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Free speech and… January 30, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Michael Carley linked to this interesting piece here. I’ve a lot of sympathy for it – not least the sense of proportion. For all the supposed outrage over relatively peripheral and marginal events on some campuses – some great, some good, some a bit dodgy and some, as the piece notes ‘daft’ – in the greater scheme of things they’re no real threat to freedom of speech. And I would argue that where else is it possible to experiment in quite this way in a society. Some stuff will work, some won’t but to characterise it as the totality – as the right and the neo-right (such as Spiked etc, given a big mention in the piece) attempt to do, is simply incorrect.

But it is particularly intriguing when discussing the RCP and the following:

Meet the Revolutionary Communist Party. Not your father’s commies, the RCP was an offshoot of the Revolutionary Communist Group, which had itself split from the International Socialists in the 1970s. Always media savvy, throughout the 70s and 80s it was interested in moral panics like child pornography and the AIDS epidemic, finding ways to reframe ideas and events into hardened concepts and tropes.
By 1997 it was no longer cool to run a “party”, so it chose to propagate its ideas through a magazine called Living Marxism – a kind of Now! album collection of familiar frames to true believers – along with an exotic collection of front groups. The Manifesto Club. Parents with Attitude. Audacity.org. The Institute of Ideas.

So many fronts…

Comments»

1. EWI - January 30, 2018

RCP members and hangers-on are also intimately involved with The Register (Andrew Orlowski) and the GWPF.

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GW - January 30, 2018

That’s presumably not The Register as in https://www.theregister.co.uk/?

Readership much to high.

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EWI - January 30, 2018

The very same publication.

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GW - January 30, 2018

Well, well. And Orlowski is prolific. I like The Reg’s style, I have to say.

Despite the fact that it is militantly pro-Microsoft in the way that the Grauniad are signed up to the Krapple Fan Boy Front.

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EWI - January 30, 2018

Both Reg positions springing from the same ultimate source, I think.

On your other point, I don’t understand people who criticise Apple but let Facebook and Google sail on by. Apple at least have the ostensible philosophy of respecting the privacy of their public, who they see as users, not the product, in one of the great digital issues.

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GW - January 30, 2018

Hrmph – I think you’ll find that I despise Facebook even more than I dislike Apple. Which is saying something.

I’m a bit soft on Google because at least they contribute something to the intellectual commons, but I’d be happy to see them go under.

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GW - January 30, 2018

And GWPF – acronym expansion please – not one of mine, I assure you.

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Joe - January 30, 2018

I keep getting email invitations in work to something called the GDPR which is going to have huge implications blah blah when it is implemented this year. I keep thinking it’s some kind of relaunch of the GDR – P for People’s or Popular or Proletarian, maybe?
Any inside knowledge GW?

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EWI - January 30, 2018

The GDPR is a mandatory European regulation covering personal information. It’s a very good thing.

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Joe - January 30, 2018

Thanks EWI.

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GW - January 30, 2018

Oh Joe, that GDPR is a bad beast. Potentially. Millions of yoyos in fines if you’re caught with personal data you haven’t registered and/or you aren’t entitled to. People having a restrained panic about it at work.

It would be nice to see it used against Facebook & Co. But then, what did the EU ever do for us?

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EWI - January 31, 2018

Give Mr Schrems a year or two to get his teeth into it.

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EWI - January 30, 2018

GWPF = Global Warming Policy Foundation, basically a crank and crook operation in the UK.

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2. Michael Mullan - January 30, 2018

Well spotted – this is an elegantly-written, informative and stimulating piece.

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3. Joe Mooney - January 31, 2018

Back in the early 1990’s the RCP dispatched a couple of folks to our shores to set up here . I can’t really remember much about them , but it was peace process days so maybe they thought there was a niche to fill . In the UK I found it very odd to see their glossy magazine in the high street newsagents like WH Smiths , a very high class production .

Liked by 1 person

EWI - January 31, 2018

In the UK I found it very odd to see their glossy magazine in the high street newsagents like WH Smiths , a very high class production .

I like the description of them as a PR firm masquerading as a cult masquerading as their various front groups.

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