Dec 30, 2011

The Difference Between culture and a Culture, and Why the Latter is Necessary.

[From HRM Richard and HRH Jonathan]
How do countries form, and more importantly, how do they last? What is it that separated the early Romans who conquered the known world from the late Romans who collapsed into decadence? What separates the nations in America and Europe, who once had the drive to forge empires in less than a century, from their current forms which are spiraling into self destruction through demographic collapse? We are certainly not the only ones asking these questions, they are being asked by people the world over, most desperately seeking to repair their countries.
We know the answer. The answer is the reason that the constitution of Edan is secondary to its creation and existence, the answer is the reason that America was once so strong despite its constitution, the answer is the reason Europe is dying. The answer?
Culture, with a capital.
By 'Culture' we mean the shared attitudes, goals, practices, and values that characterize and define a group.
Culture is the shared experience, outlook, and traditions that grows into civilization. That implacable force that creates patriots and heroes. The USA would not be more than a Balkanized backwater if it wasn't for the paradoxical mix of arrogant destiny and humble hope her people shared in the past. The other Western nations likewise had a complex self-image that defined them as a people and helped them, caused them to survive great trials.
So, where did this Culture go, to be replaced with countless lesser ideas, all of which discount what had made various Peoples great? Culture has degraded to relativism and egoism; the rejection of standards and the embrace of the self over the group. Devotion to something higher than oneself is seen as improper, impossible, and even evil, while the elevation of personal desire over the good of the whole is seen as proper and good. Those who espouse these ideas have told us for generations that relativism and egoism will lead to a better world with happier people. Instead we have a violent, factional world full of people so without hope they do not have enough children to replace themselves.
Culture is what truly defines a People, what truly drives them; Civilization is nothing more than Cultures 'grown up'. And these various Civilizations/Cultures each have an identity founded upon language, tradition, attitude, and religion that separates Peoples and countries from each other. Other than matters of ethnicity, what is it that really separates Japan from China? England from France? Russia from Poland? Their difference of Culture, that is the true difference, and without it there would be a sort of numbing sameness of egoistic relativism, a loss of uniqueness that would make us all a bit poorer.
In the modern world we have are facing a horrible loss of Cultures, and at an unimaginable scale. There is nothing to take pride in other than oneself. In the realm of egoistic relativism no history, no shared experience, no tradition can justify patriotism, or pride, or even true hope. In the eyes of the wider world this devotion to greater things is evil and 'progress' is defined as stripping away more and more of the true Culture that make civilization possible. Communism and Socialism view Culture as an enemy that prevents 'progress'; Libertarianism and Feminism with their extreme focus on egoism view Culture as unjust control. Modern Democracies, so very new, reject much of the Cultures that came before because they see them (correctly) as being irrevocably part and parcel with religion and royalty. This rejection of the Cultures that built civilization has been happening in the West for almost 300 years and worldwide for almost 100.
We are finally starting to see the dark toll this is taking on civilization.
Without these binding forces of Culture to bring people together and drive them forward, what is there in life? Why is there any reason to care about a future that you and your (egoistic, relativistic) beliefs will have no part of? Religion? Religion is a part of a Culture that has been attacked with particular brutality. Family? What is your family without Cultural definitions? Indeed, why have a family when you expect them to share none of your values other than relativism and egoism? Your country? What is the point of governments and nations without a Culture for them to base themselves on, other than control?
Duty, Honor, Justice, Charity; these are the first casualties of relativism and egoism because without these things Cultures fail and are forgotten. Whether destroying these virtues was the goal or merely a side effect of misguided attempts to forge a Utopia we may never know. What we do know is that in the name of equality justice has been destroyed;in the name of individualism duty, honor and charity are rejected; in the name of reason truth has been abandoned; in the name of liberty freedom has been rendered useless.
We of Edan embrace these virtues as the means to embrace civilization and reject barbarism, as the true method, the only proven way, to make the world a better place.

Territorial Claims


Affirming that we are part and party to no treaty or agreement that limits our ability to make all such claims, we do claim that the sovereign territory of Edan includes, but is not limited to, the following:
All current and future Terra Nullius;
All land held by the Royal Family, noble families, and citizens in allodial, fee simple, fee tail, or concurrent estate title now or in the future.

These claims to not prevent, limit, or hinder the statement of future claims.

Issued on the Solemnity of the Holy Family, 2011 A.D.

