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Gagarin, Iurii Alekseevich

Gladstone, William Ewart
God That Failed, The
Gotha Programme, the
Graduate student

Grimethorpe Colliery Band, the

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Gagarin, Iurii Alekseevich

The Big Soviet Enclyclopaedia (3rd ed., English version, v.5 p.164) has this to say:

"Born 9 March 1934 in the village of Klushino, Gzhatsk Raion, Smolensk Oblast; died 27 March 1968. Pilot and cosmonaut of the USSR. First man to accomplish flight in outer space. Colonel; Hero of the Soviet Union (4 April 1961); member of the CPSU from 1960.

"Gagarin was born into the family of a kolhoznik. In 1951 he graduated with honours as a molder-founder from a trade school in the town of Liubertsy on the outskirts of Moscow; at the same time he finished a school for working youth. He was then sent to the Saratov Industrial Technicum, which he also completed successfully in 1955. Gagarin took his first steps in aviation when he was a student of this technicum, receiving instruction in the Saratov Aeroclub. After finishing the aeroclub's course in 1955, Gagarin enrolled in the First Chkalov Military Aviation Pilots' School. In 1957 he graduated from this school with the highest possible rank and served in the fighter units of the Red Banner Northern Fleet's Aviation. As one of the most talented and courageous fighter pilots, he was chosen in 1960 for the detachment of cosmonauts. In February 1968 he graduated with honours from the N. E. Zhokovskii Air Force Academy in Moscow.

"On 12 April 1961, Gagarin completed the world's first space flight in the satellite-spaceship Vostok. Gagarin circled the globe in 1 hour and 48 minutes and returned safely to earth. After this flight he continuously worked at improving his skills as a pilot and cosmonaut and directly participated in instructing and training cosmonaut crews as well as directing space flights. Gagarin carried on a great deal of sociopolitical work and visited many countries in the world. He was a deputy to the sixth and seventh convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and a member of the central committee of the All-Union Lenin Communist Youth League (VLKSM). In 1966 he became an honorary member of the International Academy of Astronautics. Gagarin was awarded the Order of Lenin as well as the highest awards of many foreign states.

"Gagarin died tragically in an airplane crash near the village of Novoselovo, Kirzhach Raion, Vladimir Oblast, while on a training flight. He was buried on Red Square, Moscow.

"To immortalize Gagarin's memory, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the RFSFR renamed the city of Gzhatsk, Smolensk Oblast, as the city of Gagarin and the Gzhatsk Raion, Smolensk Oblast, as the Gagarin Raion. The name of Iu. A. Gagarin was also accorded to the Red Banner of the Order of Kutuzov Air Force Academy in Monino. A crater on the far side of the moon was also named after Gagarin.

"In 1968 the International Aeronautical Federation instituted a gold medal named for Iu. A. Gagarin, which is awarded each year to pilot-cosmonauts who have achieved the greatest results in the field of man's mastery of outer space for peaceful purposes. The first medal was awarded to G. T. Beregovoi (1969)."

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Why is the giraffe the hieroglyph of truth? The greatest of all the Utopian Socialists Charles Fourier explains:

"Since the characteristic of truth is to surmount error, the animal that represents it must be able to raise its head higher than all the others: this the giraffe can do, as it browses on branches 18 feet above the ground... [A]s [truth] is incapable of harmonising with our customs, its hieroglyph, the giraffe, must be incapable of helping humans in their work; thus God has reduced it to insignificance by giving it an irregular gait which shakes up and damages any burden it might be called upon to bear. As a result we prefer to leave it to inaction, just as nobody will employ a truthful man, whose character runs counter to all accepted customs and desires. Truth is only beautiful in our society when it is inactive, and the giraffe, by analogy, is only admirable when it is at rest: when it walks or runs it provokes jeers, as truth provokes jeers when it takes a practical form. ... [T]o represent the way truth is repressed, God has cut the giraffe's horns down to their roots, so that they are no more than sprouts, permanently unable to branch up into antlers... [A]lthough we are enemies of truth, we want to deck ourselves out in its dress; by analogy, the only thing we want from the giraffe is its dress, its skin, which is extremely beautiful; so when we catch one we treat it rather as we treat truth. We say to it, 'Poor beast, you are good for nothing but to remain in the desert, far from the society of man; we may admire you for a little while, but in the end we must kill you and keep only your skin, just as we stifle truth and keep only its outward appearance.'

