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Thread: Popular Sovereignty is for People Who Pick Lousy Monarchs!

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    What? KingofCretins's Avatar
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    Default Popular Sovereignty is for People Who Pick Lousy Monarchs!

    I was thinking a lot recently about Aristotle and politics. For those that don't know, Aristotle broke down government/political structures along both where power is concentrated but also the moral quality of how that power is wielded.

    Put roughly, he said that if you have one ruler, a just ruler, that is Monarchy, but its deviant form is Tyranny (deviant forms being the immoral/unjust version, and the version to which the legitimate form would tend to decay).

    Rule by the few could be Aristocracy, or in its deviant form, Oligarchy.

    Rule by the many could be Polity, or in its deviant form, Democracy. Democracy, of course, being pure majoritarianism, 'tyranny of the majority', i.e. a pack of wolves and a lamb voting on dinner. Polity is the (functioning) version of popular sovereignty that is generally the imperfectly satisfied goal of Republican or Parliamentary political structures -- representative governments guided by a rule of law to protect the interests of the minority (the smallest minority being of course the individual).

    I see a lot of that deviation from Polity toward Democracy manifesting, and it got me thinking -- what matters more, where power sits or how it is exercised? And if it's how its exercised that matters, maybe the problem isn't in monarchy/autocracy, it's just in the quality of who has it.

    SO... that brings me to the thought exercise and/or fun game of the thread. Absolute monarchy -- the real mccoy, the 'divine right', Rex non potest peccare, monarchy -- do you think you could live under it? Imagine, if it helps, the TV series "Kings" from a couple years back. Modern society, except the political power is in an absolute monarch and people petition him/her and so on.

    But the real fun is... who would you choose? (Insert Hypothetical Justification Here) says you have to have an absolute, hereditary monarch going forward, but you get to choose who it is, who would that be? Those who are already technically subjects of the Crown can still play -- would you let the Windsors do this thing old school? Or would you pick someone else?

    Be as serious or as comedic as you want, only thing I ask is that you pick real people although they don't have to be already from your country -- that's the King Ralph rule. Turn it loose! Sort of a goofy thread on the Boiler Room!

    For me, if I had to choose an absolute monarch, I wouldn't look for expertise, I don't need a technocrat, I'd look for character. Someone who I would just want to follow and who I believe would make moral and difficult choices.

    I've come up with a couple, none of which are actually politicians already I'm happy to say In no particular order --

    Sarah Michelle Gellar, actress -- I've always thought this was one of the most grounded, graceful celebrities out there, someone who has never let fame break them or turn them into some sort of schmuck. She's probably far to the left of me politically, but I know her to be grounded in family sensabilities, her and her husband prioritizing their family over their respective careers. She would immediately be the world's prettiest sovereign. I think she would be just and thoughtful.

    Jamie Dupree, reporter (Washington Bureau Chief for ClearChannel) -- the only media figure on my first reaction list, he's a stiff upper lipped pragmatist with a dry sense of humor who takes real pride in his work and his objectivity. He never lets partisans on either side run him over even in friendly on-air discussion. There is an earnestness I admire in the guy based on the time I hear him on the radio.

    Tim Tebow, athlete -- yep, the Gator fan went there I honestly can't think of a more trustworthy and honest human being that is a major celebrity. A charismatic, natural leader, a humble man, would rule with justice and with compassion. Where do I sign up?

    It's a funny question to think about and try to take seriously, give it a try!

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    and her haircut. Nina's Avatar
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    Talking about impossible questions,

    It's perhaps cheating, but I would vote for my own queen.

    Beatrix of the Netherlands
    I mean why not picking the one person in our country who is already head of state for over 30 years? The one truly with the grandeur of a monarch and who proved herself as a diplomat, an intelligent woman, a caring mother for all her people and a strong force your can't just ignore? I truly think that our current queen would be the best choice to rule our country in case only one could rule.

    Besides we can keep our national color..... *yay* orange.

    If I had to vote a famous name you all know;

    Bill Gates

    The man is intelligent, knows how to do business, seems to know quite a bit of the world, fullfilled several imporant functions for one of the biggest companies in the world, and he looks like he is a nice and caring person who isn't blind for the weak and poor. I think he would be able to do it, and that he could win the trust of the people. Besides he has enough money for a big campaign.
    Last edited by Nina; 29-11-12 at 07:09 AM.

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    Evil Twin PointMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nina View Post

    Bill Gates

    The man is intelligent, knows how to do business, seems to know quite a bit of the world, fullfilled several imporant functions for one of the biggest companies in the world, and he looks like he is a nice and caring person who isn't blind for the weak and poor. I think he would be able to do it, and that he could win the trust of the people. Besides he has enough money for a big campaign.
    He also stole the windows operating system from Steve Jobs. Then again in politics that would probably give him bonus points.
    “The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.” -- Albert Einstein

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    Fun thread!

