Publication Details

Cahill, R. (2016). Linebaugh: metaphors, rebellion, and socialist dreaming. Labour History Melbourne, 26 April 1-3.


Writing in 1896, not long before his death, indefatigable socialist thought-maker and dreamer William Morris wrote that May Day is “above all days of the year fitting for the protest of the disinherited against the system of robbery that shuts the door betwixt them and a decent life” – and that system was capitalism. On another matter, the previous year he published a letter trenchantly criticising ‘experts’ and their plans to cull, tame and ‘manage’ the remnants of Epping Forest. This letter reflected an ecological awareness well ahead of the time, Morris cognizant of the complex unities of nature, the need to protect rare and threatened species, the subtle relationships between species, tall growths, undergrowths, thickets and space, the mutually supportive roles of different species for the life of the whole. In Morris, the Red and the Green were one.