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Thread: Royalty in the 21st century?

  1. #1
    MangaHelper MH中毒 / MH Chuudoku / MH Addicted Josef K.'s Avatar
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    Royalty in the 21st century?

    Alright, we all know the French Revolution was to overthrow these tyrannical monarchs there, so how come we still have them elsewhere? Constitutional Monarchy? What the ...? Something just does not fit well with me of having kings and queens in so many European countries nowadays, one would think such "democratic" societies as the European countries would be years ahead from having such, in a way feudalist and even slave driving people still sitting around wearing crowns and acting smart. The prince of Kent is visiting my country and the prime minister just greets him with joy and we call ourselves a democracy. In my view, if more countries were like the United States, well constitutionally, democracy would flourish more. I just do not get the need for kings in this era, as I gave USA as an example, they were the most advanced country in the history of the world without ever having such people in charge, My friend says the king/queen is the heart of the country, he can not be overthrown. Well damn guess what would be happening now if the French though the same way? So what are your thoughts on royalty in this century, personally it really is not needed and just shows how many would think the most democratic countries have them, yet such a thing as royalty has been out of fashion for ages.
    Last edited by Josef K.; January 28, 2012 at 05:34 AM.

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    Registered User MH中毒 / MH Chuudoku / MH Addicted k-dom's Avatar
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    Re: Royalty in the 21st century?

    Well even if French get rid of louis XVI in 1791 it was not until 1871 that we get rid of 'Kings'. And even then that was just by pure luck and the stupidity of the wanna-be king cause the first 3d republic parliament had a monarchist majority. So we are not a really good example.
    I don't really mind Kings as long as they don't have just a representative power. I also sometime question myself if it is not a good thing to have someone which cannot be revoked. Nowadays, mandate are short and politicians takes more time thinking how they can be reelected than doing their jobs correctly. Having some people who don't have to worry about that (like the suprem court judge in the US) could be a good thing if they don't abuse it. Of course all is question of balance, but having only elected people has also its flaws.

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    Registered User 上級員 / Jyoukuuin / Sr. Member faintsmile1992's Avatar
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    Re: Royalty in the 21st century?

    Traditional, 'tyrannical' monarchy is the best form of government because it worked for centuries. That's why 'far right' politics is the best for today, because its an update of what worked over centuries, so it applies better to the modern age, rather than revolting against and dismissing the past. Just look at the state of democracies and socialist regimes, and just look at Russia under the Tsars and under the Soviets then tell me which was the best.

    With that said a monarch who is a pure figurehead doesn't fulfill the same purpose and is reduced to a purely superficial veneer over a rotted, money-oriented system. In Britain the monarchy have no cultural significance until we talk to tourists lol. The way the English argue for so-called monarchism just because they bring in money from tourists would be unthinkable in countries like Japan or Thailand - where the role of monarch has become relegated along European lines.

    Read you Evola!
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    Last edited by faintsmile1992; January 28, 2012 at 12:20 PM.

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    Re: Royalty in the 21st century?

    @k-dom

    Yeah, it is the separation of powers that gets the balance. The USA is probably the best example they won over the colonies from the British Monarchy. Though I think that most would think that culturally the French were responsible for installing the term Republic in many countries.

    @faintsmile1992

    It worked, for the selected few that is, also socialists like Mao and Stalin are tyrants as well, hiding under communist and socialist teachings, they key word is killing. All of them survived thanks to the blood of others. The British Empire was a colonialist tyranny, Mao and the gang were traitors to the people that actually fought for the ideals of the revolution. The United States are strong because of their strong roots, it can not be helped whenever someone takes on the role of Dictator no matter what policies he is hiding behind, far right(nationalistic) or far left(communistic) or even pure slave owning tyrants like in ancient times they will fall, there comes a time when it will be too much for the masses, the tea pot will explode.

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    Registered User 上級員 / Jyoukuuin / Sr. Member faintsmile1992's Avatar
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    Re: Royalty in the 21st century?

