There are a few things that truly irk the crap out of me: religion, greed, racism, trying to control people – be it economically, culturally, socially or emotionally, ignorance, misogyny – the Kuntrashians.
And then there is royalty, which is sort of like the overarching hub that encompasses all of the aforementioned. Yes royalty has got them all under one convenient umbrella for your oppression and bigotry pleasure.
As with anything detrimental for human kind, the concept of monarchy and royalty has its origins in religion. The appeal to a higher power has not only been used to justify the crown but to also oppress people.
Under feudalism, there were a few very powerful landowners who acquired large amounts of territory through military force (i..e kill the population and steal their land and call it their own) or purchase. These landowners became high-ranking lords, and one of them was crowned king. This probably happened through a show of military force or through political machinations, or some combination of the two.
The king or sovereign claimed divine rights, stating that it was subject only to God and not to the law. The king was thus not subject to the will of his people, the aristocracy, or any other estate of the realm, including (in the view of some, especially in Protestant countries) the Church. According to this doctrine, only God can judge an unjust king (which effectively means no one). The doctrine also implies that any attempt to depose the king or to restrict his powers runs contrary to the will of God and may constitute a sacrilegious act.
The remote origins of this theory are rooted in the medieval idea that God had bestowed earthly power on the king, just as God had given spiritual power and authority to the church, centering on the pope.
As it is the case with all of religion, however, none of that had anything to do with the divine and god of course, it was about power and wealth and the monarchs of the time understood that religion could be conveniently used to get people to submit to their will and power. Dissidents, including questioning the royal’s power, was severely punished. If you are going to mass exploit people and usurp money out of them, as was done during Feudalism, you need to come up with some other justification beside “because I said so” or “because I have the power“. Not to say that those justifications weren’t used either. Christianity helped create a certain kind of society, world view and structure through which those in charge channeled their power and controlled people.
The king, therefore, was nothing but a powerful bully who took what he wanted and tried to justify his theft by appealing to a higher power.
When you trace back the origins of royals, including your “majesty” queen Elizabeth, you will find that her only claim to that title and all the riches that followed it is forceful acquisition of land from someone else. There is nothing honorable about the Royal blood line – or any blood line for that matter.
When I walk into a house and take all the furniture and possessions, claiming they are mine and shoot anyone in my way, it is called stealing and murdering. There is nothing divine or majestic about that, especially when you remember how the royals acquired their title, rank, wealth and legitimacy.
It is, therefore, genuinely bizarre to me that in the 21st century, hundreds of years after Revolutions and the Enlightenment, not to mention after the very foundation of this country - which is fundamentally inspired by the ideas of the Age of Enlightenment and a rejection of royalty – people still celebrate royalty as if it was no big deal. Even in the US. I still remember the hype here about Prince Williams’ and Kate Middleton’s wedding last year.
Needless to say that when I found out that the Brits were going to embark on four days of pomp, pageantry and patriotism to mark Queen Elizabeth’s 60th year on the throne, I was taken aback, to put it mildly.
I know there are a lot of Indians, for instance, living in the UK and I do wonder how they feel about celebrating a Crown that has caused so much blood-shed on their lands and almost cost them their independence. And that is just one nation of peoples that endured death and suffering at the hands of the British crown everyone was so diligently celebrating this weekend.
Am I the Only One Who Finds Celebrating Royalty and All it Stands For in Poor Taste and Just Inappropriate?
It is the Queen’s Diamond jubilee and the Brits are so serious about this shit that they have actually turned it into a national holiday. Across the country, Britons celebrated with street parties and days off work. On Sunday, her “Majesty” attended a luncheon and traveled down the Thames river on a barge. The British flag, the Union Jack, fluttered from buildings, shops and train stations across the country and with a crowd of rain-soaked spectators estimated by organizers at 1.25 million cheering from the riverbanks, the pageant was the largest public event in four days of celebrations of the monarch’s 60 years on the throne.
