Sunday, January 23, 2011

More by Mark Osborne

This passed me by in 1998 but it is wonderful and it fits in with my thinking on Marx and Engels (!)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Science and religion do not always disagree

Neuroscience and free will

This is a wonderful article, well thought-out and perhaps illustrating that there is more to the science-religion debate than the press would reveal to us. I have always suspected that as Clarke reveals there is more integrity and rigour within the religious side of the debate than the scientific and that the press are so biased towards the scientific that they will print anything as long as it is anti-religious.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Eric Hobsbawm, Michael Sandel, Nina Raine, Azzam Alwash 17 Jan 11

Start the Week 17 Jan 2011

I would recommend this programme on justice and fairness, discussing Marxism, Aristotle and ethical dilemmas.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Journey to the end of the night

I have started to read 'Journey to the end of the night' by Louis-Ferdinand Céline. A controversial classic, it starts in the carnage of World War I. The writer is disgusted with the waste of life and the futility of war. It is strongly written, gritty even. Although the writing is not perhaps as elegant or polished it is real and you are in turns disgraced and laughing, it is also humorous and I am enjoying reading it. At times you are left gasping at the harshness of the reality and then laughing on the next page.

On the battlefield he is sent out at night to search out how far the enemy has approached. He describes his heart as follows:
"My heart, a rabbit, warm in its little rib cage, fearful, cowering, bewildered."

Engels and Marx differ on morals

I have re-started 'The Frock-Coated Communist' by Tristram Hunt on the life of Engels and I have been emerged in the start of the communist league. A little bit before the start of communism we find Engels and Marx have a slight difference of opinion concerning Engels bringing his 'good time girls' to meetings with Marx in Brussels. 

Although it is hotly disputed, it is reported that marx and his wife would frown on Engels as he paraded a string of lovers. Hunt tries to make an issue of the fact that one of the world's greatest revolutionaries had moral issues with Engels. I think it is interesting but it was most probably the society they were involved in, Brussels was quite conservative compared to Paris.

Stephen Born was there in Brussels and reports:

"Among those present were Marx and his wife and Engels and his ... lady friend. The two couples were separated by a large room. When I approached Marx to greet him and his wife, he gave me a look and a meaningful smile that let me know that his wife strictly refused all contact with this ... lady friend. The noble woman was intransigent when it came to honouring mores. If anyone had the impertinence to demand of her that she make a concession in this regard, she would have refused indignantly."