George Walford: What Shall We Call It?
In IC13 we pointed out that the “racial” struggle in South Africa is better understood as an ideological conflict. The same thing applies, of course, to “racial” struggles elsewhere, but not only to these. It applies, for example, to the “feminist” movement.
Consider the belief that women are inclined by their gender toward gentle, peaceful, placatory behaviour in social and political affairs, men by their gender toward arrogant and savage behaviour in this area, so that a matriarchal society would be more inclined to peace than the present patriarchal one. Those who maintain this have to say that Mrs. Thatcher and Mrs. Gandhi are not women as they are using the term, and this is to admit that what they are sneaking of is not a gender-linked difference; on examination it turns out to be an ideological one. The gentleness in social and political affairs they ascribe to “women” is a feature of the major ideology expressed in politics by the movement often known (significantly) as the “soft” lefts: the movement which seeks to reach its aim of a harmonious society by peaceful, gradual, evolutionary methods.
Another instance is the concept of “the mystic past,” the East seen as occupied with philosophy and mysticism against the aggressive materialism of the West. The East spoken of here is not the East as known to history, not the East of the Cultural Revolution and the Red Guards, not the East in which the Chinese rulers have slaughtered more of their people than any invader ever did, not the East where millions died in Hindu-Muslim riots, not the East of Sikh militarism, of thuggee – the ritual murder of travellers,- and of suttee, the burning alive of widows; it is not the East at all, but another projection of the same ideology.
The view, that these stereotypes of women and the East are projections of a particular ideology, is confirmed by the fact that there is another view of each of them. There is another type of “feminism,” one that thinks it a slander to present women as inherently gentle creatures, claiming that they are socially conditioned to be submissive and are potentially the equals of men in savagery and domination as in other qualities. The other view of the East is the one that regards quietism as an outcome of social conditioning, that believes the peoples of the East to be inherently as capable of violence, war and revolution as those of the West. Those approaches are both projections of the ideology appearing in politics as revolutionary communism.
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It has been announced in the Sunday Times of 23 December 1984 that Clive Sinclair is about to launch on the market an electric town car costing £400. So many more people will be able to have their own car. But if many more come on to the road that will be the end of relatively uncontrolled private transport in the towns.
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Mother, driven frantic by her child’s persistent misbehaviour at table, finally exploded: ‘AND DON’T EAT WITH FOOD IN YOUR MOUTH!’
from Ideological Commentary 16, January 1985.