Sep 8, 2015

New Primary Blog

  The new primary blog for the Kingdom of Edan is now here.
   This site will remain as a secondary source and for archive purposes.

  Please update your links.

Mar 3, 2015

Quick Post: Why Edan is Not "Neo-Reactionary"

  [Very Briefly, from Lew]
  I have been aware of the so-called neo-reactionary writers for about 8 years. I have rarely paid them much mind. King Richard once told me they largely resemble those he calls 'celebrity monarchists' - they are much more interested in a voyeuristic watching of and talking about the topic at hand than any form of action. The fact that they often fail to understand their clutching embrace of Modernism in method as they yearn for Traditionalism in word resulted in me not delving as deeply as the king into their work. I simply haven't the time.

  But social media is the media of surprise. Today the so-called 'leader of neo-reaction' sent out this,

 That's correct - a self-declared leader in thought of neo-reaction stated that the Middle East has no geo-strategic importance.
  At first I assumed that this was satire, but it was immediately followed with this,
  Now I understand why King Richard does not care to be associated with neo-reaction.

Feb 23, 2015

The Goals of Edan: Fighting for Ideas

[by Prince Jonathan]
  In continuing the article series on the goals of Edan, it must be noted that one of the ways in which Edan differs most strongly from the more established nations of our day is that it as an idea, not an institution. The actual government and apparatus of the kingdom are secondary features of the greater concept and ideals of the kingdom, unlike, for example, the United States, whose ideals of being the Land of the Free and of Opportunity are auxiliary to the rule of its government. The effects of this divide in nature are subtle and far-reaching, and are seen most clearly in an analysis of national goals. Indeed, most of the things in the Edanian agenda that seem most irrational and naïve fall neatly into place when this difference is considered. After all, if Edan was an institution first, we would indeed be acting irrationally and naïvely by following our current strategy. Our first priority would have to be the acquisition of territory under our direct control, along with wealth, influence, military power, and the loyal population required to sustain such things; and then we would have to use this power base to work for the growth and prestige of our institution in competition against the various other national institutions of the world. But, fortunately, these goals are not the goals of Edan, because they do not suit Edan. As was previously stated, Edan is an idea, so to promote its expansion and well-being, our priority and goal must be to convince more people that our ideas are true and good, thus causing them to live according to these ideas. The power and size of the kingdom is not measured in square miles, nor in gold reserves, nor in military budget, but in the number of people who live the Edanian way of life, even if they are not actually sworn as citizens. Understanding this truth is absolutely critical to understanding Edan itself.
     For example, this makes Edan's plans for future expansion radically different from what the dominant contemporary paradigm would lead one to expect. Our single, solitary long-term goal related to increasing our own power base is to proselytize for the Edanian ideals of subsidiarity, solidarity, Traditional values, family living, and an integrated life. This is all we need, and, in fact, all we can need, to grow. Territory, money, international diplomacy, and all the other tools of the modern nation-state are useful to us only as means to this end, and the ends of our other major goals. They are not the prize, but rather, tools to gain the prize, which is an organic and voluntary re-ordering of society along Traditionalist lines.
     Our short and mid-term goals in service of this end, therefore, must necessarily be just as incongruous and strange to the modern eye. They must, in just the same way as the ultimate goal they advance, be ordered not to acquiring temporal power for our government, but to making people desire to be Edanians. They must, in short, uphold our ideas, while pushing back the rule of rival ideas. 
     While this may seem to be a difficult purpose to serve, it is actually one of the easiest, and one of the ones that we will get to soonest. A very important short-term goal that the kingdom is soon to complete is the foundation of a group called the Knights of St. Maurice. This will be an organization, similar in a few superficial respects to the American Boy Scouts, that will take in boys as young as 12 as members, and train them in the practice and theory of Traditional Catholic Masculinity. It will teach them physical and mental discipline, both the theory and the practice of authentic courtesy, the basics of how to grow in the Spiritual Life through sacrifice and work, leadership, and every other masculine skill denied to them by modernity; all while fortifying them with a sturdy foundation of apologetics in defence of both the One True Church and the Western Civilization built upon it. The end result of this will be, if all goes well, that the boys who enter the organization as unprepared youths will leave it with all the tools they need to live as men and fight in defence of the Edanian Way. In other words, it will expand the influence and power of Tradition in the world, thereby expanding the Kingdom of Edan, even in the unlikely event that none of the newly-trained knights become citizens. And, while it may seem that this organization will be hard to create and support, it will actually require very little real work, if its members are willing.
     This order will also serve as a mould and model for future organizations of similar nature and the same purpose. Some of these groups will be discussed in greater detail in future articles, and we will doubtlessly come up with more ideas and inspirations for them as the kingdom grows, but a good example to bring up now in synergy with the Order of Saint Maurice is the concept, long deliberated upon by the Royal Family, of an Order of Motherhood. The exact details of this organization have yet to be codified, as its creation is a mid-term goal not likely to be completed soon, but its basic nature is simple. It will reward and honour those mothers throughout the citizenry, and, in exceptional cases, throughout the world, who go above and beyond the call of duty within their maternal vocation. Based upon how many children they have and what notable things those children go on to do, such as joining the Edanian military, the mothers thus honoured would receive a variety of minor medals, ribbons, titles, and privileges, as well as, once the kingdom's infrastructure is advanced enough, monetary awards. This practice would have many benefits to the kingdom: it would reinforce within Edanian culture the Traditional truth that motherhood deserves to be honoured and defended; it would clearly illustrate to the post-Enlightenment world that, far from oppressing them, the Edanian way of life aids and rewards women; it would encourage young women amongst the citizens to take up the maternal vocation themselves; and it would give patriotic citizens a way of clearly showing their Traditionalist identity to the world. Thus, by merely bearing witness to our internal ideology with external signs, we could quicken the pace of the kingdom's growth ever further, and do a tremendous amount of good in the world besides, as is right and just.
     And these orders, these simple defences of masculinity and femininity, are only the beginning. With these organizations and the others that we will doubtlessly create over time, we will build up a foundation that will eventually flower into our true goal in the pursuit of growth: the emergence of a distinct Edanian culture. As our way of life is taught to and internalized by more and more people through the actions of these teaching organizations, and as the visibility of the kingdom increases through cosmetic additions like distinctive modes of dress or specifically Edanian holidays, and as the political influence of the kingdom grows through the increase of the citizenry, it is inevitable that the concept and ideal of Edan will gradually crystallize into a truly distinct society, a community of people living the Edanian life. If we can succeed in doing this, if we actually create a distinct contingent of the population that has rejected the flawed paradigm of the modern world in favour of Tradition, Distributism, Catholicity, and Justice, the Kingdom of Edan will have definitively and irrevocably succeeded. Even if our government should be overthrown and our Royal Family wiped out and our oaths forgotten, if our ideals live on in the world, Edan will survive and, I can confidently say, thrive.
     So, to summarize, the only way to understand the kingdom's methods of and goals for expansion and growth is to understand that we are playing a very, very different game from that of any other country that currently exists. We win not through the acquisition of land, power, and prestige, but through bearing witness to the goodness and strength of our ideology. Our dream is not a thriving economy, a powerful military, diplomatic hegemony, and ever-spreading borders, but a distinct culture, a place in the mainstream political debate, people who leave liberalism for Tradition, and communities being founded according to the rule we embrace. We work not for the exaltation of Edan, but for the exaltation of the Edanian life. We are an idea, not an institution.