    Quote Originally Posted by Josef K. View Post
    It worked, for the selected few that is, also socialists like Mao and Stalin are tyrants as well, hiding under communist and socialist teachings, they key word is killing. All of them survived thanks to the blood of others.
    But there was still nothing like modern totalitarianism in the ancient to early modern world even if you can see its growth from the pre-existing ideologies such as Christianity and especially Puritanism.

    Quote Quote:
    The British Empire was a colonialist tyranny, Mao and the gang were traitors to the people that actually fought for the ideals of the revolution.
    The British Empire had rejected monarchy as a form of government, and was ruled by the middle classes (ie Disraeli and the empire of the shopkeepers). Chinese Communism under Mao was influenced by Chinese culture and had some positive points (for example, Mao's support for large families) but he still set the scene for today's horrid China, as well as all the damage Mao caused himself in the Cultural Revolution.

    Quote Quote:
    The United States are strong because of their strong roots, it can not be helped whenever someone takes on the role of Dictator no matter what policies he is hiding behind, far right(nationalistic) or far left(communistic) or even pure slave owning tyrants like in ancient times they will fall, there comes a time when it will be too much for the masses, the tea pot will explode.
    The United States is actually rootless which is why they talk about their nation as founded on an idea. The English or the Thai would never do that lol. Why do you think Americans identify as 'white' American or 'black' American? These are not the names of their ancestor'speoples. The black Americans lost their culture through the effects of the slave trade, what happened to the white Americans?

    And the Axis regimes didn't fall from inside, they were bombed to hell like at Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Dresden. Nazism was influenced by Marxism more than they liked to let on but Mussolini's Italy wasn't totalitarian, and the Japanese didn't even have one ruling party or a political ideology.
    Last edited by faintsmile1992; January 28, 2012 at 12:20 PM.

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    Registered User MH中毒 / MH Chuudoku / MH Addicted k-dom's Avatar
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    Re: Royalty in the 21st century?

    Nazi and japanese fall because of their expansionism. They became to greedy and lost. So the cause is internal whatever you say. That's the problem with tyran, one day or later he thinks to much of himself and that is the beginning of the end. Also it's not really stable of the long term because no one is eternal in this world
    Extrem right are based on autarcy and isolationism and it simply doesn't work

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    MangaHelper MH中毒 / MH Chuudoku / MH Addicted Josef K.'s Avatar
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    Re: Royalty in the 21st century?

    Well look at North Korea then, of course today's totalitarian countries are worst than ancient Greek tyrannical city-states, propaganda, advanced military power, cult of personality, I mean North Korea is not even communism, it is on the brinks of totalitarianism and fascism and we all know how that is working out for them? Death, torture camps, not knowing how to survive the day let alone month or year. There is no justification for mass murder, that is what these modern tyrants use.

    I would not shade Marxism and Nazism under the same shadow, the Nazis hated communists, Marx's teachings did not work out for them very well, it had influence but it was more from some perverse Darwinian view and even worst misunderstanding of Nietzsche. Again there is no justification for killing someone just because they are Jewish, Russian, Black or anything like they did, Marx never spoke about genocide. Though I doubt even him in his ideas, I still suspect he deep inside knew his system will always fail.

    Their roots are in the constitution, Freedom of Speech, interesting huh? Yes, it was a revolutionary idea, give everyone a chance to say and choose what they want, maybe just maybe one would have the most advanced country in history? Although American Imperialism throws it's shadow on the great roots of this country, the ideas are good, how they are implemented today and even at some times in the past is the question.

    And on culture, it is a stronger aspect than any other political ideology, if one would argue that dressing up in goofy outfits and wearing wristband on the shoulder like Hitler, Mussolini and dressing up in militant outfits like Mao and Stalin or even put a crown on and a long cloak to act like the queen of England is right, then sure one can fool the people many times over. At least in France and in the American colonies there was some sort of change on perspective. By far I do not approve of the slavery implemented in the USA in the 19th century but their ideas stay.

