[diggers350] Models for collectivising land in England and Wales

Brendan Boal b_m_boal at yahoo.com
Mon Dec 8 15:17:55 GMT 2003

You make a well informed and coherent argument until
you start harping on about this god stuff.  The kind
of radical people who read this list will almost all
be turned off by this.  I know you strongly believe in
this stuff and I (being one who bases belief, for or
against any propostion, on quantifiable evidence)do
not neccesarily condemn your beliefs out of hand, but
there are many (Jim for example) who will.  The net
result of this is that you end up with a  sitation
like the one in last years 'Do or Die': i.e., "Bible
bashing Tony Gosling" etc, etc, or the current
criticism of you on the Class War web site, rather
than the actual political points you are trying to
make being considered at all.


 when the main substance of your your views should fit
perfectly whith theirs.

--- tliouk <office at tlio.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> "'The land is not to be sold in perpetuity, because
> the land belongs 
> to me"' Leviticus 25:23
> Models for collectivising land in England and Wales
> The lnclosure problem
> Private property rights now exist on almost all land
> in England and 
> Wales. The earth under our feet once considered a
> divine gift to all 
> mankind, has been measured, partitioned off with
> fences, and 
> privatised.
> The Normans' Domesday book set the stage for
> inclosure. Compiled in 
> 1086, it was an inventory of all land-based
> resources in the country 
> so they could be effectively taxed. There were at
> least some local 
> riots when the king's commissioners demanded what
> was considered 
> private information.
> It was nicknamed Domesday because the people
> compared it to the day of
> judgement. Once a taxable resource was in the book
> no appeal was 
> allowed.
> Inclosure (enclosure seems to have been the
> advocates' spelling) was 
> the transfer of God given land into the ownership of
> arrogant men. 
> Such land took on the legal status of private
> property such as 
> something crafted by one's hands or something bought
> or exchanged. 
> The controversial Statute of Merton, a scheme of
> Henry VIII's, was 
> one of the first inclosures in Britain.
> Inclosure took place piecemeal across the country
> over many hundreds 
> of years and the fragmented peasants' side to the
> story has been 
> largely untold. The rural poor could rarely read or
> write, neither 
> did they have more than a handful of sympathisers
> amongst the classes 
> that could. The perpetrators didn't want sordid
> details of evictions 
> recorded. In many cases the only hint of struggle
> over land are 
> entries for soldiers' payment in the inclosure
> commissioners accounts.
> The only king to make a serious attempt to put a
> stop to and even 
> reverse inclosure, Charles I, was beheaded. The
> English Civil War, 
> which culminated in the death of Charles, was driven
> by the same 
> classes who were finding inclosure so lucrative.
> England became the world's first nation controlled
> by the merchant or
> capitalist class. It was the first country to see
> mass rural 
> evictions and urbanisation and as a result was
> fertile ground for the 
> industrial revolution.
> The present and virtually universal 'private
> ownership' model has 
> left us with no easily identifiable way of legally
> containing 
> or 'owning' land which doesn't lead to financially
> better off 
> individuals having greater power in deciding how it
> is used.
> It is also difficult to see how a group can be
> prevented from going 
> into debt that would leave land open to takeover by
> moneyed interests 
> from outside.
> The inclosure model has been used to undermine
> natural human rights in
> other areas of nearest blood-relative took
> possession. As the head of 
> the household wished it could pass to anyone in his
> or her immediate 
> family.
> Crucially, the copyhold meant family land could not
> be bought and 
> sold on the open market nor used as security against
> a bank loan. 
> This made it virtually impossible for the family to
> be turned out of 
> their home for financial reasons.
> Historical models
> The pre-inclosure open field system or manor was the
> natural 
> settlement pattern of hunter-gatherers. Drawing on
> circumstantial 
> evidence archaeologists and historians tend to agree
> on this.
> Itinerant groups saw the benefit of collecting seed.
> Of clearing 
> virgin ground for planting and coming back later in
> the year for 
> harvesting. They soon realised that use of the same
> ground for 
> growing every year led to deterioration of the soil
> hence they would 
> make new clearings and/or 'rotate' old ones.
> If game became scarce, possessions difficult to
> transport or demands 
> on planter/harvesters increased longer stops became
> necessary between 
> moving on. Previously cleared ground may have been
> revisited 
> regularly and would be the obvious place for such
> stops, which would 
> have become longer as possessions, buildings and
> other useful 
> infrastructure increased.
> Settled groups tended to live in the centre of
> several fields, like 
> giant allotments, which contained strips farmed by
> individual 
> households on rotation. Whatever the number of
> fields around the 
> village one would be left fallow each year.
> Crops were rotated including grains, pulses and root
> vegetables. One 
> of the most popular rotations was barley and wheat
> on the thee-field 
> system with one field fallow every year. The barley
> was malted for 
> beer whilst the wheat was milled for bread baking.
> This was the pre-enclosure model, with 'manor'
> settlement size being 
> about 40 extended families. The group's leader
> became known as The 
> Lord of the Manor and presided over a manorial court
> in which he too 
> could be cross-examined and punished. The ordinary
> villagers were 
> copyholders in most manors, with security of tenure
> and other 
> important rights. No one was considered 'owner' of
> the land.
> The Lord had exclusive use of 'demesne' land and was
> the manor's
> representative in dealings with regional or national
> govenment and the
> crown. The Lord had to supply soldiers for the king,
> a duty that was 
> slowly replaced by a money tax.
> Laxton, near Newark in Nottinghamshire, claims to be
> the only living
> example of unenclosed land and is part of the crown
> estates.
> Social cohesion
> Do we know how ancient tribal societies delivered
> justice and made
> decisions? This wisdom has been largely lost from
> our community 
> memory with ruinous results. Group actions to create
> model 
> communities can succeed in the short-term whilst
> there's a common 
> cause but are rarely able to make the long haul.
> All sorts of ideologies can halt the smooth running
> of a group: the 
> desire to do without rules, disagreement about how
> to keep animals, 
> differing views over noise levels and simple
> personality clashes can 
> help groups see that unanimity of purpose may be
> superficial.
> In tribal societies, such as amongst North American
> Indians, 
=== message truncated ===

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