by Morley Evans
|The Bayeaux Tapestry|
We Anglo-American-Australian-Canadians are accustomed to seeing ourselves as good and our institutions as noble. Other peoples have a different opinion, but curiously, they largely see us in a positive light too. What they, and we, like is the good stuff we do and there is lots to like. What they don't like is the bad stuff we do. They see it, but we do not see the bad stuff. It goes on decade after decade, century after century. Most of us would stop the bad things if we could see them. Why don't we see what they see and put a stop to it?
How long has this been going on? We could start on 28 September 1066 with the Norman Conquest of Anglo-Saxon Britain, but everything begins from antecedents so we can say that this has been going on even longer. It is the essential problem of Man since he was driven from the Garden of Eden.
The ancestors of the Normans, only two generations before, had been Vikings. Rollo, a Viking, was converted by the Carolingian Emperor, Charles the Fat, and granted the Duchy of Normandy to protect from other marauding Vikings what would become France. These Vikings, who had been converted to Christianity by force, were vassals of Charles the Fat who would soon lose his empire and his life. After they had become "the Normans", the Vikings went on to take over the northern half of France for the next 600 years.
These Norman Frenchmen invaded Anglo-Saxon England with some allies, notably the Bretons who lived in Brittany (France). The Bretons had been expelled from England by the Saxons.
The Normans spoke French and replaced the Saxon aristocracy and clergy with Frenchmen. They built the castles throughout Britain. They introduced feudalism and installed French barons to lord it over the conquered Saxons. All of the English dynasties down through the Ages have been descendants of the lords of The Conquest — including Elizabeth II who lives in Windsor Castle that was built by William, Duke of Normandy, The Conqueror.
The Normans created a complete totalitarian military dictatorship. There would be no going back. There would be no more successful invasions. The Normans turned Britain into a fortress protected by a big moat, the English Channel. Over the next two or three generations the Normans subsumed the Saxons. Combined with them as modern Englishmen they fought the French continually until the defeat of Napoleon in 1814. (The House of Plantagenet had lost almost all English holdings in France by 1453. They were replaced by the House of Tudor after the War of the Roses.) Then with the rise of the German Empire under Bismarck in the 19th century, the perennial enemy of England became Germany and the Wars of the Twentieth Century began.
Successful conquerors understand that force and terror alone are insufficient to control the conquered. The subjected have to willingly submit. Alexander the Great and the Romans understood this. We Anglo-American-Australian-Canadians are the people of Orwell's Oceania. The empire we live in is much older than France or Germany or Russia. It dominates the rest of the world through brute force and guile. We are the bad guys — not everyone else — but we don't know it.
None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe