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Ernesto Che Guevara

Ernesto Che Guevara
Location
Sierra Maestra, Cuba
Birthday
December 24
Title
Comandante
Company
July 26 Movement
Bio
I am the conscience of a lost generation. I come back to remind you of the things you have forgotten, of the beliefs you once had and the principles you once lived by. The world is dying, because you have become alienated from your own, true self.

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Salon.com
APRIL 28, 2011 6:43PM

Why Progressives Should Boycott the Royal Wedding

Rate: 24 Flag

As we protest the erosion of worker rights in Wisconsin, the increasing burdens upon the working and the middle classes and the increasing power and privilege of the global aristocracy, many Americans nevertheless gloat and fixate upon the royal wedding. Do they not see the hypocrisy in such actions?

Royalty is a symbol of everything that is wrong with the world today and indeed, has ever been wrong with the world. It is a symbol of inherited wealth and privilege. Of the primacy of blood and heredity over merit and the prevalence of inherited, class-based socio-economic injustice the world over. Royalty, constitutional or not, stands for an untouchable class of elites who wield enormous, inheritable, if limited power (but still far more than the average man) in both the nation they reside and throughout the world, by way of their nation’s international corporate, political and financial reach. Royalty is the pinnacle of the class-system of aristocratic absolutism, where the interests of the poor and the many are overseen and adjudicated by their social “betters,” the rich and the few.

Royalty is something that the Industrial and Financial elite of the United States and Europe have always wished to emulate. When the first capitalists first came into existence, they fought tooth and nail against royalty. But once they won, they made an alliance with them, and tried their utmost to be like them in terms of clothing and food, housing and leisure. Today, the world’s capitalist elite look at the Royal houses of Europe, the Middle East and Asia as leaders of style, opinion and influence. If the Sultan of Brunei has 12 homes, then so must the head of such and such bank. If Prince William owns X number of horses, then by God, so must the CEO of Company XYZ and so on.

Royalty is inimical to democracy and has been seen as such since 1776, the year of the American Revolution and 1789, the year of the French Revolution. I shall not watch this royal wedding because I am an ardent supporter of democracy and a passionate foe of royalty and absolutism in all of its forms.

I have never understood the weakness of the human species, where we seek to deify and glorify and hold-up a select group of people and worship them as false-gods incarnates, worthy of our praise, respect and admiration, when their position, rank, fortune and grace have all come about as a result of birth, accident and the past crimes, murders and robberies committed by their ancestors on those less lucky, clever or well-armed as themselves. At least movie stars and rock stars have "talent," even if a modicum and even if this is somewhat debatable. And sure, even then, we probably give them far more attention and glory and love than they are due. Deprived of sectarian Gods, we search for deities among our fellow mortals and we keep coming up short. And if we search for such saviors and heroes among nobles and monarchs, we might not only come up short, but find the list of our democratic, economic and political rights much shorter, as well.

When Monarchs and nobles can mesmerize the masses, they are more likely to gain our support and trust, particularly during critical periods of time when they wish to maintain their own wealth and power by limiting the wealth and political rights of the common people. We are seeing this in America and Europe and even in Great Britain.

Who cares if the Queen is paying for this wedding out of the so-called "Royal-Purse?" Should there even be a royal purse to begin with? Does the fact that the Royals are paying for this themselves in any way lessen or mitigate the fact that people who watch this ceremony will be far more supportive of the nobles and aristocracy, long after the wedding affair has ended? If a Prince or Duke or Lord suddenly proclaims the need for greater austerity and lower taxes on the rich and higher taxes on the poor, would the upswell of public support for all things royal and all things noble lead to this man's arguments being adopted by the masses? I certainly hope not. And yet I still recognize the danger of this coming about.

Some say the Royal family is good. I mean, look at all the public service they do! Princess Diana raised public awareness for AIDS and became good friends with "Sir" Elton John in the process. The Princes have charities they work on the behalf of. They point to the national unity the monarch can bring to the country in times of peril or crisis. They point to the so-called revenue and jobs that the monarchs bring to Britain. And yet, these arguments are eerily reminiscent of all the Madison Avenue propaganda nonsense we hear in our own country. The only thing is, in America, this bullshit is peddled about the "noblesse oblige" of billionaires and multi-national corporations. In my opinion, its all the same nonsense. Its all white-wash and PR work, and serves to do nothing more than make an unjust system of class-privilege and aristocracy more tolerable to an already highly taxed and politically burdened people.

