A Long Day’s Journey Out of Night
Part I: Roots
by Seneca III
The human predilection to gather in co-operative communities in order to shape, control and utilise a particular environment for the benefit of all members of the commune is as old as our species. It is an animal thing, a pack thing, a tribal thing.
In both zoology and psychology the term ‘territorial imperative’ is a noun used to describe the need to claim and defend a territory, its assets and the successful social organisation that generated them.
It has been argued that in human terms the intensity of this need is inversely proportional to the length of time such a domain has been populated by a particular group who are or have become ideologically and genetically homogenous and have for long known no threat from without.
This first in a short series of essays examines the history and present condition of my own locale. As a working example, predominantly rural in nature, it reflects much of the same time line and upheavals as in more urban areas, although there, close to the epicentres of occupation, awareness of the current threat is far more acute.
Essentially, the main thrust of my argument is that history is the key. It is there that, throughout Europe and the Anglosphere, evolved those socio-cultural characteristics and modes of conduct that determine and will forever define why and what we are, and so clearly separate us from the descendents of the tribes of Arabian Peninsula and those conquered by them.
Some time around 3500BC a finely crafted and polished flint hand axe fell to the floor of a forest. One can only ponder why it fell and why it remained there, for this was a valuable and sophisticated tool, and we know that Neolithic man preferred to farm and herd and build his burial barrows on open, higher ground rather than down amongst the trees where bears and wolves roamed.
Yet, as there are some faint hints of small settlements in the dim, forbidding woodland where the axe fell, it is conceivable that the owner was a stranger, a trespasser perhaps, fleeing from the territorial imperative of the locals. Whatever happened that day, there the axe remained, sleeping beneath the trees that would shed their leaves upon it and then in their time crumple into the deepening carpet of rich soil.
Over the ensuing millennia the axe lay in darkness as above it strode the men of the Bronze and Iron ages, leaving their mark, particularly in the forest where, in early spring, the floor is still an ethereal and seemingly endless carpet of bluebells. There they paused and then passed on, Celts and then Romans who in their turn were followed by the Romano-British, each of them dropping or discarding some small token of their transient presence: a few coins, some broken pottery or the black circles of their charcoal kilns.
In the late seventh century an extended family of West Saxons, driving north from their settlements about thirty miles away, established a home, or ‘Ham’. It was they who split the rocks and felled the trees, ploughed the first fields, built a Great Hall for their Thane and neat, rectangular thatched houses for themselves, all close to several small springs rising just to the south and west of their clearings.
In the distant past these springs had bubbled to the surface, becoming a rivulet and then a stream that chuckled its way to the southeast. As it travelled the stream was fed along its course by other streams and run-off and, growing swiftly, it became a river artery, the Great Ouse, along which would come the vanguard of the Angles as they penetrated inland from the Wash to challenge the Saxon hegemony.
Thus it came to pass that these tribes of crook-boned men made war in this place, but over the passage of time sanity or necessity prevailed and thereafter came a wary peace punctuated by bouts of intermarriage and fractious squabbling until finally settling into the bucolic homogeneity of an Anglo-Saxon forest village.
The first significant record of the village is, of course, the Domesday Book of 1086, which indicates that the area had by then become something of a hodgepodge of feudal landowning, divided amongst the Norman invaders by ‘hides’ and ‘hundreds’ between “…the Count of Mortain, Giles de Pinkeni and Earl Aubrey in the values of five shillings, ten shillings and nine pounds…” However, one should view these figures with some caution; the Domesday Book was devised as a basis for taxation, and those who collected the taxes, not those who would pay them, assessed the value.
Throughout the first half of the second millennium the area remained somewhat a back-waterish sort of place. During the ages of monastic domination and the supremacy of the medieval Catholic Church the village went quietly about its rural business without overt travail — until the tumultuous arrival of the Reformation. It was then that a local man, an ardent follower of the theology of Wycliffe in the Lollard tradition, went to the Burning Stake in the Stone Pits still vehemently denying the ‘doctrine of transubstantiation’ and refusing all opportunities to recant and save his life.
And the axe slept on. The dissolution of the monasteries and the sustained turbulence of the Tudor period played its part in the shaping of the religious and social life of the village and causing it to lean, in the longer term, towards a predilection for Puritanism and, later, the Non-Conformism that came into being after the Restoration. Happily no more Burning Stakes were erected, but verbal history speaks of a poor woman who was accused of witchcraft and met her end in the local pond!
