George Walford: Editorial Notes (14)

Ideological Commentary has faults, one of them being an excess of loving-kindness toward the Socialist Party of Great Britain (see Part Three). But it also has one virtue: it lives up to its name. IC consists entirely of commentary, more or less direct, on ideological behaviour, and it accepts the reality of its subject-matter. There is no suggestion in IC that the other ideologies, or any of them, could or should be eliminated or even weakened. Each of them is accepted as functional in practice and valid in theory; it is not suggested that even the anarchists and the Socialist Party are without function and validity, only that these are not what they believe than to be.

This distinguishes IC and the ideology it expresses from all other major ideologies and their expressions. The adherents of each of the others either assume or assert that their ideology alone is sufficient for the operation of a complex society. If they allow any place to the other ideologies it is a subordinate one, their own is to dominate. It is only the ideology expressed by IC that explicitly recognises that all the others possess both function and validity, that its own function is not to suppress, eliminate or displace than but to study them and relations between them with the object of facilitating the functioning and development of each one of them and thus of the society they, together, constitute.

IC does not assert its ideology against the others. Rather does it find the content and subject-matter of its ideology within the others. Without them it would have nothing to do or to say.

IC is not impartial between the ideologies, for that ‘between’ implies a standing-ground independent of them and this IC does not possess. It is, rather, identified with all of than and all their assumptions,and this means it cannot take the assumptions of any ideology, even those of its own, as being true to the exclusion of others, as being absolutely true.

In IC12 there appeared an article on the ideology of logic. It reduced each major ideology to a single assumption concerning logical relations between X and non-X, and it showed that these assumptions form a series; to this we can now add the term for the ideology expressed in IC. The series is repeated below, but here several of the formulations have been revised:

X and non-X are not logically differentiated.
X and non-X are in principle distinct.
X is X and not non-X. X is internally related to non-X.
X is also non-X. X is not X but non-X.

And for the ideology expressed by IC:

X is not, absolutely, anything.

from Ideological Commentary 14, October 1984.