Please Stop Fixating on British Royalty

Every time I see another royal baby update, I want to stab a shard of glass into my eyeball.british-king-edward-iii-late-14th-century

First off, it drives me crazy because we should really have our attention fixed on something more important than some pretty woman in England birthing a kid. Thousands of people birth kids all over the world.

Every day.

Not that big of a deal.

But on a deeper level, the whole notion of royalty offends me. Essentially, the royal tradition holds that certain people possess an inherent right to rule over others simply because of their genetic makeup.  Absolute authority flows from birthright.

Gross.

The notion of royal prerogative stands diametrically opposed to the idea of equality – an ideal serving as a cornerstone of American political thought. Bottom line – nobody has any inherent right to rule over you – or anybody else. We all enjoy an equal right to self-determination.

John Locke dismantled the idea of royal prerogative in his First Treatise of Government and then built on it in the second. We find his thinking encapsulated in our own Declaration of Independence.

“To understand political power right, and derive it from its original, we must consider what state all men are naturally in, and that is, a state of perfect freedom to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions and persons as they think fit, within the bounds of the law of nature, without asking leave, or depending upon the will of any other man.

“A state also of equality, wherein all the power and jurisdiction is reciprocal, no one having more than another: there being nothing more evident than that creatures of the same species and rank promiscuously born to all the same advantages of nature and the use of the same faculties, should also be equal one amongst another without subordination or subjection, unless the Lord and Master of them all should, by any manifest declaration of his will, set one above another and confer on him by an evident and clear appointment an undoubted right to dominion and sovereignty.”

So, unless you really believe God delivered a personal message to some Brit down the line, duchess what’s-her-name and her fair prince are no more special than you or I – and neither is their baby.

The whole notion of royalty should really offend all Americans. But instead, we fixate on it. Perhaps that explains our willingness to bestow king-like powers on our own political leaders.

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