Friday 26 June 2015

Some Link Love V

I'm having a quite busy time of it recently and I haven't been posting much. Usually when I sit down to a write a post I do it in one sitting, but I'm stuck on one at the moment, as well as being busy I might have bitten off more than I can least at the moment. So to let you all know I'm still alive and that I haven't abandoned you I thought I should put up some links for you all to enjoy.

Bruce Charlton asks: Readers Question: Does Left teleology correspond to the female psyche?

I particularly like his take on the destruction of the Left.

When Did Healthy Communities Become Illegal?

Some great thoughts here, the article is long, but it's broken up into different parts. I particularly liked his thoughts on Puritanism.

Adventures in Keeping House has this: Why Is Modern Women So Neurotic

Last but not Least:

Another Politically Incorrect Blog has: Big Business and the Myth of the Bottom Line

Enjoy these sites and I'll be back next week.

Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future
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Thursday 18 June 2015

The Problems of Monarchy

When Australia voted on whether to become a Republic in 1999, I voted against becoming a Republic. Not because I didn't like the type of Republic being offered, not because I thought Politicians would get too much power (which I did think), nor because I despised those who think they are our betters telling us lesser beings how to vote. No, I voted against the Republic because I'm a Monarchist.

I support having a Royal family and I support the Crown, the idea that behind everything there is a real person with legitimate political authority. Not a mere Politician, here today and gone tomorrow. But someone born to the position, the Monarch is a real person who has no choice about being born to that position. To be the King or Queen is a Duty, an obligation and a burden. That is why they deserve our respect. They serve us for their entire life and they have little choice about it, even if they abdicate they cannot escape the public eye and live a normal life. Politicians like to think that they share this burden, but in truth we are glad to see the back of nearly all of them.

So if I am a Monarchists why am I pointing out problems? Shouldn't I sweep them under the carpet and pretend that Monarchy is the bees knees? Conservatives understand, or at least should understand, that there is no perfect political system or society. That there is no utopia. No happy ending, there are only choices to be made, choices to be managed. That we cannot end war, or murder, or people who are not disabled parking in disabled parking spaces, or bad manners. All we can do is try to manage things so that good outcomes are more likely than bad. For Conservatives and Conservatism there are no 5 years plans with utopia at the end. For Conservatives there is hard work, hard thinking and hard choices.

Monarchy is an Ancient institution, all of the early Civilizations were Monarchies and until the aftermath of WWI the majority of countries were Monarchy's. Only in the last century has Monarchy fallen out of political fashion. Throughout history most Monarchies can be placed in one of three categories.


Lets look at each in turn.

Absolute Monarchy

All of the earliest Monarchies were absolute, the King could do nearly anything that he wanted, enact any law, fight any war, kill anyone for any reason. At least in theory, in practice there were often limits on his power. Religious limits were very strong for example. An Absolute Monarch was also regarded as being responsible for everything.


Most Monarchies through history have been Kingships. The King was limited in his power, even though he was in most cases regarded as the most powerful within the Kingdom. The Church or Nobles exercised much power and while in theory the King controlled everything, in reality his areas of responsibility were smaller. Foreign relations, raising armies, controlling the minting of money or at least those kind of things.


Today nearly all Monarchies are Constitutional Monarch's. They have limited power, some have no power beyond ceremonial and personal influence. However in most Constitutional Monarchies they are regarded as the only legitimate political power and Democratic Governments may be elected by the people, but they govern because the Crown gives them legitimate authority.

The problems

The greatest problem is that not all legitimate Monarch's are good, sane or competent. What do you do when the legitimate Monarch isn't very good? It is a problem that has various solutions, all of which make the institution of Monarchy look bad. You can let them reign and reap the contempt of everyone. You can limit their power, but who gets that power and who has the authority to make sure they don't abuse  it. You can make a Regency and have someone else do the real work, but if there is a crisis who should people give their loyalty to? The man who is the legitimate King or the man who is saving the Kingdom, how do you serve both? Do you imprison or even kill the King? All of these have been tried, the only one that works is when the Monarch agrees that they really are bad, mad or incompetent, and then only sometimes.

