman R. Conaway Jr., 50, claimed on his Facebook page that he was going to burn a holy book Quran at 3 p.m. Tuesday. Then, Conaway wrote on his site:
“i need everbody with a camera phone or video phone or video cameras to come to 9030 summit drive in fairview heights illinois. the media and your goverment thinks this isa joke. im not joking.”
As the standoff was happening, two nieces and other relatives and friends used that forum to plead with him to surrender. One of his nieces replied on the social networking site, “uncle jr.. please dnt do this.. ur my favorite uncle 😦 i love u very much”
The FBI, Secret Service and Fairview Heights Police Department surrounded the home on Summit Drive on Tuesday night after he apparently had been making threats to members of the Muslim community earlier in the day.
It all began about 1 p.m. Tuesday when the St. Louis division of the FBI got information that Conaway was making “incendiary comments about the Muslim community and possibly threatened the president.”
That information was relayed to the Springfield, Ill., office of the FBI. They teamed up with the Secret Service and the Fairview Heights Police Department to go to Conaway’s home.
When they approached the house with the joint terrorism task force on Tuesday, Conaway came out of the house with his wife and son.
“He was wearing a belt that he claimed was a suicide explosive belt. He also showed us two 55 gallon drums which he claimed had explosive material inside,” said Stu McArthur, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Springfield division.
FBI officials said they were told he had some sorts of explosives training, although they couldn’t verify that and don’t believe it’s true. Only after the standoff ended did the FBI realize that the explosives weren’t real. Officials identified the material around the man’s belt as plastic “play-doh” material.
McArthur said police negotiated with Conaway. Five or six hours later, negotiators convinced him to release his wife and son. At 2:15 a.m. today, Conaway surrendered.
“He removed the device around his waist as well as dismantled the devices around these 55 gallon drums and surrendered to law enforcement,” McArthur said.
Bomb-squad members inspecting the devices and found them to be hoax devices.
Conaway was arrested and will face charges for threatening to use an explosive device and possibly threatening the president.
“We are still investigating, at this time, to get more information about the exact nature of this information that came to us earlier yesterday,” McArthur said.
Conaway’s rantings on his Facebook page criticize the government, Hillary Clinton, Bill Gates, Obama, a local judge and others. In one posting in July, he writes: “he obama adm.needs to clean up the org.crime starting with law inforcements.i hope the next attack on u.s.is ill.and they leave nothin left.”
People from the neighborhood were evacuated for several hours to the nearby Sterling Baptist Church, at the corner of Bunkum and Highland roads. The area is near the Illinois 157 interchange with Interstate 64.
As of 8 a.m. today (Wednesday), the FBI said it hadn’t yet interviewed Conaway to know more about his motives, said Brad Ware, a spokesman for the FBI’s Springfield division. Authorities planned to present evidence to the U.S. attorney’s office for charges, Ware said.
…making war on a little country.
Ted: In the US government’s view,
which I’m not in any way endorsing…
…the US policy is… (notices some ants on the ground nearby)
Maybe this will help. Take these ants.
In the US view, a small group,
or cadre, of fierce red ants…
…have taken power and are oppressing
the black ant majority.
The stated US policy
is to aid those black ants…
…opposing the red ants,
in hopes of restoring democracy…
…and to stop the red ants from assisting
comrades in neighboring ant colonies.
Ramon: That is the clearest and most disgusting
description of US policy I’ve ever heard.
The Third World is just a lot of ants to you.
Ramon’s Friend: Those are people dying, not ants!
Ted: You don’t understand.
I was reducing everything to ant scale– the US included. An ant White House…
…an ant CIA, an ant Congress,
an ant Pentagon.
Ramon: Secret ant landing strips…
…illegally established on foreign soil.
Fred: – Where are the red ants?
(Later, at the car…)
Ted: – That was terrible.
Fred: – You’re blowing it way out of proportion.
Those red ants were bad news.
They weren’t good for anybody.
Ted: I was trying to convince them
to look at Americans in a new way.