    ---------- Post added at 11:43 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:41 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by k-dom View Post
    Nazi and japanese fall because of their expansionism. They became to greedy and lost. So the cause is internal whatever you say. That's the problem with tyran, one day or later he thinks to much of himself and that is the beginning of the end. Also it's not really stable of the long term because no one is eternal in this world
    Extrem right are based on autarcy and isolationism and it simply doesn't work
    Quoted for the Truth, they always try to reach some God complex.

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    Registered User 上級員 / Jyoukuuin / Sr. Member faintsmile1992's Avatar
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    Re: Royalty in the 21st century?

    Quote Originally Posted by k-dom View Post
    Nazi and japanese fall because of their expansionism. They became to greedy and lost. So the cause is internal whatever you say. That's the problem with tyran, one day or later he thinks to much of himself and that is the beginning of the end. Also it's not really stable of the long term because no one is eternal in this world
    Extrem right are based on autarcy and isolationism and it simply doesn't work
    So you're saying what, they didn't fail because they were attacked by massive forces? The expansionism of the Axis was necessary to fight insane extremes of both individualism and collectivism. What's happened to the Axis countries ever since the end of WW2 except tragedy? Germany used to be the culture of people like Nietzsche and Junger, look at it now.

    And isolationism is good if you mean 'not giving in to foreign interference like Britain does', just look at the failiure of globalism and 'one human race' right now. Homo sapiens is a territorial animal, it makes no sense to talk about co-operating globally, when the function of co-operation in Homo sapiens is rivalry against other Homo sapiens.

    ---------- Post added at 06:24 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:00 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Josef K. View Post
    Well look at North Korea then, of course today's totalitarian countries are worst than ancient Greek tyrannical city-states, propaganda, advanced military power, cult of personality, I mean North Korea is not even communism, it is on the brinks of totalitarianism and fascism and we all know how that is working out for them? Death, torture camps, not knowing how to survive the day let alone month or year. There is no justification for mass murder, that is what these modern tyrants use.
    Of course North Korea is a communist state, and Communism is totalitarian by its nature ever since Lenin and Trotsky.

    Quote Quote:
    I would not shade Marxism and Nazism under the same shadow, the Nazis hated communists, Marx's teachings did not work out for them very well, it had influence but it was more from some perverse Darwinian view and even worst misunderstanding of Nietzsche.
    Goebbels said that the foundation of National Socialism is Marxism, but my point is that the National Socialists used methods of state control that were used in the USSR but not to the same degree in Italy or Japan at that time.

    Quote Quote:
    Again there is no justification for killing someone just because they are Jewish, Russian, Black or anything like they did, Marx never spoke about genocide. Though I doubt even him in his ideas, I still suspect he deep inside knew his system will always fail.
    Marxism was an atheistic religion based on a pseudoscientific theory, justifying action in the present on its not-yet-present behalf, when there was no reason to believe the Marxist view of the future would ever happen.

    Quote Quote:
    Their roots are in the constitution, Freedom of Speech, interesting huh? Yes, it was a revolutionary idea, give everyone a chance to say and choose what they want, maybe just maybe one would have the most advanced country in history? Although American Imperialism throws it's shadow on the great roots of this country, the ideas are good, how they are implemented today and even at some times in the past is the question.
    The USA was imperialistic ever since they declared independence from the British, what about the Indians? The British government didn't want to expand further to the west because we were trading with the Indians on friendly terms. Its the peaceful, isolationist USA that's never existed except as someone's ideal lol.

    And that worthless constitution is so weasel worded it can be interpreted any way people like, if the Founding Fathers even knew what they were thinking when they worded it lol. Ever since the constitution was signed, Americans have reinterpreted it like Christians reinterpret the Bible, and sensible people can't take the idea of a constitution any more seriously than they can theology.

