Thursday, April 30, 2009

Inevitability of Republics?

. Thursday, April 30, 2009

Here's a good question that many republicans in the Commonwealth these days seem rather quick to avoid: WHY is a republic inevitable in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, even Britain? What makes a republc inevitable? How is the march of republicanism so supposedly unstoppable? We at the Monarchist certainly don't see it as inevitable, as we resist it at every turn, to the best of our abilities. So why, then, is there this perception that republics are inevitable?

Turning our gaze to history, it rather seems to me that the fall of republics is inevitable. Rome started out as a republic, but when a suitably strong single figure emerged from the ceaseless infighting of a republic in crisis, Octavian in Rome's case, it became a rather fair, pseudo-constitutional monarchy of a sort. That is, until the Emperors became rather more... forward with their power, later in the Empire's history. The English Republic of the two Cromwells was rather short-lived. France would be the most famous example of this occurance, it's republics having been toppled by external and internal pressures no less than three times. Spain has been a republic twice, and both times the republic fell, and the monarchy restored (though the dictator Franco did not allow a monarch until 1975). And let us not forget the fall of the Weimar Republic that allowed the rise of Hitler. A republic seems a rather unstable thing to me. The only one two that have truly stood a test of time have been Switzerland and the United States, and one of those is rather insignificant on the world stage. And the American Republic has had it's brushes with destruction as well, witness the American Civil War.

So why, then, is the American system of republic seen as something implacable and unstoppable. Once, people thought that communism was the same way, and that did not spread across the civilized world as people thought it would. So why, then, do the people of New Zealand and Australia, and even Canada and Britain think that a republic will eventually happen? I mean, it's not as if we are somehow oppressed by our distant Monarch. The Royal Family costs us nothing, and provides a vast array of benefits in return, which are too numerous to list here, and indeed have been ennumerated several times before here at the Monarchist. What is this obsessing with streamlining and cutting down, of 'trimming the fat' of society, as it where? Of removing everything that isn't strictly necessary. It is true that our democracies would get along without Her Majesty, they'd be damaged and malfunctioning, but they'd get along. To go back to my metaphor of food, imagine that you are sitting in a fine restaurant. You have ordered the prime rib. Now imagine that your meal arrives and you discover than some overly-judicious and health-conscious cook has trimmed every last bit of fat from your prime rib, as well as deprived your table of butter and salt with which to season your roast potato, and you have been robbed of any Yorkshire pudding. Perhaps, in the strictest sense, this is 'healthier' for you, but will you not have been robbed of much flavour, taste and enjoyment in your meal? The same is true of a monarchy that has been 'republic-ized'. Sure, maybe things will be a bit more efficient, but will things truly be better if the aristocracy of peerages and royalty is replaced with that of Hollywood and the media? Will things be better with the 'Australian Republican Guard' rather than the Royal Australian Regiment? We will lose so many of the little niceties and finer points of life by transforming into a typical gormless, feckless, unadorned republic.

And we would lose the Duke of Edinburgh, and his delightful vocalness and frankness about his views. And who would want to live in a world where such a gentleman as he is not in the public view?

In any case, I pose the question to you, Monarchists, why do you think republics are perceived as an inevitable step 'forward'?


Anonymous said...

"inevitable" doesn't it sound just so damned certain? So why bother to fight it?
Seems a rather useful ploy to utilise if you're that way inclined. It is only perceived that way because republicans say so every time they talk to the media - 'perception is reality' after all, especially in politics!

Kipling said...

You suggest it in your article. Many Repubicans are influenced by Marxist or Communist ideology, so they view their particular world view as inevitable. It's a teleology very reminiscent of religion, except most religions are far more rational and objective than Marxism. Republicanism, for most republicans, is part of a jacobin desire to remark the world accordingly to some Platonic ideal, living breathing humanity be damned.

The facts don't matter, the dialectic process of republicanism shall triumph though only only a handful of republics have anything like a serious track record. You mention Switzerland and the US, there are also micro states like San Marino. France is today a republic solely because of the efforts of de Gaulle, who styled himself in the manner of a monarch.

Lord Best said...

Well, part of it I think is laziness. If it is inevitable you do not actually have to do anything to bring it about, so republican commentators can just sit back and make snide remarks about Royalty. If it is not inevitable, then you actually have to do things, an no republican wants that.
It is also part ideology. In their minds a republic is some gleaming, shining example of democratic goodness that will right all wrongs and cure all evils. They can not comprehend how any right thinking person could object, so they kid themselves that everyone feels they same way.

James said...

