Sunday, 24 July 2016

Filthy imperialists

My friend Steve thinks that deferential hagiography written by butterfly enthusiasts about Purple Emperors on the internet just shows how Britain is a country still riven by a class divide. A visit to Hampshire for my nephew's 21st birthday recently put me within striking distance of the Alice Holt forest complex, a stronghold for the Purple Emperor. A few pictures below with some quotes attributed (wrongly, in some cases) to Karl Marx, just for Steve.
His Imperial Majesty, the Purple Emperor, may be master of all he surveys, but he's not above grovelling in the dirt with the lumpenproletariat to feast on dog mess. Except on this visit, when he stayed stubbornly in the treetops.
White Russians resisted the communists after the revolution in 1917. Fitting then that the White Admiral - running dog of the Emperor himself - is often found in the same habitat
This White Admiral was doing what I had hoped the Purple Emperor would do - taking salts from the path... was his arch enemy, the altogether more revolutionary Red Admiral
Marx on debt-driven banking crises: 'Owners of capital will stimulate the working class to buy more and more of expensive goods, houses and technology, pushing them to take more and more expensive credits, until their debt becomes unbearable. The unpaid debt will lead to bankruptcy of banks which will have to be nationalized'. Oh Karl, you're so dramatic, like that's going to happen!
A more proletarian species, the Comma, feeding on the dog dirt arraigned for the Emperor - at least this commoner got the crumbs from the imperialists table
Another prole: the Meadow Brown
Ringlets of the world unite: you have nothing to lose but your chains

Small Skipper. Yet another oppressed victim of false consciousness.
Marx on X-boxes: 'The production of too many useful things results in too many useless people.' Mark those words, kids.
Female Silver-washed Fritillary: the gilded bourgeoisie of the butterfly world
Silver-washed Fritillary: female underside
Male Silver-washed Fritillary
Male Silver-washed Fritillary
'Let us not flatter ourselves overmuch on account of our human victories over nature. For each such victory nature takes its revenge on us. The people who, in Mesopotamia, Greece, Asia Minor, and elsewhere, destroyed the forests to obtain cultivable land, never dreamed that they were laying the basis for the present devastated condition of these countries, by removing along with the forests the collecting centres and reservoirs of moisture. When, on the southern slopes of the mountains, the Italians of the Alps used up the pine forests so carefully cherished on the northern slopes, they had no inkling that by doing so they were cutting at the roots of the dairy industry in their region; they had still less inkling that they were thereby depriving their mountain springs of water for the greater part of the year, with the effect that these would be able to pour still more furious flood torrents on the plains during the rainy seasons...At every step we are reminded that we by no means rule over nature like a conqueror over a foreign people, like someone standing outside nature – but that we, with flesh, blood and brain, belong to nature, and exist in its midst, and that all our mastery of it consists in the fact that we have the advantage over all other creatures of being able to learn its laws and apply them correctly'. This was written by Karl's mate Engels, in fact, not Marx. Apart from the final word, I'd say he wasn't far off being right.


  1. In the post Brexit world, then as we dont have Emperors in the UK, perhaps BoJo et al will expect Purple Emperor to be renamed to Purple Butterfly.