Jan 27, 2015


  Recently Prince Jonathan turned 18 years old. That weekend was a celebratory one, of course, but HRH Jonathan did not party, or travel, or carouse.
  On the evening of January 24th Prince Jonathan entered the parish church of the royal family. It was 10 pm on an unusually cold Winter night and the temperature inside the church hovered around 50 degrees. The prince placed a bible and a copy of The Imitation of Christ on a pew and his sword at the altar rail and he began to pray.

  He stayed in that cold church throughout the night in a Knight's Vigil, praying that God would give him the graces necessary for life as a Catholic leader. At the top of each hour he would go to the altar rail to pray a decade of the Rosary. At the bottom of each hour he would ask for the prayers of the Blessed Virgin and of St. Joseph.

  Eight hours later as dawn approached King Richard joined him, prayed with him, and together they performed the ceremony of knighthood. There was no pomp, no music, no pageantry, no witness other than God, the Saints, and the angels.
  The oath reminds the knight that he will be hated for his honesty, mocked for his chastity, and despised for his courage. It also reminds him that his life is not his own, but God's and that he must be ready and willing to die for the Lord.
When the ceremony was complete Prince Jonathan was given his sword and greeted as what he is - a Catholic leader.

  The king and the prince spoke together and prayed for a short time until the pastor arrived. Soon thereafter Prince Jonathan gave his Confession and then Richard and Jonathan attended Mass.

  Prince Jonathan is now the Knight Commander of the Order of St. Maurice. He will begin seeking out other young Catholic men so that they, too, may become knights.

