Fainting in Coyles An occasional letter from the
Heart of Euroville
Friday, July 16, 2004
A loyal Toast
Now this is interesting, and may provoke the new chap on the blog over at God Save the Queen.
The UNDP’s Human Development index for 2004 has just been published. Glancing through the figures it is no surprise to find that deep down at the bottom of the table like Sierra Leone (ranked at 177), Niger, Burkino Faso and other West African republics. The bottom 20 countries are all of them in sub-Saharan Africa.
But lets not concentrate on the bottom of the pile but instead look at the top. Now here the Index really is interesting. What is it that unites seven in the top ten, all the first six? Then 12 in the first twenty?
That guarantor of freedom and prosperity, that unimproved upon system. Ladies and gentlemen may I introduce…
Though I lack some of the rigour of other more qualified writers I will have a go at why this is so.
Well I suppose that one can look at the broad brush of Constitutional history as a little like dilemma of the Red Queen in Alice through the Looking Glass. As Matt Ridley so eloquently put it in his book on environmental-biology with the same title, every organism needs to run just to keep up, and advantage will always be swallowed up by competitors. The classic example of competitive advantage is the relatively late entry into widespread telephony in Finland. Laying the land line was a nightmare what with few people masses of lakes and swamps – not to mention the midges of course. However with the invention of mobile telephony they were off. Rubber boot manufacturers started producing mobiles and bob’s your uncle, they made the evolutionary leap frog.
So back to constitutional matters. If we follow a basic historicist approach to these matters, and follow human societal development through the ages the one constant (though of course there have been setbacks at times and in places) has been the expansion of individual personal liberty. Ok, so the current government of Constitutional wreckers and cultural nihilists have taken us backward for a while, but you get my point. So into the written age and we have the example of feudalism, theocracy, absolute monarchy, this in turn is altered through oligarchy and the growth of democracy, which in turn leads to, at least in the European land mass to revolution and the republic through, in most cases murder, ideology and rapine.
However the more fleet of foot monarchs could see the smoke and dust arising from their neighbours and altered themselves. Thus came the Constitutional Monarchical system that has so far shown its resilience and effectiveness.
Few if any constitutional monarchies have been closed down by their peoples. I suppose that one could describe the CIA inspired referendum that did for the Savoy’s as one example and the defeat of Constantine in Greece. However both these examples come at the end of a brutal war, in which they were seen as complicit or useless.
Whereas there is the shining example of Spain, in which the country has blossomed under its constitutional monarch. Look around a bit and their are other countries that would be helped by the re-introduction of their royal houses, Romania for example.
Or even Afghanistan, if the Americans would allow it.
Now of course there are some monarchies down at the bottom of the pile, Lesotho at 145, Nepal at 140, Swaziland at 137, Bhutan at 134. However they fit into my general theory, they are absolute autocratic monarchies who are yet to suffer revolution. In the case of Nepal there is the growing sense that the revolution will be as vile and bloody as that which replaced Sihanouk in Cambodia in the early 70’s. However rather than taking anything away from my contention that the system of Constitutional Monarchy is the most advanced form of government currently known to man, it merely confirms it.