Monday, October 21, 2013

Tolkien & the Sarehole Mill

Tolkien spent part of his childhood in Sarehole, England. He later wrote:
I could draw you a map of every inch of it. I loved it with an (intense) love...I was brought up in considerable poverty, but I was happy running about in that country.

One of the features of Sarehole is an old mill:

Tolkien had a happy childhood because he was blessed with a love of the beautiful countryside he inhabited.

I sometimes think that this is the true privilege: to feel closely connected to people and place, to family and nation, to the arts and culture, to masculinity or femininity, to the beauty of women, to one's history and heritage, to a church and to nature.

We lose sight of this when privilege is argued over endlessly in terms of degrees of political or economic status.

I do want traditionalists to contest for political and economic power, as without this we will remain forever marginalised. However, when it comes to what we use that power for, it helps to remember, I think, what true privilege means - that it is not status or power for its own sake, but for the sake of those things we feel meaningfully connected to and which inspire our love and commitment.


  1. Something you never hear people talk about is the perspective of white people. What we cherish most and what wealth means to us. We hear the perspective of other groups all the time.
    It's mostly dismissed as explicable stuff white people like but nothing is really talked about why we like nature and harmonious views.
    Whites enjoy the outdoors more than any other group as a leisure activity. Which seems completely mad to other groups. Hiking or sailing to remote regions just to experience nature is alien to a lot of people outside the European tradition.
    A lot of assumptions are made about what we like. Material wealth and decadence but the culture that is slowing turning elitist in the west revolves around how the wealthy whites can gain access to traditional comforts, food and past times. Hikers are usually wealthy. People who have nice pleasant gardens are usually wealthy too.
    It tells you a lot about white people. We value things that are not exactly tangible. It's the feeling of being in a beautiful natural scene. The peacefulness of living in a quiet neighborhood near a forest or the sea.
    I've noticed European Christianity has a reverence for nature as part of Gods creation. Did this exist in the Abrahamic religions? I'm not an expert but if it's the case it seems to be a unique European influence.

    That was a bit of a ramble hope I got my point across. I've been thinking about this and your post for awhile.

    The final thing i wanted to say was about Tolkien himself. He understood this. He created the Hobbits and their community as an example of the idyllic English lifestyle. A close connection with the nature,tradition, kin and ancestors.
    The fear that Tolkien had which explained from the visions in his books. Was that the Shire where the Hobbits representing the English lived would be invaded by foreigners and the beauty of the countryside completely polluted and destroyed. Replaced with industry and the people enslaved.
    This to me is an example of the value Whites put on things that are not tangible and understandable to other groups. That the idea exists that we jealously guard our societies because we hoard some sort of vast material wealth. When the most precious thing to us is the beauty of nature.

    1. Rambling, good comment, thanks. You're right that we are misrepresented as wanting money or power for ourselves, when what we jealously guard are other less tangible goods.