The Earliest Recorded Direct Democracy

A very interesting article by Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall. Please take the time to read it.

The Most Revolutionary Act

This is the first of four posts about experiments in direct democracy, where ordinary people assume responsibility for running society. The first, over 4,000 years old, is a recorded account of early Frisian society prior to the Roman conquest of Gaul in 52 BC. Imperial Rome dismissed the Frisians and other Germanic tribes as barbarians for the same reason Europeans dismissed Native Americans as savages: because they owned the land communally and rejected authoritarian governance.

the other atlantis

The Other Atlantis

By Robert Sutton (Neville Spearman Limited 1977)

Book Review

The Other Atlantis concerns an extremely controversial manuscript called the Oera Linda Book (OLB). It concerns the ancient history of the Frisians, a Dutch ethnic group. The OLB was dismissed as a hoax almost immediately after its publication in 1872. During the 1930s, Heinrich Himmler and Nazi occultists heavily promoted the book, believing it support their theories of racial purity and an Aryan…

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5 Responses to “The Earliest Recorded Direct Democracy”

  1. gerard oosterman Says:

    Fascinating article. Thank you. My mother was born in the Dutch part of Friesland. I believe the Friesian language is still ‘alive’ and at one stage it was thought by some that all Dutch people should be taught the Friesian language as a second language. However, that didn’t take off.
    The sharing and caring of democratic Dutch society at large does still linger on, albeit not as strong as in its hay-day of the fifties and sixties.

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  2. stuartbramhall Says:

    Thanks for reblogging my post. As part of my research, I learned that 300,000 people in the Netherlands still speak the West Frisian language.

    Scrutton ends his book with the following observation: “Official history has little to say about the Frisians, except that they refused conversion to the Christian faith and resisted subjection by power-hungry princes and kings; that they eventually lost all their lands in Europe except the Netherlands, and even this oasis of independence became as lost when William IV in 1748 was made stadholder of all the provinces and his grandson in 185 took the title of King of the Netherlands.”

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    • gerard oosterman Says:

      This is from Wikipedia;

      In 1951, Frisian language activists, protesting the exclusive use of Dutch in the courts, caused a riot in Leeuwarden.[8] The resulting inquiry led to the establishment of a committee of inquiry. This committee recommended that the Frisian language would receive a legal basis as minority language.

      Since 1956, West Frisian has an official status along with and equal to Dutch, in the province of Friesland. It is used in many domains of Frisian society, among which are education, legislation, and administration. In 2010, some sixty public transportation ticket machines in Friesland and Groningen added a Frisian-language option.[9]

      Although in the courts of law the Dutch language is still mainly used, in the province of Friesland, Frisians have the right to give evidence in their own language. Also, they can take the oath in Frisian in courts anywhere in the Netherlands.

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  3. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    It was fascinating. I have to say that the list of founding gods of the great dynasties is suspiciously long but… you never know.

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    • stuartbramhall Says:

      The way I look at it, there’s no official anthropological explanation of where the Greek and Norse gods came from. In my view, our only hope of finding an explanation is to collect and examine oral histories.

      It’s always made sense to me that most of the ancient gods derived from ancestor worship – the the histories of real people were greatly exaggerated until they became god-like figures. In my experience, it’s typical for oral history to be embellished as it’s handed down from one generation to the next.

      The way the OLB lays out the oral history seems perfectly plausible to me. The people who wrote the OLB believed that certain gods were based on historical figures – this doesn’t necessarily mean they were real historical figures.

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