View Full Version : The Great Leveling
June 8th, 2011, 05:08 PM
I'm working on a timeline where political ideologies from OTL exist but under different names. In particular in TTL the OTL political idea of socialism/communism will become known by the 18th century term Levelling/Levellism. I know that during the 18th century the term levelling was used to describe what we now know as socialism or communism.
Anyway, I was hoping if anyone could point me to some 18th century documents that used the term "Leveling", or any other 18th century manuscripts that propose or describe what we today would know as socialism.
June 8th, 2011, 05:27 PM
Everything I can find about Levellers is coming from the 17th century.
I Blame Communism
June 8th, 2011, 09:08 PM
I'm certainly most familiar with "Levellers" as a phenomenon of the English Civil Wars referring, like everything, to a broad movement but basically the ancestors of the British radical tradition: bound up with non-conforming Protestantism; fond of the Little Man; in favour of equality but not against property, quite the reverse; strong in Birmingham. They're quite often confused with various small and not-very-influential groups in the countryside who declared property unGodly and attacked the enclosures, and that sort of thing had been happening since early in the century, though the theological and actual chaos of the wars certainly saw a lot of it. It belongs to pre-industrial life and has more to do with the rich traditions of peasant revolt (God! The true king! No fat friars! No barons!) than modern socialism.
But I don't know whether the word had currency in a different sense in the 18th century.
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