There is only ‘Ours’

“Aquinas or Müntzer?”

“Does it matter?”

“You’re right, fuck it.”

We probably shoulda had a little bit more interest in getting the basics right – the origins of the ideas etc – but have a little sympathy; we’d been up about twenty hours straight when the above exchange took place. It was 5 in the morning, and this project – pamphlet, really – we’d been given the job of completing by the following day had turned out to be a lot more of a pain in the arse than either of us had anticipated.

“Can we get historical materialism in here somewhere?”

“It’s barely more than a fucking leaflet, how do you expect us to just drop that in without any explanation?”

“You’re treating people like morons!”

“You’re treating them like adjunct professors!”

“Fine… Fair enough… Just thought it’d be a bit weightier than the usual shite.”

“It will be.”

Omnia Sunt Communia. Everything in Common. That’s the loose translation anyway. I never did Latin in school, so I don’t know the exact meaning. The most I understand is the odd phrase, like Dulce et Decorum est pro Patria Mori or Victoria Concordia Crescit. Still, what little I know does make me slightly doubtful about the grammar – shouldn’t it be Omnia Communia Sunt? Jesus, this must be the tiredness talking. Glad I didn’t mention it to Richie; after all the work we’d put in, it probably woulda sent him over the edge. You’d find him days later, huddled in a corner and stuffing scrunched-up wastepaper into his mouth, weeping and wailing about the Peasants’ Revolt.

“Promotion of a new Egalitarian Society?”

“Check.”

“Repudiation of divisive individualist notions such as Private Property and Enclosure?”

“Bingo.”

“Medieval Commons, Mongolian pastures, Maine fisheries, Nepalese forests, Mexican Acequia?”

“Yup.”

“Digital Commons?”

“Obviously.”

Trying to distil a vast, complex and often contradictory ideology into what was essentially the equivalent of two A4 pages worth of information was, to put it mildly, a nightmare. If I’d known the task would be this draining and frustrating ahead of time, there’s no way I’d have agreed to do it. Richie though, he’d have done it. It’s just that he’d have done it totally half-assed. I guess that’s why I was following through; most of the time, when it came to responsibility, I’d volunteer to do something, procrastinate the shit out of it, and ultimately not do it. Hey, I’m not proud of it – it’s just what happens – but there’s something in me that says it’s better not to do something than to do something badly. With Richie on this as well, my options were to knuckle down and make it as decent as possible, or avoid it and see what shite he came up with. Fuck that.

“There is no ‘Yours’, there is no ‘Mine’… There is only ‘Ours’?”

“…Yeah. Yeah, fuck it, that’ll do.”

“Jesus, thank fuck that’s over.”

“What about the illustrations?”

“Bollocks to the illustrations, nobody ever said we had to do that. They know neither of us can draw. You know Photoshop?”

“Not really.”

“Well then.”

Solidarity, brothers & sisters… 

“The government we have gives freedom and livelihood to the Gentry, to have abundance and to lock up Treasures of the Earth from the poor, so that rich men may have chests full of Gold and Silver, and houses full of Corn and Goods to look upon; and the poor that works to get it, can hardly live, and if they cannot work like Slaves, then they must starve…”
– Gerrard Winstanley, ‘A New-Yeers Gift for the Parliament and Armie’, 1650

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About Seba Roux

Gooner, Socialist, Historian, Slacker. That's pretty much all you need to know.
This entry was posted in Politics, Short Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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