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DIGGING FOR (COMMON) TREASURE

I came upon an essay by Rebecca Tamas called ‘On Watermelon’ . It focuses on a commune from 1649 in Surrey, England after the regicide of Charles I, called the Diggers.

 

They were the first recorded instance of communist thinking in England and they were led by a man named Gerrard Winstanley who started producing pamphlets on ideas he said he received from God. 

He wanted to go to the commons and live together, digging and tilling the land to create a ‘Common Treasury of relief for all’ without the need for money and instead relying on a community of caring for each other using the land that he felt was already theirs.

 

Gerrard and his followers were ruthlessly attacked by locals -led by the land baron of the area- for the whole time they were camped together trying to inspire a new way of life. They also advocated for non- violence and felt that once the workers and landowners saw the community’s success, they would voluntarily give up their private land to join.

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