oh my god we have a monarch

whenever i read any post on quotes – such as this one – i always end up with the same one filling my head and allowing no others access; but it’s inevitably inappropriate to include it in the post that hailed its arrival, so i’ve left it to its own devices after a weekend of pageantry and glorious britishness and sovereignty:

it’s by denis diderot – ‘men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest’

now i’m not condoning the asphyxiation of a monarch with a vicar’s colon…..i do however, think that they should both leave the party before out staying their welcome any longer

Leave a comment


  1. that is viciously lovable.

  2. Remember Diderot was writing in the most outrageous period of the world’s most outrageous monarchy, at least in the modern era. So he had a right to be irked.

    But today the picture is a little more subtle. Take a look at the Democracy Index – compiled by that most Enlightenment-era spirited publication, The Economist (you can find it reproduced on Wikipedia). Seven out of the ten most democratic countries are monarchies, which means the eighteenth-century democratic ideals that led to Robespierre et al. are perhaps not so pertinent today.

    Also consider that large religious organizations tend to be less nuts than fragmented ones. The Catholic Church isn’t great, but it’s far less bonkers than anything emerging from the Bible Belt. A lack of over-reaching organization has also been conjectured to have allowed the start up and flourishing of the downright irreligious Muslim groups, which have been less than brilliant for the world.

    I like the quote though, I’ll try and work it into something I write. So thanks for sharing it!

    • i remember it well, and thank you for such a copious and thoughtful reply – with some great quotes of your own no less: ‘the catholic church isn’t great….’ genius

      i don’t quite know where to start….i don’t care whether the monarchy gives out free booties to every newborn or has their feet hacked off at birth – ‘care’ with regards to pricipal you understand; obviously i’d prefer the former – i have a problem with there being a monarchy at all; and it’s not purely a democracy thing either, as i have fundemental problems with that too; great for getting a crap leader out, shit for getting a good one in; and the automatic assumption that it’s a good thing that a load of people who don’t know anything about running a country get to choose the guy who does it, is not a little flawed; and what on earth does ‘seven out of the ten most democratic countries’ mean, this is the kind of statement that oozes bullshit and explains nothing at all, whether invented by the economist or not

      ‘large religious organisations tend to be less nuts than fragmented ones’…..well sign me up

      and whilst i have no more flags, i shall be keeping an eye out for your next post

  3. The meaningless numeric scoring of things unquantifiable – indeed an obsession of the modern world. My favourite is Robert Parker’s 100 point wine scale. Most wine critics score on a five- or a ten-point scale. Mr. Parker thinks his palate is astute enough to make a meaningful distinction between the tastes of a 68 point wine and a 69.

    However, perhaps take a look at the Wikipedia article about the Democracy Index, it outlines the methodology of the ranking in such a way that “oozing bullshit”, while indicative of a valid concern, is a little harsh.

    Hopefully not too trite, I’ll leave you with the words of one the twentieth century’s biggest, arrogant, elitist, monarchists – Sir Winston:

    “Many forms of Government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”


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