    Quote Quote:
    And on culture, it is a stronger aspect than any other political ideology, if one would argue that dressing up in goofy outfits and wearing wristband on the shoulder like Hitler, Mussolini and dressing up in militant outfits like Mao and Stalin or even put a crown on and a long cloak to act like the queen of England is right, then sure one can fool the people many times over. At least in France and in the American colonies there was some sort of change on perspective. By far I do not approve of the slavery implemented in the USA in the 19th century but their ideas stay.
    And it was a harmful change in perspective towards today's 'totalitarian humanism' IMO. The rise of Christianity had nothing on the triumph of slave morality brought about by the Enlightenment.

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    Registered User MH中毒 / MH Chuudoku / MH Addicted k-dom's Avatar
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    Re: Royalty in the 21st century?

    I say that it was their own fault if they were attacked by massive force.
    And what was the culture of germany during nazism ? The pogroms, the degenerate exhibitions... I've been to Prora beach last summer, there still lie a wonderful example of nazi architecture

    Well you must be happy, it's as if britain was out of EU now.

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    Registered User 上級員 / Jyoukuuin / Sr. Member faintsmile1992's Avatar
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    Re: Royalty in the 21st century?

    EU bad, Axis good.

    As for the cultural achievements of the Nazis, they're less important to me than the fact they cleansed away Weimar degeneracy. Something like that needs to happen to modern Germany and the rest of Europe.

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    Re: Royalty in the 21st century?

    I think religion-monarchies-emperors, are dead in our secularist modern world (aside from the middle east's monarchies-theocracies). Europe's monarchs (and Japan's emperor) is just their traditional culture-heritage being preserved as a "relic of the past" and they also act as "Hollywood", figurehead aristocrat celebrities to draw tourism. You might say the U.S.' Founding Fathers, has also fallen into this categorization as well.

    Rather the thread should be just about dictatorships-despotism-fascism-Tyrants (without the religious-monarch aspect), as again religion-monarchs are just "fluff" nowadays (excluding the middle east).
    "The internet’s perfect for all manner of things, but productive discussion ain’t one of them. It provides scant room for debate and infinite opportunities for fruitless point-scoring: the heady combination of perceived anonymity, gestated responses, random heckling and a notional “live audience” quickly conspire to create a “perfect storm” of perpetual bickering." - Charlie Brooker

    "I hold the wolf by the ears, I am in a dangerous situation and dare not let go" -an old saying in Latin

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    Registered User 上級員 / Jyoukuuin / Sr. Member faintsmile1992's Avatar
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    Re: Royalty in the 21st century?

    The reason America is bombing the Middle East is because Islamic theocracy in Iran and the nationalist regimes in Iraq, Lybia and Syria are an alternative to the Western form of government. That's why they killed Saddam, and had thugs murder Ghadaffi.

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    Horosho 伝説メンバー / Densetsu / Legendary Member Kaiten's Avatar
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    Re: Royalty in the 21st century?

    Some

    Quote Originally Posted by faintsmile1992 View Post
    Traditional, 'tyrannical' monarchy is the best form of government because it worked for centuries. That's why 'far right' politics is the best for today, because its an update of what worked over centuries, so it applies better to the modern age, rather than revolting against and dismissing the past. Just look at the state of democracies and socialist regimes, and just look at Russia under the Tsars and under the Soviets then tell me which was the best.

    With that said a monarch who is a pure figurehead doesn't fulfill the same purpose and is reduced to a purely superficial veneer over a rotted, money-oriented system. In Britain the monarchy have no cultural significance until we talk to tourists lol. The way the English argue for so-called monarchism just because they bring in money from tourists would be unthinkable in countries like Japan or Thailand - where the role of monarch has become relegated along European lines.

    Read you Evola!
    http://www.johnreilly.info/mar1.htm
    Define worked

    If worked means 99% of the population living in abject poverty, life expectancy below 40, horribly erratic governance, little to no economic activity, law and foreign being generated by personal whims the yes, monarchy was a stupendous success. Otherwise monarchy was a horrible form of government. It is not a secret that economic activity, exploration, innovation, life expectancy, personal income, and leisure time have all rose exponentially as the personal politics of monarchies were replaced by the abstract rule of law. I highly recommend actually reading a history book, maybe two, before so stridently saying something so deeply and fundamentally wrong. Not to be rude but these are things that anyone with a high school education should know.

