9.12.12

BRAIN-DEAD THEORIZING.

The World Socialist Web Site attempts to understand the U.S. media (beyond the tabloid) fascination with the British Royal Family.
The announcement that Kate Middleton, wife of Britain’s Prince William and Duchess of Cambridge, is expecting a baby has produced unseemly squeals of delight from the American media and establishment generally.

Why this stupidity? Or is it something more than mere stupidity?

Since we are speaking, first of all, of the American media, of course there is the element of imbecility—along with the inevitable effort to divert public attention from social disaster and unending wars and threats of wars.
A proper Marxist analysis, of course, contemplates the necessary antithesis of bourgeois government to monarchy, particularly a monarchy in-bred from centuries of arranged marriages among the crowned heads of Europe.
White House press secretary Jay Carney told a media briefing December 3 “that on behalf of everyone here in the White House, beginning with the President and the First Lady, we extend our congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the welcome news this morning out of London that they are expecting their first child.”

Nominally at least, the United States remains a republic. Why should the American president extend congratulations to the British royal family, a collection of wealthy parasites, mediocrities and dimwits, for anything?
Never mind that President Obama is Head of State, as is Queen Elizabeth.  To a Marxist looking for crumbling ruling classes, there's a pat answer.
America’s multimillionaires and billionaires, and their hangers-on, envy Britain’s “legitimate” royalty and dregs of a nobility, long for such rank themselves and despise the “common people” with as much fervor as the aristocrats of an earlier age.
There's a simpler explanation, due to H. L. Mencken.  Perhaps republicanism is so ingrained in the U.S. consciousness that the Royals are simply people famous for being famous, a category with substantial overlap in sports, entertainment, and politics.

The harder challenge is to uncover the extent and significance of hereditary aristocracies in these endeavours: Ken Griffey, jr. in baseball; the Manning brothers in football; Michael Douglas on screen; three generations of Kennedys in politics.  It can't be good genes and assortative mating: the Kardashian sisters suggest something else is at work.

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