The wisdom of the Fat Man

March 30, 2008 at 10:24 pm (blogging, blogosphere, Human rights, Jim D, libertarianism, Marxism, politics, socialism)

The second most interesting writer to ever have been employed by the University of Hull, reviews Andrew Anthony’s book The Fall Out. I’m not particularly interested in Anthony’s book (as the Fat Man says, it “covers little new ground that has not been explored in more detail by others, such as Nick Cohen and Paul Berman“). But I do like Fatso’s excellent review and – especially – his concluding remarks:

There are plenty of blogs that reflect the orthodox left lunacy and ones that use seductively more ‘reasonable’ language to reach similar conclusions. However, there are two other broad caragories of sites that can be found. Firstly, there are those that are firmly anti-totalitarian but have little or no critique of domestic politics. They have made their peace with the establishment and the legacy of Thatcherism. However dramatic their declarations of human rights, they are Tom Paines abroad but Edmund Burkes at home. Whilst the finely tuned English ear is quick to pick up the contented cadences of the privilege of class.

“As for the other, it is a, sometimes fractious, cacophony. There are humanist Marxists, left libertarians, social democrats, Old Labour diehards, those who would combine Marx with Mill, querulous liberals, and others who place human emancipation at the centre of an ecological understanding of the diversity of the natural world. It is where I feel most at home and where the more interesting, and idiosyncratic, writing is taking place.

“What will emerge is unclear, but socialism, in the broadest sense of the term as an emancipatory, egalitarian social movement, is alive, well and thinking. Come and join in.”

I second that emotion.


  1. Geoff Collier said,

    Several of us are wondering whom you consider to be the most interesting writer ever to have been employed at Hull University. There’s quite some competition – John Saville, Tony Topham, Tom Kemp, Martin Shaw, Phillip Larkin, Ian Dolphin (maybe not) are just a few possibilities that spring to mind.

  2. Jim Denham said,

    A clue: They fuck you up…

  3. KB Player said,

    Douglas Dunn as well.

  4. Geoff Collier said,

    Larkin? Much over-rated as a poet if you ask me – but he kept a rather good library.

  5. Geoff Collier said,

    Talking about Douglas Dunn, I met him once when he was having a drink in Hull with one of Jim’s then comrades (and friend I think). Somehow it resulted in a short fight between Dunn and a critic of his.

  6. Jim Denham said,

    Come on then, Geoff: name names!

  7. Geoff Collier said,

    You know who your comrade (and her partner) were. I doubt you’d know the critic. Or the bloke whose beard DD stubbed his fag out in.

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