On April 30, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands will retire. She ‘reigned’ from 1980-2013 while the years of Dutch censorship of science are 1990-2013, which is 23 out of 33 years, or 70 %, and which is not a bad record for despotism, as the ‘royal blood’ demands to show and impose itself. She still has 18 days to resolve the censorship under her ‘reign’, which would be a final triumph of decency and reason after years of neglect, but most likely she will spend more time on selecting a cute hat than on defending the integrity of science. A few days more for glory – but Sic transit gloria mundi.
Holland is a republic that happened by history to get a constitutional monarch. France is a monarchy that happened by history to get an elected president. Foreigners don’t understand the confusion, which is fair, given that many people in Holland or France do not understand it either. It is rather amazing how much orange pomp and circumstance some Dutch are creating around the April 30 transfer of the ‘reign’ to her son Willem-Alexander. The lackey mentality is ingrained in many human genes and requires an expression in ceremonies, constumes, parades and flags, otherwise the lackeys wither and get lost in the woods and swamps, perhaps hunting mosquito’s and other easy prey to stay alive.
Indeed, the key issue isn’t the orange family itself but Dutch society as a whole: compare the orange mania with the effort to defend the integrity of science. Of course there are vested interests in building up the orange fire and passion. The prime minister, the politicians, the mayors, the journalists, the broadcasting companies, the advertisers, the mechandisers. Follow the money, and see how the masses are played upon, and how their passions are manipulated to separate them from their euros. This circus stands in painful contrast to the lack of respect for science.
Thomas Paine in Common Sense, January 10 1776, already explained that hereditary royalty flies in the face of, well, common sense. Really, what is that transfer of the ‘reign’ on April 30 truly about ? It means that a constitution with a historical error requires that a slot is replaced. One figurehead for another. It is something to be ashamed about. If it has to be done, do it quickly, in a dark room so that people do not have to see the disgust on all faces, and be done with it.
It is no coincidence that my 2012 book carries the title Common Sense: Boycott Holland.
As a person she seems to have her nice sides. The Dutch also respond to the complexities of a family in the spotlights with some personal tragedies like the loss of her husband and son. Frans Bieckmann collected her speeches in a booklet Creation itself is at stake. The first speech she made in 1961 when she was 23 about The European Ideal. Another one to the American Congress in 1982. There is a lot of idealism and good will, quite in contrast to the censorship of science. It is a point that Thomas Paine may not have considered: that nice people should not be locked up in hereditary royalty. Though idealists can also wreak a lot of havoc in Europe.