Georgian Monarchist in New York
12 September, 2013
Georgian Monarchist in New  York

People do come up with very interesting ways to solve imaginary problems. It’s the real ones that no one seems to be able to solve. Recently I met a young gentleman who considers that Georgia should not have a democracy, but a monarchy. It’s not a new idea as an undisclosed population of Georgians has voiced this opinion before. What’s new is the reasoning behind it. The young gentleman has calculated that it would be cheaper for the state to

pay for the King than for a president. His reasoning was all about economics he said. To be honest, at first I was flabbergasted to hear this from a young person because the talk of monarchy usually comes from older people who cling to their old family names as if they mean something more than entitlement.


In my eyes, to be proud of your name, you should achieve something worthy of praise, and I don’t mean the act of being born into a noble last name. As I sat rather stupidly starring at the young man who challenged me to come up with a reason not to have instated monarchy, I blinked. Besides the fact that I don’t believe that I should bow to a crown because somewhere down the line someone’s grandfather was a king, I had nothing. The young man brought out an example of the British royal monarchy, as if Georgia and Britain are the same concept, and while he talked really fast in Georgian about monarchy, I formulated my questions in English.
Well, first I’d like to see those numbers that say it’s cheaper to sustain a king than a president. Would a king have less security or entertain less, or would his castle or living quarters be dimmed at night so save the taxpayers money? Even though, according to this young gentleman, the monarchy would just be ‘decoration’, with real power going to prime minister and parliament, could 200 years of no effective monarchy do away with entitlements? Second, with King and Queen come princes, princesses, grand dukes, grand princes, dukes, duchesses, marquises, earls, counts, barons, knights and all their relatives. So when the monarchy is restored, and all of these people with old last names (tavadi) that tie them through their grand great, great, great, great relation to a Bagrationi line, restore their own titles of dukes and counts and so forth, what is the government going to do when they present their deeds of the lands that they are entitled too? I would like to point out here that it seems almost everyone in Georgia, my relatives included, is somehow related to nobility, but should this really be a consideration in the modern Georgia or are we just so bored with the real problem -such as a major chunk of the country being under enemy occupation, that we would like to muddy the waters even more? Is it not better to be a Bagrationi at heart and work to help your country than demand compensation for things that no one alive can account for?
Although since 2007 different opposition parties in Georgia and the main proponent of this idea, the Patriarch, have voiced their favorable opinion of restoration of monarchy, some have had the guts if not to reject the idea outright, then at least point out that no question of constitutional monarchy can be raised when the territorial integrity of Georgia hasn’t been resolved. I figure that the Patriarch has a reason to want monarchy, it gives the Church more power as they anoint the monarch, but what does the young gentleman gain from this, I wondered. And then he told me his last name.

 

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