George Walford: Editorial Notes (43)

IC apologises for the late appearance of this issue. For the past two years and more a replacement for Ideologies and their Functions has been under way, and these last weeks have been taken up with final correction and preparation for press. Beyond Politics, an outline of systematic ideology, is expected in March. 160 pages, £9.95 hardback, £2.95 paperback (£1.95 to IC subscribers).

From January 1st, 1990, the address of IC will be: Ideological Commentary [address]

CONSTANT rewriting of the historical record by the Soviets produced a Russian joke: “Who can tell what is going to happen yesterday? Raven, the Anarchist quarterly (No. 8), reports this and goes on to show the truth of it; in 1988 secondary school examinations had to be cancelled because the rewriting of text-books required under Gorbachev’s reforms had not been completed.

A NOTICE is being prepared for the editorial desk of IC: The buck went thataway.

ABOUT the nearest thing we have to an absolute standard by which to judge a society is its ability to maintain human life, and between 1965 and 1986 life expectancy in two of the more advanced capitalist countries increased; in England and Wales by 4.7 per cent, in Japan by 7.7 per cent. (Independent 22 Dec 89). The change will tend to increase pressure on the environment, showing once more that the trouble with capitalism comes less from its failures than from its unbalanced success.

THINKING is the articulation of an ideology.

THE DECEASED had requested that his favourite song be played: Every Time We Say Goodbye. But the wrong tape was inserted, and the mourners in the crematorium chapel were presented with Smoke Gets in Your Eyes. (Daily Mirror 31 Oct 89)

VIOLENCE is commonly taken as a synonym for conflict, but the validity of this is debatable. The resort to violence sometimes. (often? always?) indicates less a commitment to conflict than a determination to end it, at whatever cost.

AN AMERICAN Senator, after some unfortunate encounters with the less successful products of modern educational systems, exploded: If they teach sex education the way they teach everything else, we’ll soon have the kids unable to do it.

“AS RESEARCHERS who have ventured to influence social policy rapidly discover, it is not sufficient to send copies of research articles or books to policy-makers; active involvement in the political process is what is needed.” (Kenji Hakuta in TLS 17 Nov.)

THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION was a terrible mistake. Fed up with politics, Lenin had decided to join the circus, but instead of a trained seal they brought him a sealed train.

OLD PEOPLE getting O levels, A levels and degrees, while most children learn little and that little reluctantly. Is educational effort being misdirected? Is education too good, too valuable and important, to be wasted on children who reject it?

HAVE YOU ever wondered why lace-collectors are such muscular types? It’s the books they use. Some of them such as Levey’s Lace, a History and Ricci’s Old Italian Lace, weigh more than most iron-pumpers would want to tackle.

IT USED to be “Don’t call us, we’ll call you,” but the telephone-answering machine (any ideas for a handier name for it?) permits a development: “Even if you do call us we won’t answer; instead, we’ll call you back when it suits us, not you.”

from Ideological Commentary 43, January 1990.