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I seemed to have developed a particular reputation of disdain for two prominent branches of British society in my final year of University, religion and the institution of the Monarchy. Religion bashing is something I spare for my own personal blog as after all BULS is an entirely secular society. So today my focus will be on the institution of the Monarchy and the case against it.
Unlike some fellow Republicans, I’m not too fussed about the costs it brings. My own personal gripe of the Monarchy is how it undermines our own basic sense of ethics and morality. We can all say as an ideal that we strive to not treat anyone differently or give special privileges or persecute others merely because of their background or the family any individual just happened to be born into. In a nutshell we try not to value an individual’s self-worth on the family they just happened to be born into. This is the very basis of meritocracy and equality (well at least equality of opportunity). Yet, when it comes to the Monarchy we seem to conveniently forget this ideal.
Now personally, I like to have a consistent a world view as possible. If a base ethics works in one area I’m sure as hell it’ll probably apply and work in nearly any other area. And this is what we get from many Royalists, a suspension of such basic ideals and ethics all in the name of making them feel special. This is also an argument I often hear/see “But the majority of people are in favour of the Monarchy.”. So what? Popular support/belief has absolutely no bearing on what is right or wrong, or true or false.
I’d also like to address the famous fallacy from tradition. Last year at my work (Lifeguarding) at around the time of the Royal Wedding where one of the cleaners (a lovely old dear) asked what I’d be doing on the day of the Royal Wedding. I honestly replied, “Oh, I’ll be avoiding the celebrations as much as possible as I don’t think we should have a Monarchy.”. I was met with a disgruntled reply with mutterings of ‘It’s good for tradition.”. I didn’t have the heart to say this at the time as she was an old dear but what I really wanted to say in response was, “So was the bubonic plague for 300 years, and so was persecuting gays and women for hundreds of years and not giving them the vote!”. Like popular support, tradition has no bearing on whether something is right or wrong, or true or false. Tradition is not a reason to keep or get rid of anything.
I realise I’m in a minority here and I realise that my dream of a Republic is far flung dream probably beyond my lifetime. But all changes for the better have to start from some where.