General discussion

Better Hour: The Legacy of William Wilberforce on PBS.

Quite an exceptional program. We think we live in a coarse time of morals, but we're not in the same league with the late 18th Century.
Wilberforce beside being the core of the Abolitionist movement in Britain, but was also a great reformer of the moral climate in Britain, the fight against alcoholism and prostitution and the dreadful social climate of the time. Among the issues that attracted him was the abolition of private property, since this was at the root of the ownership of persons. He'd have inspired remarkable opposition had this issue arisen in today's Parliament or Congress.

It's wonderful what you can learn, no matter how much you may have already studied.


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make us all gypsies?

Or tsiganes?

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Much as I like tzigainer music in its many forms

Manouche (Django Reinhardt)
Flamenco (Manitas de Plata and several hundred others)
and Hungarian Gypsy music (Tzigainer)

I'm unclear how this applies to William Wilberforce who seemed to be the most liberal and accepting of men at the turn of the 19th Century.

Please enlighten me James.


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(NT) James,please explain the gypsy reference, I don't understand
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the abolition of private property,
the abolition of private property,

Such abolition of private property means nobody is really tied to any land anywhere, everyone is made a potential wanderer with no land and really no country to call their own, since they have no ownership part and therefore no real say in it. It also promotes what is mine is yours and anyone else who can advantage themselves by it. If one is not tied to the land through ownership, then about the only private property one might own is a vehicle of conveyance, such as a gypsy caravan. If one truly can't own anything private, then why take care of anything, just exist as best one can, traveling from place to place. The concept of no private property is a foolish one.
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Ah, my apologies for not getting your erudite (I mean that)

critique. The 18th Century was an incredible period of intellectual ferment everywhere, France, Germany, England, the soon to be United States. Idealists often lean that way intellectually, until they start considering what the impact would be both on themselves and society in general. Communal ideas run through English History; The Peasant's Revolt 1381, the results of the English Civil War " the Fifth Monarchy Men, who believed in the establishment of a heavenly theocracy on earth to be led by a returning Jesus as king of kings and lord of lords; the Agitators for political egalitarian reform of government, who were branded "Levellers" by their foes and who were led by Freeborn John Lilburne; and the Christian communists, who called themselves the True Levellers for their beliefs but who were branded "Diggers" because of their actions. The latter were led by Gerrard Winstanley. Whereas Lilburne sought to level the laws and maintain the right to the ownership of real property, Winstanley sought to level the ownership of real property itself, which is why Winstanley's followers called themselves "True Levellers". Wikipedia entry for Gerard Winstanley who attempted to begin a communal living situation in 1649.

Similarly Voltaire and Rousseau and Swiss thinkers leant that way, and it all continued on past 1848 and Karl Marx.

It doesn't work. But absolute hands-off capitalism doesn't work either. It means that wealth concentrates, and poverty concentrates as well. Some species of balance has to be achieved, that's why the post FDR economy was so egalitarian, and good for everybody. That's why so many people during that period were able to get University educations, buy houses and cars.

I am not a fan of Gerard Winstanley, despite knowing a woman of that name, except as a kind of amazement at the intellectual exercise that it was at the time. As an intellectual exercise it is interesting, but it's the complete opposite of practical.


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Here's one you missed, Henry George
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I have to say, that having met a few gypsies in Britain,

they scared the he!! out of me. There was an air of menace and of trying to get the upper hand.


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