Address to the Communist League, The
"All Power to the Soviets!"
Altai Tractor Plant, the
Angora Goat, the
Apertura a sinistra
Art, Contemporary British
Asiatic Mode of Production, the
Assyriology, a note on Soviet
Atheist at the Machine Tool
Augustine of Hippo
Go back to the front page.
Go back to the index page.
Go forward to the next page.
The Big Soviet
Encyclopaedia (3rd ed., English version, v.1 p.15) reports that
the Scottish beef breed known to the world as the Aberdeen-Angus played
a significant role in Soviet agriculture. Aberdeen-Angus cattle were
raised in various places, including the the steppe regions of Volgograd
and Orenburg oblasts, in Stravropol, Krasnoiarsk and Altai Krais of
the RSFSR, in the Kabardinian-Bakar ASSR, in Kazakhstan, and in Ukraine.
The leading breeding farm for the breed was the Paris
Commune Breeding Farm in Volgograd Oblast.
to the top.
to the Communist League, The
The 1850 Address
to the Communist League is Marx's considered reflection on the revolutionary
upheavals of 1848-9, and his most detailed and programmatic statement
of political strategy for the militant proletariat. It is therefore
an extremely important document for the later Marxist tradition. Although
he doesn't draw much attention to it, this is also a piece of self-criticism,
for many of the tactics that Marx warns against in the early part of
the presentation were precisely those which he had recommended during
his stint as editor of the Neue Rheinische
Zeitung in revolutionary Cologne. There Marx had called on workers'
groups to ally with the more radical wing of the bourgeois-democratic
movement, and had in some cases sought to get bourgeois liberals elected
to revolutionary committees, instead of socialist workers. In the Address,
Marx describes the tactics which the workers' party should adopt during
the next phase of the European revolution, which will bring the "petty
bourgeois democrats" or constitutional liberals to power. He emphasises
the importance of arming the proletariat, and recommends the creation
of institutions of "dual power" that will stand alongside
legal, constitutional bodies. Marx concludes the Address by unveiling
the slogan of the Permanent Revolution, one that would subsequently
animate the tradition of revolutionary Trotskyism.
to the top.
philosophy finds its material weapon in the proletariat, so the proletariat
finds its intellectual weapon in philosophy."
Marx: Introduction to a Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's
Philosophy of Right (1844).
and cultural theorist, constructive bullshitter, purveyor of negative
dialectics, neologizer, founder member of the Frankfurt School and fantastically
pyrotechnic post-Marxist theorist, the capo di tutti capi of
Critical Theory and a nice old uncle of the cultural left, a great lover
of allusion and ambiguity, and hence one of the hardest "authors"
one could ever attempt to read. In short, a top geezer.
Theodor Adorno (1903-1969)
saw repression and domination as the standard currency of liberal as
well as fascist societies. "Behind the reduction of men to agents
and bearers of exchange value lies the domination of men over men".
For Adorno, the Enlightenment, with its accordant hegemony of bureaucratic-technical
rationality, represented a subjugation of the truly human. To borrow
a slogan from his Dialectic of Enlightenment (co-authored with
Max Horkheimer) "enlightenment is totalitarian".
In The Authoritarian
Personality (1950), Adorno examined the way that capitalism constructs
a certain personality-type -- the self interpellated as subject, as
Althusser would have it -- that is both bullying and submissive. Through
its strategic exertions of power and repression, our culture creates
subjects which are unable to "think themselves outside of"
the old repressive power structures. This is everywhere evident: the
student leaders who don't want to "antagonize" the authorities
("they'll take more notice of us if we present things sensibly"
and all that dismal stuff); the union leader delighted at becoming a
Lord; the Labour MP who feels he has to prove his strength of will by
toadying to bankers and businessmen whilst dismissing the claims of
the workers who voted him in. Adorno identifies one of the curses of
the left - the personality of the Sell-Out, the school bully and the
snivelling underling throughout the ages, as constructed by a repressive
structure of control. Its prevalence within capitalism is, to coin a
phrase, "no coincidence, comrade".
