Tuesday, 19 February 2008

I hereby officially break my silence

... to say that I was just asked by a student handing out leaflets for the Socialist Alliance, "Have you ever heard of Marxism at all?"

13 comments:

Martin Kingsley said...

You reached out, your hands already clenched like talons in anticipation of blood-letting, and tore his throat out with one blow, reveling in the fountain of ichor brought forth, at his very life-force fleeing through the grievous wound, as he collapsed to his knees before you, vanquished.

Sorry, been reading a bit too much Robert E. Howard lately, and also the very mention of the Socialist Alliance goon-squad brings on flashbacks to the 'Nam, y'see. Slowly revolving fan blades and so on and so forth.

TimT said...

Martin 'Conan the Barbarian' Kingsley, I shall call thee.

I would refer you to the post that I haven't yet written on my blog but for the small eventuality that the post that I haven't yet written remains, well, unwritten. And I don't think I can link to something that is, at the moment, entirely notional, can I?

alexis said...

Erm, thanks, Timty.

Martinski, you will be disappointed to hear that my response was entirely non-violent. It involved a brief silence while I digested the question, and then I explained that one of my very favourite literary critics is Terry Eagleton, and then I started talking about Gramsci, and then she told me about the Marxism 2008 conference during the Easter weekend, and I took a leaflet, but I think I might be visiting my 'rents or washing feet or some such.

eyrie said...

I have been asked by a young person if I have heard of Eagleton (one of my favourites too), but not if I have heard of Marx or Marxism and am, subsequently, more than a little envious. Perhaps, propos Billy Bragg, I just dress more like a communist.

alexis said...

Whad do I dress like then? A flipping henchperson of Club Neo-con?

TimT said...

Isn't the point not to dress like a Marxist, but to make the Marxists dress like you? This, I feel, is the real test.

I like to think that most libertarians dress like me.

Sloppily, that is...

eyrie said...

Oh Alexis, I'm sorry! You can dress like a feminazi, if you like, and I will certainly not block your path to sartorial communism. I dress like a feminazi on Wednesdays and a communist on Thursdays. I'm yet to fill in the rest of the week.

Is it another dumb test, Tim? Also, I suspect libertarian dress might be very similar to feminazi and communist dress. How many holes in a shirt before a libertarian discards it?

TimT said...

Good point. I don't really know. I'm thinking hats should be involved in this notional dress code: indeed, they should form a key part of any serious political platform.

I'm not sure if Hayek or Engels ever made hats a big part of their philosophy, which is a black mark against them, I feel.

Anyone up for joining the United Anarcho-Syndicalist-Libertarian-Freedom-loving-Libertarian-communitarian Fedora Party with me?

eyrie said...

An important consideration we have also thus far overlooked is the manner of beard each political movement would prescribe for his gentlemen adherents (and perhaps the ladies too).

I will certainly join the League, although I must confess to being a very poor wearer of hats, having a somewhat awkward combination of big head and narrow face (can't quite work out how it happened).

eyrie said...

Of course, we should also acknowledge that the philosophy of clothes was penned some time ago.

TimT said...

Right, well, here's the post I would have linked to pre-emptively if I could have, but didn't, because I couldn't. Of course, this is not a pre-emptive linking at all, now, just a normal old post-emptive linking, meaning it's just the merest shadow of the post that it wasn't (or isn't the merest shadow of the post that it is (still haven't quite worked that one out.))

Hmmm. Quite.

Stimmer said...

Shame, Alexis, shame.
You've confused your socialists.
Socialist Alliance are the nice, friendly ones, with the newspapers.
Socialist Alternative are the grumpy ones, with the glossy mags and the Marxism Conf.
Fortunately there's a lot more of the former.

As for hats, well I'm pretty sure Marx and Engels avoided them, but they were in vogue with Lenin and Trotsky (and myself). Revisionism, perhaps? State Hat-italism?

Either way, one can still be left-wing and dapper.

alexis said...

Y'know, you're right, Stimmer. I have just reconsulted my "Marxism 2008" pamphlet, and the conference is being presented by the Socialist Alternative. Someone's gotta do some work with differential branding sometime soon.

N.B. The comma-rade handing out the leaflets wasn't grumpy; she just underestimated my acquaintance with key ideas in world history.

I guess I'd differ from most of the militant Marxists I've met in that I don't see class as the sole or main or most important locus of oppression, and I want to fight against oppression generally, rather than focussing my energies against oppression that's overtly linked to capitalism.