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Yes Fife in the Sun

Activists across Scotland continued to celebrate the movement for change all weekend with mass actions everywhere.

As Paul Mason writes: “Something incredible is happening in Scotland. The little pin badges – Yes or No – that people wear are sparking open conversation: in the pub, the swimming baths, the post office queue. An entire country of 5 million people is asking itself, sometimes quite vociferously, what it wants to be.”

Here in Burntisland on a glorious sunny day people took to the Bin Hill and the Links to make their mark .. here’s some great photos from the day …


=Burntisland Aug 2014 035




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  1. Reblogged this on Michelle's Hen House and commented:

  2. The Earthshaker says:

    Another great video to put a smile on your face from YES Dundee https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9COb6Zgkwc

  3. Optimistic Till I Die says:

    Now I’m convinced. When looking at the 20 best posters I preferred both the look and the positive message of ‘The best way to predict the future is to create it’. And what do I see when I look at this page; it’s the same message. It works just as well despite the change in style and colour and the dozen or so people needed to present it. I reckon that’s gotta be the one to go for. And I’m more or less infallible when I know a lot of other people agree with me.

  4. gonzalo1 says:

    Guid fowlks o Burntisland, I wish ye well. fae Jimmy in Dumbarton

  5. leavergirl says:

    Watch your back, Scots. Any time now, they’ll start playing dirty. Watch the polls too, on the 18th. Vote yes!

  6. Sorry to cast a cloud on such sunny disposition but the Socialist Standard editorial writes:

    ‘If they speak consciously and openly to the working class, then they summarise their philanthropy in the following words: It is better to be exploited by one’s fellow-countrymen than by foreigners.’ (Marx, 1848)

    A separate parliament in Scotland would be a capitalist parliament. It would not provide Scottish workers with any greater control over their own lives. Scotland would remain an integral part of international capitalism. An Edinburgh sovereign parliament will leave the workers in exactly the same position as before.

    Scottish nationalism is the reaction of one section of the Scottish capitalist class to what they perceive as the declining fortunes of British capitalism and their ‘unequal’ treatment within it. They seek to keep the taxes on North Sea oil revenues and create a corporate tax structure more suited to their own needs. The SNP advocate industrial harmony and an end to class conflict. They entice Scottish workers with offers of a reformist programme and wild promises of more money and a better life. But no natural resources will be put to a sensible or beneficial use until the working class itself has gained control over the use of these valuable and non-renewable resources.

    The question of independence threatens relations between English/Welsh and Scottish workers. Scottish workers are asked to place their trust in the local employing class rather than in unity with other workers. United working-class action cannot be easily achieved by insisting that there are supposed national differences in consciousness that distinguish Scottish workers from, say, their English brothers and sisters. And certainly it is not aided by combining with particular Scottish bosses, which lead Scots working people to identify with Scottish businessmen and landowners on the basis of shared ‘nationality’.

    Working class unity enables us to combine our tactics for defending our class with the strategy of liberating our class. Socialists do not fall into the trap of the ‘progressive’ facade of nationalism. The success of the right-wing Ukrainian and Russian nationalists shows the danger of believing that radical nationalist slogans always lead to radical results. Scottish nationalism does not strengthen the campaign for socialism or create a united, class-conscious working class, but fragments and weakens it.

    To those who are in the ‘Yes’ camp, we are saying independence will not improve your condition one iota. Only class struggle could do that and only with difficulty. Any success or otherwise of any workers’ movement in Scotland depends on close ties with similar movements in England (and elsewhere). At the same time, we are not defending ‘British nationalism’ and the unity of the United Kingdom in any way. That would be an endorsement for the status quo, something we do not support. So we do not argue that the present constitutional arrangement benefits ordinary people either. The liberation for Scottish workers can only come about by overthrowing capitalism itself. If this is not done, no amount of separatism can ever succeed in bringing freedom. Instead of tragically wasting time fostering nationalism, workers should be struggling for a socialist society without national borders.

    ‘Because the condition of the workers of all countries is the same, because their interests are the same, their enemies the same, they must also fight together, they must oppose the brotherhood of the bourgeoisie of all nations with a brotherhood of the workers of all nations.’- Engels, November 29, 1847.