A bad Monarch is bad, particularly if they live for a long time, a string of bad Monarchs is a disaster. In the past that meant replacing one Dynasty with another, today it means replacing the Monarchy with a Republic.

Each type of Monarchy also has it's own problems.

Problems of Absolute Monarchy
When anything goes wrong it's the Monarchs fault, his personal fault. If the local Postmaster is friendly and competent the Monarch gets the credit. When he's replaced by a mean spirited and corrupt fool, the Monarch gets the blames. He is responsible for everything. The best example I can give is the Czar in WWI, when he took personal control of the Army he took personal responsibility for every defeat. The Generals weren't to blame, the Czar was. It shook confidence in the Czar and many stopped believing that he could solve Russia's problems, or indeed any problem.

Also the personal opinion of the Monarch carries so much weight that when he is wrong, and everyone is wrong at times, it can be next to impossible to correct the problem. He loses respect if he admits mistakes and lets be honest who likes to admit mistakes.

Problems of Kingship
The King has real political power, but he shares it and everyone knows he shares power. The real question here is how much power? When most Conservatives think of Monarchy it is the Kingship model that they think of. The great benefit of Kingship is that different Monarchs can have different power, but trying to shape that creates constant political problems because rarely does anyone want to give up political power. Over time either the Monarch wins and it drifts into an Absolute Monarchy or the Monarch loses and it drifts into a Constitutional Monarchy.

Problems of Constitutional Monarchy
The great benefit of Constitutional Monarchy is that rarely is the Monarch blamed for any serious problem or issue. Everyone knows that the Monarch isn't responsible for Foreign policy or the economy for example. That means the Monarchy can remain above politics and above policy.

Sadly it also means they cannot do anything to fix real world problems. In theory they can sack Governments, in reality even when this is legal, Tradition, one of the great weapons in Monarchies arsenal, prevents it. Personal opinion certainly counts, but only so far.

One of the saddest aspects of Constitutional Monarchy's is that they have become celebrities. But they are not ordinary celebrities, they are born famous and will remain famous until they die and many will remain famous even in death, they have political power even if that is limited, they have an historical role and they are a built in part of the State. Nearly all other celebrities miss out on all these. I'm not saying the Monarch shouldn't be seen in public, or meet people, or do charity events. But sometimes the line of dignity came very close to being crossed and when it comes to the press that line has been trampled. Constitutional Monarchy allows the Monarchy to be treated as a public relations exercise. It interferes with the dignity of the an institutional that has a life span of centuries and reduces it to what do the public think about the Royal families popularity this month? We see this clearly with Politicians, public opinion polls do not allow for dignity.

Another issue is are Monarchies legitimate?

Republicans argue that Monarchies are not legitimate, that Kings and Queens are simply there either because of an historical accident or because of historical injustice. But actually the exact same argument can be used against Republic's. The United States for example is a Republic because the man they wanted to be King said no. The truth is that Monarchs are Monarchs because at some point in history their family had the support of the most powerful people of their time and place. Actually very much like how modern Governments of all persuasions are formed. The difference is that family is only really important within Monarchies and the longevity of Dynasties mean that they often have long traditions and histories, always bound up with the nations life. Something Politicians cannot do, even when they belong to a family with a longstanding political history, they tend to move in and out of national life, unlike Monarchies which remain as part of the national life at all times.

As a Monarchist I want the remaining Monarchies to remain, I even want more recreated. But as a Conservative I know that Monarchy, like all human institutions, has flaws. It is important to see these flaws and to be prepared to counter those who wish to see an end to one of Mankind's greatest symbols of Nationhood.

Also read:

Why I am a Constitutional Monarchist

Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future
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Friday 12 June 2015

The Twenty-Seventh Month

It's been a good month, not great but still good, the only real downside is my posting has not been as regular as I'd like. Last month I promised I'd get better, sorry about that. My new job has some strange hours, I work three 12 hour shifts a week, which means that for basically 4 days I'm either going to work, working, coming home from work or sleeping. Fitting in anything else is next to impossible. But of course it does mean I get three days off, so it has it's benefits.

