Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Lukács

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Last Post*

Dear brothers, sisters, comrades, friends,

There comes a time when all good things must come to end and this is true of this blog, Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism. As I wrote in my first post, 'I hope that it will strengthen the work of all those involved in recording and remembering the truth, in the face of official apologists for imperial and corporate power.' It is now clear that this mission has been accomplished as we have succeeded in winning the battle of ideas to the extent that now even the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has come over to our way of thinking.

As the esteemed editor of the Daily Mail Paul Dacre has noted:

'What really disturbs me is that the BBC in every corpus of its corporate body is against conservatism with a small c...it exercises a kind of cultural Marxism where it tries to undermine conservative society by turning those values on their head.'

There is now no longer any point in trying to keep up a Marxist blog with a cultural bent as one only needs to read the BBC site, particularly its society and culture pages which often represent the Frankfurt School at its best. On the BBC, one can watch and listen to endless discussions of cultural Marxists such as Antonio Gramsci, Theodor Adorno, Britney Spears, Walter Benjamin, David Beckham, Victor Serge, George Lukacs, CLR James, Paris Hilton and Stuart Hall. After all, the fact that Marx was voted the greatest philosopher of our time by BBC listeners surely shows the extent to which the British working class now exercises hegemony over other classes and wider British society through the BBC.

Dacre has also argued the BBC is 'Orwellian' which is really the ultimate tribute one can pay - this blog has always been inspired by George Orwell's 'literary Trotskyism'. One can understand how revolutionary and deeply subversive programmes such as 'Strictly Come Dancing' and 'The Weakest Link' clearly work to spread the Marxist ideas of Leon Trotsky among the British working class. Programmes such as these clearly stand at the pinacle of human culture, working as both politics and art. I will end by thanking all those who have contributed comments to this blog to date, and with quoting from an article by the late Paul Foot on Orwell on the centenary of his birth. Orwell, who once worked of course for the BBC, sadly never lived to see this historic day when cultural Marxism would triumph within the institution. Writing in 2003, Foot noted the following of Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four:

'It foresees a horrific world, divided into three power blocks constantly changing sides in order to continue fighting against each other. The governments of all three keep the allegiance of their citizens by pretending there has only ever been one war, one enemy. "The Party said that Oceania had never been in alliance with Eurasia. He, Winston Smith, knew that Oceania had been in alliance with Eurasia as short a time as four years ago. But where did that knowledge exist? Only in his own consciousness. All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory. 'Reality control' they called it: in Newspeak, 'doublethink'."

There is doublethink going on now as Oceania (the US and Britain) prepares for war against Iraq. We, the Winston Smiths of today, know that 15 years ago, the US and Britain were in alliance with Iraq. We know that the British Foreign Office sided with Saddam Hussein when he did those terrible things to his own people listed in Jack Straw's recent doublethink dossier. We know that our government changed their own guidelines in order to sell Saddam the ingredients of any weapons of mass destruction he may or may not now have. We also know that the key bases from which US bombers will take off to kill Iraqis are in Saudi Arabia, whose regime is even more dictatorial, savage and terrorist than Saddam's. But where does that knowledge exist? Only in our own consciousness.

Orwell's great novel was not only a satire, but a warning. He wanted to alert his readers to the dangers of acquiescence in the lies and contortions of powerful governments and their media toadies. The anti-war movement is growing fast, in Britain and the US. Fortunately, we can still, as Orwell urged in another passage, "turn our consciousness to strength" and shake off the warmongers "like a horse shaking off flies". If we don't, we are in for another awful round of victories over our own memories and of doublethink.'

*Possibly.

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11 Comments:

At 5:11 pm, Blogger paddington said...

Hell`s bells man - I am in Bolivia at the moment, nearly 4km above sea level at the moment, which means the chances of me dropping dead of a coronary are double (I`m making that up, but it`s probably true). And then you go and tell us that AIHM may have sounded its last post. Do you want me to keel over before I`ve become Evo`s Press Secretary?

 
At 9:58 am, Blogger Snowball said...

Its a bit of a shocker I know - not least as I haven't quite finished off Dead King Watch and it is not like me to keep things like that incomplete. So this blog may well return - at some point - if only on important anniversaries of Dead Monarchs. After all, Dead King Watch is clearly a vitally important contribution in the struggle to make sure 'white working class' kids in Britain are properly taught about 'Britishness' and 'British culture', and simply abandoning it would let the side down somewhat - and at a time of crisis of national identity as well. 'England expects' and all that.

 
At 2:33 pm, Anonymous John Brissenden said...

I realise they probably all look the same to you, but when I last looked it was Iran that we were preparing to attack, not Iraq. That's been a notch on Tony's bedpost for a while now!

 
At 3:40 pm, Blogger Doug said...

You can't simply waltz in here, pick one of the coolest I-wish-had-thought-of-that blog names and then say "fuck it!"

 
At 6:53 pm, Blogger Snowball said...

John - I was quoting from a Foot article written in 2003 prior to the invasion of Iraq.

Doug - Hmm...I may well return at some point - but readers thinking of setting up a blog and joining the blogosphere be warned: You might end up feeling a bit like Michael Corleone in Godfather III -'Every time I try to get out they pull me back in'.

 
At 11:49 am, Anonymous a very public sociologist said...

Why is the blog winding down? Too many real life things going on?

 
At 12:57 pm, Blogger Snowball said...

Yeah - sorry that is the real reason. I am simply too busy at the moment - or rather should be too busy at the moment - with other things (work etc). I will return in all likelihood when I can devote proper time to it. In the meantime, people can read Lenin's Tomb and the many other fine socialist blogs out there

 
At 12:49 am, Anonymous John Brissenden said...

As I believe you young people say, "Oops my bad." Anyway, glad to see you'll still be blogging, despite the realness of your life...

 
At 9:19 am, Blogger Cheesemeister said...

Although I didn't comment often, I always enjoyed reading your insight. Best wishes and if you ever change your mind, you'll always be welcome back!

 
At 4:53 pm, Blogger maps said...

Thanks for the blogging and best wishes. I know that some people in the sociology dept down here in Auckland NZ really appreciated your recent reports on the Histo Mat conference in London.

 
At 5:26 pm, Blogger Snowball said...

Cheers maps. However, given I didn't attend the Histomat conference, perhaps you are mistaking me for Mr E Rooksby?

 

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