George Walford: Contradictions

Ideological development through the series can be presented as a series of stages in a continuing attempt to define the assumptions held, and as the definitions become sharper so self-contradiction becomes more direct. At one extreme statements made by the expedients display neither precision nor integration; the two poles of potential contradictions, seldom clearly distinguished, seldom come together. Towards the other end of the range, where sharp definitions are valued, they do so frequently, the (A-)SPGB for example holding that the workers do and do not control society, that the socialist revolution will and will not entail the immediate abolition of capitalism, that in capitalism the power of the master class does and does not rest upon its ownership of the means of production, that the people living in a socialist society will and will not be free to decide how to run it, and that their own party does and does not consist entirely of members of the working class.

And in s.i., of course, self-contradiction wins recognition and acceptance; from NIAT it follows that relative truth lies with both sides of every contradictory pair.

from Ideological Commentary 54, Winter 1991.