"There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in"
(Leonard Cohen)
"Ignore all proffered rules and create your own, suitable for what you want to say"
(Michael Moorcock)
"Look for your own. Do not do what someone else could do as well as you. Do not say, do not write what someone else could say, could write as well as you. Care for nothing in yourself but what you feel exists nowhere else. And, out of yourself create, impatiently or patiently, the most irreplaceable of beings."
(Andre Gide)
"I want my place, my own place, my true place in the world, my proper sphere, my thing which Nature intended me to perform when she fashioned me thus awry, and which I have vainly sought all my life-time."
(Nathaniel Hawthorne)
“A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.”
(Franz Kafka)
"All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated"
(John Donne)
“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”
(Robert J. Hanlon)
"Life is beautiful, but the world is hell"
(Harold Pinter)

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Old Thinking and New Bottles

EXTRACT: New technology, no matter how marvellous, or invading shops in fancy dress, no matter how enjoyable, is not going to seriously challenge capitalist rule. In her bold ‘new’ thinking and critique of the British far left she is - whether out of sheer inexperience or a definite ideological instinct - giving voice to a deep-seated anti-leadership, anti-organisation prejudice which (inevitably) exists in some parts of society. The most obvious example being the anarchists, fetishising essentially spontaneous political outbursts in the doubtlessly sincere belief that by such methods they can bypass the absolute necessity for mass organisation and democratic leadership and accountability. Such sentiments came to the fore after the November 10 student protests, with the trashing of the Tory HQ in Millbank Tower being hailed as a model that needs to be copied by the wider anti-cuts movement.
Naturally, communists perfectly understand the genuine frustration of activists like Penny - who come up against the bureaucracy and control-freakery of “old left” organisations like the SWP. Plenty of centralism, yes, but precious little democracy. To instinctively kick out against such deadening norms has an undeniably healthy side. Penny is quite right, of course, to castigate the SWP for its conception of “ideological unity” - which in reality means forbidding the open expression of contending viewpoints. Which is to say, the construction of an ideological-confessional sect, whereby all its members have to pretend to agree on a particular historical and theoretical interpretation of the Soviet Union, for instance (state capitalism).

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