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DavidV

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Reply with quote  #1 
http://madmonarchist.blogspot.com.au/2018/03/sayonara-for-now.html

Mad Monarchist has chosen to stop tweeting and blogging, at least for now, after nearly a decade. I note this with a certain sadness and regret, yet part of me finds it hard to be too sympathetic.

While he often made some reasonable points, in recent years his drift towards the authoritarian Far Right and praising Mussolini, Codreanu and even Mosley on social media has become too much. There is a bitter irony in all this - because a certain troll who wrecked havoc on this forum also waged a campaign of harassment against MM for quite a while which was mentioned on here as well.

For me, as a monarchist, this sort of thinking is untenable and dare I say incompatible with real world circumstances and the work we're aiming for.

Even on here, we appear to have drifted apart as a community because some of our differences are harder to reconcile with time. Sad, but true.
Ponocrates

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Reply with quote  #2 
I think he examined some authoritarian right-wing leaders and their writings and attempted to point out where they may have been correct or had a point, especially compared with other 20th century ideologies of Soviet or Maoist Marxism or American neo-liberalism.   His writings about this seemed fair and balanced.  

He also seemed to realize that monarchy doesn't exist in a vacuum, but depends on traditional institutions and policies.   So when someone claims to support monarchy while indifferent and even hostile to those institutions and policies, then that person is not being serious.  

It will be a huge loss if he doesn't contribute any further to the discussion.

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"For every monarchy overthrown the sky becomes less brilliant, because it loses a star. A republic is ugliness set free." - Anatole France

Personal Motto: "Deō regī patriaeque fidelis."
Stewball

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Reply with quote  #3 
I was quite saddened by MM's departure. He was a huge name in internet monarchism and  he was a tremendous influence on my own development in terms of my political and even religious views. I certainly had my disagreements with him and his work was not perfect, but he will be sorely missed, at least in this corner.  
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DavidV

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Reply with quote  #4 
I was just saying that MM certainly had his heart in the right place, but in recent times he had gone off the rails. A sympathy for fascism does not do anything positive, and when he was rebuked for this and other things on Twitter, he reacted preciously. His writing about history also tended increasingly towards blatant revisionism and dishonesty. I don't know if this was always what he believed in, and maybe he is more open about it. I don't see how that could be called "fair and balanced".

But if anything it reflects a trend, and not a positive one, that has been going on for a few years now. When I took a moral stand against someone promoting this crap a few years ago, instead of support I got criticism from certain people here, which was unsettling but now I understand why. It's no wonder why we've drifted apart from here.

The point is, I feel a certain sadness that MM has chosen to do this. For a long time I enjoyed his work. That's what makes the situation so lamentable. But if he attracted the wrong company or an adverse reaction to his tangents, that'd be harder to sympathise with.
DutchMonarchist

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Reply with quote  #5 
DavidV, I share your sentiments. I will miss all the in-depth analyses of history that the MadMonarchist produced, but I too was put off by his sympathy for far-right ideologies (although we should point out he never sympathized with Nazism).

The issue here was more of morals than about fairness. I don't think the MadMonarchist was often outright unfair or unbalanced. But he believed there was nothing fundamentally wrong with trying to make your own nation 'great' at the expense of other nations. That went far beyond the idea of defending your own country. For example, the Italian fascists believed in restoring the Roman empire with violent force, which led to the invasion of many other nations that were never even hostile to Italy (think about Albania, Greece, etc.). MadMonarchist seemed to have little problem with that idea of self-interest at the cost of other states. That's fundamentally at odds with the idea of peace that I believe in.

As Ponocrates points out he did not just seem to think that ideologies like fascism were better than Stalinism or Maoism (I'd probably agree to that), but also preferred them over modern-liberal democracies. Hating communism beyond all else is understandable, but it went beyond that.
Ponocrates

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Reply with quote  #6 
MM is a reactionary – someone who feels that politics degenerated after 1789.   Try to imagine how de Maistre would evaluate the ideological movements of the 20th century: the three main ones were Marxism, American Universalism, and Fascism.   Of the three, fascism wasn't uniform, which makes it harder to define.  It varied a bit between Italy, Spain, Japan, Romania, Belgium, etc. – it also varied by whatever the leader of the movement made his chief focus.   Right-wing authoritarianism might be a better name for it.  It was mainly shoring up the remnants of the old regime, trying to find new allies, making itself popular.   It was mainly a defensive and reactive movement (mainly against the other two competing ideologies)

On the other hand Marxism and American Universalism (liberal democracy, or whatever) are more ideologically coherent and are actually two strains of Leftism – they are revolutionary.    Its goals are the same – egalitarianism – American Universalism is just more patient about achieving it.  