    Discussion of nazi's and what not in this thread are hilariously ignorant

    Anyone who has any knowledge of history understands that the evolution of the modern nation-state was incredibly messy, painful, and recent. Communism, Nazism, and Fascism are some of the more extreme answers to the role of the state and it's relationship to the individual. To imply that Nazism was somehow fighting collectivism and individualism is completely insane. Nazism was a form of government based on the idea of the corporate state, that the state should take a central role in all aspects of society. Central planning and managed economy was a core belief, as was extreme nationalism. The only thing the Nazi's fought for was territory, to think anything else would be extremely ignorant. Conquest was the ultimate expression of the glory of the state. Nothing more, nothing less.

    And to imply that Intifada Al-Arabia is a result of western imperialism is not only ignorant but laughable. And flat out racist. Read a damn newspaper before posting. At least try and get the imperialist power right, for god's sake. American forces were withdrawn after about two weeks. France led the push for intervention in the first place, in close cooperation with the UK. They led the intervention, not the US. Please try and get your facts straight before posting wild eyed conspiracy theories. It's embarrassing.

    It's properly romanized Qadaffi btw. Not Ghadaffi. His name is pronounced with a hard K sound, from the back of the throat. And yes, while I am far from fluent I can read and write Arabic.

    ---------- Post added at 02:50 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:36 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by faintsmile1992 View Post
    Marxism was an atheistic religion based on a pseudoscientific theory, justifying action in the present on its not-yet-present behalf, when there was no reason to believe the Marxist view of the future would ever happen.
    You've never actually read Marx, have you?

    There are many reasons why Marx remained little more than theory but it certainly had nothing to do with being "an atheistic religion based on a pseudoscientific theory".

    Whatever that even means.

    Marx was actually heavily influenced by Hegal, not exactly pseudoscience.

    Marxism was difficult to apply as the states that attempted to apply Marxism did not meat the conditions that he spoke of in the Communist Manifesto. He was speaking specifically with industrialized Britain, France, and the Rhine Valley in mind. Not agrarian Russia, China, North Korean, or Cuba. Lenin's "Vanguard of the Proliterat" came to be solely because Russia had not proliterat to revolt. While one would be hard pressed to believe that Marxism is a practical political model it is advisable to read the man's writing before making random statements about his writings. And you are dead wrong on another account: at the time of publication there was every reason to believe that Marxism was the future. It was published in the midst of continent wide Revolution. The reforms that ensured Marxism would not come to be in the west had yet to happen.

    ---------- Post added at 02:59 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:50 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by faintsmile1992 View Post
    EU bad, Axis good.

    As for the cultural achievements of the Nazis, they're less important to me than the fact they cleansed away Weimar degeneracy. Something like that needs to happen to modern Germany and the rest of Europe.
    What about the 62,171,400 to 78,511,500 dead in Europe as a result of World War II? Or did wiping out the Weimar Republic somehow justify that? That's a pretty fucked up thing to even imply.
    Last edited by Kaiten; January 29, 2012 at 03:05 AM.

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    Registered User 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member HegemonKhan's Avatar
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    Re: Royalty in the 21st century?