Jan 23, 2015

The Goals of Edan: Being of Service

[From Crown Prince Jonathan on his 18th birthday]
    Edan's goals, both short term and long term, are by choice and necessity very different from those of most other nations, and this is likely to be a source of confusion to many people. Those who already hope that we grow and succeed may be baffled at the seemingly slow-paced approach we are taking, and those looking in from the outside may think that we are trying to become a major, territorial power like those in existence now, which would make them justly suspicious. Even if they recognize that this is not our ultimate ideal, the nature of Edan is, to the modern paradigm of society and governance, rather counter-intuitive, so they may remain confused and unable to see the kingdom as anything other than the endeavour of a madman. So, in order to combat these misconceptions and possible misinterpretations, I shall now undertake a series of articles explaining the goals of Edan clearly and explicitly.
     Now, the ultimate goal of the kingdom is to achieve true independence and sovereignty, so that our citizens may live under Edanian law alone; but this goal is extremely difficult and distant, and if we were to pretend that it was something likely to be realized soon, we would be fools. But this does not mean that we are simply going to bide our time waiting for the opportunity to launch some sort of secession or revolution; quite the contrary. We have a plethora of secondary goals in both the short and long-term, which will serve to advance us towards our eventual independence, to support and aid the citizenry in our present non-territorial state, and to do good in the world at large. Of these goals, the one that is best to explain first is one that is very dear to the King's heart, critically important for laying the foundation of our permanent government, and probably the absolute simplest of them all. It is simply to be of service to our citizens.
     The entire basis of the non-territorial feudal structure of Edan is a relationship of mutual support, solidarity, and loyalty between the governed citizens and the governing nobles and king. This relationship is not merely the exchange of taxes and obedience for military and legal protection that exists within a nation's independent territory, but extends beyond it, to a personal level. It is one of the highest ideals of Edan that the citizens will not simply be put under draining obligations in exchange for the rule of law, but emplaced in a community that supports and upholds them in every aspect of their lives. And one of the easiest and most effective methods of providing them with this support even in our present early stage is to provide them with real and tangible services.
     Thus, one of the immediate goals espoused by the Edanian regime is to create phone, internet, and email service plans administered and made available to the citizens directly by our government. These service packages, created and operated almost identically to similar plans used by various private clubs and other such organizations, would primarily be useful to our citizens by being inexpensive. Even the most capitalistic analysis of the situation shows this; these services would not have the primary end of generating a profit through trade, but of engendering loyalty and support in a group of people from which we are already gaining a benefit. To put it cynically, we would have something to gain here even if we only break even monetarily, and indeed, it would be in our rational self-interest to break even, as that would benefit the citizens most. Furthermore, despite initial appearances, there is nothing socialistic about this endeavour. These services would not be mandatory to the citizens, nor would they ever become so, leaving the citizenry at full disposal of its own property, and leaving the kingdom's service packages in a market competition that would compel us to remain useful to the citizens no matter what. So, all told, we could by this means give the citizens of Edan a real, tangible economic benefit that would last indefinitely into the foreseeable future, and, besides that, we would also be creating a strong precedent of helping the citizens that should last long into our future growth.
     This precedent will mean that as the kingdom grows and we begin to advance towards our mid-term goals, we will also continue to increase and enhance our ability to support the citizenry through other basic services. There is potential here to create myriad plans, institutions, and initiatives, but the real focus and existing plan held by the Royal Family as a mid-term goal is the formation of an Edanian credit union. This would be an independent, self-sustaining banking structure open only, or, at least, primarily, to the citizens of Edan required by its charter to strictly obey the tenets of distributist economics. The emphasis of the services of this credit union would be upon easy, non-usurious loans; for example, as housing mortgages are safe loans upon non-depreciating commodities, the credit union would offer them with no interest, only a small number of flat fees. A car loan, similarly, being a safe loan upon a slowly depreciating commodity, would charge an extremely low rate of interest, probably less than a percentage point. This policy of justly cheap loans would admittedly have the effect of lowering the interest given to savings accounts within the union somewhat, but would still have a solid, positive economic effect upon the citizens. Indeed, under this structure, the Edanian government and the citizenry will both strongly benefit. The citizens will gain the ability to reduce their debt, and the government will gain a greater stability and security in its own savings, which will also be stored in the union, at first, as well as a way to strongly incentivize citizenship. Furthermore, for all the reasons listed in the section on electronic services, the credit union will have strong incentives to maintain this pattern. Its goal will not be to turn a profit, but to build up a civic symbiosis; the better it does that, the better the Kingdom, the citizens, and the banking institution itself will fare.
     And these existing, cohesive plans already mentioned are just the beginning. As the size, influence, and direct power of the kingdom grow, so will its usefulness as a community. Even more programs and projects than the ones listed above will doubtlessly be initiated by both the Crown Government and the local nobility, some of which, such as the institution of guilds that will provide Edanians with training for in-demand skills and jobs, will be discussed in future articles in this series. More important that any active initiative, however, is the foundational concept of Edan: solidarity between all the members of the kingdom, no matter their rank. Even now, in our earliest stage, there are citizens who can attest to to receiving aid from the personal influence and actions of His Majesty the King. The expansion of the kingdom will in turn cause an exponential expansion of this capacity for solidaritous mutual support. With localized communities of citizens operating with unity under subsidiary leaders, a network of Edanians stretching across the globe, and some measure of financial and social power at the disposal of the Crown Government, anything will be possible. It is a great dream of the Royal Family for citizens to be able to go a local noble for advice finding a job, to have a pool of potential spouses guaranteed to share most of their political and spiritual views amongst their local Edanian community, and to receive guidance and financial aid for acquiring a home and basic independence from the King's initiatives; so that the kingdom as an organization and group will be able to aid and strengthen people throughout every field of their lives. Only when we have reached this level of internal support and community strength will Edan truly have begun.

     So, in summary, any discussion of the goals of Edan must by necessity begin with our goal of forging a strong, interdependent community that will truly be a boon to our citizens. We act the way that we do and have the plans that we have because we sincerely hope to never become a burden upon our people. Whether it be through the creation of financially useful services soon, the foundation of organized Edanian institutions later, or the growth of a mutually-supportive network continuously, the Kingdom of Edan will be of use to those within it. That is our first objective.

Jan 9, 2015

It Is Not Really About Freedom of Speech

 Note: The Government of Edan and I, personally, both condemn all evil acts and wish all those involved, directly or indirectly, in the premeditated murder of innocents to face the full force of justice. Criticism of the staff of Charlie Hebdo is not endorsement of their attackers, a desire for evil men to avoid punishment, nor a mitigation of any evil performed against those same people.

Note: Links to web pages not administered by the Kingdom of Edan is not an endorsement of those sites, of their views, their owners, their contributors, or their comments.

