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Author Topic: Orthodox and the Monarchy  (Read 3564 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: July 05, 2012, 06:45:10 PM »

Why do Orthodox seem to like Monarchys so much?

Just curious.  Is it just because thats how a lot of Orthodox countries are run?
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« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2012, 06:51:08 PM »

Some people think anything old and fancy-looking must be good.

Others perhaps do live in a constitutional monarchy, or wish they did. There are still a few left: the U.K., for one.

I said it before, I'll say it again: I like tea and large hats.
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« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2012, 06:51:52 PM »

God save the Queen!
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« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2012, 07:05:03 PM »

Why do Orthodox seem to like Monarchys so much?

They read romanticised books about the Byzantine Empire and Holy Russia and think it's all real.

I'm a (constitutional) monarchist. Not because I'm Orthodox, but because I've lived my entire life in countries where such a system operates and I don't see any reason to get rid of it.

Quote
Just curious.  Is it just because thats how a lot of Orthodox countries are run?

As far as i know, that's how 0 Orthodox countries are run.
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« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2012, 07:07:22 PM »

When I was a Protestant the argument I often heard was that Israel had a monarchy and that that was God's chosen form of government. They say that Israel was wrong to get all riled up until God made Saul king, not because monarchy was wrong, but because God intended for David to be the first king. There were certainly bad kings after that, but then also great kings like Josiah. People who supported this would often say that democracy (or republicanism) was little more than mob rule, and that it wasn't a godly form of government. I suppose Orthodox in particular are partial to Emperors/Czars, as, for better or worse, they dominated politics for most of Church history. And one argument in favor of them is that they can get things done a bit quicker, and so for example they could call an Ecumenical Council any time they wanted and get it done (as opposed to doing it by committee, like they've been doing for 50 years now), though of course this can go in the opposite way as well, with an emperor persecuting Christians or doing other bad things. Just some thoughts from someone who rather likes democracy/republicanism.
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« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2012, 07:08:29 PM »

There are no currently reigning Orthodox monarchs. AFAIK, there are no countries with an Orthodox majority (or even significant minority) that are monarchies. However, such was not the case until the twentieth century, so the historical absence of Orthodox monarchies is just a blip on the Orthodox radar screen.

Also, much of our imagery refers to kings, queens, etc., so it's not a stretch for an Orthodox Christian to see a monarchic system as being something positive. I say that completely aware that many Orthodox Christians are staunch supporters of republican systems.
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« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2012, 07:12:01 PM »

Just some thoughts from someone who rather likes democracy/republicanism.
As a balance, of course, to those of us who rather like democracy/constitutional monarchy  Wink.
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« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2012, 07:13:25 PM »

If I had to take a wild guess, I would say it is due to all of the other failed government systems within the last few hundred years.  When men govern themselves, they usually do stupid things.
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« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2012, 07:15:03 PM »

The problem with systems of elected officials is that you might elect someone who stinks. The problem with a monarch who stinks is that you can't get rid of them until they die. Something to think about.
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« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2012, 07:19:49 PM »

I think it's a big nostalgia trip for some folks. A big ren-fest or LARP.
For many people it isn't monarchy per se but the current monarch of the UK who they are enamoured with. I think she fills an emotional need for many people, especially men. Without her personality and image I doubt if some of the overseas nations who have the British monarch as their titular head of state will remain in that system.
Several monarchies have been abolished in the last few years, I don't think any new ones have been established.
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« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2012, 07:33:59 PM »





We're citizens, not subjects!!  God save the Overmountain men!
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« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2012, 08:08:04 PM »

Would someone please help me understand why this conversation is taking place on Convert Issues?
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« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2012, 09:02:16 PM »

Would someone please help me understand why this conversation is taking place on Convert Issues?

Because I am a convert, and this is an issue that I was curious about.

If anyone cares to move it, its fine with me.  "Convert Issues" is where I ask a lot of my questions since I am indeed a convert.
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« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2012, 09:03:46 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

The problem with systems of elected officials is that you might elect someone who stinks. The problem with a monarch who stinks is that you can't get rid of them until they die. Something to think about.