Then, in one stupid move,
you confirm their worst assumptions.
Fred: I didn’t confirm them,
I am their worst assumption.
Maybe the occupant of the White House can take a lesson in thoughtful gift-giving between heads of state by checking out the gifts exchanged by the Holy Father and Queen Elizabeth II:
Pope and Queen exchange gifts
Sep 16 2010
The Queen and the Pope exchanged gifts at a reception at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh today.
The Pontiff received from the monarch a facsimile edition of 16th century drawings by German artist Hans Holbein the Younger.
The 85 sketches were encased in a white papal binding specially produced by conservation staff at Windsor Castle.
Including a portrait of Sir John More, the pictures are considered among the greatest treasures in the Print Room at Windsor Castle.
The Vatican’s gift to the Queen was a copy of the Lorsch Gospels dating from 778 to 820.
The gifts were exchanged in the Morning Drawing Room and a private audience with the Queen followed at which the Duke of Edinburgh was also present. […]
I saw the article last week about a little boy who committed the most heinous crime known to the modern school system– he brought a toy gun to school– and the continued persecution he suffers at the hands of those we pay to provide his intellectual and social formation. I read this after just having run two posts critiquing the public and private schools, so I almost let this one pass. But after reading a blog post on Fred Reed’s curmudgeonly site, putting the incident into the larger context of America’s passive-aggressive culture, I changed my mind.
I’ll use excerpts from that post below, but a warning to readers that the full post contains some material unsuitable for minors. So, to some of the salient paragraphs:
“Child Still Expelled for Toy Gun – a Year Later
Parents want their child back in school. School board says no way” […]
“School board officials said the rules are quite clear and that the toy gun constituted a weapon.”
Me, I figure the school-board officials constitute a pack of priggish low-Board simians who ought to be swinging in trees instead of trying to run a school. But then, I’m a curmudgeon.
Think about it. Kid—he’s eight—shows up with toy gun after watching 12,000 hours of shoot’em-ups on the lobotomy box, Luke Skywalker blasting funny-looking milkmen like a pretty little mollycoddle turned psychopath. Kid sees war coverage with heroic GIs in Afghanistan killing anybody they can see. He watches recruiting ads for the Marines, who carry guns and want A Few Good Persons. Why would he possibly be interested in a toy gun?
And why would nominal adults, even the barely educated variety characteristically found on school boards, want to wreck the kid’s life? Actually of course it is passive aggression, an attack on the tyke, said attack masquerading, or perhaps marauding is the better word, as high moral endeavor. See, they’re protecting Western Civilization.
The US these days rolls in passive aggression. The country grows daily more mean-spirited, more wrapped in a miasma of diffuse anger, but you still can’t just go up to a child and hit him with a ball bat, or throw acid in his face. No. Instead you find a smugly righteous way to set him back two years in school, thus making him into a guaranteed social misfit. How very…I don’t think “intelligent” is an adequate word. Perhaps “sublime” is better. Or “supernal.”
As tensions grow in America, as divisions flourish, and the nation leads up to something unseen but ugly, prissy vindictiveness and moral sadism become normal. We have become a gotcha culture, watchful for transgressions meaningless but forbidden, so that we can make the malfeasor squirm. How we enjoy the squirming, the writhing on camera, the heavy punishments inflected for nothing.
I agree that the country, and Western civilization, roils in passive aggression. This incident is not unknown in the context of public school news. Remember the little boy who was called to the principal’s office for bringing a toy Lego guy with an itty-bitty Lego gun? If a student draws a picture of a stick-figure firing a gun it becomes a cataclysmic event. Last week, a local school district went into lock-down because some hunter left a gun he legally owned and possessed in his car parked on the school lot. The students were saved and the hunter was charged with unlawful use of a weapon.
Forget weapons. We live in a sexually-oversaturated society. Not only is hardcore pornography available in two clicks of a mouse, but the great inculturators of television, movies and music push nearly hardcore porn on the young. Our children are sold dolls that look like prostitutes; housewives are sold pole-dancing aerobics classes. Impurity is a cloud that surrounds us. Contraception, abortion, adultery and worse are presented as lifestyle choices. But just don’t ever be politically incorrect, because you will be punished severely.