This month my best day was the 18th May when I had 165 visitors, my worst day was the 23rd May when I had 30. I had 6 days over 100 and 3 under 40.

11th May-11th June
United States
South Korea
United Kingdom

14th April-13th May
United States
United Kingdom
The United States is up and over 1000, I'm very happy about that! 

South Korea is high and back in the Top 10, unfortunately that figure is artificial as they mostly all came in within 2 days and then disappeared as quickly as they had arrived.

Germany and India are up and Canada is up slightly.

Australia, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, are all down by various degrees.

The Ukraine is back in the Top 10, while Japan and Indonesia are both out. 

One good point is that last month the bottom was country had 22 visitors, this month 35. I'm happy when the minimum increases.

I have also had visitors from the following countries Ireland, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Italy, Spain, Poland, Hungary, Croatia, Albania, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Belarus, Jordan, Kuwait, Iraq, U.A.E., Sri Lanka, China, Taiwan, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Algeria, Ghana, New Zealand, Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina

I look forward to seeing you again.
Mark Moncrieff

Wednesday 10 June 2015

Why Zimbabwe Failed

When Zimbabwe came into existence it's prospects were good, it had a strong agricultural industry, a stable bureaucracy with a good Army. It also had both internal and external peace and the goodwill of Britain, the Commonwealth, Europe, the United States, the Communist Bloc and Black Africa. Sanctions had been dropped and Zimbabwe was in a good position to make things better. Sadly of course we all know that didn't happen and today it seems to lurch from one disaster to another. Why?

In 1979 Ian Smith stepped down as Prime Minister of Rhodesia and Bishop Murorewa became Prime Minister of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia from June to December. Even though black Africans could vote and there was now a black Prime Minister international recognition was withheld and the war continued. Later in the year a new agreement the Lancaster House agreement was signed. In the new elections in February 1980, Robert Mugabe won and he became the new Prime Minister of Zimbabwe.

Robert Mugabe was born poor but he was a smart kid and was educated in a Catholic Boarding school. He went on to become a teacher and then became interested in politics. But being a black Rhodesian it was illegal for him to be involved in politics and he was imprisoned. After he was released he went into exile and in 1975 became the leader of ZANU (Zimbabwe African National Union). ZANU was both a political party and an Army and it was the main guerrilla force that infiltrated into Rhodesia.

After becoming Prime Minister, Mugabe, who is the most important person in the history of Zimbabwe, tried a policy of reconciliation between whites and blacks and between ZANU and other black political parties. He kept many white leaders in Government, he even had regular meetings with Ian Smith!

But his policy failed and it failed for a very basic reason, to him reconciliation meant they took his side. So when blacks complained about his Government he said they were traitors and when they rebelled he was quite ruthless in crushing them. As many as 20,000 people died in three years, roughly the same number as died during the Bush war which lasted 15 years. By 1984 he was also fed up with the whites, they were supposed to be loyal to him and then ZANU, but instead they had their own interests and they kept pushing them. Mugabe decided that he had been too generous and started to change his attitude.

In 1987 he ended the Constitutional arrangements that had been agreed to at Lancaster House. He became President and the 20% of seats in Parliament that had been reserved for whites were abolished. Effectively from this time Zimbabwe ceased to be a Democracy and instead became a one party state with Mugabe as Dictator. Now many will say Mugabe was a Communist, of course he did that, he was always going to do that. But Communism was only one of the influences, the others being Traditional African leadership and the Catholic Church. Now all of those have many differences, but they share the idea that hierarchy is important and that the leader is to lead and that group decisions (Democracy) are a sign that the Leader isn't leading. ZANU as an organisation believes much more in the Leader, in the strong man, than in Communism.

Mugabe has since 1987 used divide and rule to insure that he can remain in power. He takes from one group that he considers disloyal to him and gives to another group that he believes are loyal to him. The destruction of the Zimbabwe economy is part and parcel of that. It isn't important to him if a part of the economy runs or doesn't run, what matter is that that piece of the economy is loyal to him. For average Zimbabweans his rule has been disastrous, but he always makes sure he has a smaller group who are loyal to him because they know he gave them everything they have and if he loses power so might they.