History is wrought with deposed and dead kings who the people were displeased with.  There is a world of difference between power (which is fleeting) and authority.

To the OP:

Part of Orthodox ontology is a submission to God, and God's authority.  We submit to the Church because she is appointed by God.  We submit to the government for the same reasons.  When the government is a democracy, it is run by the people, and in this regard, the whims of the people  (influenced by Sin) become the government, forcing us at times to submit to sin.  True, in a monarchy we have the same problem, because the king is a person to, but the difference, submit to a conflicting plurality of sin (i.e., majority rules) or submit the sins of an individual or small group.  Plus, it is easier to convince a small group of leadership to follow the Spirit than a large mass.  

Remember, monarchy only has actual power because people buy into it.  Power is only given when people accept it.  No king exists by their own might, rather, people willingly accept kings for a variety of reasons.  So, there is still a hint of democracy even in monarchy, the difference is, the king serves as a kind of middle man between the changing whims of the common masses.  In Rastafari, we call democracy demonacracy because we feel it gives unnecessary power and influence to diabolical forces who like to whisper into peoples hearts morbid suggestions.

What ever government is there, is put in place by God, and I accept them all, and pray for the presidents as much as the kings, but I feel more comfortable submitting to a king than a "democratically elected" leader, who must yield to shifting opinions like the tides of the Sea which the people are rightfully thought of in prophecy, turbulent, churning, instable and yet also a massive force of nature to be reckoned with.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2012, 09:05:34 PM »

Thanks for the replies everyone. It makes sense that they would favor it since it was the most common form of govt for most of the Church's history.  I see a lot of people talk about going back to a monarchy, and I never know if they are being serious or not.  
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« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2012, 09:12:40 PM »

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What ever government is there, is put in place by God, and I accept them all, and pray for the presidents as much as the kings, but I feel more comfortable submitting to a king than a "democratically elected" leader, who must yield to shifting opinions like the tides of the Sea which the people are rightfully thought of in prophecy, turbulent, churning, instable and yet also a massive force of nature to be reckoned with.

I agree that we should pray for presidents and kings alike. Heck, we should pray for any politician.  But do we believe that God put our democracy in place? I just want to make sure I understand correctly.  Is there a free will issue here? Could our founding fathers put together another monarchy if they wanted to?

Im not trying to challenge you, im just making sure I understand you correctly. 

And I also dont want to get too far off subject.
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« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2012, 09:42:41 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Quote
What ever government is there, is put in place by God, and I accept them all, and pray for the presidents as much as the kings, but I feel more comfortable submitting to a king than a "democratically elected" leader, who must yield to shifting opinions like the tides of the Sea which the people are rightfully thought of in prophecy, turbulent, churning, instable and yet also a massive force of nature to be reckoned with.

I agree that we should pray for presidents and kings alike. Heck, we should pray for any politician.  But do we believe that God put our democracy in place? I just want to make sure I understand correctly.  Is there a free will issue here? Could our founding fathers put together another monarchy if they wanted to?

Im not trying to challenge you, im just making sure I understand you correctly. 

And I also dont want to get too far off subject.

Yes, God instituted democracy (Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2) as much as He had monarchy, because what ever actually exists is of or approved of by God.  However, God also allows the free-will of individuals, to the more you empower larger numbers of individuals, the more you risk God having to allow things we might not prefer allowed.  God respects us enough even to allow our mistakes.  God gave us a monarchy to quell the people who had rejected the authority of the priests, and now He has given us democracies for the same reasons.  Democracy is Pandora's Box, it can't be contained or put back away, but the beauty of democracy is we can agree, decide, or vote a monarchy revival.   That being said, we could use a revisiting of constitutional, democratic monarchies (even if symbolic) such as occur in a dozen modern and contemporary nations. Monarchy is not dead, just in decline.  God has not forgotten the kings, just we have Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2012, 09:49:05 PM »

Because it would be cool to have kings and queens. None of this political party BS. I like tradition. I also believe many Americans do lean towards a monarcy in a sense, its why GWB was voted in as Prez.
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« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2012, 10:14:47 PM »

We're citizens, not subjects!!

