Saturday 22 June 2024

Radicalism and English coffeehouses

'Radical' in its original form meant:

but over time, it significantly changed its primary, of many meanings:

Notice that one is the American Meriam Webster and the other is Oxford ... there's a lot of Founding Fathers/ Constitution/Declaration of Independence in the first ... while the second is almost a guidebook for Alinsky communist rip out and destroy, root and crop, baby with bathwater, mindlessly, start over, under the control of a self-appointed politburo of "sages".

In 17th- and 18th-century England, coffeehouses served as public social places where men would meet for conversation and commerce. For the price of a penny, customers purchased a cup of coffee and admission. Travellers introduced coffee as a beverage to England during the mid-17th century; previously it had been consumed mainly for its supposed medicinal properties. Coffeehouses also served tea and hot chocolate as well as a light meal.

The historian Brian Cowan describes English coffeehouses as "places where people gathered to drink coffee, learn the news of the day, and perhaps to meet with other local residents and discuss matters of mutual concern." The absence of alcohol created an atmosphere in which it was possible to engage in more serious conversation than in an alehouse. Coffeehouses also played an important role in the development of financial markets and newspapers.

Topics discussed included politics and political scandals, daily gossip, fashion, current events, and debates surrounding philosophy and the natural sciences. Historians often associate English coffeehouses, during the 17th and 18th centuries, with the intellectual and cultural history of the Age of Enlightenment: they were an alternate sphere, supplementary to the university. Political groups frequently used coffeehouses as meeting places.

The whole notion of why the royalists allowed such back to the roots discussion by the ordinary man was that he wasn't a worker, he was a town guildsman or academic or thinker and coffeehouse rules demanded civility and "enlightened" discussion other than on proscribed topics:

The topic of "sacred things" was barred from coffeehouses, and rules existed against speaking poorly of the state as well as religious scriptures.

The barring of "sacred" discussion, far from protecting the faith, actually encouraged participants to discuss anything other than that or other than anything threatening the state ... within a narrow, bowdlerised range of topics and views, discussion was fierce and heated ... the thinking giants of the time were there.

Out of it all came a godless take on the world, where monarchs were also not part of it ... in other words, the Royal Society natural science only, secular view on all things, just as the universities wanted the ordinary middle-classer to limit it to.

Coffeehouses died away in the late C18th because there was a new international game now ... French Revolution and the instalment of The Voice of Reason on the altar of Notre Dame and so today's bloodbaths began.  How many did Lenin slaughter? Stalin? Hitler?  CRT in schools after the Frankfurt School ... look at the state of parenting and rainbow Wokery school teaching today.

Once you tear down a society's natural protections, despite the abuses by those above ... then it's a Build Back Better Brave New World, all rules of engagement dashed to the ground ... marauding mobs now control the streets.  And the indtigators in their high castles and corridors are as safe as cadtles ... so they think.

1 comment:

  1. I recall that when the "new" Lloyds of London building was opened, the joke going round the City was "Lloyds, founded in a coffee shop, ended up in a coffee percolator".


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