“When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the LORD your God”
Bill Gates and Paul Allen before they started Microsoft used to search the dustbins of a computer laboratory they frequented to look for snippets of code it’s an interesting metaphor for Gleaning in the commons. It is strange indeed that the internets very own room 101 allows for the rehabilitation or gleaning of snippets of truthful reporting, writing, and documentary film that has had the Winston Smith treatment from the fact-checkers of #Covid1984.
By a variety of methods, the Gleaners for truth can start by using an alternative internet browser, Duck Go-Go or Dissenter and a new world of casually discarded yet still fully consumable media food for thought opens up. A little deeper where no longer available or 404 messages appear then the Wayback machine can use its magic and offer up a cached archive of the destination url
One can also search for Torrents of the missing program or document on Pirate bay, using a VPN to spoof one’s location should the content perchance be still protected by DRM prohibitions. Such is the tool kit available to pick the locks of Room 101 and to read the materials which got Winston in so much trouble, ” THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF OLIGARCHICAL COLLECTIVISM by Emmanuel Goldstein.”
When one has the keys to room 101 What follows is akin to when the Main Character Winston in 1984 starts reading a copy of The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism. there are though some Heresies against the necessary beliefs of the Trilateral Commission Parties rules-based international order that will evade even the most determined Gleaner in the fields of room 101.
Johnny Come Home
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The Human Laboratory
Bill Moyers Journal #502; The World of David Rockefeller
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The Duke of Grafton’s successful efforts at land privatizations no doubt encouraged the same in his neighbor Lord Cornwallis, formerly commander of British armies in America, who returned to his Suffolk estates to lick his wounds following the British surrender to the American revolutionary forces at Yorktown in 1781. Cornwallis instigated the “Great Gleaning Case” of 1788, in which the court in Steel v. Houghton (Mary Houghton, an agricultural laborer, gleaned on his lands in Timworth, a few miles south of Thetford) declared unequivocally against the law of Moses and centuries of customary practice by declaring that “no person has, at common law, a right to glean in the harvest field.” It was such criminalizing of customary access to the means of production and subsistence that played a decisive role in the creation of the proletariat. Paine returned to England in September 1787 and journeyed to Thetford to visit his mother. One doubts that he crossed paths with Cornwallis, though one easily pictures him (it was harvest time), if not passing Mary Houghton at Timworth, then encountering other crowds of gleaners singing on the way to and from the fields.
THE COMMONS AGAIN
“Government does not consist in a contrast between prisons and palaces, between poverty and pomp; it is not instituted to rob the needy of his mite, and increase the wretchedness of the wretched,” Paine wrote in Rights of Man, though in 1792 this is exactly what the British government was doing. Consequently, it was a period of intense, exciting revival of debate about communing as a practice and communism as a theory. William Godwin’s An Inquiry into Political Justice (1791) was an over-intellectualized promotion of communism, while James Pilkington’s The Doctrine of Equality of Rank (1795) was published in a year of dearth and high grain prices, and Thomas Spence’s tracts also found fertile ground.
Paine had lived in London during the debates of 1772 for the repeal of the laws against forestalling, the practice of withholding grain from the market to force prices up—this was a classic moment in the attempt to defeat the “moral economy” and replace it with laissez-faire. During the American war Paine sat on the price-fixing committees, established in Philadelphia, against war profiteering. During this aggressive formation of capitalist laissez-faire, William Ogilvie in Essay on the Right of Property in Land (1781) argued that the commons and wastes should be distributed to the poor, while James Murray’s Sermons to Asses (1768) renewed the redistribution theory of jubilee, and Richard Price’s Observations on Reversionary Payments (1771) opposed enclosure.
Three global forces of the time made these debates urgent. One was the invasion of the Ohio valley and the robbery of the lands, forests, and waters of the Iroquois. This was done in the name of civilization and inevitability. The second was the Enclosure acts in England, passed in the name of progress and improvement in the period 1760 to 1830. The third was the 1793 Permanent Settlement in Bengal, which privatized and commodified the land. “The life of an Indian is a continual holiday, compared with the poor of Europe; and on the other hand, it appears to be abject when compared to the rich,” Paine writes in Agrarian Justice. “Civilization therefore, or that which is so called, has operated two ways, to make one part of society more affluent, and the other more wretched, than would have been the lot of either in a natural state.”
