Wednesday, January 25, 2017

#Wikidata - Sultanism anyone?

The definition of "sultanism" is:
In political science, sultanism is a form of authoritarian government characterized by the extreme personal presence of the ruler in all elements of governance. The ruler may or may not be present in economic or social life, and thus there may be pluralism in these areas, but this is never true of political power.
There are prominent scientists who use the term. It  therefore must be applicable and indeed there are some who consider that any sultanate is defined by it.  The problem is that the name is very much linked to Islam but that it equally applies to monarchs like Henry VIII. King Henry started the church of England but the way that the church of England came to be makes sultanism applicable.

It does not really matter how the concept of sultanism came to be. The name chosen is extremely prejudicial. The problem we face is that words and facts matter. Both Wikipedia and Wikidata represent a neutral point of view and therefore a concept like sultanism deserves a place. However, when such a concept is to be applied, it needs to applied in a neutral way. It means that you can not point to a country and say "sultanate". It means that it applies to a ruler and it therefore applies to Henry as much as to an evil genius like Jafar.

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