posted on Jul, 22 2009 @ 06:44 AM
I never thought I'd wind up writing a post that actually defends the British Royal family.
Please trust that I'm not doing so out of any particular love for them or for what they represent.
Just to get my own views on the matter out in the open: the Royals are parasites, but in the British body politic, they serve a useful function which
I never really understood until I went to the US.
Any citizen of any country, I submit, has deeply ingrained feelings of true patriotism. This is not the chest-puffing blimpish, "my country is
better than your country" nonsense: this is the kind of patriotism that shows when one's country is under threat.
These feelings are irrational and that's why the phrase "patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel" is so apt.
Certain of these irrational feelings are directed towards the figurehead of state.
Now in the US, that's the President. That means that for the hyperpatriots who conflate patriotism and jingoism, the President becomes beyond
criticism: and even for more sober, stable types, it causes confusion. One American said to me once that she didn't like Bush because "he was a
poor father to the nation".
Well, thank heavens we in the UK have the Royals to act as a lightning rod for that kind of irrational weirdness. We'd never expect Blair or
Brown to be anything but (respectively) a shifty little self-seeker and a pompous fool so far out of his depth it's not funny.
But all the above is just preamble.
Time and again I come across throwaway references to how powerful the UK Royal Family is, and how they "run the US". I cannot tell you how
laughable this notion is to me, but quite a few people take it very seriously.
Now I can easily accept, for example, that members of the UK Royal Family are just as shiftless and greedy as the next man (as long as the next man
isn't George W Bush, who, let's face it, has set some pretty impressive records for that sort of thing). I can absolutely buy the assertion
that they're invested in the Carlyle Group and all sorts of other shady deals.
But running the US? Controlling the world? Not in this day and age.
So I guess, with a sinking heart (because I know from bitter experience that a lot of the posts, if I get any, will be very poor quality), I have to
ask the following question of the members of ATS:
Is there any actual evidence that the British Royals have any real power? They don't in this country, so why should they do any better