George Walford: Supporters

IC has repeatedly pointed out that agitations are supported by agitators, and these rarely coincide with those for whose benefit they are conducted. Those who agitate against suppression of the blacks in South Africa are not the blacks but those, of whatever colour, who oppose suppression. Those who agitate against exploitation of the workers are not the workers but those, of whatever class, who oppose exploitation. Brian Harrison (to our knowledge he has never heard of IC) shows that those who agitated against exclusion of women from the electorate were not women but those, of whatever sex, who opposed exclusion.

He points out that in the Victorian debate on the subject during the 1870s Leonard Courtney, Henry Tawcett, James Stansfeld and John Stuart Mill supported women’s suffrage, Mill’s speech of May 20, 1867, being the first on the subject ever made in Parliament. Only a minority of women supported the movement, and these were well aware ‘that their reform would have no chance if submitted to a referendum of women.’ (TLS 29 Jan-4 Feb 88)

The demands for freedom and equality are not linked to skin colour, class position or sex. Neither are they reactions to suppression, exploitation or exclusion; over most of the world, throughout most of history, these things have gone on with hardly a voice raised against them. Libertarians and egalitarians, like dominators and advocates of hierarchy, are ideological groups, and if we want to understand their behaviour and the degree of success they are likely to achieve it is ideblogy we need to study.

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“WAR IS a gendering activity, proposing exaggeratedly ‘natural’ roles for men and women to play. The aggressive┬ámale and the peace-loving, hearth-guarding female are stereotypes as dear to the recruiting sergeant as to some feminist pacifists.” (Anne Summers, TLS Jan 22-28.1988).

from Ideological Commentary 33, May 1988.