    Since the Queen's already got Buckingham palace all nice, I say let her stay. Though if we could skip Charles and get on to William, I think that would be best.

    But, let's say when the queen dies, Charles won't budge? I would chuck him out in favour of Hugh Laurie, Jennifer Saunders or Judy Dench.

    For some reason 2/3s of my would-be monarchs are 1980s comedians. I think it's childhood fondness - a monarch should be a fond figure, I think.

    Hugh Laurie and Jennifer Saunders are both modest and dignified, but also funny - I'd like a laugh out of my monarch from time to time. Also, I think they'd probably listen to advice, which is perhaps the most important aspect of any absolute ruler. But not listen *too* bendingly and get wrapped around the fingers of cardinals etc (Ok, I'm reading Wolf Hall, I realize there aren't any cardinals in charge of England any more... but this is a hypothetical monarchy, could be a future in which the papacy regains greater power?)

    Then Judy... well, do I really need to spell it out? She's 100% badass, 100% of the time. But also probably quite polite so she wouldn't make enemies of other world leaders. Also, they might underestimate her cos she's old. But she could take them. She's Queen Victoria AND M at once, after all

    Can I make a list of people I would NOT want?

    Please no Victoria Beckham, definitely not Stephen Fry (he's jumped the shark and become annoying, it was twitter what did it), and if it's Rupert Murdoch I'm going to cry baby tears and run screaming into the arms of someone nicer like Kim Jong Un ("officially the hottest man in the world" mind you... )


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    I definitely say leave the Queen exactly where she is. She's been on the throne for, what, 60+ years now? It's amazing to me that someone can remain so dignified and graceful in the public eye for 6 decades when most celebs make fools of themselves in just 1 or 2 years. She's a truly remarkable human being when you think about it.

    But if she were to pass on... (note I'm just having fun with this )

    Judge Judy! I love this woman and think she's awesome. Her no-nonsense approach is brilliant and her liberal-thinking suits me just fine. During the election night I saw someone holding up a banner saying "Judge Judy for President 2016" and I laughed. She'd actually be excellent in the role

    Robert Pattinson just for the lolz. He'd be fun to have around just to see him troll everybody with his comments. Seriously, check out Robert Pattinson Hates his Life for just a sample of what an entertaining interviewee he is. Plus, he's actually quite personable and I like his self-deprecating humour. Let him be some young charming prince that the ladies swoon over and who might humble the monarchy a little.

    Maggie Smith! Not only is she an extremely intelligent woman but she doesn't appear to age. Seriously, how is it possible that she already looked so old in Hook back in 1991 and she looks exactly the same now in 2012. It's like she's immortal or something At least we'd have some guarantee that she'd be on the throne for a while and she's just so damn endearing that I don't see how anyone could dislike her.

    Steven Colbert because he's witty, charasmatic and can be very funny but also really inspirational and a great speaker when he needs to be. Plus, doesn't he have like a really devoted fanbase that helps him win pretty much everything?

    Olivia Williams -- She's probably nothing like Adele DeWitt in real life but, oh, imagine if she was. Despite some of her... moral shortcomings early on into the series, she's a total BAMF who can go toe-to-toe with any male counterpart and bring them to their knees (literally).

    That's a really weird and random list but you can pretty much tell what I've been watching all day. A sampling of Dollhouse, followed by some random Tumblr and Youtube lurking and a re-run of Hook I'm sure more will come to me but I like all of these people!
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    Prince Charles. Just because it would be super-amusing to see an entire nation in the freaking 21st century whine about Camilla being the queen and complain some more what an awful man Charles is for falling in love with someone that the masses don't find pretty /likeable. The best thing about it is that it will most likely happen.
    You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along - that weird unbearable delight that's actual happy - I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, 'cause it's here, and then...gone.

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    I decided not to respond to other’s choices. First off, not sure if they were all serious or if they were funny choices.


    KingOfCretins

    Absolute monarchy -- the real mccoy, the 'divine right', Rex non potest peccare, monarchy -- do you think you could live under it?
    Depends on who the ruler is and if I agree with his or her policies. A United States monarch would be about the absolute leader of the entire world. He or she would be in charge of around a $3T Government, by far the most powerful Military in the world, and would obviously have the power to change the world.

    But the real fun is... who would you choose? (Insert Hypothetical Justification Here) says you have to have an absolute, hereditary monarch going forward, but you get to choose who it is, who would that be?
    I’d choose myself. If that’s not an option, William Jefferson Clinton seems like a good choice.

    I like my politics and would rather by rule than be ruled. For Clinton, I largely agree with his politics and Chelsea probably wouldn’t be a bad leader.

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    Had a coworker suggest Gordon Ramsay. I could actually see it. Dude has passion and demands excellence.

    If I had to grab an actual politician, I still remember fondly Daniel Hannan's public dressing down of Gordon Brown in the European Parliament. I'd have to give him some strong consideration.

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    Hahahahaha @ Gordon Ramsey. Sweariest monarch ever?


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