Alas, those poor people in hellish places such as Monaco, the Netherlands, and Spain will never taste the freedom that Americans enjoy!

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« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2012, 11:14:00 PM »

Thanks for the replies everyone. It makes sense that they would favor it since it was the most common form of govt for most of the Church's history.  I see a lot of people talk about going back to a monarchy, and I never know if they are being serious or not.  
I used to talk to a fellow who was from Russia and Orthodox who would always say Monarchy was the best form of government.  I never saw the appeal until after becoming Orthodox.  Strange, to be honest, I never made the connection.
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« Reply #20 on: July 05, 2012, 11:17:18 PM »

Because it would be cool to have kings and queens. None of this political party BS. I like tradition. I also believe many Americans do lean towards a monarcy in a sense, its why GWB was voted in as Prez.

In a sense, I agree.  The older I get, the more I realize how much politics actually gets in the way.  Not sure about the second part, unless we take into account people will do pretty much anything they are told if they get something they want in return.  What is the old Roman saying?  "Give them cake and entertainment."
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« Reply #21 on: July 05, 2012, 11:22:41 PM »

Would someone please help me understand why this conversation is taking place on Convert Issues?

Because I am a convert, and this is an issue that I was curious about.

If anyone cares to move it, its fine with me.  "Convert Issues" is where I ask a lot of my questions since I am indeed a convert.
I'm a convert, too, but that doesn't mean everything I would like to discuss is appropriate for this board. The Convert Issues board is not just a place for threads by converts. It is a place for discussion of issues revolving around conversion to the Orthodox Christian faith. If what you want to discuss doesn't have anything to do with the process of conversion to the Orthodox faith, you may want to consider starting the discussion on another section of the forum.
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« Reply #22 on: July 05, 2012, 11:26:45 PM »

We're citizens, not subjects!!  God save the Overmountain men!

As though there's a difference...
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« Reply #23 on: July 06, 2012, 03:48:55 AM »

Why do Orthodox seem to like Monarchys so much?

They read romanticised books about the Byzantine Empire and Holy Russia and think it's all real.

I'm a (constitutional) monarchist. Not because I'm Orthodox, but because I've lived my entire life in countries where such a system operates and I don't see any reason to get rid of it.

Quote
Just curious.  Is it just because thats how a lot of Orthodox countries are run?

As far as i know, that's how 0 Orthodox countries are run.

I've lived most of my life in a constitutional monarchy also. Being Orthodox you might expect therefore that I'd at least be a constitutional monarchist myself, but I'm not. I'm adamantly republican. I have no idea why some Orthodox seem so enamoured on an anachronistic system where privilege is bestowed by an accident of birth, but in my experience it's mainly converts in the west (and ones active on the internet at that) that seem to attach themselves to the idea. I've never come across Orthodox in the old countries who are monarchist. There are some fringe groups - I remember seeing 'Monarhia salveaza Romania' graffiti in Bucharest in the '90s, for instance - but nothing significant.

When I met the exiled Romanian royals over here a few years back what struck me was how the Romanians treated them as absolutely no different to anyone else, which was in striking contrast to the way Brits treat their monarchy (and I've met some of the British royals in the past also so I can make direct comparisons).

James
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« Reply #24 on: July 06, 2012, 03:56:17 AM »

I think it's a big nostalgia trip for some folks. A big ren-fest or LARP.

That's how it works for me. A combination of getting older and politically more conservative and being interested in history.

Orthodoxy might have some part in it in the sense that it's a meaning system which is not run by reason but tradition which is fairly exotic for a fellow living in a liberal 21st century West. Besides religious views the overall attitude kind of leaks to other areas of life.
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« Reply #25 on: July 06, 2012, 07:33:59 AM »

Long live the Queen!

