Friday 28 August 2009

A dream of John Ball

Talking about John Ball - which we were....
Religion and the rise of capitalism by R. H. Tawney was the first off-the-list book I bought and read as a student eager to get to grips with how the world actually is. When Adam delved and Eve span/who was then the gentleman? was a phrase the nouveaux riches of the late medieval times apparently feared, in the dawn time of capital and its important supporting system of suppliers of credit this question was not supposed to be asked.

Maybe we are living in the dusk days of capital and its banks, it certainly looks that way. Show me what you fear and I will tell you who you are: apparently climate camping is utterly subversive.

Meanwhile, back in the nineteenth centruy, William Morris wrote his Dream of John Ball. You should read it in the brochure edition that might still be found in the dungeons of radical bookshops. But if you cannot find it - you can read it on the net.

Wednesday 26 August 2009

John Ball and the Climate Camp

The Climate Camp in London is at the site of the sermon of John Ball. An anarchic priest from way back (14th Century). He arrived at Blackheath having been freed from prison by insurgents and preached:

"When Adam delved and Eve span, Who was then the gentleman? From the beginning all men by nature were created alike, and our bondage or servitude came in by the unjust oppression of naughty men. For if God would have had any bondmen from the beginning, he would have appointed who should be bond, and who free. And therefore I exhort you to consider that now the time is come, appointed to us by God, in which ye may (if ye will) cast off the yoke of bondage, and recover liberty."

Ball was a ball ache for the archbishop of Canterbury and thrown in prison three times. It was even illegal to listen to his sermons. It's a rare thing for a priest's sermon to be made illegal these days. A challenge to be taken up!

Sunday 23 August 2009

Oh wilderness were paradise enow!

The theme of rewilding and Christianity (as discussed earlier) will be taken up by a conference on Anarcho-primitivism and Christianity on October 16-18 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Keynote speaker: Ched Myers.
You are advised to look at a url which does not yield any information (checking possible alternative site names I met the picture placed here now, which in the context of the subject must be good for a giggle).

Hopefully more details will come up. Unless this announcement is the one.
Meanwhile, have a look at The Land of the Living, a site dedicated to the dialogue mentioned.

Tuesday 11 August 2009

Greenbelt Anarchist Meet-up

Saturday 8 p.m. @ The Winged Ox. I'll see if I can get a black and red flag or something so it's obvious.

Otherwise it's that furtive and earnest looking group drinking vodka out of bottles through oily rags.

Monday 3 August 2009


Conspire, a magazine by and for intentional communities (new monastics) in the USA - beaming out hopewith a slightly evangelical flavour. Try it yourself.
As ever, I find the introductory words by Shane Claiborne inspiring.