Monday, September 1, 2008

Why I am a monarchist (4)

Milan Krstić, freshman at the Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Belgrade

When I was a kid, I heard for the first time that we used to have a king, it was, like, when I was watching „The Written Offs“ TV show and I saw some bad guys who accompanied the Germans, so I asked „Why don’t those Germans look like the other ones, why do they have long beards, why do they wear fur hats?“, and I was told „Why, they’re chetniks“. I said „Chetniks, they’re Croats?“ assuming that because Croats were quislings, „No, chetniks are not Croats“. „How can they not be Croats, who are chetniks then, if they are neither good guys, nor partisans, nor ours, nor Germans?“ „Well, chetniks are ours, but they are the bad guys, you know, they used to support the king.“ „So why are they bad guys if they were for the king?“ „Well, you know, etc, etc... never mind... of course, later I learned much about who chetniks really were, and basically, then started thinking about monarchy, separating absolutism from modern monarchy. It was some time later that I was able to make difference between those two rather difficult concepts, which means when I was 13 or 14. So, I could say I became a monarchist as a kid, because I liked the fact that we did have a king, and because ethnic pride seemed much more appealing to me with a king, than with a communist dictator.

The concept of monarchy has remained attractive to me, it’s something I think is great, for pragmatic reasons. So, at first it was a protest against history written by victors after WW2, and later it became a realistic vision of our country’s future.

I think monarchy is a superior way of connecting nation and faith with a modern national state. Modern state must be secular, it must not depend in any way on church, and church must not depend on state either, so I think monarch is an ideal link between church and state, i.e. faith, tradition and modern state. It is the only institution, in my opinion, that should constitute a symbolic bond between those two entities, and on the other hand, enable them to function smoothly. In other words, to make the continuity of civil state possible, above all.

That’s why I believe there should be some kind of national program that would be championed by monarch. Not using any instruments of force, but his/her moral authority, that should be inherent. This program should be based on really crucial issues in the next, say, fifty years, and that would be European integrations, which really are essential for our country because of the economic development, and preservation of national identity, which is more than destabilized today. And, of course, it should aim for clearing the true patriotism from chauvinism, which is more and more aggressive.

In turbulent situations, such as the ones we have had in the last couple of months, I think it’s good to have a sort of monarch’s approval, which would be a way for him/her to take the role of an ombudsman, i.e. champion of citizens, and defend their rights from other state institutions that at a particular moment are not capable of performing their duties. In that way, a monarch would become the defender of constitution (of course, it is the Constitutional Court that primarily protects the constitution, and the king is not outside its jurisdiction, he is not above the constitution, but he is the defender of the people, in accordance with the constitution, against other state institutions). It is one of the foundations of the British monarchy, limitation of the state’s authority over individual, protection of the freedom of individual. Communists and their propaganda used to claim how it was monarchy that restricted the freedom of individual, and it was the case in absolute monarchies, but modern concept of monarchy is precisely opposite of that. Modern monarchy has reinsured the freedom of individual, and not just in modern times, but in England since 1215, since Magna Carta Libertatum. I believe that such concept of monarchy would be ideal for Serbia as a modern, civil, liberal, and at the same time national state.


Elisabeth said...

I grow up (in Denmark) together with my parents and especially my mother was and is a warm speaker for the monarchy in DK. She had several books, could stories about the royal member insite and outsite DK.
Especially Greece 1963-1967 and England 1936 and the crowning in 1953 was and is she very touched about, and therefore became it a part of my childhood to be an admirer of the present and former monarchies in the World

Raifʻhār Doremítzwr said...

That was a very good monologue. His reasons for being a monarchist were very clearly, cohærently, and rationally enumerated and explained; his perspective did not contain the glaring unsupported assumptions which characterise most people's reasons for believing what they do. Who is he exactly?

Atreides said...

Very interesting interview, we would like to insert it in MONARQUÍA EUROPEA.

Have a look on our latest publication on PAPELES PARA LA ACCIÓN MONÁRQUICA: Serbia: The not used opportunity of Monarchy - some documents from 1991, but always of interest, formerly published in MONARQUÍA EUROPEA. It's in Spanish.

Монархистичка Иницијатива said...

Please do feel free to insert the video in your blog, as long as you name its source.

¡Viva el Rey!