George Walford: Notes for Critics

IC is published for a number of reasons, one of them being to expose systematic ideology to criticism. A number of readers have responded (though the [A-]SPGB have been surprisingly quiet) and among other benefits derived we are now able to list some of the most common misunderstandings. We shall, of course, make extra efforts to avoid these in future; in the meantime we set out below what we do say on these subjects, in order to save future critics and ourselves the labour and embarrassment of correction. Systematic ideology demonstrates or implies, and IC maintains:

  • That the ideological structure has not always been, and probably will not always be, as it is now.
  • That society changes.
  • That socialism is not impossible, although the “socialism” of the (A)SPGB is so improbable as not to provide a reasonable objective.
  • That the more advanced or higher ideologies are of no greater value, except for certain specific purposes, than the less advanced or lower.
  • That it is not lack of intelligence which prevents the working class (and the capitalist class) accepting “socialism.” (Would you really expect to find us saying that “socialists” are brighter than other people?)

If you come across any statement of ours which seems to suggest the contrary, please let us know so we can clarify, modify, or if necessary retract it.

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Blue Versus Green

IC has been saying that the Green movement belongs in the same general ideological category as the reformists and revolutionaries, namely the eidodynamic. Now Mrs. Thatcher is reported to be showing concern for the environment, but this does not show either that she is moving to join Mr. Klnnock or that IC was wrong. According to the Sunday Times of 17 October she argues that nuclear power will create a cleaner environment, which is not at all what the Greens say. Mrs. Thatcher stands where Peter Walker stood in 1979, when he was reported to advocate, as a conservationist measure, the building of bypass roads round historic cities.

from Ideological Commentary 36, November 1988.