Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Gerrard Winstanley

Today according to Australian Eastern Standard Time when this item was posted
1609 Gerrard Winstanley (baptised; his date of birth is unknown; d. September 10, 1676), leader and theoretician of the group of English agrarian communists known as the Diggers, who in 1649 - '50 cultivated common land on St George’s Hill, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, and at nearby Cobham until they were dispersed by force and legal harassment.

They believed that land should be made available to the very poor. In one of the Digger tracts, The Law of Freedom, Winstanley took the view held by the Anabaptists that all institutions were by their nature corrupt:

"Nature tells us that if water stands long it corrupts; whereas running water keeps sweet and is fit for common use."

To prevent power corrupting individuals he advocated that all officials should be elected every year ...

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