Archive for May, 2006
The Virtual Stoa, five today.
Paul Nizan, French communist, novelist and philosopher, born 7 February 1905, killed at Dunkirk, 23 May 1940.
David Lewis, Canadian social democrat; born 23 June 1909, died 23 May 1989.
Chick-lit writer Louise Bagshawe takes pride in her work: “I write books that have no literary merit whatsoever”. But there’s more to Bagshawe than crappy writing: the claim is often made that she was “the youngest-ever contributor to The Tablet“, my goodness, and she’s also a noted economic analyst, believing, for example, that “With his tax cuts he [i.e. President Bush] has single-handedly pulled America out of the Clinton Recession”.
Charilaos Florakis, Greek Communist; born 20 July 1914, died 22 May 2005.
The next Carnivalesque for Early Modern History (Loosely Defined) is going to take place here at the Virtual Stoa some time in the middle of June, so do send in your candidates for inclusion using the Official Submission Form, which will probably make its way back to me in the fullness of time. More over here.
It’s all very nice waking up and finding out that there’s another European country out there. But was the referendum result affected by the proximity of the vote to the Eurovision Song Contest (which I thought this year was excellent)? There seem to be both push factors and pull factors at work here: on the one hand, here and here; on the other hand – and more ominously for the rest of us – I’m afraid it does look as if Montenegrin independence will contribute towards an unbreakable Balkans / Former Yugoslav lock on the contest for the foreseeable future, given the patterns of regional block-voting we’ve seen in recent years.
Possibly Britain’s only black farmer, and a man who “makes Lenny Henry seem like a shy introvert”, Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones has a terrific website at theblackfarmer.com and even has a blog, though it hasn’t been updated for a while. Nancy Banks-Smith has more. Certainly the most – or perhaps the only – impressive A-Listee I’ve considered so far, at least on the evidence of five minutes with Google (which, let’s face it, is all that most of these people deserve).
Julie Rook is a councillor in Deal with a poor prose style and an interest in stamping out anti-social behaviour. (She’s the local “Cabinet Member for Citizenship”.) When the local cops tried to fine some poor kid £80 for saying the words “fuck all” in a conversation with a friend that took place within the hearing of a police officer, Councillor Rook was asked about the incident. Forgetting to say the words, “This is outrageous, whatever happened to civil liberties?”, she instead came out with the weaselly, “Swearing and abusive behaviour certainly is not normal behaviour and I feel it should never be used in a public place.” Mr Walker sensibly opted not to pay the fine and to have his day in court, there was a bit of publicity, and – surprise, surprise – the charge was dropped.
Noel Browne, Irish social democrat, expelled from four political parties over the course of his career, born 20 December 1915, died 21 May 1997.
Once you’re done downloading all those Ralph Miliband pieces, you might also want to get your sweaty little paws on another fine publication: my friend Ben Jackson’s pamphlet for the think-tank Catalyst, Why Inequality Matters (co-authored with Paul Segal). It’s recently been made freely available here [pdf] (I probably spent Â£5 on my copy; do you detect a pattern?). There’s a bit more about it here.
Ralph Miliband, Belgian socialist. Born 7 January 1924, died 21 May 1994.
You can now get the first thirty-five years or so of the Socialist Register, which Miliband founded and edited until his death, over here (making my own successful effort to assemble a complete set a little redundant, but not to worry). Miliband’s own contributions (excluding editorial front matter) are as follows (with all links to .pdfs):
1964: Socialism and the Myth of the Golden Past
1964: Labour Policy and the Labour Left (with John Saville)
1965: What Does the Left Want?
1965: Marx and the State
1966: The Labour Government and Beyond
1967: Vietnam and Western Socialism
1968: Professor Galbraith and American Capitalism
1970: Lenin’s The State and Revolution
1973: Stalin and After
1973: The Coup in Chile
1975: Political Forms and Historical Materialism
1976: Moving On
1977: The Future of Socialism in England
1978: Constitution and Revolution: Notes on Eurocommunism
1979: A Comment on Rudolf Bahro’s Alternative
1980: Military Intervention and Socialist Internationalism
1982: Ruth First
1983: Socialist Advance in Britain
1984: Reflections on Anti-Communism (with Marcel Liebman)
1987: Freedom, Democracy and the American Alliance
1987: Socialists and the ‘New Conservatism’ (with Panitch)
1988: Problems and Promise of Socialist Renewal (with Panitch and Saville)
1991: What Comes After Communist Regimes?
1992: The New World Order and the Socialist Agenda (with Panitch)
1994: Thirty Years of the Socialist Register
1995: Harold Laski’s Socialism
I can’t find two articles: (i) “Beyond Social Democracy” (1985/6), co-written with Marcel Liebman and (ii) “Counter-Hegemonic Struggles” (1990). But the rest of them seem to be there OK.
When proper allowance has been made for geographical exigencies, another more purely moral and social consideration offers itself. Experience proves that it is possible for one nationality to merge and be absorbed in another: and when it was originally an inferior and more backward portion of the human race the absorption is greatly to its advantage. Nobody can suppose that it is not more beneficial to a Breton, or a Basque of French Navarre, to be brought into the current of the ideas and feelings of a highly civilised and cultivated people—to be a member of the French nationality, admitted on equal terms to all the privileges of French citizenship, sharing the advantages of French protection, and the dignity and prestige of French power—than to sulk on his own rocks, the half-savage relic of past times, revolving in his own little mental orbit, without participation or interest in the general movement of the world. The same remark applies to the Welshman or the Scottish Highlander as members of the British nation.
More sensible Mill Birthday Blogging over here.
UPDATE [3pm]: Apparently my great-great-grandfather preached a sermon against the Times’s hatchet-job of an obituary of JSM in 1873. I wonder if I’ll be able to chase down a copy. (Where do you go for Victorian sermons, anyway?)