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Letters by a modern St. Ferdinand III about cults

Gab@StFerdinandIII - Plenty of cults exist - every cult has its 'religious dogma', its idols, its 'prophets', its 'science', its 'proof' and its intolerant liturgy of demands.  Cults everywhere:  Islam, the State, the cult of Gay and Queer, Marxism, Darwin and Evolution, 'Science', Globaloneywarming, Changing Climate, Abortion....a nice variety for the human-hater, amoral, anti-rationalist to choose from.  It is so much fun mocking them isn't it ?

Tempus Fugit Memento Mori - Time Flies Remember Death 

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Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Greatness of Oliver Cromwell.

One of the most important leaders in early modern history.

by StFerdIII





As history gets distorted and rewritten, so do the lives of remarkable men. One of the most decisive personalities in English and thus world history is Cromwell. Today the post-modern hacks and 'academics', would largely agree that Cromwell was a puritanical fanatic who usurped the English throne, and plunged the country into a ruinous civil war. He was in their view, a blood-soaked, warring, evangelical Christian – worse even than Bush the II. The opposite is of course the truth. Cromwell and the English Civil War of 1641-51, was a necessary break with the past--with corruption, monarchical incompetence, the selling out national interests to foreign powers, and the establishment of the primacy of Parliament and private property, being the key issues. Without Cromwell England would never have become a world power.

The English civil irruption of 1640 was inevitable. The only surprise is that it only erupted as late as it did. It should have happened much sooner. Like most of Europe the English were burdened by a centralised despotism of incompetent and indeed insane monarchical rule. The last vestiges of medieval rule still hung over England in 1640 and for almost 40 years, from 1603-1640, England in every sphere had regressed. Gone were the national achievements and improvements seen under Elizabeth. Regression in finance, the economy, literature, and military power and purpose were obvious. By 1630 England was seen throughout Europe as a weak and spent power. Most Englishmen would have agreed.

When Elizabeth the Tudor died in 1603, the crown went to James the I – a Stuart of Scotland. James was a disaster. Homosexual, lazy, stupid, and probably somewhat mad, he destroyed England's finances and fractured her military. As historian Paul Johnson commented, “James was a loutish savage.” That is probably being too kind. James was a national abomination. Disrepair was everywhere, the government ceased to work, the economy slid, and Parliament was prevented from meeting. Unrest grew in proportion to England's decline.

James' son Charles the I, was little better. Scotland had since the 12th century conspired with France against England. The Scottish Papists or Jacobins in alliance with the French were viewed as mortal threats. Under both James and Charles the links with interests inimical to England in both Scotland and France grew rapidly. Rumors spread that the Stuarts wanted a Romanized England – one subservient to France, a country with 4 times the population, and in thrall to Scottish political interests. It was not far from the truth.

The actions of Charles and his chief archbishop Laud, in trying to Romanize the Anglican English church compelled a popular uproar. Since the late 12th century and the reign of Henry II England had developed a distinct national and religious culture which deviated significantly from Rome and the Continent. Even a hint of returning England back into 'just another European country' was sure to elicit howls of protests. Yet this was in part, the plan of Charles and Laud. Church and state would be melded into one under Charles' benign leadership. Rome would sanctify the marriage. All would be well. Or so Charles the imperious and quite incompetent King supposed.

Laud and the Church, using a Star Chamber [or state organ which ignored all common laws] issued decrees against the printing, dissemination and reading of any material not approved by the Church and English state. This 1624 diktat was reinstated in 1637. It was but the fruits and logical outcome of two generations of corruption and magisterial governance. England was to be a despotism. It epitomised the low opinion that State and Church leaders had of the individual. It was obvious that the Church and State were becoming unified, undoing the primacy of the State initiated and cemented by Henry VIII and his daughter Elizabeth. Under Laud and Charles England was to become an oriental totalitarianism.

The country was bankrupt and could not even defend itself. Turkish raiders during the Stuart reigns, were plundering along the Cornish and Kentish coasts hauling off thousands of Englishmen. Charles openly supported and helped pay for the Spanish occupation of Protestant Holland – an ally under Elizabeth. A Scottish army invaded the north of England and easily defeated Charles' underpaid and badly trained troops. Only a large ransom inclined them to leave.

