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Constitutional Monarchies
I had this friend, I went for a walk with him the other week and he was a communist atheist when he was a kid. He grew up in
Poland and he had criticised his family for celebrating Christmas because it was irrational. Then he realised at one point that "I could kill Christmas and we'd just have another weekend." Right? There's a magic there that rationalism can destroy.
I have exactly this problem politically with the Royal Family which on the face of it is preposterous. More preposterous than even Christmas and Religion is the idea that we still have a Royal Family, but we have a Royal Family. I believe that the ceremony and ritual and symbolism has utility.
look at America and think if only Donald
Trump and now Biden, if every week they had to walk up the hill and go into a mansion in Washington and there was
Uncle Sam in a top hat and striped trousers. A living embodiment of their nation more important than they were, that's the key. He, Uncle Sam, that's
America. The president is a fly-by-night politician voted for by less than half the population and he has the bow in front of this personification of his country every week.
And this personification Uncle Sam can't tell him what to do. Uncle Sam can't say
'No pass this act and don't pass that act, free these people, give them a pardon,
All he can do is say 'Well tell me young fella, whatcha done this week?'
And he'll bow 'Well Uncle Sam...
'Well you think that's the right thing for my country?'
Well that's what a conditional monarchy is and of course it's absurd but the fact
Churchill and Thatcher and everyone had to bow every week in front of this person is something.
And empirically, look at the happiest countries in the world. That's all you need do, and you find they happen to be constitutional monarchies. Norway,
Sweden, Benelux, Japan, they're always right up there on the list.
Now it may be that we can't find the causal link between the constitutional monarch and happiness but it might just be something to do with that.
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