Ricardus Rex Edani

Nov 15, 2011

The Enemy of my Enemy is Just a Stranger

Edan is dedicated to certain principles and opposed to certain concepts and activities, like any nation or movement. We stand for legitimate justice, responsible freedom, family, faith, and the tenets of Catholic Social Justice as described by the Church itself. We oppose moral relativity, secularism, the disruption of the family, corporatism, Socialism, Libertarianism, usury, and Anarchy. We are dedicated to using faith, reason and example to demonstrate to the world that Distributist practices lead to a more stable, more just, more sustainable society.

It is for these reasons that the King of Edan opposes the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Yes, there are superficial points of agreement between Distributism and the Occupy Wall Street protesters' complaints and goals (when they have made them); OWS appears to oppose usury and does oppose the debt-based system currently used in modern financial markets; OWS members complain about consumerism and the commoditization of certain elements of life; OWS wants to end the level of influence wealth can achieve in the political process; OWS wants to transform the current laissez-faire/Corporate/Crony Capitalism into something more just. On these and some other points OWS seems to agree with Edanian concepts and policy.

But these are only in the realm of complaints. The OWS movement seems to motivated by Socialist and Anarchist goals; Kalle Lasn of Adbusters, the motive force that began OWS, admitted that the reason that the OWS is happening now is that President Obama has not been Socialist enough to satisfy the young voters that won him the election. Many of the local protests, particularly in Los Angeles and Portland are openly controlled by Communist organizations who use pressure tactics and outright violence to control the camps and dialogue. Other camps are controlled by Anarchists and/or well-armed 'security forces' that, again, use fear and violence to control the protests and the speakers.

The '99% Declaration' document does hold many things that are obviously meritorious; the end of cash lobbying, elimination of the concept of corporations as people, etc. But it also demands such things are increased federal involvement in jobs and business (replacing corporations with bureaucracies), the rather utopian desire to end all wars, and (inexplicably for a document that is supposed to be about economics) a demand that gay “marriage” be made available.

Behind the scenes the OWS movement is having many internal problems that the King finds problematic; violence and sexual assault are common and the assaulted are pressured to remain silent; millions of dollars have been donated frequently from groups that are contrary to Catholic, Distributist, and Edanian ethics, and that money has been placed into the very banks they are protesting and are controlled by a small group of protesters. Violence and threats against outsiders is commonplace, as is vandalism and general lawlessness.

Some within the Distributists groups have embraced the OWS protests as an inherently good thing, seemingly under the concept of 'the enemy of our enemy is our friend'. In reality, though, the enemy of my enemy is just a stranger. The Socialist/Anarchist/Direct Democracy members of OWS that clamor for more government involvement in wages, employment, immigration, medicine, and family law are not allies to Distributism nor are they friendly to the morals and ethics that undergird Distributism.

Nov 9, 2011

Monarchy and Democracy

[From the King and the Crown Prince]
There may be some wondering amongst the readers, critics, and potential citizens of Edan, why are we a monarchy? From what I have seen elsewhere there seem to be two primary chains of thought. 1: "Don't you know that democracies are better and more modern?", and 2: "Don't the people have more freedom and liberty in a democracy?". I shall approach each argument with what knowledge and common sense dictate to be true but that the modern world seems to have forgotten or ignored.

The first is an interesting and unique dilemma brought about due to two rather recent strains of thought. American Exceptionalism is founded upon the conceit that America is inherently better than any other nation before or after; that from its very inception America has surpassed all other countries in every way. Therefore, since America is Democratic (as that word is used in modern Western settings) democracy is better. The Enlightenment concepts of the French Revolution are little different. Reading the writers of and defenders of Enlightenment thought reveals that, in the end, the modern support of democracy flows like this,

“Why does the Enlightenment embrace democracy”
“Because democracy is a better form of government that any other form”
“And how do we know democracy is the best form of government?”
“Because it is embraced by the Enlightenment”

Of course, the thinking of the Enlightenment is full of tautologies, but this may be the most egregious.

