Mere symbols on a throne can not replace the virtues of a king. The fact that someone sits on a throne – does not make them a king. And the fact that someone is a king, does not make them wise. This old carved throne is guarded by the owls. May it inspire wisdom in those who sit on it.
I am intrigued by this idea of symbols being confused for the things they represent. The map is not the territory. The motions are not necessarily the substance. The words are not necessarily the truth. The trappings of power do not equal authority – legal, moral or otherwise.
So much of modern politics revolve around the pageantry of things – the pretence that our symbols confer and actuate what they stand for.
But owls or no owls, petty tyrants can claim for themselves the title of Liberator.
The braindead can be called shrewd, the comically inept formidable.
And with sufficient symbolism and stage design around them – significant portions of populations will always be ready to go along, and play along.
The Emperor very seldom has any clothes. And yet whole tomes are written, and symphonies composed, and gospels chanted, about how fine the silk of his garbs are.
The king who rules with wisdom brings blessings on the land and the people of the land. The fool on the throne brings only hardship, and famine.
Be careful of the symbols you accept.