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> Now, what is wrong with reciting historical facts, and contending that
they should be known?  There can > be no serious question that the
expansionist and imperial tendencies of the English nation, as it grew to
> Great Britain, had terrible consequences for many people, and that this
has been an important part of
> world history over the past 500 years (and regional history far longer.)

If you go through Nancy's posts again, you will note that she blamed the
horrors of clearances on 'the English speaking', which is not always the
same thing as the English. The English language wasn't simply imposed on
Scotland by its nasty Southern neighbour, it was often quite deliberatley
adopted by the Scottish aristocratic classes and used by them as a means of
oppressing their inferiors. Much has been made of the suppression of Celtic
languages by barbaric practices like the use of the infamous Welsh knot in
schools. What is less often noted is that Welsh parents often encouraged
their kids to speak English rather than Welsh: this would raise their social
and economic prospects. Ironically, the most outspoken defenders of Welsh
have included some English Tories who obviously regarded Wales as a cultural
theme park where creatures spoke a strange tongue. Similarly, Matthew
Arnold's advocacy of the Celtic languages doesn't mean that he was
sympathetic to the political demands of Irish nationalists - not by a long
chalk.

> One could certainly complain that this sort of discussion of historical
grievences is inappropriate on the
> TSE list, or should be marked "OT

In this case, we may actually discuss Eliot's opinions on '''regional'''
cultures in Britain. They're to be found in Notes towards the Definition of
Culture. Eliot was actually another example of how cultural conservatives
can defend regional differences while stopping short of supporting
nationalism. Perhaps Nancy can tell us what she makes of his none too high
opinion of Scottish nationalism. The thread can then be called 'Eliot v.
MacDiarmid'.

Looking forward to it,

Raphael Ingelbien
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