A few words about Wednesday's quiz. . . .and the Diggers

Hello all,

I want to assure you all that tomorrow's quiz is not as intense as a midterm or final exam, as some emails have asked.  It is relatively short and should not take more than 10-15 minutes of class time).  The questions will cover important ideas from lectures and from the readings.  They are meant to help you know whether you are keeping up with readings and lectures and are getting the main points from each.   Each quiz counts for only 3% of your grade, and we will drop the lowest quiz score. (Although please bear in mind that there are virtually NO make-ups on quizzes.)

As promised, here are the lyrics to the Billy Bragg song I played on Monday.  The song is interesting in a lot of ways, but one important thing is that it documents how long people have been thinking about property and how long dispossession has seemed a problem.  After all, Billy Bragg wrote this song in the late 20th century about events that had occurred more than 400 years earlier.  

The World Turned Upside Down
Billy Bragg

In 1649
To St. George's Hill,
A ragged band they called the Diggers
Came to show the people's will
They defied the landlords
They defied the laws
They were the dispossessed reclaiming what was theirs

We come in peace they said
To dig and sow
We come to work the lands in common
And to make the waste ground grow
This earth divided
We will make whole
So it will be
A common treasury for all

The sin of property
We do disdain
No man has any right to buy and sell
The earth for private gain
By theft and murder
They took the land
Now everywhere the walls
Spring up at their command

They make the laws
To chain us well
The clergy dazzle us with heaven
Or they damn us into hell
We will not worship
The God they serve
The God of greed who feed the rich
While poor folk starve

    We work we eat together
We need no swords
We will not bow to the masters
Or pay rent to the lords
Still we are free
Though we are poor
You Diggers all stand up for glory
Stand up now

From the men of property
The orders came
They sent the hired men and troopers
To wipe out the Diggers' claim
Tear down their cottages
Destroy their corn
They were dispersed
But still the vision lingers on

You poor take courage
You rich take care
This earth was made a common treasury
For everyone to share
All things in common
All people one
We come in peace

The orders came to cut them down

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This page contains a single entry by Tracey Deutsch published on September 22, 2009 12:41 PM.

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