George Walford: The Ideological Pyramid (59)

The major ideologies, outlined on the facing page, have developed through history. Each of them provides the conditions which permit the next one to emerge, and each of them has fewer people attached to it than the one before. The diagram below indicates the outcome, the ideological structure of contemporary society, but the model needs… read more »

George Walford: Meet Systematic Ideology (59)

(Revision of September 1992) IDEOLOGICAL COMMENTARY announces itself as a journal of systematic ideology (s.i.), but it does not claim final knowledge of this theory; the formulation that looked like the ultimate last month needs alteration now, and the account given here undergoes continuing revision. S.I. starts from observation of the limited success achieved alike… read more »

George Walford: What’s Wrong with S.I.? (59)

IC56 bore on its cover a stepped pyramid, IC57 a straight-sided one; the change indicates recovery, if not from an error then at least from an imbalance. It also illustrates the importance, when theorising, of striving to formulate assumptions, bringing them out where they can be seen and criticized. The stepped pyramid suggests that each… read more »

George Walford: The (Anarcho-) Socialist Parties (59)

Systematic ideology points to regularities in political behaviour, one of the more important being that as hostility towards existing society increases, so numbers diminish. At one end of the range, acceptance of existing conditions displayed by thousands of millions. At the other, direct opposition to society as it is, manifested by numbers that approach vanishing… read more »

George Walford: Domination

Thackeray had doubtless no intention of illustrating ideological theory, and for all we know he may have been unfair to Louis XIV, but his drawing does bring out the way in which ideological function (in this case that of domination) overrides personal qualities. from Ideological Commentary 59, February 1993.

George Walford: Ideology in the Reviews (59)

Reviewing Lewis Wolpert, The Unnatural Nature of Science (Faber), Steven Rose notes that modern science differs from Greek and other ancient sciences by being powerfully interventionist. Science as we know it originated in the 17th Century, with Newtonian mechanics and Bacon [1]. (And, we may add, with the rise of Nonconformism and what was later… read more »

George Walford: The Power of the Helpless

Just below the surface of orthodox thinking there hovers the idea that opposites are not only opposed but also in some deep way united. Buddhism assures us that complete attachment brings total unity, anarchists propose restrictions to win freedom, Zen holds emptiness to be fullness, an old saw has it that everything in general is… read more »

George Walford: Marxists

MARXISTS tell us that people have to eat, and produce their food, before they can think. If these highfalutin intellectuals would only turn away from their idealistic theorising for long enough to look at the actual, concrete, living, historical, social, material reality, they would see that people neither eat nor produce food without thinking about… read more »

George Walford: Navigation

NAVIGATION was long known among its practitioners as the inexact science. Far from contraverting the definition of the central feature of science as the pursuit of precision this rather confirms it, for the phrase recognises inexactitude as distinguishing navigation from the other sciences. Navigators always did strive for accuracy and have eagerly taken up the… read more »

George Walford: Guess the Date

GUESS the date of this one: Sunday next will be May Day. That there will be trouble because of the Anarchist and Socialist movements there is little doubt; but the steps that have been taken during the past week are calculated to maintain the peace and to secure property at all hazards. It’s from the… read more »