  The recent attack on the offices of relatively obscure French weekly called Charlie Hebdo have led to fascinating results. Reactions range from claims that a failure to support the weekly were because of a general cowardice of the West; the very frequent statement that any media outlet that does no reproduce Charlie Hebdo's content is cowardly or supports violence; a general belief that any criticism of Charlie Hebdo's content, methods, or motivations is supporting Islam, or murder, or censorship; and that the murders were 'a direct attack on perhaps the most crucial Western ideal'. And there are thousands, perhaps millions, of people using social media to repeat the phrase 'I am Charlie Hebdo'.

  But what was Charlie Hebdo?
  The weekly was very avowedly Leftist (in the true, European, sense) and staunchly atheist. While ostensibly a satirical publication it is of that brand of French humor that aspires to rise to 'juvenile' and which celebrates being offensive for the sake of offending.
  While a great deal of the current discussion is (naturally) focused upon various cartoons concerning Islam which the weekly had published media coverage is oddly silent about other cartoons. I will not link to these cartoons, but any brief search of the internet will find that Charlie Hebdo was very fond of anti-Semitic and blatantly racist cartoons. In one particularly offensive cover they portrayed the schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram not only in Black stereotypes, they were also portrayed as what Americans would call 'welfare queens'. They had fired a contributor because she complained when Palestinians were called 'savages' and at least once they portrayed a Black woman as a monkey wearing earrings. While notorious for its anti-Islamic cartoons its anti-Christian cartoons were often more offensive and the anti-Catholicism was extreme, leading to the Charlie Hebdo headline which translates roughly as 'French Catholics are as stupid as Negroes'. Charlie Hebdo's staff enthusiastically embraced what an early letter writer called them - "bete et mechant" ("stupid and evil") and gleefully used the phrase to describe themselves.
  In short, Charlie Hebdo made its money by being offensive for the sake of shock and covered itself in a cloak of 'satire'.

 Can we say that the lack of support of Charlie Hebdo was because of, as a few have claimed, 'cowardice'? Hardly. While freedom of speech may be important to a particular person or nation that principle does not demand that you enthusiastically endorse everyone with a pen and a byline. The staff of Charlie Hebdo worked very hard to offend virtually everyone who was not a White bourgeois Leftist atheist who didn't mind racism too much. As a result they did not have a very broad base of support.

  Similar reasons easily explain why outlets that are not dedicated to offending people might not want to carry content that is offensive. This isn't cowardice, this is simply the fact that journalists reporting on the attack do not need to carry the content to report on the attack.

  As I stated clearly in the first note - the people who attacked and killed the staff of the weekly deserve to be brought to justice; my criticism of the content of Charlie Hebdo does not lessen their crime in any way. Likewise, the death of some of the staff does not render my critique less true.

  I also want everyone to bear in mind one key point: the Charlie Hebdo attack is not about freedom of speech in and of itself. It is not actually about censorship. Yes, these topics are peripherally involved, but contrary to the opinions of most they are not key.
  And this is fortunate because while the staff of Charlie Hebdo loved to use freedom of speech to protect themselves they did not extend it to others: in the mid-1990's the senior staff of Charlie Hebdo, including some who died in the attack, openly called for the banning of a political party whom they disagreed with. This desire to ban a political group they disagreed with went from articles to covers of Charlie Hebdo to a petition drive. It is very difficult for me to reconcile Charlie Hebdo as a bastion of freedom of speech when its principals worked very hard on this (failed) ban.

  What the attacks are really about are clashes between what can only be described as different nations which exist within the same state. Charlie Hebdo represented the bourgeois Leftist atheist citadins and the attackers represent the underclass Muslims.
  These two radically different nations (or 'groups that share a culture, language, religion, etc.') exist within a single state (or 'a political entity defined by borders, legal system, and government') that wishes to treat both of them (as well as a few others, such as rural Catholics) as totally equivalent when they most demonstrably are not in their desires for everything from the law to cultural norms. Yes, the things written and drawn by the staff of Charlie Hebdo was the trigger for this particular action but the underlying conflict is much broader and, frankly, more important.

  Why do I say 'more important'? Because the current conceptualization of the nation-state held by a majority of western politicians tends to reduce internal clashes between groups that can be called nations to a zero sum game: the monolithic state system combined with the errant belief that nation=state means that conflicts like that which led to the Charlie Hebdo attack will naturally amplify such differences into more and greater conflict over time. As we already see, the inability of the state to directly address the concerns of interior nations will necessarily lead to this conflict spreading.

  We can see this in some of the commentary about the attacks. In one of the linked article, above, a writer states,
 "The Charlie Hebdo massacre represents a direct attack on perhaps the most crucial Western ideal."
  He then goes on to list what he believes the core Western ideals are,
"...peaceable integration, tolerance, free speech, and openness."
  He naturally lists free speech as most important.
  This recitation is really nothing but a list of what bourgeois Leftist atheist citadins value, not any of the concepts critical to the development of what should properly be called Christendom. The author makes his 'citizenship' within the 'nation' of bourgeois Leftist atheist citadins quite clear in the rest of the article where he draws a faint equivalence between such attacks and the Crusades and the statement,
"We in the West believe that blasphemy is a right and not a crime."
  Which would be humorous if not said in such earnest. With this single statement he clearly defines millions of Western Jews, Catholics, Muslims, and Protestants as 'other', as 'nations' that differ from his, as potential or actual foes and states that those who disagree with him are not of 'the West', a term he seems to use as a synonym for modernity, or perhaps Modernism.

