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Wednesday 14 March 2012

Monarchism, the Nationalist's Guide part 2

((Before I start I must apologise for a contrivance in my previous Nationalist's guide post pointed out by Shane, regular commenter on my blog and a decent devil's advocate for my arguments. I had purposefully conflated two periods in Early Modern Irish history, that of the Repeal movement and the Home Rule movement, as one period for the sake of time and space. I shall now correct myself for the sake of clarity, especially with foreigners reading this article who may not be familiar with Irish History, the Repeal movement began as a response to the Act of Union in 1800 which united Ireland and Britain under one Parliament, whereas previously Ireland had a separate parliament, you can check the basic facts of this history with this article. The Repeal movement failed and later the Home Rule movement and the proper intellectual formations of Irish Nationalism occurred later that same century. My apologies for any misconceptions.))

What is Nationalism today?
Ever since the Easter Rising, the resulting war for Independence, the institution of the Irish Free State as a Dominion of the Empire, Partition and the declaration of the Republic of Ireland, Irish Republicanism slowly but surely, became the dominant mindset of the entirety of the Nationalist south. This really is due, in large part, to the natural inclination of the Irish people to Authority. Let us be honest, the Irish, while certainly with evidence throughout history, are possessed with an innate fighting spirit and sense of justice, are not, nor ever have been anti-authoritian. This is one of the reasons we made such fine peasantry other then our fine stock and dutiful work ethic of centuries past.

So it only makes sense that, the monarchist contingent of Irishmen, convinced of living under an 'Irish' Government, were satisfied and content and prepared to simply accept that their nation was a Republican nation and that was all there was to it. Afterall that had certainly been a mentality the leadership of Ireland had encouraged, intentionally or unintentionally with a passive aggressive relationship with Britain, the 'Old Enemy', especially with De Velera's 'economic war', if it could even be called such. Which just reaffirmed a growing association with monarchism with Britishness and British servitude imposed on Ireland. Is it any wonder why Irish Monarchism died a quiet death?

Afterall, while it certainly doesnt exist as such now, the political institution of Ireland in its inception had been virulently traditionalist, even if not monarchist, to the point where both parties, Fine Gael and Fine Fail at the time were technically 'conservatives' who just found themselves on opposing sides of the civil war (there really is no more vicious a conflict then between brothers). What had the conservative souls of Ireland to fear? As far as the conservatives, traditionalists and cultural revivalists were concerned they had effectively 'won', and the ressurrection of Gaelic Civilization was just on the horizon. Certainly the Catholic Church felt no need to meddle in affairs at the time. Why would it have need to? Ireland was THE quintessential Catholic nation with an effectively Catholic state and Constitution that was seen as a mighty fortress for the Church that it could feel it'll always rely on. A mistake all of them had made. If ever there was a case example of democratic republicanism instilling apathy in a nation, Ireland is that case example. The innate traditionalist nature of the people and organizations of Ireland should have guaranteed to coalesce and transform the Irish Nation into, if nothing else, a socio-political force to be reckoned with and a bastion of traditional thought, theory and practice which conservatives and traditionalists of Europe could seek to mimic proudly. It didnt. It all died. And the defining characteristic of Irish politics is apathy, not passion. And what's left in evidence of the passionate flame for Irish Identity is little more then youths 'wearing' the Irish flag at football games and seeing nothing symbolically wrong with effectively 'sitting' on theirs nation's flag on a dirty stadium chair. They dont do it maliciously, they do it ignorantly.

And in the North, we all know too well the story of the Troubles, Sinn Fein's rise in popularity. Ever since the end of the civil war, Sinn Fein and the IRA had been flirting with socialism and had been breaking apart as a result whenever situations called for distinction between social democratic politics and traditional nationalism. As was the cas eint he troubles where Loyalist paramilitary agitation in the North effectively caused a coup in the IRA's leadership with traditionalist splitting off and taking the bulk of the IRA to form the provisional IRA and, well, the rest is history and so forth. Northern Nationalism still exist, but its more of a cultural identity. One is a Nationalist if one views the Irish republic generally favourably, hates the British State, is catholic or from a catholic family or community etc etc etc. Southern Nationalism is a dormant thing that needs to be poked with a stick to see any activity as is the case with the Love Ulster parades, see my previous blog post for that.

In a word, modern Nationalism is 'nothing'. The Modern Irishman is defined by apathy and inactivity. The government in the south piles on another tax? Grumble over your pint then continue with your work day, what else is new? And to think, we are one of the 'better off' of the so called Pig nations of the EU, (Thanks for that moniker by the by, really endears us to you continentals in Brussels. Really.)

As bleak as this is, it actually presents an opportunity for Nationalist Monarchism. Asides from the obvious association with Britain, what can people fault Monarchist Nationalism on in Ireland? Is it a violent ideology that advocates agitation and revolution? No, quite the opposite really. Its obviously a tyrannical system that will make us all indentured servitudes to faraway masters right? You're already living in that kind of system, son. Clearly we will de-construct the dail Eireann and the people will have no representation at all, right? As repugnant as parliaments are, a Monarchy will hardly destroy the Parliament. Really the only roadblock Irish Monarchists have that is preventing them from establishing monarchy as an independent idea in the Irish Marketplace is the association with Britain, which we already have ample ammunition to de-construct. Th opportunity being a propagandic one, that a population who does not hold anything in great strength is unlikely to hold monarchism's ideological opponents in great strength and to whom monarchism will seem like a new idea.

