Reductio Ad Hitlerum

Royalists in person may be hard to come by, but whenever you cross one, royalist idiocy isn’t. Among the most stupid of arguments they use is the idea that a demagogue would be elected, he would become a dictator, and lead the country down into a dangerous path. While it may be true, it’s because there isn’t strong check enough checks and balances to ensure such a path isn’t reach. One of them being, of course, the legislature. They speak as if people are elected for life with no checks and balances on their power! The damage royalist lies have done to Canadians and their culture is insurmountable, but a worthy task to reverse and undo, and there’s always the next generation.

A true republic has to be democratic, for a republic cannot be a republic without democracy. There are nations that are not democratic, yet call themselves republics. Those are republics in name only. I for one do not simply accept any kind of republican government, but the right kind of republic. Not a parliamentary republic where a symbolic executive is the rubber-stamping puppet of an unstable and abusive legislature, nor a presidential republic where the president is both the head of government and of state and has powers that can even override that of the legislature. Not one where the president has both broad powers and unlimited terms of office like those of Zimbabwe, Egypt under Mubarak, and Syria under Assad, or one where the president is completely powerless and ineffective and serves one term. These are not true republics but a mockery of them. Same with so-called elected monarchies. And yet royalists, forever familiar only with the concept of the ignorant masses voting against their own interests and unable to tell the similarity between a monarchy and a dictatorship, use these as examples of real republican government.

Among the many arguments royalists use to justify hereditary government, they resort to one of the most stale fallacies imaginable.

Contrary to what royalists, Pharaoh’s Teutonic successor was never elected. True, he tried to use democracy, but only to destroy not just the republican form of government that rose in the aftermath of the First World War and the 1919 German Revolution, but democracy itself. Hitler, like all monarchists, hated democracy. He and his fascist party, the National Socialists, were supported by monarchists, who also hated democracy and wanted to extinguish it. Yet over and over again, royalists use this as an example of what would happen if a republican form of government in any of the commonwealth nations, while deliberately hiding historical fact from their readers. That a demagogue would take power through elections and would serve for life with absolute power … like a monarch. Truth is: Hitler assumed power not through elections or a coup or (according to some Canadian leftists) hate speech, but through political backroom dealings, violence and intimidation by his SS and SA thugs, the exploitation of the public’s resentment towards the punishing conditions of the First World War that crippled and humiliated Germany and of contempt towards the Weimar Republic that was standing on a very flawed constitution, and rumours of a military coup. It wasn’t intended to destroy democracy, but an attempt to keep Hitler under control. This is known historical fact. Not votes. Not a coup. Not hate speech. Royalists, however, tend to exploit the ignorance of the public by using only popular myths about the Austrian Pharaoh and reinforce already existing errors in public knowledge about historical events, to tell them what they want to hear rather than what actually is.

While it is true that demagogues to mislead the people before (Obama being the best case scenario, Napoleon III being the worst, since he was … a monarchist posing as a republican), history has shown that the most common remedy for such people would, when the person in question is revealed to have lied his way into office, simply vote them out in the next election, or wait til they completed their term of office (Bush II), or they would resign under even the threat of impeachment (Nixon) or out of shame. This is such a simple solution to a great fear royalists would use, to presume we have no other alternative. Royalists in general have a distorted, if not limited understanding, of how the democratic process even works, and would often lie to fill up the gaps in their knowledge. They presume republics are unstable simply because they’re republics, while ignoring certain factors that would undermine the very concept of a democratic republic, such as elections being arbitrarily called by the Executive or the Legislature whenever either feels like it, or that there is a weak executive that cannot counter the abuses of the legislature, or a weak legislature that cannot counter the abuses of the executive, complicated voting systems, illiteracy, etc., that can be changed, even if it would require serious effort. Undemocratic institutions would, at best, be abolished, or worst, be simply accepted. And the fear of violence, civil war, and international intervention? Well, these acts are in fact justifiable. Sometimes these are necessary as a last resort, when all other legal and non-violent courses of action either fail or is are available (elections, impeachment, enumerated powers, etc.), and that surrender and acceptance of the state of things is not an option. A person who abuses his office and its weaknesses is not a republican who respects the rule of law, the rights of the people, but a tyrant that aspires to be a monarch, for monarchy is always synonymous to absolute power.


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