Monday, June 18, 2012

Return of the Kings...Eastern Europe

A specter is haunting Europe—and pace Marx, it is the specter of monarchy. Whenever a ceremony of any sort is performed for or by a deposed ruling family’s members—as has happened in the past few years in France, Germany, and Austria—there is sure to be whining in the media and among the political caste.

This is understandable, since the latter are the heirs of those who seized power and aim to keep it forever—regardless of what their subjects might want. Sundry triumphant pols passed laws forbidding the physical return of royal heirs to their nations—even as visitors. One by one, however, these measures were voided until the European Court tossed out the last of them and allowed the House of Savoy to return to Italy.

The entrenched political class feared that once back, the royals might regain some of their property. To avoid this, recourse was had in several countries (most notably Austria) to the kind of legal chicanery we Americans are used to with the Supreme Court. But the dominant classes’ apprehensions were fulfilled in all the Balkan countries—heretofore exposed to the reductio ad absurdum of “democracy” in the form of exquisitely brutal communist regimes.
“So steeped have we become in the politics of envy that the government robbing a rich man—better still, an ex-reigning sovereign—will bring joy to many.”

With the exception of Greece, which with Anglo-American help had avoided its sister countries’ red servitude, the populations of the formerly Marxist region welcomed back their former monarchs (or their heirs) with open arms—going so far as to reverse the theft of much of their former property. The Balkan royals began once again to play supporting roles in their homelands’ public life. Simeon II of Bulgaria was perhaps the most successful. Acting as the focus of a grassroots political movement, he was elected prime minister in 2001.

King Simeon II of the Bulgarians, Crown Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia,
King Michael I of Romania and King Constantine II of the Hellenes.

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