George Walford: Marx Was Wrong

In 1857 the two German socialist parties, one following Marx and the other Ferdinand Lasalle, joined to form one organisation. This took place at a congress held at Gotha, and they went on to issue the Gotha Programme. Any idea that this foretold the end of dissension among socialists was quickly put down; Marx responded… read more »

George Walford: The Future of Fundamentalism

From the French Revolution Forward society seemed to be growing more open, more secular, more rational. Education and literacy spread, free thought and even outright atheism became socially acceptable, democracy largely replaced monarchy, and a prospect of socialism, communism, even anarchy, opened in the distance. The Great War revealed other possibilities, but that got dismissed… read more »

George Walford: Notes & Quotes (64)

EXPEDIENCY: the ideology in which conscience comes as a still, small voice saying somebody may be watching. LIBERAL reformers of the 19th C feared an extended franchise: ‘The masses were then, as now, more conservative than their champions: (Peter Gay in The Cultivation of Hatred). AN ideology is a way of organising reality. ANOTHER driver… read more »

George Walford: How Say You?

Kevin Maxwell was recently arrested in an early-morning swoop by the Serious Frauds Office. Television showed him being taken to a police vehicle, his arm grasped by a constable. Since he is officially innocent until convicted, it is hard to see how this treatment can be justified. Bill Bloggs has been remanded in custody. Bill… read more »

George Walford: The Value of Tradition

Roger Scruton comes closer to providing a theory of the Right than do most of its supporters. Presenting a society of the Right as: ‘a spontaneous order… rich in institutions and replete with motives other than the lust for gain’ he approves its repudiation of goals, such as liberty, equality and fraternity, which derive a… read more »

George Walford: Notes and Quotes (57)

‘NOTHING’, said Henry James, ‘is my last word about anything.’ AUSTRALIANS, it appears from a remark by Anne Chisholm, refer to their Prime Minister as the Lizard of Oz. ARISTOTLE held that virtue mattered more than formal laws. (Stephen Clark) JAMES Ferguson, reviewing a recent history of anarchism, remarks that the first reaction of an… read more »

George Walford: Work! Who Needs It?

DO YOU BELIEVE IN LIFE AFTER WORK? While other things change work persists, grinning at us every Monday morning. Those who have it grumble; those without it want it. We even hear of a right to it. Unlimited education and medical care for everybody, a big detached house, a Rolls and a luxury yacht for… read more »

George Walford: Domination (56)

DOMINATION tends to spread, and the universities display this feature as much as do the other authoritarian institutions. Reviewing a clutch of books on the practice and theory of writing fiction, Malcolm Bradbury tells (not with any hostile intent), how the number of Creative Writing courses has increased. Until quite recently, in the time of… read more »

George Walford: Discovering Ideology

This is the full text, minimally edited, of a talk delivered to the South Place Ethical Society at their premises, Conway Hall, on 17 November 1991. The Society (familiar as South Place, or SPES), presents itself and its aims: “Founded in 1793, the Society is a progressive movement whose aim is the study and dissemination… read more »

George Walford: The Free Marketeers

Jean Baptiste Colbert, Minister in charge of finance under Louis XIV, asked the merchants what he could do for them; they added to the common stock of cliches with the reply: “Laissez-nous faire.” Or so the story goes. After generations as an unassimilated immigrant the phrase has now been naturalised as the demand for a… read more »