The ruling class and the sellouts of the British Commonwealth are shedding very real tears over the expected death of 96 year old Elizabeth Windsor, known also as Elizabeth II. As Communists, we recognize the institution of monarchy as an obsolete one, a relic of the feudal past when Kings, Queens, Knights, Dukes, Barons, Marquises and others fought bloody wars with each other for control of the means of production and those that worked them. In feudal days, lords of various titles essentially held full control over the lives of the peasantry and to a lesser extent over the various strata of the bourgeoisie. Revolutions broke out when the old feudal prerogatives imposed untenable checks on the development of the productive forces and the waste, gluttony, and decadence of nobles and their courts began to cause unacceptable financial burdens on the rising class, the bourgeoisie. The most advanced European revolution occurred in France, with the Bourbon dynasty being violently deposed and the bourgeoisie coming to state power. In the United States, the merchant and planter class resented continued impositions from the old aristocracy of Great Britain, and made revolution to found the first wholly bourgeois republic, with concessions given by Jefferson to the ideal of the Yankee or Appalachian yeoman farmer who tended his small plot of stolen land, and with the small Southern planter class who fancied themselves a new aristocracy lording it over hundreds of thousands, and eventually four million, Africans imported to serve as the proletariat of a growing bourgeois republic which was settler-colonial in character. The British royal family made a further fortune in their direct involvement in the African slave trade to the colonies, and trade in slave goods such as sugar, tobacco and rum. Elizabeth II’s oldest son, Charles, has taken the regnal name Charles III. Naturally, there was a Charles II, who played a direct role in the slave trade by forming the Royal African Company in 1661, which transported thousands of Africans to the British held West Indies, especially Jamaica and Barbados. This is the legacy of this monarchy.
Elizabeth II wore jewels stolen from India, Pakistan, South Africa, and countless other colonies held by the empire, and referred to her maternal guidance of “our great imperial family” in her maiden 21st birthday speech, given from apartheid South Africa in 1947. She presided over the suppression of the Land and Freedom Army, commonly known as the “Mau-Mau” movement, in the first year of her reign. This suppression saw many of the people herded into concentration camps and eleven thousand killed. She admired and considered as a close confidante and friend the Butcher of Bengal and Ireland, Winston Churchill. Not once did she use her throne and position, which should have never been held in the first place, as a platform to speak out on behalf of the masses of the world, or express remorse at the abuses that flowed from the throne and her government, nor should she have been expected to do so. She remained silent as Margaret Thatcher imposed a cruel and barbarous austerity on the working class of the United Kingdom, and said not a mumbling word about the death of political prisoners in Northern Ireland, illegally held by her regime and in her name. All prisons bore the name of Her Majesty. She spoke not a word in support of the struggle against apartheid, or any of the other great struggles and issues of her very long life. This is to be expected. Why? Furthermore, why the tears from the ruling class media outlets?
The ruling class foists individuals such as Elizabeth II upon the toiling classes to distract them from the real struggles and issues. Note how tabloids are filled with royal gossip, about Prince Harry, Princess Diana, Meaghan Markle, etc. These people have no bearing upon the lives of the masses, yet many of the masses are more conversant in their stupid quarrels and drama than they are in the language of class struggle. This shows the power of the media and the importance of a proletarian press and a proletarian party, to counteract and win the masses away from this nonsense and towards the necessity of preparing for revolution. Elizabeth II was a fighter, but a fighter for her class. She could not be expected to relate to the masses in a real way because she was not of the toiling class, her brief stint of manufactured WWII service pretending to repair trucks while thousands of working class Britons and colonial subjects died in military service or during the fascist Blitz notwithstanding. She never worked for a wage, she was born to privilege, she never had to raise a finger to do anything for herself or maintain her luxurious lifestyle, nor have any of her friends and kin. She fought to maintain her position, assisted by a full staff of professional courtiers, lackeys, press agents, and others, feeding off the public trough. From cradle to grave, she was a parasite upon the working class of the entire world, and it is for this reason that the conscious proletariat of the entire world, those who are moving towards being a class for themselves, those who are moving towards revolution, either celebrate or are agnostic about the death of this person. Despite them having very little political power, the British aristocracy still retains control over 1/3 of the land in the constituent countries of England and Wales, and engage in a variety of bourgeois pursuits, especially in the field of finance capital. During the era of the Industrial Revolution during which the bourgeoisie came into its own as a class, the aristocracy, many of which saw their historic fortunes derived through land ownership and control of peasants decline, married into this new class. This was a mutual exchange, the offspring of the bourgeoisie eventually obtained lordly titles for themselves and the offspring of the old aristocracy saw their fortunes and lifestyles enhanced and preserved. We see how the ruling class is willing to go to any length to preserve itself.
Republican sentiment continues to grow in the UK as the people of the island, particularly those in Scotland and Wales, see the waste. Many youth in England also are questioning their country’s legacy abroad and learning why they are so hated. Among the diaspora population from former colonies, conversation centers around the continued negative impact of British imperialism. In the former colonies, Barbados transitioned to a parliamentary republic last year, with others seeking to follow in their footsteps. Simply put, it is not feasible to continue to support a family of hereditary aristocrats in the modern era. Many countries have realized this. In Swaziland, King Mswati III remains on the run after stoking the ire of the masses of people, and Communists have been distinguishing themselves as always in this struggle against the crowned parasite. Only with the victory of Communism over the entire world, which requires the formation of revolutionary Parties with the requisite united fronts and people’s armies, can these obsolete institutions be swept into history’s garbage can.