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Are constitutional monarchies still relevant in the 21st century?

In countries like UK or Spain, where monarchies have no longer real power, what is their role in the XXI century? Should they be abolished? Or are they really important in preserving the country's customs, political unity and representation abroad?


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    Aug 4 2012: Look at all the different types of society that existed in Ancient Greece. From Sparta to Athens and several inbetween. Look at the origin of the root of the word tyrant, look at the origin of the root of the word monarchy. It is all there in the history of ancient greece. Look at the wars between the varying states. Look at the strategies the women used to stop these wars. Women said they are not a factory for producing sons to be exploited and killed in the name of the state or of progress. Look at Socrates ideas about behaving in a way that best suits the society you are living in and Aristotle's supporting comments on finding the appropriate balance or virtue between two vices. A vice is just an excess or deficiency of a virtue, not an entity in it's own right because it is subject to social pressures. Keep thinking and debating.
    • Aug 4 2012: I see your point. However, what I am talking about are modern day monarchies that have no real power on government and are just a symbolic figure. What do you think?
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        Aug 5 2012: I don't think you can talk about current monarchies without referring to their predecessors. Which doesn't mean to say: monarchies have always existed, so they should continue to exist today. On the contrary, it means that there has always been a reason why they existed: leadership and power in Ancient Greece which current monarchies are mostly not entitled with any longer; but back then, monarchies were also a symbol for political unity and represented the respective countries abroad, just like today. Chancellors and Prime Ministers aren't so very different when it comes to what they represent and how they are seen by the people or by foreign countries. Moreover, members of royal families in the direct line of succession are educated in political issues, so it's not like they are not qualified to ascend the throne.
        • Aug 6 2012: I do agree with you Simone on the fact that emotion plays a significant role in monarchies. I believe that somehow, they are cultural patrimonies.

          I had not seen the "Cinderella Tale" argument, which is true. There is a HUGE deal of romance in monarchies.

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