“To royalists, the occasion is a chance to express their thanks and appreciation to the 86-year-old Elizabeth, head of state for 16 countries from Australia and Canada to tiny Tuvalu in the Pacific Ocean, for her years of public service”. the Huffington Post reports.
Express their thanks? To Royalty? For what exactly? Centuries of authoritarian rule over people and exploitation, enslavement and blood shed of innocent people – overseas or at their own shores? Really?
Royal biographer Robert Lacey stated that “original jubilees were invented in the 19th century by the popular press as modes of national celebration for which the monarchy and monarch was almost incidental.” Lacey further stated that the jubilee was as much about society celebrating itself as it was about the head of state and the now largely symbolic institution of the monarchy. ”They tend to work best in times of economic hardship. It provides a tonic for the country,” Lacey told Reuters.
A tonic for society? Watching a bunch of unemployed freeloaders who neither earned nor deserve any of the riches they have except for a long established tradition that says they do, is a tonic for the masses? And they are celebrating that like it was cool or something to be proud of? Have these people forgotten what the royalty in England is responsible for and what it did to the world up until 65 years ago?
Why Do We Still Care About These Monarchies in the 21st Century?
The whole concept of royalty is pretty insulting as it operates from the fundamental assumption that some human beings are inherently better and more worthy than others.
That is problematic, especially in this day and age, because the idea that somehow a human being is superior or better than another one by virtue of birth and that as a result he is not only celebrated and worshiped but also wealthy and “entitled” to some reverence goes against everything our collective consciousness fought for over the past three to four hundred years to achieve freedom, which meant being liberated from the yokes of royalty.
There is absolutely no difference between Prince William and a child born to parents in Zimbabwe or a boy born to parents in Iran. They all deserve the same praise and respect, love and chances in life and I would most certainly not bow down (either literally or figuratively) before the former or give them special respect because some tradition of establishment by nothing more than powerful bullies who just took what they wanted, claims I should.
The concept of royalty is insulting just as the concept of slavery is insulting. They are two sides of the same coin and there is certainly nothing cute and romantic about either one of them.
It is also irrelevant that the monarchy in England is now symbolic and has no actual political power. I don’t even care all that much about holding the Queen accountable for the actions of her family and lineage, but I do care about, and I am stunned that not more people do, what the crown stands for.
It is especially worrisome that people think they need to thank the Queen and be grateful to her.
Each human being posses an inalienable value irrespective of heritage and lineage. After all, we don’t choose whom we are born to and what our heritage is so we should neither be rewarded or punished for it. Royalty assumes some peoples’ blood is better and nobler than that of others by virtue of lineage or some other arbitrary reasons, thus indirectly devaluing everyone who isn’troyalty.
All such concepts are diametrically opposed to and antithetical to the very notion of freedom. The past of monarchs that had reign over everyone else, exploiting, enslaving and killing people is not something to romanticize and fondly remember. While it is important, of course, to remember and accurately retell history, celebrating the British crown directly like that as if it was something really cute and honorable is out of place and in poor taste, especially because the world today is still suffering from the aftermath of the actions of said royalty.
Worshiping the crown irrespective of what the crown stood for for hundreds of years and the lives it extinguished and destroyed is sort of like being an accomplice to the crimes committed. A lot of the mess the world is in today is as a direct result of British imperialist and expansionist efforts.
Moreover, the wealth and money the Queen and her kind have – and which they now allegedly flaunt around for good causes – was usurped at the back of slave laborers and poor exploited farmers. This is really their wealth and thus their charity, not hers and that of her children. She’s never done a hard days work in her life and other than being born into it, has done nothing to deserve the title and all the honor that goes with it.
At some point in the distant past some person decided that they are entitled to rule over everyone else and so the “tradition” that the Brits go out on the streets to celebrate now, i.e royalty, was established.
Nothing more to it. She isn’t an important and worthier human being.
Of course, there is nothing that can be done about the past but we can decide what to do now – and celebrating the British crown is as tactful as reenacting the US Civil War by special emphasis of the old South before end of slavery.