Not so long ago, The Times reviewed Keiron Pim's Life of Joseph Roth. Some of the Reviewer's observations aroused some dormant thoughts in my mind: "In 1916, Franz Joseph died ... for Roth a protector of minorities, a bulwark against nationalism. After the First World War parochialism indeed prevailed. Nation states replaced the multi-ethnic Habsburg polity ... a world of civility and personal honour [collapsed into] one shaped by ideology ... Roth employed the 19th-century tools of irony and realism ... Weimar Berlin [was] where old-school cosmopolitanism had one last waltz ...".
I, too, am a devolutionary sort of person. In a 2011 post I romantically wrote of a Europe which was a mosaic of statelets ... Scotland and Catalonia and Brittany and La Serenissima and Bavaria and the Papal States and Navarre and Provence and the County Palatine of the Rhine and the Dukedom of Burgundy ... you get the idea. I would cheerfully say Good Bye to to the imperialist nation states of the modern era. I am a member of Mebyon Kernow. After the deft purchasing of a feudal property on Jersey, Athelstan Riley described himself in funerary assertions as a feudal nobleman in ducatu Normanniae. I'm not as bad as that, but ...
In 2011, I recalled a character in Waugh's Scott-King's Modern Europe who says: "I am a Croat, born under the Hapsburg Empire. That was a true League of Nations. As a young man I studied in Zagreb, Budapest, Prague, Vienna - one was free, one moved where on would; one was a citizen of Europe. Then we were liberated and put under the Serbs. Now we are liberated again and put under the Russians. And always more police, more prisons, more hanging ..."
Does anybody know how to get a passport issued by the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies? I have never even spent an afternoon in the Capo di Monte, or, disguised as a lazzarone, walked in the footsteps of Viscount Nelson, or rambled in pursuit of S John Henry Newman, clutching Thucydides in the environs of Syracuse.
Then we were liberated and put under the Serbs
Hmmm. Seems to reflect the common misapprehension that the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was created by the Allied victors at the Paris Peace Conference.
But, unlike the other states that emerged after the Great War, Jugoslavia predates the Conference. It was adumbrated by the Corfu Declaration of 20th July, 1917, and came into being on the 1st December, 1918. (The Conference did not begin until 18 January, 1919.)
The Kingdom was not the creation of outside powers, and many of those who promoted the idea were Croats, e.g. Ante Trumbić, who was the representative of the already existing kingdom at Versailles.
I could not agree more, Father. The problem is that it has all become a question of power. wehn it is no longer a matter of right or wrong, but of power, then you on working on the Devil's terms. Hence the argument about democracy, which appeases people most effectively by giving them the semblance of power while in fact simply increasing, theoretically ad infinitum, the power of the politicians. The real question should be one of the good, which is one towards which classical political philosophy was directed. As it is we can now, in the name of the people, murder the innocent, steal the property of the working man, etc., and it all must be right because it is democratically approved. The question a man of conscience must ask himself is when does such government by murderers and thieves cease to have any legitimacy? As for me, I have recourse this time of year to the traditional form of the solemn biddings and collects of Good Friday (as found in my 1890 Latin-language Order for Holy Week) for my prayer and meditation.
Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting about what to eat for lunch!
I too have always been an adherent of a Europe of regional fatherlands, as described by Czeslaw Milosz. A Europe of principalities, dukedoms, small kingdoms, etc. somewhat like the Holy Roman Empire. The Austrian Empire is no good example of this: as pre-WWI Austria, like Czarist Russia, was an example of imperialism and chauvinism, which inevitably led to nationalism and the formation of the nation-states to replace it. As for being ruled by 'God's laws', that can be a the worst possible scenario. Under whose God's laws would we live? Under Allahs'? Jehovah's OT laws? God forbid. We would all be executed as transgressors of the hundreds perhaps thousands of Old Testament ritual laws which prescribe death as punishment for breaking them. Or would we live under Christ's triple Law of Love? I doubt it. The Inquisition and the later Protestant excesses (burning of witches, etc.) proved that that Christ's Law of Love is not taken seriously by His Church when that Church acquires political power. Democracy is not perfect, but it is the best human system devised so far. Unless one realistically can intorduce a Europe of small principalities, ruled by Philospher Kings!
Life under the Hapsburgs was far from perfect but it was certainly better than what replaced it for many peoples and regions. E.g., see inter alia, Chris Hann and Robert Magocsi's book on Galicia (U of Toronto Press, 2005?).
And the idea of 'statelets' is much better--subsidiarity indeed--than that of the modern nation-state, on which the moral philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre has had some very acerbic things to say.
'First past the post' is an erroneous description. There is no winning post; it is winner takes all, even if 60% would rather have someone else. AV does have a winning post, and to pass the post you have to gain the support of more than 50% of those who vote.
One of the modern "statelets" in formation you've cited (the one i know best) is probably one of the prime examples of neo-totalitarism in Europe, and if independent one day (better, when) and the actual trends of their political and cultural "elite" do not change, can even be worse than 1990s Yugoslavia, i'm afraid.
The return to the pre-nationalistc Old regime (eventually a very limited state) or at least to the Cislethianic Kakania -Transleithiana was very very worse- is sadly an imposible utopy
AV will never result in a candidate receiving more than 50% of the votes, because awkward types like me will b****r things up by only voting for one candidate and not casting a second preference vote; the whole premise of AV is rendered flawed by persons, like myself, who have fairly fixed political views and no inclination to vote for "second best" candidates.
If 'America' were rational, we of the USA would be of at least five or six different sovereign state. but Oh Well, as we say....
I would hope that Washington would unite with BC! We could be friends!
PS strange that the verification word is actually a word in English this time!
Alleluia! Christus surrexit!
Dios, Fueros, Patria y Rey!
Problem of the so-called 'United States' is that they have not devolved into several (at least six) statelets! That alone would make us more governable, and perhaps less likely to try to govern the cosmos!
Love your blog! don't ever think of stopping! It makes my day, wishing I were somewhere in England. but then I would probablybe very poor...
Rdr. James Morgan
Thankyou for your comment "I too have always been an adherent of a Europe of regional fatherlands, as described by Czeslaw Milosz." I as well have si cemy youthbeen a furm believer in Milosz's Europe of regional fatherlands (heimatland). I hadn' t read or heard of this idea for many years now, until your brilliant comment here.
Christ's law of love does not exclude capital punishment for deliberate contraventions of the first comnandment, which axiomatically sound in the forfeiture of the criminal's life. The idea that perpetrators of some of the worst possible criminal offences should escape justice because of Christ's law of love is the product of either irrational or plain evil thinking
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