Replying to Jose was Re: Referendum Down Under

Gary MacLennan g.maclennan at
Tue Nov 9 23:10:12 MST 1999

Hi Jose,

I have already replied to Brian so I will not try and go back over the
ground too much.  Now I am sympathetic to any reading of the 'no' vote
which shows working class independence.  But I want to stress that getting
rid of the monarchy over here has to be understood in the context of the
core culture of this nation.  It is thoroughly Anglo and from the beginning
has been anxious to assert their loyalty to imperial institutions.

BTW I love the way you instinctively went to the weakest part of my post.
You're a hell of a polemicist Jose. You wouldn't have an Irish Grandparent
tucked away would you ?  Still I would defend my characterization of the
Windsors as  feudal but add the noun 'relic'. They represent the tradition
of all the dead generations and they certainly weigh like a nightmare on
the brain of the living. Frankly my attitude towards the Windsors is very
influenced by my experience of standing on the terraces of Windsor Park in
Belfast as a youngster listening to my Protestant brothers bellow out 'Long
to reign over us, god save the Queen.' It was all a good deal more tribal
than 'bourgeois' I assure you.

Now on my condemnation of the morality of the Windsor, you go to Clinton.
I totally support what you have said here in the past.  But Jose, all
morality is not bourgeois morality. The Windsors stand condemned not for
their sexual peccadilloes, they are tedious to read about. I condemn them
because they are a festering excrescence on the public life of Britain and
some of her former colonies. I have been told recently that the Queen
claims the estates of those who die intestate within the Duchy of Windsor
and yet of course she is one of the richest people in the world.

Now I agree with the Bronx cheer for those who campaigned for the Republic.
 They were incompetent in the extreme.  But should the workers get three
cheers? I don't thinks so.  We need to go back to Marx and read his
criticisms of the working class.  He could be vicious about their
limitations and I think that it is appropriate that we be critical of the
Australian working class in the present conjuncture.  They are far away
from seeing the need to contest for hegemony.  They can say no, but as I
keep repeating they need urgently to work out what to say 'yes' to.  At
present the danger is that they could be recruited to the tide of
petit-bourgeois ressentiment that is bubbling away beneath the surface here
in Australia.

warmest of regards



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