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Jack Weber

March of Events

(11 May 1935)

From The New Militant, Vol. I No. 21, 11 May 1935, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Imperial Jubilee ...

If one can overcome the natural feeling of nausea on reading the press accounts of the celebration of twenty-five years of parasitism of King George, there are valuable political lessons to be learned from such circuses. The British monarchy is part of that vast paraphernalia of English imperialism for hypnotizing the working class. Without such hypnotism, the proletariat would see through their own eyes and not through those provided for them by the capitalist ruling class. The creation of illusions is the function of a vast apparatus supported by the bourgeoisie : the bourgeois press, the schools, the church, the radio – and the monarchy. With the aid of these weapons British imperialism gives the impression to the worker that he is part of a common civilization, that he has a common fatherland, that there are higher things in life than material class interests and the class struggle. By means, further, of bourgeois democracy completely controlled and manipulated by the rulers, the worker is hypnotized into believing that he actually has a share in willing his own slavery and exploitation.

Role of Monarchy ...

The bourgeoisie foster carefully the illusion that the King is a mere figurehead, that he reigns but does not rule. So long as the proletariat remains acquiescent to bourgeois rule, so long as there is no threat to the power of the capitalist class, the monarchy remains seemingly a mere feudal tradition, quite harmless within the framework of bourgeois democracy. In reality the ruling class is far-sighted and in conducting the defense of its power against the possible attacks of the working class the capitalists resort to military strategy: they build in advance second and third line trenches to which to retreat in case the first line is taken. Thus if the workers begin to see through the heavy veils cast over reality by the propagandists of wage slavery, if they begin to utilize bourgeois democracy to change the system, then there is always the House of Lords upon which to fall back. If that is not enough, then there is finally the monarchy which can be made in the “national emergency” to assume, by the “divine right of capitalism,” the prerogatives of outright, reactionary dictatorship. Under capitalism, in short, the King exists as a last resort for the defeat of the proletarian revolution. It is for that reason, to have a social “stabilizer,” that the tradition of monarchy is maintained. Thus every so often the monarchical shield is exposed to published view, it is furbished and polished so as to perform resplendently its hypnotic function. But behind this shield can be clearly discerned the cold and calculating cruelty of the bourgeoisie!

Labor Party ...

It is not only the direct instruments of capitalist power that serve to create illusions among the workers. It is also the reformist labor leaders who foster the viciously false idea that the King stands not for the ruling class but for the nation. Instead of teaching that the King may at the proper time become all the elements of state force and coercion epitomized and summed up, MacDonald and those of his ilk still in the Labor Party offer their allegiance to the King as the representative (chosen by whom?) of the “entire nation.” The belly-crawling sycophancy of these reformist betrayers can arouse only the utmost disgust and loathing of the working class. The bourgeoisie will not let this occasion, a celebration of their preservation as a ruling class in Europe, pass without taking full advantage of the “wave of patriotism” evoked in the middle classes to force a general election on the patriotism and rearmament issues. The Jubilee will be utilized to prepare for war. Part of the preparation for war is the establishment of a conservative government. Recent political signs in England have pointed to the “danger” of a new labor government coming into power In the next general election. With the help of MacDonald the bourgeoisie will do everything in their power to prevent such a “catastrophe. The capitalists may not fear the present labor leaders; but they know that back of these false leaders stand the working masses, demanding decisive steps towards socialism. Let the masses once learn to the end the lesson that reformism is nothing but a form of betrayal, and they will quickly change their leaders for revolutionists who can lead them to victory and who can show them how to defeat fascism that grows more and more as a threat to the workers.

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