Thursday, December 19, 2019

Britain: Republican Extremism in Brighton?

Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

Brighton and Hove City council in the UK will be debating a petition that has called for stripping Prince Harry and Meghan Markle his American wife, of their titles. They are presently known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.  The petition calls for not referring to them as such as it is, “….
symbolic of the oppression of the general public by the wealthy elite.” The petition states that, “Neither will Brighton Council invite or entertain these individuals nor afford them any hospitality or courtesies above and beyond that of an ordinary member of the public.”

Well! The monarchists have gone nuts. It shows “….utter disdain and contempt for The Crown, not to mention copious amounts of disrespect to, and for, the Royal family which undertakes thousands of engagements per year on behalf of the nation, in right of Her Majesty as The Crown,"  says the founder of the British Monarchist’s Society. The petition, reveals “pockets of extremists” “Republican dissidents” say the royal sycophants, "Next will be the 'off with their heads”.

The Royals work tirelessly on behalf of the nation? This is what the nationalist blind spot can do. Using the term “work” with regard to these wasters is an oxymoron. And which demographic of the nation does this backward feudal German clan, represent? Let’s not forget that they changed their name to Windsor from Battenburg. Having a Germanic name during a war with Germany was not the best. What opportunism. These people normally live ripe old ages because they avoid work. They actually have socialism, the best health care and so on. They just oppose it for the rest of us. In addition, their wealth comes from the violent rape and plunder of their own peasantry and working class and from the countries they occupied. Queen Victoria was the Empress of India yet no Indians voted for her. And what is an Anglo-Saxon doing as a Welsh Prince?

I am not opposed to tradition, even the traditions of a former ruling class like the relatives of the present do nothing Royal crowd. I love old buildings, churches, and stately homes, after all, workers built them. But I read recently that there is no evidence that tourists that come to the UK do so primarily to see the Queen, they come for the tradition, the architecture, the beautiful palaces and the art and culture, much of it result of global plunder that people want to see. The unshackling of English economic and political life from the straitjacket of feudalism in the English revolution, gave capitalism the opportunity it needed that allowed this island to play a global role much greater than its size would imply. Those days are over.

British capitalism uses these remnants of a backward, archaic social system as a cover, as a means of holding on to former British greatness. It is not not the great sacrifices of the British working class that built the canals, the towering monuments that they recognize as truly marvelous events. The Lancashire workers and their children worked 12 or more hours a day in northern factories processing cotton that black slaves picked. The present Royals' relatives were violent, brutal oppressors. Henry the V111, didn’t just murder women who failed to meet his standards, he murdered thousands of peasants and other poor. They had their day, send them all packing. The old one can live out their lives, liberated from their extreme wealth and land ownership of course and the offspring can go get a job.

It appears that this petition was simply Republican driven. Not such a radical idea a Republic is it? The accusation of “Republican socialists” and “extremists” should make us think for a minute about the slander poor Corbyn had to deal with. The monarchy and that unelected House of Lords should be abolished.

I was in Dublin Ireland in October and watched the Rugby World Cup Final in an Irish pub. Needless to say there was not one Irish person in that bar that cheered for England; they were all for South Africa. This is due to history of course and many years ago I would have not liked it, I would have felt personally affronted as if they were directing their displeasure at me personally. But they weren’t and that is the trick that nationalism plays on us.

Nationalism drives the lie in to our heads that we are all one, “indivisible” as the US capitalist propaganda puts it.  The bosses use the same tactic on the job calling it the Team Concept, we are all in this together, our interests are the same when the reality is our interests are in direct opposition. The capitalists’ wealth comes from the unpaid labor of the working class, a process maintained through coercion and violence. We don’t feel together when they force us on strike to defend our living standards and keep food on the table. Every worker knows in our gut that they are the enemy, but understanding that, we can still fall prey to the nationalist card that workers of other nations are when the truth is they are our real allies. In the US of course, color has been the prime means by which US capitalism maintains social control and its governance. It is the primary divide and rule tactic.

It is no wonder the world’s bourgeois hated Marx and demonize him and his ideas. What is more democratic and offers a viable vision for the future of humanity than the simple Phrase, “Workers of the world unite you have nothing to lose but your chains.”

In the US, identity politics is rampant. It is a diversion; it is embraced by the ruling class and supported by the petit bourgeois in order to obscure the class question. It is important to defend those who have an additional cross to bear in an exploitative society, racial, sexual religious and other minorities, but there are classes in those communities too and in the last analysis, the class question is key. Capitalism cannot be overthrown without class unity.

I wanted England to defeat South Africa that day. I am proud of being part of the American working class and the English working class, I love the land I consider my home base and the places I hike and find such peace in in California. The workers' love of the land is the beauty and splendor of it. For the capitalist is it just another commodity; they see dollar signs. When Warren Buffet says he loves America and an autoworker or other worker says so, or talks of how they miss home, they are talking of two different worlds. When black folks or Native Americans think of America and US American history, theirs is a different America to the white European worker although they are all exploited by the same system and its supporters. We know this, but nationalism and other divide and rule tactics, insidiously undermine that natural class unity that flows from it.

It was standing room only in that pub and I felt embarrassed as the English supporters sang God Save the Queen. What backward feudal rubbish. I cannot and will not sing it and certainly not in an Irish pub. My Old Man's a Dustman would be more appropriate.

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