Friday, April 29, 2011

Good for the Windsors

The extent to which the British royal wedding has provoked both gushing and loathing from the media and the public bears witness to the enduring power of royalty in human minds. These days, "democracy" is on everyone's lips as the universal shibboleth (though few could actually define it, if asked), but for the better part of history human societies have been governed by monarchs of some sort. Even Americans, who in the 1780s resuscitated Roman republicanism and later spread it throughout the world, tend to fawn over their leaders in a decidedly un-republican fashion. Remember the Obama inauguration?

Some of the hate for William and Kate is just humorous. I like Charles Stross as a writer, but his rabid anti-royalism is just outlandish. Yes, monarchies are "hereditary dictatorships", but that actually tends to make them less evil than the non-hereditary ones, and certainly more preferable to the revolving-door oligarchies that pass for republics these days.

I'm not so much a monarchist as someone who vastly prefers honest, organic statism to the totalitarian nanny-state democracies inevitably tend to produce. If you don't believe me, read Hoppe.

The philistines who complain about the cost of the royal wedding never seem to kvetch about the cost of killing people - be it in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya or elsewhere. I'm sure that, if they'd had a choice, the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would have preferred a small, private ceremony instead of a public performance. That's part of what most people don't bother thinking about: the life of a royal is circumscribed by duty and obligation.

In this particular case, a public ceremony may have been organized with more than just the newlyweds in mind. With Queen Elizabeth II close to matching Queen Victoria's record for the longest reign, and her son Charles so unpopular that crowning him might spell the end of British monarchy, odds are the Brits will be hailing King William V soon.

And who knows, maybe the Windsors' Serbian cousins might learn a lesson or three from the entire affair.


Mark Johnson said...

I just don't get the American interest in trashing the wedding. They signed out of that tradition quite decisively 230 years ago, so why do they think they have some inherent right to condemn the way they do things and get the world to listen?

Being a colonial citizen doesn't change my life at all. I haven't sung God Save The Queen in decades, she doesn't take any of my taxes or push a religion down my throat and the royals opposed the Bush Wars.

I'll take that over Obama or Bush, thank you very much.

Life lesson: If you live with an adult female, you cannot avoid watching a royal wedding.

CubuCoko said...

Beats watching "Sex and the City" any day...

Suvorov said...

Trashing the wedding?? Quite on the contrary, it is being presented as something on par with American Idol+Oscar Nominations+Justine Bieber+Sex and the City+Superbowl+The World Series all to the third power in it's importance. The reason to despise them is not the sheer fact that they are royals. It is the fact they have a long history of actively promoting eugenics, Nazism, one-child policy, and, more recently, the global warming fraud. I am personally not against monarchy in itself, it's only when monarchs happen to be degenerate, psychopathic control freaks that I resent them being presented as some kindly cosmetic figures with no real power.

Eugene Costa said...

The Windsors--oh, those just plain folks from Herzogtum Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha.

Another nuptialissimo extraordinario in the media?

It is astounding how much despite and despising one short-circuits simply by not having a television and avoiding it as much as possible when one travels.

Reading Debord's Society of the Spectacle and his later commentary over and over is really first class entertainment, better than most science fiction and all true tales from the crypt.

Gray Falcon's blog is pretty good too.