Personally, Orthodoxy has nothing to do with it. I have always been a monarchist.
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« Reply #26 on: July 06, 2012, 07:55:04 AM »



Norway is in a rather unique position as, according to Medieval succession laws, the Norwegian king acts merely as a locum tenens for St. Olav, who is still regarded as the eternal regent.
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« Reply #27 on: July 06, 2012, 08:05:54 AM »



Norway is in a rather unique position as, according to Medieval succession laws, the Norwegian king acts merely as a locum tenens for St. Olav, who is still regarded as the eternal regent.

Nice Smiley
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« Reply #28 on: July 06, 2012, 09:02:07 AM »

Because "President Jesus Christ, Prime Minister of Republics, Chairman of Chairmen" doesn't quite sound right.  Smiley

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« Reply #29 on: July 06, 2012, 09:42:40 AM »

Why do Orthodox seem to like Monarchys so much?

Just curious.  Is it just because thats how a lot of Orthodox countries are run?

If you talk to real, living people at a typical Orthodox parish, as opposed to us 'autobots' online - you will not find any inklings or thoughts of temporal monarchy. Only in the various forums or probably late night yapping sessions among the college aged folks who either inhaled too much or raised too many pints, with a few 19th century minded folks who romanticize the failings of the Romanov dynasty - or at least the failings of the bureaucrats who ran the country- is any sense of 'liking' monarchy out there.

I have no problem with folks who have a monarch as the head of state - I just don't see monarchy and our Faith as needing to be linked.
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« Reply #30 on: July 06, 2012, 09:50:13 AM »

Thread locked temporarily for split
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« Reply #31 on: July 06, 2012, 09:52:34 AM »

The tangent on the "rebellious provinces of British North America" has been moved to Politics. If you don't yet have access to the private Politics board and would like to follow this side discussion, please send Fr. George a private message requesting this access.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=45691.0
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« Reply #32 on: July 06, 2012, 10:35:00 AM »

Thread reopened
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« Reply #33 on: July 06, 2012, 11:09:53 AM »

When I met the exiled Romanian royals over here a few years back what struck me was how the Romanians treated them as absolutely no different to anyone else, which was in striking contrast to the way Brits treat their monarchy (and I've met some of the British royals in the past also so I can make direct comparisons).

The same is true of the Greek monarchy, who go almost unnoticed when they attend church here.

The difference is that the British monarchy is still in place, whereas the Romanian and Greek ones are now civilians. I doubt Haile Selassie's children get treated like royalty when they're out and about either. Were one of them to return to the Ethiopian imperial throne, however, I'm sure things would be quite different.
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« Reply #34 on: July 06, 2012, 11:43:27 AM »

This kind of ultrareactionaryism amongst Orthodox may discourage normal people from converting to the true faith.
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« Reply #35 on: July 06, 2012, 11:45:42 AM »

The problem with systems of elected officials is that you might elect someone who stinks. The problem with a monarch who stinks is that you can't get rid of them until they die. Something to think about.

I don't know. Regime change is easier when it's only one person who needs to be removed by being torn apart by the mob or suffering an unfortunate accident in the bath (that one happened quite a lot).
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« Reply #36 on: July 06, 2012, 11:46:55 AM »

Thanks for the replies everyone. It makes sense that they would favor it since it was the most common form of govt for most of the Church's history.  I see a lot of people talk about going back to a monarchy, and I never know if they are being serious or not.  

Remember that this is the Internet where you see this.
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« Reply #37 on: July 06, 2012, 11:47:35 AM »

This kind of ultrareactionaryism amongst Orthodox may discourage normal people from converting to the true faith.

That's why those of us who are not of such a mindset have to post and remind inquirers that the BEST way to learn about our Faith is NOT here online but at a parish, with a priest - among real people - for as Christ reminds us, whenever two or more gather in His Name - He is among them!
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« Reply #38 on: July 06, 2012, 11:48:46 AM »

This kind of ultrareactionaryism amongst Orthodox may discourage normal people from converting to the true faith.