    Maybe the past was shit because the past was shit. Maybe it was technology that has moved us out of the shit past into our less shitty modern world, as well as have changed our culture (such as improved communication-literacy-education) and thus our way of thinking (we own ourselves! we are not slaves of others! Ayn Rand gave us our modern world, and technology, communication technology, was the enabler of our improved existence that we have now compared to what we had in the past), and not merely republic governments as the sole cause. In fact, it is technology, communication technology that created the U.S., the printing press, first with Martin Luther in Europe causing the immigration to the Americas, and then by causing the English colonists to rebel against England, the Revolutionary war, thanks again to the printing press and its products of books and newspapers. Writing ("literacy"-tool of knowledge) is the greatest technology of all time, hands down. No technology comes even close to what Writing has done for our world-species. And, surely human technology advances in any type of government, as claiming that technology only advances within republics is ignoring a large chunk of history, as until the American Revolution, there were no real Republics, and please don't say that the Romans had a Republic... The Senate was quite the tyrannical oligarcy, which cared even less about their people (heck, they had no people, they had only the MOB, liberals would have a heart attack in the ancient world, if they weren't executed first by the rich-elite government and nobles, as can be seen ancient history is only about the elite few and not the rest of less-priviledged "99%" populace) then even our modern politicians do. The Romans merely went from many emperors (the Senate) to one emperor (the dictatorship, such as julius caesar's reign). And most of our human history was BEFORE the American Revolution. So technology advances quite well within any form of government, long before our republic type of government first occured after the American Revolution, and even then, the U.S. was still quite a dictatorship, heck, has any country truly lived up to the republic government's ideal found in our modern Constitutions ???

    Even worse, the sad truth is, the ancients had it right, the people (the 99%'ers, us non-elites) ARE STUPID. How many of us really know politics, economics, behaviorism, sociology, psychology, and etc, and thus make actual truly educated and informed votes? People vote by such pettiness, such as partisanship - team blindness psychology-socliology, it's frightening. That's why there is no Democracies, only Republics, we need our Representatives, as we're too stupid to be in charge. We'll never get rid of our electoral college system, as a direct vote upon our Presidency would be catatonic - without any wisdom at all. The Elite are needed to lead, help, and guide us, to maintain our world, but we are needed to keep them in check from abusing this power of theirs over us, and/or to get rid of them, when they're incompetant failures who've damaged our world. The truth about the 99% and the 1%: the 99% are the "gutter trash" (referencing Black Lagoon and Revy, hehe) and the 1% are the elites, but does this give the elites to own us? NO! We have our own purpose(s) too! I am a slave of no one! Especially that of the Government, the "state or police-city"-society, and its criminal use of force to enslave us! The ultimate and worst corporation is one that has the power of force, and that's the governments of the world, they have the weapon or "slave chains" of force, corporations do not. It's a tug of war, between us, the 99%, and the corporations and governments, the 1%, with the tugged upon rope of government in the middle, being used by both sides for its force.

    History is complicated, because humans are complicated, not even the sum of all the human minds of the world can deal with all of the factors involved with humanity and its politics of our history, from then in the past to now today

    We can't even understand the politics of year 2012 in the U.S., so how are we to understand the politics of the entire world and over our entire time span of existence?

    History is the politics of the entire world and across time, as politics (which includes foreign affairs, and also economics too) is human behavior, and so is history too human behavior. History is the Giant Book of Politics and thus of Human Behavior*.

    *Anything "Human" is Human Behavior, and Human behavior is actually Organic Behavior (we are living organisms too, and all organisms behave in the exact same way, from bacterii and virii to humans, we all behave the exact same way, as we are all the same thing, we are all organisms, we are all living things, we are all alive, we are the same and so we behave the same. So, our so called "Human Behavior" is actually 3.5 bya, completely unchanged. http://paleobiology.si.edu/geotime/m.../archean3.html)

    Recently, one of my history professors' "pep talk" :

    "(paraphrasing) Historians have the most daunting task of all: Humanity in its entirity and across time itself, hehe. Historians are tasked with making sense of what has no sense, of making the most simple (to be understood and applicable) of what is the most complex, hehe
    Last edited by HegemonKhan; January 29, 2012 at 04:12 AM.
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    "I hold the wolf by the ears, I am in a dangerous situation and dare not let go" -an old saying in Latin

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    Horosho 伝説メンバー / Densetsu / Legendary Member Kaiten's Avatar
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    Re: Royalty in the 21st century?