An interesting issue
is the relationship between capitalism and sado-masochism. The sub-dom
personality is the sine qua non of Enlightenment capitalist liberalism:
the functionally fortunate psychological disaster that powers the whole
filthy business of subjugationary capitalist power. So: is S&M a
disgraceful dramatization of all that is worst in capitalism, and the
final triumph of the Authoritarian Personality in the most intimate
of human relations? Or, is it a playful transcendence of capitalism
-- a liberating reductio ad absurdum -- which dialectically comes
to identify the worst features of capitalism, and obliterates them in
a flurry of mocking self-expression? Answers on a postcard to the
Adorno worked to
develop theories of resistance to the dehumanizing logic of commodification.
Following Gramsci, he thought that there could be practical strategies
of leftist counter-hegemony. So he discusses in his Negative Dialectics
(1966), what we should do when our concepts have been too totally colonized
by capitalism: do without them. We have to keep scratching after the
"other", that beyond capitalism and submission, the human
reality behind the distorting masks of our alienated, instrumental Enlightenment
can take place most easily through free acts of aesthetic expression.
Art gives us a way out. "In illusion there is the promise of freedom
from illusion". Art is an expression of real freedom and a demand
for real freedom -- a critique of what has gone before, alongside a
call to something better. The negative dialectics of aesthetic production
allow us special forms of resistance.
The Turtle itself
is an instantiation of this phenomenon: we have only to look at Martin
O'Neill's article, in which Adorno-ish ideas are applied to significant
contemporary forms of resistance: football and motorways. Remember:
reading, when done in the right spirit, is political praxis. Read, resist,
and remember that Uncle Theodor walks with you.
link to read more about Theodor Adorno's classic essay "On
the fetish character of music and the regression of listening".
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The word "agitprop"
is one of those rather nice old-fashioned Soviet words, the shortened
form of the Odtel Agitatsii i Propagandy, or Agitation and Propaganda
Section of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet
Union, which was created in 1920. Although we habitually run the two
terms together, it's worth recalling that there is a distinction in
classical Marxism between agitation and propaganda, which Lenin spells
out clearly in What
is to be done?, in the aggressively sarcastic passages on "How
Martynov rendered Plekhanov more profound" (section 3B). Propaganda
is the activity of spelling out the coherence and validity of socialist
thought in all its complexity, often only to a limited audience and
usually in print; agitation is the activity of rousing the masses to
indignation and discontent, usually through the spoken word, and frequently
employing any massive simplifications that are needed to get the main
to the top.
(directed by Sergei
Eisenstein, 1938, USSR, 111 mins, starring Nikolai Cherkassov, Nikolai
Okhlopkov, Alexandr Abrikosov, Dmitri Orlov).
depiction of the 12th-century Russian prince Alexander Nevsky's successful
routing of the marauding Teuton hordes has a hugely impressive reputation
that the film itself struggles to live up to. As propaganda, it's crude
in the extreme, with the Russians shown as noble sons of toil while
the Teutons (read: Germans) are bucket-headed baby-burning butchers
- and the closing message warning Germany not to mess with the Russians
says more about Stalin's state of mind in 1938 than anything else (significantly,
the film was withdrawn from circulation following the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression
Pact of August 1939; it was promptly reissued as soon as Hitler invaded
the Soviet Union in 1941). But it also boasts one of the finest film
scores ever written, courtesy of Sergei Prokofiev, and the major set-pieces
have terrific visual panache, most notably the battle on the ice where
Russian ingenuity inevitably triumphs over German brutishness.
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To Western audiences,
Grigori Alexandrov (1903-1983) is probably best known as Sergei Eisenstein's
assistant and regular collaborator on Strike, Battleship Potemkin,
October and The General Line, but he went on to become
one of the Soviet Union's most popular film-makers, specialising in
musical comedies such as The Happy Guys (1934), The Circus
(1936) and Volga-Volga (1938), the latter being one of Stalin's
personal favourites. His best films managed the rare feat of adhering
to the tenets of Socialist Realism while also pushing the right emotional
buttons with the mass audience. He also made the renowned war film Meeting
on the Elbe (1949).
