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Pierre's History Lesson

By Carl S. ~

Before we start, an actual statement by a student in a political history class:
“If God rules Heaven, then a monarchy ends up being the highest kind of government."
Pierre is a six year old boy who resides in Liseux, France. He is home schooled by his mother, a former teacher. This is one of his most important history lessons, so "pay attention."

Pierre’s mother said, “Once upon a time, there was a great nation composed of many states, and yes, a bit like the European Union, with different cultures and philosophies. A boy could go from the northern areas to the southern and find himself unwelcome in places because he saw things differently. War was fought over some states’ demands that their king be recognized in his giving the o.k. to slavery. The other states said that they also honored the king, but that he wouldn't o.k. such a thing. The king was silent and did not intervene, so they had to fight a war.”

Pierre asked, "But mom, you said that a duel between two people was a stupid way to settle an argument, so how come states decided that it was good between thousands of people?"

“Well Pierre, I'll have to think about it. Let's continue. Anyhow, right from the start, the citizens had a problem: they all honored the same invisible monarch. Remember how I told you about the last emperor of China inside his palace compound? No one could see him outside, so they didn't know if he was alive or not, but he was alive because those who spoke for him said so. And everyone agreed, or almost everyone. And, in some states, certain rights were taken for granted over time, and in others, soundly rejected or condemned. But basically, they agreed that the people would abide by governing themselves, behaving, and allowing others to do the same. And if they didn't, rules were set up to punish them that most people thought were fair. If they didn't, there was always the possibility that they could be changed. That is how it used to be.

“But there were always people in all those states who thought that the king they all honored should be the one to rule everyone, and that this would be the best kind of government, so throughout history, everywhere you know, they tried to get the king's rules to dominate. You see, by agreement, the king was all-wise, all-merciful, and infallible.”

"What's 'infallible?"

“That word means that someone can't make mistakes or make failures.“

"Oh mom, that's silly. Everybody makes mistakes. You know that.”

“I do know that, dear, but you just couldn't tell them that. They would push you out of the room or the town if you said that about their king.

“Well, this state of affairs really went on for ages. And, to be truthful, their traditions said that the king already had rules for government in place, that everyone already knew the rules, that the king was the wisest and most fair, so, what’s the problem? The problem was always that it was never settled in the first place whether or not the king actually laid down the rules for his monarchy, or that his spokesmen had just made them up. That is one reason they got together, agreed to stop the arguments about the 'whether or not,' and just make mutually-agreed rules themselves that were fair to all. In the meantime, the king said nothing, so it was taken by many that his silence was consent. This is what is called an "assumption," something I warned you about before.

“The supreme-monarchists didn’t give up. By and by, they infiltrated themselves into every level of government, until they had the power to change things favorable to the monarchy. They said it was a moral "imperative right" to do so. The king did not dispute this, nor make an appearance to refute this; perhaps he was secretly chuckling or rejoicing. Some say he was happy to see his reign triumph, but they were the ones who had fought for it. So, the monarchists triumphed. And now it's time for lunch.“

After Pierre's lunch break.

“Remember I told you about the supreme-monarchists? I was just thinking about some of the peculiar things they believed. Remember the Natural History Museum in Paris we went to? It used to be a church. You've heard about churches. Well, some of those kinds of people in our own country, used to go to that Church, the Church of St. Phallus. Every year, on the saint's special day, his member, kept in a reliquary, was sprinkled with "holy” water, and became rigid.

"Mom...that's silly!"

“Pierre, that's the way they are. They take the silliest things very seriously, and get very angry and disturbed when you tell them so. I guess it's always been that way, and it's too bad that those people in power there are so gullible as to believe things like that.

“Well, with the invisible monarch firmly in place, all that could be done was to enforce his rules, and all of a sudden, the "infallible" showed signs of being very fallible indeed. There was no recourse but to obey the king or suffer dire consequences. The absolute benevolence of an all-wise ruler became hard to accept, the interpretation of his unspoken edicts was left to the interpreters of those edicts, and oftentimes, they disagreed among themselves, even after consulting and pleading with the king. It came to pass that "United" meant "being of one mind with the king", as revealed by his designated, not by the governed united.

“It became a crime to be different, the "different" became subject to criminal law and denial of rights. And, although all were formerly to be equal in rights, the interpreters were to be exalted to exceptional rights overall. Opponents were silenced, or suddenly disappeared. Only the teachings of the all-wise and caring ruler were allowed to be taught in schools. "Moral" became "the will of the King." The king was silent. Perhaps he rejoiced that finally his kingdom was bearing fruition. At least that's what his spokesmen said.

"Mom, is 'fruition' like 'fruity?’"

"Know something, Pierre? You may have something there about the way they handled their own minds. But let me finish. Do you remember what the man said about "Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely? And, I might add, that like you said, no one's "infallible," even a so-called absolute invisible ruler. Maybe especially that one. So now a formerly great country with lots of promise for the good of everyone, is stuck with the very monarchical tyranny it renounced at its very birth, and all because it couldn't renounce a king of kings to begin with. You see what that led to.”

"Mom?"

“Yes, Pierre?”

"Maybe they need a revolution again."


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