As democracy slips through the fingers of common people throughout the world, as governments become less and less responsive to the needs and desires of the common people, we still have Nobles and Queens and Princes existing in high levels of society and government. Have we really progressed in the past 200 years?  

Human beings have always been mesmerized like deer in the headlights by silly pomp and circumstance, by ritual and glitz and glamour. The façade, the show, and the mythological spectacle that serves nothing more than to legitimize our corrupt, unjust and worthless system. A system in which the poor are exploited, the middle class lack jobs and the rich continue to eat crumpets and cake in their palaces, country clubs and yachts upon the sea.

Rituals like royal marriages, coronations, party-rallies, are all artfully contrived methods of participatory propaganda. No less odious and manipulative than the Nazi Nuremberg Rallies and Soviet May Day Parades. People should be protesting in the streets of Britain. They should be challenging their government. They should be demanding greater economic and political rights. Greater accountability. Greater social justice. Greater taxes upon the rich and the abolition of the nobility. Instead, like a bunch of drugged-up monkeys, they stare and drool and salivate at the glitter, the jewels, the gowns and crowns. The soldiers and their shiny swords: all of this frivolity, all of this nonsense, purchased and financed with the blood of millions.

The blood of Irishmen. The blood of Africans. The blood of Boers and Arabs. The blood of Native Americans, of Indians, Afghans and yes, even Americans (Remember 1776).

How much blood sustained the British Crown for how many hundreds of years and gave the British Empire the wealth and power upon which its present prestige is based?

Would Thomas Jefferson be gawking at this wedding? The answer is a resounding NO.

Would Washington find it dignified to acknowledge the superiority or majesty of the British Crown, by allowing himself to become mesmerized by their silly sceptered ceremonies? Again, the answer is a resounding NO.

I for one shall not watch this spectacle. No believer in true democracy, in liberty, equality and the principles of republicanism could ever sleep comfortably knowing that he allowed himself to be hoodwinked in such an ignoble way. I will not acknowledge their majesty by watching this show. Instead, I shall spend the morning sleeping. And when I awaken and all the world is watching tv and gawking at the food and the music, the soldiers and the dancing, I will read Voltaire and Rousseau. Perhaps I will watch the musical, "1776," or the movie, "Michael Collins." But I shall not watch this wedding.

While so many out there dream of kings and queens, princes and princesses (and the undeniably authoritarian, absolutist class-based injustice inherent in such conceptions), I shall dream of heroes and patriots, freedom riders and revolutionaries, sons and daughters of liberty who shed their blood and also their lives so that we might live in a land without kings and nobles.

As we gawk at the Prince and future King of Britain, I look at my own country with measured apprehension. A land where the Koch Brothers are setting themelves up as Robber Barons and nobility for a new age, where Ruppert Murdoch is a new age Prince of Media in his own right and countless bankers and mortgage companies control the lives of working class Americans with a ruthless ferocity that equals the injustices committed by European Nobility, both now and in the past.

Why look across the sea at nobles and dream of past remnants of European feudalism? We have feudalism here and its only getting stronger...

------------------------------------------ 

QUOTATIONS BY MARK TWAIN ON MONARCHY AND NOBILITY

 

"We hold these truths to be self-evident -- that all monarchs are usurpers and descendants of usurpers; for the reason that no throne was ever set up in this world by the will, freely exercised, of the only body possessing the legitimate right to set it up -- the numerical mass of the nation."
- Letter to Sylvester Baxter of Boston Herald, 1889

"Monarchy has speech, and by it has been able to persuade man that it differs somehow from the rattlesnake, has something valuable about it somewhere, something worth preserving, something even good and high and fine, when properly "modified," something entitling it to protection from the club of the first comer who catches it out of its hole."
- An unpublished letter on the Czar, 1890

"Strip the human race, absolutely naked, and it would be a real democracy. But the introduction of even a rag of tiger skin, or a cow tail, could make a badge of distinction and be the beginning of a monarchy."
- Mark Twain's Notebook

"The first gospel of all monarchies should be rebellion; the second should be Rebellion; and the third and all gospels and the only gospel in any monarchy should be Rebellion against Church and State."
- Mark Twain's Notebook