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When we say that
someone is "alienated" in ordinary language, we may mean that
the person is disgusted with society (like the French café
intellectual), or cut off from society's values and resources
in important ways (this is supposed to be one of the problems facing
the so-called "underclass"), or maybe this person is substantially
opposed to the society, and belongs to a Trotskyist groupuscule.
We tend to use the term to describe people outside the mainstream of
ordinary social life.
The young especially
are attracted to Karl Marx's Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts
of 1844 by his theorisation of the problem of alienation. The first
thing to be grasped about Marx's use of the word is that it has very
little to do with these ordinary usages. For although it could be true
to say that people who are alienated in Marx's sense may end up disgusted
with, marginalised by, and opposed to bourgeois society, and while they
may end up that way at least in part because of their alienation, the
mechanisms that generate alienation operate at the heart of the social
system, not at the margins, and the alienation that results is principally
a kind of self-estrangement, rather than the driving of a wedge between
the individual and the wider society.
On Marx's account
there is a fourfold alienation of the self: from its own productive
activity; from the object that is produced; from one's fellow human
beings; and from the "species being". This is a complex and
controversial notion that pops up occasionally in the young Marx's writing,
which seems conceptually similar to what other philosophers have called
"human nature", in that it is both a (kind of) fact about
the way we are that also functions as a (kind of) claim about how we
could and should be able to be. Marx's central thought is clear: modern
relations of production cripple crucial aspects of our own and shared
humanity: rather than living in order to work (freely, creatively, productively,
self-consciously) we are forced to work in order to live (barely, miserably,
joylessly). And, perhaps unsurprisingly, Marx argues that owing to the
tight connections between a system of alienated labour on the one hand
and a system of private property on the other, the abolition of alienation
in society goes hand in hand with the abolition of the capitalist mode
Before Marx, alienation
was a technical term in both Christian theology and Young Hegelian philosophy.
After Marx, the term has also been theorized by existentialists and
psychologists. There are many competing accounts of alienation out there.
Try not to get too confused.
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Power to the Soviets!"
Although this slogan
was formally adopted by the Bolsheviks only shortly before the October
Revolution, the thought clearly animated Lenin's political thinking
from his return to Petrograd in the spring of 1917: both the "April
Theses" and especially the Pravda article of April 9 on
"The Dual Power" highlight the role that the soviets (the
Russian councils of workers, soldiers and peasants that sprang up in
1905 and 1917) would play as the "only possible form of
revolutionary government". A more developed theoretical underpinning
for the slogan was provided in The State and Revolution that
summer, in the form of Lenin's commentaries on Marx's Paris
Commune writings. The key to revolutionary democracy, on this account,
is the way in which the popular councils serve as "working"
rather than as merely "parliamentary bodies", uniting legislative
and executive power. This, coupled with the fact that elected officials
were to be paid no more than workmen's wages and were subject to immediate
recall by their electors, was supposed to immunise the revolution against
any degenerative bureucratising tendencies. (For more thinking along
these lines, but in an Italian context, see the article on the Factory
The practice of
soviet power proved to be quite different. As early as December 1917,
Nikolai Sukhanov had branded the All-Russian Central Executive Committee
of Soviets (VTsIK) a "sorry parody of a revolutionary parliament".
(Lenin considered Sukhanov the worst kind of carping petty-bourgeois
democrat). Participatory revolutionary government became impossible
in the face of the spreading civil war, and as the Bolshevik leaders
deliberately concentrated power in Party institutions. The role of the
soviets came to be transformed so that the new constitution of July
1918 could accurately define them as the "local organs of the state"
responsible for "the implementation of all the decrees of the relevant
higher organs". By the summer of 1918, the democratic character
of the soviets had been compromised with the expulsion of first the
Mensheviks and then even the pro-Bolshevik Left Social Revolutionaries.
