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Author Topic: More MAY DAY
Babbler # 7851

posted 06 May 2006 01:32 PM      Profile for ceti     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sorry for starting up the thread again here, but I thought it was actually an important discussion as it touches on one of the most important currents of thought for the Green Left.

Basically, we have here the convergence of two of the most important radical traditions -- where Beltane represents a radical recovery of pre-Christian peasant earth celebrations and May Day the hopes of universal class struggle.

That the economism of the industrial age eclipsed the agrarian traditions of old Europe is vividly symbolized by the supplanting of Beltane with May Day.

Radical green leftists in recovering both traditions look to correct socialism's nature dominating tendencies and focus on the industrial working class, as opposed to the peasantry.

As for the day itself, there are some glaring examples of the replacement of one holiday for another, Christmas and Easter being the foremost of these.

From: various musings before the revolution | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
Babbler # 8273

posted 06 May 2006 11:17 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I don't know which "Green Left" you are referring to, but this one, for example, makes no attempt to associate the modern working class celebration of May Day with Beltane.

Beltane was not "supplanted" by May Day any more than Hannukah was supplanted by Christmas. Both have been celebrated or observed contemporaneously by different people in different places at different times and for different purposes.

May Day commemorates the advent of the 8-hour working day, effective May 1, 1886 in the USA. It was a major victory for the industrial working class. That struggle had nothing to do with pre-industrial pagan spring celebrations, nor did the legislators who selected May 1 as the starting date have such celebrations in mind.

To suggest that the international working people's holday known as May Day had "pagan roots" is utter historical revisionism, free from any taint of supporting evidence. It also denies the true history and importance of the struggle for the 8-hour day.

Thanks to the way history is taught in our schools, workers are sadly uninformed about their own history of class struggle. Their traditions and accomplishments are purposely buried and hidden from them. They are not helped by those who spread falsehoods and myths about labour history.

If you want to recover the tradition of earth celebrations, there is Earth Day on April 22, a week before May Day. I think this is an entirely worthwhile endeavour.

But the tradition of labour struggle in North America is something very different. It is not just a mere historical curiosity, but a very relevant aspect of industrial working class culture that deserves to be kept alive.

May Day ought to be recognized on its own as something quite separate and apart from any other traditions, including those of ancient mystical and agrarian myths.

From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 9261

posted 16 May 2006 08:22 PM      Profile for slimpikins     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

This story explains where May Day came from. Not a hint of a breath of a connection with Beltane. Unless the Chicago anarchists were secretly druids....stranger things have happened.....

From: Alberta | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged

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