Royal adulation keeps minds in chains

September 10, 2022
Photo: @ConnollyEbooks/Twitter

There is nothing better in these times than reading the words of James Connolly, the Irish republican, socialist and trade union leader, executed by the British firing squad on May 12, 1916.

The weirdest thing right now are the otherwise progressive commentators who still seriously intone that “Now is not the time” to criticize; that we should “still show respect”; or that “She did some good”.

Even if all the claims about Mrs Windsor’s good works and intentions were true, it’s as if they cannot grasp the fact that the only reason any of us even know she existed and was in a position to perform all that “service” is because the British royal family is an institution.

Why would we even want to forget that feudalism and colonialism ever happened and drift into Disney stories about princes and princesses?

Certainly Mrs Windsor and the people around her “modernised” the monarchy.

They made it fit for contemporary capitalism by perpetuating the notion that some people are “born leaders” and others are not and, of course, providing fodder for celebrity distraction.

However, despite the media adulation, I don’t think the capitalist state and media will be able to carry over the reverence for Mrs Windsor to her successors.

The current outpouring and nostalgia is not entirely manufactured; it’s partly tied up with the fact she took the throne when she was young in a period coinciding with rising prosperity in the Global North, including for workers.

I’m not sure that “King” Charles is going to provide much distraction from the grinding austerity of neoliberalism.

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