"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)

Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Very Kimist Purge


EXTRACT: Of course, the bourgeois press delights in North Korea - feeding us near endless stories about its bizarre control freakery and quite literal deification of its leaders. The odious Kim Jong-un is regularly described as a “great person born of heaven”, the “eternally immovable mental mainstay of the Korean people”, the “people’s spiritual pillar and the lighthouse of hope”, etc. All totally revolting, it goes without saying.

But then again, Marxists do not buy into the idea assiduously promulgated by the western media that North Korea is the weirdest place ever to have existed - or, conversely, that the UK is the most normal society on the planet. For the most part, generations of schoolchildren have been told that Britain has a glorious and uninterrupted history going back to at least 1066 and that from medieval times onwards dynastic succession was believed to be divinely sanctioned - all perfectly normal. You might get ‘good’ monarchs and ‘bad’ monarchs, but that is just part of the divine deal. Ours is not to wonder why. Think about our present unelected ruler, Elizabeth II. She is the “defender of faith” and has two birthdays. Why is this any less weird than North Korea’s “eternal president”? Face it. The UK is a bizarre, fucked-up, place - as we communists constantly emphasise. When it comes to absurd ritual and mindless dynastic pomp you can never beat the UK. Sorry, Kim.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Aiming for the Mixed Economy

Kim Stanley Robinson: social democracy on a terraformed Mars

EXTRACT: Why the timidity? The lack of clarity? The desire to blur programmatic differences? It is clear that the left no longer believes it can win. That what it needs to aim for is not the rule of the working class and human liberation, but something much, much more modest. Given the domination of one particular story in current news reporting, it is worthwhile contrasting this lack of self-belief with Nelson Mandela and the leadership of the African National Congress. They always knew that their struggle against apartheid would be successful. That is what imbued courage, spurred them in action and enabled them to endure years of exile or harsh prison sentences.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Combating the Fascist State in Brixton


EXTRACT: There have been scattered insinuations in the mainstream press to the effect that the Workers’ Institute for Marxism- Leninism-Mao-Zedong-Thought is somehow a reflection of the far left in general - that we are all guilty of such behaviour to one degree or another. This is where communist politics ultimately gets you - the mad house and despotism. Stay at home and watch Strictly come dancing if you want to remain sane. Whatever you do, never get involved with loony lefties.

Yet, as we have seen, the entire far left knew that the institute was out to lunch - therefore it is stretching things to breaking point to draw any broader implications from the near comical activities of ‘comrade Bala’. That would be a bit like making inferences about the nature of Protestantism in general from the snake handlers. So far even the Daily Mail has not managed to link the Workers’ Institute to Ed Miliband and the Labour Party. Still, watch this space ...

Monday, December 02, 2013

Degeneration of a Time Lord

Made safe for the establishment

EXTRACT: Doctor Who’s conflicted nature provided a stark contrast to the triumphalist tone of US science fiction TV shows, the ultimate, of course, being the original Star trek series. Captain ‘JFK’ Kirk and his nominally multicultural crew aboard the USS Enterprise have absolutely no moral qualms about their historic mission, which is to explore the “final frontier”, just as Captain Kirk’s antecedents had moved west centuries before - spreading US civilisation, conquering the aboriginal population and defeating all colonial/imperialist rivals.

Unlike his previous incarnations, the contemporary Doctor Who - as revealed by the November 23 big-budget extravaganza - is a safe defender of the status quo: all his contradictions have been ironed out. Succumbing to a fate far worse than anything the Daleks had planned for him, Doctor Who is part of the modern establishment’s cultural and ideological identity - an image they want to project domestically and abroad. Tellingly, the Doctor is now a pacifist who associates with prettified monarchs, as opposed to seditious miner.