thumping the tub
Tub-Thumper - 1. A speaker or preacher who for emphasis thumps the pulpit; a violent or declamatory preacher or orator; a ranter. (from oed.com). This blog will be a combination of reasoned posting somedays and an occasional rant.
Thursday, February 09, 2006
RIGHT AGAIN GEORGE
It is staggering how much Orwell got right. Change a couple of locations and all of this is more important than ever. The left is often accused of not having alternative plans to what is going on and although this is untrue I think an important point is mentioned in this little quote (and I wouldn't describe myself as a socialist either....thats not the point...

"Socialist thought has to deal in prediction, but only in broad terms. One often has to aim at objectives which one can only very dimly see. At this moment, for instance, the world is at war and wants peace. Yet the world has no experience of peace, and never has had, unless the Noble Savage once existed. The world wants something which it is dimly aware could exist, but cannot accurately define. This Christmas Day, thousands of men will be bleeding to death in the Russian snows, or drowning in icy waters, or blowing one another to pieces on swampy islands of the Pacific; homeless children will be scrabbling for food among the wreckage of German cities. To make that kind of thing impossible is a good objective. But to say in detail what a peaceful world would be like is a different matter.

Nearly all creators of Utopia have resembled the man who has toothache, and therefore thinks happiness consists in not having toothache. They wanted to produce a perfect society by an endless continuation of something that had only been valuable because it was temporary. The wider course would be to say that there are certain lines along which humanity must move, the grand strategy is mapped out, but detailed prophecy is not our business. Whoever tries to imagine perfection simply reveals his own emptiness."

From the excellent essay Why Socialists Don't Believe in Fun

posted by michael the tubthumper @ 3:10 pm  
16 Comments:
  • At 4:24 pm, Blogger R2K said…

  • At 7:59 pm, Anonymous Lily said…

    No! Not the dog! OK.OK. No lurking allowed!

    What's your take on the creation of a Department of Peace? I think this is a step in the right direction, something to consider- I know you are abroad. (not a broad, with dresses...overseas)

    "They" always say that we yell about what we want but we don't know what that looks like or how to get there. THIS perception of the left needs to change. There are some practical things. National health care. Participation in collaborations to reduce greenhouse gasses...there are plenty of tangible things we can point to and we can point to greed and reckless foreign policy for the obstacles.

    Dammit I keep forgetting to link you. I lost it when I changed the blogroll. Have to put you back.

     
  • At 9:04 pm, Blogger teh l4m3 said…

    Am I a socialist insofar as I support socialistic solutions to the gross problems facing our country that allow for the creation of a baseline standard of living that prevents the smallest possible number of people from falling below it?

    In other words, am I a socialist if I fail to believe that socialism is a panacaea to be applied to every single little ill, as opposed to merely, in conjunction with representative democracy, a better alternative to lassaiz-faire capitalism and rule-by-plutocrat?

     
  • At 9:45 pm, Blogger Disillusioned kid said…

    Hmmm... "Intriguing" approach to increasing your comment traffic.

    I couldn't think of anything beyond the obvious platitudes to say about the piece you posted. (If you insist it proves once again that Orwell was one of the world's most incisive essayists and a much underrated socialist thinker.)

    The Ministry of Peace thing is another matter. One can see the attraction of the idea. it seems so "nice," rather like Rosemarie Jackowski's war reparations tax. Nobody gets hurt and there's minimal antagonism.

    There are a whole host of issues which would be faced by such a department if it were brought into existence, but it's the logic behind the campaign which most interests me.

    The powers that be will always try and co-opt radical movements and in the UK they've been very succesful at doing so. (Recall that the Labour Party now organising British capitalism originally emerged out of working class radicalism.) A movement which has co-option as its reason d'etre seems a strange proposition therefore. Why set out to be co-opted and rendered ineffective?

    Let's get on with the real task. Challenging and ultimately (hopefully) getting rid of the whole stinking edifice.

     
  • At 11:06 pm, Blogger Kvatch said…

    What's your take on the creation of a Department of Peace? I think this is a step in the right direction, something to consider...

    It's an interesting idea, but isn't that the function of the State Department. In maintaining our relations with other nations, peace would seem to be a component of their mission.

    Hmmm...but for the Tubthumper's site, shouldn't we be talking about a Ministry of Peace?

     
  • At 11:25 pm, Blogger enigma4ever said…

    NO not the Dog..not the lovely dog...okay I hope the lovely dog took a crap on the shooters foot...But hey that is the most creative way to get comments that I have ever seen....It is amazing how accurate Orwell is ...was...no IS....scary actually....Here in the States Kucinich ( rep from Ohio) he did promote a Dept of Peace when he ran for Prez..I thought it was great idea...but alas it didn't catch on to the nascar-slurping-burping-narrowminded idiots in the US....

    ( there is no nascar in scotland right???please tell me there isn't....)

     
  • At 11:26 pm, Blogger Left of Center said…

    If it's good enough for Senator Palpatine, it's good enough for me. Once our enemies are crushed there will be peace.

     
  • At 3:34 am, Anonymous Lily said…

    I don't mean the state department, I mean a Dept of Peace as outlined by the proposed bill.

    Go to Peace Alliance website to read the description.

    Kvatch, its on Lose The Noose, a button.

     
  • At 3:43 am, Blogger Neil Shakespeare said…

    No experience of peace? Hell, peace will only be achieved when all the other guys (warmongering fuckers that they are) are dead.

     
  • At 5:48 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Careful who you point that gun at. My dog learns by imitation. She dances, sings, worries, answers the phone, slept thru Bush's SOTU, barks at Rumsfeld & just recently figured out how to open locked doors. Can world dominion be bar behind? And I don't know what A peaceful world would be like, but MY peaceful world would be populated with a 100 to 1 dog to human ratio. D.K.

     
  • At 12:08 pm, Blogger michael the tubthumper said…

    i hadn't seen this dept of peace stuff so will have to give it a closer look before i say something.

    there is no nascar in scotland. there is rallying though.

    DK - my solution for global warming has always been that everyone gets two huskies and a skateboard. this could lead to problems at a certain time of year when all the dogs hits the traffic lights though.

     
  • At 12:11 pm, Blogger michael the tubthumper said…

    oh and i stole the dog picture from another site but for the life of me i can't remember which one.

    for any animal rights people here.... i don't even own a dog

    no dogs were harmed in the posting of this comment

     
  • At 1:39 pm, Blogger Keir said…

    Kucinich proposed---back before he was even considering a bid for the presidency---that "peace" should be an "organizing principle" in society. This would be a huge cultural leap.

    Still, one could go further. I am intrigued by parecon as far as the "what do we want" thing goes.

     
  • At 9:18 am, Blogger GraemeAnfinson said…

    Orwell never ceases to amaze me. Nice post Michael

     
  • At 10:07 pm, Anonymous rosemarie jackowski said…

    Just dropping by to say, "hello".
    I am an Anti-capitalist but I'm not so sure that I am a Socialist...though, I must confess that I do carry one of those little red cards.

     
  • At 8:07 am, Blogger michael the tubthumper said…

    hello rosemarie. funny you ended up at this post - this was months ago!

     
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What is Tubthumping and who is doing it?

Name: michael the tubthumper
Home: Glasgow, Scotland
About Me: Tub-Thumper - 1. A speaker or preacher who for emphasis thumps the pulpit; a violent or declamatory preacher or orator; a ranter. This blog will be a combination of reasoned posting somedays and an occasional rant. 28 years old, I write and research for a couple of websites and also do my own stuff.
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