Doing the Splits

Elizabeth Hope: Divisiveness

What is it breeds divisiveness? Disraeli’s hold one-nation dream? Churchill’s clear far-sightedness? Thatcher’s people-power theme? Is national unity more cleft By powers of the right – or left? By Bevan’s ‘Tory vermin’ scream? Or Bernie Grant’s ‘good hiding’ steam? Or Labour’s pledge to soak the rich with avaricious nose a-twitch? From class divisions Labour spoke…. read more »

George Walford: Althusser Times Four

Louis Althusser is a French Marxist intellectual, and they don’t come any more intellectual than that. The TLS tells us his Essays on Ideology (London, Verso, 1984) is “the work of an acute intellect and contains extended passages of originality and brilliance”. Tribune: “Althusser demands patience from the reader but he rewards it with his… read more »

George Walford: Anarchism in Series

Thinkers fall into two groups: unifiers and dichotomizers, otherwise lumpers and splitters. Anarchists stand on both sides of this fence, lumping their opponents together as supporters of the state and splitting their own movement off as independent of them. This leaves anarchism rootless, with no sufficient explanation for its presence, and in any case it… read more »

George Walford: Are They Not Anarchists?

Anarchism seeks recruits and an intake of six hundred would noticeably strengthen the British movement. Yet an organised group of this size remains detached and receives no encouragement to come closer. “The solution to repressive laws is not better government but no government.” Does that not sound like anarchism? It comes from the Socialist Standard,… read more »

George Walford: Chile Con Splinters

“Pinochet’s Poll Defeat Could Reinforce his Position, as Chile’s Splintered Opposition Proves Powerless.” So runs the subhead to an article by Emiliano Magon in NS&S for 19 Oct 88, and the article develops the theme: “A thoroughly divided opposition, made up of 16 warring parties, was more an ally than a threat.” Magon writes as… read more »

George Walford: Doing the Splits (54)

Contrasting the anarchistic or libertarian socialists at the tip of the range with the Leninists and social democrats, Frank Girard (an anarchistic socialist) comments: But if they are splintered, our ‘force’ is atomized consisting of small groups and grouplets each with its own publication and small circle of members and sympathizers. Except for the Socialist… read more »

George Walford: Doing the Splits (46)

1. “The left remains hopelessly fragmented.” (Robet Harris, Sunday Times 20 May) 2. “The ‘fragmentation’ of the left is something to be applauded, not regretted. Not from a ‘victory of the free market’ angle, but from a need to construct theory which is based on the experience of people living today. […] In a sense,… read more »

George Walford: Doing the Splits (58)

IC has long been linking the conservationist movement with the divisive eidodynamic ideologies. News now comes that Sara Parkin, leader of the Green Party, has quit because of continuing disorder and refusal by some activists to accept democratic decisions. The agenda of the 1992 conference shows the party taken up with internal fighting; with two… read more »

George Walford: Doing the Splits (59)

Under this title IC reports instances of the divisiveness of the eidodynamics, contrasting it with the ‘don’t rock the boat’ approach of the traditionalists. This year it looked as though the Labour Party Conference was failing to make its usual contribution, but the hard left journal Briefing came to the rescue, attacking the shadow chancellor… read more »

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… read more »