Parliament was ignored. Constitution and case law were deemed irrelevant. Charles operated as an authoritarian, with an ever-shrinking base of support. The monarchy was no longer revered but reviled. National pride was non-existent. Prices were going up and treasury revenues were stagnant. From 1629 onwards it was just a question of when a revolution would start, not if. When Charles abdicated due to popular unrest in 1640, Parliament moved in to take control of affairs. Illegally under the former Constitution Charles set up a court and rallied his supporters in the north of England. This act made war inevitable. Charles the despot had no intention of laying down his power.

Cromwell was a politician of lowly origins. He made his name during the civil war as the most competent of the Parliamentary leaders and the creator of the New Model Army. The NMA was a fearsomely trained and well drilled professional force, with Cromwell's cavalry as the deciding factor of power. It easily outmatched the mercenaries, and untrained forces fielded by Charles.

By 1648 it was clear that the monarchy was beaten. Charles again abdicated, than changed his mind and a second and quite short conflict was fought and won by Parliament. Charles was beheaded for treason in 1649 – a just outcome for a national disgrace who endeavored in the spirit of divine rule, to destroy his country.

Cromwell and Parliament spent the years 1649-53 fighting a war in Ireland, debating how to reorganise England and quarreling over the role of the monarchy. Cromwell's Irish invasion saved the English outpost of Dublin from occupation and expanded English power to most of the country – though it took 3 years of bloody fighting to do it. The Irish like the Scots had always conspired against the English with the French and it was clear that a Romanized Ireland would always threaten England's national interests. Hence for military, political, and religious reasons the English were committed to Ireland's subjugation.

Cromwell took over leadership over a fractured Parliament in 1653, ruling it until his death in 1658. What was important about this reign is the liberation of English energy, ideas, innovation and capital. Economics, literature, social progress, inventions – all had been dormant under the Stuarts. With the removal of the heavy hand of the state and indeed of the Church, the latent energies of free people were put to work.

Contrary to myth Cromwell's reign was not a Puritanical, Anglican run evangelical prison camp. It was almost the opposite. It was certainly not a military dictatorship – societies can't flourish in a fundamentalist religious state, nor in a military-controlled state.

Men like John Milton wrote praises to the new state of affairs, and for Milton London was once again, “a city of refuge, the mansion house of liberty.” The country was making up for lost time, and in the words of one MP was “living long in a little time.” Another wrote that England was once again, “imbued with the highest spirit, pregnant with great matters.....attempting the discovery of a new world of knowledge.”

And so it was. The energies unleashed by Cromwell's civil war victory and short tenure as Lord Protector set the stage for English imperialism and the Industrial Revolution. It was now impossible to go back in time, even though some including Charles' son would try to do so. England was now a Protestant, unified and aggressive power. Under Cromwell the state became efficient, revenues rose, a professional army and navy were manufactured, and the frenetic kinetics of free and open trade unleashed a spectacular rise of capital and wealth.

Under Cromwell the Jews were allowed to return to England for the first time in centuries which had an enormous economic and cultural effect then and now. Ireland was subdued, Portugal became a client state, the Netherlands were defeated in war; the Baltic and Brazil were entered in force and for trade; Jamaica seized; Spain blockaded; and the American colonies finally supported with men and money. The English became a nation obsessed with destiny, improvements, inventions, inquiry and higher culture and learning. Nothing like it had been seen across the panorama of socio-cultural change.

The Puritanical nature of Cromwell and his reign, given much play by revisionists and haters of Anglo-Saxon history, was in reality rather muted. The English certainly seemed to have a lot more fun under Cromwell than under the Stuarts. Along with economic, political and militarily maturity, English society engaged in a wide variety of improvements in sports, writing, plays, music and of course drinking and dancing. The idea that a fast changing, aggressive and wealthy society can come from a military-religious dictatorship is of course absurd. The opposite would apply.

Cromwell's importance was the liberation of England and its citizens from the vestiges of the Middle Ages. Like it or not the Cromwellian revolution set England on the path to world power status. For the human race that outcome has been a huge benefit. The modern world, or most of it, is in part a legacy of English-Scottish-Irish genius. There is little disputation around this fact. Science, technology, transport, industry, commerce and liberty all emanated from the little island. Only someone who hates the modern world, and the individual would dare to object.

This then is why Cromwell is important, in a word – liberty.

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