quinta-feira, 1 de setembro de 2011

Monarquia e Constituição

Kings and Constitutions
Any constitution strong enough to prevent a monarch from doing wrong is also strong enough to prevent a monarch from doing what is right.
A constitution is a legal document, it is blind, impartial, unfeeling and heartless. At certain times and in certain circumstances those can all be positive things but they can also be negative. A monarch, on the other hand, is fallible like anyone else, but can also have humanity and compassion in a way that no legal document possibly could. No code can ever cover every eventuality and even under the best of circumstances a constitution will always come up lacking and have to be revised, amended or reinterpreted. In some cases, such as we are seeing today all around the world, they can be reinterpreted out of all recognition from what their original intent was. In a republic a constitution is necessary because, like constitutions themselves, a republic lacks humanity. It sees the people as numbers on a page, as economic units or as a herd to be controlled and managed toward a productive end (productive for someone at least). However, a monarch, without a written constitution has the freedom to use his or her own judgment, common sense and to adjust policy with humanity and compassion, seeing beyond the cold hard facts to the greater, evident, truth. A democratic constitution, for example, would say that the majority is right, no matter what the circumstance, and must be satiated. A monarch without a constitution can, contrarily, overrule the majority when what they want is clearly detrimental to themselves, society or the good of the country.
A monarch has a conscience, a constitution cannot. A monarch can treat people with dignity and as individuals according to their unique circumstances or situation. A constitution sees no individuals, only a nameless, faceless number on a census report. The most powerful or the most powerless can be crushed by the unfeeling legalism of a constitution and no constitution is fool-proof. We are seeing that today, in my opinion, reflected in republics like Greece, Portugal and Italy as well as constitutional monarchies like Spain or Belgium. Their constitutions did not keep them from losing -at least in some measure- sovereignty to the European Union nor did they check the power of the government from enacting socialist policies that have ruined their economies, destroying the productive and rewarding the unproductive to the point that they are now near collapse. The original British constitutional monarchy, which maintained a balance of power between the Crown, the lords and the commons, worked quite well but it has been changed to something, by this point, completely different from that system. Constitutions can be good and in some cases can be necessary but history and the present day situation of the world only reaffirms my belief that they are not absolutely essential and can even be, at times, a detriment.

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"(...) as leis não têm força contra os hábitos da nação; (...) só dos anos pode esperar-se o verdadeiro remédio, não se perdendo um instante em vigiar pela educação pública; porque, para mudar os costumes e os hábitos de uma nação, é necessário formar em certo modo uma nova geração, e inspirar-lhe novos princípios." - José Acúrsio das Neves