Morning Ed: World {2016.06.06.M}


Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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32 Responses

  1. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    No Koning Da.-No King’s Here.

    Somehow I don’t see Brazil reviving the monarchy anytime soon but a fascinating counter-factual would be what if Brazil never abolished the monarchy in the first place. They would of had a parliamentary government rather than a Presidential system and might have avoided the coups and dictatorships that plagued other Latin American states. It might still not be a developed country but it could be a more stable one.

    Monarchy is a weird beast in the modern world. It seems very out of place in a developed egalitarian society based on high levels of individual autonomy with no sense of decorum. At the same time, monarchs serve as useful receptors of the need of many people to have warm and fuzzy feelings about their leader. The British and most other citizens in constitutional monarchies seem to really love their royal family. This prevents the elected politicians from becoming figures of too great reverence for the most part.Report

  2. Avatar notme says:

    Almost 80 percent of Swiss voters rejected a guaranteed monthly income Sunday.

    • Avatar Joe Sal says:

      Huh, from all the rumblings one would have thought guaranteed income would have huge turnout. I guess there remain parts of the world that don’t yet have their head buried in social constructs. How illiberal of them.Report

    • Avatar North says:

      Not surprising. I still suspect we’re not to the economic/technological stage where a GBI becomes an imperative yet.Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg says:

        It’s especially hard to argue otherwise in Switzerland, where unemployment is currently at 3.5% and hasn’t seen 5% since the 90s.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          I’ve been meditating on the Wisdom of Solomon story again and applying it to us, today.

          We should not be surprised by Solomon’s solution to split the baby.
          We should not be surprised by the good mother’s response to Solomon’s solution.
          We always seem surprised by the grieving/wicked mother’s response to Solomon’s solution.

          We always seem surprised that there are so many grieving/wicked mothers in our society.

          We always seem surprised to find out what they end up voting for.Report

        • One of the arguments against is that the Swiss border is open to the rest of the Schengen Area, so the result would be attracting people from the rest of Europe to collect the GBI. It’s a difficult one to counter.Report

          • Avatar Marchmaine says:

            Why is that?

            Could you not have open boarders but UBI is a benefit for citizens? Then I suppose one would need to look at what citizenship means, how it is acquired and so forth.

            But, seems to be a minimum requirement for any local UBI. Otherwise, the UBI mountain has to scale globally (or regionally in a maximal sense) – and that seems to make the hurdle impossibly high.Report

  3. Avatar notme says:

    3 years later the IRS finally releases the list of targeted conservative groups. (but still can’t find emails)

    IRS finally reveals list of tea party groups targeted for extra scrutiny

  4. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    I’m fascinated by how the French have managed to develop such a rigid labor market.Report

    • Avatar North says:

      Well strict labor regulation coupled with their social attitudes regarding Frenchness kind of made it inevitable. If you’re going to hire a waiter and that waiter is basically going to be with you until they elect to leave or the business goes under you’re going to be extremely particular about who you hire, you’re not going to hire extras until you absolutely need to and you aren’t going to take a risk on anyone who’s outside your ethnic comfort zone.Report

  5. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    I put the yearning for monarchy in the same category as Trumpism, the desire for a Strong Man on horseback who make things right and punish Those People.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      Depends on the nature of monarchism. Most support is constitutional monarchy, which is to say that most of the power doesn’t even reside with him or her but with a democratic functionary. The monarchy serves the nationalist interest of a figure head, and provides someone that the head of government kneels down to.

      Not sure if that’s all that’s going on in Brazil, but still seems to be in that they want a (presumably light-touch) check on their (very corrupt) elected government. The US royalists do veer a bit towards what you’re talking about, but seem mostly in the “we’ve decided to find it charming” eccentrism and a more general fondness for a more Christian government.

      Figurehead presidents are supposed to serve this role in republican parliamentary systems, but they don’t seem to do so as effectively.

      A problem for the US is that royalism isn’t really in our nature. So while for Canada I think the system makes sense (though I’d probably want to change the structure somewhat), here I just don’t think it would work. Australia is somewhere in between, in my estimation.Report

      • Avatar North says:

        What it boils down to is that in modern times, now that the surviving monarchs have kind of figured out the game, monarchs can stand up pretty tolerably to elected Presidents in terms of appeal. You see that again and again within the commonwealth; republicans say “we should do away with the monarchy” but what they propose to replace it with is another elected or appointed political position and most people are not receptive to that sell at all.

        Perhaps after (agnostic God[ess?] forbid) Her Majesty passes on and the likely quite short reign of Charles (if it happens at all) and then the potentially lengthy reign of William maybe his son Prince George will forget/not absorb the lessons his namesake great great Grandfather learned and things will go south again. Right now, however, the House of Windsor has basically figured the Monarchy business out.

