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<nettime> Re: executed-coat-thief
richard barbrook on Wed, 8 Oct 2003 17:59:44 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Re: executed-coat-thief


>bring me the head of  Oliver Cromwell the traitor (buried somewhwere in
>the precincts of a
>Cambridge college)

The skull is kept in a wooden box in Sidney Sussex college - and supposedly
can be seen on request.

>that I may relive my bowls within that most disapointing of craniums.

The good moments in the English revolution like Leveller democracy can't be
separated from the bad bits like Cromwell's dictatorship. These are the
dialectical twins of a single revolutionary movement. More importantly,
since we live in completely different historical circumstances, it is
anachronistic for someone today to big up the programme of one particular
faction within the Good Old Cause. Almost everything which was radical then
has now become conservative. For instance, even though the Levellers were
on the extreme-left in the mid-17th century, they did *not* advocate votes
for all men let alone for women too. However much we admire their courage
and determination, we must also remember that Leveller democracy was the
democracy of male property-owners. Not even American neo-conservatives dare
openly to support this position today.

Rather than refighting ancient faction fights, it's more interesting to
question why the English don't have their equivalent of the 14th July and
4th July holidays: an annual celebration of the modernising revolution.
Even though it happened over three centuries ago, our ruling elite is still
embarassed by this inspirational moment in our history. Apart from it being
so cold in mid-winter, I like the suggestion that we should celebrate 30th
January: the day in 1649 when the tyrant king was executed for his crimes
against the people. If nothing else, this date would prevent the holiday's
recuperation for an official ceremony which included the current royal

Up the Republic!!



Dr. Richard Barbrook
Hypermedia Research Centre
School of Media, Arts & Design
University of Westminster
Watford Road
Northwick Park


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