You can hardly avoid the current obsession with the British royal family’s activities. Personally, I’m less than amused that with all the talk about royalty, as everyone refuses to see the proverbial elephant in the room.
A monarchy is a system that is basically identical to one allowing slaves. There have been both benevolent and ruthless kings. The same can be said for slaveholders.
Kings and queens seem to have acquired a more favorable, fairy-tale-like image than your typical slavemaster, but some slaveholders treated their people better than many companies treat their workers even today. The difference being that an employee has the option to quit or maybe form a union. The problem is that both systems embrace a poisonous caveat. The kind of treatment is entirely at the whim of the king or slaveholder. Because of this, neither system deserves a passing grade by any consideration.
There should be no recognition beyond an explanation in a history book.
To honor them with statues or walking, breathing monuments, strikes further insult to the pain and suffering of hundreds of thousands of subjects and slaves, and perhaps the most poignant harm was the loss of being able to experience a free and self determined life.
In the U.S. we are belatedly trying to rectify some of this misplaced recognition by removing some confederate statues. The British seem determined to not only support the royalty but to idolize it. They argue that Queen Elizabeth is a good person and nothing like some of her predecessors. That is absolutely true, but she is not a normal queen. She has restrictions. She cannot send someone to prison. She can’t even stop someone from moving to Canada. This prompts one to ask: If the royal family does not run the country, what do they do in return for their plush lifestyle and idolatry status?
In the U.S. we have our idols, but they usually sing, dance or tell jokes. If they have absolutely no talent or capability, we vote them out after one term. But that’s another story.
To the British government, I would like to make this suggestion. The members of the royal family appear to be intelligent, capable individuals. Find purposeful positions for them. It is way past time to stop using good people as monuments to a period of history of which you should not be proud and which you should not honor. If monarchy were a good social system, we’d still be using it.
Glade Shepherd, Sandy