Friends of mine occasionally wonder that why I further my study in England. “ Because of the cultural things, I suppose.”
One of my favorites in Britain is the Constitutional Monarchy, a modern form of government in which a monarchy only acts as head of state. It radically differs from absolute monarchy that serves as the sole source of political power in the state. However, some still argue that MONARCHY is an antiquated and ridiculous institution.
I can’t entirely agree with that, although monarchy once has hindered seriously the progress of the society. I would take the attitude that monarchy cannot meet the time’s need any more, instead of that it was born as an absurd institution.
Among various systems of government, it is monarchy that has remained in existence for several thousand; apparently tine has proved it to be the most advanced institution, since only the strong survive in this cruel world. But as a matter of fact, in most of the world its predominance has been replaced when social change gave birth to better, more democratic, institutions. In some places, monarchy has managed to right itself to accommodate these new sensibilities, but, from my perspective, its time has gone.
Firstly, nearly all the imperial families have given way to new governments, in terms of administering a country. Take the British royals for example, more than 200 years have witnessed them just carrying out symbolic duties rather than oppressing or commanding the nation. This is why they have survived into the contemporary era. Queen ElizabethⅡ, who deserves respect form people of all walks of life, has devoted herself to serving her people for about 60 years, almost disproving the statements concerning her dysfunctional family, wealth, and “ridiculous” status.
In addition, queens or kings can play a significant role cheering people up when unexpected crises occur. Although the prime minister may work hard and genuinely affect the situation, politicians still need a charismatic voice to rally citizens’ spirits in difficult times. This is best illustrated by King George Ⅵ as portrayed in the film “The King’s Speech”.
Changing my focus to look at an example from many decades ago, I think monarchy was truly experiencing a ridiculous age. The isolationist policy of the Qing dynasty led the old China into poverty and starvation. Its mistakes culminated in its rejection by the public. The absolute monarchy of Qing Dynasty was too stubborn to change into a more functional institution, so that people knocked out monarchy completely despite that it brought about glories for China.
Admittedly, the monarchy is old fashioned, and absurd situations sometimes happen, but as long as it adjusts to the world, exerting a positive influence, we cannot define it as ‘antiquated and ridiculous’ from a long-term perspective. This would be an unfair judgment on its contribution to human development.