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The Digger Papers

1960s: Days of Rage


“… In a more recent manifestation, the Diggers reappeared in 20th-century San Francisco. Challenging modern industrialization, they referred to it as bureaucratic excess, or garbage. Norman Cohn makes note of the original Diggers in the appendix of his book, The Pursuit of the Millennium. He recognizes the 17th-century Diggers as contemporaries of the Ranters, another very interesting group of ‘spiritual libertines.’ The Ranters were associated with the doctrines of the ‘Brethren of the Free Spirit,’ a millennial movement from the Middle Ages. In giving the background of the Ranters’ formation, Cohn references their contemporaries, the Diggers, a fairly interesting group in their own right, and one that would turn up again in history, in a much different time and place. … Fast forward about 300 years, and cross continents to San Francisco, California. We find evidence of the second coming of the Diggers in an electrifying and remarkable collection…

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