Turning the World Upside Down: The English Revolution as Inspiration for the Transition to a Sustainable Society

The Carnival Kingdom, New Visions of Justice for Global Communities (Chapter), Forthcoming

15 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2013

Abstract

The English Civil War was a time of political and economic upheaval and a time of conflict about rights to land ownership and representation, made explicit in the Putney Debates held in 1647. In this paper I characterize this as a time of ‘carnival’ in the Bakhtinian sense and draw parallels with the present work of the Transition movement. I see links in four distinct areas: in the need to reclaim the land; in the quest to reclaim the power of the spiritual, however defined, as part of the realm of public discourse; in the demand that the circle of those considered worthy to exercise political power should be extended; and finally, and more tentatively, in the demand for an 'embedded epistemology', a way of making sense of the world that is inherently relational. In response to climate change we need to make rapid changes: I suggest that the liminal time of the Diggers and Levellers can help to inspire us in this necessary transition.

Keywords: Bakhtin, Transition Towns, climate change, land reform, English Civil War, Christopher Hill

JEL Classification: B12, O11, P41, Q24

Suggested Citation

Scott Cato, Molly, Turning the World Upside Down: The English Revolution as Inspiration for the Transition to a Sustainable Society. The Carnival Kingdom, New Visions of Justice for Global Communities (Chapter), Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2196447

Molly Scott Cato (Contact Author)

Roehampton University ( email )

Roehampton Lane
London, SW15 5PU
United Kingdom

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