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A thought for both republicans and monarchists...

(34 Posts)
thatbags Thu 07-Apr-16 07:14:39

...and people like me who are somewhere in between the two absolutes. I heard a podcast today in which this was said:

"Countries that have kings and queens, which are rationally stupid, weird ideas, are empirically freer and more socially just than countries that don't".

What followed was fascinating and I'll post a link anon but I wanted to post the quote without saying where it was said or by whom so that people could think about it on its own merits before being subject to what sometimes seems like the inevitable bias that knowing who said it often imposes.

The quote is a statement of what is in fact true: an empirical truth rather than a rational truth.

In short, what do people think of the idea as it stands?

I've out it in the Culture Forum because it's about how we think and how we speak about things, which are central to our culture.

thatbags Thu 07-Apr-16 07:15:12

put, not out!

Grr. I did some corrections too!

Iam64 Thu 07-Apr-16 07:53:41

What an interesting point of view expressed there bags. My initial response was to see images of say East Berlin, North Korea where all was to be real with no nonsense. Nonsense would include the monarchy and faith I suppose. I'm not a monarchist but the older I get, the more I'm persuaded by the what would we put in its place argument. Plus, I do enjoy a bit of pomp and circumstance, all the Queen's horses do look glorious don't they.
I do believe we all need to suspend belief a bit occasionally and just enjoy whatever the day brings rather than trying to fit everything into neat boxes.

obieone Thu 07-Apr-16 07:59:17

My mum has been saying the same, about royalty and God for decades. I dont think the quote was from her!

obieone Thu 07-Apr-16 08:46:10

Perhaps it is because it causes some people to defer, that it helps.
The Prime Minister has to go to the Queen every week. She doesnt go to see him on a regular basis!
Famous people go to get knighted.

whitewave Thu 07-Apr-16 08:47:57

So are we freer than French citizens orGerman citizens or USA citizens. Not sure that argument stands at all.

Izabella Thu 07-Apr-16 08:56:08

At the moment we are freer than the rest of Europe as we are not subject to Napoleonic law. That is one of the fundamental challenges the proposition of EU laws bring. We were granted freedoms in Magna Carta that still stand in law today. Not sure I understand the US laws but having spent so much time in "the land of the free" it sure don't feel as if it is particularly free.

rosesarered Thu 07-Apr-16 08:56:46

It's an interesting thought, that needs to be thought about before answering.Am not a monarchist myself, but am not a violent hater of it either, just think it has had it's day.As another poster said, it's what you put in it's place.The President of the USA has become like royalty , Presidents of France, and Germany less so.

thatbags Thu 07-Apr-16 08:56:59

The argument you doubt, ww (it is a weird concept, I agree, and so would the person who said it) is that the countries with the freest and most open societies in the world have monarchies. It stands all right wink and, yes, people in those societies are freer than US citizens.

That's not saying that people in all monarchies are freer than in those in all republics. It's saying that the freest people in the world are in countries with monarchies.

thatbags Thu 07-Apr-16 08:59:30

izabella, exactly what the person in the podcast said: US citizens, for all their constitution and official separation of church and state, are less free than those people in the "free monarchy countries".

whitewave Thu 07-Apr-16 09:09:20

I am on a steep learning curve here!

So hasn't the Neopoleonic Law been modified over the preceding centuries? And from the dim distance past I remember it talked about no advantage should be given according to your status in society. Religion was also privatised so the state became secular.

Need some help here!

TerriBull Thu 07-Apr-16 09:17:03

Sweden and Norway (I think) have monarchies and they are held up as ideals to emulate in some respects. France and Russia both got rid of their monarchies in bloody revolutions and then replaced them with absolute rulers, and certainly in Russia's case by a regime who allowed very little dissent.

TerriBull Thu 07-Apr-16 09:17:43

that not who

jinglbellsfrocks Thu 07-Apr-16 09:27:06

"Countries that have kings and queens, which are rationally stupid, weird ideas, ...."

I don't understand that bit. Are the countries, or the kings and queens, supposed to be stupid. And, again, which ones have the weird ideas? confused

jinglbellsfrocks Thu 07-Apr-16 09:29:33

I think whoever said it ought to sort his/her phrasing out. Or their punctuation.

jinglbellsfrocks Thu 07-Apr-16 09:32:47

Perhaps they meant, 'countries that have kings and queens, which is a rationally stupid and weird idea'.....

Can an idea be rational and stupid?

jinglbellsfrocks Thu 07-Apr-16 09:35:18

It's a very sweeping statement anyway.

annodomini Thu 07-Apr-16 09:52:48

I think it means 'stupid by any rational standards', jings and I agree that it's not a well thought-out phrase. It does seem to go counter to logic that the Scandinavian countries and the Netherlands - all monarchies - are often held up as examples of humane democracies. What about Belgium, which has recently proved to be somewhat chaotic in terms of law enforcement? And was the return of the monarchy to Spain better than a conversion from dictatorship to democratically elected republic? We'll never know the answer to that. It's interesting that a constitutional monarchy seems to foster a stable democracy.

Knowsley Thu 07-Apr-16 10:02:20

We in the UK have one of the poorest constitutions of any western country. Roughly based on the Magna Carta, which was written in 1215, and which dealt with laws associated with noblemen and serfs. Not at all relevant to life in the 21st century.

The Monarchy serves no useful purpose at all. To live in a society where some people are elevated above others due to an accident of birth rather than the value they add to society, isn't the society that I would chose for myself. Thankfully I can't see the monarchy lasting much longer.

Anniebach Thu 07-Apr-16 10:09:47

I am no royalist but hesitate to support a president , who ever stood for election it means they would have to be wealthy, very wealthy , fame would bring in votes for them . Neither appeals to me

jinglbellsfrocks Thu 07-Apr-16 10:28:41

"It's interesting that a constitutional monarchy seems to foster a stable democracy." (quoting anno)

I agree with that.

Also, the US must surely be freer than, say, Russia or China. So maybe it's simply "different strokes for different folks".

I'm glad we've got a Queen. And Spain is great, just as it is. smile

jinglbellsfrocks Thu 07-Apr-16 10:31:35

Our Royal Family is totally about what they contribute to society. And, I hate to disillusion you Knowsley, but Diana's boys (and Kate) have knocked your theory on the head. They will last.

GillT57 Thu 07-Apr-16 10:41:05

It is s strange statement, but I find myself agreeing with it. I am not an ardent Royalist, and would get some of the lower levels of the family off the payroll, but the alternative of an elected president/Head of State is fraught with worries, would it be who shouts loudest? Who has the most money? FFS you could end up with something appalling like Trump. I rest my case.

whitewave Thu 07-Apr-16 11:00:33

Yes whilst I largely disagree in principle with the statement - although I am willing to stand corrected - I do think, as odd as they are -which is probably their virtue - the Windsors are the best of the alternative

Elegran Thu 07-Apr-16 11:09:06

Knowsley In the US, those with most money are elevated above the rest, and venerated because they have it. Anyone wishing to become head of state there has to buy the postion.