Common sense, history and current events tell us that democracy is not the panacea it is claimed to be. A light sampling of these pro-democracy arguments include "A king will just become a despot.", "Democracies are closer to the people", or "Kings aren't as good at ruling as democracy". Each of these are easily shown to be no more than sloganeering. A king may be a tyrant, and the reign of terror may last as long as he lives, but a king may also be just, wise, and great. In a democracy, there is always another corrupt politician, and the power of every individual is lowered as far as possible (in the modern system). So while there may be tyrants in the progression of a kingdom, there will always be corruption in a democracy, and while you may have a great king create a golden age, a golden age cannot be created by one good politician. The transition of various modern nations from Monarchies to Democracies has not resulted in reinvigorated nations that are more ambitious, more resolute, and more decisive. Instead Western Democracies are sinking into indecision, bureaucratic paralysis, and cultural ennui. Human nature, the Free Rider Problem, the Tragedy of the Commons; all tell us that the nature of democracies and temporary power will result in corruption, sloth, and indecision. Monarchies, on the other hand, avoid the majority of these problems because power rests in people who may not melt into a faceless crowd.

And is a near-endless parade of professional and semi-professional politicians and their bureaucratic assistants 'closer to the people'? When was the last time you or any normal person you know spoke with a president? Or a senator? Or a governor? Or a mayor? A monarchy and aristocracy can obviously be detached, but democracies can be more so. Conversely, an aristocracy and be directly connected to the people because of its very nature, as can a democracy. Clearly, democracy and monarchy face at least very similar challenges in this area.

The last argument brought up as a sample is one that I find interesting. How is a democratic government better at governing than a monarchical one? It may be true that a pure, absolute, direct monarchy could be very bad at governing, but when we refer to "Monarchy" we mean 'constitutional monarchy with an attendant aristocracy'. At the micro level, local aristocrats are better than mayors and such because they are 'in office' for life and depend upon good governance for their position, wealth, and standing. They are in power their whole lives, allowing them to carry out long plans, and continue to adapt when they go wrong. They know the people as well as an elected official might, and must face that their future generations will inherit any issues they leave behind. At the macro level, dukes, counts, and other nobles are much better than governors at the state/province level, for similar reasons. Unless they are removed from office with the permission and approval of the church, they will occupy their position for their entire life, no matter what politics says or does. They can carry out cohesive long-term plans, goals, and reforms with no threat of being removed from office by corruption or temporary backlash, and they don't need to bend over backwards to bring about politically motivated changes. And because the position is hereditary, they have been raised for it, trained from birth to take over for their father, a tremendous advantage in every way.

In opposition stand temporarily elected politicians and appointed bureaucrats. Even if they do well, they rarely remain in office for more than 10 years, they must set political goals and listen to parties, and can't risk the slightest uproar in any group, and may never have had any experience with powerful positions before their election. Most of all, the advantages of a monarchy are expressed in the monarch himself. The greatest advantage possible within any system of government is to have a supreme executive who is not a politician, who does not have to deal with elections, parties, or agendas unless he wants to, or thinks he needs to. A king is free to lead, something that any executive elected official is most certainly not. Combined with the heredity of the position, it is certain that monarchies are superior in stability and adaptability.

And now onto the second, arguably more important question. Aren't democracies, as has been repeated so many times, a step forward in freedom and basic rights? After all, they say, a government ruled by the people is going to be much better for the people than a government ruled by a hereditary position. But there are a few things that should be remembered in this discussion. Democracy is not a governance by the People, it is a governance by the Majority, whoever they may be. What if the majority is, for example, the communist party? Or maybe some sort of National Socialist party? In a monarchy a sway of decadence may do slightly more damage than in a democracy, but it will be unaffected by any mass immorality that may come about from a cult of personality or a seductive ideal. And how are democracies a step forward? Democracy is an old idea, from longer in the past than the birth of Christ, so why is it that all these revolutions of "Human Rights" didn't happen until now? And if monarchy is 'stultifying' or 'repressive' why is it that the great Enlightenment thinkers that oppose monarchy all flourished and wrote during the era of the monarchy while their modern counterparts, licing in democracies, do no more than echo the past? And why is it that, according to these people, monarchies limited freedom? The answer to all three of these questions is simple; democracies are weak. What happens if fools are the majority? Or evil people? What about the influence of wealth upon elections? In a monarchy, the government may become discouraged as it tries to help the people, or in a worst case scenario gets fed up and withdraws. But in a democracy the government changes to match these unfortunate trends. Thus in the modern world, despite the immorality and the slow death of civilization, the unborn are not considered to be alive, homosexual marriage is considered a right, something for nothing is considered moral, and marriage is considered to be temporary. Not just by corrupted or mistaken citizens, but by the governments themselves.