I wonder if the general Americanisation of the world over the past half century has anything to do with it. Given the steady and unstoppable erasure of various local traditions around the world by the introduction of Coca Cola, McDonald's, Hollywood, and the like, it thus appears inevitable that the world will similarly embrace from the dominant American media that country's disdain for elites (hypocritical as it is), belief that the individual trumps society (self-destructive as it is), and their idea of democracy residing only truly in revolution and the results of a popularity contest (selfish and inherently combattive as it is). Commonwealth republicans, who've obviously been dazzled by America's legends, thus possibly believe that all they have to do is sit back and ride the wave.

J.K. Baltzersen said...


As has been touched upon in the comments prevously, it is in large part a debating trick.

If you can build a perception that a concept does not belong in our time, you don't have to argue for why your concept is better than that concept. Laziness, as mentioned by "Lord Best."

radical royalist said...

Republican want to discourage us. In the case of Australia the mantra of the inevitable republic, that the media and most politicians throw at us is not only annoying, it is highly stupid.

Though it might have some effect, I consider the republican slogan offensive, because it deprives people to for their own opinion. The opinion is pre-fabricated and disallows counter arguments. If you are a Monarchist, you stand against the course of time. You are not "one of us". It si already called "un-Australian".

Gladstone said...

I don't understand how they could paint the Monarchy as 'un-Australian', given that the Queen is Queen of Australia too, and Queen of Canada, and Queen of New Zealand, and Queen of the United Kingdom. Given that Britain has given Australia it's language, traditions, culture and form of government, and indeed Britain's monarch has reigned over Australia for it's entire history as a colony and as a dominion. After all that, it seems odd to think of the Monarchy as 'un-Australian'.

But then, these are republicans, they are not always what we would call 'logical'.

Lord Best said...

Republicans here will say anything. We just had a senator at the commission-thing examinining the possibility of a plebiscite claim Canada is a republic. That takes a special sort of person.

Gladstone said...

Special kind of person called a shameless liar.

Or a dolt.

One of the two.

J.K. Baltzersen said...


When an untruth comes across, the sender has one of the following relations to it:

1. He believes it himself, and confidently so.
2. He knows it isn't exactly so, but believes the twisting of the truth is insignificant.
3. He knows it might not be so, but takes the chance that he will get away with not checking.
4. He knows it absolutely isn't so, and he believes he can get away with it.
5. He doesn't give the idea that he might be twisting the truth a thought, as he is "running on auto-pilot."

It is quite unbelievable what one can get away with in a debate.

We must also remember – in all humility – that even posts here will be perceived as not giving the whole picture. You can always add more detail, definitions, and nuances.

I think it is better to play along than to run around shouting "foul play." That is not say that we should start consciously lying.

As an example, humor can be applied as response to many claims. Humor can often make the opponents look like fools, whereas humorlessly pointing out untruths often may make us seem a bit grumpy.

The trick is to turn their arguments around so they come back like boomerangs in their faces.

Lord Best said...

Gladstone, I prefer to think of them as 'shameless dolts'.

'99 Referendum Veteran said...

For boomer republicans in Australia, republicanism is "brand differenatiation" for them from their parents, as were Mavis Bramston, Vietnam marches, Number 96, loving Gough, the Dismissal...

The self-absorbed boomers can't bear the idea that they aren't the logical conclusion of history and modernity. Acceptance of the rejection of a republic would symbolically represent that. Which I think is why boomers are predominantly republican - they can't bear that idea. And why the generations on either side, are not.

David Byers said...

I always thought the old “it’s inevitable” was a way of making monarchist give up, sort of “what’s the point of putting time money and effort into something that has no chance of winning”. It is also a way of saying that one part of the population holds views that are invalid. Fight it!

Anonymous said...

I disagree with the statement about the Royal Family costing "nothing". At the very least the Governor General is an expense.
As for why some people would desire to be a republic... National sovreignty would certainly be a valid reason. Each time Canada wants to create new federal laws they need to ask a representative of Queen Elizabeth the Second to sign it into law.

Marquis Black said...

To anonymous:

I'm curious. Are you all actually afraid they'll break decades of precedent and say no? Or is it the principle of the concept of sovereignty?

I just feel it's odd for a modern republican to claim any such thing, since most of them also argue for globalization, which embodies the single most destructive force towards national sovereignty the world has ever seen.

I mean, if republicans are going to argue for republics, they shouldn't do it in this damn silly way, if there's any merit in their arguments at all. It's hypocritical, illogical, and damned silly.

Anonymous said...

My issue would primarily be soverignty and an honest assessment of expenses.
As for globalization... in which regard do you refer to?
I have little fondness for the U.N. at the very least they have proven to be toothless and quite possibly disgustingly corrupt.
I think free trade is great to an extent. I don't think it's prudent to sell a knife to somebody who would be likely to stab you with it.
I can't help but to wonder how the points I mentioned would be "hypocritical, illogical, and damned silly."

