[Marxism] Mangling the Issues: Callinicos, “Leninism,” and Austerity
edgeorge1963 at gmail.com
Thu Jan 31 01:26:16 MST 2013
On 1/30/13 8:09 PM, Gary MacLennan wrote:
If you want to see what I mean go watch the Charlie Kimber videos on
youtube. (Painful I know!) Zero Charisma and Nigel-No-Mates is there
for all to see.
This is beyond painful:
'In our time it is broadly true that political writing is bad writing.
Where it is not true, it will generally be found that the writer is some
kind of rebel, expressing his private opinions and not a ‘party line’.
Orthodoxy, of whatever colour, seems to demand a lifeless, imitative
style. The political dialects to be found in pamphlets, leading
articles, manifestos, White papers and the speeches of undersecretaries
do, of course, vary from party to party, but they are all alike in that
one almost never finds in them a fresh, vivid, homemade turn of speech.
When one watches some tired hack on the platform mechanically repeating
the familiar phrases [...] one often has a curious feeling that one is
not watching a live human being but some kind of dummy: a feeling which
suddenly becomes stronger at moments when the light catches the
speaker's spectacles and turns them into blank discs which seem to have
no eyes behind them. And this is not altogether fanciful. A speaker who
uses that kind of phraseology has gone some distance toward turning
himself into a machine. The appropriate noises are coming out of his
larynx, but his brain is not involved, as it would be if he were
choosing his words for himself. If the speech he is making is one that
he is accustomed to make over and over again, he may be almost
unconscious of what he is saying, as one is when one utters the
responses in church. And this reduced state of consciousness, if not
indispensable, is at any rate favourable to political conformity.'
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