William Morris

Adam Rose adam at pmel.com
Fri Jun 14 02:13:05 MDT 1996

There's always a certain tension of the sort Louis described.

Quite often the issue comes out in the form of an over reaction to
political vegetarianism, along the lines of "if a socialist society
needs to slaughter every whale in the sea, the so be it". Well, sure,
humans have a need for oil + meat, but they also have a need for enjoying
nice big whales flopping around in the sea. My idea of socialism
definitely includes the whales.

But the whole issue reminds me of Engel's attitude to post revolutionary
sexuality - when a new socialist generation grows up, they will make their
choices and it doesn't matter a damn what I think. Socialist societies will
make their own collective minds up - the point is, they will have the freedom
to do so, and we don't.

On the subject of William Morris, although there was a continuity in his ideas,
there were also qualitative breaks. He was not always a socialist, he became one.
Then, he became a leading member of the Social Democratic Federation, a 2nd International
Marxist Party. William Morris is Tony Blair's favourite socialist, but he usually
forgets this tiny detail.

And finally, is a genetically engineered tomato low or high tech ? This is a
serious question - are we actually discussing a false dichotomy ?


Adam Rose


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