  This instinctive yet unconscious alignment with 'nations' is why a fair number of people are incensed that anyone, anywhere might point out that the attack was easily predictable and a consequence of the choices and actions of the staff of Charlie Hebdo.
  Again, see the note at the beginning of this article,
  If you go to a neighborhood known for violent crime and display a large amount of cash in your pockets while getting drunk you are greatly enhancing your chance of being robbed. No, this is no excuse for the robbers. Yes, the robbers committed a crime and deserve justice. But actions that increase risk make it more likely that you will be exposed to risk.
  The staff of Charlie Hebdo knowingly and actively continued to insult people who had threatened them with death and already attempted to harm them for insults. This made it virtually inevitable that some of them would be killed. This is not a controversial statement. It does not excuse the attackers. The attackers deserve to face justice. But anyone who expresses shock that Muslim extremists assassinated people who routinely insulted Islam needs to ask themselves why they expected any other results.

  I believe that the response to this attack also reveal a growing fear on the secular Left: what they value (peaceable integration, tolerance, free speech, and openness) is both anathema to those that oppose them and hinder them in their long-term survival; their preferred methods (shaming, ostracism, and indoctrination) have less and less effectiveness; and the long-term negative impacts of their basic life choices (a rejection of traditional roles and a focus on materialism) is beginning to strike deep into their numbers. As the secular Left grows weaker the will face more frequent and more severe existential crises. At some level many of the commentators seem to sense this, leading to anger.

Dec 11, 2014

Short Post: Why Central Planning Can't Build Utopia [a guest post]

  The shortest reason is the very simple fact that there is no utopia.

  But the slightly longer reason is that the core assumption of central planning is that someone else somewhere else who doesn't know you can make your life better. This is simply not possible.
  Why not? Consider the number of economic decisions you make per week. What type and volume of food and from where, for example. For a single man this involves many factors, such as his own skill in cooking, the amount of time for food preparation, and many more. For a mother these decisions must consider everything from her food budget to the distance to the various stores to the volume of storage to the food preferences of her children. There is simply no way even a local 'expert' can be as efficient as either of these two people have the potential to be.
  The the total economic activity of just one family is much more complex and each additional family adds to this complexity. The sheer volume of data needed to perform such planning is daunting and will always result in 'central planning' devolving into limiting choices and options. This can also be called 'making it harder for families to do what they need' or, more bluntly, 'limiting moral agency for the sake of convenience'.
  This is why Edan rejects the traditional view of Socialism; it is obviously impractical. Instead the goal of Edan is to recognize the legitimate role of government: protecting the family.

Sep 10, 2014

Fads, Focus, Leadership, and Why Democracy Fails

  The Kingdom of Edan uses social media to pass along information to others and as alterantive news sources. Today I was reviewing the ongoing battles in Ukraine between the coup leaders in Kyev and various separatist groups in the east; the impact of vaccine costs on the operations of Médecins Sans Frontières as they fight childhood disease; the work of various bishops to provide aid to the many Christians being slaughtered in Iraq; how ISIL forces are selling young girls into slavery to raise funds; the violent clashes between Boko Haram and African forces; etc. I was also reading a concerning report about the rapid decline in British military power in the last 2 decades and the possible impact this could have on global stability.
  In the midst of this I encountered a tweet (and associated picture) that was stunning in its incongruity. In midst of the greatest outbreak of Ebola in history, unemployment and economic downturn threatening to both expand rapidly, Pakistan (a nuclear power) in political chaos, civil wars in Syria, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic (in addition to everything mentioned above) this tweet and pic proclaimed,
  "No seriously people. Net Neutrality is more important than whatever you're doing right now."
   This discussion is not about net neutrality (although the arguments used in favor of it tend to reveal its proponents don't understand how the contemporary internet actually works) but rather about what some people have sarcastically named first world problems; how trivial issues can take on a large emotional value to people who do not face serious issues. There is a slightly older term for this - the fad.
  It is easy to understand how people become so easily distracted by the trivial. To a wealthy American or Australian unmenaced by war or rebellion, far from plague and famine, in a land never threatened with attack in a generation or more the problems of West Africa, the Middle East, and Southwest Asia seem far away and very, very impersonal. On the other hand the idea that it might take 0.5 - 1.5 more seconds to load your email in the morning is direct and personal.
  Note that while I said it is easily to understand I did not say it is defensible.
  As a result you have many people who are spending a great deal of time and energy influencing politics to make sure that their emails loads as quickly as they like even though their concern is based upon erroneous understanding of the topic at hand and their level of engagement is irrational.
  This isn't a surprise. After all it is easy to demonstrate that voters are irrational in their voting and tend to attach emotional weight to trivial topics merely because others have already attached emotional weight to the same topic, a phenomenon called 'herding'.
  But this may not be a bad thing, really - as Prince Jonathan pointed out, expecting every single citizen to be knowledgeable and engaged in all aspects of of government, economics, and foreign policy is a form of cruelty. Others have argued that voters are actually acting rationally when they remain ignorant of politics and 'herd' - to sum up their points, it isn't that voters are irrational but rather that remaining ignorant and voting as others do may be the only rational option for the majority of voters!

