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Old 21st March 2012, 10:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Housing Development and "Watership Down" Site

Richard Adams, from last December:

More recent:

This reminds me of a trivial but funny anecdote that I like to remember. About 20 years ago I learned through the Arthur Machen Society (I think) that a site associated with the author was to be "developed." I wrote to the appropriate newspaper against the plan. Quite a while later, I received a cute cartoon-animal Christmas card with an expression of appreciation for my effort. It was from Plaid Cymru, the Welsh separatist party (I'm right about that?). I never expected to ingratiate myself with them, here in North Dakota USA.
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Old 21st March 2012, 10:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Housing Development and "Watership Down" Site

I don't think Plaid Cymru are actually campaigning for Welsh independence although they certainly would like to see more powers devolved to Wales. That is quite a funny story though.
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Old 22nd March 2012, 01:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Housing Development and "Watership Down" Site

I dream of an independent Wales.
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Old 23rd March 2012, 02:03 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Housing Development and "Watership Down" Site

Originally Posted by Stephen Palmer View Post
I dream of an independent Wales.
Around 1960, the much-missed London magazine Encounter published a "symposium" in which dozens of public intellectuals were asked for their thoughts about England/Britain "going in to Europe" -- the Common Market etc.

C. S. Lewis's response really stands out as the odd one, and I love it. I don't have it at hand, but he says his dream includes regions like Brittany being free to have their own characteristics. There would be some things that could be facilitated by transnational institutions but in many ways the trend would be in the opposite direction. So I suppose he would have a lot of sympathy for your view.
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Old 23rd March 2012, 02:12 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Housing Development and "Watership Down" Site

Here it is. C. S. Lewis wrote:

----l suspect that the decision about the Common
Market is very like that which confronts the losing
chess-player: "Which of your rooks will you lose ?"
As for the larger issues, I want what we certainly
shan’t get--a super-national state built out of units
far smaller than the existing nations: units like
Wessex and Picardy, not like "Britain" (a horrid
word) and France. Units so small, and real, would
then safely develop the greatest local diversity of
language, culture, and custom. England did not
achieve unity by a League of Barons. The Barons
were (for all practical purposes) eliminated; the
towns, shires, and even parishes, survived. That is
our model.----

I'm not sure what he means by a "super-national state."

It may be that he has in mind something like the old model of the United States, i.e. a federal republic of largely independent states rather than what we have or are getting now, a huge Big State, it HQ in Washington, a basically one-party system, etc.
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Old 23rd March 2012, 08:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Housing Development and "Watership Down" Site

super national state conjures up an interesting thought process. Bearing in mind C.S Lewis wrote Christian allegories that venerated the individual choice of free will, the path back from temptation to redemption, and the lessons learned through history, I wonder which historical state if any he was imagining?

The holy roman empire? Itself beset with petty rivalries, mercenary wars, and to cap it all the thirty years war where the residents themselves perceived judgement day had come because they could imagine no greater suffering!

One could suppose he visualised an idealistic and free sharing system of petty nations / baronies / counties / shires under one central authority, but the economics become challenging. Look at any fantasy (Lewis' work itself) realm: a network of idealistic and self governing villages who give nod and service to a king in a faraway golden city. This is repeated in Tolkein's world, Game of Thrones, Midkemia and a whole lot more! Who really does collect the taxes in Bree? Who keeps the peace on the Kingsroad?

The comments could have easily been Lewis "sounding off" with the belief of any author, namely "I've invented a peaceful world that works..." so why can't the real world be the same instead of corrupt, greedy, violent, and lawless based on which politician you listen to?

Then again, having read about him in passing as a person, he could have had an altogether different idea behind his letter...

...of which, we can only speculate!
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