John Molyneux

Nostalgia in the Shires

Issue section: 

All the points made by China Miéville (January SR) about the reactionary outlook underpinning the imaginary world of Middle Earth are spot on, and 'The Lord of the Rings' is certainly not the greatest book of the 20th century.

Nevertheless, as it stands China's critique leaves a problem because it doesn't explain why this deeply conservative fantasy should have proved so enormously popular both with 60s hippies and many people on the left. I think it is because Tolkien's world view, like the feudal socialism described by Marx in 'The Communist Manifesto', does present a critique of capitalism--albeit a backward-looking one.


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