We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Lessons for Blair from France

Here’s a poser for Samizdata readers – does the institution of constitutional monarchy help to domesticate feelings of patriotism into something more civilized?

Michael Gove, in a splendid column for the UK’s Times newspaper today, makes the point that the monarchy, precisely because it is composed of fallible human beings above the political fray, acts as a far healthier focus of national loyalty than often afforded by more “modern” republics, like, say, France. As our society becomes more individualised, multi-ethnic and diverse, it is surely more, not less, important to have institutions that can provide some kind of common bond. Think, for example, how the breakup of the Hapsburg empire after the First World War led, in short order, to an upswelling of often unpleasant nationalism in the states composed out of its demise.

If the electoral travails of the French tell us anything, it is that, even after five republics and the Empire of Bonaparte, they still haven’t figured out the value of constitutional monarchy as part of a truly liberal order.

Comments are closed.