An adoloscent raised on pornography produces a deviant character; if this person expresses his deviancy one way, that is a celebrated freedom; but stray in a different direction, and society wags its collective beard, clucks its collective tongue and brands you for life. You can cheat on your wife, unless you get caught. There is no more sin, there is only the inappropriate.
Society urges every libertine excess, and selectively punishes the politically incorrect. This is not a healthy way of organizing a people, or of enforcing a system of laws, or of building a culture.
Back to the eight-year-old. “He made a mistake, but why the severe punishment? I don’t understand that,” said Magdiel Burgos, Sam’s dad.”
What? The child did not make a mistake. He’s freaking eight. He brought a toy to school. Since eight is too young (at this writing) to be made to snivel on camera in delicious autohumiliating, his parents per force do it for him.
The correct solution to the problem, if there were a problem, would be to tell the kid, “Hey, you aren’t supposed to bring stuff like this. Don’t, OK?” When he is a little older, he might be told that the entire scholarly (which it barely is) establishment constitutes a dry run by Darwin, which he judged a failure and meant to discard, but forgot.
There is something wrong, something fetid and cruel, about anyone who will so treat little boy. It gets stranger:
“The school board said they would admit Samuel into a correctional school for problem children who have been expelled located in Hallandale Beach.”
Oh joy! Reform school! What better way to turn him into a happy and stable boy? (Which he is anyway.) Why not Leavenworth? We could try him as an adult. I recommend solitary, to protect the other inmates. And don’t let him bring his teddy bear. He has to learn that actions have consequences.
I thrash about in search of understanding. It cometh not. Perhaps the explanation lies in physics: The stupidity of a closed system tends to remain the same or to increase. Usually, increase.
This sort of neurotic theater has gone on for years. I remember the boy expelled for pointing (so help me) a chicken finger and saying “Bang!” another for bringing plastic soldiers to school, another for drawing a picture of a soldier with a gun, another for swatting a girl on the butt on the playground. This last resulted in the calling of cops, a handcuffed kid, and compulsory psychiatric treatment instead of an admonitory, “Don’t do that again, Bobby. Do you understand me?” How does a society come to this?
I can make guesses that sound vaguely plausible. The United States is not a happy country. People waste their lives in meaningless jobs, trapped by the credit card, the mortgage, the student loan. They know they are wasting their lives. Racial anger runs high. Women resent men. Divorce screws up kids. There is the two-hour commute to the cubicle and back to the sterile box in the anonymous subdivision, the lack of influence over their lives, life from paycheck to paycheck. And anger at affirmative action, either because they suffer from it or because they need it. Life is just flat stressful.
People get spiteful, mean, like mistreated dogs. They want to make others as miserable as they secretly are themselves. So they torment a little boy. I’m going to change my phylum.
Regnans in Excelsis
Excommunicating Elizabeth I of England
Pope St Pius V – 27 April 1570
Pius Bishop, servant of the servants of God, in lasting memory of the matter.
He that reigneth on high, to whom is given all power in heaven and earth, has committed one holy Catholic and apostolic Church, outside of which there is no salvation, to one alone upon earth, namely to Peter, the first of the apostles, and to Peter’s successor, the pope of Rome, to be by him governed in fullness of power. Him alone He has made ruler over all peoples and kingdoms, to pull up, destroy, scatter, disperse, plant and build, so that he may preserve His faithful people (knit together with the girdle of charity) in the unity of the Spirit and present them safe and spotless to their Saviour.
