Friday, 14 October 2016
1066 And All That
Friday marked the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings. The impact of which has shaped the English psyche, as well as the English landscape, ever since. The Anglarchist's associate editor, Paul Kingsnorth, captured something of the overarching trauma of the original occupation in his amazing, Unbound crowdfunded, first novel The Wake. The chasm created in society is carried in our very language. The rulers eat 'beef' (from the Norman 'beof') while the peasant farmers raise 'cows' (from the Old English cū). This is not meant as a snub towards the Norman's and their descendants. I merely want to highlight the highly visible social divides that have been a central theme throughout English history. There are, after all, few things more quintessentially English than the class divide.
I have a feeling that it is the highly visible divides and injustices which England has witnessed over the last 950 years which have inspired so many English philosophers to put forward models for a better, brighter, braver society. We do, after all, have something of a history of influencing and creating positive social change. This is not to say that the history of England is not also littered with shameful tragedy, but there is much worthy of celebration in English history which is all too often ignored. It is my sincere hope that The Anglarchist might go some way to redressing the balance, and perhaps even inspire the next generation of English radicals who themselves dare to dream of a new society.