    1. Old thinking for an old world. We have an opportunity to create something new here with our own constitution.
      This is not the shallow nationalism of old, nor is it a re-hash of old dogma.
      It’s “All of us first” this time; let’s grab the opportunity.

      1. Saying something doesn’t make it so, Max

        The establishment remains as Tom Farmer, billionaire, explains:
        “Whatever the people decide we’ll just get on with it”

        And of course the “we” he is referring to is the few who own the country.

        Sorry to disillusion you but you really need to understand what a state is…the executive committee of the capitalist class….as that supposed old thinker whose ideas are repeatedly found to be still true, Marx, describe it.

        George Gunn, i believe you may have mixed us up with another group or simply didn’t understand what was being said to you. The SPGB has NEVER supported a new state of Palestine…I repeat NEVER EVER supported an independent Palestine and no member would declare such a position.

        Once more on your website i present the Marxist analysis.

        Professor MacKay from Edinburgh University’s School of Business explained that his research suggested that business attitudes towards independence tended to be dictated by where their customers were primarily located.

        Souter, chairman of Stagecoach, Topping, the former chief executive of William Hill, and Crerar, the founder of Crerar Hotels, were among those prepared to swing their weight behind a “yes” vote. Their push came just a day after 130 influential businessmen, including Flint, the chairman of HSBC, and Mackenzie, who runs BHP Billiton, support a No

        So it’s buses, hotels and betting shops versus international banks and mining companies. Consumer goods industries v producer goods industries.
        Big capitalists v smaller capitalists.

        In Marxist terms that is Dept I v Dept II.

        Some choice in the sides to pick!

        You don’t want City of London thieving from you, George, so opt for the robbers in Charlotte Square.

        Some choice!

        To paraphrase Tolstoy, Alasdair, “Nationalists say all other nationalisms are bad but mine is good” It seems you haven’t learned that lesson of history yet.

        Clootie, didn’t you understand the Marx quote…read it again – he was talking ironically in the words of the protectionists against free trade …he wasn’t suggesting it was better to be exploited by one own ruling class…duh! (but perhaps i should have spelled that out)

    2. Clootie says:

      They quote Marx and then contradict him?

      “…better to be exploited by one’s fellow countrymen”

      The Socialist Standard will never see a movement of the UK towards the vision it seeks.

      On the other hand I am confident that an Independent Scotland will be a much, much fairer society than at present under Westminster.

      I guess the editor at the Socialist Standard doesn’t get out much!
      His approach appears to be sit tight and protest and the World will change over night for all. The ripples in the pond don’t start until the first pebble is thrown.

      I have not seen a good example yet of Marx/Engels concept mainly due to the fact that the same people who would exploit their fellow man as a capitalist simply don the Communist Party badge and do the same. The State control of the old style Soviet/Chinese models was every bit as bad as Capitalist systems for the poor in society.

      Imperial Russia via USSR and now Capitalist Russia – they all look the same to the poor.

      The middle road with compassion is where the solution lies. I look forward to the journey after the 18th. That’s right it only STARTS on the 18th.

      1. that guy who says dat thing says:

        So what journey begun on the 19th two years ago?

        Also, that guy, Dougie, yeah you, hey Dougie your understanding of literally anything sounds like it comes from the back of cereal packets and a upside down reading of the film novelisation of Ghostbusters. You do write an awful amount of bollocks dude, still keep up the good work.

    3. umbra13 says:

      There will be much to criticise in future, as there is at present. Different goals, different judgments. And the need to identify when particular interests are cloaked as common goods. Is “a socialist society without national borders” any more than what Stirner would call a “spook”, akin to those of religion? It evacuates political particularity into an generalised idealism. It provides no discernment today than to proselytise and wait for that end of humanity.

    4. Alasdair Frew-Bell says:

      Indeed this is a very dated and stale overview of the case. Independence is a concept which transcends left and right or any other factionalism that might exist. A people united by a common vision of a new nation and a new democracy is more important than old style political sectarianism. And get it clear Scottish nationalism is in no way comparable to the “nationalisms” of central and eastern Europe. As for Scottish nationalism’s relationship with capitalism the anti-independence pro-unionist rhetoric coming from some indicates it is not a dream ticket for the fat cats.