Far from directing the course of the Revolution, the VTsIK itself
was not convened from July 1918 until February 1920. Lenin never found
a remotely adequate way to combat the degenerative bureaucratising tendencies
he had unleashed, and Stalin never looked for one.
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Tractor Plant, the
scientists neglect the significance of the tractor. The third edition
of the Big Soviet Encyclopaedia (English version, v.1 p.304)
had this to say about the path-breaking Altai Tractor Plant, or the
M. I. Kalinin Tractor Plant, in Rubtovsk, Altai Krai, in the RSFSR:
"It was built
on the basis of the equipment of the Kharkov Tractor Plant, which
was evacuated at the beginning of the Great Patriotic War. The construction
began in January 1942. The personnel of the plant mastered the production
of the ATZ-NATI (Altair Tractor Plant Institute of Motor and Tractor
Scientific Research) caterpillar tractor in record time and produced
the first thousant tractors as early as December1943. In July 1946
the plant was named after M. I. Kalinin. In 1952 the plant began producing
OT-54 diesel tractors of general use and, in 1965, T-4 tractors. The
TDT-60 transportation tractor was replaced in 1961 by the mightier
TDT-75 tractor with an engine of 75 horsepower. The plant's gross
output increased 3.84 times between 1950 and 1967. The plant was awarded
the Order of Lenin in 1967."
If you are interested
in this kind of industrial plant, you might also like to read about
the Havana Metallurgical Combine,
or about the East Slovakia Metallurgical
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The Editors of the
Turtle view the information superhighway as a mixed blessing. While,
of course, it allows us to share the thoughts of the Turtle across the
oceans, it has also become the site of some fairly poisonous activities.
In the vanguard of these is Amazon.com.
'Cheeky' Jeff Bezos
founded the company in 1994, and if it were at all possible to cash
him in he'd fetch a tidy $4bn. He is the worst sort of capitalist. The
success of his project is predicated on the transformation of the relationship
between people and books, from public learning to private ownership.
In his own words "Oh yeah. I love computers, I love business, I
love rapidly changing environments." He doesn't care terribly much
for books. While Amazon.com has yet to turn in a profit, the company's
massive revenues have accompanied the demise of local bookshops, not
to mention public libraries. To order a book from Amazon.com is to condone
the privatisation of reading.
And yet it is so
easy to do. Such is the seductiveness of 'one click shopping' and 'vast
consumer choice' that The Editors of The Turtle have themselves been
guilty of encouraging readers to use amazon.com in order to obtain a
copy of Brendan Larvor's fantastic Lakatos book. After a protracted
self-criticism we have revised our position. While we still encourage
readers to Read Lavor, we'd like to insist that you order it from your
local vendor of books, and not some moron whose wife packs his vitamins
in his socks.
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younger brother of Benedict, Professor of History and Sociology at UCLA
and recently the subject of a book by Gregory Elliott. Chris
Brooke introduces the career of Perry Anderson to the Readers of
the Turtle here.
to the top.
The third edition
of the Big Soviet Encyclopaedia (English version, v.2 p.103)
tells us that Angora goat hybrids are raised in the Transcaucasus and
in Middle Asia and "partly in Kazakhstan" (whatever that means),
as well as in the steppe regions of the Northern Caucasus. But the real
value of the Angora goat lies elsewhere, for it was "used to develop
the Soviet woolly goat".
to the top.
This largely unspeakable
issue is covered in detail here.
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a sinistra, or "opening to the left", is the name given
to the process that began with the crisis of the Christian Democrat
(DC) regime in 1950s Italy and culminated in the Italian Socialist Party's
entry into the government in November 1963. As the Italian premiership
has finally fallen into the hands of the leader of the Democratic Party
of the Left (PDS), which is the successor party to the Italian Communist
Party (PCI), this is an interesting historical moment in which to review
the events of forty years ago that led to the participation of socialists
in Italian government for the first time ever.