Now there is another side to this coin - democracy does have it's uses and advantages. The common man really does need a voice, lest he be exploited. The ability to give everyone an undeniable say in his rule makes a tremendous difference in the treatment of those in the lower walks of life. But a pure democracy will always go wrong, they always have. So while Edan is a monarchy, the legislature is elected, from both the nobles and the people. And now we come to another dark side of this discussion, if democracy has proven inferior in all these things, isn't monarchy better? If you agree with any of the statements above, must a monarchy be supported? Edan is not a monarchy because we don't like democracy, but because we know that monarchies are better.

Oct 29, 2011

A Paradigm of Unsustainable Action

[From the Crown Prince]
  As I look at the world around me, and contemplate the nature of government and humanity, I have noticed a disturbing fact: every political, economic, or cultural paradigm of the modern world is deeply flawed in that it is unsustainable long term (20+ years). Yet these short-term goals are said to be the name of progress.
Take, for example, the European Union Its core economic policy is that form of Socialism prevalent in Western Europe. While Socialist policy has many flaws the greatest of them all is that it fails to be a self sustaining loop; the socialist government and economy demand ever more money to maintain is function, a dynamic that would normally require more and more people over time. But because the costs of having a family are always increasing, the system pressures people to have fewer children meaning that they must either find outside sources of income or collapse.The EU was largely an attempt by constituent nations to avoid this dilemma by sharing the risk throughout the various European states but, as we now see, this actually left them with nowhere else to go for more people or money.The 'progressive' goal of the EU resulted in the accelerated collapse of the various members.
  Another concept endorsed by the EU is the concept called informally the nanny state. The nanny state idea being that the government know better than its citizens how they should live, what they should eat, how they should be educated, etc. It also usually encompasses the idea that the state should care for the poor. What they fail to take into account is human nature; if your wellbeing is assured, then eventually an unsustainable number of people will decide to not add to the system. If people are not free to decide for themselves they cease to be leaders in any sphere, demanding that the state control an unsustainable level of the activities of the nation. The nanny state encourages people to not plan for the future in the name of progress.
  Let us also take a look at their culture, which is undercut by a sort of elitist malaise. With a dearth of young people, state apparatchiks deciding what is good or bad, and a lack of control over one's life there is a loss of dynamism even as the state-controlled education system reassures them that they live in the best system ever devised.They are the very best in the world at making nothing.
Now for a nation I know slightly better, the United States Of America. Despite the efforts of many within the government the nation still embraces an odd fusion laissez-faire Capitalism and Socialism as their chosen policy resulting in a magnification of the flaws of each. Corporations are considered people and receive government money to keep operating after they fail in the markets while small businesses are regulated so tightly they are prevented from succeeding in that same market; there is a minimum wage well below a living wage and most employees may be fires at will. This schizophrenia may be unique in history but it is unlikely to end well. The culture is also an similarly-odd blend of selfish egoism, consumerism, and entitlement so that the various elements of the society seems to be losing the ability to communicate with each other.
  And oddly enough the various political leaders, heads of academia, and pundits seem to be locked into the false dichotomy of laissez-faire Capitalism on the one hand and Socialism/Communism on the other as if there were no other alternatives!
 But Edan is designed and planned to be here for a long time. Economically we have Distributism, discussed in depth elsewhere, which can be thought of simply as local Capitalism without the megacorporations, focused on the people. We realize that the government should only exist to protect the people from things beyond their control, such as war, disasters, and crime to name a few. Only our culture is lacking, something that can only grow, naturally, for her citizens - something we are sure will come

Oct 6, 2011

Egalitarian or Leaderless?

A recent study from the Stanford University purports to show something that it may not, in fact, show. This study, which was actually a computer simulation, was an attempt to discover why the modern world is composed overwhelmingly by 'stratified' societies rather than by 'egalitarian' societies.
The inherent biases of the researchers are prominently on display ranging from the blunt statement that any social structure that is not 'egalitarian' is selfish and wrong to the further statement by the lead researcher that,

"Inequalities in socioeconomic status are increasing sharply around the world. Understanding the causes and consequences of inequality and how to reduce it is one of the central challenges of our time."

