Archive for November, 2004
Six years ago – which is a long time in internet-time – I wrote an review essay arguing that John Laughland was a swivel-eyed loon with rancid politics and a set of very bad arguments.
It’s good to read in today’s Guardian that the rest of the civilised world is beginning to catch up with this path-breaking verdict.
(I’m also pleased to note that that piece is no longer the site of the internet’s only use of the word “festermonger“, according to Google.)
[see here] While the political party of which I am a member disgraces itself with its absurd new website, I’m reminded of this bit of Alasdair MacIntyre, as he attacks the so-called communitarians with whom he’s too often associated:
The modern nation-state, in whatever guise, is a dangerous and unmanageable institution, presenting itself on the one hand as a bureaucratic supplier of goods and services, which is always about to, but never actually does, give its clients value for money, and on the other as a repository of sacred values, which from time to time invites one to lay down one’s life on its behalf. As I have remarked elsewhere… it is like being asked to die for the telephone company.
Alasdair MacIntyre, “A Partial Reply to My Critics”, in Horton and Mendus, eds., After MacIntyre, p.303.
Virtual Stoa fave Tim Collins MP CBE has just become Vice-President of FELLS, “a local green pressure group opposed to a proliferation of windfarms across the Lake District landscape”.
Mark Kaplan’s been having reveries about Oxford’s Jericho, the area of town I moved to about a month ago, in particular about Nellie’s delicatessen, which used to be there, but which isn’t any more.
And in one of those extraordinary coincidences, I first learned about the (non-)existence of this place earlier this week, when a colleague stopped to chat on the way into town, and when the subject of living in Jericho came up asked me whether a certain delicatessan was still around, and so on, and so forth.
Jericho’s an interesting part of town. I’ve linked before to this splendid site on Oxford suburbs, which has a wealth of information about the area; and I also spent half an hour or so last week browsing these pages, which are full of good things, including a splendid aerial photo section.
Al Richardson, editor of Revolutionary History, born 20 December 1941, died 22 November 2003.
UPDATE [8.12.2004]: Renumbered as DSW#132.
Caroline Benn, socialist educationalist, born 13 October 1926, died 22 November 2000.
Robert Simpson, composer and socialist, born 2 March 1921, died 21 November 1997.
Leo Tolstoy, bearded Russian aristocrat, author, War and Peace, etc., born 9 September 1828, died 20 November 1910.
Not really a socialist, but a sufficiently important figure for big chunks of the left that I think he deserves to be in a Dead Socialist Watch like this one.
UPDATE [8.12.2004]: Renumbered as DSW#130.