As the DC hold on
power weakened in the late 1950s, some party leaders (and most notably
Aldo Moro, later killed by the Red Brigades) sought to bring the PSI,
the smaller and more moderate left party, into the ruling coalition.
They hoped that this would help to provide a broader social base of
support for the regime, as well as closing off any option for the DC
of a political pact with the Italian Social Movement (MSI) on the right.
This ambition was complicated by many factors, some of which related
to the Cold War politics of the time. Many in the DC opposed the apertura
and feared that the PSI's link with the PCI was still excessively close.
The PSI was still officially a Marxist party, and had only recently
cancelled its post-war "Unity of Action" pact with the PCI.
The invasion of Hungary in 1956 had created something of a rift between
the parties, which widened after PSI deputies strayed from the PCI line
in crucial chamber votes: in 1957 the PSI voted in favour of Italy's
membership of Euratom and abstained on the question of EEC membership.
The DC regime was
gripped by crisis throughout 1960. While discussions about party strategy
raged, a single-party DC cabinet was appointed in April under Fernando
Tambroni, but he resigned immediately when it turned out that because
of DC abstentions he reqired the votes of neo-fascist MSI deputies to
stay in power. Amintore Fanfani tried to create a cabinet with PSI support,
but the PSI leader Pietro Nenni refused to sever his ties with the Communists
in local government. Fanfani resigned. Tambroni's cabinet was proposed
again, but he resigned after 80,000 activists from the left wing of
the DC, from the PSI and PCI fought with police outside the MSI conference
in Genoa in July, with more violence in Rome and elsewhere. Fanfani
was then able to appoint a cabinet with PSI support. In a five hour
address to the DC congress, Aldo Moro told the party that the only choice
facing Italy was the apertura or more street fighting. A PSI
policy of "benevolent abstention" became a posture of external
support for the government in 1962-3, and PSI ministers were finally
brought into a Moro cabinet in November 1963. They remained there until
the crisis of the 1990s, which led to the destruction of both the PSI
and the DC.
Some Italians on
the centre and on the right hoped that the apertura would strengthen
the PSI, weaken the PCI and allow for the creation of a two-party political
system; some in the PCI, including its leader Palmiro Togliatti, hoped
that the apertura would pull the DC so far left that it would
have to cut a deal with the PCI itself. The "historic compromise"
of the 1970s suggested Togliatti's vision was closer to reality, but
the PCI would have to wait until its reinvention in 1989 as the PDS
and its transformation into a mainstream social democratic party through
the 1990s before it was able to enter government itself. Although many
in the PSI were happy with the extra patronage commanded by the party
in government after 1963, the disgruntled left wing of the party did
split in 1964, forming the small Italian Socialist Party of Proletarian
Unity, or PSIUP.
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Young. Trendy. Expensive. But of questionable artistic merit. Martin
O'Neill tells you all you need to know here,
writing exclusively for The Voice of the Turtle.
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Mode of Production, the
concept is treated in a rather unilluminating fashion in the Big Soviet
Encyclopaedia (3rd ed., English version, v.1 p.422): it notes Marx's
use of the term in his correspondence with Engels, in the article on
British rule in India, in the economic MSS of 1857-59, in the 1859 Preface,
and in Capital, as well as Engels' mention of it in the Anti-Dühring.
It tells us that "In the works of V. I. Lenin the Asiatic mode
of production is mentioned in connection with Marx's theory of social
and economic formation but is not examined in particular." And
it informs us that
of the Asiatic mode of production had become an object for extensive
discussion in the 1920s and 1930s. The discussion soon embraced the
question of precapitalist formations as a whole. It contributed to
a more profound understanding of Marx's teachings on social and economic
formations, but the significance of the Asiatic mode of production
and its place in the teachings were not properly elucidated. The discussion
remained essentially unfinished; it was in fact renewed at the beginning
of the 1960s and ranged over the question of early class societies
as a whole."
But that is all.