I haven't seen any ultrareactionaryism so far on the thread. For those of us who grew up under constitutional monarchies, monarchists are "normal people" and republicans are the extremists. Context is everything.
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« Reply #39 on: July 06, 2012, 11:55:09 AM »

When I met the exiled Romanian royals over here a few years back what struck me was how the Romanians treated them as absolutely no different to anyone else, which was in striking contrast to the way Brits treat their monarchy (and I've met some of the British royals in the past also so I can make direct comparisons).

The same is true of the Greek monarchy, who go almost unnoticed when they attend church here.

The difference is that the British monarchy is still in place, whereas the Romanian and Greek ones are now civilians. I doubt Haile Selassie's children get treated like royalty when they're out and about either. Were one of them to return to the Ethiopian imperial throne, however, I'm sure things would be quite different.

No, there's more to it than that. Most Romanians I've spoken to are quite adamant that they do not want the monarchy back - they don't look back on their foreign monarchy with any nostalgia whatsoever, and I can include in this people who still remember when they were on the throne. If you'd been with me when I met them you'd have heard quite disparaging remarks about those royals from many of the Romanians there. In contrast whenever royalty would come up - even in conversation - at school (I went to military school so it wasn't exactly a usual one) the degree of fawning for even the most minor royals was unbelievable. I seriously had a friend who said of the queen 'She's only human, she breaks wind doesn't she?' (original slightly more vulgar), only to be greeted with a teacher in near apoplexy shouting 'Of course she does not!' That is not a normal way to view any human, much less one whose privilege is derived from an accident of birth. They don't actually do anything (and no you can't convince me that they're good for tourism or any of the usual tripe).

Monarchy is not a superior method of government. It isn't something to be desired and I can't help but shake my head when Orthodox in democracies seem to moon over it like it would be the guarantor of a new golden age. As a Romanian song inspired by my previously mentioned graffiti said 'Criogenia salveaza Romania'. (Cryogenics will save Romania). Longing for some frozen state from the past that, in all honesty never really existed is no way to fix the problems of the present and why some Orthodox seem to think that their faith and monarchy goes hand in hand, I'm happy to say, continues to utterly baffle me.

James
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« Reply #40 on: July 06, 2012, 11:58:29 AM »

This kind of ultrareactionaryism amongst Orthodox may discourage normal people from converting to the true faith.

I haven't seen any ultrareactionaryism so far on the thread. For those of us who grew up under constitutional monarchies, monarchists are "normal people" and republicans are the extremists. Context is everything.

Wow. I don't think I've ever been accused of being an extremist before. What's wrong with preferring democracy over monarchy? You think that believing that I should have a say in who my head of state is rather than simply sitting back and letting someone whose ancestors took without asking is extremist? I'd rather think of it as rational and entirely fair minded.

James
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« Reply #41 on: July 06, 2012, 12:06:04 PM »

This kind of ultrareactionaryism amongst Orthodox may discourage normal people from converting to the true faith.

I haven't seen any ultrareactionaryism so far on the thread. For those of us who grew up under constitutional monarchies, monarchists are "normal people" and republicans are the extremists. Context is everything.

Wow. I don't think I've ever been accused of being an extremist before. What's wrong with preferring democracy over monarchy? You think that believing that I should have a say in who my head of state is rather than simply sitting back and letting someone whose ancestors took without asking is extremist? I'd rather think of it as rational and entirely fair minded.

James
It wasn't meant in that way. What he means is that in countries such as Norway, Denmark and England, republicans are a minority. At least in Denmark, the criticism of the royals is very rare and I don't think anybody really believe that the monarchy will dissapear soon.
And remember, we still elects our leaders, the royals are those who represent our nations.
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« Reply #42 on: July 06, 2012, 12:11:21 PM »

Most Romanians I've spoken to are quite adamant that they do not want the monarchy back - they don't look back on their foreign monarchy with any nostalgia whatsoever, and I can include in this people who still remember when they were on the throne. If you'd been with me when I met them you'd have heard quite disparaging remarks about those royals from many of the Romanians there.

