‘The Tudors’ Exposes Monarchy as Corrupt
The spring bird migration seems to be over now, the grosbeaks have moved on north and the mosquitoes have finally arrived, along with the dreaded need for air conditioning – a great invention that allows us in the South to live in these climes year around but fuck up the planet at the same time.
The news is not so interesting these days, although the scandals still pile up in Washington. It’s not a bad time to reflect on another Monarchical time – thanks to Showtime.
If you have not been watching the new series on the young Henry VIII, you may want to catch up with the action as young Henry is about to figure out a way to marry the vivacious Anne Boleyn and split from the Catholic Church to form the Church of England, an event that led to the beginning of a great flight of Europeans to what became the United States of America.
The series shows just how corrupt and sick ruling elites can be in a Monarchy. It’s something Americans should beware of considering our current political predicaments. If the Bush’s had their way, we would be headed – or beheaded – in that general direction politically.
One point you should understand right away. The cardinal is the king’s pimp.
That is more or less an accurate depiction of what the mix of religion and state can produce when the leader of a people is said to get his power from a divine source. They called it the “divine right of kings.”
We did away with that shit in the American and French revolutions, and it would be a shame to see something similar return to public favor on Earth.
One of the more important and interesting characters being depicted is Sir Thomas More (1478-1535), also known as Saint Thomas More, an English lawyer, author, and statesman. During his lifetime he earned a reputation as a leading humanist scholar. He was a man of great honesty and character, apparently, which makes him rare in this tale.
More coined the word “utopia,” a name he gave to an ideal, imaginary island nation whose political system he described in an influential book called Utopia published in 1516.
I red this book a long time ago, but lost my Book Club hard bound copy along with all my Aristotle, Plato and Socrates on my move from Gulf Shores back to the Southside of Birmingham in 1992.
Utopianism or “no place” refers to an imaginary island depicted by Sir Thomas More as a perfect social, legal, and political system. Various social and political movements, and a significant body of religious and secular literature, are based upon the idea of a Utopia on earth.
Utopia is largely based on Plato’s Republic. It is a perfect version of Republic where equalism (egalitarianism) and pacifism flourish throughout human society and where poverty and misery are eliminated. It is a place where private property does not exist and religious toleration is practiced. It has few laws, no lawyers and rarely sends its citizens to war.
Utopia is often seen as the forerunner of the Utopian genre of literature, in which different ideas of the “ideal society” or perfect cities are described in varying amounts of detail. It is a typical Renaissance movement, based on the rebirth of classical concepts of perfect societies as set out by Plato and Aristotle, combined with the Roman rhetorical finesse of Cicero. Utopianism continued well into the Enlightenment Age.
Many commentators have pointed out that Karl Marx’s later vision of the ideal communist state strongly resembles More’s Utopia, especially on the issue of individual property, although Utopia is without Marx’s atheism.
Apparently Henry VIII employed More’s exceptional intelligence and grasp of the law and religion to write several treatises in defense of the Catholic faith against European reformers, notably Martin Luther.
But after young King Henry split from the Catholic Church, which would not grant him a divorce, and after he formed the Church of England, More came to believe that the rise of Protestantism represented a grave threat to social and political order in Christian Europe. As with many of Henry’s enemies, he was charged with high treason for denying the validity of the Act of Succession and sentenced to be hanged, drawn, and quartered – the usual punishment for traitors. But the king commuted his sentence to execution by beheading.
We suspect if Bush had his way, he would be allowed to do that to his enemies. Instead, these fuckers just set out to ruin people who criticize them via rumor, innuendo and secret dossiers passed around over the “Internets.” Sometimes the bastards employ a car crash that looks like an accident. Yes, we could cite specific examples and document them.
But it’s late. And afterall, how many scandals does it freaking take to get rid of these corrupt swine?
I’m far more interested in getting past these royal assholes and getting onto more productive pursuits, such as later versions and theories of Utopia. Maybe a scientific approach, something like the one founded by the Global scenario group, an international group of scientists led by Paul Raskin, which uses scenario analysis and backcasting to map out a path to an environmentally sustainable and socially equitable future. Its findings suggest that a global citizens movement is necessary to steer political, economic and corporate entities toward this new sustainability paradigm.
But apparently we’re going to have to re-fight the American and French Revolutions, at least in the political realm, before we can get on with that paradigm shift. We always seem to repeat the mistakes of the past, perhaps because people don’t remember the past in an educated way.
Get on top of things people. Don’t just watch The Tudors.
And let’s stop it from happening all over again…