George Walford: Grub and Ethics

One source of opposition to systematic ideology is the theory that, in the words of Karl Marx: “It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence but, on the contrary, their social existence determines their consciousness.” (1) The view of s.i. as asserting that consciousness determines existence is of course a misconception –… read more »

George Walford: We Are Not Alone

On finding the essence of s.i. expressed, better than we have been able to put it ourselves, by somebody who has almost certainly reached it independently (and incidentally, in the course of other work), it is difficult to know whether to feel pleased or disconcerted. This is by M. I. Finley: A ruling ideology is… read more »

George Walford: The Wages of Ideology

Systematic ideology claims to deal with practical matters as well as theoretical, and there is nothing much more practical than wages. The limited conception of ideology commonly used, both in everyday discussion and by the academics, occupies a different sphere from wages. Ideology in this sense is “false consciousness,” it belongs to the realm of… read more »

George Walford: Splits and Trots

The Observer of 27 October included a report on the affairs of the Workers’ Revolutionary Party. (Its members call themselves Trotskyists, but the party might he better termed Redgravist; it seems to be the connection with the actress, rather than with the Russian politician, that wins it publicity). One group within the party wants to… read more »

George Walford: If it Ain’t Bust Don’t Fix it (2)

(Or: Yesterday’s Solutions are Today’s Problems). This series began in IC21 [If It Ain’t Bust Don’t Fix It], and its purpose is to present evidence showing that reform is not always a good thing. Sometimes it is a very bad thing, introducing an abuse or malfunction worse than the one it was intended to correct…. read more »

Austin Meredith: The Dying Dictionary

Here’s something for your IC topic “The End of Work.” Not only has the typesetting industry been eliminated by computers (see IC18 p. 6 Ed.), but the reference-book industry has been eliminated. A single twelve-inch laserdisk will now store two gigabytes of information. That is to say that, if there existed forty different encyclopedias the… read more »

George Walford: Academic Ideology

We recently attended a meeting at which a professor of sociology was speaking on ideology. What we have to say about his talk is not intended to be hostile and is not directed only at the ideas held by him personally, but it may be regarded as uncomplimentary, so it is perhaps better not to… read more »

George Walford: Of Apples and Oranges

Systematic ideology has a lot to say about ideological groups, and the use of this concept sometimes provokes objections. (In what follows we use personal names but these are to be read as referring in each case to the person’s body of published work; we do not claim knowledge of their private behaviour and cannot… read more »

George Walford: Success at Last

THE SOCIALIST STANDARD for September 1985 declares on its cover that capitalism demands both your money and your life. What alternative does the party offer? Under (Anarcho-) Socialism you would have no money at all and, if they are right in saying that this system would solve social problems, no life either, since the only… read more »

George Walford: They Didn’t Otter

Whoops! Sorry about that. Otters are in danger of extinction in Britain, and the intention is to breed them in a protected area for release. Since the conditions which have brought them near extinction will still be operative the prospect of re-establishing them as wild creatures seems doubtful. The fox is in no danger of… read more »