    5. Alasdair Frew-Bell says:

      Ethnic nationalism was one of the hammers that helped demolish the old European empires in the 19th early 20th centuries. None was “perfect” but they did restore damaged identities, despised languages and cultures and importantly, in principle, restored national/popular responsibility and accountability. We have an opportunity to initiate a profound societal change. Where that leads is obviously up to us. To pass up the opportunity in the hope that something better will come along would be, given our history, irresponsible.

      1. Crubag says:

        And nationalisms aren’t neccesarily divisive, they can be uniting – Italy and Germany are obvious 19th and 20th century examples. It depends on where people see common identity and values, and therefore the best basis for trust.

  7. David h says:

    This piece is arrogant, silly and flawed. Arrogant in that it assumes the people in Scotland voting yes are stupid and being led. Most are voting yes because they seek a fairer society. Silly in that the alternative is to fight for a socialist uk – something highly unlikely to happen in our lifetime, so a waste of all our breath. If and when England moves towards being a workers republic we may want to reunite with them, and in the meantime we should support their struggle as neighbours. Flawed because once freed of the ruling classes of the Uk the people of Scotland will choose the government they want and I’m pretty confident that in such a scenario workers would not if left in the same situation they are now. Have a word with yourself vote yes and effect real change in your lifetime – starting this month.

  8. George Gunn says:

    I’ve come across this kind of infantilism before, most recently at a pro Palestinian rally on the Mound in Edinburgh during the Festival. I got talking to this lad who was selling the Socialist Standard and asked him, since he supported independence for the Palestinians – as I do – if he would be voting Yes in the referendum. He gave me the same speil as the editorial quoted above. I, for one, will be working for the rights of the working class in a new Scotland where we have the chance to improve peoples lives: something that will not be achieved in Britain where, for example, the NHS has been dissolved in 2012 and now is merely a funding stream for contractors and where trade union membership will soon be illegal but swindling the people out of billions in the City of London is not. The immigration laws alone show the UK for what it is: the most reactionary, if not fascist, country in Europe. Quite how otherwise sensible and intelligent people hang onto such illogical notions beats me. I am a socialist but I, at least, try to understand history.

    1. JBS says:

      Well said, George.

      Vote Yes to Scottish independence on September 18.

  9. Johnny come lately says:

    Poor Allan. I think he’s been listening too much to Doogie Alexander. You ought to get out a little more Allan:)

  10. arthur thomson says:

    Sixty eight years into my life I say with confidence that the insidious dogma spouted by the Socialist Standard is just so much pseudo intellectual crap. The fascism of left and right are the worst affliction that can affect any people. The campaign for Scottish self governement is an attempt to improve the quality of life of those who live in Scotland and it is already achieving that just in the act of trying. The ultimate goal must be to achieve a ‘good enough’ society to provide all of its citizens with a good quality of life. Anything less must never be acceptable, anything more is a bonus. Most people are probably familiar with the horrors of right wing fascism but if you haven’t done so then become familiar with the horrors of the Gulags, the killing fields of Cambodia, Maoism etc etc and be grateful to alanjohnstone for reminding us that the seed of fundamentalism is always there and needs to be rejected in all its forms.

  11. Douglas says:

    It is quaint – though totally irrelevant – to hear good old fashioned Marxists stilling banging the drum. The flat earthers of our time. People who believe in a scared text, just like the religious believe in a scared text. One text. One way of understanding things. History as a rational and inevitable unfolding of the enlightened future (Hegel), as a opposed to “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing” (Shakespeare).

    A very 19th century idea, Marxism. An all-embracing ideology. Can you imagine a scientist working with a 19th century manual as a reference? Or a novelist today who wrote like Sir Walter Scott? Or a tailor who made suits in the style of the 19th century? Poor Marx, a brilliant man, he would disown the Marxists of today.

