Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Reading Notes

- On filling the heads of soldiers with propaganda to make them perform their killing the more easily, from Edward Rutherford in “The Rebels of Ireland” “How many?” “Three hundred thousand?” Pincher despised the Irish and hated the Catholics, but he was not a dishonest man. “That number” he ventured , “may be somewhat high, you know.”“No, I assure you,” said Barnaby (one of Cromwell’s men) “It is so. The whole army knows it.” And now Doctor Pincher understood. The army of Oliver Cromwell, having questioned the need to convert the Catholics, had been fortified by these reminders of the atrocities to avenge. And he sighed. Every army, he supposed, has to be told a story. -
During the struggle between the capitalists and the aristocracy, the proletariat was used by the latter to win the fight and then cast aside, pointing the way to a new direction for the workers – class consciousness and political action. Gustav Bang in “Crises in European History” writes,”The proletariat had been betrayed and they knew it. They began to perceive that only through independent action could they make any progress. For obviously any cooperation with the bourgeoisie ran counter to all common sense, since the interests of the two classes were diametrically opposite. The capitalists were given added political power without the slightest gain to the workers – the circumstances attending the latter would be no less oppressive and slave-bound. The capitalists, with the aid of the workers, had acquired new powerful political means that could be used with equal effectiveness against the workers below and the landed aristocracy above. The emancipation of the working class must be its own class-conscious work.” On which rests much of our case for achieving socialism.
John Ayers

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