  Regardless of the underlying causes of voter behavior, the fact remains that the net neutrality issue is a perfect example of why Democracy is doomed to failure.
 Yes, really.
  Remember, the entire argument underpinning net neutrality is based upon a misapprehension of how the internet actually works. Yet as is shown in the links on this age several prominent politicians are proposing laws to enforce the position of the ignorant/irrational activists. Why would they do this?
  It could be that they are also ignorant of how the internet works. But why not consult some of the many experts they must have access to?

  The actual answer is that it is rational for politicians to make bad laws that appeal to ignorant and/or irrational voters.

  Why? Politicians are, in a very real way, just more voters: they do not have the time and energy to be fully conversant with every element of government, economics, etc. and they are not only likely to 'herd', they also face the tremendous pressures of being members of political parties - they are also forced to herd in many areas! Lastly, the tendency of voters to 'herd' means that politicians that appear to agree with a particular group of irrational voters will be seen in a favorable light by those voters - agreeing with ignorance will earn them more future votes; disagreeing might strip them of power.
  The result is a system where ignorant, irrational politicians maintain or increase their influence and power by enacting bad laws to appeal to ignorant, irrational voters. Or, in short, any modern Democracy in action.

  This is why the Edanian system of Feudal Technocratic Distributism is a critical element of governmental conceptualization; leadership in Edan is focused on avoiding decision making based on ignorance, reducing irrationality in leadership as much as possible and making the self-interests of leaders intimately tied to the long-term prosperity of families and the nation, not voting in short cycles. This concept of an integrated life is essential to Edan and foreign to Democracy.

Aug 25, 2014

Alternatives, Consequences, Distributism, and Being King

One of the joys of being king is that we do get to meet with our citizens, if not often enough (and some citizens have yet to meet us in person). These meetings are enjoyable and informative.
  This past weekend we had an opportunity to chat with Earl Hodges and Baron Floyd at some length as well as meet with 10-12 more citizens. During a conversation I heard two citizens speaking when one, obviously unaware we could overhear, said,
"Oh, no. I can't mention that to the king."
Her companion pressed her to speak to us leading the first to say,
   "If he were involved he might have to do something. It is best if I deal with it and take it to the baron if I must."
  We did not press for  details when we spoke to the citizens later.

  We were very gratified by this discussion. The speaker showed no fear or awe of the royal office, she simply did not feel it was appropriate. This is very directly true - her baron has the duty and right to be her first recourse. More critically, she was obviously determined to resolve the issue on her own. This is a core Distributist concept - solve an issue within a family and if you cannot go then to the community, then the most local authority, etc. This is one of the reasons we have pointed out before that Monarchy is inherently Distributist.
  Just as critically, the citizen was aware of a key point - if we felt compelled to act or make a decision, then our decision is final. Remember, here is no one to appeal to once the king has ruled. While not as final, this responsibility adheres to any noble within the Kingdom - any legal or political or leadership decision they make is at least potentially final. While to an elected official in a transient position or even to a bureaucrat far removed from accountability this can seem like a perk of position, to an aristocrat who both holds a position for life and has a personal relationship to the people he leads this imposes a greater burden.

  Because of this we recommend that leaders approach problems with a series of questions:

Who has authority?- this is straightforward - if you do not have authority over a particular event, concern, etc. you cannot directly lead but rather need to defer to proper authority. For example, a baron has no authority to order a parish priest to avoid certain topics in his homilies.

Or else what?- Is the considered action or change better than doing nothing? If it isn't better than doing nothing it might be best to do nothing. While a baron may well have the authority to demand that the commons of his village be managed a certain way, if his citizens are managing it well and to their own satisfaction his intercession may be superfluous or even detrimental.

Compared to what? All actions considered should be compared to other alternatives and the various risks, costs, etc. to make sure the decided action or change is the best one possible. If the baron was considering regulating the use of the village commons because he is concerned local agriculture is too narrowly focused and realizes a single bad season could impoverish his poorest citizens is the best solution regulation? Perhaps agricultural training would be better? Subsidized seeds for alternate crops? Simply storing food against future famine?

And then what?- What are the foreseeable consequences of the various options? If the baron subsidized alternate agriculture will the alternative remain dependent on subsidies to continue?

To what end?- What is the ultimate goal of the change or action? Does the proposed change or action actually lead to that end? If the alternative solutions are susceptible to the same potential disasters as the status quo are they truly viable solutions?

Can this be done by someone closer to the issue?- All problems should be addressed by the closest/lowest-ranking/most proximate authority whenever possible. In the example, the baron should probably begin by simply meeting with the various farmers, explaining his concerns, and asking them to solve the problem for themselves thereby taking on the role of mentor and collaborator to the farmers' growth. If the citizens need assistance or cannot solve the issue alone then the baron's actions will be expected and welcome.

  The last bit of advice we have for leaders is simple - when you decide that you do need to act, act with speed and resolve.

