Bah humbug to The Event

Posted: April 29, 2011 in Capitalism, Finance, Kyriarchy, Politics, Racism
Tags: , , ,

Hello! I am writing to you from my computer! I am not a) getting ready to party in the streets, b) watching The Event on the internet, c) watching The Event on TV, d) camping outside The Event or otherwise demonstrating myself to be a good forelock-tugger. I am instead blogging about The Event, but not in the adoring way expected of one of Her Majesty’s loyal subjects.

The Event being, of course, the Royal Wedding. My criticisms run deep and will probably run on for a few dozen paragraphs. Let’s start with one very fundamental criticism.

The instution of the monarchy. Historically, I know why we have it (groups of people gathering more and more land, leader of those groups getting more and more power, finally calls himself (generally was ‘he’) King. Then one group becomes more and more powerful and replaces the monarchy of the other groups to that one group’s monarchy. Fairly simple. What I don’t understand is why we still have it.

This is the 21st century. We have spent centuries advancing the cause of democracy, forcing it on our colonies, advocating for it, believing in it. I believe in it. Rule by the people is in my opinion the only fair way of running things. The only way that ensures that everyone has a voice and should, if properly executed, ensure that those voices are heard. Elsewhere in the world, people are fighting and dying for it, today, now. And yet we still have a monarch. We still have a fossil of the days when one person held the lives of many in the palm of their hand, crushing and killing, in our political system. The monarch may not have much ‘true’ political power, but we still have one. And while we’re talking of power, the Royal Family do have power.

They have the power to oppress. They have the power to command the eyes and ears of the world. They are sent out on diplomatic missions. They have the power to command crowds, to leech our money away from us. That’s power.

They have no place in a country that dares to call itself democratic. They do not earn their huge wealth – they sit on the previous generations’ wealth, plundered with inhumanity and brutality from other corners of the world, and are awarded more of the people’s money. Abolish the monarchy, even with pensioning off one or two of them, and I imagine that most of our financial woes would be temporarily ended.

The institution is oppressive in its self. The only reason Queen Elizabeth II currently holds the throne is her parents’ lack of a CAMAB offspring. Sexism. And do you think that if an heir to the throne turned out to be non-cis (binary or non-binary) their role would be adjusted, their self would be respected? I don’t think so. Perhaps some have, and that’s why we don’t know about it. Catholics – and presumably any other non-Protestant/person who doesn’t mind pretending – are barred from taking the throne. I doubt anyone who isn’t straight, cis, white, conventionally able/appearing so or who lacks privilege in any other sphere would be allowed into public life, or kept out of the pillary if they found themselves there.

Besides this, the English monarchy forced its authority onto its colonies through force of arms, through brainwashing, through the eradication of cultures. Talking about my own situation, my country’s monarchs were deposed and often killed by their ancestors, and while I would hope that our own monarchs would have been deposed in favour of a democracy by now I resent that they were replaced by the authority of those who tried to wipe out our culture, damn near succeeded and may yet. I would imagine that English colonies and ex-colonies feel similar, having had their autonomy, nationhood and often culture assaulted, wounded, often killed – generally more severely than my own – on the orders of the English monarchy.

And now onto the specific wedding-related critique.

It’s all joy and everything over this marriage. He’s a Prince, she’s a commoner – although in my book, if she’s common I really wish I was – they’ve been together for years, with a couple of break-ups – so modern, isn’t it?-… it’s the stuff of the modern kyriarchy’s dreams. She’s just common enough to give an illusion of progress, but all the basics are unchanged. Think about it. There’s still the oppressive institution. The power differential reinforces the privilege differences between women and men. She’s still rich. Her self has been subsumed in the coverage beneath the weight of custom and royalty worship. They’re straight. They’re white. They’re cis. They’re conventionally able. Etc. Privilege! The joys of a privileged and a super-hyper-privileged person getting married! What would happen if he wanted to marry a man? Or if she had less privilege? One acquaintance of mine said, ‘They’d say, ‘Hey, why don’t you go live in Switzerland?’ and try to silence the papers.’ I imagine that would be at least somewhat true.

And who is paying for this? Us.

Us. We, who are suffering from the effects of a recession and the draconian cuts inflicted upon us by an overprivileged, contemptuous, capitalist Government – we are paying for the festivities of a monstrously rich institution that was not chosen by us. We didn’t choose to foot the bill. And a bank holiday has been declared, a day of wages that many people will lose, that will seriously impact on many people’s lives.

I am fed up with having it shoved in my face. I am fed up of knowing that resources earned by the people are fueling this extravaganza of forelock-tugging, pomp and privilege. I am fed up with the adulation being poured out to a group of utterly undeserving, overprivileged people who have often shown themselves bigoted, oppressive and awful. I am fed up of the adoration being directed towards an institution with so much blood on its hands.

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