OTD in 1217, The Charter of the Forest is sealed at St Paul’s Cathedral. This Charter is a charter that re-established for free men rights of access to the royal forest that had been eroded by William the Conqueror & his heirs. “Forest” to the Normans meant an enclosed area where the monarch (or sometimes another aristocrat) had exclusive rights to animals of the chase & the greenery on which they fed. It did not consist only of trees, but included large areas of heathland, grassland & wetlands, productive of food, grazing & other resources. Lands became more & more restricted as King Richard & King John designated greater & greater areas as royal forest. At its widest extent, royal forest covered about one-third of the land of southern England. Thus it became an increasing hardship on the common people to try to farm, forage, & otherwise use the land they lived on.

Plunder of the Commons-228x228

Guy Standing leads us through a new appraisal of the commons, stemming from the medieval concept of common land reserved in ancient law from marauding barons, to his modern reappraisal of the resources we all hold in common – a brilliant new synthesis that crystallises quite how much public wealth has been redirected to the 1% in recent decades through the state-approved exploitation of everything from our land to our state housing, health and benefit systems, to our justice system, schools, newspapers and even the air we breathe. Plunder of the Commons proposes a charter for a new form of commoning, of remembering, guarding and sharing that which belongs to us all, to slash inequality and soothe our current political instability.

Available in store and online.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s