Middle-earth fascism?

Martin Spellman mspellman at cix.co.uk
Thu Dec 20 11:12:57 MST 2001



"Those who inherit the traditions of a ruling class (as Tolkien did) are too
aware of the past pleasantness of life, and too unaware of the nightmare
that filled it just beyond the manor house."

	- Isaac Asimov on 'Lord of the Rings'

the 'one ring' is the lure of technology. 'Mordor' is Birmingham, the heart
of British Midlands industrial district.

	I've never heard Tolkien described as fascist before or a favourite of
theirs. Clearly reactionary as is a lot of the literature with 'middle ages'
type settings. Yearnings for the good old days, when people knew their place
and got on with their work. Tony Blair's favourite book is supposed to be
Walter Scot's 'Ivanhoe'. Then there is the dreadful Agatha Christie stuff --
set in the eternal, Edwardian country house where the only working people
are servants. Christie was a sanatorium nurse during the First World War
and, I believe, wanted to preserve the world she once knew (or an idealised
version of it) in her books.

	Fascists were never great readers. 'The Turner Diaries'; 'Protocols of the
Elders of Zion' and other conspiracy literature are more their bag. 'Mein
Kampf' must be one of the great 'notorious but unread' books, as anyone who
has tried to read it will testify.

	More dangerous in my view is stuff like William Golding's 'Lord of the
Flies' - still a set book in British schools. Dreadful tale showing how
civilisation is only a thin veneer masking the savagery within. The world
being set to rights, in the end, by the intervention of a British Naval
Officer. No prizes for guessing what Golding was (a Lieutenant I believe).

Martin Spellman


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