How enforcing mourning maintains power structures

A short thread.


Don’t be more obsessed with decorum than truth

Speak Black Woman GIF by Robert E Blackmon


See also, “it’s too soon to talk about gun control.”

And how about that peevish platitude “speak no ill of the dead.” Why some people parade this statement as unquestionably true is beyond me (probably has something to do with power). I suspect most of them have correspondingly little to say when “he was no angel” comes up in conversation.

Aha, just realized now Mindysan brought this up in one of the queen-is-dead discussions,


Why the long threads?
Somebody die?


Robert Downey Jr Ok GIF


Earlier, you suggested that the monarchy provides this way of thinking apart from the day-to-day struggles of politics, which we’re all sick and tired of and grossed out by. At the same time, it doesn’t seem like Britain has particularly avoided this kind of grotesque politics. Maybe more than the United States has, but—

You’ve answered your own question. That is not the job of the monarchy. It is to provide a different place to go and feel British. The Queen couldn’t solve the miners’ strike. She couldn’t solve the brutal wars that ended the empire in Kenya and so on. That’s not her job. The job is to provide a kind of space and style, a kind of mystique, a kind of secular religion, if you like, in which people can feel some sort of kinship and community with each other. With the country you and I live in, it’s not just political opposition between two parties but two groups who see each other essentially as enemies, actually as aliens, belonging to two different countries. The monarchy really does avoid that unless you are an absolute hard-core, as it were, sentimental Republican.

Following that sort of sublime mystery nonsense, the empire is no longer the fault of the woman who once was Queen Elizabeth II. It is now the fault of the man who now is King Charles III. The problem with monarchies is they provide a rationale for killing not only Louis XVI, who had power of his own, but also Louis XVII, who arguably didn’t.

“unless” is doing a lot of work in that paragraph



This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.