what matters

Richard Harris rhh1 at gotadsl.co.uk
Sun Jul 13 19:40:15 MDT 2003

A comrade said:

"I do not cry over the millions of slaves that perish in the formation of

Well, if you don't, I fail to understand how you can be a socialist at any
level of your being.

For I do.

I stare at Blackheath and think on the peasants revolt of 1381 that
seemingly won a victory over the Crown and the lords, yet later, the leaders
were picked off and savagely killed, town by town once they ceased being a

I stand on the site of Albion Mill, the dark satanic mill of Blake, and spit
towards the City of London.

I have walked the six and a half mile path of the first world passenger
railway from Canterbury to Whitstable, built mainly by Irish navvies in the
1830's.  What were those poor people's lives like?  I can only imagine them
and their families back home.

Every time I see a banker on the tube in London, I want to stab them.  Are
they travelling to give a loan to a firm about to open up in Ecuador,
pennies a day for bone breaking work?  A champagne lunch for clinching the
deal?  Perhaps a bonus, a skiing holiday at Gstaad?

Isn't socialism a commitment to the true human association we all know in
our lives (i.e. socialism isn't a utopia), as if that does not involve
affective identification with all humanity, no man being an island?

What's the alternative?  That it is a better investment doctrine? ~ look
people, capitalism is going to fold for these reasons, falling rate of
profit & so on ... spell them out ... & these scruffy folk are going to take
over, so let's get in with them now (and lead them so we can still be in

If we cannot make an identification with those terrified and brutalised
slaves, peasants and workers (a common method is by being one!), whither

The alternative is, instead of being a poor street fighter all my life, I
might as well have been a Henry Liu, a chairman of a major imperialist
investment bank who writes well and dines on the blood money made from
screwing the masses.  More than enough subscribers to this list think that
perfectly fine & look to him for gudance.  Just read the Economist.

Or, perhaps, is socialism the finer details of the transformation of values
into prices, and that somehow I have missed the point?

Puzzles me.

Canterbury, Kent.

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