A reactionary is going to find all three 20th century movements flawed.   The ideal would be non-democratic hereditary monarchy – altar and throne.   Marxism would be completely rejected as bad and evil.  American Universalism is also bad, but at least, for now, tolerates some religion, allows some countries to continue as monarchies, allows some people to espouse reactionary views – although much of the culture is hostile to it.   It tolerates this while it also gradually erodes and undermines everything traditional.    For right-wing authoritarianism, it depends on the country and the ruler.   Some places continued to support monarchy, religion, and some traditions.   On the other hand, they undermined them in other ways and behaved badly.   It's necessary to examine what was said and what was done.   Yet, a reactionary like de Maistre would still have much to criticize.  


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"For every monarchy overthrown the sky becomes less brilliant, because it loses a star. A republic is ugliness set free." - Anatole France

Personal Motto: "Deō regī patriaeque fidelis."
DutchMonarchist

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Reply with quote  #7 
You have a fair point that right-wing authoritarian movements of the 20th century were very diverse and that we should examine the specifics. For example, regarding the issue that I pointed out in my previous post, dictators like Franco and Salazar believed in staying within their own country. I would not have a problem if MadMonarchist would have just defended such rulers. Italian fascists, on the other hand, believed that violent expansion of their territory was needed to keep their country vital. That included invading countries whose regimes were not hostile to Italy, like Albania and Greece in 1939. 

Concerning the issue of monarchy, while Franco officially restored the monarchy of his country during the 1940s (even though there would only be a new monarch after his dead), Mussolini tried to abolish the monarchy of his country in 1943. After his monarch had sacked him, he declared the 'Italian Social Republic'. Again, two very different situations. 

My problem with the MadMonarchist, then, is that he increasingly defended Italian fascism and similar movements. He seemed fine with one of the ways in which it 'behaved badly', as you call it, which is the expansionism. He was of course not fine with the Italian Social Republic, but I feel he ignores too much that the roots of this were already there in the Revolutionary Fascist Party from before 1920. It was a movement that was only willing to tolerate the monarchy as long that monarchy handed it all effective power.

I'm not sure if by American universalism you essentially mean liberalism, but I would say that ideology has quite different aims from Marxism. Equality of outcomes and a state-run economy versus equality of chances and a capitalist economy and all that.
VivatReginaScottorum

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Reply with quote  #8 
I was saddened by The Mad Monarchist's decision to give up on the blog. His posts were hugely influential in bringing me to monarchism as an ideology, and I found his posts on history incredibly interesting. He covered a lot of topics I probably wouldn't have had any interest in or knowledge of otherwise. I also appreciated his lack of tolerance for those "internet monarchists" who like to fantasise about bringing back feudalism but pour scorn on all existing monarchs and monarchies for not living up to their ultra-reactionary ideals.

However, it is true that recently he seemed to stray more and more from monarchism to begin commenting more on other issues, particularly immigration and nationalism, which I felt was a mistake on his part. He seemed to become a spokesman for the so-called "alt-right." For me, the breaking point was his support for Fascist Italy's invasion of the Ethiopian Empire and derogation of Emperor Haile Selassie; and his revisionist defence of Imperial Japan's war crimes and atrocities. I never stopped reading his blog, but I was disillusioned.

I still think this constitutes a loss for monarchism. Fortunately, the archives from his blog remain available as an invaluable resource to future monarchists.

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DavidV

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Reply with quote  #9 
Yes, I took him to task for his rewriting of history to suit his agenda. But my point is, that even in the context of fighting the Culture Wars, postcolonialism and identity politics, we should not allow ourselves to be ensnared by the Far Right. Ironically, MM made a point or two about the goings-on in Charlottesville last year. None of the monarchists I've met where I live, or even among online friends, have a particular interest in embracing this kind of thing.

The problem is that the Far Right, like the Far Left and Islamists, plays on emotion rather than logic, reason and evidence. Feelings are clearly more important to them than facts.
Ponocrates

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Reply with quote  #10 
David, you talk about MM's rewriting of history, then try to base his interpretation on emotion and lack of reasoning.  I see no evidence of this from you.   What exactly are you talking about?   Then you like to slime people.   You equate reactionary with "far right", whatever that means.   Your rhetorical approach is really not distinguishable from a leftist.  

I'm going to preserve your post:

Quote:
Yes, I took him to task for his rewriting of history to suit his agenda. But my point is, that even in the context of fighting the Culture Wars, postcolonialism and identity politics, we should not allow ourselves to be ensnared by the Far Right. Ironically, MM made a point or two about the goings-on in Charlottesville last year. None of the monarchists I've met where I live, or even among online friends, have a particular interest in embracing this kind of thing.

The problem is that the Far Right, like the Far Left and Islamists, plays on emotion rather than logic, reason and evidence. Feelings are clearly more important to them than facts.



