This bourgeois public opinion forced big business to adjust its routine functioning on the day of the funeral. More importantly, the retreat from royal protocol that the queen was obliged to concede; which culminated in the royal head being bowed to the passing hearse, represents a closing of the necessary gap between the majesty of power and the masses. History has shown that when the gulf of mystery and superstition is replaced by familiarity and contempt, the institution of monarchy can no longer be assured its own continuity.
The British monarchy is a bourgeois, not a feudal institution. Feudal power suffered an irretrievable loss with the head of Charles the First. The further pretense to systemic royal prerogative ended with the flight of James the Second to France and Ireland where he was defeated by the Dutch William of Orange; king to be. The restoration of the monarchy; in an alliance with the newly emergent bourgeois class and its governing apparatus did what the bourgeois class was not strong enough to do in its own name; that is, sanctify the inalienable right to private ownership and exploitation of property that had so shortly before been held in common. It is true that vestigial feudal rights remain in the prerogative of the Crown. It would take the defeat of the British working class, in struggle, for these feudal rights to reemerge in all their repressive barbarianism.
It is only by establishing a government of workers and working farmers in Britain that the working class will be able to achieve the humanitarian values which they appear to identify with Diana Spencer. It is the liberation of Ireland that remains the key to "turning the world upside down." Marx explained very clearly that if the British working class could not raise itself to the task and duty of helping to end British rule in Ireland then they themselves could never win their freedom from the same dictatorship of capitalist rule.
A few corrections
The formulation of the third paragraph in the article "Washington pushes for domination of Caspian Sea oil" by Megan Arney and Mámud Shrivani (Militant issue no. 30) leaves an opening for misinterpretation. It says, "The U.S. rulers will use their economic superiority over competing imperialist powers and their military muscle to speed the reestablishment of capitalist social relations in these former Soviet republics on Washington's terms."
Written without a qualifier like "Washington will attempt to reestablish capitalist property relations," the paragraph is open to the interpretation that capitalist property relations will be reestablished and the only thing open to debate is the pace. It leaves out the question of the resistance that will take place. This point is made elsewhere in the article.
In addition, I believe the figure of 18,000 cubic feet of natural gas reserves in Kazakhstan must be an inaccurate figure. 18,000 cubic feet does not define a major gas reserve.
Also in the article entitled UPS workers defend rights on the job there is a misquote of UPS striker Juan C. Campos. Referring to the scabs, the Militant quotes Campos as saying "Every time I see one of those guys I think of dinner being taken away from one of my kids. They are little mice."
"Little mice" by itself doesn't express the relations on the job between the scabs and other returning strikers, the point Juan was making. What he told this reporter was, "Every time I see one of those guys I think of dinner being taken away from one of my kids. They are like little mice. They are quiet. They cower in a corner with each other and try to assure themselves that they did something right. But they know they screwed up. There is no excuse for their behavior."
Editor's note: Kidd is right about the gas reserves in Kazakhstan. The correct figure is 18,000 billion cubic feet.
Good job on UPS coverage
I thought the Militant did a first-rate job in covering the UPS strike and the workers' victory. The on-the-scene reports, and running analysis were invaluable. I particularly appreciated the September 9 article by Arigiris Malapanis in which he so skillfully used the analysis by Wall Street economist Stephen Roach as a peg for explaining the underlying issues in the strike. It's well worth rereading and discussing.
I thought Malapanis made an especially useful point when he noted that the rate of industrial profit can drop even as the mass of profit increases. The rate and magnitude of profit are easily and often confused.
And I liked his formulation on the average rate of industrial profit as the "average rate of return on industrial investment." This too is a point where confusion slips in. That is, measuring the rate of profit by deducting net income from gross income rather than return on investment.
I'm sure the Militant will return to these questions. Among other things, we can be grateful to the UPS workers for spurring us to think more deeply about these important issues.
Howard Stern on Quebec
On September 2 the syndicated radio show of Howard Stern was carried for the first time by stations in Toronto and Montreal.
Stern inaugurated the broadcast into Canada by characterizing all French-speaking people as "scumbags" and "peckerheads." He declared that "all people in Montreal should speak English, that's that."
In a press conference following the transmission he again attacked French language and culture and branded all French people as Nazi collaborators. The Quebecois should "bend over [for me] like you did for Hitler." He called Quebec independence "ludicrous."
There was no wave of outrage over these racist, right- wing comments. Major big-business newspapers widely publicized the remarks without condemning them or distancing themselves from them. In fact, they made efforts to excuse or even promote the show.
Canada's leading capitalist daily, The Globe and Mail, wrote a lead editorial stating that Stern was simply "spouting all sorts of silliness against French Canadians..the French..the French language... It's just kind of dumb."
The Montreal Gazette stated that there were complaints about "rabid francophobia," but called the show "thoroughly entertaining." They carried Stern's attack on independence as a headline.
Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, when asked about the incident, responded with an evasive, "Who is this guy?"
Anyone doubting that systematic discrimination against the Quebecois is an integral part of the Canadian capitalist state should reflect on this recent event.
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