Archive for August, 2007

Dead Socialist Watch, #285

August 21st, 2007

Thomas Hodgskin, Ricardian socialist, and very possibly the major pre-Marxian socialist political economist. (I tend to read few chapters of Capital vol.1 as Marx’s attack on Hodgskin, but maybe that’s just me.) He went to sea when he was 12, and served with the Navy until he retired at 25, publishing An Essay on Naval Discipline in 1813. Having travelled in Germany and moved to Edinburgh, he returned impoverished to London in 1822 and started writing for the Morning Chronicle. His major works were published over the following years: Labour Defended Against the Claims of Capital in 1825, a course of lectures for the mechanics’ institute published in 1827 as Popular Political Economy, and The Artificial and Natural Right of Property Contrasted in 1832. (He later wrote pamphlets for the Anti-Corn Law League, and wrote for The Economist, which I suppose helps to explain why his works appear at both the Online Library of Liberty and over at Born at Chatham, 12 December 1787; died Feltham, 21 August 1869.

A few snippets of Hodgskin over the fold…


DSW, #109

August 21st, 2007

Kathy Wilkes, philosopher and friend of Eastern Europe, born 23 June 1946, died 21 August 2003.

DSW, #41

August 21st, 2007

Palmiro Togliatti, general secretary of the Italian Communist Party; b. 26 March 1893; d. 21 August 1964.

DSW, #40

August 21st, 2007

Leon Trotsky, indefatigable revolutionary; born in Yanovka, 7 November 1879 (presumably Old Style no, actually New Style); murdered in Mexico City, 21 August 1940.

Ashley Mote, MEP

August 17th, 2007

From rancid lunatic to convicted fraudster.

Cult of Personality

August 17th, 2007

I’ve known about the pop song “Now I Want A Man Like Putin” for a while, but hadn’t heard it until yesterday. Here it is:

Snack, Gobble and Dash

August 17th, 2007

My old friend Raj Patel, who used to blog at Class Worrier, has an article in tehgraun today about obesity.

His (excellent) book, Stuffed and Starved: Markets, Power and the Hidden Battle for the World Food System will be published in September, and he has a website to explore the issues discussed in the book here.

Prized Possession

August 16th, 2007

A pop-up Graceland at Christmas:

Elvis in Sumerian!

August 16th, 2007

Over here.

Sample: “I must admit translating Elvis into Sumerian was not easy.”

[From the man who brought us Elvis in Latin]

Roger Scruton on Elvis Presley

August 16th, 2007

“Although I argue vehemently against modern pop music, on grounds of its musical incompetence, verbal impoverishment and general morbidity, narcissism and salaciousness; although I fiercely object to disco dancing as a sacrilege against the human form and a collective rejection of civilised courtship; although I defend reels, minuets, galliards, sarabands and (as limiting cases) waltzes and polkas as the only ways in which ordinary humanity should dare to put its sexual nature on festive display, and although I regard the 12-bar blues and the flattened subdominant seventh as the lowest forms of vulgarity in music, I find rock’n’roll in general, and Elvis in particular, irresistible, and would happily dance away the night to it. I cannot explain the thrill of delight with which I hear the first bars of Jailhouse Rock or the eagerness with which I at once search the vicinity for a partner: but there it is, appalling proof that, despite all my efforts, I am human.”


Tuus sum per saeculum / in perpetuum

August 16th, 2007

Elvis Presley, died thirty years ago today, 16 August 1977.

Five excellent Elvis tracks (no particular order):

  • (You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care
  • Suspicious Minds
  • Always On My Mind
  • Santa Bring My Baby Back To Me
  • You’ll Never Walk Alone
  • Please list your favourite tracks / records / films (!!) / etc. in the comments.

    Danes apologise to Irish for Viking raids!

    August 16th, 2007

    Over here

    … Years ago a man who worked for the council sweeping the streets where I grew up used to wear a large Viking helmet (with horns, yes, yes, I know). Somebody wrote to the local newspaper to say that it might frighten elderly residents, whereupon somebody else replied to say that they’d really have to be very old if they had childhood memories of being scared by Vikings.

    UPDATE [5pm]: Or not, as the case may be (and as Dan spotted in the comments).