In the period preceding the 20th Century, Jew and Christian would fall in love and instead of risking a pogrom the happy couple would move from village to village, until they found one that knew not uncle shmendrik but was nevertheless willing to attest to the Jewish antecedents of the bride (or groom). No conversion, no jumping though hoops and no Aryan bloodlines to investigate. This was community in action. The two would arrive with nothing, were welcomed as equals, they were wedded by the community and everyone celebrated the bringing together of the happy couple.
Today we take out a mortgage in order to marry but the ideal behind the ceremony has been lost and it has been replaced by what for most of us is trauma, or meaningless and certainly costly celebration.
A million years ago in humanities collective past the individual had less chance of surviving than the group. In time of famine or conflict the group was no less dangerous because it could turn on the individual. The family unit provided the security missing from the group and later, the tribe was bound initially by extended familial ties. Towards the end of our ancient history, shared culture was meant to provide an umbrella that linked those disconnected tribes. Only later would religion add an additional layer of meaning to the family. Like an abusive and dysfunctional family the relationship between us and our god (s) deteriorated because instead of offering protection it became an instrument for controlling us. There is a good reason that we adopted terms that personalised the godhead as a father (or mother) figure. Holy or otherwise it now held authoritative sway over the ‘family’.
In medieval times the monarch had the right to take every maiden to his bed before her wedding night. Ancient barbarism celebrated by the powerful against the weak, it was an act of rape but essentially, of domination. It negated the nation, the tribe and the family and it was a return to prehistory. Modern marriage should represent a reaffirmation of significance and of representative equality. We should therefore be asking why, in 2011, we have idolatry and a primitive spectacle of royalty joined by public marriage?
In times gone by, marriage between powerful families were intended to bind potential enemies, creating a partnership of blood and if that didn’t work, hostages.
The Public spectacle of obscene wealth and power publicly joined is a tainted legacy of obsequious submission and deference to class. In 1981 when Prince Charles married Lady Diana before a world audience UK plc spent £30 million on the spectacle (at least double that amount in today’s money) and we paid for it with our taxes. Of course we are told that it was good for UK business but then, as now, it benefits very few of us. A recent poll stated that 79% of the UK population is indifferent to the upcoming wedding of William Windsor to Kate Middleton. Every day, the Left wing BBC and its acolyte gaggle of journalists and photographers entertain us with items of news and programming that celebrates royalty; it commemorates the institution of aristocracy and therefore encourages division by class. We are willingly, being played for loyal children and the master’s serfs. While the BBC and its fawning brothers and sisters should be ideologically calling for an end to this obscene self-perpetuating tradition they instead kowtow and dutifully salivate before those at the pinnacle of British society. We are told that two thousand million human beings will raise their glasses and toast the happy couple.
We have allowed our press to show its contempt for our humanity. We have willingly or unwillingly become participants in an international orgy of commercial exploitation and privileged self-promotion. This is not a celebration of our shared humanity; it is a reaffirmation of primordial power and privilege and we should all be ashamed.