“The Queen is actually the most powerful woman in the world. The Crown wields power over the judiciary, the government, Parliament, the military and the civil service. It is the constitution’s balancing factor and binds the great offices of state together.
“Despite the Queen having many constitutional duties, she is also a custodian of the past, a moral and religious leader, a trustee of the future, a national unifier and a constitutional arbitrator.”
Although the British Monarchy is famously non-political – under the British system of Parliamentary monarchy, the monarch “reigns, but does not rule” – one occasionally hears talk of “the Royal Prerogative.” The precise extent and limitations of that Royal Prerogative are not widely known (perhaps only a handful know their full extent), but this article gives a pretty good idea of the power Her Majesty could wield, if she chose to do so… as well as why she generally does not. Most interesting!
God save The Queen! Health and long life to Her Majesty. Long may she reign!
In light of the actual events of the Great War – the millions killed and millions more maimed by bullet and shell, or incapacitated by gas, the destruction of a whole generation in the trenches of Europe, and the host of unexpected consequences for Europe and the world – the optimism and upbeat tempo of this song is ironic, to say the least.
Even as much of an Anglophile and demi-monarchist as I am, I am not sure whether to shake my head with a rueful smile, or let the tears roll down my face. As I have commented on more than one occasion, and in more than one venue, that war should never have happened, and we are still reaping its bitter harvest to this day!
But the song is an interesting one, and catchy. I have a feeling I’m going to be humming the refrain for the rest of the day, at least…
Today is the day of the midterm general elections, here in the United States. I took advantage of the “early voting” option to exercise my franchise last week, and as I commented at the time, I was very far from the only one!
But as I drove past Mechanicsville Elementary in Gamber, on the way home from work this evening at around 6:40, it was still busy, only a bit over an hour before the polls closed. And the same was true of every polling place I drove past, all day today, and I drove past quite a few of them.
Whatever else can be said about this election cycle, it’s got people stirred up! That’s more to the good than otherwise, I think, regardless of the outcome; in order for our representative, Constitutional Republic to operate effectively, it needs an informed, active electorate. Active they certainly seem to be, this time around – I just hope they’re also informed!
An Anglican clergyman friend of mine posted the following on Facebook today:
As I was driving away from the polling place today I was struck by the thought that I, a Christian monarchist, have resolved to be active in local republicanism. What can I say? There is no king, Christian or otherwise, running for office or who has a chance of being forcibly enthroned by holy reactionary forces. You gotta work with what you have in order to keep the modern Jacobins at bay, but it ain’t ideal.
I am an American Anglican. As an Anglican, monarchy is the natural polity, but as an American, I stand for the traditional rights of Englishmen that modern England and the rest of the UK and the Commonwealth have sold for a mess of collectivist, leftist and PC pottage.
King George III was right, I believe, about how the liberated colonies would come to suffer unduly for the lack of a monarchy, but England and the UK have given up the ghost. The House of Windsor is a vapid imitation of the Kings that went before it, and only in American republicanism is found the true tradition of the Anglo-Saxon kings of old, albeit in a diluted form.
I am an Anglican, and I therefore stand for the Monarch.
But I also stand for the Bill of Rights, which is an enumeration of the rights of Englishmen, and that’s why I will assist in leveraging the republican way here in Henderson County, North Carolina against the forces of American Jacobism and Bolshevism and the clueless “liberals” to their right.
He speaks, in large measure, for me as well. Until the King comes again, the form of government bequeathed to us by our Founders (“A Republic, Madam… if you can keep it!” as Franklin put it) – and to the greatest extent possible, as our Founders bequeathed it to us – is our best available shot at keeping the forces of darkness at bay.
But this election is a concerning one. Those forces of darkness are very strong, and although the mask is slipping, that also means they are relieved of the moderating effects of pretense and subterfuge. We live in trying times…
The increasing public veneration of the Imperial New Martyrs in Russian society is an integral part of the comprehensive, multifaceted vision of a gradual re-Christianisation of Russian society and culture in the wake of the Soviet system’s collapse.
Notwithstanding my ambivalence toward the ever-burgeoning influence of information technology – and in particular, social media – within our present society, it has benefited me in a number of respects, over years. One of those benefits has been the fact that it has enabled me to virtually “meet” and interact with quite a number of people I would probably have never come into contact with, otherwise.
One of these is the individual who delivered the speech that is the subject of this blog post, and which is linked above and elsewhere throughout this post. Ryan Hunter is a brilliant and articulate young scholar. A recent graduate (BA, History, 2016) and current MA candidate (European History) at Stony Brook University, his intelligence, perspicacity, and perspicuity have already garnered him considerable respect and recognition, as his invitation to speak at this conference demonstrates.
