"There is nothing as deceptive as an obvious fact." ~Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
evidence I've gathered to confront republicans I've noticed
something rather odd. The republicans I've talked to don't
seem to want to examine the evidence presented. There
appears to be the attitude that the evidence must be wrong
before they even see it. I find this odd as you would think
republicans would be interested in better understanding their
preferred form of government (the studies also have some
interesting things to say in regards to the potential differences
between legislative and presidential republics). I find this
attitude problematic as I hold to Aristotle's maxim that "it is
the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a
thought without accepting it." I would like to think that
republicans have come to hold their views after thorough
investigation of all options. But to hold this view raises the
question of why the attitude described above exists at all?
A recent book by Ian Leslie may provide some insight. Titled
"Curiosity: The Desire To Know And Why Our Future
Depends On It" it argues that certain circumstances can
kill off curiosity in people and that curiosity is a skill that
needs to be honed. I argue that the unique features and
history of republicanism make it a 'curiosity killer'.
This leaves universities holding the ball. Here once again curiosity is strangled by a lack of knowledge. As I've noted before there is a lack of academic research on monarchy as a government form. The field has only been around for twenty years (and more realistically the last five). That said a few people do become monarchists in university (I did). These people tend to be from the fields of history or political science since it can be hard to discuss either without some knowledge of monarchy, at least in Canada. Within republics, however, political science has little reason to deal with monarchy which leaves history.
But being an expert in a field is no guarantee a person will be of a curious mind. As Ian Leslie argues we need to be T-shaped people. Not generalists or specialists but both. Deep knowledge of a single subject combined with broad knowledge of all subjects.
By conflating republicanism (which monarchists want to challenge) with democracy (which has a high certainty of being correct) republicans have made republicanism hard to challenge in their minds. Not only this but it makes defending monarchy more difficult as the conflation renders monarchy opposed to democracy even though it is not. Republics can make the situation worse by their habit of glorifying their revolutions. Certainly the stories of brave patriots fighting off evil foes and establishing a republic make for good reading. But they also make discussing ideas that may be counter to the narrative harder to do. If you strongly believe something is wrong or undesirable you are not going to be willing to look at it further in most cases.
Further problems arise when you consider that many consider monarchy irrelevant such as Prof. Kuehnelt-Leddihn who wrote in 1999 that monarchy is “a totally obsolete, even childish, institution”. All of which raises certainty that republicanism is correct and lowers curiosity about monarchy as a competing system. With republicanism as consensus for much of the world more than ever we should beware the obvious fact.
A Kisaragi Colour