Saturday, December 29, 2007

Splitting Heirs

When a single powerful family decides to take absolute power, appropriate much of the nation's wealth and create a feudal system to support its cronies and control the populace, then it is typical to use the language of religion to control the masses and legitimise any brutality.

For example, the king of Nepal has long been considered by some to be an incarnation of the Lord Vishnu, and hence exempt from normal human laws. The Pharaohs of ancient Egypt used similar myths to ensure subservience. Obviously no-one in the western world today would accept a line that a particular family was chosen by God to control huge swathes of land forever, that would surely be ridiculous.

Some actions of Nepal's royal family have been quite strange. For example only a few years ago the crown prince gunned down his father, so he was technically the divine ruler, until he shot himself too. But the people have finally opened their eyes. Today I learned that parliament has voted by a majority of 270 to 3 to abolish the monarchy. The current king will not be tortured and executed, he will just have to pay his taxes like everyone else.

Meanwhile in the UK we still encourage the caste system. Madness.

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