Among the numerous points raised by my erudite young friend, that it might behoove some (perhaps many) of our political leaders and media “talking heads” to consider, is this:
“None of the former Soviet states today maintain atheistic, single party communist dictatorships, and — regardless of the exact state of rule of law, due process, or democracy in any former Soviet states — none of the various political leaders in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) can aspire to anything even remotely approaching the totalitarian level of political control or terror held by Lenin and Stalin.”
The idea that the Russian Federation under Vladimir Putin is simply the Soviet Union “lite” does not bear either historical or objective contemporary scrutiny. Yes, the Federation has its own national interests, and no, they are not always congruent with ours.
And yes, political, intelligence, and other operatives of the RF doubtless act, and doubtless under orders from the government, to protect those interests – as do our own, for the same reason. We live in a house with sufficient glass in its makeup, that it ill-behooves us to lob stones at Russia!
But alongside and despite all this, it is incontrovertible that the political and social changes in Russia, in particular, and the former USSR in general, since Soviet days are dramatic and, in the vast majority of cases, positive. As Ryan continues,
“Think of all the progress that has been made in Russian and American commercial relations, developing business ties, and above all the laudable work of so many citizen diplomacy groups in overcoming negative stereotypes, biased news coverage, and misguided ideological prejudices between ordinary Russians and Americans.
“Think, also, of those who, even now, sadly seek to bring to Western countries the murderous communist ideology which inflicted untold suffering on tens of millions in Russia, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and indeed worldwide.”
Sadly, some of these occupy positions of prominence among the political, academic and media “elite” here in the U.S. – and some of those are among the harshest critics of the Russian Federation.
I have commented elsewhere on the irony that the same political party, and indeed some of the same people, who were willing to appease, accommodate, and apologize for the Soviet Union in its attempt to achieve worldwide Communist hegemony now squawk like plucked chickens at the thought that today’s Russia may have legitimate national interests, and the right to pursue them. Interesting, that!
At any rate, as Ryan continues,
“We certainly need a new spirit of mutual respect, rapprochement, and détente today, but I believe that it is vital that we hail what progress our two countries have made in the last five decades.”
Indeed! And perhaps we could even begin to grow away from this foolishness of considering Russia as always and automatically our enemy.
Of course there will be times when our interests are far from congruent! (Imperial Russia played the “Great Game” for a long time before the Communist Revolution.) But that is the case with every nation, even long-time allies: every country has its own interests, and rightfully so; the trick is dealing with those sometimes conflicting interests diplomatically, rather than confrontationally, wherever possible.
It would not hurt us to recognize, for instance, the historic and cultural reality that Russia feels safer when surrounded by buffer nations, balancing those nations’ equally legitimate desire for sovereignty with the Russian need for security, in a way that does not require us to push our sphere of influence right up to the Russian border.
Russia is not quite the superpower the Soviet Union was during the Cold War; but then, we are not quite the superpower we were during that long conflict, either. Both the numerical strength of our military, and our technological edge, have slipped in the years since the 1990s, and so has our political and economic strength in the world. And poking the Russian bear is likely to push it into a closer embrace of the Chinese dragon, which would be very much to our detriment.
Russia may or may not ever be a close friend and ally; but there is no reason to view, or treat, her like an adversary. To conclude with the words with which Ryan concluded his speech,
“May this centenary year [of the murder / martyrdom of the Romanovs] be a Providential source of healing of divisions and wounds between friends, families, neighbours, and nations and peoples, especially Russia and the United States, and Russia and Ukraine. May the witness and prayers of the Imperial New Martyrs, and all their co-sufferers, be with us, in every city and country, and may they bring much-needed healing of the traumas of historical memory, the bitterness of ancient conflicts, and resentment of past wrongs. May we strive to build a world worthy of their legacy as they intercede for us all before the Throne of God!”
The murder of the Romanovs had been foreshadowed by the beheadings of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette on January 21st and October 16th respectively in 1793, and before that by the beheading of Charles I on January 30th, 1649.
I have said this myself, more than once and in more than one forum, but I have never said it better – and very likely, not this well:
“The murder of the Romanovs had been foreshadowed by the beheadings of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette on January 21st and October 16th respectively in 1793, and before that by the beheading of Charles I on January 30th, 1649. There are a number of parallels between these murders. The victims, in each case, included the legitimate Royal Sovereign of the country in which the revolution was being perpetrated. He was also, in each case, the Royal Protector of a Church which claimed descent from the early, undivided, Apostolic Church and which was under attack by the revolutionaries.
“Charles I was the Protector of the Church of England which was under attack by the Puritan Calvinists. Louis XVI was Protector of the Roman Catholic Church in France which was a target of the Revolutionaries who were disciples of the rationalist Rousseau. Nicholas II was Protector of the Russian Orthodox Church against the atheistic, Marxist, Bolsheviks. In England and France, the revolutionaries tried to give a façade of legality to the murders by holding show trials in which the kings were condemned by kangaroo courts. In Russia, the Bolsheviks didn’t bother with this, they simply declared the Tsar to be guilty of crimes against the Russian people and had him shot. In each case the royal murders failed to satisfy the bloodlust of the revolutionaries, but rather merely whetted their appetite for the mass murders that were to come.
