"There is the horrible -- the really disquieting -- prevalence of cranks wherever Socialists are gathered together. One sometimes gets the impression that the mere words 'socialism' and 'communism' draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex maniac, Quaker, 'nature-cure' quack, pacifist and feminist in England."
George ORWELL, c.1935.
"The socialist seeks to make an orderly plan for the half-conceived wilderness of human effort."
"The disabled, exhausted, disillusioned, chronically ill, unemployed or unemployable, unsuccessful, underprivileged, insecure, or those who are frustrated incline to invoke a more humane, less competitive, less strenuous economy. This is what Socialism represented and still represents."
Branko BOKUN, 1986, Humour Therapy. London : Vita Books.
"Yes and no to the State. We need it to further the national welfare and to protect us; but democratic socialism is now, not only in Britain, very sceptical, almost hostile, to putting too much reliance on the state -- cultural pluralism is a positive value now, not just a sociological description of the debris of imperfectly articulated class formations, etc. All power does corrupt: some levels are not safe."
Bernard CRICK, 1986, New Statesman , 19/26 xii.
"A theory of an associationalist socialism in a pluralist State is the doctrine which best
secures socialism a future."
Paul HIRST, 1987, New Statesman, 6 iii.
"Democratic socialists should be appealing to the very instincts which Thatcherite Conservatism
has attempted to take to its
soul....beliefs in self-reliance and self-determination, a desire to have the dignity of looking
after yourself and not having the state
or local bureaucracy telling you what to do or how to do it."
David BLUNKETT (Labour M.P.), 1987, cited by D.Selbourne, New Statesman & Society, 16 x.
I found these quotes interesting even the blatantly anti-socialist ones or the one from Bakunin that could be used by any happy agent provocator as black propaganda, I dont agree with them all but broadly agree with the positive socialist ones, what does everyone else think?
"Marx's tragic sense of life, his social pessimism, his anti-egalitarianism, his Homeric sense
of the grandeur of conflict, his
splenetic contempt of wets, his deep disbelief in people's good nature, is deeply acceptable to
John VINCENT, 1983, Times, 16 iii.
"In the twentieth century there will be an extraordinary nation. This nation will be large,
which will not prevent its being free. It
will be illustrious, rich, thoughtful, peaceful, friendly towards the rest of humanity.... It
will be called Europe."
Victor HUGO, 1867. Quoted by the U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO, NATO Review, August
"Internationalism....was perhaps historically the first and should still be the most fundamental
value of the left. There is a strong
sense in which, today, it defines what it means to be on the left if anything can.... Radicals
and socialists should be campaigning
all-out for intervention -- in Bosnia, in southern Iraq, in Somalia -- to stop local tyrants
from slaughtering what are thoughtlessly
and wrongly called "their own people". If that's neo-colonialism, so be it. There are worse
Stephen HOWE, 1992, New Statesman & Society, 4 ix.
"The dilemma of Americanisation is particularly problematic for the Left -- or at least it
should be. They have deconstructed and
dismissed the idea of nationhood as nothing more than an 'imagined construction'. Yet at the
same time the Left has fought to
defend the national identity and cultural sovereignty of people perceived to be victims of
American cultural imperialism. But if
nationhood is nothing more than a fiction, what does it matter if one fiction replaces another?
Are grass skirts and goat's milk
any more authentic than blue jeans and Coca-Cola? How can one fear for the future of an imagined
Cosmo LANDESMAN, 1993, Modern Review, x/xi.
"The new world will be won only when the last king has been strangled with the guts of the last
Mikhail BAKUNIN (1814-1876) (Russian anarchist, himself of aristocratic descent; expelled
from the Communist
International in 1872).
"The thing that attracts ordinary men to socialism and makes them willing to risk their skins
for it, the "mystique" of socialism, is
the idea of equality; to the vast majority of people socialism means a classless society, or it
means nothing at all."
George ORWELL, Homage to Catalonia.
"Professor V.G.Kiernan (Poets, Politics and the People) proves the worth of scientific socialism
and the truth about the old
adage "The poor are poor because they are robbed and robbed because they are poor.""
Dominic BEHAN, 1989, Scotsman (Weekend), 5 viii.
"[The British Communist Party (1920-1991)] was always known to those in an around it as The
Party, a sign of the heroic role
members attributed to a tiny and usually ineffectual body. ....It is perhaps ironic that The
Party's prime time was as a leader on
foreign policy, as staunch opponent to Francoism, Fascism and Nazism. ....The Soviet invasion of
Hungary in 1956
accelerated the course of British communism. It drove out many of those who cared about
integrity.... [However] the idea of
communism -- of all resources being held in common and distributed according to need rather than
to status or wealth -- has
been nurtured in most societies, by religious tradition as much as secular ones. It is not so
much that idea, but the idea of the
party as a hero, in which people have abandoned hope."
Sarah BENTON, 1992, reviewing W.Thompson, The Good Old Cause: British Communism 1920-1991.
Statesman & Society, 21 viii.
"In the doctrine of socialism there is hidden, rather badly, a "will to negate life"; the human
beings or races that think up such a
doctrine must be bungled. Indeed, I should wish that a few great experiments might prove that in
a socialist society life negates
itself, cuts off its own roots. The earth is large enough and man is still sufficiently
unexhausted; hence such a practical instruction
and demonstratio ad absurdum would not strike me as undesirable, even if it were gained and paid
for with a tremendous
expenditure of human lives."
NIETZSCHE, The Will to Power.
"Man's slavish instincts Galton regarded as inconsistent with the spirit of tolerance,
co-operativeness and self-sufficiency on
which a socialist state could be successfully built. Galton was apparently not hostile to
socialism; but he felt that it called for a
wider distribution of noble qualities than was yet found in civilized societies."
C.P.BLACKER, 1952, Eugenics: Galton and After. London : Duckworth.