    By the way, could somebody tell me what you have to do to qualify as “working class”? Am I working class enough? I earn less a year than, say, a joiner. Or a taxi driver. But I work in the liberal arts and was brought up, to my shame, in a middle class family. Where are the forms I have to fill in to qualify for that most illustrious and noble of human categories, “working class Scot”? The working class as the repository of enlightened thought, as the class of the future is one of the biggest con jobs of them all. I can’t see there is much to be gained from talking in terms of class today.

    I would rather talk about fundamental human rights than class. All the gains of the left since WWII have been gains in fundamental human rights. That;s the way forward, and in concrete policy, it would be a universal living wage. I wish we could ditch the class analytical terms which shed no light and have lost so much of their relevance…

    1. Douglas says:

      PS, happy to talk in terms of the 1% and the 99%, or the 10% and the 90% which is more accurate. Then, I know where I am.

    2. Can you imagine an evolutionary biologist rejecting the contribution of Darwin…or a physicist disowning Newton…or quantum physics renouncing Einstein…and of course after every recession, economists re-discover Marx, Douglas.

      You may wish to talk about human rights and ditch class which is exactly the aim of socialists…a class-less society but it was past class struggles and the class war that brought you the right to vote, the right to strike…and it was the fear of revolution that brought you the welfare state…its origins of course is not in 1945 Atlee but 19th century Bismarck.

      I think it is conceded now that there is only two economic classes, despite the attempts of sociologists to determine class by life-style. It is not the socialists who talk of white collar and blue collar workers.

      Arthur, i don’t think you know anything about the history of the SPGB. It has been critical of all dictatorships , both left and right and didn’t need to wait to Stalin’s gulags to denounce Lenin and Bolsheviks as corruptions of socialism.

      1. Douglas says:

        Alan, hi.

        I don’t know enough about science today to comment on whether Darwin or Einstein are all that relevant to working scientists. But I doubt they are. They made some discoveries which are important, and yes, so did, Marx, but the difference is that scientific discoveries, as Popper pointed out,can always be disproven – falsified I think is the word Popper used – whereas you cannot disprove Marxism, just as you can’t disprove Freud’s findings or any of the world’s religions.

        Hence, Marxism ain’t no science my friend..you know something is “scientific” because it is inherently always about to be disproven through public and concrete empirical experimentation; a kind of fragile knowledge, it is never absolute in its certainties. Einstein’s findings could still be disproven today, that’s how you know he dealt in science.

        In any case, I find the notion that one man working on his own in the British Library in the 19th century could up with a total theory about history beyond parody. It’s like a fairy story, and only somebody from the Judaic tradition could have written a happy end for humankind. And only somebody in the 19th century, which is an incredibly optimistic century.

        And obviously, the seeds of the most catastrophic regime in the history of the world – Stalinism – are embedded in Marxism, which deals in certainties, scientific certainties. And from there, and the class struggle and a one party state, in the hands of Imperfect Humankind, you will inevitably get the fanatics taking over and calling people “decadent bourgeoisie” etc and the Gulag. And Lenin and Marx and Stalin are all from the same family, also Trotsky. Which doesn’t mean they were all equally to blame for the maybe 80 million people Stalin killed.

        In any case, as somebody interested in the arts, I don’t deal in certainties, but uncertainties. What Keats called “negative capability”. Anybody who has all the answers, I distrust….

  12. Douglas says:

    What’s bizarre about the abject, shameless sooking up to the “working class” – the mystification and mythologising of the Scottish working class and their innate goodness; perpetuated by countless Scottish writers and artists, almost a prerequisite for the job – is that, so often, it is middle class people who do it.

    Maybe a guilt complex? Possibly. Or maybe just an empty line, a rallying call, a battle cry. “The Scottish working class: the best people on the earth”….

    And avoid thinking of the complexities of the modern world, please, that might lead you into doubt… .

  13. P.R.D. says:

    YES is not a political stance it merely defines itself against NO, in the referendum context both are firmly set on the agenda of progressive politicking. Post indyref not one of the YES/NO protagonists of the left or right will have shifted from that progressive agenda. The referendum has appropriated Scottishness to be the vanguard of a progressive putsch.

    The YES outcome will be an indifferent independence built on the progressive shifting sands of globalisation that will overwhelm the claim of a Scots national identity.

