Thursday, November 10, 2011

Interesting excerpt from H.G.Wells book “The Outline of History – Pt2” … Under the chapter called “The Renascence of Western Civilization” ... Which reminded me of how things are going, or not going, in today's world and the OWS movement.

It was in the preaching of John Ball [from 1360 to 1381] that England first listened to a declaration of natural equality and the rights of man. ‘Good people,’ cried the preacher, ‘things will never go well in England so long as goods be not in common, and so long as there be villeins and gentlemen. By what right are they whom we call lords greater folk then we? On what grounds have they deserved it? Why do they hold us in serfage?

If we all came of the same father and mother, of Adam and Eve, how can they say or prove that they are better than we, if it be not that they make us gain for them by our toil what they spend in their pride? They are clothed in velvet and warm in their furs and their ermines, while we are covered with rags. They have wine and spices and fair bread; and we oat-cake and straw, and water to drink. They have leisure and fine houses; we have pain and labour, the rain and the wind in the fields.

And yet it is of us and of our toil that these men hold their state.’ A spirit fatal to the whole system of the Middle Ages breathed in the popular rhyme which condensed the leveling doctrine of John Ball: ‘When Adam delved and Eve span, who was then the gentleman?’”