Mass Rationality Assumption

George Walford: Bombs and Banners

‘Ban the Bomb.’ An excellent slogan; short, direct, alliterative, unforgettable. What does it mean? The claim of the state to a monopoly of violence has never been universally accepted and there are now many non-state groups using violence, some of them able to operate across the world. Terrorists are notoriously disinclined to do what the… read more »

George Walford: Class Politics, an Exhausted Myth

Erect upon the barricade, sledgehammer in one hand, Das Kapital in the other, Red Flag whipping overhead, the classic figure of communist revolution wears overalls. Anarchism flies the Black Flag and repudiates all dictatorship, even that of the proletariat, but it, also, sees itself as a movement of the oppressed; the idea that those on… read more »

George Walford: Even Worse

In spite of all the horrors for which anarchists hold the state responsible, we have little reason to believe that getting rid of it would be enough, by itself, to bring the reign of sweetness and light. In 1989 the Italian authorities admitted that the state no longer controlled Sicily and parts of southern Italy,… read more »

George Walford: Ideology in the Reviews (59)

Reviewing Lewis Wolpert, The Unnatural Nature of Science (Faber), Steven Rose notes that modern science differs from Greek and other ancient sciences by being powerfully interventionist. Science as we know it originated in the 17th Century, with Newtonian mechanics and Bacon [1]. (And, we may add, with the rise of Nonconformism and what was later… read more »

George Walford: Ideology of a Psychologist

The mystics have long insisted on the need for recognition of the dark side, and one achievement of the past century has been to link this intuition with the methods of science, producing rational studies of the irrational. One example appears in Aldous Huxley’s studies of consciousness-changing drugs (mainly, in those innocent days, peyoti) but… read more »

George Walford: Projection and its Consequences

In the course of his psycho-analytical investigation Freud laid bare many mechanisms, many processes going on in our minds, of which we normally refrain more or less unaware. In some cases the same – or very similar – processes are to be observed at work in the ideological realm, and of these one of the… read more »

George Walford: Red and Black

Having failed to elicit the expected support from the workers, the left now show an increasing tendency to turn to minority ethnic groups, in America especially the blacks. This appeal has met with no better response than the first; in a recent Washington Post survey some 35% of blacks described themselves as “conservative” or “very… read more »

George Walford: The Intellectual and the People

[“Dear Mr. Walford, Many thanks for your letter of 26th June, and for the pamphlet ‘The Intellectual and the People.’ I have read it with interest and would like to discuss it with you. I have been working along somewhat similar lines for many years, in an unsystematised way.” – George Orwell, 30 June 1945]… read more »

George Walford: The New Magic

Few of us have any better grounds for believing in germs than for believing in witches. – Professor Gordon Childe. IN the relationship between science and daily life two distinct and complementary tendencies can be observed. On the one hand the products of science are coming into an increasingly intimate relationship with our everyday activities…. read more »

George Walford: The Poll Tax Lesson

Writers in Freedom often traduce the state. They speak as if it were imposed on us by the rich, the rulers, the bosses, when in fact it is established and maintained mainly by the great body of citizens and subjects. Those who wield the power of the state, the prime ministers, generals and police chiefs,… read more »