  14. Douglas says:

    What I don’t see in the Left in Scotland – and yes, I’m being provocative, so feel free to be provoked – is any kind of acknowledgement of the utter catastrophe of Satlinism or Maoism for that matter. It’s like it never happened. Somebody perverted/corrupted the purity of the Revolution. Twice….

    In Scotland, folk still quote Brecht quite the thing – Brecht who like Sartre, say, were completely oblivious or else obstinate in their defence of Marxism. And the whole of the East European intelligentsia liquidated under Stalinism and his successors, while Western European intellectuals called for a Marxist revolution?

    What about the poet Boris Pasternak and his heroic attempts to confront Stalinism? And then all of the Russian poets Stalin liquidated quite the thing? Osip Mandelshtam anybody? Why does nobody every seem to quote poor Mandelshtam?

    I don’t get it. But I lived in Europe for twenty years, where they are a lot less optimistic and a lot more cynical about the human species than in Scotland, which hasn’t seen a battle take place on its soil since 1746 and lives in a kind of romantic bubble – for better or for worse.

    1. Douglas says:

      And, aye, I’m talking about James Kelman, Tom Leonard, Liz Lochhead, and Alan Bisset say? Or Ken Currie in the arts? People I respect in many ways, but who never seem to address what the Revolution achieved which was a total holocaust….

      And Susan Sontag said, the public intellectual has a duty to the Truth and Justice, but, if you have to choose between the two, you have to choose the Truth over Justice.

      The truth even more than justice, even where it hurts your own cause…and who on the Left in Scotland does that? I don’t see anybody saying, actually we were wrong about the Marxist Revolution…

  15. Craig B says:

    It’s fortunate therefore that the movement for Scottish independence is not a “Marxist revolution”, and very far from being a “holocaust”. We don’t need to split over the question of what is right and wrong about the ideologies underlying it, any more than we have needed to allow religious differences to undermine the movement. Anyone, Left or Right, has a right, even a democratic duty, to participate – if not as an active campaigner, then at least as a voter.

  16. George Gunn says:

    Alan J Johnstone. I think I understood perfectly what the boy was saying. The irony of his position did not seem to phase him. But no matter… Marx was right in almost all he said in his critique of capitalism, especially in “Wages, Price and Profit” (1865). However, I believe an independent Scotland is the best way to protect the interests of workers and all of the common people against the greed of capitalism. In the present conditions I also believe Marx would see the practical sense in what we are trying to achieve in our country. He was a practical thinker and lived in the real world.

    1. Apologies for the tedious long reply.

      The Karl Popper critique often gets repeated but rarely does the Marxist reply to it get referred to. This 4 part article may be useful follow-up reading for you, Douglas.

      He argued that the test of a scientific theory is not whether it can be verified, since no amount of observations can verify it, but that it is open to being falsified by experience. A theory is said to be scientific if it fits the facts and generates predictions capable of being proved wrong. Popper thought that his philosophy could demarcate between science and non-science but is not itself a scientific theory (so the objection ‘What falsifies the falsifiability principle?’ is entirely misplaced). Popper’s explanation of the logic of scientific discovery has been widely influential, but it is overshadowed by Thomas Kuhn’s explanation of how science is actually conducted in practice. Kuhn argues that normal science is governed by paradigms which dictate what kind of scientific work should be done and what kinds of theory are acceptable. Eventually normal science produces a series of anomalies which cannot be explained within a paradigm, leading to a scientific revolution (‘paradigm shift’) as the old paradigm is replaced by a new one.

      In The Open Society and Its Enemies Popper claimed that Marxism is not a scientific theory since it cannot be falsified, or else when it was falsified its supporters shifted their ground to protect their theory. His attack on Marxism was based partly on a misunderstanding of what Marx wrote and partly on the experience of the Communist Party in Russia. Popper concluded that the totalitarian nature of the Communist Party in action in Russia showed that Marx’s theories were totalitarian, rather than the more plausible conclusion that the Communist Party’s claim to be Marxist was and is false.

