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Stan Parker

Equality Means Diversity

 Socialism—the society we desire and work for— means a world in which all people will be social equals. There will be no owners of property and no non-owners, no rich and no poor, neither superior nor inferior classes, “ races ” or sexes. Why, it may be asked, is such a state of affairs desirable?

 There is, of course, one very obvious answer. It will give better material conditions to those who now go hungry, badly clothed or poorly housed—in short, to those who suffer any form of poverty. It is the expression of their demand, as Oscar Wilde put it, to be seated at the board instead of being grateful for the crumbs that fall from the rich man’s table.

Book Reviews: 'The Abolition of Britain', & 'Socialism and Communication - Reflections on Language and Left Politics'

Is Britain being abolished?

'The Abolition of Britain'. By Peter Hitchens. (Quarter Books)

It certainly is according to rabid right-wing Daily Express columnist Peter Hitchens. Hitchens, who is critical of Mrs Thatcher and regards Michael Portillo as being too liberal, has set out his stall in a book which argues that the post-war period (especially since the 60s) has seen the gradual erosion of everything that once characterised Britain as a great independent Empire nation.

What to do About the H-Bomb

The probable consequences of using the hydrogen bomb as an act of war must now be familiar to everyone. The newspapers, screens and radio have given enough facts and pictures of the latest tests to leave us in no doubt about the “progress” that has been made in the development of atomic weapons since the days of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Almost as often as we hear descriptions of the tremendous destructive power of these weapons, we hear a demand to “ban” them. That revulsion at the prospects is widespread cannot be doubted—only the form and direction of this revulsion is questionable. Often the grave issues involved are reduced to a question that seems to ask no more than “Are you for or against the Bomb?" Yet the question and the answer are made meaningless by the fact that no one wants the hydrogen bomb to be used, not even those who are in favour of carrying on war with the "conventional” weapons.

Book Review: 'Class and Class Conflict in Australia'

Class down under

'Class and Class Conflict in Australia', edited by Rick Kuhn and Tom O'Lincoln, Longman, Melbourne, 1996.

This is a collection of chapters written by a dozen "left" Australian intellectuals and is edited by two of them. The editors describe the "immediate goal" of the book as “to demonstrate the power of class analysis in explaining and criticising contemporary Australian society". They speak for all the contributors in claiming to draw on the Marxist traditions of the old and new left. They reject Stalinism, but a chapter on labour leadership and reference in another chapter to the challenge of building "alternative leaderships" suggest a leaning towards Trotskyism.

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