History and today
Love others as you love yourself (or the negation version: “do not do to others what you do not wish to be done to you”). Many (religious/believers/influenced people) claim this Golden rule to be God’s commandment (by god, of course each person believes it to be her god that said it). Unfortunately, it is a common mistake. Many cultures around the world have it as an implicit social rule (whether they are an Amazonian tribe or a lost Asian tribe). Actually, by limiting this basic human behavior to such a narrow cultural ownership, one might miss so much of human’s cultural beauty and variety. Meaning, aside of the fact that all cultural have this rule as a finite and ultimate goodness to follow, what is interesting is how they reach it and how they so beautifully described it.
One such culture is from the land of the Hundred Schools of Thought, where Chinese philosophers were debating about existence, faith, heaven and earth. Those were philosophical reflections ten folds the ones that were taking place simultaneously in the deserts of the Judea and Samaria. One philosopher that is worth remembering is the great Mo-Tzu (also known as Mozi, ca. 470 BC – ca. 391 BC). He is the founder of the school of Mohism, a contemporary and rival to the school of Confucianism. Mo-Tzu’s teachings were about authenticity, simplicity and self restrain. He believed that Love is a universal concept and should be given to the entire universe in an equal manner (unlike Confucius that believed in measures of love to different proximities). This also means that Mo-Tzu was strongly against rituals, especially the kind that worships Heavens and different spirits and entities. One should reflect and search within himself -he repeated- and through nature to attain self-knowledge. Rituals make your mind stagnate and inhibit your spirit by dulling the energy of curiosity and freedom. For that reason he was also against music and ceremonies (while some say that some music inspires them, I do have to agree with him in regards to the large majority of popular music).
Unlike Confucius that continued the Western Chou tradition (1111-770 BC), Mo Tzu was inspired by the ancient Hsia (2183-1752 BC), with the concept of righteousness. Although both had a strong emphasis on human value and valor, it was Mo Tzu who was against the belief in faith. For him, the doctrine of love should be embraced and everything in the universe should be loved like one’s own. Thus, while walking ceaselessly between the different rulers, he preached for peace and egalitarian society. For Ti Mo Tzu, the Heaven were passive and indifferent and the spirits (angels) did not exist, thus it was strictly by the knowledge and love of men to create a world kind and prosperous.
On his many travels, he saw a world of poverty of the mass, wars inflicted by unfit and greedy rulers, classes that weight on social well being with extravagant luxuries of the few. Mo-Tzu strongly believed that helpless believe in faith undermines the will of all, and only by becoming aware and self-conscious with knowledge human will overcome those maladies of natural beings.
read full text at –ctext.org/mozi
In a recent survey conducted by Sigma dos for EL MUNDO, one of the biggest newspapers in Spain, it was shown beyond any doubt that the support in the monarchy is an all time low (click here). For the first time, the vote for the favor of the old system dropped under the 50% bar (though in only one decimal). The current king Don Juan Carlos I, is, according to the Spanish people, in bad shape (both physically and metaphorically). With an approval rate that went down from 52.5% to a mere 35%, his weakness is displayed on his expressionless face. Many are the reasons that can be noted for such an event, one can blame, for instance, his choice of destinations for vacation trips (a scandal was revealed with the publication of a photo of him hunting elephants in Africa in plain crisis), or his refusal to abdicate to his beloved son prince Felipe. Apparently, abdication might just be the last rescue line this European monarchy has before raising the call for the cancellation of this system. Although, while 56.6% are positive that the handsome Prince of Asturias will improve the prestige of his household, 32.6% still believe that even this formal act will not help the dire situation.
So what is the Monarchy, if not exactly that, a piece of news in the newspaper? Actually, there are two main, very repetitive, themes that decorate the headlines on a daily basis: the corrupt renegade of the royal house, the husband of the Infanta Cristina, el señor Iñaki Urdangarin and the daily fashion of the beautiful (and reconstructed) Princess of Asturias, Doña Letizia. The first, for stealing from public funds hundreds of thousands of euros and the other for wearing the same outfit/dress/haircut from 8 months, 3 weeks and 5 days ago.
However, it is not surprising that some western countries are still clinging to their royalty. Dreaming was always been a great virtue of men, and what better than dreaming of tales of fairies actually coming to life. I mean, is it really such an impossible dream? Gad Elmaleh will tell you that no. He will proudly say that even a French Jewish, son of immigrants from northern Africa, can father the son of a real princess.
What, then, can we learn about our society, about ourselves while witnessing such a traditional system operating for the sake of tradition? In this great dance between reality and fantasy there is no room for the minor individualization of the effects and consequences of such an arrangement. The universality of dreamy aura that surrounds their majestic being is much more important than the vagueness of their normality. There is a loud cry in the taciturnity of a symbol. It is the cry for thoughtless admiration, for pointless criticism and the obesity of our ignorance. Hannah Arendt voiced the banality of evil not to acquit the Individual but to denounce the disguise in the Universal.
However, one should refrain from being so hasty as to write a eulogy to the moral valor and majestic emblem of a culture but become aware of the interaction that is more real and alive than we want to admit. Thus, one should probably remember next time she meets a king that while “storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it”, as Arendt puts it, it is the definition of it that will wake us from the latent inhibit state of thoughtlessness. Thus, as for the question, is it the end of the Spanish Monarchic sovereignty? I will dare say probably not.