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Hopefully our candidate will be inspired by the late Comrade
Baritz who on being ‘..banned from entering a meeting of the Social Democratic Federation… climbed on the roof and blew a clarinet down the ventilator shaft, ensuring that the meeting could not continue until he was eventually permitted to take a seat inside’ (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moses_Baritz).
Former member Shane Roberts, who, unlike me, is still working as a nurse, recently replied to this article:
Only One Side Gets to Tell Their Story When Nurses Disagree About Covid – The Daily Sceptic
‘Not sure about the Daily Sceptic article- yes, they should have been allowed to have it published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing, but ultimately it still reads like an intellectual version of unwarranted conspiracy theories.
In any conspiracy, someone must ultimately benefit from the deception, otherwise what is the point of it? And for such a conspiracy to literally encompass the whole world- that’s a lot of people to be “in” on it!
The best justification I have found for it all to be a hoax (or, at best, exaggerated) is that all the PPE appears to be made in China. I have joked about this to various people but never advanced it as a serious suggestion. Otherwise- who benefits? Everyone is affected by these policies- arguably the poor to a greater extent but it’s still, to say the least, a major inconvenience to everyone. I can assure you that we in the NHS have to wear masks at all times at work, and socially distance- yes, we may have relaxed our standards to a degree but they are still there. Twice-weekly lateral flow testing? Yes, we are obliged (or, technically, “strongly advised”) to do that- why, if there is no real threat?
Yes, it’s a nuisance (to say the least), but to deny its seriousness is to me highly irresponsible. As the old saying goes, freedom of speech does not mean the right to shout “Fire!” in a crowded theatre. I agree that there is something that doesn’t quite ring true about the whole thing, but, thinking logically, I am forced to conclude that this is only due to my lack of experience of anyone (seriously) affected by COVID.’
Thank you for posting these., and to all the Comrades involved in their production. I look forward to hearing the recordings at work this afternoon.
Thank you for updating this useful & informative guide.
Stephen Murphy writes as an ‘avid reader’ of our Journal yet his question suggests otherwise. The very idea of socialist society seeking to persecute people meeting to meditate, ponder, ‘pray’ or forbid them from doing so is anathema to us. Similarly, we can reassure him that there would be no active campaign to eradicate what remains of religion in a socialist world, or any attempt made to dictate majoritarian views. There is, of course, one caveat: do no harm. Thus a post-capitalist world striving to leave its primitive past behind is unlikely to accept circumcision for non-medical reasons, FGM, virginity tests, marriage to children, etc. Such practices should be thrown in the dustbin of history along with creation ‘science’ for example.
Religion has been described as our first attempt at science. And with our increasing understanding of the world around us and beyond has been in retreat, relying on the fog of faith, eschewing evidence and reason. The concept of an all-knowing/loving/powerful creator god, which many religions share, just does not square with our ‘design’. Consider, we are made largely out of bacteria, viruses, fungi and archaea, our eyes see less than 1 percent of the light spectrum, we have sub-optimal plumbing (breathing, eating, excretory and reproductive) and are programmed to die (yet Turritopsis dohrnii medusa, a jellyfish. is immortal!). Furthermore, at least 40 percent of animal species are parasites, and over 99 percent of all species that ever lived are extinct, the result of five mass extinctions prior to our arrival. This staggering series of creative cockups does lend support, however, to the idea proposed by some Christians, that their God has blessed us with Trump! Joking aside, there is good reason here to agree with Bakunin: “A jealous lover of human liberty, and deeming it the absolute condition of all that we admire and respect in humanity, I reverse the phrase of Voltaire, and say that, if God really existed, it would be necessary to abolish him.”
The Socialist party of Great Britain asks, “When did the people of Venezuela get collective ownership of the means of production?” This is part of that perpetual argument, “True socialism has never been tried.” If the argument of the Socialist party is that many who claim to be acting in the name of economic equality get into power, focus their efforts on securing their grip on power, and then act in their own interest and only their own interest . . . yeah, no kidding. Thanks for noticing, guys:
One of my favorite Twitter accounts is the official Twitter feed of the Socialist party of Great Britain. Folks often criticize me for engaging with it because it is so irrelevant, even in socialist circles. That in itself is a kind of accomplishment. It’s like the guy who attends Civil War reenactment-society meetings, but dresses in full Klingon battle regalia and screams at everyone that no one knows how to fight Romulans. “You call yourselves warriors, but none of you even knows how to swing a Bat’leth!” Virtually every time anyone says anything critical of Maduro’s — or Stalin’s — socialism, the SPGB Twitter feed leaps into action, raining “ACKSHULLYS” down like a UFC fighter beating on a 98-pound mugger. “Actually” real socialism is collective ownership of the means of production! Real socialism has never been tried! Soviet Communism was “state capitalism!” You can almost smell the old socks and stale urine wafting up from the guy tweeting from some public-library computer, his overstuffed shopping cart full of dog-eared copies of Das Kapital and back issues of Juggs close by his side. But that’s kinda what I like about the SPGB. At least they take their ideas seriously. They’ve constructed a wholly hypothetical alternative world that is simultaneously as plausible and impossible as Middle Earth or Westeros or a great meal at a Wolfgang Puck Express at the Newark airport. It sounds like it could be real, and it’s kind of fun to think about, but it’s not actually reality. It’s like they think they can pluck the Platonic ideal of a hamburger out of the ether and use it as a rhetorical cudgel to say a Five Guys burger “isn’t a real hamburger! Real hamburgers have never been tried!” Even the Wikipedia entry on the SPGB says: “The party’s political position has been described as a form of impossibilism.”
Cited here: Cognitive Dissonance: The Psychological Phenomenon that Explains Why Intellectuals Can’t Stop Believing Socialism Works
One of my favorite guilty pleasures is the Socialist Party of Great Britain’s Twitter feed, which insists daily that the socialist ideal has never been tarnished by real-world socialists. A tweet permanently affixed to the top of their page reads: “Are you about to tell us ‘Socialism was tried in Russia’ or ‘Look at Venezuela’ etc? It has NEVER EXISTED! It comes AFTER global capitalism!”http://lat.ms/2BCKi6e
ERNIE McKONEDeath struck Haringey Branch for the third time in recent months with the passing of Comrade E.L. (Ernie) McKone. at the age of 79. Ernie first came into contact with the Party in 1918 through its outdoor meetings. He had been in the army during the First World War but deserted in France after stopping by a pond to take a drink and seeing a human arm floating in the water. At one point in the early forties there were four McKones in the Party – Ernie, his son and two brothers. Like a number of members, he had to drop out of Party activities during the 1939-45 war but rejoined in 1956.Being self-employed he was able to speak his mind freely and would often button-hole passers-by outside his house and put the Socialist case to them. Despite declining health in later years he was a regular attender at the Branch and was constantly urging it into activity. Our sympathathies go to his wife and family.JULIAN VEIN(Socialist Standard, November 1978)