First published in ELPAN No.1
Chains of Empire
English Public Schools,
Masonic Cabalism, Historical Causality, and Imperial Clubdom
266 pages £9.95 from Regency Press, London
This book is part of Rich's "Ritocracy Octet", composed of a
trilogy about English Public
Schools, and a further five books about the Gulf. Rich's
theoretical approach is drawn from notions of Morphic Resonance
developed by Rupert Sheldrake. This is a revival of vitalism, "the
doctrine that organisms are organised by purposive principles".
Rich quotes Sheldrake (The Presence of the Past) - "The process
by which the past becomes present with morphic fields is called
MORPHIC RESONANCE. Morphic resonance involves the transmission of
formative causal influences through both space and time."
Rich locates morphic resonance as a tool for Psychohistory.
Psychohistory,at appears, has established itself as an academic
discourse, with a radical camp (International Psychohistorical
Association) and a conservative camp(Group for the Use of
Psychohistory in History). Whilst we are naturally indifferent to
the squabbles of academics - in full consciousness of the fact that
it is academe itself which must be questioned - no doubt we
willfind Psychohistory a useful source of material.
Rich's book is not much a catalogue of intrigue as often sought by
consumers of 'conspiracy theory', but more an appraisal of a whole
culture where discrete chats in a gentleman's club is seen as a
natural way of dealing with matters.Thus conspiracy is not exposed
as a revelation of intimate secrets, butBritish Imperial Life is exposed as an
inscrutable mare's nest of intrigue amongst the upper classes.
With its many illustrations this book is both helpful in terms of
the information it supplies and as regards the development of ideas
with which to understand the organisation of power in contemporary
Return to ELPAN No.1