Animal Rights Terrorism - the new Fascism?

Paddy Apling E.C.Apling at
Mon Jan 22 11:27:56 MST 2001

I do not suppose many on this list experienced the days before TV, sliced
bread and synthetic detergents, but looking at a film on TV this afternoon
brought to mind a story which should act as an excellent antitdote to the
jaundiced view of science propagated by Tony Abdo and Danielle Ni Dhighe.

Incidentally I had always understood that a fundamental view of Karl Marx
was that his method was based on the methods of science - so if you throw
out science what are you doing on a Marxist list?

However, to return to the film - a black and white film (so less advanced in
science and technology than most current TV programmes !?!) - one of the
early masterpieces directed by David Lean - with an enthralling importance
of a dominating paterfamilias by that great actor Charles Laughton - namely
Hobson's Choice - which won a British Academy Award in 1954. Radio Times
gave the film ****, but it is definitely worth *****, and of course we have
seen it MANY times before - and always enjoyed it.

However, to get to the point ....

At a fairly early stage in the film Hobson's eldest daughter, effectively
living as unpaid housekeeper to her domineering father, decides to break
away by inveigling Hobson's downtrodden, but excellent, young bootmaker
(played by a young John Mills) into marriage and business partnership - and
to this end takes the young man to a park by the riverside where they sit
facing the river to talk.

BUT - perhaps not noticed by every viewer - the river is 70% covered by a
bank of foam, with bits of foam raised by the wind sparkling above it.

Now - to explain.

In the 1930s there were no synthetic detergents - and everyone had to suffer
the scum produced by reaction of soap and the Ca+ ions in hard water when
washing, and knew how difficult it was to produce a lather and really to get
things clean.

By the 50s - when the film was made - everyone was using the first
generation of synthetic detergents - and certainly did not want to return to
the use of soap-based washing powders.  BUT the first synthetic detergents
survived the processes of sewage treatment, and the result was - in England,
and no doubt in many other countries - of the buildup of foam on rivers
wherever a weir or other obstacle disrupted the gentle flow of the water,
causing not only an unwelcome appearance, but also reducing oxygen uptake by
the river and consequent harm to fish and other aquatic life.

Current views would just have condemned and banned for good and all
detergent manufacture (much to the disgust, surely, of all with any concern
for laundry) - but in the event detergent chemists rapidly developed
bio-degradable detergents, - now used in a panoply of household and cosmetic
products - the residues of which are rapidly destroyed in normal sewage
treament processes - RESULT happy "housewives" and happy river authorities.

LESSON - Of course advances in science and technology CAN (and, if you like,
often DO) cause unexpected problems.  BUT the proper solutions require the
application of MORE science and technology.....

Quod erat demonstrandum.

The policy of demanding PROOF of no harmful effect (since such PROOF is
necessarily unobtainable) is not just a recipe for stagation in the "Western
World", but, in effect, also the "new imperialism" - since without further
developments in science and technology the rest of the world would be for
ever condemned to continuing poverty and malnutrition while the "Western
World" continues to embrace the benefits of past scientific and
technological developments - which if transferred, as they at present exist,
throughout the world would, we all agree, have parlous effects on the
"natural world" - and even threaten the "Western world" itself.....

NFHS Member #5594
Mailto:E.C.Apling at

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-marxism at
> [mailto:owner-marxism at]On Behalf Of Tony Abdo
> Sent: 21 January 2001 18:13
> To: marxism at
> Subject: RE: Animal Rights Terrorism - the new Fascism?
> This exaggerated 1000% respect for science is the mentality that
> developed The Bomb, built Chernobyl, and mows down  specie after
> species.   And it's also the philosophy of the medical NAZIs of the
> capitalist 'health care system'.

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