Don’t like monarchy? Then maybe you want a dictatorship

To the editor: The only places I’ve really experienced have been Western democracies. I’ve seen, however, that absent a dictator and to avoid one, we need laws, a sense of history and an origination myth held mystically by central, amorphous but symbolic figures to represent our continuous culture. (“The British monarchy needs to go, say Anglo-American readers,” letters, June 6)

The founding fathers, anyone? Aeneas for Rome? Moses and the 10 Commandments?

Our societies are changeable enough, our freedoms and beliefs arguable, our sense of security often shaky. But imagine England, at least that, spread out without a king or queen representing its history and “countryside.” Imagine English literature without Shakespeare, even if you only read soccer reviews and “Harry Potter.” Imagine history without Trafalgar Square and its ridiculously high column starring Lord Nelson guarded by crouching lions. Would you still go there to feed the pigeons?

Every society needs a stabilizing figurehead. If we the public pull down old statues, ignore precedent and do not retain a harmless figure upholding history and gradual change, we will end up with chaos and then a dictator. The public money spent on retaining a monarch is very well worthwhile.

Linda Hepner, Los Angeles

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