Saturday, August 29, 2020

Remembering St Kilda

On 29 August 1930, the last 36 residents began the evacuation from St Kilda, a group of islands 110 miles off the west coast of Scotland that had been lived on for thousands of years.
13 men, 10 women and 13 children were aboard the ship that would take them away from their homes forever. 
The 90th anniversary is remembered here on the BBC website.

Nor has the Socialist Party forgotten this community.

Back in 1980 we recalled the evacuation of the islanders, who had been living a way of life that in many ways was an example of primitive communism. 

Later we posted an article on our Scottish branches blog describing the St Kildans in 2012

And later in 2016 the Socialist Standard once more returned to give an account of the St Kilda community.

It described the decision making of those islanders where the men would each morning and talk about was to be done that day

 It had no rules, no chairman and participants arrived in their own time. This was a meeting to share information, discuss current issues, resolve disputes, and make decisions, in particular in relation to work that needed to be done. Decisions were reached by consensus. ‘Often the proceedings are anything but harmonious, and the loud talking of the men at one and the same moment is suggestive of anything but a peaceful solution. However, when a decision is arrived at the malcontents readily give way, and co-operate cordially with the majority.’ Never in recorded history were feuds bitter enough as to bring about a permanent division in the community.

The St Kilda "parliament"

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