integer on 23 Nov 2000 19:59:22 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> Fwd: Revocation of Independence

>Except that England is not a republic, and sadly, niether is Australia -
>Constitutional monarchies work in very different ways from republics.
>The Westminster Parliamentary system is not exactly famous for its
>inclusiveness, or fairness democratically, and it was this model the
>rounding fathers modelled the original post revolutionary consitution,
>bill of rights etc. They were landowners and powerful men with property to
>If anything, the vigour with which the Americans embrace the current 
>presidential standoff is evidence of the vitality of their republic if not
>of the efficiency of thier voting system. Arguably the US is still in
>'revolution' mode all these centuries later.


The present state of things in the US is highly unstable, resting on a
knife-edge.  Either side can continue the battle in the courts, (and to an
outside observer (I really don't mind who gets to be president in another
country) the justice appears to be on the side of Gore, for the suspicious
counterswings in Floridan counties suggest irregularities.)  My immediate
point though is how it is going to be sorted out?  Presumably by the courts;
meanwhile the country is technically without a successor to the executive.
There is also the paradox that the President appoints the judges, so is it
not a little strange that the judges should then appoint the President?

What would happen in the UK under similar circumstances?  The answer is that
the Queen would decide who should form a government, advised of course by
her permanent servants (civil.)  This procedure is infrangible.  Even if the
Queen should drop dead (which God forbid!) the issue would then be decided
by the next in succession to the throne (currently still Charles) and he
would succede to the throne immediately, with no time-lapse whatsoever, and
this is for the exact reason of the problem you are facing.  Legitimacy in a
monarchy like ours cannot ever be lost, it can only be temporarily mislaid.

Now before Fred comes forward to translate this into chaos theory I will try
myself.  Your present (bifurcating?) function map is not anchored in
phase-space, while ours is.  So ours is a rooted graph while yours isn't.
There are advantages in both systems, it seems to me.  You could drift into
new unexplored areas while we could not so easily do so (without another
revolution.)  On the other hand you face the real possibility of cycling
endlessly (chasing round and round in phase space) until something comes

The Australians wisely chose not to become a republic earlier this year, and
retained the Queen as head of state.  Why should you not do the same?  Now
let me make a generous offer: I think I can speak for everyone in the UK
when I say that you are welcome to return to the fold, albeit belatedly, and
adopt our monarch as your head of state.  There would have to be a title
change in the merged state of course, something like "The United Kingdom of
America and Great Britain".  The royals might prefer to move palaces to the
USA - Florida sounds like a nice place and I am sure the Queen Mum would
like it there.

Seriously though some stateside constitutional commentators have actually
already suggested a monarchy. The present crisis only emphasises their
interesting point.

>On Wed, 22 Nov 2000, richard barbrook wrote:
>> Hiya,
>> I particularly liked the claim that the USA is the 'the longest running
>> democratic republic' which conveniently forgets that black people were
>> denied the vote until 1965 while we've had universal suffrage in England
>> since 1927!
>> Later,
>> Richard
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------
>> Dr. Richard Barbrook
>> Hypermedia Research Centre
>> School of Communications and Creative Industries
>> University of Westminster
>> Watford Road
>> Northwick Park
>> <>
>> +44 (0)20 7911 5000 x 4590
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------
>> "While there is irony, we are still living in the prehistoric age. And we
>> are not out of it yet..." - Henri Lefebvre
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------

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