      Popper criticised Marx using a misquotation in his book The Poverty of Historicism. Popper attacked the notion that there are laws of human development, and that knowing these laws enable us to predict the future course of human history. He misquoted from Marx’s Capital, where he says the aim is ‘to lay bare the economic law of motion of human society’ (i.e. any human society). Marx actually wrote that his aim was to lay bare the economic law of motion of ‘modern society’ (i.e. capitalist society). The economic law of capitalism, Marx’s law of value, is in fact quite specific to capitalism. The Socialist Party does not claim to predict the future course of human history; but we do claim to know how capitalism operates and what it is and is not capable of doing.

      Why scientific socialism? The Law of Evolution – the great immutable “law of change.” – may be stated as follows: all things in the universe today are the results of the actions of the forces of the universe upon the matter of the universe applied throughout the eons of time, producing innumerable changes, which have finally developed higher and more permanent forms of life out of those which were lower and less stable. The physical conditions which compelled changes in animated nature, and under which they occurred, are usually denominated “the environment” – the surrounding influences.

      Joseph Dietzgen, in his philosophical works, demonstrated the fact that all of man’s ideas come from the outside — that no thought ever sprang spontaneous in the human brain. In other words — human thoughts, human ideas, spring from human contacts and experiences with the physical universe about us. Man’s ability to think — consciousness — the thing we call the “Ego” — the mind — is a natural development through the orderly operation of the laws of the Universe, and, as such, it may be studied, analysed and classified. The science of psychology takes its place naturally as part of the larger and more extended sciences of biology and anthropology. Whim and caprice disappear, and the laws of cause and effect are seen operating in an orderly and rational sequence. Individuals takes their place as a resultant of the experiences of their forebears and their own contacts with the world around them. Their environment and the history of the human race have made them what they are. Knowing the intimate history of any person, and with a given human situation, we may confidently predict what his or her actions will be. Similar experiences beget similar ideas. The average of the experiences of a community, or a class, begets the central idea of that community, or class; therefore, in attempting to explain the tendency of any such community,or class to orient about some central idea, or concertedly move towards some definite goal, we must discover those similarities of experience which furnish the common ground for similarity of thought and unity of action. Mankind is a gregarious species. We herd together in social organisations, and our history is not complete without an examination of the relations which people sustain toward each other.

      Marx’s researches into history observed certain classes of men always standing together—always appearing upon the same side of the great historical arguments—and, upon a careful analysis, he surmised that the thoughts and actions of men are determined by the manner in which they obtain their living. The same being only another way of stating the evolutionary truths, that man is a product of his environment; and that his thoughts and ideas are generated by his contacts and experiences with the world around him which is translated into Marxist terminology as the Materialist Conception of History. All the social phenomena in any historical epoch may be explained upon the basis of the method of wealth production and exchange existing at that time. Immediately history ceases to be a mere record of the achievements of individuals. Instead, it becomes a moving panorama of the struggles for supremacy of the various classes that have successively dominated society. Fundamental causes are seen at work, continuously and methodically shaping the trend of events. All the apparently disjointed and unrelated facts marshal themselves into orderly array, and take their places as sign posts along the road of history.

      The pre-eminent fact of history is the institution of private property with the division of the people into classes in the terms of wealth and power — the separation of society into opposing camps — which carry on a continuous warfare among themselves – the class struggle. And in each civilization we find a dominant class imposing its will upon the balance of society and maintaining the basic method of wealth production and distribution of that time. All the laws, the religion, the educational system or lack of educational system were designed to retain that class in its position of power and privilege. Internal peace depended upon the relative degrees of acquiescence in the general scheme manifested by the secondary and subject classes, and their ability to wrest concessions from the dominant class by a display of their organised strength.

      If, like Karl Popper, you are a fallibilist (someone who believes that scientists spend their time in laboratories making inspired conjectures and setting up experiments aimed at refuting them) then the socialist revolution for you can be considered as an attempt to refute the theory of the SPGB. If it does not do so and socialism is successfully established, who cares whether socialism is then called scientific? We will have achieved our aim and moved from the realm of theory to that of practice.