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a note on Soviet
According to the
third edition of the Big Soviet Enclyclopaedia (English version,
v.2 p.418), Soviet achievement in Assyriology was marked in all branches
of the subject, including Sumerology, Hittitology, Elamitology and Uratology.
Assyriology in Russia dates from the 1890s, when Egyptologists V. S.
Galenischchev and B. A. Turaev first published works on Assyria. The
first professional specialist Assyriologist in Russia was M. V. Nikol'skii,
and P. K. Kokovtsov was the first to teach Akkadian, at St. Petersburg
university. The leading Soviet scholar of cuneiform was V. K. Shileiko,
and his student A. P. Riftin taught Assyriology in Leningrad in the
1930s, founding a distinctive school of Soviet Assyriology. The Universities
at Tibilisi and Yerevan are other major centres of Assyriology. The
Hermitage and the Puskhin museums both hold fine collections of tablets.
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at the Machine Tool
stanka conventionally translates as "Atheist at the Workbench",
although we at The Voice of the Turtle prefer the alternative
rendering "Atheist at the Machine Tool". This periodical was
published from 1923 until 1931 by the Moscow Communist Party's Committee.
Edited by Mariia Mikhailovna Kosteloskaia, who also edited the "Party
Life" section of Pravda. Originally called simply Bezbozhnik,
it was later forced to add u stanka to the title in order to
differentiate it from the atheist newspaper published by the state Antireligious
Commission. As Daniel Peris helpfully notes in his fine book Storming
the Heavens: The Soviet League of the Militant Godless, the longer
title suggested its urban worker orientation. At first a monthly, and
later a biweekly, Atheist at the Machine Tool had a print-run
of between 35,000 and 70,000, with up to eight pages out of 24 in colour!
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The works of Augustine
of Hippo (354-430) compel and repel in equal measure. A bourgeois civilisation
which likes to depict childhood as a state of purity and innocence has
trouble with a doctrine which teaches not only that all unbaptised babies
must burn in hell, but also that it is God's love for His creation that
makes this is so. But it is only when we can begin to see things from
this point of view that we can begin to restage a much-needed encounter
with Augustine's thinking, and can come face to face with some of the
most exciting, and among the most disorienting, roots of Western culture.
Augustine was born
in Roman North Africa, in the town of Tagaste. His mother, Monica (later
canonised) was a Christian, and we understand from her son's Confessions
that she was prone to weeping. The young Augustine may have flirted
with Stoicism; in his 20s he went through a pronounced Manichee phase,
though one that ended in 383 when he was underwhelmed by Faustus the
Manichee's ability to defend his philosophy in the face of reasoned
objections. Augustine taught rhetoric for several years in Milan, and
when he finally decided to embrace Christianity was baptised there by
the Bishop, Saint Ambrose. He returned to Africa in 388, was ordained
a priest in 391, and was consecrated as bishop of Hippo in 396, a position
he would hold until his death on 28 August 430.
as a controversialist was structured around three huge debates: against
the Manichees, against the Donatists, and against the Pelagians. Against
the Manichees, Augustine developed his teachings on the nature of evil,
that it was an absence of divine love rather than a thing-in-itself.
Against the Donatists, Augustine upheld the Church doctrine that the
age of prophecy was past, and that the Church's mission to the world
meant that the attempt to create isolated and self-sufficient communities
of the godly was wrong-headed. Against the Pelagians, Augustine argued
that it was impious to claim that human beings had a robust enough free
will so as to be able voluntarily to abstain from sin, for this doctrine
minimised the importance of Original Sin and could be used to generate
claims against God, yet God can owe us nothing.
