There is no doubt that a population is grounded and deeply intertwined with the land upon which their shared consciousness has developed. As Spring slowly nears, it is as fine a time as any to take that necessary step back and consider England as She was while our people were settling, as She is in modernity, and as She will be in the future.
Our lands embody our national consciousnesses. Northwestern Europe is a cold land which provided bounties to the strong, which tested mettle and hardened us, but also impressed upon us the need for community and the value of charity to one’s neighbour. Southeastern Europe is a sunny land of plenty which bred leisure and academia, but also, historically, political and military might. But it is Britain which stands alone as a fortress; the land where Calshot reigns, Portchester stands, & where Dover’s White Cliffs still rise firm since the Iron Age, & which forced Rome to build walls rather than monuments to victory. It produced an Empire upon which the sun never set, & a people who are known throughout the world as conquerors and civilisation builders. But inwardly, it is a land touched only by our people and—when we still understood our place in history and our debt to the land—it has been tamed by our ancestors’ hands and then nurtured for thousands of years.
We are, however, firmly in modernity. We understand that our people find it extremely difficult to open themselves to romance, or really to think in any way other than scientifically. Though most of the movement understands intimately the cultural significance and spiritual strength behind naturalism and environmentalism in general, many of us again reached this node of right wing thinking through the misguided but well-meaning libertarian movement, classical liberalism, & free-market worship. We therefore acknowledge these impulses:
- (i) Corporations will provide green spaces if the public wants them; and
- (ii) Corporations will limit pollution as it is more profitable in the long run to act morally.
We can acknowledge this, & even find cases in society wherein these mantras have been proven, but we have to also realise that enough is not done.
Despite community outreach programmes, corporations’ “good will” initiatives, the government’s “green” policies, the seas are dirtier than ever, our cities are covered in soot and smog, our parks are littered with fast food rubbish and beer cans, & much of our native wildlife—especially our red squirrel population—is facing extinction. This is nothing short of the destruction of beauty and is akin to setting fire to an oil painting. If nothing is done, England’s pastures green will shortly be black tarmac and grey dust, Her rivers will be poisoned and bloated with waste, Her oak and ash and thorn will be felled and thrown to the machine, & Her boundless blue skies and gentle spring sun will be covered and lost to all coming generations.
Further, it has been proven time and time again that green spaces improve the well-being of those who make use of them, they bring communities together, & encourage action in many important ways. If not for aesthetic reasons—for the spiritual enrichment we all imbibe when in the countryside or paddling in a brisk white shore—protect England for she protects Her people.
The state’s involvement in industry should be to a large degree environmentally-focused; we must support local programmes to protect green spaces and revitalise them through community service. But it must also be nationally-focused. This push for green space and revitalisation cannot—I argue would not—come up against British agriculture, or even against a directed national industry. We must continue to spread ecological awareness from our own perspective, & encourage the government to push the button on necessary reform.
Farming—more even than coal, more than ships or steel—is at the centre of who British people think they are. It has a heady, long-standing, romantic and sworn place in the cultural imagination.
And it is not only top-down policy, or escapism, which will help our people regain their health. Plant herbs in your garden, drop bee-friendly flower seeds in your local park, if you live in the countryside, forego your backyard for permaculture.
We encourage Europeans to engage with nature, to more closely and intimately understand the Sun, to join groups to maintain our culture’s tradition of cultivating life, & to make an effort to overcome the urban sprawl wherever and whenever possible.
Edit: Extinction Rebellion is not the way forwards.
2 thoughts on “Our place in environmentalism”
Very good post! This is something I think about all the time. The English have also a unique genius inspired by their relation to the countryside. I have often thought that the English landscape garden has the potential to revolutionize how we think about architecture and social organization. Rather than building communities from the perspective of individual buildings, there is a potential to have a holistic view of the country inspired by the English landscape garden, with added principles of permaculture. (The reason I think this is that the English gardens have buildings incorporated into them). I am also partly inspired by a garden I saw in Italy that was made in a building planted on a number of storeys. What we really lack today are those with great vision, politicians who actually care for the land, and a people with a consciousness which is ready to take their destiny into their own hands and construct their future.
Agriculture is also of central importance for a deep appreciation of tradition. On the land one has ones estate and works directly to cultivate one’s greater home, which in turn provides one with sustenance and nourishment. Families can teach their children what is needed to work the land and share with them the knowledge that their ancestors too have lived in this house, planted that tree, and that they too were fed by that soil.
I’m very happy that you have the inspiration to care deeply for the land of England because it is truly great and should remain an inspiration to all of the peoples of Europe.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thank you for reading, and for the very thoughtful response! I agree completely, the adherence to tradition and agriculture, or even aesthetic-seeking gardening in general, are profoundly connected. It teaches you, as you intimate, a connexion with your country, land, community, family, on all levels, including those that have passed, but it also embeds in you a real understanding of patience, waiting, a more sophisticated and careful understanding of time.
As for the architectural, or planning, implications, it is certainly the case that this should become more widespread in the future. I have hope in my generation, or at least amongst my friends, that we have or are seeking allotments, and with care, permaculture could be achieved on each one of them, making one almost self-sufficient. I am wary of the propensity to ‘evade’ society, to retreat into micro-communities, but I don’t think that’s a necessary outcome of this. As you say, with a little will, politicians could turn derelict spaces, crumbling 70’s buildings, wide-empty roofs, fairly quickly and cheaply, into beautiful, useful areas full of life, and even community-making places.
Finally, thank you very much for the kind words about my country; I indeed care for Her deeply and as with many others, this is one of my strongest impulses towards wishing to nudge us towards a better path.
LikeLiked by 1 person