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Monarchy and dictatorships.

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    Here's my take on the Royal family (and all other monarchies) They got lavish palaces, fancy outfits, fairytale weddings, tones of (pointless) etiquette surrounding meeting and speaking to them in person, endless tales of the heroic deeds of their forefathers, their picture on all the postcards and money, dunno if they still spout the whole "divine right to rule thing" but they usually have some "justification" for being the only allowed heads of state, etc. What is all this called? A cult of personality.

    Now where have we seen all that before?

    That's right dictatorships. Now before you all neg me for associating the "beloved queen" with Mao, Stalin, Hitler, Mugabe, and Gaddafi, Dictatorships have nothing directly to do with being evil. Infact in Roman times being called a dictator was a good thing, it's just that power goes to the heads of individuals is why it has now become synonymous with evil. However it is inherently a very unfair form of government.

    Who gets the stick for being an "evil dictator who unlawfully took control of the government for a short time"? Cromwell. But if he was some rival royal who did the same thing or managed to make himself the new king and start a bloodline then he would just go down in history as another "heroic king"

    The Queen and co only stays in power by hoodwinking the public into thinking that they are special and somehow better by using the aforementioned palaces and weddings and the amazingness of their forefathers who were "born leaders". In reality they were running hereditary dictatorships. If the Royal Family lived down the road in a semi and drove a ford mondeo then others would think "why does their family get to be so privileged? Why does their son get to be automatically head of state? What has he got that my son hasn't?"

    To summarise, taking control and setting up a privileged family line of rulers while calling yourself "President for life" and living/travelling in flashy palaces and cars = bad. taking control and setting up a previliged family line of rulers while calling yourself "King or Queen" and living/travelling in flashy palaces and cars =acceptable.

    EDIT: I'm not saying the monarch is on the level of a dictator as she obvs doesnt have absolute control, I'm just saying she uses the same tactics as dictators to stay in power. And who is the pussy that negged me without commenting??
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    There is a big difference in modern times though, the monarch doesn't have much actual power in practice. A dictator implies an autocratic government, one person has ultimate control. But now the UK is a constitutional monarchy where an elected body makes the decisions. The Queen has theoretical ultimate control, but in practice that's just ceremonial.
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    In terms of control, there is a big difference between the UK constitutional monarchy and a dictatorship, so I dont think you can accurately compare them in that context.

    Nonetheless, I can certainly see some merit in your "cult of personality" point. I've never really considered it in that way before but there certainly is a heavily established personality cult surrounding the royals, heavily justifying there continued existence in the established order. It seems as though, to me at least, a lot of people are prepared to wholeheartedly defend them under any and all circumstances simply because they have heavily established roots as superior figures in the British psyche. I've met a great deal of people who get an absolute hard on over the Royals simply because they've managed to embed themselves as an unquestionable and unalterable part of the nation. The sorts of people who lucked out and got invited to a garden party at Buckingham palace in 1992 and now think that the sun shines out of the Queens arse and worship the ground she walks on.

    Certainly in a lot of peoples eyes the royals seem to be these benevolent paragons of virtue and order, of what it means to be "British". They seem to me to be idolised without having done anything particularly substantial. I mean the wedding was a huge example of this. The huge amounts of idolisation of Will and Kate at the time was mindboggling to me. I guess the personality cult explains this to some extent.
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    (Original post by Psyk)
    There is a big difference in modern times though, the monarch doesn't have much actual power in practice. A dictator implies an autocratic government, one person has ultimate control. But now the UK is a constitutional monarchy where an elected body makes the decisions. The Queen has theoretical ultimate control, but in practice that's just ceremonial.

    (Original post by drobinson)
    In terms of control, there is a big difference between the UK constitutional monarchy and a dictatorship, so I dont think you can accurately compare them in that context.

    Nonetheless, I can certainly see some merit in your "cult of personality" point. I've never really considered it in that way before but there certainly is a heavily established personality cult surrounding the royals, heavily justifying there continued existence in the established order. It seems as though, to me at least, a lot of people are prepared to wholeheartedly defend them under any and all circumstances simply because they have heavily established roots as superior figures in the British psyche. I've met a great deal of people who get an absolute hard on over the Royals simply because they've managed to embed themselves as an unquestionable and unalterable part of the nation. The sorts of people who lucked out and got invited to a garden party at Buckingham palace in 1992 and now think that the sun shines out of the Queens arse and worship the ground she walks on.

    Certainly in a lot of peoples eyes the royals seem to be these benevolent paragons of virtue and order, of what it means to be "British". They seem to me to be idolised without having done anything particularly substantial. I mean the wedding was a huge example of this. The huge amounts of idolisation of Will and Kate at the time was mindboggling to me. I guess the personality cult explains this to some extent.
    Yes yes totally. I am not saying that the queen is on the level of a dictator because obviously she's just a figurehead now, I'm saying that she uses the same tactics as dictators to stay in power. And yes drobinson exactly my point, people worship them and accept them being unelected head of states as if they are special superhumans.

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Updated: December 1, 2011
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