Sunday, 14 February 2016

Treason

(David Birr has just drawn our attention to the Destroyermen alternative history series by Taylor Anderson. See here. Now can anyone prove a family relationship between Taylor and Poul?)

SM Stirling, Conquistador (New York, 2004), Chapter Eighteen, p. 445.

An interesting exchange between the Bothas Senior and Junior -

Senior: This is serious business, boy. We may have to fight some of our own relatives, not just the bliddy Indians.
Junior: Only if they're fools enough to get mixed up in treason.
Senior: Treason is what you do when you lose...I'd be on the other side myself, if I thought it would work. But it wouldn't.

What? Piet Botha would take part in seizing the Gate and conquering the Other Side if he thought that it was feasible? Nice guy, isn't he?

He has a point about "treason."

"Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason?
"Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason."
-John Harrington

Our British constitutional monarchy results from a Revolutionary Settlement. The makers of the Glorious Revolution were "traitors" until they succeeded.

7 comments:

  1. Kaor, Paul!

    At least Piet Botha had the good sense to believe the Collettas would not succeed in seizing control of the Gate. An imperfect motive is better than nothing!

    I do understand Harrington's cynical point, but treason is still TREASON even if the traitors succeed. James II was, after all, the LEGITIMATE king and William III and Mary II nothing but usurpers who were invited in by traitors. Their successor Queen Anne always thought herself a usurpess occupying a throne rightfully belonging to her exiled brother James III (as the Jacobites called him). Churchill wrote in his HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH SPEAKING PEOPLES that her belief that driving out James II and his son to preserve the Anglican Church was the only thing which justified her usurpation. And there were many in Scotland and England who remained supporters of the exiled Stuarts.

    I can't think very well at all of a revolution based on nothing but hatred of Catholics! But I do agree that the mistakes James II made played into the hands of his enemies. Mistakes his far wilier brother Charles II would never have made.

    Sean

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    Replies
    1. Sean,
      The problem was that, in those days, a king tried to impose his beliefs on his subjects. I prefer constitutional monarchy to absolute monarchy.
      Paul.

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    2. Kaor, Paul!

      I'm not sure I wholly agree with you, about James II. I do agree he made foolish mistakes, which his enemies took advantage of. But, if my memory is correct, James II had no intention of trying to force the British to become Catholics. Rather, he was trying to do away with the anti Catholic Penal Laws.

      Merely by having a parliament with real powers, my view is that Britain was already a constitutional monarchy.

      Sean

      Delete
  2. Sean,
    I am not saying what James was doing, just that there was a general tendency to enforce beliefs. Queen Mary did it. I think I am right in saying that Thomas More, beheaded for remaining Catholic, had had people prosecuted for heresy when he was Chancellor?
    Paul.

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    Replies
    1. Kaor, Paul!

      True, but that was as true of Protestants as of Catholics. And in many cases the Protestants were more brutal than the Catholics, who were, after all DEFENDING themselves.

      Yes, St. Thomas More, when he was Lord High Chancellor, also prosecuted Protestants, because they were in violation of the laws of England at that time.

      I remember reading, as Sir Thomas was going to his death a woman he had prosecuted (probably this time in a matter of civil law) asked if he regretted the decision he made in her case. More replied he would have made exactly the same judgment, because that was what the law required.

      Sean

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  3. Sean,
    I don't think that Mary burning heretics can count as self-defense, though. Were some of the people prosecuted by More burned to death? This has to count as an unjust law like gassing Jews. And even worse than beheading.
    Paul.

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    Replies
    1. Kaor, Paul!

      Of course I agree with you! And I should have added that the bad actions of Protestants did not justify equally bad acts by Catholics. Mea culpa!

      Sean

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