"From this explanation we can see that God has created nothing without a purpose, even the giraffe which is supremely useless... If you wish to know what purposes truth will serve in societies other than Civilisation, study this problem in the counter-giraffe, which we call the reindeer, an animal which provides us with every service imaginable: you will see that God has excluded it from those social climates, from which truth will also be excluded for as long as Civilisation lasts."

[Charles Fourier: The Theory of the Four Movements, trans. Ian Patterson, Cambridge, 1996, pp.283-4.]

This unhappy state of affairs is only temporary. With a better society comes the anti-giraffe, "a great and magnificent servant whose qualities will far surpass the good qualities of the reindeer, which so excites our envy and arouses our anger at nature for having deprived us of it".

Former Speaker of the US House of Representatives Newt Gingrich has aslo been thinking about giraffes. See Upper Body Strength in this Dictionary.

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Gladstone, William Ewart

The Big Soviet Encyclopaedia (3rd ed., English version, v.6 pp.419-420) swiftly presents and assesses the career of the Grand Old Man of British politics:

"Born 29 December, 1809 in Liverpool; died 19 May, 1898 in Hawarden; English statesman.

"Gladstone was born into the family of a rich merchant. He was educated in the exclusive aristocratic school at Eton and graduated from Oxford University, where he studied theology and classical literature. In 1832 he was eleted to Parliament as a member of the Tory Party. He gradually understood, however, that the development of capitalism and the strengthening of the bourgeoisie had rendered the old Tory position hopeless, and he began to orinet himself towards the Liberals.

"From 1843 to 1845, Gladstone was minister of trade in the Peel government and from 1845 to 1847, minister of the colonies. From 1852 to 1855 he was chancellor of the exchquer in Aberdeen's coalition government, and from 1859 to 1866 he was chancellor of the exchequer in the Liberal government of Palmerston. During the Civil War in the USA (1861-65) Gladstone supported the southern slaveowners. In 1868 he was elected leader of the Liberal Party. From 1868 to 1874, Gladstone was primie minister. His government brought about reform in primary education, legalised the trade unions (simultaneously introducing punishment for picketing of establishments by strikers in their struggle against strikebreakers), and introduced the secret ballot. After the defeat of the Liberals in the parliamentary elections of 1874, Gladstone led the opposition to Disraeli's Conservative government.

"As head of the government from 1880 to 1885, Gladstone continued the expansionist foreign policy of the Conservatives. In 1882, his government sent English troops to seize Egypt. Cruelyl suppressing the national liberation movement in Ireland, the Gladstone government simultaneously made insignificant concessions. The defeat of English troops in teh Sudan and compications in Ireland led to the fall of the Gladstone government. Gladstone headed the government for a short time in 1886, introducing in Parliament a bill on home rule for Ireland, the defeat of which caused him to retire. The fight over this question continued for a long time. When he headed the government again from 1892 to 1894, Gladstone got a bill on home rule for Ireland through the House of Commons, but the House of Lords defeated it. He again went into retirement, and his political career, which had lasted more than 60 years, was over.

"Without due foundation English historiography has created for Gladstone the fame of a great statesman. Marx applied the expression 'great' in quotation marks to Gladstone, calling him 'an arch-hypocrite and casuist'."

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God That Failed, The

Edited by Arthur "Darkness at Noon" Koestler and Richard "Diaries of a Cabinet Minister" Crossman, and first published in 1949, The God That Failed is an important collection of autobiographical writings by ex-Communists, describing their involvement in and disillusionment with the Communist Parties of the Third International period.

The first half, containing the reminiscences of actual party militants -- Koestler himself, Ignazio Silone and Richard Wright -- remains relentlessly more interesting than the second half, in which literati like André Gide and Stephen Spender muse on their period of fellow-travelling. Koestler describes the state of the KPD in Berlin in the early 1930s and provides an insider's account of that organisation's impotence in the face of the Nazi seizure of power. Silone presents a fascinating description of his childhood encounters with politics in the Italian South before the First World War, and eyewitness account of the inner councils of the Comintern in 1920s Moscow, where he represented the PCI along with Palmiro Togliatti. Wright describes the Communist Party in Depressed Chicago, where the politics of race, class and paranoia intersected to crush his political and cultural projects on behalf of Chicago Blacks. Elsewhere in the Dictionary we reproduce Koestler's account of Proletarian Morality.

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Gotha Programme, the

The Gotha Programme was adopted in 1875 when the Eisenacher and Lassallean factions came together at a Unity Congress to form a single German Socialist Party, the direct forerunner of today's SPD. The programme is most famous for the stinging response it elicited from Karl Marx, in his Critique of the Gotha Programme, which remains one of his most important political texts. Marx wrote his comments on the draft version of the programme, and some -- but not many -- of his criticisms resulted in modifications to the final text that was adopted on May 25 as the basis for the new party. This final text is short enough to reproduce here in full; the draft text is reproduced in the text of Marx's Critique. The Gotha Programme remained the platform of the German Socialists until it was replaced by the Erfurt Programme of 1891.


