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Free speech

ConsIStent InconsIStency

The Saturday afternoon meeting of the Socialist Party at Glasgow's Exchange Square was "honoured" by the attendance of some members of the International Socialists who, not having a meeting of their own to bore people with, decided to latch on to ours instead. Immediately, our speakers were taken to task for not doing anything about "the current urgent problem facing the working class".

"Which urgent problem?"

"Unemployment. You never protest against these problems!"

"Wrong", the speaker replied. "That's precisely what I am doing this afternoon: protesting not merely against unemployment, but all the problems the working class as a whole suffer directly under capitalism".

"But that's not positive enough. What you should be doing is getting out on the streets and marching. That gets definite results."

Eysenck at LSE: Socialist Defends Free Speech

On Tuesday 8 May Professor Eysenck, who holds certain controversial views about the intellectual abilities of American negroes, was forcibly prevented from expressing his views at the London School of Economics. Responsibility for this political censorship was claimed by a Maoist group. Our comrade Dom Zucconi, an LSE student expressed Socialist opposition to this suppression of free speech, as the following report from the Daily Telegraph of 11 May shows:

    “Tuesday's incident was last night described as a "disgrace and discredit to socialism and a brief for fascism" by Mr. D. Zucconi, a student who described himself as a member of the Socialist Party of Great Britain when he proposed the motion to apologise to Professor Eysenck.

    'How does one best deal with fascism? With the butt-end of a rifle or with ideas? The political process is a battle of ideas and, unless you can rebut these concepts, you are lost', he said.

Review: Students; Labour in Office; Immigration

Why Students Demonstrate

As any surviving Suffragette will agree, demonstrators, in their time, are rarely popular—a fact which contains the seeds of its own consolation. Most workers, accepting their lot, are quick to condemn anyone who tries to disturb their apathy with protests drawing their attention away from the television set and onto social problems.

So it is that the students are denounced wholesale, as long haired layabouts who dissipate wildly generous grants in promiscuous sex and punch ups with the police—and their horses.

This, of course, is a maliciously distorted picture. The majority of students scrape by on meagre grants, and have to swot hard for the simple reason that, being workers, they must pass their exams on schedule. Even the small minority who may go in for violent demonstrations are by no means the dirty villains they are made out to be.

The Religious Mentality

    "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of spiritless conditions. It is the opium of the people." (Marx, Introduction to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Law)

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