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Thursday, 22 August 2013 00:00

Let Marxism be our guide on Cromwell

There have been several letters in the Morning Star regarding Oliver Cromwell and his legacy.

Bourgeois historians have an individualistic view of history, as if kings and queens shape events themselves.

Marxists view history as a persistent struggle between classes.

Such was the English revolution and if this conflict between an evolving capitalist class and the old feudal class had not occurred when it did, Cromwell would never have been heard of.

That is not to say that Cromwell was not a revolutionary leader - he was.

But only because he had the support of the wider masses and created a political army.

Marxist historian Christopher Hill wrote in his classic essay The English Revolution that "what men were fighting about was the whole nature and future development of English society."

That is as far as it went because the victors were the new bourgeoisie.

The Diggers and Levellers wanted to take the revolution further.

In a debate with Cromwell, Leveller leader Thomas Rainsborough argued for one man one vote - not just votes for property owners.

Cromwell replied: "If they that hath no goods and chattels make laws equally with them that hath, they will make laws to take away the property of them that hath."

The property owners won, Rainsborough was executed and the wealthy continue to rule the country even today with true democracy as yet unrealised.



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