        I mean hell, what it boils down to is who do you want for your head of state: A career politician appointed through the normal sausage making process of politics or a hereditary appointment groomed since birth to execute the role with decorum and propriety? As long as the hereditary family stays in generally good odor it’s going to be a difficult sell to replace the latter with the former.Report

        • Avatar Will Truman says:

          I can see the virtues in a constitutional monarchy, though I kind of feel I would be angling for Canada to have its own deal rather than a governor general. If not their own king (Hey Harry, wassup?) then an offshoot of the royal family that serves as a sort of regent. The governor general system starts feeling kind of like being a republic anyway.

          But, of course, I’m a yankee*! So I’m supposed to disdain all of it anyway.

          In Australia the royalists won mostly by dint of divided Republicans. Basically those that wanted a figurehead president or a real one. The referendum was for the figurehead, and the people who wanted a real one threw it to the monarchists. And, of course, the current prime minister is a republican.

          * – When I attended a wedding in Canada and everyone referred to me as a yankee, I tried to explain the thing about calling southerners yankees. To no effect.Report

          • Avatar North says:

            Yes, note also that Australia mostly had their referenda at the cumulation of the house of Windsors’ last bad run of performance. They’d sorted out the power and pomp elements of reconciling the monarchy with modernity and had to sort out the much smaller issue of what was functionally a divorce and disgrace issue. William and Kate basically drove a stake into that sentiment. As a republican kiwi friend of mine once ruefully commented to me “Kate, William and George were the worst things to happen to republican sentiment since Cromwell.”

            I think the window has mostly closed on that zeitgeist unless we run into a new generation that doesn’t stick to “the Firms'” lines or unless the culture shifts again.

            Yeah, to Canadians all Americans (including Alaskans) are yanks.Report

            • Avatar Will Truman says:

              Has anyone sat Charles down and shown him the second season of House of Cards?Report

              • If you mean the British House of Cards, I thought that guy was supposed to be Charles. (It was kind of a wrench seeing Foyle being silly and ineffectual.)Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                It was a shot at Charles, and a cautionary tale about why being an activist king might not have a happy ending!Report

              • There’s a Blackadder special called “The Cavalier Years” where Stephen Fry plays Charles I as a parody of Prince Charles. (In real life they’re quite good friends.) It’s pretty hilarious.

                It’s on YouTube. Nice.


              • Avatar North says:

                Not that I’m aware of but they should. I would imagine his Mother has made some comments to say the least. It sure as hell looks like, if nothing else, HRM got her ethos through to her Grandson at the very minimum.Report

          • Avatar El Muneco says:

            Did no one stick around long enough for you to get to the “eats pie for breakfast” punchline?Report

            • I’ve never understood that one, Do people in Vermont really eat pie for breakfast?Report

              • Avatar Damon says:

                Pie is good for breakfast. During christmas time, I like to indulge in a little left over mincemeat pie for breakfast. Chasing it down with some home made egg nog.

                That’s how to start a day of present opening or recovering from same.Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

          I think what it boils down to is that the remaining monarchs generally know to follow the people’s will and popular elections whether they like the outcomes or not. They are not going to dissolve governments that they disapprove of until the PM says “We need to dissolve the government and hold elections because I no longer have the confidence of Parliament or it is time according to the law.”

          Was George V an enthusiastic supporter of Attlee? Probably not but he generally did not do anything about it as far as I can tell.

          Monarchs tend to get in trouble when they speak their mind about politics instead of being nice figureheads saying nice pleasantries.Report

          • Avatar North says:

            Yes, what you’re describing was the compromise, initiated by Elizabeth II’s great Grandfather and perfected by her Grandfather and Father, wherein the British Monarchy acceded to the primacy of their Parliaments and moved into a new role within the institution of government. Elizabeth’s own addition was in sorting out not so much how the new Monarchy would behave so much as how it’d present itself and was sort of a conservative correction to the liberal reforms of her predecessors (culminating in the liberal overreach of her uncle).

            King Edward VI and King George V sorted out that the crown could no longer directly control their subjects, but that if they accepted this fact that they could still play a role ruling over them. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II refined that realization that while the Monarch could no longer be divine above their subjects neither could the Monarch behave like any of their subjects (and expect to remain in the role) with King Edward VIII as the cautionary tale.Report

    • Avatar Joe Sal says:

      Well Obama left his horse shit on a lot of lawns, so yeah, Trump.Report

    • But he’s not a man on horseback — he’s the back end of a horse.Report

  6. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    How about the King of Queens? #badjokeReport