"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)

Friday, August 09, 2013

Ukip Blocked by a Cynical Cameron

Nigel Farage: threat to Thatcherite Tories
EXTRACT: Of course, the fact that the debate over Lords representation and proportionality has focused so much on Ukip tells us something important about the period we are in - bleak though that may be. The winds of change in this country, insofar as there are any, are blowing to the right. This runs contrary to the dogmatic expectations of some on the British far left, who assumed that the economic crisis and the austerity regime would automatically lead to a growth in their ranks. To paraphrase an old slogan - first mass social despair, then us. But in reality the only significant development in British politics has been the rise of Ukip, not the left, which is almost nowhere to be seen - the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition is no more than a joke and, as things stand now, many in the leadership of Left Unity seem determined to repeat the same old ‘broad party’ mistakes that wrecked the Socialist Alliance, Scottish Socialist Party and Respect.

Some may try to delude themselves that the Ukip vote in May was purely a protest vote and will dissolve with the mist. But the vast majority of these people knew exactly what they were buying into - which was a brand of noxious rightwing populism, Ukip ultimately being part of a broader phenomenon in politics, whether in Europe or the United States. A movement that combines xenophobic national chauvinism - especially a withering contempt for migrants - with a reactionary, populist hatred of the out-of-touch liberal political establishment.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Roar of the Dead Lion

New Mode Army: lessons
EXTRACT: We communists want to sweep away the entire British constitutional political system, not reform it or get rid of individual “parasites”. Logically, therefore, we fight for a democratic republic - something else you will never see mentioned in Socialist Worker, which fails abysmally to take democratic questions seriously (including the democracy in its own organisation, it goes without saying). Similarly, we treat with contempt the current craven Labour Party leadership. Ed Miliband, Ed Balls and Harriet Harman, the “living dogs” of Labourism, find the very idea of republicanism - or any sort of radical change - utterly alien. They are her majesty’s very loyal opposition.

Rather, we admire the genuinely glorious tradition of radical republicanism, as represented by Gerard Winstanley, Thomas Rainsborough, the Levellers and the agitators of the New Model Army. We certainly need to learn from the example of Oliver Cromwell and his stunningly successful military campaign against the crown. Eg, Leon Trotsky favourably contrasted Cromwell’s decisiveness and revolutionary boldness to the flabby gradualism of the Fabians. “British workers”, he said, “can learn incomparably more from Cromwell than from MacDonald, Snowden, Webb and other such compromising brethren. Cromwell was a great revolutionary of his time, who knew how to uphold the interests of the new, bourgeois social system against the old aristocratic one without holding back at anything. This must be learnt from him, and the dead lion of the 17th century is in this sense immeasurably greater than many living dogs.”