The Myth of the Tragedy of the Commons
By Ian Angus. Will shared resources always be misused and overused? Is community ownership of land, forests and fisheries a guaranteed road to ecological disaster? Is privatization the only way to protect the environment and end Third World poverty? Most economists and development planners will answer “yes” — and for proof they will point to the most influential article ever written on those important questions.
Since its publication in Science in December 1968, “The Tragedy of the Commons” has been anthologized in at least 111 books, making it one of the most-reprinted articles ever to appear in any scientific journal. It is also one of the most-quoted: a recent Google search found “about 302,000” results for the phrase “tragedy of the commons.”
For 40 years it has been, in the words of a World Bank Discussion Paper, “the dominant paradigm within which social scientists assess natural resource issues.” (Bromley and Cernea 1989: 6) It has been used time and again to justify stealing indigenous peoples’ lands, privatizing health care and other social services, giving corporations ‘tradable permits’ to pollute the air and water, and much more.
Noted anthropologist Dr. G.N. Appell (1995) writes that the article “has been embraced as a sacred text by scholars and professionals in the practice of designing futures for others and imposing their own economic and environmental rationality on other social systems of which they have incomplete understanding and knowledge.”
Like most sacred texts, “The Tragedy of the Commons” is more often cited than read. As we will see, although its title sounds authoritative and scientific, it fell far short of science.
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The British ruling class was outraged at the very idea that the “swinish multitude,” as conservative ideologue Edmond Burke called them, might play any role in politics. In the House of Lords, a Bishop sputtered that “he did not know what the mass of the people in any country had to do with the laws but to obey them.”6Such gross class prejudice was not limited to reactionaries. Christopher Wyvill, a Yorkshire landowner and prominent advocate of limited parliamentary reform, warned in 1792 that “the right of Suffrage communicated to an ignorant and ferocious Populace would lead to tumult and confusion.” Referring to the popularity of Tom Paine’s Rights of Man among the radicals, he wrote: “If Mr. Paine should be able to rouze up the lower classes, their interference will probably be marked by wild work, and all we now possess, whether in private property, or public liberty, will be at the mercy of a lawless and furious rabble.”
7 Early in 1792, the government embarked on a campaign that combined antidemocratic propaganda with outright repression in order to force worker democrats off the political stage. It financed mass distribution of antiradical newspapers and pamphlets, accused the radicals of being paid agents of France, and (through Anglican Bishops, who owed their lucrative posts to the Cabinet) instructed the clergy to preach that supporters of the democratic movement would surely go to hell. At the same time, it encouraged “Church and King” mobs to attack or intimidate radical meetings, denied licenses to pub owners who rented meeting rooms to radicals, and sent spies and provocateurs into radical societies.
In June 1792, Paine was charged with seditious libel for the views expressed in Rights of Man. He escaped to France but was tried and convicted in his absence, and Rights of Man was banned. In Edinburgh in 1793, three men, including LCS chairman Maurice Margarot, were charged with sedition—consisting of arguing for parliamentary reform and opposing the war with France. After a trial before an openly hostile judge, they were sentenced to fourteen years of “transportation”—exile and compulsory labor in Australia
John Horne Tooke
John Horne Tooke’s trial followed Hardy’s, in which Pitt was forced to testify and admit that he had attended radical meetings himself. Throughout the trial Horne Tooke “combined the affectation of boredom with irreverent wit”. One observer noted that when asked by the court if he would be tried “by God and his Country”, he “eyed the court for some seconds with an air of significancy few men are so well able to assume, and shaking his head, emphatically answered ‘I would be tried by God and my country, but—!'” After a long trial, he too was acquitted.
All of the other members of the SCI were released after these two trials, as it became obvious to the government that they would not gain any convictions.
In an exchange with John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, where the latter exclaimed, “Sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox,” Wilkes is reported to have replied, “That depends, my lord, on whether I embrace your lordship’s principles or your mistress.”
Early Covid Coverage that has not aged well.
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