Political

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Political

Postby Miranda » Wed Apr 21, 2010 3:38 pm

What are John Keats Political views?
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Re: Political

Postby Raphael » Wed Apr 21, 2010 6:18 pm

He wasn't that political, but said he was more on the liberal side of things- his letters are the best to read as you can see his views on the current events of the time.
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Re: Political

Postby Miranda » Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:28 pm

Do you know / think that Mr. Keats believed in the liberty of individuals?
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Re: Political

Postby Raphael » Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:42 pm

Miranda wrote:Do you know / think that Mr. Keats believed in the liberty of individuals?


I would say yes by what he writes in his letters- he didn't like the treatment of the poor up north in the cotton mills and didn't like the dogma of the church at the time. He was a kind hearted person. If you can get hold of Grant Scott's edition of his letters you would find them fascinating. You would get really lost in them- he feels present when you read them. He has a charming personality and can be hilarious at times. He was much loved by his friends. I think you get more insight into his poetical works by reading his letters- he often included them in his letters to his friends and family. And of course he describes his thoughts and ideas in them. I think Mr Shelley was more of a political person though.
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Re: Political

Postby Saturn » Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:13 pm

Shelley was indeed extremely politically active, an atheist and republican no less at a time when both were seen as abominations by the authorities.

Keats was politically I would say liberal with a small 'l'.
It's hard, unless you've really explored the political landscape of the Regency era and are politically aware of today's climate to transpose modern liberal ethics and political thought into that time. Forget the modern meanings of the word liberal or conservative, they are not compatible with the way those terms would have been applied in that era.

Keats was neither as radical as Shelley, nor as reactionary as Wordsworth would later become.

He was a reader of Hunt's Examiner the leading liberal journal of its day and seems to have take most of his political standpoints from what was written there, at least in his early years. He died of course so young and his political views were never as fully expressed as someone like Shelley, or Byron even, who although aristocrats were active in the cause of reform, Byron even making his maiden speech in the House Of Lords in favour of frame-breakers in Nottingham.

Its hard for us today with near universal suffrage to imagine a time when only the very wealthiest landowners could even have a vote. Before the 1832 reform act Britain was certainly no democracy as we think of it today, with rotten boroughs and a tiny electorate of the wealthy elite.
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Re: Political

Postby Raphael » Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:23 pm

Shelley was indeed extremely politically active, an atheist and republican no less at a time when both were seen as abominations by the authorities.


Yes- he was quite disliked for these I read.He was also a vegeterian- unusual back then!

Keats was politically I would say liberal with a small 'l'.
It's hard, unless you've really explored the political landscape of the Regency era and are politically aware of today's climate to transpose modern liberal ethics and political thought into that time. Forget the modern meanings of the word liberal or conservative, they are not compatible with the way those terms would have been applied in that era.



Agreed- and I'm not political myself in this modern context so it's not an easy question for me.



Keats was neither as radical as Shelley, nor as reactionary as Wordsworth would later become.


No, and sadly from him knowing Leigh Hunt he got seen as radical by some of the critics. Stepehn coote wrote in his book that John was seen as "dangerous"- maybe true but hardly a true assessment of him.


He was a reader of Hunt's Examiner the leading liberal journal of it's day and seems to have take most of his political standpoints form what was written there, at least in his early years. He died of course so young and his political views were never as fully expressed as someone like Shelley, or Byron even, who although aristocrats were active in the cause of reform, Byron even making his maiden speech in the House Of Lords in favour of frame-breakers in Nottingham.


Byron sympathised with the poor? I am surprised.




It's hard for us today with near universal suffrage to imagine a time when only the very wealthiest landowners could even have a vote. Before the 1832 reform act Britain was certainly no democracy as we think of it today, with rotten boroughs and a tiny electorate of the wealthy elite.




I read somehwere that John hadn't the right to vote due to his social class. Is that true?
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Re: Political

Postby Saturn » Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:34 pm

You need to read up on Byron, he was most certainly on the liberal side of the equation, he was seen as the great radical Antichrist bogeyman, even more so than Shelley who was virtually unknown to the general public.

Keats almost certainly didn't have a vote at all believe it or not. I studied this period at University in great detail and while I can't remember the details, Keats certainly didn't fit into the property-owning class who were able to vote, you needed I think 40 shillings worth of landed property to vote, before the 1832 reform act the entire electorate was only about 200,000 in the whole country out of a population of about 12 million in England alone.
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Re: Political

Postby Raphael » Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:42 pm

You need to read up on Byron, he was most certainly on the liberal side of the equation, he was seen as the great radical Antichrist bogeyman, even more so than Shelley who was virtually unknown to the general public.


Blimey! I thought Byron was a snob- why would he be interested in the poor? I ought to get a bio out the library on him.


Keats almost certainly didn't have a vote at all believe it or not. I studied this period at University in great detail and while I can't remember the details, Keats certainly didn't fit into the property-owning class who were able to vote, you needed I think 40 shillings worth of landed property to vote, before the 1832 reform act the entire electorate was only about 200,000 in the whole country out of a population of about 12 million in England alone.



Did you study history? I know a fair bit about history, been reading for many years but was never much interested in the political side of history though ( it was Archaeology and English I did at university though).I knew that at some point the middle class men got the vote, but unsure of exactly when. My mother met a suffragette at a nursing home she worked in a few years ago. She fought hard for the right for women to vote- haven't for years though- there's noone I want to vote for, but at least I have the right to choose. I wonder if it irked John that he had no vote?
John....you did not live to see-
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what it is we are in what we make of you.

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Re: Political

Postby Saturn » Wed Apr 21, 2010 11:14 pm

I studied Ancient and Modern history ['modern' bizarrely ranging from the 14th century to the 20th which I always found amusing].

