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Sherman Stanley

Bow Down! Their Majesties Are Coming
– to Weld War Relations

The Heads of an Imperial “Democracy”
Whose History Is Written in Blood
Have Been Sent Here on a “Good-Will-War” Mission
by Britain’s Real Rulers, the Bankers and Merchants

(May 1939)

From Socialist Appeal, Vol. III No. 36, 26 May 1939, p. 4.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Wafted along by a gale of ballyhoo and expensive propaganda, His Majesty, George VI, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas, King, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India, and his Queen, Elizabeth, are well entrained on their month-long tour of Canada.

On June 7th Their Imperial Majesties will enter the United States – the first time such an event has occurred in the history of the British Empire. They will proceed to Washington, there to be entertained royally by our democratic F.D.R. at a garden party whose cost has been estimated at a cool $15,000! From Washington, our royal guests will be taken by special train to Red Bank, N.J., and then embark upon a destroyer which will land them at the tip of Manhattan island. A short visit to the World’s Fair will be followed by ceremonies at Columbia University over which the perennial Nicholas “Miraculous” Butler will preside. Then comes the return trip to the isles of Britain and “home” in Buckingham Palace.

Who Are the Real Rulers?

Who are George VI and his queen, Elizabeth? In the eyes of the American press which is in danger of over-straining itself in its task of pumping up their majestic virtues, while at the same time attempting to depict them as ordinary, “homey” folks (just like you and I) they appear as symbolic representatives of the world’s greatest Empire. They are the leaders of our closest and noblest allies, the British. They represent “white supremacy” – the rule of Anglo-Saxon civilization. The American press, deliberately interested in fostering the Chamberlain “peace front” conception, is engaging in a high-pressure campaign to put across Their Majesties.

We can easily understand the difficulties involved in this scheme. The British Empire, like all world empires, is ruled over by a handful of bankers, industrialists and coupon-clippers. The imposing facade of royalty can serve only as a deceptive front, covering up the naked imperialist banditry behind it.

History of British “Democracy”

Secondly, every thinking person knows that there is no such thing as British democracy. How can a “democratic” government be presided over by a feudal king who sucks up countless millions each year of his futile existence? Has not everyone heard of the role of “Perfidious Albion” (the world’s cleverest double-crosser) in world affairs? The entire might of the Empire rests upon the 500,000,000 native peoples who slave and sweat in the colonies of India, Ceylon, Africa, etc. The crown resting so precariously upon the head of George VI was carved and bejeweled by handicraftsmen of India. It will be toppled off by the mighty uprising of these enslaved Indian workers and peasants. The story of British imperialist rule in its colonies is one of endless murder, violence and treachery against the colonial masses.

And finally, in the very personalities of these imperial representatives we have a fine reason for the natural repulsion that every American worker feels towards them. Surrounded by countless lackeys and flunkies whose sole task appears to be an endless scraping and bowing (except when they have to change His Majesty’s clothes, which apparently happens continuously), George VI emerges as a completely colorless, lifeless and dull personality.

England in its time produced dramatic and colorful kings. But in its period of decline, the British Empire can only be represented by this impotent, stammering dolt who only reminds us of the imbecilic “king” in the famous Russian puppet film, The New Gulliver. To witness his feeble attempts at majestic posing in the newsreels, to listen in on his nervous, empty and useless efforts at speechmaking is to come face to face with the realities of this so-called king.

Intent of Visit Is Clear

As for his wife, Queen Elizabeth, it is apparent that she is endeavouring to supply what is lacking in George VI. What would the American capitalist press have to say if not for her! This daughter of a Scottish earl, whose entire family is connected with British industrialism – her brother is the chairman of an important English mining company – dominates the events of the visit. Her job is to prop up the failing king! At the host of petty and ridiculous functions that go to make up regal life, Queen Elizabeth tries bravely to cover up the deficiencies of her weakling husband.

Let the sob-sisters pile up column upon column of “human interest” stories! Let the press editorialize on their kingly virtues! Nothing can hide the obvious intent of these Canadian and American visits.

Canada over a period of years has evolved along lines that have made of it an independent capitalist nation in its own right. It is only nominally a part of the British Empire, much as King George is only nominally the ruler of the Empire. Actually, American imperialist interests are far more important in Canada and have much more to say about Canadian political affairs. The king’s visit to Canada is a theatrical gesture having as its motive the effort to tighten up the loosening ties that bind her formally to England. The masses of Canada have long ago expressed their unwillingness to send men overseas to fight in another British war for the preservation of its imperialist hegemony. Chamberlain more aware than ever of the cracking-up of the British Empire, is seeking support among the Canadian rulers for his war aims. That is why he has sent his royal puppets on their visit As for America – here too the motive is crystal clear. Chamberlain, and the imperialists whose tool he is, realizes that he must depend to a large extent upon Roosevelt and the more powerful capitalism of America for support not merely in the approaching war, but especially in the suppression of the colonial revolts that are inevitable in the near future. Chamberlain seeks a tighten ing of the Anglo-American alliance because he needs American imperialism as a source of supplies in the suppression of the colonial movements. He needs” America as an ally to help preserve the British Empire. Hence we are blessed with the visit of his “good-will” agents.

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