      The fallibilist argument above has been used by the party since before the first world war. It is a useful rhetorical device, but it commits us to the view that science operates as Popper says. Whereas the history of science, in episodes like the rise of non-Euclidean geometry, continental drift and quantum theories, suggests that science is carried out in quite a different fashion. On this other view the scientific community is split at times into warring factions, many members of which would sooner die than admit any of their opponents claims.

  17. Craig, the SPGB fully supports and is committed to participation in the electoral process and advises its supporters to go to the polling stations and lodge their choice….a spoilt ballot.

    The SPGB went to the the organisers of the referendum and made a request for official recognition for this legitimate tactic in elections and referendums (check wiki for its history in several countries) and were informed that to register official positions which entitled you to certain campaigning privileges, it had to be Yes or No, although your referendum literature could take a completely different position. The will of the people does not include the option,,,won’t make a bit of difference and your valued democracy has pigeon-holed us into take it or leave it.

  18. Douglas, i have already pointed out that the SPGB was perhaps the earliest political party to cast aspersions on the socialist credentials of Lenin and the Bolsheviks and explain that despite their claims it could not be a socialist revolution for several reasons. This was in 1917 and 1918 and each year since until state capitalism fell. (another analysis of Russia that the SPGB pioneered)

    If you wish to blame Marx for the gulags, you might as well blame Jesus Christ for the Spanish Inquisition and Buddha for the massacres of the Tamils in Sri Lanka.

    1. Douglas says:

      Alan, one of the longest and most passionate answers ever on Bella I think. Congratulations for that.

      I am not going to try to refute you point by point – it;s hard to show so much passion for something you don’t believe in, and I don’t believe in Marxism. But the kind of thinking you show in the following quote (and there are others in your post I could cite)…

      “Man’s ability to think — consciousness — the thing we call the “Ego” — the mind — is a natural development through the orderly operation of the laws of the Universe, and, as such, it may be studied, analysed and classified. The science of psychology takes its place naturally as part of the larger and more extended sciences of biology and anthropology. Whim and caprice disappear, and the laws of cause and effect are seen operating in an orderly and rational sequence. Individuals takes their place as a resultant of the experiences of their forebears and their own contacts with the world around them. Their environment and the history of the human race have made them what they are. Knowing the intimate history of any person, and with a given human situation, we may confidently predict what his or her actions will be.”

      …sounds like a fairly good explanation as to why so many millions of people have been shot, beaten to death, starved, hung, tortured, raped and imprisoned in the name of Karl Marx and “ineluctable history” and “the classless society”, which, of course, have no place for caprice or whim. as you rightly say.

      A series of unfounded, optimistic, grossly simplifying assertions which blind you to the fact that human beings, let alone the universe/ multiverse, are a lot more complicated and unpredictable than any one person can understand. To make such a claim immediately makes me think the person I am dealing with – Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, Mao, yourself – is somewhere between deluded and mad. Or maybe just young and naive.

      As for blaming Jesus Christ for the Spanish Inquisition, of course he has a responsibility!!! Or better said, his Disciples and promoters do, because Christ didn;t actually write anything. Jesus Christ who “cures people of devils” in the New Testament? Lots of people. Devils!!!

      Well if you preach a faith which claims, to this day, that The Gospel is the gospel and devils exist, what do you except? The Inquisitors probably thought their victims were diabolically possessed in some cases, and Christ and the Apostles believed in them after all. And Christ and Christianity come from the extremely violent, gory, revenge obsessed tradition of The Old Testament, just as Stalin comes from the violent and gory revenge obsessed tradition of Marxist/Leninism..

      Or as you would put it, Stalin emerges as a “natural development through the orderly operation of the laws of the Universe”, right?

      1. P.R.D. says:

        Pretty heady stuff as Scotland’s well-meaning progressivism moves ever closer to the totalitarianism of the Gulag.

      2. Douglas says:

        Cute comment P.R.D,but I think you’ll find Alan J is arguing AGAINST independence…

  19. Rosie says:

    A lighter, brighter addition to the delights of saying yes by a retired friend of mine. And the letters, until the grass grew up again, were 30m high, right under the Glasgow flight path. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Po2BEZc3QnI&feature=youtu.be

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