George Walford: Doing the Splits (41)

Jeremy Treglown mentions a conference in Turin at which “Derrida and others, Eric Hobsbawm among them, also warned of some dangers in unity and unanimity, and extolled the values not only of autonomy and local identity, but of every kind of disagreement.” (TLS May 19) The warning seems uncalled-for; it is the right, rather than the left, which is inclined to risk any dangers there may be in political unity.

IC intends to print, from time to time, accounts of items illustrating the divisive tendency of the reformers and the revolutionaries and the contrary tendency on the part of the traditionalists. Readers are invited to contribute items – and also, of course, to draw attention to instances of either side moving the other way. Here, for starters:

What used to be the Communist Party of Great Britain is split between one organisation retaining that name (associated with MARXISM TODAY), the Communist Party of Britain (the party of the MORNING STAR), and the New Communist Party. [Report in the SOCIALIST STANDARD, July 1989].

In 1937 Georges Bataille, with some associates, set up in Paris the “College de Sociologie,” intended to provide an alternative to conventional sociology, which was held to be too closely linked with existing power structures. The roots of the College lay in the previous association of its members with surrealism, psychoanalysis, the Popular Front, Marxism and Hegelianism. In 1939 it sank, wrecked by disagreements between its members. [Hollier D. 1989, The College of Sociology 1937-39. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota. Reviewed by David Coward in TLS 4 August 89]

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SARTRE on God: “The bastard! He doesn’t exist.”

from Ideological Commentary 41, September 1989.