Anyway I think the suffrage was so limited and parliament so corrupt [yes even more so than today] that politics were beyond the reach of most mere mortals. Elections were not as we see them today, and the 'parties', if they can be so-called in those days were not as sharply defined and coherent as we see now. Politics was of course as much a topic of conversation then as it is now, but as actual participation in the political process was so limited the vast majority [and they were the vast majority of people] without the vote had no concept of participating in democracy as we do today, the thought was beyond them.

I know what you mean about this present election, but I would urge you whatever your choice to vote, because a lot of people struggled their whole lives and some like the suffragettes of course died to give us that privilege. Whatever you think of the parties, or the politicians [and I could rant for even longer on their faults] we must exercise our right to vote, or the extremists will not be shy in mustering their hoards and playing on the fears of the people [I think you know which party I'm talking about there].
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Re: Political

Postby Raphael » Wed Apr 21, 2010 11:27 pm

I studied Ancient and Modern history ['modern' bizarrely ranging from the 14th century to the 20th which I always found amusing
.

What was your subject specialism?



Anyway I think the suffrage was so limited and parliament so corrupt [yes even more so than today] that politics were beyond the reach of most mere mortals. Elections were not as we see them today, and the 'parties', if they can be so-called in those days were not as sharply defined and coherent as we see now. Politics was of course as much a topic of conversation then as it is now, but as actual participation in the political process was so limited the vast majority [and they were the vast majority of people] without the vote had no concept of participating in democracy as we do today, the thought was beyond them.



Points taken Saturn. I do find though that some of John's concerns, even though they are those of almost 200 years ago I can sympathise with.


I know what you mean about this present election, but I would urge you whatever your choice to vote, because a lot of people struggled their whole lives and some like the suffragettes of course died to give us that privilege. Whatever you think of the parties, or the politicians [and I could rant for even longer on their faults] we must exercise our right to vote, or the extremists will not be shy in mustering their hoards and playing on the fears of the people [I think you know which party I'm talking about there.



Points taken but there is noone I want to vote for
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what it is we are in what we make of you.

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Re: Political

Postby Saturn » Wed Apr 21, 2010 11:35 pm

Yes but whatever you do, vote, don't [as some morons do] 'spoil' your vote because that is a wasted vote and will be binned, it won't account at all, it won't be seen as some proud protest, but a stupid thing to do, the politicians won't get the message that way at all, the less the turn-out the more power you give them.

I know what you mean about not knowing who to vote for, believe me it's even harder where I come from where I don't agree with either of the main parties' political stances but I will be voting.
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Re: Political

Postby Raphael » Wed Apr 21, 2010 11:55 pm

Saturn wrote:Yes but whatever you do, vote, don't [as some morons do] 'spoil' your vote because that is a wasted vote and will be binned, it won't account at all, it won't be seen as some proud protest, but a stupid thing to do, the politicians won't get the message that way at all, the less the turn-out the more power you give them.

I know what you mean about not knowing who to vote for, believe me it's even harder where I come from where I don't agree with either of the main parties' political stances but I will be voting.


I cannot vote when there is noone I want to vote for.It makes no difference to me who is in "power"- they are all out for themselves.I disagree- they will get the message when hardly anyone votes for them- if I just voted for the sake of it, though not agreeing with them- they do not see that- they see a vote for them. When they see how many people didn't vote they will know they are not wanted nor liked. I am not for any party.
John....you did not live to see-
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what it is we are in what we make of you.

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Re: Political

Postby Malia » Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:00 am

Sometimes not voting is actually a "vote". In the 2000 election, I voted for the third party candidate (Ralph Nader) as a kind of "objection" to the two main candidates. All that did was drag votes away from the Democratic candidate and give more fuel to the person I absolutely did *not* want in office--George W. Bush. :roll:

I can sympathize with the lack of faith in government officials today. Here in the U.S., very little true governance goes on--we have elections so often (every 2 years for house representatives) that all that elected officials do is campaign for their next election. . . that, and give in to lobbyists' demands.
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Re: Political

Postby Saturn » Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:04 am

Don't you see that by not voting you are paving the way for the extremists, the ones nobody wants to see come to power to rouse their supporters, mobilise their hate machine and they will use their votes no question about it and then where will we be?

Their are plenty of alternative parties and candidates out there besides the two main parties to vote for, if you truly think not voting will make any difference then go ahead, but then don't complain if things get worse because you've abrogated your responsibility in a democratic society, you are persona non grata and your voice will not be heard, spoiling your vote or not voting says nothing whatsoever, it makes no difference. Whatever you think of the government, apathy is a worse evil.
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Re: Political

Postby Saturn » Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:11 am

Malia wrote:Sometimes not voting is actually a "vote". In the 2000 election, I voted for the third party candidate (Ralph Nader) as a kind of "objection" to the two main candidates. All that did was drag votes away from the Democratic candidate and give more fuel to the person I absolutely did *not* want in office--George W. Bush. :roll:



Well In a Presidential election where there are only two or three candidates, voting for one or the other does make a difference and not voting for the forerunners as you say can have a real effect, but in a British general election which is what Raphael and I are talking about we can't choose the leaders of the parties in that way.

Democracy is flawed, of course it is, but the alternative is much, much worse. Plato's Republic even, that ideal some people hold up as a perfect state has far too much in common with Nazi Germany than you'd think.

Philosopher kings aren't coming our way any day soon, until then we're stuck with fallible human beings, not saints - people expect too much of politicians so are always going to be disappointed but for Pete's sake don't give up on democracy or the enemies of freedom will really be in charge then we're all screwed.
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