The Nazi formerly known as Prince

It has been a troubling week for the Commonwealth and, accordingly, for the American liberals who’ve looked for hope in us as a still-white, still-Anglo-Saxon exemplar of civility, especially when contradistinguished against the Red-state barbarism of George Bush’s America. Frank McKenna, newly appointed ambassador to Washington from Michael Moore’s utopian socialist constitutional monarchy, Canada, was televised mealy-mouthing about his well established and admitted connections with the nefariously cabalistic Carlyle Group, of George H.W. Bush fame. In England, another institution of Anglophilic adulation was marred by roguish Prince Harry’s decision to wear Nazi regalia to a fancy-dress party. I suppose that in her worldly emphasis on literal minefields, the late Princess Diana failed to make clear to her sons the danger posed by figurative ones.

According to the press, Harry’s father Prince Charles reacted to the news by becoming “incandescent with rage”; but you know the British and their emotional repression – he was likely no more than “fluorescent with irritation” or maybe “luminescent with a mild headache.” Still, the angry father was among many seriously considering the demands from Jewish organizations worldwide that his children be forced to visit Auschwitz by private jet (!). The same press that years ago seized on Charles’s wish to be a tampon now pounced on his son’s longing to play the National Socialist field marshal.

Amidst the cacophony of righteous indignation over the young Prince’s nauseating display, no one seemed to think that a flippant detachment from theories of the natural division of ubermenschen and untermenschen might have come from being raised in a family deigned fit to rule by dint of the purity of their birth; where Granny’s jewels are called the “Star of India” and the “Star of Africa” in order to delineate from which uncivilized corners of the world they were stolen; where Daddy complains publicly about the educational system by bemoaning those who attempt social mobility as “a result of social utopianism which believes humanity can be genetically engineered to contradict the lessons of history,” as he did in a memo written in March of last year, revealed in November.

Nor was much of anything made of the fact that the fancy-dress party to which Harry wore the Nazi uniform had a “Colony and Native” theme, meaning that as Britain’s political elite engaged (along with their American allies) in the bloody process of re-colonizing Iraq, their sons and daughters – the British equivalents to America’s Bush Twins, or Canada’s noxious Justin Trudeau and Ben Mulroney – were partying in a form of blackface, luxuriating with the cruel imperial arrogance that is the privilege of those at the centres of wealth and power in the metropole.

In short, nothing at all was done to place the rich little shit’s display into any sort of historical, social, or political context – so as America and Canada and the United Kingdom commit to the dismantling of democratic rights at home, and engage in inevitably racialized imperialism in Haiti, Afghanistan and Iraq, we’ll pretend that the only harbinger of fascism on the horizon is the swastika wrapped ‘ironically’ around the arms of one of their privileged sons.

None of this to suggest that Harry’s costume choice was anything more malicious or premeditated than the true-to-form, blinkered idiocy of an oblivious, inbred snot; the question, instead, is to ask how it is that two of the greatest tragedies of the last century – the Holocaust and the blood-stained quest for empire, both rooted in notions of white supremacy and racial superiority – could be reduced so easily to shallow symbols held up for ridicule by English brats. When we examine the Anglo-American re-colonization of the Middle East, a process that in Palestine invokes the memory of the Holocaust in a sick historical irony, we see that, in fact, the echoes of human trauma have already been hollowed out by forces far more powerful than even the richest, drunkest, most spoiled Princes and Princesses that the British Isles have to offer.

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