"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)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Permitted Shades of Grey

Freedom of speech, freedom of the press
EXTRACT: In fact, Marx’s heroic battles as a journalist and subsequently editor of Rheinische Zeitung against the Prussian state and its iniquitous censorship laws reverberate more than ever with contemporary relevance. The first obligation of a truth-seeker, declared Marx, is to “make directly for the truth without looking right or left ... Won’t I forget the heart of the matter if it is more important that I speak in the prescribed form?” Of course, not being an idiot, Marx stressed that freedom of the press is “not a perfect thing itself” - it is not the “all-in-all” of the matter. In other words, an open and free press cannot guarantee ‘freedom’ - ie, freedom from all inaccuracies, mistakes and distortions. But the long-term interests of the workers’ movement, and human liberation, demand nothing less. “You could not enjoy the advantages of a free press without tolerating its inconveniences,” noted Marx - just as “you could not pluck the rose without its thorns!” He went on to argue: “And what do you lose in losing a free press? A free press is the omnipresent open eye of the popular spirit ... It is the merciless confessional that a people make to itself, and it is well known that confession has the power to redeem. It is the intellectual mirror in which a people beholds itself, and self-examination is the first condition of wisdom.”

Just as importantly, as Marx put it, openness activates and enhances the “public mind”. The role of the communist press is, or at least it should be, precisely to hold a mirror up to the debates within LU and everything else on the left - to make them accountable for their words and deeds, or misdeeds in this particular case. Expose the political free riders. Get people thinking. That is the Weekly Worker.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Both Campaigns are US Allies and Friends

Whatever the outcome, still US pawns.
EXTRACTFor us in the CPGB, it is naive in the extreme to think that the question on the ballot paper is the only one that needs answering - in that sense it is not an honest question, which is nearly always the case when it comes to referendums. The bourgeoisie and its bureaucrats get to decide the question, after all. In reality, there will be two questions confronting you on that ballot paper: ‘Do you want Scotland to be an independent country?’; and (implied by the ‘no’ option): ‘Do you want a continuation of the status quo, with ‘devo-max’ bolted on?’  #

The answer to both questions should be a resounding ‘no’. Scottish nationalism weakens the working class - but so does the monarchist-unionist status quo: that is surely obvious. Yes, we may have a historically constituted British working class, but, alas, we do not have a united working class. In fact, the rotten status quo continually sows disunity. Under these conditions, communists must develop tactics and strategies to positively overcome division and all forms of backwardness.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Our men in Kiev and Donetsk

Don't provide redwash
EXTRACT: What we do know though is that the left in Britain, for the most part, has taken a disastrous approach - backing one or the other side in the conflict. Either Kiev or Moscow. One side looks enviously at the protests in Independence Square and imagines it is a progressive revolution, or uprising, against an oligarch - therefore we have to support it. After all, anything that draws a crowd must be progressive - right? Such comrades, like Socialist Resistance, believe that out of this spontaneity will come the royal road to socialism. All you need to do is nudge the masses in the right direction with your transitional programme, and everything will be fine - they will eventually flock to your leadership.

What a delusion, downplaying and ignoring the active role of far-right and fascist forces in the Maidan ‘revolution’ - including the ones who hold senior government posts. This is surely beyond question now, there being an abundance of material concerning the likes of Right Sector and Svoboda before, during and after the Independence Square protests. We in the CPGB would call such forces fascistic not mainly because of any professed ideological orientation - or that they like to carry portraits of Nazi collaborators - but rather because of what they actually do: ie, organise street gangs to attack minorities and the left.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

BNP: Death Bed Performance

Time for an autopsy

EXTRACT: However, the reason why the BNP is facing extinction is obvious - it was targeted by the establishment. As we in the CPGB argued at the time, Nick Griffin was fatally holed by his disastrous October 2009 appearance on the BBC’s Question time, which is still popular viewing on YouTube and elsewhere.7 On that day the show ditched its normal deadly dull format to become a far more entertaining Let’s do Griffin time - and it certainly did. Before an audience which peaked at 8.2 million people - more than half of all those watching television at the time and around four times the number who usually tune in to Question time - Griffin was outed as a bumbling would-be ‘fuhrer’. For instance, he defended David Duke, the “totally non-violent” former Ku Klux Klan leader and, far worse, refused to answer a direct question concerning his views on the Nazi genocide (or “holo-hoax”, as he once called it) on the pathetic grounds that “European law” prevented him elaborating upon his position. Obviously a man of principle and courage. The BBC had turned him into a laughing stock.

Griffin himself later admitted that he had been the victim of a “lynch mob”, bitterly complaining that the way the programme had been produced was “unfair”, because it had been “altered” to concentrate on him and his policies - with all but one question focused on the BNP. Poor thing. Showing how dreadful Griffin’s performance really was, many BNP members gave vent to their dismay and embarrassment. Lee Barnes, the party’s legal officer at the time, raged on his blog about how Griffin should have stood up to these “whining, middle class hypocrites” that use the “race card for self-enrichment” and “thrown the truth right back into their fat, sanctimonious, hypocritical, self-serving faces”. From that day, Griffin was a dead man walking.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

We are the 0.00001%

Asking for fairness will get nowhere

EXTRACT: One of the major revelations, apart from the fact that the queen is a relative pauper these days (at £330 million she is now ranked 285th), is that the top 1,000 own a third of all the country’s wealth, with a combined fortune of almost £520 billion - an extraordinary development. Occupy used to talk how “we are the 99%”, as opposed to the 1%, but they got their maths seriously wrong - in reality the super-rich only constitute about 0.00001% of the population. Another cheerful thought is that their wealth has doubled since the financial crisis, whilst hundreds of thousands have to rely on food banks to feed their families.

An even more staggering statistic, if anything, is that last year alone the total wealth of the very richest jumped by 15.4% - they have never had it so good. No wonder that Philip Beresford, who compiled the list, had never seen such a “phenomenal” rise in personal wealth before - the super-rich people in Britain had had an “astonishing year”, he said. Naturally though, he thoroughly approved of this fact, as many of these people are apparently at the “heart of the economy” and “their success brings more jobs and more wealth for the country”. We should be grateful for their “success”.