Yet time does not dally too long in any one milieu, and for the village the winds of change continued to blow, inexorably ushering it into other uncertain futures. It is a local tradition that during the upheavals of the Civil War a number of Royalists met their end in a nearby field, and that considerable booty and many horses fell into the hands of the locals. It is a fact that Cromwell visited the village and that during the time of his Protectorate one John Washington, from Sulgrave in the same county, fled and sailed for Virginia.
There in 1732 was born to his grandson Augustine a son who was named George. George and his cohorts were apparently not very happy with the price we were charging them for tea*, and thus this corner of middle England inadvertently contributed to the independence of what is arguably our most successful colony.
However, in the summer of 1765, perhaps to level the playing field a little, one Simon Eddings of Northampton was sentenced to transportation to the Americas for “…deer poaching in Whittlewood forest and assaulting keepers”.
Over all of these years the forest gradually retreated before the plough — one such intrusion bringing the ancestral axe back into the light of day — but nevertheless forests remained the defining characteristic of the area. The1667 survey records “18,000 oak trees fit for naval timber”, and during the next couple of centuries, despite their nationalisation by an avaricious Treasury, our local forests would contribute a significant percentile of the planks and baulks that became the fighting ships of the Royal Navy in the age of sail.
Today, through this still fairly arboreal landscape, there runs a lane, at first a narrow track and then a broad highway down which drovers brought their stock to the pastures of the Midlands and the markets of London. By 1800 half a million beasts were being driven on the hoof through this area every year to feed the hungry capital and thus, slowly, through such evolutions and the pressing demands of an expanding population we approached the 20th Century.
We did so primarily through the creative genius of the Victorians, who, over a great, soaring viaduct of engineering brick, brought the railway; we did so through the ability to transport our produce on that railway, and through the consequent loss of our small brewery and other traditional local businesses in the face of mass-produced imports brought in return by the same railway and, subsequently, motor transport.
Finally, like all other freemen of these windswept islands in the North Atlantic, we came into the new century and our men and women marched off to two world wars from which so many did not return, their sacrifice in no small part giving us what we find here in this the first decade of the 21st.
Now, in quiet, relative affluence, the product of our ancestors’ labours and courage, here abide a complacent people comfortable in a faux sense of security. Only the tag end of our older generation can remember what it really means to stand on the edge and look over the brink. Yet, yet, there is a growing sense of… of anger, of awareness that this era’s invasion will not be forever confined to the environs of the occupied territories established within the cities, that it will come soon to a place near us or our children.
And, I would add, in the final analysis the territorial imperative is first and foremost a survival trait that is hard-wired into our genes. It has been dormant here for several decades, but it is stirring, and it is a ferocious beast when roused. We are long in these parts; they have been purchased for us with the blood and sweat of all our generations, the same blood that binds us now and makes this land our land, a land the Muslim barbarians must never have but as a grave.
In a future essays I will attempt to explain why Islam has remained so implacably primitive in its social interactions and cultural development whilst the rest of the species has struggled, and generally succeeded, in shedding itself of such limiting behavioural determinants.
And to those of our own who would aid and abet the superimposition of this atavistic theocratic system upon our established way of life I say this: We know what diversity is, we have had several thousand years of it and we are happy with the result because it has been a progressive form of diversity, a levelling of similars.
Islam, however, has cornered itself in a evolutionary cul-de-sac, and wherever it becomes established all others within or close to its remit are forcibly infected, and in turn retrogress by a factor of fourteen centuries, the very antithesis of what we have accomplished over the same time frame.
Hence, if you who defile the Mother of Parliaments by passing laws to protect and enable this deadly carcinoma eating away at our intestines can lift your heads out of the public trough for a moment, please try to take this on board: Slavery, be it slavery of the body or slavery of the mind, is abomination, and we will have none of it.
|*||Note from the Baron: The colonists in New England did not object to the price of tea, but to the tax imposed without their consent upon their purchase of it. They insisted that such unjust taxation violated their ancient rights as Englishmen.|
Previous posts by Seneca III:
|2007||Oct||13||A Letter to my People|
|26||Another Letter To My People|
|2008||Oct||5||Excerpt From “Ere the Winter of Our Discontent”|
|2009||Oct||22||The Cultural Death of a People|
|23||Do Star Chambers Serve a Useful Purpose, Or Do They Obfuscate the Issue?|
|Nov||8||By the Rivers of Babylon|
|2010||Jul||2||The ‘Phoney War’ Is Over|
|Sep||13||Musings on the Winds of Change|
|Oct||13||The Fourth Dimension of Warfare, Part 1|
|2011||Jan||1||The New Year Comes With Ham|
|Feb||6||My Yesterday in Luton|
|Jun||17||The English Spring|