Dead Socialist Watch, #19

Alexandra Kollontai, born in St Petersburg, 31 March 1872, died in Moscow, 9 March 1952. Old Bolshevik.

N.B. Some are asking, incidentally, why the DSW didn’t mark Stalin’s fiftieth the other day, since he’s a rather important Dead Socialist. (As one correspondent asked: “Was his exclusion from the Dead Socialist Hall of Infamy an editorial guillotine, or have I been misinformed and in fact he saw a few more days of March than I appreciated?”) Well, I forgot. He was on my list, but sometimes I don’t get round to posting anything. Given the degree of coverage in the mainstream press, you probably didn’t need the DSW to be reminded of the anniversary. Those who asked, in fact, demonstrated they didn’t need it by the fact of their asking.

Sports Round-Up

I thought that my excellent friend and comrade Martin O’Neill was having a good day, as he beavers away on the metaphysics of egalitarian justice, or whatever it is that he does these days.

  • Ireland beat France 15-12 in a closely-fought Six Nations international.
  • Celtic beat Rangers 1-0 in the Scottish Premier League.
  • Arsenal were 2-1 up against Chelsea in the FA Cup, with a splendid goal from Thierry Henry just before half time.
  • [If he cares about any other sports teams, I’m not sure I know about it. Actually, I don’t know that he cares about the rugby, but he tends to like Ireland doing well at things, so I’m making an intelligent guess].And on top of all this, he tells me, it’s his birthday.

    But then Chelsea equalised a few minutes from the end and forced a replay.

    Diplomacy

    White House press secretary Ari Fleischer was in fine form last week:

    Q: Ari, just to follow up on Mexico. Is it true that the administration is willing to give Mexico some sort of immigration agreements like amnesty or guest worker program, to assure the Mexican vote, as the French press is pointing out today and is quoting, actually, two different diplomats from the State Department?

    MR. FLEISCHER: No, it’s exactly as I indicated, that we have, on this issue, a matter of diplomacy and a matter of the merits. We ask each nation on the Security Council to weigh the merits and make a decision about war and peace. And if anybody thinks that there are nations like Mexico, whose vote could be bought on the basis of a trade issue or something else like that, I think you’re giving — doing grave injustice to the independence and the judgment of the leaders of other nations.

    Q — the French press is quoting actually two different diplomats from the United States State Department that — they’re highlighting that the United States is giving some sort of agreements or benefits to Colombia — and other non-members of the Security Council —

    MR. FLEISCHER: I haven’t seen the story. And you already have the answer, about what this will be decided on. But think about the implications of what you’re saying. You’re saying that the leaders of other nations are buyable. And that is not an acceptable proposition. (Laughter.)

    Today’s Observer, by contrast, carries not only a useful summary of the carrots and sticks being waved around as various world leaders “weigh the merits”, but also an exposé of the American phone-tapping of UN delegations on the other.

    Sex strike now!


    On Monday 3 March there will be (at least) eight hundred and ninety-two public readings of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata all around the world.

    Friends and colleagues will be taking part in the Oxford instantiation of this phenomenon, which will take place at Balliol College at 7.30pm, using the Tony Harrison text. Do come.

    While I’m on the subject, Virtual Stoa readers in Oxford might like to remember to sign the antiwar petition, which will close on Wednesday. Students go here; staff here.

    UPDATE [8.3.2003]: The Oxford Lysistrata was excellent, and Katha Pollitt’s coverage of events in New York in The Nation is here.

    Biblebasher

    This just arrived:

    Dear Sir,

    I just came across your website and noticed how energetic and determined you are to try and make this world a more safer and peaceful one, but my friend, this is just not possible. Please Don’t be Preoccupied by trying to undo what has already happened in eternity past. The Bible tells us that man has an evil and incurable heart, (Jer 17:19 & Hebrews 3:12). We sadly live in a fallen world. – Satan’s world. Only the second coming of Jesus Christ, can and will, transform this world forever!

    Whether there is war in Iraq or not is irrelevant, for the Lord Jesus spoke about this in Matt 23:6 ” And you will hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things will must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are beginning of sorrows”.

    As for the Palestine problem, well this will never be solved until Jesus returns. Please see what the Prophet Zechariah 12:2-4 wrote in 520 BC concerning Israel and her enemies before the Second Coming: “Behold I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. “And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all the people; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.”

    Please don’t take offence to this e-mail, but the future has already been and gone as far as God is concerned. All men must be born again, John 3:3, if they are to enter the kingdom of heaven. May I leave you with this verse from Hebrews 9:27, it is appointed unto men once to die and after this, the judgment.

    May God bless you richly.

    Yours in Christ,

    James G. Battell

    Ho hum.