George Walford: Editorial Notes (13)

A Plea for Help
Why is it becoming increasingly common for left-wing organisations to offer privileges to capitalists? The Secular Socialist Association announces subscriptions as £2 for organisations, £1 for the waged and 50p for the unwaged. To offer capitalists a cheaper rate because they don’t get wages seems strange; after all, they do get profits, and those tend to be bigger than wages.

Foreign News
The troubles in South Africa are presented as the result of a simple division between blacks and whites, but photographs often show black people in police uniforms acting against the black protesters; one example appears in the Observer of 16 September 1984, where the only police in view are black. Also, there have been reports of white people acting with the protesters. The division, between those who impose apartheid and those who protest against it does not correspond with the division between black skins and white. It corresponds more closely with the division, found in the West and North as well as in South Africa, between those who would impose social hierarchy and those who protest against it. And, in South Africa as elsewhere, the largest group, black, white or green, take no active interest in the issue but attend to their private affairs, tending to accept the existing social arrangements whatever these may be. The conflicts resulting from apartheid can be explained in terms of skin colour only by neglecting part of the evidence. They are better understood as the outcome of ideological divisions.

Does IC Rank?
The word ‘samizdat,’ which has slipped in from Russia during the past decade, refers to the circulation of ideas by unorthodox means to avoid censorship. It is a method which seems to have been used by most of the Russian dissidents now lionised in the West.

Can IC claim the distinction of being a samizdat publication of the West? One condition it certainly satisfies: in this society you can’t find a more unorthodox way of circulating anything than giving it away. But can we claim to be subject to censorship? Indeed we can. it is the censorship exercised by the great majority who have no interest in what we are saying. Compared to that the efforts of the people who wield D notices and blue pencils are trivial.

Correction to IC12
In IC12 we undertook to print every contribution of up to one thousand words defending or expounding the case of the Socialist Party of Great Britain but realised, later, that this would be unfair to the party. It must be left to them to decide whether any given statement does or does not represent their views, and accordingly our undertaking is reformulated:

Until further notice every contribution, of up to one thousand words, acknowledged by the Socialist Party of Great Britain or any of its branches as putting their views, will certainly be printed. We reserve the right to reply.

from Ideological Commentary 13, September 1984.