The destruction of the whites of Zimbabwe, wasn't so much about race as about their lack of devotion to Mugabe. It was completely against the traditions that they knew and it was only a matter of time until it came crashing down. It has not only destroyed whites futures within Zimbabwe, but it has also destroyed many black Zimbabweans futures as well. The lack of technical ability, the destruction of education and learning, the lose of financial capital and contacts and the death of Zimbabwes highly profitable agricultural sector are all the result of forcing whites to flee and they have done nothing to aid black Zimbabweans.

His Government's contempt for the economic future of his country is staggering, but he gets away with it because Liberal Governments and African Governments are reluctant to criticize him, both because of his history of fighting against "Colonialism" and because it would be embarrassing for them to admit how wrong they have been. So instead they send aid to Zimbabwe, food aid, medical aid and money. All of which prop up a very corrupt and dysfunctional Government. Until Mugabe dies I do not see any possibility of things getting any better
Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future
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Wednesday 3 June 2015

Why Rhodesia Failed

When I was born in 1970 Rhodesia existed, today it does not exist. Instead Zimbabwe exists in its place and the people we think of as Rhodesian's, the whites of Rhodesia, mostly do not live in Zimbabwe and many do not even call themselves Rhodesian any more. But why should that be?

Now many wonder why should a country that had fought long and bravely for its independence no longer exist? Rhodesia had many advantages, it produced so much food it was called the breadbasket of Africa, it was a Democracy (a limited Democracy as only whites could vote), it had a small but very good military and the white population was very loyal.

To understand lets first have a look at their history.

In the 1880's the British Empire was seeking to control as much of Africa as it possibly could, it wanted a continuous line of territories, often known as Cairo to Cape Town. In the early 1890's Cecil Rhodes the richest man in Southern Africa had the tribes of the area sign a treaty giving up mineral rights. The tribes were happy to get what seemed like money for nothing, but of course mining requires more than just mines. It requires miners and they require food and entertainment and accommodation, minerals need to be transported and at that time it was by railway. And all of this needs to be administered and policed. The tribes tried to stop this by attacking the few whites in the area. This seemingly unprovoked attacked created a lot of bad blood on the part of the whites. The military defeat of the tribes within months of their starting what they called the "Chimurenga" created a lot of bad blood on the African side. By 1900, after a second war, Rhodesia, as the country was now known was part of the British Empire and Africans lost nearly all political power.

In 1895 an employee of Cecil Rhodes, Dr. Jameson lead a raid into the then the independent Republic of the Transvaal. The raid was a disaster and President Krugal of the Transvaal was very generous and send them back without punishment. In 1899 war broke out between the British Empire and the two Boer Republics in South Africa. Rhodesia was solidly behind the British Empire. The war was bloody and for the Boers (now known as Afrikaners) the war ended in defeat and the destruction of their republics. In 1910 The Union of South Africa was created uniting British colonies with the former Boer Republics together into one country.

In 1923 Rhodesia, now divided into Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) and Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), was asked in a referendum if it wanted to become a self governing colony with the British Empire, or whether it wanted to join the Union of South Africa, it chose to be self governing.

In the last 1950's it was decided that the British colonies within Africa would be given independence, in Rhodesia this created a problem as the whites who governed the country did not want to be controlled by the much larger African population. They argued that the Africans had neither the skills or the ability to govern the country and that to give power to the majority African population was irresponsible. The period until 1965 was one of the British Government trying to get white Rhodesian's to agree to give power to a majority African population and the white Rhodesian's saying no. In 1965 Rhodesia broke way and declared itself independent. UDI as it was known, the Unilateral Declaration of Independence. In International law this didn't make Rhodesia independent but a territory in rebellion. The British tried to negotiate with the Rhodesian's but to no avail. In 1970 Rhodesia declared itself a Republic. From this point on the security situation which had been unstable started to get very bad. Each year got worse and finally in 1979 Rhodesia signed the Lancaster House Agreement which created Zimbabwe.