Anonymous said...

"France would be the most famous example of this occurance [sic]..." Occurrence is so spelt, Gladstone.

Anonymous said...

Gladstone: "I don't understand how they could paint the Monarchy as 'un-Australian', given that the Queen is Queen of Australia too, and Queen of Canada, and Queen of New Zealand, and Queen of the United Kingdom...."

It gets back to education, as it usually does. Now generations of Australian youth have not been taught to regard the monarchy as a national, and therefore Australian, institution, as once the monarchy was taught in Australian primary and secondary schools. So the monarchy is perceived as "foreign" and distant from national life, an anachronistic institution left over from colonial times to be rejected and eventually discarded. This is of course very wrong, but that it is how it is seen by two generations of Australians that have been "educated" over the last 40 to 45 years. That is what has happened in Australia, at least; naturally, I cannot speak for other countries. And Australians can thank their left-wing academics and teachers for that: these destroyers of young minds have moulded, and in the process ruined, primary and secondary education here in Australia since the end of the 1960s.

Anonymous said...

Gladstone: "I don't understand how they could paint the Monarchy as 'un-Australian', given that the Queen is Queen of Australia too, and Queen of Canada, and Queen of New Zealand, and Queen of the United Kingdom...."

It gets back to education, as it usually does. Now generations of Australian youth have not been taught to regard the monarchy as a national, and therefore Australian, institution, as once the monarchy was taught in Australian primary and secondary schools. So the monarchy is perceived as "foreign" and distant from national life, an anachronistic institution left over from colonial times to be rejected and eventually discarded. This is of course very wrong, but that is how it is seen by two generations of Australians that have been "educated" over the last 40 to 45 years. That is what has happened in Australia, at least; naturally, I cannot speak for other countries. And Australians can thank their left-wing academics and teachers for that: these destroyers of young minds have moulded, and in the process ruined, primary and secondary education here in Australia since the end of the 1960s.

Anonymous said...

Every society seeks its elite. In the US it is the business and military heroes, hollywood and entertainers. In North Korea it is the descendants of their dictators. Even the classless communist societies had their dacha-loving 'cream'. Abolishing the monarchy would naturally lead to a vacuum that will inevitably be filled by some other sort of elite: that of the Chinese style, Korean style, American style or even the Indian style. And if you study all these elites, you will find that they serve no useful purpose to their society; they are hardly role models; they will not inspire a street dog to defend its territory, much less inspiring the yeomen to defend their country; they will hardly have a cultural standing worth remembering two days after their death. Now, if someone wants to abolish a popular monarchy, that is not power-hungry, that is not vile or corrupt like the politicians, and that can still inspire men to lay their lives in defending their land, and to put in its place any of the above 'elites', that shows there is something seriously wrong with them; their mean spirit cannot bear seeing a king or queen praised for just being there. They cannot see farther than the tip of their nose and realize that abolishing the monarchy will not end elitism but will start a horror wave of neo-elites: all with ambition but none with the strength of character or the nobleness of purpose, an elite that will not automatically put the interest of their country before their own interest.
God indeed save the British from themselves.

Anonymous said...

I do not believe that "strength of character or the nobleness of purpose" are genetic traits.