dominated the Western church until the thirteenth century, when the
rise of a less daunting Aristotelian Christianity threatened to displace
it. Although the pope damned the new Aristotelianism in 1277 (condemning
several theses of Thomas Aquinas), a more significant marker of the
mood of the times came in 1287 when the Augustinian order was founded,
but by Giles of Rome and other disciples of Saint Thomas. Thereafter
the influence of hardline Augustinianism was reduced, and it is not
altogether misleading to view the Protestant Reformation as an Augustinian
backlash against the more Thomist Roman church. In making their breaks
with Rome, Luther would focus on Augustinian teaching on sin; Calvin
restated Augustine's arguments about predestination. The following century
saw a new irruption of Augustinianism within the Catholic Church itself:
Cornelius Jansenius's posthumous Augustinus of 1640 led to a
sustained theological and political conflict within France, and the
Catholic Church branded Jansen's teaching unorthodox and moved rapidly
away from its Augustinian roots with the 1653 papal bull Cum Occasione
and the 1713 Unigenitus.
political theories (presented above all in his masterpiece De Civtate
Dei, or City of God) enjoyed their greatest importance in
the Middle Ages (when, however, they were much misunderstood), several
of his political arguments remain interesting today. Where most contemporary
liberalism resolves itself into either a kneejerk anti-clericalism or
a banal set of pieties about the separate spheres of church and state,
Augustine's discussions of civil authority bring out what remains at
stake in the quarrel between religious and political authority. Although
Augustine is notorious for his teachings about sexuality and sin, his
discussions of marriage anticipate modern feminism with his keen appreciation
of the way in which consensual sexual relationships inevitably slide
from embodying relations of respect to objectionable relations of domination.
Augustinian arguments can also be used to mount a deep critique of human
rights doctrines, for many rights theories rest on a claim about a natural
right to self-defence or on one about the intrinsic dignity of humankind.
Yet both of these claims are contested by the Augustinian suspicion
and condemnation of pride, and from this perspective, the former claim
seems to require justifying some kind of self-love, which marks a turning
away from God, and the latter forgets that there is no dignity to human
existence after the Fall, except as it is conferred through the unfathomable
and seemingly-arbitrary operations of divine grace.
There is much more
to be said about the saint of Hippo. Some of it is said in Amy
Tabor's excellent review
of Garry Wills's Saint Augustine.
to the top.
the daily newspaper of the Italian Socialist Party, at one time edited
by Benito Mussolini. From 1916 Antonio Gramsci (who had subscribed to
the paper from the age of 14) served as its theatre critic, and the
paper also published several of his most important political articles,
including "The Revolution Against Das Kapital" in December
1917. The paper's offices in Milan were burned by fascists in April
1919. In 1920 the paper caused controversy in April when it refused
to print the manifesto of the striking Turin workers; in December the
Turin edition transformed itself into the daily L'Ordine Nuovo
under Gramsci's editorship. After the Livorno split of January 1921,
when the Italian Left fractured into Socialist and Communist parties,
Ordine Nuovo became the PCI paper with Avanti! remaining
with the PSI. Its great days were over: by August of the same year the
paper was opposing armed resistance against the Fascists.
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A popular slogan
forever associated with the stirring Italian anthem Bandiera Rossa,
whose words appear in a useful Swedish translation below. Dictionary
readers will remember the song (in its original Italian version) from
Bernardo Bertolucci's epic of Italian history, 1900, starring
Robert De Niro and Gérard Dépardieu, as it is sung by
angry agricultural workers during their sit-down protest against reactionary
and violent mounted police.
till uppror manar
vår röda fana, vår röda fana.
Framåt kamrater, till uppror manar
vår röda fana som segern ger.
Röda fanan ska mot seger gå!
Röda fanan den ska segern nå!
Röda fanan ska mot seger gå!
För alla utsugnas stora skara
ska röda fanan signalen vara.
O proletärer, stå upp och kämpa,
vår röda fana ska seger ge.
Röda fanan ska...
På land, till sjöss, i gruvor och fabriker -
du som har hoppet som aldrig sviker,
håll dig beredd för revoltens timma!
vår röda fana ska seger ge.
Röda fanan ska...
Ej fiendskap, inga gränser mera
ska hindra oss, vi ska triumfera.
O kommunister, stå upp och kämpa,
vår röda fana ska seger ge!
Röda fanan ska...
[If anyone can provide
us with a (literal) translation of these words, we will be very grateful].
to the top.