"A select and peculiar kind of slave-proprietor who does not get his property by purchase, or trick, or beguilement, but inherits it -- from an ancestor who stole it."
- "Letters from a Dog to Another Dog Explaining and Accounting for Man"

"There are shams and shams; there are frauds and frauds, but the transparentest of all is the sceptered one. We see monarchs meet and go through solemn ceremonies, farces, with straight countenances; but it is not possible to imagine them meeting in private and not laughing in each other's faces."
- Mark Twain's Notebook

"I wish I might live fifty years longer; I believe I should see the thrones of Europe selling at auction for old iron. I believe I should really see the end of what is surely the grotesquest of all the swindles ever invented by man-- monarchy."
- Letter to Sylvester Baxter of Boston Herald, 1889

 

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Ernesto, you make a lot of valid and important points about the royal family and the upcoming wedding! You are correct about what's happening in this country, as well. The main thing I can say that is positive about some of the royal family is sometimes they speak out to focus attention on various problems of the world, but it's not like you hear of this on a regular basis. They have so many assets that could be sold off and given to those far less fortunate that there is irony involved in their talking about those in need.
You are my hero Comandante for speaking the timeless truth! Would that the royals were to drink tainted milk and their bowels were to explode and befoul their clothes for all the world to see to serve as a reminder of the mortals that they be! (sorry, I couldn't resist)
Good Lord Noah LOL
I come from a British family and enjoy the royals. There is no way that I shirk the problems of the world as you can see from my blogs.
But sometimes life sucks so much that you have to have some levity.
This is it for me.
Good points though Che.. always good.
rated with hugs
Designator: that "public service" stuff is just a bunch of PR. Corporate lawyers, large Fortune 500 companies and the top polluting companies throughout the world ALL engage in miniscule public service as way to white-wash their bad-acts. In Nazi Germany, IG Farben, the company that made Zyklon B---the pesticide that was used to gas folks at Auschwitz----the CEOs were among the biggest donors to Winter Relief charity and war relief charity during the 1930s and 1940s. They did this to CAMOUFLAGE the fact that they were murderous sons of bitches.

Noah: If somebody could give bad milk to the Archbishop of Canterbury, then I would DEFINATELY tune-in.

Linda: That's what they're planning on. The question is, would you support the abolition of the monarchy and the nationalization of their assets, and turning Buckingham Palace into a hospital for the poor. I would. They should have a flat in London. Nothing more.
Rated for using one of my favorite Twain quotes:

"A select and peculiar kind of slave-proprietor who does not get his property by purchase, or trick, or beguilement, but inherits it -- from an ancestor who stole it."
- "Letters from a Dog to Another Dog Explaining and Accounting for Man"
here I thought it was just too early in the morning to watch...NOW I have a damn good reason to sleep in - it helps the cause!! yeah...you are one of my new favs of favorites man - great quotes, great insights, and the best poop story I've ever read.
Ernesto, if people were building a society from scratch, of course we would have a royal family. But i reckon there's many dozens more problems in the world before you get to the oddity of the British royal family.

I assuredly will be among the 5 billion not watching, and even if i don't quite understand the attraction of watching it, I harbor no ill feeling to those who choose to spend their time this way. Hell, several years ago I watched a season of Survivor just to maintain some semblance of social currency.
yeah, not for me either. I'm very fond of silly, but that's just not my kind of entertainment. I did watch Diana though as a kid- unabashedly with jaw open and eyes glazed. Fairytales seemed more real then. Course after what happened to her, good riddance to all of that classical nonsense. Reality intrudes, in all its sordid splendor. I'd rather keep my eyes firmly fixed in the middle and miss both sides of that spectrum.
When somebody explains to me what Prince William has ever done for society besides suck off the public teat, then I'll begin to be interested in the wedding.
I'm sure that plenty of "progressives" will be in attendance, stink-bombs, firecrackers and all...

Ah, me, to be young again, and capable of hefting a trash-can quickly enough to throw it through a plate-glass window and make off before the reign comes...


Rated.
Che: Health care is free for everyone (poor or rich) in the UK as it is in Canada and France. It should be here too and it will never ever be because of greedy insurance companies and politicians.
Padraig: you are right. The British Aristocracy is currently waging war on the poor and middle classes of Britain. Massive protests have swept the land. I think this wedding serves as a massive distraction. Why protest rising tuition costs and reliance on usurious student loans and predatory lenders/financiers, when there is a fancy royal wedding and pretty royalty to gawk at?

