George Walford: Famine

So far as productive and distributive facilities go, famines are no longer unavoidable catastrophes. They are not, in that curious¬†phrase, “acts of God,” If not deliberately caused by human agency they are least allowed to happen, and not altogether at random; in Western Europe, North America and Australasia famine no longer looks like a serious… read more »

George Walford: A Prize for the Prince

In Denver teenage girls are paid $1 a day not to get pregnant. MPs could be freed of their party chains by introducing the secret vote to Parliament. Should all estate agents be put out of business (and their staffs out of jobs) by having conveyancing done between buyer and seller through a computer at… read more »

George Walford: Precision, Political and Religious

The Church of England has been described as the Tory Party at prayer, and the connection between nonconformism and liberalism is hardly less close. Both refuse comfortable compliance, displaying a cross-grained determination to get things right, both insist on freedom of thought and conscience yet hold back from fundamental interference with accepted relationships; as liberalism… read more »

Mary Cole: The Systematic Supernatural / Systematic Ideology as a Framework for the Origin, Function, and Alteration of Religion

Winner, 2013 George Walford International Essay Prize. In an evolutionary context, a belief in the supernatural is costly. Evolutionary cost refers to anything that reduces an individual’s eventual reproductive success from what that individual would otherwise achieve. Such cost includes unnecessary practices that either neglect or consume resources that otherwise could be used provision oneself… read more »

George Walford: Precision

Gellner E. 1988 Plough, Sword and Book; the structure of human history. London: Collins Harvill, 288 pages ¬£15. In this book Professor Gellner distinguishes three stages of society: first came hunting-gathering (the “hunger-gatherers” on p.33 is presumably a misprint), next based on the single discovery of food-production, and finally (so far) industrial, based on the… read more »

George Walford: Editorial Notes (45)

HEGEL was a humourist. Must have been, since Terrell Carver writes of his “post-humorously collected lectures”. The remark comes from Friedrich Engels, his, life and thought (MacMillan 1989 p. 71) and apart from one transposition of Hegel’s Christian names is the only misprint in the book. ENGELS to Marx: “What the proletariat does we know… read more »

George Walford: Besides Status and Contract

Books which make an impression get absorbed into the general trend of thought. Only in this way can they play their full part, but some are worth returning to, among them Maine’s Ancient Law or, to present it in its full glory, Ancient Law, its connection with the early history of society and its relation… read more »

George Walford: From Politics to Ideology

This article follows on from the one entitled THE POLITICAL SERIES in IC34. The six groups spoken of are the main-sequence political movements, those known in Britain as conservatism, liberalism, socialism and communism, with the non-political people preceding conservatism and anarchism (including the (A-)SPGB) following communism. – GW We now have before us six groups… read more »

George Walford: In Pursuit of Precision

He calculated happiness, invented both the modern jail and the word “intentional” and now sits, though with a waxen head, in University College. He published little of his own work, but produced some 70,000 sheets of manuscript to be turned into books by other people, some of the most influential first appearing in French and… read more »

George Walford: Invisible Women

Judy Greenway recently addressed an anarchist discussion group on the subject: INVISIBLE WOMEN: PROBLEMS IN ANARCHIST-FEMINIST HISTORY. Her theme was that although the anarchist movement could hardly have functioned without the women selling literature, writing, taking printed sheets from the press and performing other unsung tasks, most of them remain unmentioned in the histories. Using… read more »