Dr Saulat Nagi
A system that hounds Julian Assange on revealing the incontrovertible truth of the empire’s crimes in Iraq and arrests a person who rejects the king, denies justice to Sheeran Abu-Akla
In Ava Imperatrix, Oscar Wilde writes, “Set in this stormy Northern Sea, Queen of these restless fields of tide, England! What shall men say of thee, before whose feet the worlds divide?”
Wilde has revealed the entire history and mystery of British politics in a subtle ironic and subversive way albeit there is an exception, men say worlds did not divide before England’s feet but were divided by its Machiavellian mind to maintain its rule over them.
The first victim of the division was Ireland, the backyard of Britain, which fell to the logic- or lack of it-of the Monaro doctrine. Ireland was cleaved on religious lines, later Palestine and India were divided on the identical rationale. Since the Ottoman empire was predominantly Muslim, its unity was fractured on racial grounds. The primitive accumulation of capital started in Ireland by overt robbery and plunder leading to slavery that went on to engulf Asia and Africa. The process continues to dispossess and expropriate the people of the globe even today.
“Up to the year 1000”, Samir Amin writes, “European agricultural productivity was greatly inferior to that of the civilised regions of China, India and the Middle East and there were no towns on the continent…for the “15 preceding centuries…Europe represented little or almost nothing in the world system as its weak productivity of labour prevented the development of a significant surplus”. Later, the colonization of America and Indochina helped Britain to accumulate capital robustly.
Before the British colonization, India had 27 per cent of the global GDP, but after 200 years of rule in 1947 when it left India, the latter’s share in the global GDP was merely three per cent, and 90 per cent of its population was dwelling below the poverty line, the literacy rate was down to 17 per cent and life expectancy shrunk to 27 years. Bengal was still coping with the consequences of its famine induced by Churchill; India was cleaved, but the shadows of the decadent monarch continued to loom large. The British crimes in India and China were so grisly and abundant that CJ Jung, a great psychologist emulating them with the fascist crimes stated, “confronted by an Asiatic or a Hindu, every European has equally to answer for the crimes perpetrated by Nazi Germany.”
The era of kings and queens is long eclipsed. The French revolution had screwed the final nail in its coffin. In Britain, Oliver Cromwell abolished the monarchy by hanging its vestige, King George 1, but the feudal had the balance of power and they restored the monarchy before they metamorphosed into the bourgeoisie to restrict the monarchy’s powers finally. The recent death of a 94-year-old Queen has brought the utility or futility of the monarchy back into question. Rather than bringing glory to the British, the institution carries a painful memory of the past, especially for the former colonies, which have withdrawn from the institution, and now it is largely limited to the white men’s lands.
It was shocking to see both India and Pakistan mourning the death of a queen officially, the institution that inflicted hideous crimes against their people for two centuries. Was it a Stockholm syndrome or an inverted consciousness that made the rulers of these countries love the hand that inflicted naked violence on them? No indulgence can erase the mark of violence, Sartre was right, but when violence continues eternally and only the colour of the perpetrators’ hands is changed, the victims are likely to forget the possibility of an alternative discourse; the violence becomes a norm, a second nature to them.
Every act, Fanon says, is a question or an answer, or both. The act of the Indian-Pakistani ruling classes, which to the Shakespearean eye “looks like an innocent flower but” have “a serpent underneath,” has proved that they are running innately neo-colonial states while maintaining their hegemony through coercion with the help of capital, guns, and religion. They mimic monarchs to become one, divine beings with unquestionable rights. Instead of promoting social rights, they talk untiringly about the wrath of God, the fictionalized state of Medina, and the retribution of a sinful life forgetting that when manufactured piety stifles, sin alone becomes a beautiful act. When oppression stifles every other expression, the hipster, the beatnik, and a whore give subversion its new language. Piety confirms, but sin liberates.
When Eve lured Adam to subvert the status quo, the feudal and clergy caged her into their homes. The subversion was shut down in a dungeon or stoned to death. However, the capital had other plans. It commoditized everything beautiful, it was the sublimation of subversion through consent or coercion or both. “Margaret Thatcher, Prince Harry and Tony Blair’s son Euan have all been recorded as patronizing the (naked dancers’) clubs” (Jeffrey, 2009).
Professor Sheila Jeffery writes that Thatcher, Prince Harry, and Euan Blair attended those clubs at Peter String fellow’s London club, Spearmint Rhino at Colnbrook near Slough, Berks, and Hustler club in Paris, respectively. “All over Europe and North America, women and girls are brought into the clubs by deception, by force, or initially, by consent. In all cases, they are kept in debt bondage….…in the mid-1990…. the pornography industry became attractive to corporate America, to General Motors, and AT&T. The new delivery systems enabled blue-chip corporations to profit from pornography without getting too close to the product.”
The royalty did not spare the children. Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, was involved in sexual affairs with the teenagers. He had close relations with the convicted sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein. “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown,” Shakespeare was not wrong, but if the head wearing the crown is so uneasy, it cannot be expected to offer anything meaningful to its subjects, it must be put to rest. “The profound hypocrisy and inherent barbarism of bourgeois civilization lie unveiled before our eyes, turning from its home, where it assumes respectable forms, to the colonies, where it goes naked.” Marx was succinct, but addiction to power does not spare the people at home when they are easily accessible.
The hegemonic powers are invading the countries of the periphery in the name of democracy and freedom on one hand, but on the other, they are prepared to accept the divine right of a few unelected individuals to rule their own countries. Capital has turned the world into a world of contradictions. When Ben Gurion, an avowed atheist held the Bible at a UN session and claimed the right to occupy the “promised land” given to him by God, nobody laughed at his delusion because the delusion reflected the contradictory nature of the system, which the monopoly capital had chosen to impose upon the global south. A system that hounds Julian Assange on revealing the incontrovertible truth of the empire’s crimes in Iraq and arrests a person who rejects the king and expresses his opinion merely through a placard, denies justice to Sheeran Abu-Akla, a Palestinian-American journalist assassinated by the Israeli army in cold-blooded murder.
Being a member of the First Nation, the reaction of the ruling class to the death of the queen has made Lidia Thorpe, the Australian Green senator, angry. In disbelief, she is watching at the glorification of the First Nation People’s oppressor. Calling the queen what she was, a colonizer, Lidia has demanded Australians have an elected head of a state. The queen stood as a white man’s guilt, a burden, and it is about time that her shadows should be replaced with the living soul of an elected president from the First Nation. And why not?