Re: Australia cf. USA

Michael S. Lorrey (
Sun, 20 Dec 1998 16:47:34 -0500

dwayne wrote:

> wrote:
> > It appears that retroman might have said.
> >
> > > > Then again, to an American, being
> > > > a subject of anybody is almost as bad as being a prisoner....
> >
> > To which someone replied.
> > >
> > > What a fatuous statement.
> >
> > Well no. I don't think so. I see very little difference between being a
> > "subject" or being a prisoner. But then I'm a Texan too. My ancestors
> > escaped from being "subjects" and for quiet some time we enjoyed relative
> > freedom. Unfortunately recently it has been voted away in increasing
> > increments.
> This is just silly. You can't see any difference between being incarcerated
> and being the subject of a monarch? Really? I mean, aside from the usual
> sophistry which surrounds this subject here, you honestly can't see any
> difference?

Under a monarchy, all political rights are seen as devolving from a central source, the monarch, who at some point was supposedly appointed by some supernatural being to be the sovereign. All other people in the territory controlled by the sovereign attain political rights as delegated by the sovereign. This is why constitutional monarchies all have language in their Constitutions, or in some other original document which state that the monarch is graciously granting the rights to the people or to the government in good faith, etc., etc. etc..

Monarchies with no written constitution retain all rights. Any government in a monarchy which grants rights to the serfs, subjects, etc. merely as a matter of policy can rescind them at any time as convenience dictates.

In constitutional democracies, it depends on what the source of political power is seen to be. Here we have two competing philosophies: Might is Right, or the Force Doctrine of Rights; and Natural Law. Each of these can be vested either in society as a whole, or in the individual as the original source. Any system which vests originating rights in society as a whole basically assumes that the individual is a slave living at the convenience of society, while a system which recognises that all rights originate in the individual and are merely delegated to society is of the type we are discussing here. So, to a individual in an individualist state, being a subject of a monarch or being a slave in a centralized society poses very little difference.

Mike Lorrey