1. Labour is the source of wealth and all culture, and inasmuch as generally useful labour is possible only through society, the total product of labour belongs to society, i.e., to all its members, with universal obligation to work, with equal right, to each according to his reasonable needs.

2. In present-day society, the instruments of labour are the monopoly of the capitalist class; the resulting dependence of the working class is the cause of misery and servitude in all its forms.

3. The emancipation of labour demands the conversion of the instruments of labour into the common property of society and the co-operative regulation of the total labour, with employment for the common use of the proceeds of labour and their equitable distribution.

4. The emancipation of labour must be the work of the working class, in contrast to which all other classes are only one reactionary mass.

5. The Socialist Workers' Party of Germany, although acting in the first place within national limits, is conscious of the international character of the workers' movement and is resolved to fulfil all the obligations which this imposes on the workers in order to make the brotherhood of all men a truth.


Starting from these basic principles, the German Workers' party strives by all legal means for the free state and socialist society; the breaking of the iron law of wages by the abolition of the system of wage-labour, the abolition of exploitation in every form, the removal of all social and political inequality.


The German Workers' party, in order to pave the way to the solution of the social question, demands the establishment of producers' co-operative societies with state aid under the democratic control of the toiling people. The producers' co-operative societies are to be called into being for industry and agriculture in such dimensions that the socialist organization of the total labor will arise from them."


A. The German Workers' Party demands as the free basis of the state:

1. Universal, equal, direct and secret suffrage for all males of twenty-one years and above, for all elections - national and local.
2. Direct legislation by the people with right of initiating prosals and veto.
3. Universal conscription. People's militia in place of the standing army. Decision on war and peace through the people's representatives.
4. Abolition of all exceptional laws, especially the laws on the press, association and assembly.
5. Administration of justice by the people. Free administration of justice.

B. The Socialist Workers' Party of Germany demands, within existing society:

1. Universal and equal elementary education through the state. Universal compulsory school attendance. Free instruction.
2. A single progressive income tax for state and local administration, in place of all existing, and especially indirect, taxes.
3. Freedom of association.
4. A normal working day, corresponding to the needs of society, and prohibition of Sunday labour.
5. Restriction of women's labour and prohibition of child labour.
6. State supervision of factory, workshop, and domestic industry.
7. Regulation of prison labour.
8. An effective liability law.

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Graduate student

The Big Soviet Encyclopaedia (3rd ed., English version, v.2 p.674) usefully defines a graduate student as "A person preparing himself to do pedagogical or scientific work through graduate study at an institute of higher learning or an institute for scientific research and to defend a dissertation in order to receive the scholarly degree of candidate of sciences".

Many of the contributors to The Voice of the Turtle are graduate students.

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"Greenwashing is the nasty technique which corporations use as an alternative to making substantive changes in their operations..." Raj Patel lays down the party line here, with his sustained polemic against everybody's favourite genetic engineers, Monsanto Corporation.

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Grimethorpe Colliery Band, the

One of the leading brass bands in Britain. The Grimethorpe Colliery Band was founded in 1917 by miners from the Yorkshire pit, and funded by the colliery until nationalisation in 1947, when the National Coal Board and its Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation took over sponsorship. The transformation of the band from being a thoroughly-competent outfit on the regional circuit into being a major force in the world of brass bands began in 1972, when Elgar Howarth was appointed as the band's conductor, and works of avant-garde music began to be commissioned for the band. Since then the Grimethorpe Colliery Band has toured around the world, performing extremely well in both national and international competitions.

In 1992 the band was thrown into crisis, and under the media spotlight, when Michael Heseltine's pit closure programme shut down the Grimethorpe Colliery. More publicity was given to the pit and to the band with the release of the film Brassed Off, a lightly fictionalised account of the autumn's events, set in "Grimley". Although the pit was abandoned, the band was rescued from oblivion, and a 1995 sponsorship deal from RJB Mining plc now keeps the band in existence. Most of the band's members are still ex-coal miners; it now performs under the direction of Major Peter Parkes (formerly director of music in the British Army) and Gary E. Cutt. Recent competition results remain creditable with second place in the 1996 National Championships, third in the 1997 European Championships and fourth in the 1998 British Open, with successive victories in the Mineworkers' Championship competition.

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