While the King and his government abhor poverty, is 'reducing inequalities in socioeconomic status' truly "one of the central challenges of our time"? In the face of global economic instability, breakdowns in diplomatic relations, the continuance of Communist and Islamic terrorism, the growth in political power of criminal cartels, the surge in piracy, anti-Catholic and anti-Christian violence, the attempts to undermine key elements of societal stability, and the impending demographic crunch I think there are many more pressing concerns to face first.
Getting back to the study, we find within the introduction that there is an unproven assumption that hunter-gatherer societies were inherently egalitarian with no social structure at all. Of course, anthropological research of historical and existing hunter-gatherer societies find that most do, indeed, have some level of social structure. Interestingly, hunter-gatherer societies were (and are) incredibly violent with between 15% and 50% of all deaths being caused by murder or tribal warfare. There is some speculation that the less social structure there is, the more violent such societies were and are. While the editors of the Wikipedia entry on hunter-gatherers try to soften this picture of constant violence by arguing that the battles were prompted by 'grudges' rather than by a 'desire for resources' this just indicates that emotion ruled the killers.
The study ran a number of simulations with a number of variables to compare their models of egalitarian and stratified societies and they admit they were surprised by the results. If you dig through the numbers you find that egalitarian societies were much more stable than stratified societies - assuming, however, that there were no changes in the harvest or food yield year-to-year, women had a very narrow range of fertility, the only changes in population were natural birth and natural death (i.e., no violence at all, nor any accidents), etc. In other words, in Utopia egalitarian societies are more stable than stratified ones. By a rather narrow margin.
Interestingly enough, the model showed that stratified societies handled emergencies and crises much better, were stable over a much wider range of environmental and social factors, and did much better in any conditions approaching those of reality. An interesting takeway was that stratified societies received solid benefits from storing food while egalitarian societies didn't.

In the end this was, once again, a computer model founded upon the assumptions and biases of the researchers. But even within those parameters it shows that there are reasons that social structures exist; to add stability and to reduce violence. There is another reason,as well - leadership. Leaders do, indeed, place the welfare of their people over their own. They maintain a vision and a plan that stretches beyond the current crisis to prepare society for the next emergency, too.
We must also remember that acknowledging the utility and even the justice of social classes does not mean that nobles are 'better' than others, or that the poor are poor because they 'deserve to be poor'; all men and women are equal in their basic rights and all are capable of Heaven. Indeed, a noblle has more duties and responsibilities and will answer to God for failing to meet them! The goal of all Edanians, especially the leaders of the Kingdom, is to build a nation where a living wage and self-sufficiency are the beginnings of society, where charity is the the rule, and where the widow and orphan are cared for, the hungry are fed, and the naked are clothed.
What we as Edanians can learn from this is that the leaders of society, the Nobles and the King, must always adhere to the Knightly Virtues - prudence, justice, temperance, courage, faith, hope, charity, diligence, patience, chastity, and humility.

Aug 13, 2011

An Integrated Life

  HRM Jennifer has a particular fondness for the painting posted above not just because of the composition, nor the skill, but for the attitudes expressed. People in the fields pausing in their labor as the procession passes by. No church is seen, but faith is everywhere. Prayers are not 'over there' or 'in that place', but everywhere and at all times. When HRM Jennifer first saw it she said,
   "That! That is what Edan is about - an integrated life!"
  Much has been written about the dangers of separating the aspects of life one from another. Hannah Arendt in particular theorized that the simplest manner to get an average person to commit evil is to simply declare it 'official' and segregate it from the rest of the person's life. Many experiments over the years have shown this segregation of life, this disconnection of work from family, of ethics from labor, to be capable of persuading normal people that evil is acceptable.
  But this separation can lead to a more pervasive and subtle breakdown, the isolation of ethics from virtually all aspects of life is just the furthest example of the isolation of the various aspects of life one from another. We learn in schools, but nowhere else. We pray in church, but nowhere else. We are kind to our own family, but no one else. We expect our children to be truthful but lie to our boss about being sick. In such a milieu moral relativism must result because our morals are relative within our selves, first.
  Now, some argue that the Enlightenment is to blame, other that the Enlightenment was the outgrowth of the beginnings of this trend, but such differences are, in the end, moot next to the fact that the general culture now elevates the separation of the elements of life to a crowning virtue. Not just the separation of church and state, which is repeated ad nauseum, but the expectation that politics (and science) is separate from standard moral judgement. A political candidate who appears to have a religious affiliation that is more than superficial is expected to announce that such attachments will not influence his or her political decision. Perhaps the most chilling aspect of this is the obvious relief felt by such a candidates supporters, who often applaud their favored candidate's announcement that they will never allow their moral convictions to influence their political behavior!

