A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Friday, December 4, 2009

One Last Pre-Weekend Post for Egyptian Royalist Groupies

Non-Arabists won't find this very interesting, or those with no interest in Egypt, or those who share my Irish great-grandmother's views of royalty generally, but given my recent posts on the death of Princess Ferial of Egypt and the appearance of ex-King Ahmad Fuad II at her funeral: Via Zenobia, who has a strong interest in the former Egyptian royal family, a post on the last interview given by the late Princess Ferial, (the post is in English, by the way, so non-Arabists can click on it), this interview (in Arabic) which is apparently Princess Ferial's last TV interview (embedded version is first of five parts, and no, I haven't watched all of it yet:


JR said...

Egyptian Royalist Groupies sounds like a small demographic. Or would the Wafd youth wing be smaller?s

radical royalist said...

Royalists are everywhere.

The idea of loyalty connected to the legitimate ruler is universal and will never die.

JR said...

For RR

How does an accident of birth make one a legitimate ruler?

Or is legtimacy bestowed by the Divinity through the noble blood?

Or is the legitimacy derived from being the most efficient at robbing the poor? As did the past and current Egyptian regimes? And many other houses royal.

radical royalist said...

For JR

The accident of birth gives the Monarch independence from political parties, economic and social lobbyists.

The legitimacy derives through centuries. There’s nothing like noble blood. Blue blood is a myth.

Robbing the poor seems to be a politicians exercise. Presidents are particularly successful in accumulating wealth.

What’s worse, establishing a new dynasty by force and against the wish of the people or fall back on a dynasty that ruled successfully for 150 years? And the return of His Majesty King Fuad II should never be enforced against the wishes of the people. However, Royalists should have equal rights to promote their ideas. Silencing them is undemocratic.

Anonymous said...

For RR

Isn't the fundamental point of royal government undemocratic?

The monarch is not chosen by the people but rather rises to the throne by having being placed in the right bassinet outside the delivery room.

What if the real Prince royal were switched at birth? Or the real father the footman? How does one ensure purity of the noble blood? Enforced intermarriage?

In any case, monarchists should have the right to express their opinions.

radical royalist said...

Dear Mr/s. Anonymous,

Unfortunately this isn’t the place to write a long essay on the benefits (or disadvantageous) of a Monarchy.

I will try to be as short as possible. Please excuse me, should this posting be too long.

It is ironic that Britain, the cradle of modern democracy and a model for so many countries, should be considered undemocratic because she has a Queen.

In a Constitutional Monarchy, of which I am talking, the Monarch rules, but does not govern. Governing the country is the (elected) government’s job. A Monarch is more like an arbitrator who oversees, that the rule of law is preserved. (For details see Edmund Burke: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmund_Burke)

The father of modern sociology, Max Weber, pointed out that governments draw their legitimacy from three basic sources: traditional, religious, and legal. The first two are self-explanatory; by "legal," Weber meant Western-style democracies based on popular representation and the rule of law. Since societies are in constant change, so do form of states and form of governments change. Mixtures of all three forms of legitimacy are possible, classic example is the UK, where you have the traditional Monarchy, the Queen is the ruler of the Church of England and you have an elected government ("Her Majesty's Government").

Of course every country is different, has a different history, has different laws, different traditions. There cannot be a universal concept for the monarchical form of state. The Norwegian Monarchy is different from the Spanish or the Belgian, even the Pope’s Monarchy cannot be compared with the Monarchy that once existed in Tibet under the Dalai Lama. And so, the existing Arab Monarchies differ a lot, I won’t go into details.

Switched at birth? Oh well, you cannot be serious about that. Let’s be frank: Gossip may play an important part in politics, but you will not drag me down to that level. In a way the Monarch is actually chosen by the people. That’s what King Juan Carlos once said: “We have a daily referendum”, he told his son, Crown Prince Felipe. The Spanish Monarchy cannot afford to make mistakes, because otherwise it might be abolished. Opinion polls in Monarchies show high approval rates for the Monarchy (between 70 and 80 percent in the UK, Spain, Netherlands etc.). And these are no faked polls like presidential elections, where the incumbent ensures he’ll get 90 percent and opposition candidates face all kinds of obstacles. No European Monarchy outlaws republican groups, parties, organisations, while there are many republics – even in Europe -, where Monarchist organisations are banned for being “unconstitutional”. The Constitution of the Principality of Liechtenstein even includes ways the Monarchy could be abolished, should the people want to do that. The equivalent in republics is paving the way to a Monarchy by establishing a republican dynasty (no example necessary). That’s nothing a Constitutional Monarchist could welcome. A great Monarchist thinker, Kuehnelt-Leddihn, called these dynastic republics "degenerated Monarchies".

I apologize should I have bored you.

Michael Collins Dunn said...

It's actually been said pretty concisely:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."