Dr. Jason Dew
18 July 2013
The Divine Right of Kings
The American government uses true absolutism, which is a major aspect of The Divine Right of Kings, due to the fact on how they use wiretapping, monitoring phone conversations and general surveillance without consent. The Divine Right of Kings is a political and religious doctrine of royal and political legitimacy. It asserts that a monarch is subject to no earthly authority, deriving his right to rule directly from the will of God. A monarchy is a form of government in which sovereignty is actually or normally embodied in a single individual, the monarch. The Homily of 1547 expressed the whole doctrine of divine right in Louis XIV’s rule over France or Charles II’s rule over England could have battered. John Neville Figgis states right after that the people “may not resist, nor in any wise hurt, an anointed king, which is God’s lieutenant, vice-regent and highest minister in the country where he is king” (xxiii). The Divine Right of Kings was a notable doctrine during the seventeenth century; it gave the monarch absolute power.
The main aspect of The Divine Right of Kings was absolutism. Absolutism is the political doctrine and practice of unlimited, centralized authority and absolute sovereignty, as vested especially in a monarch or dictator. The essence of an absolutist system is that the ruling powers is not subject to regularized challenge or check by any other agency, be it judicial, legislative, religious, economic, or electoral. When Louis XIV was king he proclaimed, “I am the state” (Encyclopedia Britannica). This statement alone made by Louis XIV showed familiar assertion of absolutism. It has existed in various forms in all parts of the world, including in Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler and in the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin. The most studied form of absolutism would be absolute monarchy. Absolute monarchy originated in early modern Europe and was based on the strong individual leaders of the new nation-states that were created at the breakup of medieval order. The most common defense of monarchical absolutism is known as The Divine Right of Kings.
The American government is guilty of using true absolutism today, due to so many constituents. Wiretapping has been around for many years, basically an “interception of telephone or telegraph communications by electronic listening or recording devices for espionage or surveillance” (Funk and Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia). Another component that contributes to absolutism is video surveillance, “technology-aided surveillance began in the 1970s with closed-circuit television systems that were analog based. These systems were built from cameras, multiplexers, time-lapse video camera recorders (VCR) and monitors” (Fullerton 01). To maintain the VCR system, operators had to manually change the tapes on a regular basis as they became full, sometimes several times a day, which would be a labor-intensive routine. Also, the VCR required frequent service checks and typically had to be replaced every two years. By the 1990s, due to the problems experienced with the VCR, people began installing digital recorders, DVRs, as that technology became available. In a DVR, a digital storage media such as a computer hard drive is used for storing the video recordings. With digital video recordings the storage of surveillance no longer had quality loss over time and manual intervention was greatly reduced, resulting in lower cost overall. These factors stated were all done without consent from the people. On Tuesday, September 11th, 2001 a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks was launched by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda upon the United States in New York City and Washington D.C. area. Four passenger airliners were high jacked by 19 al-Qaeda terrorists so they could be flown into buildings in suicide attacks. Two of those planes were crashed into the North and South towers,...
Cited: Figgis, John Neville. The Divine Right of Kings. New York: Harper & Row, 1965. Print.
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