  Once this isolation of life is entrenched the society which embraces it begins to collapse and the members of that culture who most closely grasp separation are the most baffled; why do fees and taxes that impact parents reduce the number of children? Why should reducing regulations on business's ethical practices decrease workplace safety and increase unemployment? Why did the creation of incentives for single mothers lead to an explosive increase in out-of-wedlock births? Such people are literally incapable of realizing the consequences of actions; and why should they? Their culture, education, and society all repeatedly tell them that ethics is over there, work is over here, politics is somewhere else and they all stand isolated from one another.
  This is why so many in our modern culture simply cannot grasp the critical importance of family to society. They cannot grasp that society is simply family writ large. Again, why should they? "Family" isn't at work (where 'family issues' can cost you your job) nor school (where the 'family' is just an extension of the educational apparatus to ensure homework is done) nor politics (where loyalty to party is supreme). Taxes, laws, policies that weaken or destroy families?
  "Who cares?', they say "The family is just an outmoded symbol used by social conservatives."
  And then they bemoan the fact that crime is up, and businesses are unethical, children aren't being educated, and nothing seems to get done anymore....

  The nature of the Edanian government is an attempt to avoid this; leaders are part of the community and the relationship between the governed and the political leadership is explicit and personal. But as we build our own, unique culture we must remember this painting at the top; faith and family are part and parcel of everything we do. Whether we are farmers or programmers, nobles or commoners, parents or clergy we are part of the family of Edan.

Aug 11, 2011

The Madness of the Modern World (by HRH Jonathan)

 I have been looking about me and begun to realize how truly insane the world around us has become without us realizing it. From basic, obvious things like the death of chivalry or the imposition of the nation-state paradigm, to subtle, horrible things such as the denial of truth itself or the total detachment of those in government from both the common man and reality. And I have thought of how it may have started, with small things, it could not have come in a shock. A slippery slope beginning with just one weak king, Henry VIII. Arguably this was the turning point, the colonization of the new world did not help, the city-states of Italy did not help, the encroaching muslims certainly did not help. But it was this one weak king who made it what it is. All the madness we see around us comes from one man rejecting the Church. He drove out the Catholic Church and started a spiral, the land of the monks and priests was turned over to nobles and capitalists who exploited it and the people in it and around it for as much money as possible, and over time this led to the modern world. A world where there are such things as corporate layoffs, where people are fired so that the company can make more money, or homosexual "rights" being widely accepted. A world where people are classified as "pro-war" and "anti-war" when a sane man can be neither (they may speak of a specific war, but the point stands). A world where people believe that animals are as important as humans, or even believe that there is no such thing as truth.
              Simply think about that, think about the number of people who would say "there is no such thing as truth" and take the time to fully realize the ridiculousness of the statement. Better yet, remember what Pontius Pilate said about truth. And think about how easily it can be traced to one man rejecting God. How one man can accidentally destroy our culture, our religion, our sanity, our countries, and worst of all our Culture. [Dad note the capitol C] As you are reading this take a moment to realize that the world has gone mad and we have not even noticed. Because it is a slippery slope, or more accurately a series of slippery slopes, from rejecting religion to believing that all is subjective. And along the way you bring all that is good, holy, truthful, or traditional crashing down, to put it differently you destroy your Culture. And without a capitol-C Culture, civilization is merely another of man's endeavors.

Jun 13, 2011

The First of Many

[A Post by HRH Jonathan]
   I have been contemplating the situation of Israel and it's people, searching for a reason beyond Judaism that the "International Community" hates them so. And I have reached a conclusion; Israel is hated because it is the first of many, the first successful micro-nation. The Jewish people, spurred by the events of the 20th century, realized what all must eventually realize, that they shared an identity that separated them from the modern concept of the Nation-State. They realized that they were grouped together as a people, a culture, but that they were left behind in the era of regional identification of culture. So they came together and, through will and dedication, they fought through adversity and trials to make a place in the world that was for their culture.
        Because in the end, while those who create a new path (Such as Edan) will prosper, and perhaps lead the way, the mass of the new countries that will emerge after the coming turmoil will be those that never lost their identity, the cultures that will reform after the death of this dark age. The peoples and kings that retain their will to be a Culture, not just a Nation.
Scotland and Ireland will never be subdued, and the will of the people remains strong, even in the face of the European Union. There is hope for England, whose people seem to embrace the royalty as the leaders of the true Culture of the land. Before our eyes the Mao Dynasty of China is ending, already the attempted destruction of traditional Chinese identity is failing. Perhaps the cataclysm in Japan will give the people back that which makes them a Culture, and return the Emporer to his rightful throne? Who can say.
       But also many cultures and peoples will be lost in the Silent Revolution, the ones too weakened to reclaim their place. Russia may be bleeding away to memory, if something is not done the Culture within will never come back. France may vanish simply because of the Demographic Winter which is falling, despite their efforts to retain their culture. Many places in Africa have already become something else, so many places have become simply another modern Nation that the entire continent may lose the common base that connected the tribes and nations.
      So let us laud Israel for showing the world the path, even as the Modern Dead Culture despises them.

