The main contradiction of liberal democracy is that it has largely been shaped through a history of various forms of illegal civil disobedience against entrenched power structures. Such civil disobedience is (retrospectively) seen as justified, and the people committing it are (retrospectively) seen as heroes… but each successive generation is asked to believe that any furth civil disobedience would be unreasonable.
I have been really enjoying reading a number of pamphlets which I picked up recently from ‘Bristol Radical History Group‘ who seem to do a lot of great work down in the south west.
This one on Anglo-Saxon Democracy is of particular interest, although there are many others which I will write up at some point soon.
These few paragraphs are good food for thought, the italics in the last paragraph are mine:
The Rise of the Church
If the major cause of the retreat of Anglo-Saxon democracy is the increasing use of charters to create bookland beyond the control of the local courts and thus the local community then it also has to be accepted that the use of charters to gain rights and privileges at the expense of the local populace was first introduced by the Roman Catholic church and all of the charters of pre-Conquest England were denrived from the form of the private charter of the later Roman empire. Continue reading →