[Marxism] Spiked online update

Paddy Apling e.c.apling at btinternet.com
Mon Nov 7 07:01:27 MST 2005

At 14:37 06/11/2005, Louis Proyect wrote:
>Paddy wrote:
>>There are the results of chemical control of disease - and it only 
>>natural that concomitantly death-rates from cancer (and heart 
>>problems) have increase - we all have to die and cause of death is 
>>always ascribed to something.
>Certain chemicals cause cancer. Period. 150 years ago For example, 
>150 years ago Briitish scientists observed that chimney-sweeps would 
>get cancer of the scrotum in numbers all out of proportion to the 
>population. The same connections were made with people working on 
>watches with radium dials. Occupational hazards such as these are 

Certainly, certain occupational hazards are well known, but as 
Paracelcus  made clear nearly 500 years ago:
"it is the dose that makes the poison" - and there are a vast number 
of situations where there are specific occupational hazards.  [Some 
of those involving cancers seem to be related to physical (particle 
shape and size, etc.) rather than simply chemical effects]

In the case of radioactivity it should, after Paracelcus, be no 
surprise that while radioactiivity in large doses can precipitate 
many types of cancerous growths or leukemia, it is also, used under 
strict and accurate dosing, an extremely effective method of 
controlling or eliminating cancerous growths - simply because 
cancerous cells, undergoing replication more frequently than normal 
cells, are  more susceptible to the effects of radioactivity than 
normal cells - and so can kill the cancer without killing the patient....

Paracelcus is still not understood - which is why, for instance, the 
lead toy soldiers I used to play with as a boy are now regarded as a 
hazard which must be banned - despite the fact that metallic lead is 
completely inert - and indeed lead is not just insoluble in 
hydrochloric acid (the main acidity in the human stomach) but even 
soluble lead salts are precipitated as insoluble lead chloride.  So 
lead poisoning is not all that easy to achieve (lead acetate - i.e. 
an organic salt - is best for this !!) - and I remember a London 
publican who, after a long period of always drinking the first 
runnings each day from each beer pump (which had lain in contact with 
the lead piping overnight), suffered mild lead poisoning (but I take 
that as just another occupational hazard !!!  ).

---- hence my quote from H L Mencken about hobgoblins - of which 
there are so many in the environmental field.
(I do believe I am, probably, the only agricultural scientist on this 
list, and consequently with first-hand experience of these things).


>Paddy has been making arguments along these lines for as long as he 
>has been on the Marxism list going back to 1998. Since he has 
>obviously arrived at these ideas on his own and on a purely 
>intellectual basis, I don't get too worked up over that. On the 
>other hand, the people at Spiked-online are a bunch of dirty whores.

Yes, and I will keep making them when I see some over-the-top comment !!!

And I still object to the last sentence in your reply. I don't often 
bother to look at spiked-online - but I do think it is wrong to treat 
them as enemies.  I feel sure they regard themselves as "radicals" - 
from our point of view often misguided - but I think their output 
should be criticised on particular details, not by total condemnation 
or name-calling.  Similar things could sometimes be said about 
media.lens, and I sometimes find things to criticise on counterpunch 
also, but I would not  use words of general condemnation on any of 
these journalists who are certainly outside the "mainstream".   None 
of them are really speaking to marxists - but all are, in their way, 
trying to open eyes among the general public.

Comradely greetings,

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