May 13, 2011

Blogger Issues

Note: Blogger is currently having issues that may make posts vanish or be duplicated.

Nation-States, the UN, and the Illicit War in Libya

We have watched the various rebellions in the Middle East with the sadness that comes from having predicted the events years ago and realizing that these revolts are in response to the natural desire for a proper, personal government based upon joint moral obligations and that successful rebellions may, in the long term, be worse than the status quo because the rebels only know what they don't want.

But our greatest sadness is reserved for what is happening in Libya, which shows the inherent contradictions of Western democracies as well as the decline of their military power.

Others have spent a great deal of energy discussing the military weaknesses of the European powers exposed by this debacle, so we will focus on the seemingly-ignored contradictions blatantly displayed by the Western democracies.

The only true legal definition of a nation-state is from the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States in 1933. This convention defines a nation-state as follows;

The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications: (a) a permanent population; (b) a defined territory; (c) government; and (d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states.”

The Convention goes on to explain in Article 3 that;

“The state has the right to defend its integrity and independence, to provide for its conservation and prosperity, and consequently to organize itself as it sees fit, to legislate upon its interests, administer its services, and to define the jurisdiction and competence of its courts.”

In other words, a nation-state can defend itself from invasion ('independence') and rebellion ('integrity') as well as define its own government, etc.

Article 8 is very straightforward, although often ignored;

“No state has the right to intervene in the internal or external affairs of another.”

So the Montevideo Convention is very clear; a nation-state has the right to suppress rebellion and other nation-states are forbidden to invade one another or to aid the internal rebellion of another state.

Now, the Montevideo Convention is largely about the Western Hemisphere, so it might not apply to Europe... except that the UN Charter repeats the key points of the Montevideo Convention and add to them. For example, Article 2, paragraph 4 states;

“All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”

Article 51 goes on to say;

“"Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self- defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations”

And last, the Nuremberg Trials established the notion of a 'Crime against Peace', or 'the unlawful initiation of force to permanently deprive a nation-state of territory, political independence, and/or sovereignty'. This concept is repeated in the UN Charter in various places, as well as other treaties.

Or, in brief, any nation has the right to defend itself from both external invasions and internal rebellions. Also, no nation that is a signatory of the Montevideo Convention or the UN Charter can use force against another member without a Security Council resolution. Of course, a Security Council resolution cannot deny a member the right to defend itself against invasion or rebellion (as per the charter).

And yet a handful of members of the UN are attacking Libya, a fellow UN member, in blatant violation of the UN Charter. While the Security Council authorized the use of military force against Libya under the pretext of 'protecting the human rights of Libyans' the actions themselves are in direct support of an armed rebellion aimed at overthrowing the Libyan government, including direct attempts to kills the current head of the Libyan government. Of special interest (and irony) is the fact that Libya was chair of the UN Human Rights Cimmission from 2003 until 2006 and was re-selected to be on the Commission less than a year before some UN members began bombing them.

Edan is no friend to the current government of Libya and does not support them directly or indirectly. Indeed, in the opinion of HRM Richard the fact that Libya is a member of the UN is an indictment of the UN itself. But the fact remains: Libya is a member of the UN and thus is entitled to the equal protection of the law. Indeed, in a modern, secular state that eschews a monarch, a faith, or any overt moral code, the only source of justice can be the laws as they are written. When a secular democracy ignores its own laws and treaties to do what expedient it is abandoning its only ethical compass, an act that is even more dangerous when it is popular with the voters because it reinforces that in a democracy you can do whatever you like so long as enough voters like it.