1. In obedience to which duty, we (who by God’s goodness are called to the aforesaid government of the Church) spare no pains and labour with all our might that unity and the Catholic religion (which their Author, for the trial of His children’s faith and our correction, has suffered to be afflicted with such great troubles) may be preserved entire. But the number of the ungodly has so much grown in power that there is no place left in the world which they have not tried to corrupt with their most wicked doctrines; and among others, Elizabeth, the pretended queen of England and the servant of crime, has assisted in this, with whom as in a sanctuary the most pernicious of all have found refuge. This very woman, having seized the crown and monstrously usurped the place of supreme head of the Church in all England to gather with the chief authority and jurisdiction belonging to it, has once again reduced this same kingdom- which had already been restored to the Catholic faith and to good fruits- to a miserable ruin.
2. Prohibiting with a strong hand the use of the true religion, which after its earlier overthrow by Henry VIII (a deserter therefrom) Mary, the lawful queen of famous memory, had with the help of this See restored, she has followed and embraced the errors of the heretics. She has removed the royal Council, composed of the nobility of England, and has filled it with obscure men, being heretics; oppressed the followers of the Catholic faith; instituted false preachers and ministers of impiety; abolished the sacrifice of the mass, prayers, fasts, choice of meats, celibacy, and Catholic ceremonies; and has ordered that books of manifestly heretical content be propounded to the whole realm and that impious rites and institutions after the rule of Calvin, entertained and observed by herself, be also observed by her subjects. She has dared to eject bishops, rectors of churches and other Catholic priests from their churches and benefices, to bestow these and other things ecclesiastical upon heretics, and to determine spiritual causes; has forbidden the prelates, clergy and people to acknowledge the Church of Rome or obey its precepts and canonical sanctions; has forced most of them to come to terms with her wicked laws, to abjure the authority and obedience of the pope of Rome, and to accept her, on oath, as their only lady in matters temporal and spiritual; has imposed penalties and punishments on those who would not agree to this and has exacted then of those who persevered in the unity of the faith and the aforesaid obedience; has thrown the Catholic prelates and parsons into prison where many, worn out by long languishing and sorrow, have miserably ended their lives. All these matter and manifest and notorious among all the nations; they are so well proven by the weighty witness of many men that there remains no place for excuse, defense or evasion.
3. We, seeing impieties and crimes multiplied one upon another the persecution of the faithful and afflictions of religion daily growing more severe under the guidance and by the activity of the said Elizabeth -and recognizing that her mind is so fixed and set that she has not only despised the pious prayers and admonitions with which Catholic princes have tried to cure and convert her but has not even permitted the nuncios sent to her in this matter by this See to cross into England, are compelled by necessity to take up against her the weapons of justice, though we cannot forbear to regret that we should be forced to turn, upon one whose ancestors have so well deserved of the Christian community. Therefore, resting upon the authority of Him whose pleasure it was to place us (though unequal to such a burden) upon this supreme justice-seat, we do out of the fullness of our apostolic power declare the foresaid Elizabeth to be a heretic and favourer of heretics, and her adherents in the matters aforesaid to have incurred the sentence of excommunication and to be cut off from the unity of the body of Christ.
4. And moreover (we declare) her to be deprived of her pretended title to the aforesaid crown and of all lordship, dignity and privilege whatsoever.
5. And also (declare) the nobles, subjects and people of the said realm and all others who have in any way sworn oaths to her, to be forever absolved from such an oath and from any duty arising from lordship. fealty and obedience; and we do, by authority of these presents , so absolve them and so deprive the same Elizabeth of her pretended title to the crown and all other the above said matters. We charge and command all and singular the nobles, subjects, peoples and others afore said that they do not dare obey her orders, mandates and laws. Those who shall act to the contrary we include in the like sentence of excommunication.
6. Because in truth it may prove too difficult to take these presents wheresoever it shall be necessary, we will that copies made under the hand of a notary public and sealed with the seal of a prelate of the Church or of his court shall have such force and trust in and out of judicial proceedings, in all places among the nations, as these presents would themselves have if they were exhibited or shown.
Given at St. Peter’s at Rome, on 27 April 1570 of the Incarnation; in the fifth year of our pontificate.
Seeing His Holiness attending evening prayer at the occupied Westminster Abbey with Rowan Williams sure does signal a different time. But still, it is weird to think that he would have incurred excommunication not that long ago if he weren’t the Pope…