Aug 11, 2014

Statelessness, Persecution, and More on the Origins of Edan

  The very first piece on this blog that was not the final drafts of the constitution was a discussion of the theory and history behind Edan, That article focused on Edan as a stable, personal, just, non-territorial nation. But it left out a portion of the history of the formation of Edan. That portion was a desire to assist stateless people.
  'Refugee' means 'a person outside of their home nation because of persecution, actual or feared'
  'Stateless Person' means either 'a person that has no legal recognition of citizenship with any nation (de jure statelessness)' or 'a person outside of their nation of citizenship who cannot avail themselves of the benefits of their nationality for valid reasons such as a state of war, loss of documentation, etc. (de facto statelessness or undocumented statelessness)'.
  Not all refugees are stateless and not all stateless people are refugees.
  Without citizenship it can be effectively impossible to travel - a stateless person often cannot cross borders, obtain a visa, or (often) apply for asylum. On a day-to-day level they often cannot legally hold a job, gain licences or certifications, get an education, receive health care, etc. Such people commonly cannot register such events and births, marriages, and deaths. In many nations they may be detained at will. In short, by being stateless they both can't live where they are and can't leave where they are.
  The UNHCR estimates that there are about 11 million stateless people in the world (equal to the population of Belgium) and a large number of these stateless people are multi-generational families in places like Palestine and the Balkans where stateless parents give birth to stateless children.
  One of the goals of the Kingdom is to achieve a level of diplomatic and political recognition as a Non-Territorial Nation that Edan can assist stateless people in finding new citizenship either directly,by offering Edanian citizenship, or indirectly by providing them with the minimum level of identity documentation to allow them to seek asylum/citizenship elsewhere.
  King Richard sees this as 'showing love to the foreigner' in a profound way.

  The King is well aware that many Edanians are eager to aid persecuted Christians in Iraq and other parts of the world.
  So is King Richard. When Edan is capable of helping refugees and the stateless persecuted Christians will be a primary goal for assistance. When Edan was founded in 1999 it was in the face of severe persecution of Christians in Sudan, India, and Chechnya (among many other places). It is well documented bythe International Society for Human Rights (based in Germany), Civitas UK, and many other organizations that 80% of all religious persecution is the persecution of Christians. In 2013, before the attacks in Iraq and the Levant, it was estimated that at least 200 million Christians were being persecuted or outright attacked for their faith. This means that if you were to gather all the world's persecuted and oppressed Christians together it would be the 6th largest nation in the world .
  Putanother way, the number of Christians being persecuted in the world right now exceeds the combined populations of the citizens of all religions of Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and Israel combined.

  So what can Edan do?
  Right now we can pray and educate. We are not yet at the 'critical mass' needed to gain the economic and political wight needed to do more. As much as we have grown, as much as we have already done, we need to be much larger before we can reach the point of political and diplomatic recognition.

  Maybe the most important thing you can do is help Edan grow. Talk to others, use the flyers and handouts we have sent in the past. Pay your taxes. Get Edan to the size where we cannot be ignored. A Media Kit will be issued soon so that you can canvas radio, print, universities, and television stations - King Richard will talk to anyone of good will about Edan.
  In a very real way every person, every household that we add to Edan will one day be another stateless family given a new home and another Christian saved from persecution. We can get there, we will get there.

  St. Michael Archangel, defend us in battle....

Aug 5, 2014

On Aspiration - by HRH Prince Jonathan

The Modern World hates those who are content in lowly stations. The servant who is happy to serve is considered insane. The man who keeps his head out of political affairs is taught that he is misguided and needs to take charge of his own destiny. The housewife is derided as being either too stupid or too foolish to work on some higher pursuit. As much as the Modern paradigm claims to be for and by the Common Man, it is so only on the condition that this Man put away his Commonness, and quickly, in order to take his place amongst the elite. We see this truth being preached, albeit stealthily, wherever democracy is. Popular culture, modern education, and even contemporary political philosophy all show this, and, indeed, typically take pride in it.
This attitude of total derision for a lower-class life is often contrasted with the Traditional view of things by those who hold it. Modernists love little more than to expound upon the fact that in prior times, the average person was hopelessly condemned to the life of a farmer, tradesman, monk, or wife, with only the most minuscule hope of moving to a different station. The people of bygone ages, we are told, had no political influence, very little ability to acquire an education, only the slightest chance of becoming wealthy, a frightening lack of autonomy, and so on; and were, in short, treated little better than beasts. But now, it is joyously claimed, the average person is infinitely better off. Everyone is given equal influence in the government, anyone can at any time attend a college or change their career in order to follow their dreams, modern economics allow anyone with the proper drive to become a millionaire, et cetera. All told, the story goes, there is no good reason to take a low station. The Modern World has done its best to allow anyone to reach any position in society, and people in higher positions have more of an impact on the world, more material success, and more great accomplishments, so why would someone not do his utmost to rise as high as possible?
Why would someone keep his head out of politics when he could be doing is part to right the wrongs of the world? Why would a woman content herself with being a housewife when she could be accomplishing the goods of a doctor or a civic engineer instead? Why should I take it easy when the prestige, money, and authority of the next promotion are within reach? These questions tear at the minds of Modernists, and the fact that people often stay in lowly places when an Enlightened worldview can find no good reason for it brings them great distress. Thus, the leaders of the Enlightened world pour vast amounts of energy into rectifying said fact. Wellfare programs spring up in an effort to give the poor the tools to rise that they have been so cruelly deprived of. Massive amounts of birth control supplies are sent to the 3rd world, so that the women there can be freed of any and all bonds keeping them from pursuing the success so common in the West. Even the eugenics movements of the 20th century began as proposed solutions to this problem, created when a few people came to the simple conclusion that the only rational explanation was that the lower classes were inferior, and must be eliminated for humanity to progress. The contemporary forces of the Enlightenment do everything they can, and have been doing everything they can for a long time, to make the existence of low stations in society obsolete. And yet, people still inhabit these stations, some even still cling to them, and some bold Traditionalists even go so far as to defend this fact and say that it is a good thing. This utterly baffles Modernism, and forces it to conclude that something must be direly wrong, for why else would such a problem survive when under such assault?