Apr 4, 2011

Welcome the new First Lord of Engineers

 This weekend HRM Richard elevated long-time Edanian commenter David H. to the rank of Technocratic Earl and the position of First Lord of Engineers. In this position, Lord David will have oversight of all engineering within the Kingdom, to include education.
  Join us in celebrating Lord David's elevation!

Mar 22, 2011

Update your Census Data

The deadline for census updates in March 31st; if you have moved, changed phone numbers, etc. please make sure to contact the Ministries before then!

Mar 1, 2011

Nation-States and War

    Across the world, in dictatorships and police states, people are gathering to protest tyrannical government. They mostly started peacefully, but it has become violent. At the same time, across the world, terrorist attacks against Europe and America are being planned and put in motion. The dictators and tyrants respond to protest with military force, the West responds to terrorism with law enforcement and inadequate security measures. War is almost always thought of as a contest between nations, presidents and kings pitting their forces against each other. This is not always the case, there are other kinds of war, uncommon as they may be. And this is where the weaknesses of the nation-state become apparent. The nation-state is incapable of fighting anything other than another nation-state. Guerilla warfare is not new, America used it in the past, Iraqis use it now. Yet when ideologically dedicated terrorists without national ties use it, the West is helpless, unable to bring their power to bear outside the paradigm.                            

     A traditional country however, has no such issue. A country that is properly designed and properly carried out can defend itself from any threat. When the leadership and law enforcement are part of a tightly-knit community they become aware of unusual activity quickly. When a paradigm is flexible it can respond better to other paradigms. Strong culture and esprit de corps unite people together against threats. Edan could weather any threat, or fight in any form of war against any enemy.

-HRH Jonathan

Feb 17, 2011

Are Corporations People, or Not?

   Stephen Bainbridge is a Professor of Corporate Law and a relatively popular law blogger. In a recent blog post he made the statement that
“The social obligation of business is to sustainably maximize long-term profits for shareholders. Nothing more. Nothing less.”
This is a fascinating statement, especially in light of what Mr. Bainbridge writes elsewhere in his blog. In articles like this he states, quite vehemently, that 'corporations, under the law, persons'; this is because under American law corporations, LLCs, etc. are, in fact, persons just like you and me. Corporations can enter into contracts, be sued in civil court, etc. But they also have the right to free speech of the First Amendment and have been able to use the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to avoid governmental regulation of businesses (since, after all, they are no different than you or I, under the law). Indeed, there are those who point out the Fourteenth Amendment is used much more often to shield corporations from regulation than to protect actual people from discrimination.
Of course, the legal fiction that sorporations are persons is just that – fiction. Corporations are intended to shield their owners from legal and financial risk – this concept is why Mr. bainbridge can feel comfortable saying some variation of 'the only purpose of a corporation is to make money'. Yet a corporation is no longer a pile of money under certain protections, it is (in the eyes of the courts) a person; a corporation has the 'right' to free speech, assembly, political speech and donations, and equal protection as any other citizen.
But corporations are not the equal of actual citizens, are they? Being effectively immortal, they do not face the estate tax and are not required to plan for their death. In many areas they have different taxes (typically lower) than actual people who make the same amount of money. As a matter of fact, 'business friendly' states, counties, and towns often are called 'business friendly' because they offer lower taxes, even no taxes, on corporations and on the property owned by corporations. Why? Because these regions expect to have a net gain in revenue from the (never lowered) taxes they will extract from the wages and property of the real people who work for the legal person they have favored.
In the end, corporations are legal persons of privilege – they are favored by the law and government over real people and enjoy legal protection of their elite status.
And now we are back to Mr. Bainbridge's quote, the heartfelt belief of Libertarians that corporations have no social responsibilities. This is just an extension of the elite status of corporations. After all, only the most extremem of Objectivists would claim that a real person has absolutely no obligations of social responsibility. It appears that to Mr. Bainbridge the concept of social contract ends where business contracts begin.

Feb 1, 2011

The Distributist Review On Economics

The Distributist Review has the start of an excellent series on economics and Catholic social teaching which can be found here.

Jan 31, 2011

Crown Prince Jonathan and the Order of St. Louis

This Friday, February 4th, at the Church of St. Francis HRH Jonathan will be accepted into the Order of St. Louis as a squire. The Pastor of St. Francis shall lead a ritual beginning with a blessing of HRH Jonathan's sword and ending with a vigil before the Blessed Sacrament.

Please join us in congratulating HRH Jonathan on his upcoming honors!