Archive for April, 2003

Dead Socialist Watch, #28

April 30th, 2003

Beatrice Webb, born 2 January 1858, died 30 April 1943.

I still have a soft spot for the Webbs, despite everything. (“We shall have books, not children”, “Two typewriters that beat as one”, etc.) But for their extraordinary justification of the show trials, published in the second edition of Soviet Communism: A New Civilisation (yes, the one without the questionmark in the title), click here.

Correction & Clarification

April 27th, 2003

No time to write sensible entries: term’s beginning, and I have a lot of writing to do. But this is priceless. From the New York Times:

An article last Sunday about the disappearance of Saddam Hussein and the fates met by other dictators misidentified a prominent and elusive supporter of the Baath Party. He is Tariq Aziz, Mr. Hussein’s deputy prime minister. (Tariq Ali, an author, does not support the Baath Party.)

(via LBO-talk).

Dead Socialist Watch, #27

April 27th, 2003

Antonio Gramsci, died 27 April 1937.

Dead Socialist Watch, #26

April 23rd, 2003

Karl Polanyi, author of The Great Transformation. Born in Vienna 21 October 1886; died in Pickering, Ontario, 23 April 23, 1964.

Dead Socialist Watch, #25

April 21st, 2003

Richard Stafford Cripps, born 24 April 1889, died 21 April 1952.

Dead Socialist Watch, #24

April 14th, 2003

Here’s another one: the greatest of all the Russian futurist poets, Vladimir Mayakovsky, born 19 July 1893, died 14 April 1930.

Comrade life, let us march faster,
March faster through what’s left of the five-year plan.


April 14th, 2003

I’m in something of a state of perpetual motion these days, so I may not be around to update this page much over the coming week or so.

So, in the meantime, here’s an excellent snippet from everyone’s favourite oversized philosopher, Thomas Aquinas.

Questions on Whatever (Quaestiones Quodlibitales), Question 12, Article 20.

Whether truth is stronger than either wine, the king or woman.


1. It seems that wine (is stronger than the others) because it affects man the most.

2. Again, (it seems) that the king (is stronger than the others) because he sends man to what is most difficult, namely, to that which exposed himself to mortal danger.

3. Again, (it seems) that woman (is stronger), because she commands even kings.

On the other hand is the fact Eszra IV, 35 says that truth is stronger.

I respond that it should be said that this is the question proposed to youths (who were going to be destroyed) in Eszra. One should realize, therefore, that if we consider these four, namely wine, the king, woman and truth, in themselves they are not comparable because they do not belong to the same genus. Nevertheless, if they are considered in relation to some effect, they coinside in one aspect, and so can be compared with each other. Now, this effect in which they come together and can be compared is the affect they have on the human heart. One ought to see, therefore, which among these most affect the heart of man.

One should know, therefore, that man has a certain ability to be affected corporally and another in his animal (nature). This latter is of two kinds, according to the sense faculties and according to the intelligible faculties. The intelligible, indeed, is of two kinds, the practical and the speculative.

Among those things, however, which pertain to affecting according to the disposition of the body, wine has the excellence which makes (someone) speak through drunkenness. Among those things which pertain to the affecting of the sensitive appetite, pleasure is the more excellent and principally sexual (pleasure), and so woman is stronger. Again in practical things, i.e. in human things, which we are able to do, the king has the greatest ability. In speculative things, the highest and most powerful is truth.

Now, however, bodily powers are subjected to animal powers, animal powers to intellectual (ones), and practical intellectual powers to speculative (ones). And so simpliciter truth is greater in dignity, and more excellent and stronger.

There’s a bit more in this vein available at the Thomist Humor [sic] page.