George Gook: George Walford Memorial

The Intellectual and the People Understanding the Mass Mind by Richard Tatham

George Walford has been a friend for almost fifty years. We first met early in 1946 at what was, I believe, the first public meeting of the Social Science Association. The founder of this organisation had published a number of cheap booklets, or pamphlets, on such subjects as The Atom Bomb, The Mass Mind, The Intellectual and the People and others, all very stimulating to an intelligent mind and all pointing out that society was now at a crossroads, with intelligent government and international cooperation on one side and war and political anarchy as new nations and ideological ambitions arose on the other.

George invited me to his home to discuss the new ideas that were the basis of the SSA, the ideas of Harold Walsby. Indeed he was my mentor for a crash course in ideology, psychology, sociology and the other aspects of social sciences. Those people who were selected from the people who came to that first meeting were chosen because of the kind of questions they asked the speakers at the meeting. They were approached by stewards around the meeting hall who evidently got signals from the platform, so in hindsight it appears that smart brains in the founder group were assessing the people who asked leading questions from the floor.

GW was one of the founding group and through him I attended meetings at Harold Walsby’s flat, where HW explained his ideas, read sections from the galley proofs of his book The Domain of Ideologies. We asked questions or made comments and everyone drank coffee out of tiny cups which were only half full anyway. HW had been a member of the Socialist Party of Great Britain and his target was mainly other members of that party because they were the “intellectuals of the left” and the people most likely to be able to understand the new ideas, such as the theory of assumptions, the pyramid of ideological levels and so on.

The SSA only lasted a couple of years but the group went on, meeting occasionally. Each of us chose his or her own way of trying to educate (convert) others of our acquaintance. About thirty years later a number of us got together as the Walsby Group, with GW as our main exponent of ideological processes. GW later started his Ideological Commentary. I contributed to this on occasion, and sent him excerpts from books I read.

At the time I learned of George’s death I was preparing a collection of such for his use. Sometimes he used them in his odd items or as fillers; others he put aside for future use because they did not meet his current needs.

April 1995

continue reading George Walford, A Memorial (1998):
Introduction | Notes and Quotes | Trevor Blake | Alan Bula | George Gook | Mary Anne Knukel | Encounter in Autumn by Dr. Zvi Lamm | Seeking George Walford by Paul Minet | Peter Shepherd | John Rowan | George R. Russell, SPGB | Thoughts on Ideological Minimalism by Eric Stockton | Reminiscences of George Walford and the Walsby Society 1976 to 1994 by Adrian Williams | Jack as I Knew Him by Brenda McIntosh | Alison Walford, Sharon Goodyear, Richenda Walford