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The Senior Service: Sub-Lieutenant Wales to take on Pirates of the Caribbean
Crown of Disenchantment: What does it require to withhold royal assent?
Colonial Mentality: Key republican thinks Victoria Cross is a colonial relic
The Red Baron: Billy Bishop, not Mannock, was the British Empire's top ace
Which Scots conservatism: Unionist or Nationalist?
Loyal Subject: After all she has done, we owe the Queen our oath
Victoria Day – Fête de la Reine: Official B'day of the Queen of Canada
Renaming the Victoria Day Weekend: Let's get rid of Heritage Day Bob
Pro Valore: Canada mints its own Victoria Cross in time for Victoria Day
State Visit to Turkey: Mustafa Akyol says God Save the Queen, Indeed
Norn Iron Unites: What issue is uniting all parties of Northern Ireland?
Extreme Loyalist: Michael Stone attempted to slit the throats of Adams and McGuinness because he just "can't handle" republicans being in government.
Canada's Vice-Regal dubbed an elegant mix between Lady Di and Nelson Mandela
Queen of Australia: Support for Australian republic hits new low
A Heroes Welcome: The Windsor Castle Royal Tattoo, 8-10 May 2008
Fat, Vile and Impudent: Alan Fotheringham is back on the bottle
The Devine Right of Bling: Our Royals have become hereditary celebrities
Battle of the Atlantic: Canadians remember the longest battle of WW2
Old Etonian Toff: Boris Johnson installed as Tory Mayor of London
Britain needs a Patron Saint: Cry God for Harry, Britain and St. Aiden?
Anglos in Mont-Royal: Rooting for the Montreal Canadiens
Daniel Hannan: Borders of the Anglosphere and the British Empire was a mistake
Australia 2020: One Big Fat Republican Con Job
Bye bye Tommy: O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy go away"
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
Carpetbaggers Down Under: Kevin 'Mugabe' Rudd wins 98.5% support for republic
Kipling: The Jeremiah of Empire and the Poet Laureate of Civilisation
Duke of Edinburgh: Behind the gaffes is a man of real sincerity
Lord Rutherford: The Father of the Atom lives on in great great grandson
Queen of Australia: Royalty Protects us from Tyranny, David Barnett
Long Live the Broadsheet! Norumbega, more traditionalist than the Pope.
A Tale of Two Countries: Soldiers of Britain and Canada serve the same Queen but...
Loyal Subject: Polishing the Royal Crown, Matt Bondy & Brendon Bedford
Devoted to the End: Obituary of Sir Phillip Bridges
The Monarchist does not recognize the Republic of Kosova
Loyal Subject: MPs Ruse Defeated; God Save the Queen!
St. Paddy's Day: Edmund Burke, the greatest Irishman who ever lived
Not Amused: The Bunkum of Timothy Garton Ash
Hero Harry: Rave Reviews across the Commonwealth
Patriot Prince: Prince Harry fought for us all, Charles Moore
William F. Buckley, RIP: He had a Tory gratitude for the pleasures of life
Their Lordships' Duty: The House of Lords can influence the Lisbon Treaty debate
Knights of Oz: Revive Sirs or I'll have your guts for garters
Peter Hitchens: People love the Queen...and the BBC hates us for it
Our Greatest Monarch: Paul Johnson says Henry V was our greatest monarch
Princess Diana Inquest: A Dirty Raincoat Show for the World
Malcom Turnbull: 'Queen's death will spark republican vote'
Duke of York: The Royals are not "stuffed dummies". They should have their say
Peers of the Realm: The decline and fall of the House of Lords - Charles A. Coulombe
Peter Hitchens: Get rid of the monarchy and you will get rid of a guardian of liberty
Honouring Sir Edmund Hillary
The Queen versus an E.U. President
Going Solo: Prince William earns his Wings
James C. Bennett: The Third Anglosphere Century
Knights of Oz: Revive Sirs or I'll have your guts for garters
Princess Diana Inquest: A Dirty Raincoat Show for the World
Malcom Turnbull: 'Queen's death will spark republican vote'
Future Peer: The life and times of Lady Victoria Beckham
Peers of the Realm: The decline and fall of the House of Lords - Charles A. Coulombe
Peter Hitchens: Get rid of the monarchy and you will get rid of a guardian of liberty


New York Times: Ever Backwards into the Royal Future
Peter Hitchens: People love the Queen...and the BBC hates us for it
Christopher Hitchens: An Anglosphere Future
Andrew Cusack: Republicanism is a traitor's game
Courageous Patrician: Rt Hon Ian Douglas Smith (1919-2007)
The Last Rhodesian: What began with Rhodes and ended with Ian?
Gentleman Journalist: The Lord Baron W.F. Deedes, 1913-2007
Not Amused: Blair's sinister campaign to undermine the Queen
Loyal Subject: Queen Elizabeth: A stranger in her own country
Reverence Deference: Bowing and Scraping Back in Tradition
Rex Murphy: Kennedy, Churchill, Lincoln - The rousing bon mot is no more
Gerald Warner: Don't shed a tear for Diana cult in its death throes
The End of Grandeur: Rich, chincy Canada puts Strathmore on the blocks
Confessions of a Republican Leftie: "The Queen charmed the pants off me"
The King's Own Calgary Regiment: Cpl. Nathan Hornburg is laid to rest
The Royal Gurkha Rifles: Prince William grieves the death of Major Roberts
Queensland Mounted Rifles: Trooper David Pearce, 41, killed in Afghanistan
The Order of Canada: 100 investitures later, Canada's highest honour turns 40
Prince Edward on Prince Edward Island: Troop's link to monarchy important
HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN: Unveils the UK Armed Forces Memorial
Great Britain: "A rotten borough with a banana monarchy" - by Europhile
Peers of the Realm: The decline and fall of the House of Lords - Charles A. Coulombe
Remembering 'Smithy': An obituary tour de force by Andrew Cusack here, here and here.
NOT AMUSED: Her Majesty The Queen in Right of Quebec not invited to Quebec's tercentenary