English Civil War and the Diggers' Intuition

Tony Gosling tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Tue Sep 1 14:21:36 BST 2009

The Campfire Revolution
by Tony Gosling
Squatters are going up market. As liars loans are 
called in and gangster capitalists, outside the 
inner circle, are ejected from their Kitsch 
mansions, Mayfair squats are becoming regular news.
In Birmingham 'Justice Not Crisis' are organising 
waves of group squats matching homeless people 
with empty homes and public buildings. From their 
squatted Dalston headquarters, Passing Clouds 
have a minimal overhead business model for us all 

 and one of the funkiest clubs in North London. 
Anticipating the need for a "money free economy" 
the squatting group in Bristol have opened a Free 
Shop, a High Street version of the internet Free 
Cycle system. Everywhere the disposessed and the 
unsung are refusing to be ruled by a casino elite's money system.
The twin conundrums of the War of Terror and the 
Financial Meltdown are making headlines daily but 
the real story is how we are responding to the 
folly of our ever more secretive, distant and reclusive 'betters'.
This is by no means a NATO zone phenomenon. 
Churches in Mumbai, India have been buying tracts 
of arable land outside the city, handing it to 
unemployed urban families, and creating 
egalitarian villages from the ground up. They 
have called the latest Muktapur, 'Salvation Village'.
Even the vision of what kind of Ecological new 
build we need to downshift our post industrial 
nation is being hotly challenged. Is it to be 
Prince Charles' £250k stone cladding Poundbury? A 
Persimmion EcoVillage?  An elitist pseudo 
revolution is being prepared for us, signed off by 'The Borg'.
An epic struggle is unfolding between ruddy-faced 
peasant activists and elitist accountants. 
Between profit margins and common sense. Between 
whether the land is a commodity to be traded like 
barrels of oil on the open market or a 
fundamental human right. It's unlikely to be pretty.
With justice, peace and with peace, beauty. 
Visions for a just future are being hotly 
contested around the campfire. Can ecological 
justice accommodate private banking? Or the 
soulless legal 'person' of the Corporation? Can 
there be any hint of justice with war criminals 
in government? How utterly sunk is the media? How best to organise?
The G20s greatest financial confidence trick in 
history looks sure to bring all these issues to a 
head, to our doors. A new generation of 
Levellers, Ranters and Diggers are rising to the challenge.
Meanwhile new light is being thrown on the true 
origins, in the 1630s, of England's first Civil 
War. Historian W. E. Tate points out that Charles 
I acted decisively to make enclosure 'depopulation' a criminal offence.
'From 1635-8 enclosure compositions [fines] were 
levied in thirteen counties, some six hundred 
persons in all being fined, and the total fines 
levied amounting to almost £50,000. Enclosers 
were being prosecuted in the Star Chamber as late as 1639.'
Though he may not have had the detail, it seems 
Gerrard Winstanley and his Diggers were right, 
recklessly lucrative land privatisation of 
Cromwell's merchant class was at the heart of the 
seven year struggle. Revolution it was not.
Quite whether our present struggle pans out to 
such extremes of the BBC's 1975 series 
'Survivors' God only knows, but it will be the 
severest test yet of our ability to work 
together. To open meetings and pause before big 
decisions in silence or prayer will ensure we 
don't lose sight of the spiritual.
We all have a part to play on the way to the 
first Quaker George Fox's vision of 'a thousand 
points of light'. "Whether England shall be the 
first Land, or some others, wherein Truth shall sit down in triumph."
* The English Village Community and the Enclosure 
Movements by W. E. Tate, Victor Gollancz, London, 
1967. p. Chapter 11, Enclosure and the State: (A) 
In Tudor and Early Stuart Times.

+44 (0)7786 952037

"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic 
poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <https://mailman.gn.apc.org/mailman/private/diggers350/attachments/20090901/f5518104/attachment.html>

More information about the Diggers350 mailing list