“There is a sense in which all three crimes were committed by the same perpetrators. While the term ‘left’ did not develop its political connotations until the French Revolution, when it was applied to the enemies of the Crown, aristocracy, and Church because of where they stood in relation to the speaker in the French assembly, the Puritans were definitely historical antecedents of the French Revolutionaries, just as the Bolsheviks were their ideological descendants. The Puritans, like the Anabaptists of continental Europe, were the ‘left-wing’ of the Reformation, those who thought the Magisterial Reformers had not gone far enough. They were also the first classical liberals, or, as liberals were called at the time, Whigs.
“In their thinking, and especially the secularized version of it offered in the writings of John Locke, the foundation was laid for the much more radical thought of Rousseau, which inspired the French Revolutionaries, and in turn laid the foundation for Marx, the father of Communism. In this lineage can be seen one explanation for the fact that ‘left-wing extremism’ is a far less commonly heard expression than ‘right-wing extremism.’ The latter expression is, of course, never used in good faith. It is employed by the left, to smear those who hold views that the left has decided are to be considered to be outside the pale of acceptable discourse…
“The reason ‘left-wing extremism’ has not caught on is that it is redundant. The essence of the left, its very nature, is the relentless desire for the complete overthrow of all time-honoured institutions, traditions, and order. From royalty, nobility and the Church in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, to the middle classes and private property and enterprise in the nineteenth to early twentieth centuries, to marriage, the family, the nation and even the biological realities of race and sex in the twentieth and twenty-first, the left has moved on from one target to another, seeking only to destroy in its hatred and rage, with its ultimate targets being the Good, the True, and the Beautiful and indeed, God Himself, for, as Dr. Johnson observed centuries ago, the first Whig was the devil.
“The left is extremism, and extremism is the left.”
Sadly but absolutely true. It’s been demonstrated over and over again.
An added bonus of this excellent essay by Gerry T. Neal – who describes himself as a “Protestant Christian, patriotic Canadian, and a reactionary High Tory with a libertarian streak, at the same time a monarchist, indeed a royal absolutist, and a minarchist” – is a detailed discussion of how Senator Joseph McCarthy, castigated as a “witch hunter” for his crusade against communists and their fellow-travelers in 1950s America, was actually far more right than wrong, noting:
“Russia has been much in the news lately as left-wing wackos have been trying to paint US President Donald Trump’s attempts to get along with Russian President Vladimir Putin and allow the two countries to peacefully co-exist as some sort of treason. In my childhood, Russia was still in the grips of the murderous, totalitarian, ideological, regime bent on global conquest that had seized power in the fall of 1917. How well I remember that at that time, the same people who are crying ‘the Russians are coming’ today, labelled anyone who warned about the Communist Kremlin’s evil designs a ‘McCarthyite.'”
Or as I have commented elsewhere, including in this blog, how ironic that some of the same people – and certainly the same party – who spent years, even decades, appeasing, accommodating, and apologizing for the Soviet Union are now aghast at the idea that the Russian Federation under Vladimir Putin actually has, and is pursuing, its own legitimate national interests. Perhaps not surprisingly, an attempt at global Communist hegemony was much more acceptable to the Left than contemporary Russian nationalism!
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My learned and perceptive friend Ryan Hunter shares this lovely picture and a beautiful reflection on this, the Centenary of the cruel, horrific, extrajudicial murder of Tsar Nicholas II, the Tsarina, and their family by Bolshevik revolutionaries, 17 July 1918. The family are now venerated as Passion-Bearers and Holy Royal and Imperial New Martyrs by the Russian Orthodox Church. As Ryan notes,
“They are viewed by most Orthodox as martyrs (Gr. ‘witnesses’) who were killed in large measure due to their killers’ utter hatred for all religion, Christianity generally, but Orthodoxy in particularly. Others view them as ‘passion-bearers’ — those who went to their deaths with Christ-like composure, forgiveness, and long-suffering.”
Perhaps at this time in our collective history, when there are some among our society who are championing both socialism and revolution, it is particularly important to both remember this family – and the millions of others who were slain by the Soviets, and other Communist regimes – and the fact that this, like so many other revolutions ostensibly conducted for the best of reasons (from the French Revolution commemorated by Bastille day three days ago to those in Communist China and elsewhere), resulted in violence and oppression. May we learn from that history.
Holy New Martyrs of Russia, pray for us!
Nota Bene:I find it curious that many of those who are raveningly anti-Russia on the left-hand side of the political aisle are of the same party (and in some cases are the same people) who were perfectly willing to appease, accommodate, and apologize for the Soviet Union. Apparently world-wide Communist hegemony was perfectly fine, but the Russian Federation and its President having national interests is completely unacceptable! Very interesting, that…
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