    You are kidding aren't you? Are you in some way implying that people are to stupid for the rule of law? Nobody has ever espoused direct democracy as a viable form of government. Allowing several million people a say in the mundane, day to day operations of the government would be terribly inconvenient. It really has nothing to do with intelligence. With the exception of tiny Swiss Cantons or Vermont villages, direct democracy would be a horribly inefficient form of government. The "everyone is stupid argument" really has no place in an intelligent conversation. Not only is it a meaningless, childish line of debate it is terribly insulting to those in the conversation who have something relevant to say.

    Nothing happens in isolation: government, technology, religion, history, and culture are interdisciplinary topics. To say that technological innovation improved standards of living is akin to saying that the sun is bright. Well duh, didn't really say much there. Your analysis of the printing press is horribly wrong though. The printing press did not actually have a direct role in raising literacy rates. It would enable more material to be printed faster, though until book making was industrialized towards the end of the 18th century actually owning a book was prohibitively expensive. In reality, the Reformation was when literacy rates began to rise in Europe. Protestant denominations stressed a personal relationship and understanding of the bible, thus requiring the Bible to be printed in vernacular so that all and sundry could read it. The Northern European peasantry first began to learn to read in church, with local pastors leading bible study. This would only be the starting point though. Depending on the location censorship was still widespread until the 20th century. The rural peasantry and urban proletariat would not have access to free education until well into the 19th century. At best all but the elite could only read a bit of the bible until late 19th century.

    The evolution of modern state theory is actually quite old, one could make the case that the invention of the gun began the process. The Kings of France and British Parliament maintained the right to collect monetary taxes from the nobility throughout the middle ages. With the advent of the gun the monarchy had the cash to hire musketeers and light infantry, far cheaper than the armored knights that the nobility employed. This tipped the balance of power from the nobility to the monarchy, allowing for the eventual centralization of government under the crown. While predating the widespread use of gunpowder, The Battle of Agincourt demonstrated that lightly armed archers could defeat heavily armored knights if deployed correctly. The mirror image of this process played out in central Europe: the relatively weak Holy Roman Emperor did not even command an army of his own or hold the right of the purse. The local nobility used this to their advantage, consolidating power locally, at the expense of central authority.

    Explaining how law changed from personal to abstract would be to long a discussion for this thread. Proper discussion would need to touch on the reintroduction of money, gunpowder, the power of the purse in the late medieval period, the English Civil War, 30 Years War, the enlightenment, the scientific revolution, the industrial revolution, and 19th century romanticism. What bound these events together is that the cumulative effect was to change political relationships in Europe. Prior to the 19th century the dominant political relationship was between landlord and tenant. In western Europe, where serfdom was abolished earlier, this began to change in the mid 18th century. The primary political relationship began shifting to government and governed. By this time most of the wealth in Western Europe was no longer in the hands of the nobility or the church. Advancements in literacy, infrastructure, science, and combat along with changes in tax code and local government that favored the cities shifted wealth away from the rural nobility to the urban middle class. If the primary political relationship was now ruler and ruled, rather than landlord and tenant, excluding the wealthy elite from the government surely would not be a good thing. Yet this is what the French Government tried to do, leading to the French Revolution. The middle class hoped to install an ideology most beneficial to there needs: democracy. While not as large a proportion of the population as the peasantry (at the time), the middle class was still to large for all members to hope to serve directly in the government. Nor would all want to; a lawyer may want to practice law, not sit in the Chamber of Deputies. Thus government took on a form most palatable to the most powerful class: a form of government permitting a free press, free speech, an open economy, and freedom of movement. This ensured that the rights of the ruling middle class would be ensured even if they chose not serve in the government. Your argument that literacy led to this process would actually be incredibly wrong, unfortunately you put the cart before the horse. At the turn of the 19th century European illiteracy rates would still be very high, much of the countryside would remain impoverished. But literacy would be a quality thought very highly of by the middle class, education being key to middle class careers. Those who now had power would want easier access to education for their children, thus public education was created. For someone who wanted their children educated and had access to the levers of power, free education for all would be very favorable. Literacy rates truly began to rise after stable democracy was developed in the United Kingdom, France, Scandinavia, and the low countries. As K-Dom said, this was a long and messy process. France went through the the 1st Republic, Reign of Terror, 1st Empire, Restoration, Revolution of 1830, July Monarchy, Revolutions of 1848, 2nd Republic, and 2nd Empire before permanently becoming a Republic.

