Chapter 10: Towards Classlessness


…I have written in previous books in this series about my grandfather whose English public school education, success in the mines, marriage into an equally successful family, and aristocratic status earned him top-shelf status in the central Methodist church and the elite Masonic lodge. But this same grandfather, the epitome of Christian generosity, was happy to see his grandchildren, myself and my three brothers starve because of his rigidity. My father who was not only exactly like the libertarian anarchists in Anglo-Saxon America’s, Greenwich Village, New York, but also a self-styled pan-Africanist rebel graduate of London School of Economics in the notorious nineteen sixties, dared to question the values into which he had been conditioned. My grandfather, I now understand, was merely applying the rules of puritan discipline, withdrawal of love, affection and support when faced by an unruly and rebellious child.

The cultural parallels are so stunning in their similarities, the patterns of decline so uniform that there is no doubt in my mind that the laws of the universe are always at work no matter what mere mortals try to do to defy it. Even the ethno-cultural pride of being a Creole was evident in my father’s anarchistic life. And his failure to wipe all traces of his superior lineage was no different to those celebrated men of the early twentieth century – from Thomas Jefferson, Horace Greeley, Emerson, Walt Whitman and the many unsung rebels, invariably social failures, who like my father sacrificed their lives so that someone like me could make different choices…

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