Just like the Greeks then.

Wow. I don't think I've ever been accused of being an extremist before. What's wrong with preferring democracy over monarchy? You think that believing that I should have a say in who my head of state is rather than simply sitting back and letting someone whose ancestors took without asking is extremist? I'd rather think of it as rational and entirely fair minded.

I didn't actually say any of that, so don't worry. This isn't the politics forum, so I don't know how far I can respond to your post to clarify what I meant in detail, but a constitutional monarchy need not be less democratic than any republican system. My point was simply that for those of us who grew up under a constitutional monarchy (Norwegians, Swedes, Danes, Dutch, Spanish, British, etc.), support for such a system is entirely normal and not indicative of "ultrareactionaryism" or a fantasy-laden nostalgia for a bygone past. So while being a monarchist might be weird in the US, and off-putting to potential converts there, in countries such as England the situation is quite the opposite.
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« Reply #43 on: July 06, 2012, 12:17:07 PM »

Most Romanians I've spoken to are quite adamant that they do not want the monarchy back - they don't look back on their foreign monarchy with any nostalgia whatsoever, and I can include in this people who still remember when they were on the throne. If you'd been with me when I met them you'd have heard quite disparaging remarks about those royals from many of the Romanians there.

Just like the Greeks then.

Wow. I don't think I've ever been accused of being an extremist before. What's wrong with preferring democracy over monarchy? You think that believing that I should have a say in who my head of state is rather than simply sitting back and letting someone whose ancestors took without asking is extremist? I'd rather think of it as rational and entirely fair minded.

I didn't actually say any of that, so don't worry. This isn't the politics forum, so I don't know how far I can respond to your post to clarify what I meant in detail, but a constitutional monarchy need not be less democratic than any republican system. My point was simply that for those of us who grew up under a constitutional monarchy (Norwegians, Swedes, Danes, Dutch, Spanish, British, etc.), support for such a system is entirely normal and not indicative of "ultrareactionaryism" or a fantasy-laden nostalgia for a bygone past. So while being a monarchist might be weird in the US, and off-putting to potential converts there, in countries such as England the situation is quite the opposite.

But the perception is not one regarding a modern constitutional monarchy, but rather an 'idealized' yearning for an absolute, hereditary monarchy where the head of state is both political and ceremonial and religion is subordinate to the monarch as well. That's what the concern is - not about the existing European modern monarchies.
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« Reply #44 on: July 06, 2012, 12:42:49 PM »

Most Romanians I've spoken to are quite adamant that they do not want the monarchy back - they don't look back on their foreign monarchy with any nostalgia whatsoever, and I can include in this people who still remember when they were on the throne. If you'd been with me when I met them you'd have heard quite disparaging remarks about those royals from many of the Romanians there.

Just like the Greeks then.

Wow. I don't think I've ever been accused of being an extremist before. What's wrong with preferring democracy over monarchy? You think that believing that I should have a say in who my head of state is rather than simply sitting back and letting someone whose ancestors took without asking is extremist? I'd rather think of it as rational and entirely fair minded.

I didn't actually say any of that, so don't worry. This isn't the politics forum, so I don't know how far I can respond to your post to clarify what I meant in detail, but a constitutional monarchy need not be less democratic than any republican system. My point was simply that for those of us who grew up under a constitutional monarchy (Norwegians, Swedes, Danes, Dutch, Spanish, British, etc.), support for such a system is entirely normal and not indicative of "ultrareactionaryism" or a fantasy-laden nostalgia for a bygone past. So while being a monarchist might be weird in the US, and off-putting to potential converts there, in countries such as England the situation is quite the opposite.

But the perception is not one regarding a modern constitutional monarchy, but rather an 'idealized' yearning for an absolute, hereditary monarchy where the head of state is both political and ceremonial and religion is subordinate to the monarch as well. That's what the concern is - not about the existing European modern monarchies.
the vast majority of "republics" and "democracies" are monarchies in all but name. And class.  The Democratic People's Republic of Korea comes to mind.
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