8)
Abrawang: there is nothing in the geneology of human civilization that mandates the creation of royalty, monarchs and tyrants.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_ship_Tyrannicide_(1793)

You have to love the French Revolution, and the spirit with which they named their ships...
I think we need to start with non-monarchist fairy tales. Then we have to follow up by rejecting large displays of wealth. Part of the problem, actually a lot of the problem, is that these trappings are cool and the only way to get such trappings (or for them to be made at all) is through grossly unequal distribution of resources. People see this stuff, they want it, they aspire to it and, particularly in America, they worry about people taking it from them if they ever get there, like that's really feasible. It rarely is.

But the stuff is cool and that's a problem.
I agree. Disney is a great big corporate purveyor of crap-myths like this. Cartoon romanticizing of monarchy, nobles and blue-bloods lording it over a happy peasantry, one big happy family with animals, nobles, trees and peasants happy and equal and carefree.

Its all bullshit. Fairy-tales are propaganda, too, I believe.
What is interesting is that there was far more outrage from public intellectuals AGAINST monarchy 100 years ago, than there is today.

Today, democratic man seems to WANT monarchy.

Bonapartism is on its way. Karl Marx was right...
Although I'm not watching, I'm not actively boycotting either. I'm kind of "meh" about the whole thing.

It's going to have to be up to the Brits to sort this thing out.
Strong and cogent argument, Che. I could never understand why Europeans don't find the very existence of royalty offensive. Instead, they argue to preserve it. Very strange. The British royalty are virtually irrelevant most of the time.

Lezlie
Great post and points. What I find interesting too - among some of the commenters and such, is the defense of this whole thing - because it either gives one some escapism or levity, or that these "royals" do some good works. And, everytime I read something like this - I think to myself, is that really worth the price? Is it worth hundreds of millions of dollars to enjoy a bit of escapism in celebrity-land? Is the price of doing some good works or calling attention to a few worty causes, really justified? I mean, it's just absurd. When so many people are struggling and in Great Britain like in the U.S., they call for austerity for the people and tax breaks for the rich and corporate. Oh, but look over there, pretty horses and diamonds! People become transfixed by this nonsense, really engaged even, and it's just another symptom of the easily manipulated public mind.
Kate: you are absolutely correct. Americans are, in many ways, one of the most docile and easily distracted people on earth, or at least a very large percentage of them. We have a strong libertarian, don't fuck with me tradition among cowboys and labor union folks. But among many folks, there is a "GLAM-NAZI" crowd that just eats this shit up. No doubt, they were also big supporters of Hugo Boss, when he designed Hitler's Nazi uniforms for the Third Reich. So much glamour and style! shit!

As for Middleton, I am sick of the sycophantic Bourgeois media discussing how "The Prince married a Commoner."

BULLSHIT

She aint no commoner. Her family is worth tens of millions of dollars. Who cares if they are self-made? They are about as "common" as Bill Gates or Warren Buffett. Being a millionaire does NOT make you a commoner.

He married the millionaire heiress daughter of a hugely successful British corporation owner. BIG FREAKING DEAL.

I would be impressed if he married the daughter of a Pakistani taxi driver in London. Now THAT would be impressive.

But even then, I would be offended that there was still royalty.

Although Oliver Cromwell was a total shit, I empathize with the Roundheads during the English Civil War. To a degree. They abolished the monarchy and I suppose that this was a good thing. They even destroyed the Crown, with all the gold and jewels. Again, a good thing.
Indellible: I respect your opinion and right to watch it.

But I also think I have a right to engage in philosophical arguments against the political institution of royalty and absolutism and caste
And indelible: your rationale kind of proves my point, does it not?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republicanism_in_the_United_Kingdom
Ernesto - You continue to make your points with excellence and intelligence. What you said to about marrying some Pakistani girl - exactly. That whole "commoner" thing is just another fairy tale for the public's gullible consumption - or those that are gullible and easily led around.
Royal Wedding

I hate to be a grumpy gus about the royal wedding, but honestly I could care less. Monarchy is a thing of the past. It's about time people get over it. How much are the Brits paying for that antiquated apparatus anyway?

