May 28, 2020 at 9:34 am #203095AnonymousInactive
No, I think that is apt.
I was with animal rights demonstrations during the few years I was outside the Party. I continued to stress that capitalism has to be abolished and that single-issue campaigning was shortsighted.
The vegan antivivisectionists I was with were constantly being opposed by students and professors calling themselves Marxists. The word was therefore hateful to the activists.
I found the vegans obsessive and constantly talking about veganism. I dared not let them know I sometimes took dairy. They judged people passing who were fat, as I am, saying, “There goes someone full of dairy”, and so on. They had no time for “Marxists.” No surprise there, when students called us monkey-huggers, imitated monkey noises in our faces, and told us they were scientific and Marxist and told us to “get a life.”
I know, of course, that those ignorant students knew no more about Marxism than a Stasi thug, but they had alienated the animal rights people from the name for life.
We have to point out the necessity of socialism for life as a whole, and that we identify with progress in thought and sensibility and are on the side of the victim and not of the bully.
The trouble is, just as we are smirked at, the name “Marxist” has become for many sensitive and progressive people identified with a smirker, who is purely a left politico, and likes to diminish and trivialise their concerns.May 28, 2020 at 9:47 am #203096Matthew CulbertKeymaster
We can speculate about some aspects of socialism, such as creating the steady-state, zero-growth economy and explain broadly how that can be accomplished but are we wrong not to be more specific on how it can be achieved through changes in our daily diets.
Or is such conjecture risking deciding a blueprint for socialism.
The class struggle is what you eat? How we recycle? Hogwash. We already make those types of decisions.
May 28, 2020 at 9:48 am #203097
- This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by Matthew Culbert.
Interesting study just published on how chimps communicate via lip-smacking:
Of course as linguist Geoffrey Pullum pointed out in yesterday’s Times:
”It is quite plausible that rhythmic organisation of vocal gestures might be, to some extent, among the capabilities of great apes, and necessary for any development of linguistic capabilities. But the distance from rhythmic organisation of vocal gestures to language is huge.”
To be capable of language in the human’s sense required the evolution of anatomical changes in hominids such a throat capable of making a wide range of sounds and a brain capable of thinking with abstract symbols.
Other studies have suggested that human language could have developed out of the survival advantage of being able to communicate more effectively to co-ordinate hunting and other collective work activities.May 28, 2020 at 10:00 am #203099AnonymousInactive
Of course both chimps and lions co-ordinate the hunt. You will have seen on TV lionesses hunting, manoeuvring co-operatively to isolate and ambush prey.May 28, 2020 at 11:16 am #203101
Of course but who said they don’t or couldn’t. The materialist concept of “history” applies to other animals as well as humans— what is crucial for both is how they get what they need to survive (primarily food and shelter).May 28, 2020 at 11:49 am #203107alanjjohnstoneParticipant
I’m not sure what you are objecting to Matt.
<i>”The Socialist Party’s position</i>
Our position on socialism in relation to the environment may be outlined as follows.
Production for needs
A socialist society requires that the productive system as a whole should meet the needs of its members and be sustainable for the rest of nature. In other words, what humans take from nature, the amount and pace at which they do so, the way they use those materials and dispose of them after use, should all be done so as to leave nature to go on supplying and reabsorbing those materials after use.
In the long run this implies stable or only slowly rising consumption and production levels, though it does not rule out carefully planned initial rapid growth over a period to reach a level at which consumption and production could then level off. Production would be geared simply to meeting current needs and to replacing and repairing the stock of means of production (materials and instruments) required for this.
The only rationale for accumulating means of production would be to be in a position to satisfy all reasonable consumption needs, not as at present to manufacture ‘wants’ for marketing and profits. Once achieved then accumulation, or the further expansion of the stock of means of production, could stop and production levels be stabilized. “
The steady-state economy is already part of our case for socialism. Arable and animal farming (along with fishing) to provide for the food demands of society is inherently part of that decision-making which people will take into their control with socialism, shaping it to be sustainable. What food we consume today as with all commodities, is determined by the capitalist market, and choices directed very much by its big-budget advertising. Much of it is socially wasteful. While Big Ag and the handful of meat corporations dominate and steer demand then there will be little change in consumer choices.
If it is along with Bijou that you think answering how will socialism work means laying out a blueprint, then I have to disagree.
We already try to do that with a series of our pamphlets. We can reach some generalised conclusions based on basic premises and can outline broad principles or options that could be applied. We do not have to draw up a detailed farming plan for socialism, but simply and broadly demonstrate what it is possible. If we are to be given serious consideration we should be clear that our proposals are not a far-off dream but is anchored in todays realities that everyone is capable of understanding and that it is in fact a simple, practical alternative.
Have we done enough to spark our fellow-workers imagination with what is possible?
Have we done enough to latch our ideas on to the thinking that some of our fellow-workers are already exploring for themselves?
A plethora of “blueprints” for an ecologically sustainable world have been presented by the environmentalists, many containing common-sense solutions to the environmental crisis. They fail not because their renewable tech-fixes are far-fetched. They fail because capitalism is incapable of implementing them.(that is perhaps why Planet of the Humans goes a bit awry by solely dismissing new technology)
This new knowledge and innovative practice applies also to farming with agroecology and is opposed by the vested interests of industrial farming.May 28, 2020 at 12:42 pm #203114AnonymousInactive
Hear, hear!May 28, 2020 at 12:47 pm #203115Matthew CulbertKeymaster
So we already do all of that then with plenty of caveats as our primary focus is on getting rid of the capitalist madhouse and not delivering guilt trips to meat eaters?May 28, 2020 at 1:00 pm #203116AnonymousInactive
Lions Save Girl From Kidnappers
It was June in Ethiopia, and a 12-year-old girl was walking home from school when she was attacked and kidnapped by four men. They likely intended to sell her into a forced marriage. A week later, with the police in pursuit, the kidnappers were attempting to move her to a new location when a pride of lions heard her plaintive cries and rushed in.
The three lions chased off the men and sat quietly with the girl until the police arrived, then disappeared back into the brush. “They stood guard until we found her and then they just left her like a gift and went back into the forest,” said Sergeant Wondmu Wedaj. She told the authorities that while her kidnappers had beaten her, the animals had never threatened her.May 28, 2020 at 1:52 pm #203118AnonymousInactiveMay 28, 2020 at 1:58 pm #203119AnonymousInactive
Nan Hauser, a whale biologist, was in the middle of her research dive in the Pacific Ocean when a tiger shark approached. One of the whales, who are generally known to protect other species underwater, sheltered the scientist with its huge body and guided her back to the surface where her team was.
The biologist says she’s impressed by the unbelievable intuition and kindness of her beloved animals.
Brightside.meMay 28, 2020 at 2:00 pm #203120
That’s a nice story about lions. It’s a pity it’s not likely to be true. Anyway, it ended well as the lions didn’t eat her. Not that if they had we should think any worse of lions for that.May 28, 2020 at 2:07 pm #203121AnonymousInactiveMay 28, 2020 at 2:14 pm #203122AnonymousInactiveMay 28, 2020 at 2:21 pm #203123
The one about the whale seems plausible. Not too sure about Lulu the pig. The way she reacted to the human’s cries of pain certainly led to the human’s life being saved but to conclude that this reaction was intentionally aimed at bringing this result seems a step too far. A more likely explanation might be that she was frightened by the cries and that’s why she broke out.
These animals stories are nice. I am sure you have plenty about dogs. But what are you trying to demonstrate? We are all animal lovers here already.
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