We are still regarded as subjects first and citizens second. All this deference to one dysfunctional family that inherited its power makes me feel physically sick. We've got a stupid and irrelevant national anthem foisted upon us that bangs-on about God saving the Queen. Like millions of my fellow 'subjects' I don't believe in God and I don't believe in the monarchy. I shout at the TV at the start of a rugby match when England is playing. All the other nations have inspiring and uplifting anthems that inspire their players. England, on the other hand, is at an unfair disadvantage; God Save the Queen is neither inspiring or uplifting. It's cringingly, toe-curlingly embarrassing.
Many English people have inspired me, living and dead, from Ellen MacArthur to Horatio Nelson, from Charles Dickens to Geoffrey Chaucer, from Ken Livingstone to J S Mill - I could go on. With perhaps the exception of Alfred, none of them has been connected to a royal line. Yet the History taught to me at school up until about the age of 12 was one long boring litany of kings, queens and other in-breds, their bastard offspring and their bloody acts to retain their power. They were no more glorious than Mugabe or Saddam Hussein.
The rich and the powerful around the globe blunder from crisis to catastrophe, piling on more and more social and environmental injustice. For humanity to survive, their discredited systems absolutely need to be overthrown. The opening paragraph of Chris Hedges article, (Zero Point of Systemic Collapse), Adbusters, reads:
Aleksandr Herzen, speaking a century ago to a group of anarchists about how to overthrow the czar, reminded his listeners that it was not their job to save a dying system but to replace it: “We think we are the doctors. We are the disease.” All resistance must recognize that the body politic and global capitalism are dead. We should stop wasting energy trying to reform or appeal to it. This does not mean the end of resistance, but it does mean very different forms of resistance. It means turning our energies toward building sustainable communities to weather the coming crisis, since we will be unable to survive and resist without a cooperative effort.