A Common Treasury, by Gerrard Winstanley, with a foreword by Tony Benn
Published by Verso in 2011, 159 pages. (N3257P1)
Brand New Book
Brand New Book
From the rear side cover: At the end of the English Civil War, Gerrard Winstanley and his comrades, known as Diggers, went to St. Georges Hill, to farm the common land and to distribute the food for free amongst themselves. Winstanleys extraordinary writings from this period have remained a huge influence for many on the Left and are cited as some of the earliest examples of communist thought.
Legendary voice of the Left Tony Benn examines Winstanleys work and argues that, as we face an ever greater enclosure of the commons, he can still inspire us to turn our world upside down.
The Diggers were an English group of agrarian communists, begun by Gerrard Winstanley as True Levellers in 1649, who became known as Diggers due to their activities. Their original name came from their belief in economic equality based upon a specific passage in the Book of Acts. The Diggers tried to reform (by levelling real property) the existing social order with an agrarian lifestyle based on their ideas for the creation of small egalitarian rural communities. Digger communes sprang up in several places throughout England, including Surrey, at Iver in Buckinghamshire, and at Wellingborough in Northamptonshire, but they were met with fierce and often brutal repression by landowners and the state, and by 1651 the movement had collapsed