Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The May 2011 Royal Visit to Ireland

The recent official visit by the British Queen to the Republic of Ireland led to many temporary restrictions on the freedom of Irish workers and the loss of income to many of them due to the disruption it caused in Dublin and other places in Ireland.
Among other things it intensified alienation by the exclusion of the vast majority of citizenry from the various public events staged in Ireland for the British Queen. Only a small elite can be be trusted, in such contexts, by the Irish state.

The royal visit demonstrates the anti-democratic nature of contemporary society. The royalist events in Ireland are a way of informing the worker of his place in class society. Despite the existence of the vote we are being reminded that some people are worth more than others. This is the real value system that formal democracy hides from us.

Then there were the funds spent on the visit. Such funds are a product of the exploitation of the labour power of the worker. The Irish worker sweats to pay for this recent extravagance.

It has been said repeatedly in the Irish capitalist mass media that Elizabeth is a great lady "for her age" (ageism again) and that she exhibited great strength and dignity. So what! Such personal attributes have nothing,as such, to do with her royal status. There was also the view that she paid homage to Irish culture, politics and the dead patriots executed by British imperialism. But this is just an imperialist ploy to win the hearts and minds of the Irish masses --to control them. It is intended to fool and cajole the Irish working class into accepting British oppresssion.

But none of this pomp and cermony can mean anything substantive in terms of the improvement of the conditions of the Irish and British working class. What does it matter should Queen Elizabeth show respect for such patriots killed in their struggle against British imperialism many years ago? What matters is the historical significance of the events themselves.In fact Elizabeth, as head of the British state, is using the very anti-imperialist deeds of these Irish insurrectionists to promote the class interests of British imperialism (the very imperialism it was combatting) by winning the popular support of the Irish populace. There is no way this class or indeed the British working class.

The craven indigenous bourgeoisie are happy with any such development because the pacification of the Irish and British working class can only but enhanceits class interests. Because the visit leads to increased stability between Ireland and Britain the conditions for improved commercial relations may be enhanced. At a time of acute international economic crises in the West this development can only but be helpful to Irish, UK and US capitalism.

The official visit made by Barack Obama, President of the USA, has the same character, (with modifications) as that of the British Queen's official visit. Obama is probably hoping to pick up some votes by making the visit while the royal family is hoping to use the visit to justify its existence in the face of republican opposition.

The Irish capitalist class were all for it too. They dont mind paying homage to a relic of the Middle Ages if there are goodies in it for them. Especially today during downturn. Anything that leads to greater cooperation in the interests of profit is hailed. And as for betraying the dead patriots well that was done a long time ago.

There is a big lesson to be drawn from these visits by the political representatives of imperialist states. The popular support for the visits was much greater than the popular opposition shown against the substantial cutbacks in the living standards of the working class. The turnout for Obama at College Green was much greater than any rallies against the cutbacks in living standards. Lets face it we have, at present, in Ireland a passive and conservative working class. At the moment the capitalist class have little to worry about when it comes to the Irish working class.