But this confusion, and indeed, the entire attitude from which it springs, is something that must be entirely rejected by all supporters of a sane, Traditional civilization. It is a gross misunderstanding of the nature of the world that only someone trapped by the darkest claws of materialism would ever conceive of. Someone with a proper understanding would not ask, “why are there still people in the lowest stations of society?” but would rather inquire, “why shouldn't there be?” After all, is happiness contingent upon material success? Is a vote the only possible method of exercising civic virtue? Have all the great Saints been wealthy statesmen? Quite to the contrary on all counts, so what does it matter that some are rich and some are poor? What does it matter that some men work like dogs to make their living? There is joy in hard work, and many people have derived great spiritual satisfaction from it. Why should we worry so much that a man chooses not to think about politics? Is it not far better for him to devote that energy to caring for his wife and children? And besides all that, there is the cornerstone belief of Tradition that there are many sorts of people for many sorts of things. It is true that there are many people who could do immense good and derive great satisfaction from a position of political power, but there are also many other people who would be so overwhelmed by their responsibilities that they would be unable to do anything. There may be women who would be at their best as doctors, scholars, and artists, but there are also others whose greatest joy and strength is maintaining a household. All told, it is more than enough to say that the Enlightenment's position on the matter is simply foolish. Lowliness alone has no intrinsic effect on the quality of one's life, so there is just no reason to care either way.
As a matter of fact, what is truly baffling is the Modernist sentiment on the matter. From a Traditional standpoint, it is nearly impossible to see where they got their intent focus on eliminating political class structures in the first place. It is only by a careful analysis of the Enlightenment itself that the origin of the concern becomes clear.

The stated goal of the Enlightenment thinkers was to be entirely and in every way rational. Unlike the supposedly superstitious and ignorant folk of bygone days, they were going to apply pure analytical reason to every problem, and use the same engine that gave birth to their modern technology and global empires to discover the final truths and most perfect practical applications of every field of thought. Anything that they could not dissect, calculate, engineer, or otherwise analyze was put to the Guillotine, and replaced with something more, “rational.” Ultimately, they hoped and claimed, this would create a utopia, as they successively studied, understood, and did away with every source of human misery, and constantly created greater and greater sources of prosperity and happiness.
And, if the world was the way that the Enlightenment believed it to be, perhaps this would have worked. Perhaps their ideology was so successful because people saw that if their basic assumptions were true, they really would create a utopia. The problem is that the creators of the Enlightenment did not realize (or did not care) that by concentrating so exclusively on the material, the measurable, and the rational, they blinded themselves to all things spiritual, intangible, and emotional. To an Enlightened mind, if it cannot be put in a lab or mathematically proven, it does not exist, even should it be a brute fact such as virtue, joy, or God. This is the attitude that caused them to formulate the metric system, and also such foolish things as the proposed ten-hour division of the day. The idea that an holistic, organically-developed system such as the Gregorian calendar could have any merit in comparison to a carefully-calculated, “rational” replacement was not just challenged by the Enlightenment, it was mocked and declared the height of stupidity due to nothing more than the underlying assumptions of their philosophy. Ironic as it may seem, the Enlightened mindset actually demands that any concept which is not materialistic and modern be thrown out without any rational analysis. Modern thinking simply cannot cope with anything that is not physically quantifiable, as is self-evident from even a passing consideration of contemporary politics and culture. This limitation forces Modernist thinkers to look at everything as if it were some sort of machine, which they only judge by the output B it will create if given the input A. Duty, happiness, spiritual growth, love, and dozens of other critically important concepts besides simply have no place in the Modern paradigm. They are not material, so they are ignored.

Realizing all this makes it easy to see the reason that modern thought hates everything about the lower classes. A wealthy and industrious banker can generate millions of dollars of revenue, provide the funding for dozens of productive businesses, and insinuate himself into the echelons of government, all while still having a family and attending church weekly. Therefore, to an purely post-Enlightenment analysis of things, he is not just more financially successful than a blue-collar working father, but is actively better than him in a way that is very nearly moral. It does not matter how crippled his spirituality is, how little he sees his own children, or how much stress his work puts him under; he has a greater material effect on the world, so, rationally speaking, he is simply greater. And what could be more despicable to our contemporary materialist spirit than a domestic mother? A stay-at-home wife and mother is, at least in the popular view, an active material drain on the world, who produces no truly usable goods or services at all. She is therefore subject to the most vicious of attacks and insults, being characterized as a lazy parasite and a useless hanger-on to everyone around her. The vast and comprehensive benefits she produces in every non-material sphere are meanwhile invisible to her attackers, no matter how strongly they affect the world.
So we see, in a humorous twist, that Traditionalism is, in fact, more rational than Rationalism. It is self-evident that there is more to the world and to life than material output and influence, and any society that does not realize this is doomed to suffer as society suffers today, with its populace in the grip of nihilism and depression, and the leaders of its culture and thought incoherent and useless. If we want to make a better world, a happier world, a more sane world, the first step is to reject materialism, and one of the first effects of that rejection is the realization that simplicity and lowliness can be good, and sometimes our aspirations should be low.