Solidarity 128, 6 March 2008

Learning more in 32 hours than in 32 ordinary months

Submitted by AWL on 7 March, 2008 - 7:46 Author: Tom Unterrainer

It’s very simple. We want to see social change in the world in which we live. We want to see this social change because we are human beings who have ideas. We think, we talk, we discuss, and when we’re done thinking and talking and discussing, well then, we feel that these things are vacuous unless we then act on the principle that we think, talk and discuss about. This is as much a part of a university education as anything else. - - Jack Weinberg, Berkeley Free Speech Campaigner

Barefaced exploitation by the super-rich

Submitted by AWL on 7 March, 2008 - 7:43 Author: Martin Thomas
Rolls Royce

Review of Who Runs Britain? How the Super Rich are Changing our Lives by Robert Peston (Hodder and Stoughton)

“No nation”, Frederick Engels once wrote, “will put up with production conducted by trusts [i.e. big, industry-dominating cartels], with so barefaced an exploitation of the community by a small band of dividend-mongers...

“The exploitation is so palpable that it must break down...”

Orwell’s antidote to politician speak

Submitted by AWL on 7 March, 2008 - 7:41 Author: Peter Burton

It’s over 60 years since Orwell wrote the essay Politics and the English Language —yet its warnings are as relevant now as they were then. Orwell argued that the decline of the English language as a useful tool reflected the political conditions of his time. But it was an inexorable process. He thought the abuse could be stopped. He believed journalists had a particular responsibility amongst writers to show their dissatisfaction.

Back to the 60s

Submitted by AWL on 7 March, 2008 - 7:40 Author: Rosalind Robson

This drama about a 1960s New York advertising agency is a full-on period piece. Its attention to historical detail, clothes, manners, dialogue, is very acute. If you were over the age of 16 in the 1960s this will really send you back there. I was just a child, and this is no Janet and John and pink milk drama, yet I still found it very, very evocative. Smoke-filled rooms. Plastic furniture. Stuffy interiors. Brylcream. Stilettos. But does all that perfectly depicted surface make for a good story? I’m not sure.

Left unity in the 1890s

Submitted by AWL on 7 March, 2008 - 7:37 Author: Cathy Nugent

From the mid-1890s, British socialists tried to unite under one umbrella. Tom Mann, as Secretary of the Independent Labour Party, was at the centre of the negotiations and debates that took place between the ILP and the Social Democratic Federation. These moves, popular with the members, were scuppered by the leaderships, mainly that of the ILP.

Left unity was an inevitable question thrown up by the formation of the Independent Labour Party in 1893. Why were there separate organisations of socialists, asked the members. Shouldn’t the groups merge, fuse or federate?

Gaza: the dead ends of Olmert and of Hamas

Submitted by AWL on 7 March, 2008 - 7:30 Author: Israeli socialist

The catastrophic escalation [of the Israeli army in Gaza] comes after a long period of struggling between Israel’s military and Hamas. Due to its commitment to the US imperialism and its loyalty to the Bush administration which carries forward the Road Map plan, Israel refused to acknowledge the Islamic rule in Gaza strip and accept the Hamas proposal for Hudna, ceasefire, which meant recognition of Hamas rule.

Letter: Nuclear -a blind alley on climate change

Submitted by AWL on 7 March, 2008 - 7:28 Author: Paul Hampton

I welcome Les Hearn’s participation in our nuclear debate, particularly as I remember reading about climate change in his science column in Socialist Organiser as long ago as 1988-89. However he completely evades the central problems with nuclear (Solidarity 3/127, 21 February 2008).

Once again on “troops out now”

Submitted by AWL on 7 March, 2008 - 7:26 Author: David Broder

The minority argue that the only principled line on the conflict, and only chance to build independent working-class forces, is to stand sharply opposed to US-UK intervention in the region as well as Islamism. In contrast, the majority argue that we should acquiesce to the occupation of Iraq, since if we demanded that the troops leave and they did, Islamist militias would win out and crush democratic space in Iraq.