How can we appeal to Nationalists to adopt Monarchism?
Speaking for myself, my interest in Monarchy came about as a result of my interest in history, which came about as a result of my interest in my Nationalism. Therefore the true disassociation of Nationalism from republicanism and Socialism is the study of History. As the old saw goes, 'The Study of History is the beginning of political wisdom', while obviously said for different reasons and for adifferent context, applies here as well. Considering everything in my Guide so far, a nationalist who studies not the beginning of Irish republicanism but the beginning of Irish Nationalism, is introduced to a variance of ideological thought at the birth of the modern Irish concept of 'Nationhood'. This variance will not in itself destroy a Nationalist's inherent republicanism that he has been thought to believe in since birth, but it will cause him to question the bias in the Republican narrative. The prevalence of monarchism in Ireland at the birth of the Republic will give some food for thought, the existence of the Irish Chiefs of the name will cause curiosity, the fact that every Irishman alive today is descended from old Irish kings will cause him to stall any bloodlust for blueblood he may possess..

The study of socialism in a wider context (all socialism, not just outdated Marxism) throughout history and in comparison to Irish Nationalism, will reveal quite alot of dissonance in values between the ideologies, and specifically the anti-nationalism inherent in socialism. The Study of History is the death of socialism and all other 'The End of History' ideologies such as modernism, post-modernism, social democracy and liberal democracy, to quote Fukuyama. The study of history reveals that there is no such thing as an end of history that does not include the end of civilization and even then, time marches on. There may be eras, epochs, but there really is no such thing as 'stages' of history, that could only be defined if we had something to compare history in its totality to, which we do not.

The real key of course, is appealing to the heart of the Irishman and the innate Monarchism in Irishness. The desire for community, family, the love of traditions however silly, all of which requires a sense of tradition basic politicking by blogs such as my own cannot foster, I can only work so much by appealing intellectually. A man, even if he intellectually acknowledges any value of Monarchism, will be unlikely to convert to monarchism, even monarchism infused with nationalism, if his heart is not in it: "Wow, Monarchism actually sounds sorta okay and I may like to live in one, but it is so unlikely to happen, we're all republics, I don't really see the point in advocating monarchy." Russians reading this blog in particular will be familiar with this line of reasoning. Polls done in Russia reveal a startlingly high percentage of Russians are in favour of a return to monarchy but simply do not see it as remotely possible. This is confirmed in my secret monarchist post where a shot in the dark question asking whether fellow monarchists existed on a internet game revealed a variety of responses to potential real life monarchism (with obvious virulence from socialist quarters)

If you wondered before this is why I promote the Catholic Church in Ireland so much and particularly Catholic traditionalism, apart from my own obvious Religious bias, being a Catholic myself, but because religion in general and Catholicism in particular are PHENOMENAL engines of traditionalism. In order to appeal to a man with traditionalism and traditionalist things, he must have a sense of tradition. The modern apathetic Irishman has little to no sense of traditionalism and that which he does possess is atrophying rapidly. In the wake of the celtic tiger collapse, social analysts determined that in the boom years of the Irish economy the average Irishman did not give one wit about culture and cared more about Housing prices, the Americanisation of our culture (after previous Anglicization) has proved disastrous and now our culture, while not happy, WILL comply to European pressures of integration. You know the possibility of an Irish referendum on the financial agreement people are talking about now? Even if it does come to pass, don't expect Irishmen to vote against it and even if they do, don't expect them to vote no twice. There is little spirit to work with in Ireland and we really DO need the Church to revitalize it. And, well, furthermore, the Bishops Ireland has right now are decidedly much more liberal, (or more accurately, they are desirous of autonomy from Rome) then Conservative Rome would like, and even if all other things being equal and a Monarchist movement does come into force, one can expect the current Bishops at best murmur and groan against us, sadly, or worse, vote from the pulpit against monarchism, which would sadden me as a Catholic and a Monarchist that of all things in Irish politics, the Bishops would oppose us actively. It is this outcome I dread and it is why I hope His Holiness Pope Benedict and the Magisterium installs more traditionalist or traditional friendly Bishops in the future, this is the great gamble of Irish Monarchism because it is something we have no control over.

In practical terms, Irish Monarchists can at the moment only work at creating a safe area in the intellectual marketplace in Ireland for Monarchist thoughts. Blogs, including this blog are a start, Scotic Monarchy is another, and the admittance or discussion of monarchism on other Irish blogs can only help bringing monarchism into the national conversation, discussion, debate, arguments, anything short of outright fighting aids the monarchist cause and awareness of monarchist ideas. Monarchism is only irrelevant as long as its not being discussed, hence why it is shunned actively by revolutionaries. Eventually this will require books, dissertations, sociological studies and other things to seriously discuss monarchism. Only then will its enemies either seriously respond to it as an idea or reveal themselves by continuing to fling defecation at the very notion. For my part, my blog occassionally gets mentioned on forums and other places and, most of the time, I am held for ridicule. Places such as and a large Irish Republican forum have created a thread or two about this blog, and it went about as well as you'd think. Ironically enough, the patrons of acted more like monkies in a zoo and I no longer take that site seriously, whereas the Republican site, while not taking me seriously either, at least responded largely rationally, give or take an anarchist denouncing me for advocating a monopoly of violence in my monarchism and some fellow calling me a 'Basement dwelling, Anorak wearing Virgin'. But then again if advocating Monarchy was easy I wouldn't need this blog as much.