The Queen is Dead. Long Live the King
To me, as an ex-Brit, now a proud 'Murican, the death of Queen Elizabeth II forces me to think about the whole question of royalty in 2022. In my mind monarchs are supposed to be fearless warriors defending the border against fearsome enemies. Not so Queen Elizabeth: she reigned for 70 years as the symbol of Britishness.
You want real monarchs? You got them, with Putin in Russia and Zelenskyy in Ukraine. And what exactly is, or was, the point of the current damn fool thing somewhere east of the Balkans?
See, my family history, in my view, points up the pointlessness, indeed, the inhumanity of modern politics. My dad was born in Russia, and fled from St. Petersburg in 1918 at age 16 to get away from Vlad's impalers. My mother was born in Japan and left in 1940 to get out of Hirohito's Co-Prosperity Sphere. I was born in India and left after Indian Independence. Hey, how's that caste system doing, Parag? I left Britain in 1968 for "the last best hope of Earth" just before the Brits lost their stiff upper lips in the 1970s. As far as I am concerned you can take all that political stuff and put it where the sun don't shine.
If you look at old King Charles III in his resplendent military uniform, his blue sash, and his knightly stars and military medals, you wonder: what's that all about? The Age of the Monarch as military leader is dead and buried. And so is the Age of Knights protecting pilgrims to the Holy Land, especially now that the Israelis have taken over.
If you look at old President Biden with his hectoring speech conjuring up frightful MAGA monsters with both his fists raised, you have to say, with me, that the Age of Politics run by the educated elite is tottering on its last legs.
And if you listen to your liberal neighbor, retired from administrative government and shocked, shocked that Republican governors are illegally sending migrants to Washington, D.C., you have to say that the Age of the Educated Administrator is in its autumn: make sure the door doesn't hit you on the way out, cupcake.
But what is the next age?
There's a nice piece from Jeffrey A. Tucker at the Brownstone Institute inveighing that "Without Economic Freedom, We Are Sunk." He quotes a bunch of Hayek from The Road to Serfdom. It's good, as far as it goes.
But our present problem is not just a question of economic freedom. It is something bigger, something on the order of the question of "life, the universe, and everything," a life and a society more dignified than being ordered around by health bureaucrats, more meaningful than listening to the raging of a hack politician, more worthy than being bullied by woke college professors.
Our problem is more than the human need to be free of the administrative state, or from political hate posing as a war on "hate," or to be rid of activists. It is the human need to be human. Given that Rule One of our current Age of Politics that only the educated get to decide everything, for themselves and for everyone else, I declare that it is time for a new age, free of monarchs, free of hack politicians, and free of educated bullies.
Do you know that over forty years ago, lefty Jürgen Habermas had already got past the dominatory conceit of top-down leftism? As I wrote back in 2013,
[Habermas'] Theory of Communicative Action proposes that the systems world of Enlightenment and instrumental reason should be balanced by a life-world of communication and negotiation. In German, the "Action" in his book's title is "Handeln." It means not just action but exchange, negotiation. It also had a use in German as a pejorative when applied to Jews as hagglers and peddlers.
whether it is possible to transfigure moral witness into a life “in common” without the annealing fire of mimetic rivalry, the intolerable presence of the “other” and his ill-gotten gains, and its resolution in sacred violence.
Nobody thinks that the dearly departed Queen Elizabeth had anything to do with "mimetic rivalry," the "other," or "sacred violence." And nobody expects it from good King Charles.
And that is a good thing.
Now, if only we can teach "educated liberal females" like Carnegie Mellon University professor and expert Tweetologist Uju Anya all about a "life-world of communication and negotiation" and persuade her to incorporate such notions into her "lived experience." Bless her heart.
On the day that educated liberal females wake up and adopt the philosophy of mother-of-ten Susan Sowerby in The Secret Garden that the "whole orange doesn't belong to nobody," then the world will begin to heal.