"There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in"
(Leonard Cohen)
"Ignore all proffered rules and create your own, suitable for what you want to say"
(Michael Moorcock)
"Look for your own. Do not do what someone else could do as well as you. Do not say, do not write what someone else could say, could write as well as you. Care for nothing in yourself but what you feel exists nowhere else. And, out of yourself create, impatiently or patiently, the most irreplaceable of beings."
(Andre Gide)
"I want my place, my own place, my true place in the world, my proper sphere, my thing which Nature intended me to perform when she fashioned me thus awry, and which I have vainly sought all my life-time."
(Nathaniel Hawthorne)
“A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.”
(Franz Kafka)
"All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated"
(John Donne)
“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”
(Robert J. Hanlon)
"Life is beautiful, but the world is hell"
(Harold Pinter)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Secularism is Hostile to State Religion, not Religion

Clive Bone: local hero?
EXTRACT: Communists, on the other hand, call for the strict separation of church and state - meaning, to begin with, the disestablishment of the Church of England. Which is why we welcomed the initial Bideford ruling, whether it gets reversed or not. In its own small way, that points to the sort of society communists fight for - where the state/government does not privilege one faith or denomination over another and there is a fundamental equality between followers of all faiths and none.
Yet for Marxists this is only half the story. Not being liberals, we do not just want freedom of religion. We want the right to struggle against religious ideas and so - ultimately - freedom from religion. We agree with the sentence recently added to Socialist Worker’s ‘What the Socialist Workers Party stands for’ column - “We defend the right of believers to practise their religion without state interference” - even though it omits the main issue in Britain: the need for secularism; equality between all citizens in the eyes of the state. But what about the SWP itself? What does the ‘party’ think when it comes to the struggle against religious backwardness, an issue which revolutionaries cannot be neutral or ‘diplomatic’ about? Exactly the point made by Marx, of course, in his Critique of the Gotha programme.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Danger of Default Catastrophe Remains

EXTRACT: Even if the virtually impossible happens, and the Greek government over the next few days conjures up a cuts plan that entirely satisfies the EU leaders, the national parliaments in Germany, Finland and the Netherlands still have to vote on the second bailout package. Since these countries have been the most vocal critics of the bailouts - why should we subsidise these ‘lazy’ and ‘unproductive’ countries? - it is by no means an automatic certainty that they will vote in favour of the second bailout package. They will need a lot of convincing that the deal will actually make Greece’s debt sustainable again.
Then there are the long-running and torturous negotiations with Greece’s private creditors over debt restructuring, which must also be concluded before it is too late - March 20 is not that far away. Yes, Rehn may have told reporters that the “draft agreement” with the creditors is “practically finalised”, but in the new economic order nothing is guaranteed. And if the bailout deal is delayed to after the general election, then that could frighten the horses - causing the creditors to give up on Greece and backtrack on its 70% haircut. The threat of a disorderly default remains.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Greek Razor Edge

Euro: in danger
EXTRACTAnger obviously mounting, Nikos Sofianos - who sits on the central committee of Communist Party of Greece (KKE) - told a local radio station on the morning of the demonstrations that the Papademos government is “murderous”, and pledged that the KKE will “do everything in our power to stop this agreement with foreign lenders” being carried out. The troika - “We won’t let them pass”, he told his audience in demagogic fashion.
The real tragedy, of course, is that the KKE’s ‘solutions’ to the crisis in Greece - and Europe as a whole - would be just as disastrous for the working class as the troika’s austerity plans, if not more so. Withdrawal from EU “capitalist club” into splendid ‘socialist’ isolation: the ‘Albanianisation’ of Greece. A programme for true misery and impoverishment from the JV Stalin and Mao handbook.