Gerrard Winstanley Quotes

Civil Propriety is the Curse, is manifest thus, Those that Buy and Sell Land, and are landlords, have got it either by Oppression, or Murther, or Theft; and all landlords lives in the breach of the Seventh and Eighth Commandements, Thous shalt not steal, nor kill.

The Diggers were a religious-economic movement that even today would be considered very radical. They advocated the right of the poor to go onto public lands and farm them—thus the name “Diggers.” Beyond their opposition to the private ownership of land to the exclusion of the poor, Winstanley and the Diggers promulgated another very modern doctrine: That the poor should take the responsibility and have the right to determinine how the society should provide for the poor. A version of this became one of the Mottos of the Poverty Program of 1964. See {616966}.

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Gerrard Winstanley was an English Protestant religious reformer, political philosopher, and activist during The Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell. Winstanley was one of the founders of the English group known as the True Levellers or Diggers for their beliefs, and for their actions. The group occupied public lands that had been privatised by enclosures and dug them over, pulling down hedges and filling in ditches, to plant crops. True Levellers was the name they used to describe themselves, whereas the term Diggers was coined by contemporaries.

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