George Walford: Editorial Notes (44)

A NEWSPAPER headline cries: “Marx gets the workers united – against him.” [1] So what’s new? Since Marxism first appeared practically all workers, by their actions if not their thoughts, have supported its opponents. [1] (Sunday Times 11 Feb 90)

OLIVER IN SKIRTS
The feminists will have gained their point when men wear skirts as readily as women wear trousers, and the left-wing theirs when Oliver Cromwell and the Tolpuddle Martyrs displace John Bull and the monarchy in popular mythology.

ARE GAYS HAPPY?
The name “liberal” is one of the more successful pieces of word-magic. Bemused by the title, people credit the movement with a drive towards freedom without bothering to look into its thinking or its history. In fact, being a liberal has about as much to do with freedom as being a gay has to do with cheerfulness. This movement, like all others (anarchism among them), favours a particular combination of freedoms and limitations.

THOSE working-class comrades have again been displaying their poverty, Conn Redgrave (brother of Vanessa) quarrelling with the WRP over possession of the College of Marxist Education, a building valued at something over a quarter-milllion pounds. (Sunday Times 11 Feb 90)

GOOD GOD
A recent poll shows 74% of the British population (including non-Christians) believing in God and 69% holding Jesus to be the Son of God. (Sunday Times 24 Dec 89)

THIS month’s favourite title: Keesing R.M. 1973 Kwara?ae ethnoglottochronology: procedures used by Malaita cannibals for determining percentages of shared cognates. (Listed in the bibliography of Ellen R. 1982 Environment, subsistence & system. Cambridge: CUP. The spelling of Kwara?ae is correct).

ANYBODY who isn’t revolting against work is working against revolt. (Bob Black, in Bulletin of Anarchist Research No. 19).

WITHIN the two great ideological classes, the eidostatic and the eidodynamic, the same personality-types may appear. Karl Marx, for example, sometimes sounds much like an eidodynamic Dr. Johnson.

REJECTING sacredness for religion, Salman Rushdie wants to ascribe holiness to literature and imagination. [2] To steal a phrase from Nicolas Walter (see DOMINATION below), this is arrogant and arrant nonsense. If religion is to be freely criticised, the artists and writers can have no claim to special treatment. [2] (Sunday Times, 11 Feb 90)

SPEAKING of Italian terrorism, Christopher Duggan notes that the targets of the left-wing groups, unlike those of the right, were often selected in accordance with “highly intellectualized political strategies.” (TLS 12 Jan 90)

BEN Pimlott, editor of the grotesquely-misnamed Samizdat, describes the British communist movement as “the most high- minded, exclusively intellectual, political organisation in Britain.” (Sunday Times 7 Jan 90) Has he never heard of the (A-) SPGB?

CORRECTION
IC42 ascribed to Sir Robert Mark a comment on the Metropolitan Police. It was quoted from memory and on being asked for a reference none has been found. In his book In the Office of Constable (Collins 1978) Sir Robert does describe the CID of 1971 as “the most routinely corrupt organisation in London” (p. 130) but says nothing like this about the Met as a whole. The remark in IC42 is therefore withdrawn.

GREENHOUSE effect has been suggested as a reason for the remarkably warm weather in Britain over the past many months. It sounds plausible, until one learns that in India 75 people have recently died of cold. (Sunday Times 31 Dec 89).

from Ideological Commentary 44, March 1990.