lørdag 30. april 2011

Kings, queens and purple unicorns

You would have to live underneath a rock not to have noticed the royal wedding ruckus going on this week. All the fuzz made me think about a few things. Before you run away screaming, do not worry, I will not delve into matters of gossip, hats, dresses and newfound hot sisters(none of these are necessarily bad, mind you!) What came into mind was the role and purpose of the monarchy in the modern world.

My initial thought to this has always been of the sceptical kind. Keeping a hereditary royal family in a modern society does not easily make sense. Keeping such a custom can be accused of effectively keeping old fashioned ideas of class alive. This quickly clashes with the idea of how hard work and dedication can make you raise in a class based society. Some people argue that monarchs now have no political power and serve as mere decorations to national festivities. We already have politicians available for representation of the country which additionally are chosen by the people(at least when compared to monarchs which are not chosen). Another critical argument mentions how the children of monarchs have no choice in the role they have in society. Whether they like it or not, they will have a public life where their every move is followed.

However(Yes, you knew there was one), there are several aspects about the reality of the monarchy that should be looked into. The first and most important point that I would like to stress is the need for neutral representatives that royals fill. I am not a trained diplomat, but I can imagine that royals actually do important work in keeping good relations between nations as well as in nation, acting as official representatives only attending to keep the relations. As humans, we have a need for nice things every once in a while, so keeping representatives specifically for positive matters does make sense to yours truly. While one has elected politicians which easily could fill these representation missions; they would still be politicians with a political agenda, no matter what they do. As royals are not allowed to utter their political opinion, they can act as a neutral representatives of the country itself instead of a specific ideology. Their neutral stance can help unite people rather than splitting them over a political cause.

This leads me to ask, why should this be kept hereditary? Why couldn’t we keep an election of neutral representatives and throw away the old system? This is a hard question to answer and there will be a lot of guessing involved. It is of my opinion that, if we were to hold an election, it would split people rather than unifying them. Representatives of the country should as much as possible be accepted by the people and not act as a grounds of separation. If an election was held, the followers of the losing candidate(s) would probably be displeased with the winner and would not be supportive. Indirectly, this would turn the entire business into political grounds, which I would personally try to avoid. While the royal family do not receive support from the entire population, they are generally accepted by everyone. As there is a set line of people ready to inherit the throne once the previous ruler dies, people have time to process and accept this. When a king dies, there is no fight over the next ruler because it has already been decided. In effect, this can unify people in their accept.

Additionally, being in such a position requires quite a lot from a person. One has to handle extreme pressure from the media and the people. One needs extremely well developed people skills and the ability to handle new situations well(and whatever else follows. I am no royal expert). I would like to propose the idea that the best way of being prepared for this is being born into the role. Would a person who signs up for an election to become “royal” have the intention which is required by the role? If you grow up in a royal family, you inheritly learn all the tricks of the trade as your grow up and you get a completely different perspective of the reality of the job(I would call it a job, yes) than no outsider could ever hope to gain. Perhaps keeping the monarchy clashes slightly with a few core values of our modern world; but could one wonder if it is a necessity to keep it like this because it would be near impossible to get neutral representatives otherwise?   

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