‘Monarchy is a survival of the tyranny’

Irish Freedom Fighter, Marxist and labor leader James Connolly wrote these words in 1910. Connolly, who along with James Larkin, was a leader of the Irish Transport and General Union during the 1913 Dublin Lockout. The British government executed Connolly by firing squad in 1916 for his leadership role in that year’s heroic Easter Rising.

James Connolly

What is monarchy? From whence does it derive its sanction? What has been its gift to humanity? Monarchy is a survival of the tyranny imposed by the hand of greed and treachery upon the human race in the darkest and most ignorant days of our history. It derives its only sanction from the sword of the marauder and the helplessness of the producer, and its gifts to humanity are unknown, save as they can be measured in the pernicious examples of triumphant and shameless iniquities.

Every class in society save royalty, and especially British royalty, has through some of its members contributed something to the elevation of the race. But neither in science, nor in art, nor in literature, nor in exploration, nor in mechanical invention, nor in humanizing of laws, nor in any sphere of human activity has a representative of British royalty helped forward the moral, intellectual or material improvement of mankind. 

But that royal family has opposed every forward move, fought every reform, persecuted every patriot and intrigued against every good cause. Slandering every friend of the people, it has befriended every oppressor. Eulogized today by misguided clerics, it has been notorious in history for the revolting nature of its crimes. Murder, treachery, adultery, incest, theft, perjury — every crime known to man has been committed by some one or other of the race of monarchs from whom King George is proud to trace his descent.

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