[Marxism] Spiked online update
lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Nov 4 10:44:19 MST 2005
First, a little background. www.spiked-online.com is the website of a group
of ex-Marxists in England who are also involved with a number of innocuous
sounding think-tanks like "Institute for Ideas", etc. I should add that
there is one member who still maintains Marxist pretensions, namely Jim
Heartfield. You can find him posting occasionally on Doug Henwood's list
but he is not the ubiquitous figure on Internet mailing lists he once was.
The reach of this group is quite remarkable. Despite their shady
connections with outfits like the PR firm Hill and Knowlton, they still
manage to con people like Norman Solomon into speaking at their confabs.
Last year he participated in "Communicating the War on Terror" at Kings
College. The main organizer for this was a character named Bill Durodie,
who--like the rest of them--was in the Revolutionary Communist Party at one
time. Another organizer was the Center for Defense Studies which is funded
by the UK Ministry of Defense.
Even when these characters were nominally Marxist, they were distinguished
by their hostility to environmentalism. Using a bowdlerized version of some
sections of the Communist Manifesto, they had convinced themselves (and
some unsuspecting souls) that advocating nuclear power and genetically
modified food was practically the same thing as erecting barricades during
the Paris Commune.
This tradition, stripped of Marxist pretensions, continues unabated in
spiked-online. You can find articles on almost a daily basis filled with
skepticism about global warming, arguing that GM food is good for you, etc.
In today's edition, there's something on the Kyoto accords that states,
"The rush to cut emissions was thoroughly irrational." The author is Rob
Lyons who is the IT director for spiked. He also is the webmaster for a
pro-GM lobby group called "Sense about Science."
The director of "Sense About Science" is one Tracey Brown, another spiked
online regular. Before assuming the directorship of "Sense About Science,"
she was a senior analyst for the PR firm Regester Larkin. Sourcewatch.org,
who keeps an eye on their shenanigans, informs us:
"Their clients are nearly all pharmaceutical, oil, or biotechnology
companies, including BioIndustry Association, Shell Chemicals, TOTAL,
Bayer, Pfizer, Aventis CropScience, and gas company BG Group.
"It is probable that Brown fell under the influence of LM group godfather
Frank Furedi while working as a Research Associate in the Sociology Dept.
at the University of Kent, Canterbury, where Furedi is a professor. She
went on to co-author 'Complaining Britain,' Society Vol.36 No.4 with Furedi."
For 5000 pounds a day, Regester Larkin advises its clients how to fend off
environmental assaults on Frankenfood.
There's also an article in today's spiked-online titled "Science Goes Down
the River" by Dr. Elizabeth Whelan which assures us New Yorkers: "EPA
maintains that PCBs, particularly in Hudson River fish, pose a cancer
hazard - but there is no evidence that such a risk exists. The stark truth
is that there is no benefit to public health in mandating that traces of
PCBs be removed from the river. There are, however, big costs - all of
which will be borne by consumers."
Whelan is president of the American Council on Health and Science
(<http://www.acsh.org/>http://www.acsh.org/), an outfit she founded after
accepting a freelance writing assignment with the pharmaceutical company
Pfizer. It seems that they wanted a background paper on "the Delaney
Clause" -- which Dr. Whelan had never heard of.
She "was soon to learn that the Delaney Clause was part of the 1958 Food
Additive Amendment, and it banned any food additive that caused cancer in
laboratory animals." Apparently this capricious measure was so offensive to
her that she went through a transformation akin to Paul's on the road to
Damascus. Henceforth she would devote herself to Better Living Through
On the Council on Health and Science home page, you can find links to
articles on the National Review website and other sordid material.
Someday a scholar will write an authoritative history on the defection of
large sections of the radical movement over the past 10 years into the
enemy camp. There certainly will be a chapter on this peculiar subspecies
of Marxism gone wrong.
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