Julian Rose, Contributor
In 1381, at a time of great repression for the British agricultural work force, an extraordinary people’s revolutionary named Wat Tyler sprang to his feet and announced, “England should be a nation of self governing communities,” to which he added, “ No lord shall exercise lordship over the people, and, as we are oppressed by so vast a hoard of bishops and clerks, the property of the holy church should be taken and divided.”
His colleague, the priest John Ball, spoke out with equal fervour, “The lords’ claims to be more lords than we are rests solely on their power to force us to labour that they may spend.”
A great surge of support for these proclamations swept through the farming communities of South East England, quickly spreading further North. The farmers took up arms – whatever appropriate implements they could find in the farmyard – and set out on their mission to free themselves from the wicked landlords and clerks, who between them were taxing the life out of the farming communities throughout the land, destroying the livelyhoods of thousands of countryside families.
Many a pernicious bureaucrat was confronted by this motley army, with the brave farmer, Wat Tyler, proudly riding at its head – and many a selfish landlord was forced to concede his greedy rental regime and bow to the demands of the British peasants.
And yes, blood was shed in the struggle to gain respect for basic human rights.
A great quest for liberation, justice and equality blazed amongst the downtrodden land-workers and villagers of fourteenth century England during those famous months of The Peasant’s Revolt. Only an act of royal treachery finally stopped this revolution from fully undermining the corrupted power of the State and the intransigence of King Richard II.
Why do I tell this story?
Because more than six hundred years after this peasant uprising shook the nation, we have come full circle. Once again the call is going out for peoples and regions under the hand of oppressive, dictatorial regimes, to cecede from the nation state and become ‘self governing communities’. Wat Tyler’s heroic stand echoes down the ages and nourishes the cause of non-compliance and community actions that stand up against the ever more insidious tentacles of centralised power.
Right now there are one hundred and fifty communities in the United States redefining their right to self govern and pushing forward their programmes for localised renewable energy and ecological food security. Not only this, they are also rewriting the laws that govern their communities and declaring citizens’ charters – banning GMOs and initiating local seed saving actions. They are also declaring the right to clean water and are making ‘fracking’ a criminal offence.
In the process, through collective acts of civil disobedience, they are stripping the corporate world of its powers. These communities are able to show how the notion that corporations have some form of sovereign power – is a facade – how it is people who hold sovereign power, as Wat Tyler made plain all those years ago. And it is people who must again exercise that power.
All over the World such stirrings are gaining momentum. Actions to reclaim powers usurped by that toxic cocktail of government and corporate collusion, are breaking out. If such stands are being taken in the US heartlands of corporate and government connivance – then it proves that the will of the people is more powerful than the will of the heirarchical cabal whose ambition it is to control all aspects of our lives. We should draw strong inspiration from these game changing actions – and increase our own determination to go in the same direction.
The time has come for all awakening individuals to hone a definite life strategy. A strategy that puts us in the driver’s seat and empowers us to set a new course – one imbued with creative inventiveness, courage and mutual support.
We have arrived here because of the accumulated evidence which overwhelmingly proves that the status quo is a fraud – designed to strip us of our powers of judgement and the determination to act on that judgement. There is no time for further deliberation of the pros and cons of this or that political polemic. It’s all a miasma. A massive sham. A sham which we continue to uphold as long as we go on playing along with its sense of self importance; giving it a status it does not actually possess, and then sheltering under its poisoned wing.
Everyday that goes by without putting into place a strategy to step out of this straight-jacket – is a day wasted – a sacrificial offering to to all that is sucking the life out of humanity.
Self government starts by taking control of the self. By shaking off the doubts about one’s capabilities and taking specific steps to enhance one’s powers: spiritually, mentally and physically. We need to be aware that there is no predestined design for this life that will fatalistically play itself out while we bury our heads in the sand.
Yet we are indoctrinated to believe that there is some kind of inevitability to the way the world lurches from crisis to crisis, war to war. That suits the cabal very well – because it is their war game that is being enacted on planet Earth – and the more people that see that war game as somehow ‘inevitable’ – the longer will it go on desecrating the fabric of life.
Just now, many are falling into the trap of declaring that we are inevitably heading for a Third World War. But in so doing they are merely fulfilling the ambitions of those craven agents of death whose game design includes that scenario. Our role is not to prophecy, but to change the goal posts so as to ensure that such horrors never take place. That is the meaning of ‘seizing control of our destinies’.
If, in spite of our efforts, such a war breaks out, it is simply because there is insufficient energy focused on the true path of life. Insufficient self discipline to steer against the tide of doom. But every person who gives in to a sense of doom when confronted by the machinations of the war machine has failed to grasp the powers with which they are endowed. Powers to change themselves as well as the assumed course of events. Forging a path of truth where presently are deserts of desolation.
Wat Tyler, and his gallant peasant followers, did not stand back and allow repression to rule. Nor should we. He proclaimed that no heirarchical figure should rule over and repress the people. So should we. He called instead for England to become a nation of self governing communities. So should we – in whatever Country we reside.
Because this is surely the only practical antidote to the super centralisation of our lives and absolute rule by the despotic fiefdoms of the 21st century.
Self governing communities turn out to be our most instinctual socio economic model of survival and create the right setting for a fertile organic expansion of the spiritual and artistic path. Because to be ‘spiritually aware’ ‘self governing’ and a ‘caring community’ is fundamental to the growth of responsible and cohesive shared living.
Humanity is an extended family. But as in the present tragedy which is Jew-v-Arab, Israel-v-Palestine, this truth has been riven with lies and ripped apart by ulterior motives. Modern ‘democracies’ are now simply a perpetually repeating expression of this divide and conquer holocast. It is impossible to become awake and then continue to put both feet back into such a deeply compromised and incongruous system as we have today. Therefore we must change the script.
Everyone who follows my writings and the parallel concerns of others who contribute to this site, should already be concentrating themselves on the process of building – or contributing to the building of – self-governing communities. Increasingly freed from dependence on the fallen model.
As the foundations of the status quo continue to crack apart, so do the seemingly reliable sources of life dependencies to which we are accustomed also go with them. There is no more time to sit on fences. They are themselves rotting away underneath us and will soon turn to dust.
We who have become ‘aware’ – are the leaders of the age. We must live up to this reality. We know that the status quo is beyond redemption. So we must take this knowledge to be the signal to build that which will redeem our collective Human status; which will carry us through the apocalypse. We know what the ingredients are that will make our arks self sustaining. We know what we need in order to come alive again. Now we must put them all together – for that is where they belong.
If we are to overcome that which oppresses us we must unite our creative powers and imaginations in common affirmation of the life force with which we are each endowed.
The quest for liberation, justice and basic equality so nobly fought for by Wat Tyler and the peasant’s revolt six hundred year’s ago is now our revolution.
About the Author
Julian is an early pioneer of UK organic farming, an international activist and author. He is president of The International Coalition to Protect the Polish Countryside. His widely acclaimed book In Defence of Life is published by Earth Books and available on general retail and on Julian’s website: www.julianrose.info.
This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.
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