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"For every monarchy overthrown the sky becomes less brilliant, because it loses a star. A republic is ugliness set free." - Anatole France

Personal Motto: "Deō regī patriaeque fidelis."
DavidV

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Reply with quote  #11 
I'm not "sliming" MM, I called him out for his appalling revisionism of history to suit an agenda. It's the same as when some governments today continue to practice the same denials of history (e.g. Turkey with the Armenian Genocide) and needs to be called out as such. We don't need to embrace something that is largely of itself alien to our own traditions.

Defending the honour of our people and civilisation is one thing. Glorifying something like fascism and denying its crimes is another. I thought you would know better to know the difference, unless you are somewhat sympathetic yourself.
DutchMonarchist

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Reply with quote  #12 
To avoid this discussion from going of the rails, it's probably best to keep it as specific as possible. Terms like the far-right might be too vague to use as a criticism. VivatRegineScottorum and myself pointed to more precise problems. To me one of the core issues is expansionism, which is one key element of some far-right movements. By that I mean something that goes beyond the idea of wanting all the people of your own race to live in one country or colonizing parts of the world where states had not yet been formed or recognized (although I may have problems with that too, depending on the situation). I mean ideas like the dream to restore the Roman empire of Italian fascism, the dream to restore the Burgundian realm by the Rex movement in Belgium and such examples. The MadMonarchist seemed to believe there wasn't much wrong with trying to increase your territory at the expense of others as long as it was in your self-interest. 

To be clear, I also agree with the positive things that VivatRegineScottorum said about the MadMonarchist's blog and I don't want to be all negative about him. 
 
 
 
DavidV

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Reply with quote  #13 
I agree categorisation is not always simple. I stated above that I enjoyed and even admired many of the things MM has written over the years but only that some of his recent posts on the blog and social media are a clear sign of him having lost his way.

Admittedly, I can see what has led some people on this path - they see the West going the wrong way and feel they need radical solutions. We are now in a time where perfectly moderate and nonviolent activists like Lauren Southern and Brittany Pettibone were banned from the UK. That's what fuels extremism, and also the perception of lumping legitimate movements and causes with the worst sort of people. That's two very different groups lumped together as "Alt-Right": people like Southern, Pettibone, Mike Cernovich, Jack Posobiec, Milo Yiannopoulos, et al on one hand; people like Richard Spencer ("Alternative Right"), Greg Johnson (Counter-Currents), David Duke, Matt Heimbach (who wears a "traditionalist" cloak), et al on the other hand. The former category, closer to the mainstream Right, are sometimes called "Alt-Lite" or a "softer" version of the Alt-Right.

To be fair to MM, he stopped short of endorsing the kind of people I'm implying in the latter category, yet often in some of his writings and social media postings glorifying fascism, you'd find it hard to believe. It's a dangerous game to play.
jkelleher

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Reply with quote  #14 
Good riddance.  Although MM did occasionally have some interesting (if blatantly tendentious) historical content on his blog, this was more than offset by his mean-spirited rants and increasing apologetics for Italian fascism, right-wing authoritarianism, and social reaction.  As someone who has identified as a constitutional monarchist since high school, it was frankly embarrassing to have this glorified troll as one of the most visible avatars of supposed "monarchism" on the internet, and it is rather depressing to see online imitators of the same ilk cropping up to stake their own claim to the alt-right mind share.  It's difficult for some of us to argue for a credible space for constitutional monarchy in the 21st century when anyone can point to a noisy specimen like MM and claim, "But THIS is monarchism!"

Either the man was some sort of Trotskyite mole, or he was too stupidly arrogant to see the damage that he was inflicting on a cause he claimed to support.
Ponocrates

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Quote:
Good riddance.  Although MM did occasionally have some interesting (if blatantly tendentious) historical content on his blog, this was more than offset by his mean-spirited rants and increasing apologetics for Italian fascism, right-wing authoritarianism, and social reaction.  As someone who has identified as a constitutional monarchist since high school, it was frankly embarrassing to have this glorified troll as one of the most visible avatars of supposed "monarchism" on the internet, and it is rather depressing to see online imitators of the same ilk cropping up to stake their own claim to the alt-right mind share.  It's difficult for some of us to argue for a credible space for constitutional monarchy in the 21st century when anyone can point to a noisy specimen like MM and claim, "But THIS is monarchism!"

Either the man was some sort of Trotskyite mole, or he was too stupidly arrogant to see the damage that he was inflicting on a cause he claimed to support.


Wow.   A bunch of spite and ad hominems there.   I'm sorry I wasted my time reading it.

__________________
"For every monarchy overthrown the sky becomes less brilliant, because it loses a star. A republic is ugliness set free." - Anatole France

Personal Motto: "Deō regī patriaeque fidelis."
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