Congratulations Will and Kate!

4 Dec

So the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their first baby and isn’t that lovely?  The new child will be the first British Monarch who claims the throne regardless of gender, and that’s lovely, too.  The first born child SHOULD be the next Monarch, as firstborns tend to have all the qualities leadership requires.

Birth order is an interesting phenomenon.

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First born children tend to show a strong sense of responsibility and are good at organizing and setting rules.  They are accustomed to interacting with adults and caring for younger siblings and comfortable taking a leadership position.  All great qualities for a King or Queen to have.

http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-500172_162-511694.html

Every once in a while, one of the countries in the Commonwealth of Nations (the Old British Empire) makes a fuss and decides they no longer want a Queen or King as Head of State and off they go to the races, and try to transform themselves into a republic.  Only it’s not quite so easy.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/banyan/2011/04/australia_under_monarchy

A country like Australia, which is a constitutional monarchy, would still have to pick a Head of State.  If not the Queen, then whom?  Would the Head be elected? And by whom? Citizens? Members of Parliament?  Just designated by the Prime Minister?  Oh dear. It gets very complicated very fast and it’s just the sort of argument that bureaucratic pinheads can drag out for bloody centuries and then all the coins and money would have to be replaced and really, what’s the fucking point?

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I’m actually in favor of the monarchy, and here’s why:  it puts FAMILY at the center of the concept of the state.  Republics put an INDIVIDUAL at the center of the concept of the state, and that’s okay, as long as the broader society values the family as a unit of production/consumption, and there are safeguards in place to ensure that the Republic doesn’t accidentally become a de facto monarchy, with wealth and power concentrated in the hands of the ruling elite.

George Bush the First?  Okay.  George the Second?  Uh-oh.

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The thing about the Windsors is that they are a FAMILY unit, and when we make the King or Queen our Head of State we are explicitly accepting that the proper way to govern a state is by valuing and encouraging individuals to function as part of a social unit, and not just alone.  Canada’s national news magazine, Macleans, opens this week with an editorial bemoaning the decline of the family as a social unit, and they are absolutely right.

“A sweeping new study by renowned urban theorist Joel Kotkin makes a depressingly convincing case for the decline of the family as the key decision-maker, growth engine and motivator for modern society; in its place is a world increasingly filled with self-indulgent singletons.  Where can we go to change such a trend?  Home seems like a good place to start.”

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http://www2.macleans.ca/

The Royal Family may not be a perfect family (whose is?), but they ARE a family.  A soon to be expanding family.  The new baby will one day ascend the throne and we will all be better off for it, if we can remember that families are, and always will be, far more important than individuals.

Congratulations, Kate and Will.  Sorry about the epic barfing, Kate.  That’s the thing about babies.  They come with a lot of vomit.  Get used to it.

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Lots of love,

JB

8 Responses to “Congratulations Will and Kate!”

  1. ramram December 4, 2012 at 20:44 #

    There is a very valid reason why boys had precedence over girls to the throne. And British monarchy will have to learn it the hard way.

    Like

  2. judgybitch December 4, 2012 at 21:05 #

    What is the reason?

    Like

  3. Ter January 10, 2013 at 06:52 #

    Your argument sounds good conceptually, but if you look at the reality of British life, they suffer a similar breakdown of the family unit as in he USA or Australia. I’m sure you’ve heard of PM Cameron who chastised absentee fathers on Father’s Day (of all days) when it is the courts who’ve often made their presence damn near impossible. And then there’s the MP Harriet Harmen ..can’t image where to even begin with her.. so, having a monarchy as family symbolism doesn’t seem to have made any difference in promoting a healthy family life.

    Like

  4. Mark March 4, 2013 at 23:33 #

    Well, I don’t know what ramram’s “one reason” is. There are a few historic reasons I can think of though. One is that a monarch was historically a military leader, a role best suited for men (even as late as the 18th century kings still sometimes led armies into battle). Another reason is the same reason men assumed any political role almost exclusively: they were free from the need to birth, nurse, and take care of newborn children (women spent a lot more time pregnant and nursing in the days when every couple needed to produce 4-8 kids for a stable population, since half of them died before reaching reproductive age anyway). Freedom from that obligation thus made men obligated to assume the political roles like King, or president or prime minister.

    I’m not sure why the gender of a monarch would matter today though. Monarchs today (with maybe a couple obscure exceptions) have no real political power. I’ve no idea what ramrom expects the British to learn from having a female figurehead.

    Like

  5. Nicky March 15, 2013 at 14:10 #

    Um…you do KNOW we’ve had a Queen in the UK for the last 60 years, right, ramram?

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  6. Phero July 27, 2013 at 02:02 #

    Men are logical women are emotional and make decisions on that basis.
    Men built everything in civilization.
    The current Queen could be a cardboard cutout and it would make no difference. She does not make important decisions anymore.

    As for having a monarchy, can never agree with that.
    Strangely it’s women who mainly seem to favor non elected figures.
    Men generally seem to want at least an electable otpion.
    And as culture gets feminized we now have this rise in popularity on monarchies around the world.

    Like

  7. Erik Norén October 21, 2013 at 13:00 #

    I find myself only able to agree to the importance of family as long as it is better for the undividuals in it. Yes, when the parents get a kid theyagree to assume responsibility for it but if they can’t handle it and the environment becomes so hostile that it’s bad for the kid, i feel divorce is better than continuing to force it (prior to that counseling tho). It is the same thing as you argue about abortion, if they can’t handle it they shouldn’t have a kid.

    (Back on track.) I feel the family can’t have any value in itself, only the value it gets by being better for it’s individuals. Same with society, it only gets value by how good it is for it’s individuals, directly or indirectly. This can go back and forth between society and family a couple of ways (family is good for society which is good for individuals, society is good for family which is good for individuals, etc).

    Don’t get me wrong i agree families are important but yeah, i think that is because tjey are good for individuals.

    Like

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