    The change in political relationship would also give rise to the concept of nationalism, an ideology first born in the French Revolution. If the primary relation is now between ruler and ruled than it goes without saying that entry into the government should strictly be limited to those of the same national group, who have national interests in mind. In the past it would not have been uncommon for the English King to have German advisers, or Austrian courtesans in the palace of the French King. The French Revolution did away with that. During the Napoleonic Wars Revolutionary ideology, including democracy and nationalism spread to Central Europe.

    The transition away from a landlord-tenant based political system began later in Central Europe than it did in the west. Prussia did not end serfdom until 1807, Bavaria in 1808, Austria in 1848, and Hungary in 1848. The question of nationalism also played a different role. Central Europe contained two large, polyglot empires: Austria and Ottoman Turkey, both of which contained large, varied ethnic groups. When politics revolved around the landlord and peasant national relationships were quite different. In Austria a German nobility ruled a German and Czech peasantry. In the Patrimony of St. Stephen a Magyar nobility ruled Slovak, Romanian, and Croat peasants. In the Kingdom of Galicia a Polish nobility ruled a Ukrainian peasantry. The nobility had their right to rule protected by law while the peasants viewed The Archduke/Emperor in Vienna as a protector and counter-weight against their landlords. The advent of a middle class tipped the balance of power towards Vienna and Prague, with industrialization centered in the Austrian heartland and what is now the Czech Republic. The centralization of power in Vienna favored the German elite and middle class at the expense of the Magyar and Polish nobility. The Patrimony of St. Stephen and Kingdom of Galicia remained largely rural with no middle class to benefit. Furthermore, centralizing power in Vienna meant that German was the lingua franca of Austria, excluding speakers of Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Serb-Croatian, Romanian, and Ukrainian. A similar process occurred in the Ottoman Empire, where Istanbul was attempting to consolidate power. Beginning in the early 19th century with the Greeks and followed by the Balkan peninsula, minority groups successfully revolted against Turkish rule. The question of the role of central government and nationalism in Central Europe would ultimately lead to the two world wars, which ultimately wiped out the ancient regimes.

    While technology played a role in these changes, helping to alter political relationships, it needs to be remembered that the industrial revolution happened unevenly. Rather than a driving force it is better to think of technology as part of the same tapestry as political, social, and scientific change. To give one precedence over the other would be a gross misinterpretation of history. And as mentioned declaring literacy the driving force of change would be ludicrous.

    ---------- Post added at 05:21 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:04 PM ----------

    Your knowledge of Roman government is rather slipshod at best. No one has ever claimed the Roman Republic as a model of modern democracy. What distinguished the Republic and early Empire from medieval monarchy was how law was devised, conceived, and enforced. Governance was not an arbitrary whim but based on written, public documents, enforced by jurisprudence and precedent. The law and state were abstracts placed above those who happened to govern. There is a reason that Roman Law is still used. The Romans believed that the circumstances altered the crime and were among the first to avoid mandatory sentencing. They were among the first governments to outlaw vendetta's. Sentencing would be handled by the state, punishment would be based on the severity of the crime and record of the criminal. Very different from Hammurabi's code, and still used by most the world to this day. The Romans certainly did not share modern beliefs on human rights and democracy, but they would certainly recognize the philosophy behind modern law for it is theirs'.

    Law after the Romans was far from abstract. The state was personal, the private property of the monarchy. Land was then given to the nobility in exchange for oaths of allegiance. This allegiance was often rather loose, at best, as a map of Europe in 1100's will show. The law of the nobility was the law of the land and subject to their whim and fancy. The land was there's, there property, and there's to do with as they pleased. This was not the case in ancient Rome, even the Emperor's were not above the law until late in the countries history.
    Last edited by Kaiten; January 29, 2012 at 05:08 PM.

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