Ann McPherson, RIP.
Archive for the 'dsw' Category
I think it’s worth bringing the Dead Socialist Watch out of retirement for a very special anniversary: James Augustine Aloysius Joyce, born in Dublin, 2 February 1882, died in Zürich, seventy years ago today, 13 January 1941.
As I wrote in this space many years ago:
James Joyce isn’t a familiar figure on the list of Dead Socialists, and it took me a long time to realise the extent of Joyce’s socialist politics, given the apolitical pose he liked to strike from time to time. But a useful passage in Vincent Cheng’s Joyce, Race and Empire, pp.129-134 summarises the evidence, which includes the testimony of his brother (“He calls himself a socialist, but attaches himself to no school of socialism”), the contents of his library in Trieste (he owned a great deal of socialist and anarchist literature), and a consistently anti-imperialist politics in his various writings.
J. A. G. Griffith, author of The Politics of the Judiciary, born 14 October 1918, died 8 May 2010.
Fred Halliday, born in Dublin, 22 February 1946; died in Barcelona, 26 April 2010.
Born 24 August 1922, Brooklyn, NY; died earlier today, Santa Monica, CA.
Jerry Cohen collapsed yesterday and died this morning.
The words that follow were written by Frederick Engels to Friedrich Adolph Sorge on 15 March 1883, the day after his friend Karl Marx had died, they are words that Jerry knew very well and in which he found inspiration, and they seem appropriate for this very sad morning.
Be that as it may, mankind is shorter by a head, and the greatest head of our time at that. The proletarian movement goes on, but gone is its central figure to which Frenchmen, Russians, Americans and Germans spontaneously turned at critical moments, to receive always that clear incontestable counsel which only genius and a perfect understanding of the situation could give. Local lights and lesser minds, if not the humbugs, will now have a free hand. The final victory is certain, but circuitious paths, temporary and local errors – things which even now are so unavoidable – will become more common than ever. Well, we must see it through. What else are we here for?
And we are not near losing courage yet.
[Picture credit: Chris Bertram]
Leszek Kolakowski, born in Radom, Poland, 23 October, 1927; died in Oxford, England, 17 July, 2009. Highlights include “My correct views on everything” in the 1974 Socialist Register (a reply to E. P. Thompson’s “Open Letter to Leszek Kolakowski” from the previous year), the second volume of Main Currents of Marxism, and his study of the Jansenists, God Owes Us Nothing.
As ejh observes in comments below, John Saville has died. Obituary by Eric Hobsbawm (another ejh) in tehgraun over here. The Dictionary of Labour Biography is still going strong, and now runs to 12 volumes.
Peter Townsend, who devoted his life to understanding and fighting poverty, died yesterday. There’s a tribute over here.
Pierre BÃ©rÃ©govoy, French socialist and Prime Minister, 1992-3; born DÃ©ville-lÃ¨s-Rouen in Normandy, 23 December 1925; shot himself 1 May 1993.
Abram Deborin, Soviet philosopher, born 4/16 January 1881, died 8 March 1963.