I believe that their are three primary reasons why Rhodesia failed

Internal Politics
External Politics

Here is a map of Rhodesia, you'll notice that Rhodesia has a big problem, it's landlocked. This presents enormous economic and security problems. As a general rule it's cheaper to transport goods in this order, by sea, by rail, by road, by air. Straight away one of those is denied to Rhodesia as it has no port. Rhodesia must have good relations with as many of its neighbours as it possibly can just to stay economically viable. If it does not then the rail and road transport links are in danger, if they are cut then only air transport remains. It means that Rhodesia has a major problem in both importing goods, such as oil and in exporting its agricultural products.

Security wise being landlocked is also bad. Having a coastline means you can project power and that it is possible to stop maritime attacks or infiltration easier, not 100% but still easier. Land borders are porous as often borders are lines on a map and not geographical features such as mountain ranges or rivers. Zambia and Rhodesia had the Zambezi River as a border, but between Mozambique and Rhodesia there were next to no physical barriers.

Internal Politics
White Rhodesian's feared majority African rule, one man one vote, but in reality they denied any real political solution to the problem because they didn't even allow 100 men one vote. Africans were nearly completely denied political power or representation. White Rhodesian's were, it's true, good administrators, but when an entire people cannot have a say in how they are Governed it creates problems. If an intelligent or ambitious young man sees he can never have political power what is he to do? Should he just give up, or should he strife to achieve that power and if it is still denied to him then what other option does he have except to fight? If one side says join us and we will give you power and the other side says join us and you'll never have political power, who would you join?

I'm not saying Rhodesia needed to have one man one vote, but it needed something better than all Africans no vote.

In 1977 Rhodesia sought an Internal Agreement, which it got, from moderate African leaders. The Government then sought to undermine it's own agreement because in reality it didn't want anything to change at all. This destroyed the Internal Agreement, discredited the moderate African leadership and destroyed its own credibility with loyal Africans. It also meant that only the extreme leaders remained so when a final agreement was signed it was with them.

External Politics
When Rhodesia declared UDI in 1965 it had natural allies in Southern Africa, South Africa and the Portuguese Empire which still controlled Angola and Mozambique. But over time it was to lose even these allies and by 1979 it was effectively friendless. But lets step back and look at this in stages.

Only Zambia is hostile and it needs Rhodesia economically, so while it says nasty things about Rhodesia in reality it is only mildly hostile, even thought it does allow guerrillas to operate from it's territory. Britain has announced sanctions against Rhodesia and has naval ships enforcing it but it's only of limited effectiveness. Many countries quietly support Rhodesia, even Eastern bloc Communist countries trade without issue.

The African states in Southern Africa that face Rhodesia and South Africa are now called the Frontline States, they are receiving much needed support, economically, militarily and politically. They are encouraged to stand up to Rhodesia and because of the support they are now receiving they do, with much backsliding at times. The wars in Angola and Mozambique are getting harder for the Portuguese, more men, money and resources are needed to continue fighting and the guerrillas are receiving much needed aid from the Communist bloc. At the same time South Africa is starting to be put under a lot of pressure to cut Rhodesia loose.

In 1974 there is a military coup in Portugal and Angola and Mozambique are given their independence. The economic and security problems start to get very big now. In 1977 South Africa cuts Rhodesia loose. To many people this seems strange as they seem to be two pees in a pod, but in reality neither Rhodesia nor South Africa really understand the other. Rhodesia believes that South Africa will stand by it no matter what, but that isn't true. South Africa resents Rhodesia as the Afrikaners who ran South Africa think of Rhodesia as a left over piece of the hated British Empire. The British Empire attacked them and destroyed their republics, told them how to live and killed many during the war of 1899-1902. They had no love for Rhodesia, particularly as Rhodesian's had rejected South Africa in 1923 when it was given the chance to join. By 1979 Rhodesia had no friends, it had trouble trading, it couldn't maintain it's military force and it had enemies near and far.

Rhodesia failed because it could no longer pretend that it lived in its own world. The rest of the world had opinions about how Rhodesia should be governed and whether it was right or wrong it's opinion could no longer be ignored. The future was supposed to be brighter but it wasn't, for all the problems of Rhodesia it's successor state Zimbabwe was to truly fail. But thats for another time.

Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future
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