Spain and Britain ought to do away with the monarchy. The monarchs are figure heads and the people wind up paying for what in the end is glorified welfare. Think about it. What do the royals do? The real person in charge is the prime minister.

America fought a revolution against tyranny and monarchy, so I don't understand why Americans get so excited about it. To justify their curiosity, people say, "Well, we don't have anything like that here." Precisely! The royals satisfy Americans' obsession with celebrity, and the royals are celebrity to the highest extreme.

Seeing a picture of all those union jacks as an expression of patriotism lining the streets reminds me of what Britain's own native son Sam Johnson said about patriotism: "Patriotism is the refuge of scoundrels!"
http://www.johannhari.com/2006/02/22/charles-windsor-dissident-

Interesting article about the feudalistic beliefs and class biases of Prince Charles.
royal crap (vomitous headache)
Excedrin: caffeinated for quick delivery

there are no points in hell

i am sad, i am a sad figure
which is why i cling to Che,
a man's man

note: listening to Doxa Sinistra
You're right, Che, and of course royal weddings are a great distraction for the masses of people, another opiate, like religion, that keeps everyone happy in their place and the rich in their palaces...
Charles may be the most monarchistic royal in England. He's developed that reputation. I heard on TV that there's a guy whose job it is to put toothpaste on the Prince of Wales' toothbrush. Very evenly.
If you needed yet another reason to boycott the wedding, check this out: http://www.politicalfailblog.com/2011/04/right-royal-rip-off-queens-cleaners.html

The queen is paying cleaners at the palace one pound less than the minimum wage.
We also can't forget that the British Monarchy actually DOES have some significant powers in the British gvt. In fact, the Queen can dissolve Parliament at will, if she desires. Its part of their Constitution. They have other, not often used, but still very potent authorities as well.

The second, higher chamber of the British Parliament, the House of Lords (equal to our Senate in power and authority) is wholly comprised of hereditary nobles. Commoners really can't get in here. And none of these guys are elected

Also, Prince Charles runs the Duchy of Cornwall like a tyrant. The Duchy is a collection of counties in southwestern England. ALmost all of the taxes, natural resources and what not, are his personal property. Normal British constitutional laws don't apply there and Charles has amazing feudal privileges and rights over the inhabitants. His authority even extends, in many cases, into how they use their private property and stylize their own homes. No joke.

This is not a REAL democracy in many ways, despite our still-lingering WW1/WW2 and Cold War propaganda about our noble "Anglo Saxon Brothers."
The Zombies
she's not there
Capital is safe to the extent that the masses adore the monarch. The so called royals are the most blatent and in you face representation of the theft of the wealth of the world from the people and its accumulation in the hands of the few. British imperialism is a result of the brutality of this "royal" classes persistance despite the transfer of real power to the hands of finace capital (much of which the royals hold)

All their wealth is stolen all their rights are at our expense and all the adulation is how we are kept in awe of the oppressor class. Expropriate the expropriators!

The French had the right idea. Sharpen the guillotine! Where is madame DeFarge when we need her.
I watched Jon Jost's "Frameup" instead.

Good flick.
Great essay. I have always been amused when rich and famous American women are concerned to learn to curtsy properly in anticipation of their first meeting with the Queen. What an obscenity. What an insult to people who fought a revolution so that the men would not have to bow and the women not have to curtsy.
Excellent set of ideas here, but good luck getting people out of their television induced comas.

One day I was at a bar, and I decided that it would be fun to watch other people, watch tv. I saw this aura of nullification around the general area of their eyes, and their mouthes hung open slightly as if the muscles in their faces were paralyzed.

I sold my TV the next day.

Keep up the good fight brother!
Aren't they all just sniveling robber-barons, hon?
Royal Weddings are exquisite pro-state, monarchy-legitimating, participatory propaganda affairs.

Although they happen all the time, they are most publicized, and the most money is spent on them, during times of economic and political turmoil. Remember, Diana was married to Charles during the last recession in 1981. It served the same purpose, I guess. To distract.

I'm not saying they wouldn't have been married. Of course they would have been. But the hooplah was greater, precisely because we were in a recession. Fine line, though. You need to razzle-dazzle the masses, but you can't alienate them through toooooo much of a display of wealth. There's a fine line. Give them what they want, without over-doing it.

r