“Instead, Lewis’ nationalism looked back to the Wales of the Middle Ages before the State-based Nationalism of the Reformation. The conquest of Wales in 1282 had undermined the native aristocracy and then English State Imperialism had been further imposed by the Acts of Union and the religious changes of the Tudor period.
The loss of Catholicism meant the replacing of communal values with an alienating individualism which slowly corroded Welsh rural society. English law changed the social pattern of land ownership so that the values of perchentaeth (‘householdership’) were replaced by tenant farming. Morover, the land accumulation by the gentry (which for the nationalists was effectively a process of colonisation) led to the opening of Welsh land to Capitalist exploitation. Wales could only be saved by restoring her ancient gwareiddiad (‘civilisation’).
Lewis’ ideal of a European culture – Christendom – which was destroyed first by Protestantism then by Capitalism and Liberal Individualism is remarkably similar to that expressed in the writings of Christopher Dawson.”
– Tom Villis, 2013.
With all the talk of Nationalism, and talk of rising Nationalist sentiment in the Mass Media, particularly throughout social media, fundamental questions arise for Catholics, and especially for Catholics in the UK who continue to suffer the effects of an illegitimate and heretical Nationalism expressed during the Reformation:
‘What is Nationalism?’ and ‘Can Nationalism retain the Universal character of Christianity or is that a contradiction in terms?’.
To help answer these questions and others The Saint George Educational Trust intends to bring back into print in coming months an excellent essay by Saunders Lewis, entitled ‘The Principles of Nationalism’.
Saunders Lewis should be a household name for every Catholic in the British Isles, yet his name and advocacy of Catholic social doctrine are ignored and unknown to nearly all. He was the founder and first President of Plaid Cymru, and a staunch supporter and member of The Latin Mass Society in his later years.
These are troubling times. Europe is apparently on the verge of meltdown. Unable to withstand the heat caused by the growing friction between the European Union and its member states, especially as the former tries to force an open-door immigration policy on its member nations, there are fears that the melting pot might be melting. Such fears have been exacerbated by the rise of the new right, or what many would call the far right, in Europe.