Feb. 22nd, 2012

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Notes to self, really, because I'm not in the mood to write essays, and I'm sure you're not in the mood to read them :-).

If fascism is, at its seed, a corporatist notion of a nation-state, then Hurdis' Equality: a Sermon (1794) has a passage in it which seems like an excellent expression of it, which is surprising from a viacar, Oxford Professor of Poetry and author of The Village Curate: A poem, though reading it again in that context, it does lead to some surprising thoughts.

If we contemplate a Ship of war, as a little kingdom within itself, we shall be sensible, that it can have no force, unless there be unity among its crew. To produce this unity, it must be divided into separate companies, each of which must have an officer to overlook and command it. The several officers must again have other officers presiding over them, to convey to them instruction as orders, tending to the same end, which must be received from the mouth of one single person, who has the command of all. Without these several degrees of subordination, so large a body of men would never act with vigour, nor all direct their efforts towards the same issue. Conceive them to be all equal, and every man to be guided by his own will, and what strength would they retain? Their helm would change course with every hand that was applied to it. [... from ships to navies...] Thus conducted, it will always move as a single body, and direct all its endeavours towards the same enterprise. But conceive it to be deprived of its commander in chief, by mutiny, and it instantly divides, and falls asunder. [...] Apply the same method of reasoning to an army, which is as much a single body as a single man.

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