Listen to Your Ancestors By William Bowles

18 October 2003

[This is another essay out of the past that on rereading, seems even more relevant than it did when I wrote it almost exactly ten years ago in 2003. It exists in its old non-Wordpress form but republishing it here, makes it more accessible as well as tying into my current writing. WB]

I am a big fan of history. Ever since I was a kid, history fascinated me and perhaps in another life I might well have become a historian. And, in an age where history gets rewritten by the corporate media hour by hour, day by day, understanding where we come from and how we got here is a critical issue.

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A fool’s paradise revisited By William Bowles

28 December 2011

My last piece clearly touched a nerve at least judging by the readership it’s gotten so I thought it worth exploring the issue a little further, especially in light of the comments I’ve read.

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A history lesson By William Bowles

25 December 2011 — Strategic Culture Foundation

I don’t remember much about my high school years. Some of the highs (few in number) come back to me but it was mostly lows which probably explains why I don’t remember much. It’s not that I was dumb, I just had no motivation, but I was interested in history, jazz and politics (thanks to my parents) and even won a prize for a history essay as well as starting up the school’s first jazz appreciation society (not appreciated by the school I might add, the head of music tore down my posters).

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An update on InI and other ramblings By William Bowles

20 August 2011

The first piece to appear on this WordPress Blog is dated 17 May, 2007 but the site has been here since 14 March, 2003 when the first essay appeared on InI[1]. I know, it’s confusing but that’s computers for you as in reality InI is two sites in one; the old, ‘flat’ InI and the new, database-driven WordPress Blog. And never the twain shall meet, unless I want to build a complicated Index that leads to all the old pages. Thousands of them. Forget it. Search the site instead if you know what you are looking for.

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Economism rules ok! By William Bowles

29 September, 2010

Lenin’s famous pamphlet ‘What is to be done?’ was written in 1901 and addressed in part, the issue of the political versus the economic struggle socialists have to engage in (not that the two can be separated) in order to get rid of capitalism.

To avoid misunderstanding, we must point out that here, and throughout this pamphlet, by economic struggle, we imply (in keeping with the accepted usage among us) the “practical economic struggle”, which Engels…described as “resistance to the capitalists”, and which in free countries is known as the organised-labour syndical, or trade union struggle. — Lenin, ‘What is to be done?

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Capitalism cut adrift – Part 2: Looking Sideways By William Bowles

13 March, 2010 — Strategic Culture Foundation

‘Self-sufficiency, do-it-yourself, ‘green’ technologies, raising vegetables, crafts, ‘heritage’ projects , history, archeology, geneology, all manner of ‘community’ projects like cleaning up neighbourhoods or restoring poisoned rivers, the list is constantly expanding in what can only be described as a headlong flight from the shopping mall to the allotment and hence from corporate ‘culture’ in all its vileness and mediocrity. I kid you not, our ‘winter of discontent’ has been transformed into a ‘reality show’.’

That’s how I ended Part 1 but this is by no means the first time that capitalism has caused such revulsion as the inexorable march of accumulation destroyed traditional communities across this ‘green and pleasant land’. In fact we now live in at least the third version of capitalism to blight this England.

The first occurred around 1750 with the arrival of factory system, the second with the Enclosures Act in 1832 that saw the forcible removal of millions of workers from country to city and the third, the enforced deindustrialization that began in the Thatcher years. The fundamental effect of these transformations was to break the links with the past. What remains is a hollowed out ‘heritage’ version of our history, aka Walt Disney’s theme parks.

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My Dad, me and Nature By William Bowles

5 February 2009

woodcraft.jpg

The badge of the Woodcraft Folk

Unlike most of the kids I grew up with, my folks introduced me to Nature at a very early age and they introduced it to me in very specific ways, especially my father, Roy. Not just trips to the country at weekends, weather permitting, but a view of Nature as all-encompassing including us humans.

roy-microscope.jpg

My dad, building microscopes at Baker’s Microscopes

Roy was a self-taught man who had left school at perhaps fourteen or fifteen and like others of his class, time and politics, he felt a deep sense of inferiority when it came to knowledge. Thus he did everything he could to educate himself in all kinds of subjects especially the English language, science, history and of course politics and surprisingly for those days, Nature.

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Blogopopsicles of the world unite! by William Bowles

3 August 2007

The Web has opened a veritable can of worms as far as the mainstream media are concerned, even so-called liberal journalists seem to feel threatened by the emergence of a global, independent media, the latest one to emerge being Robert Fisk (who I referred to in my last piece). Now whether, as fellow blogopopsicle Chris Cook, publisher of Pacific Free Press opined, it’s because he’s afraid of the technology or, as I offered, because he sees his privileged position challenged by what he obviously thinks of as a bunch of opinionated, jumped up ‘amateurs’ invading his patch, is debatable. I obviously lean toward the latter.

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Imperial Manoeuvres By William Bowles

20 March 2006

History is a powerful weapon, perhaps that’s why they don’t teach it at school in the UK (except for the UK’s bizarre obsession with WWII, but then again it makes sense if you want to impart a sense of Britain’s former ‘greatness’ and what better propaganda weapon than our victorious struggle against the evil ‘Hun’).

When I cast my mind back to my high school daze, I remember that the ‘history’ books we used all ended with another infamous date in British history- 1914, anything after that date was not considered history; too close for comfort?

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Premature Burial By William Bowles

22 June 2005

No matter, the BBC and the rest of the state’s media/propaganda arsenal have effectively buried the Downing Street Minutes here in the UK, preferring to ignore the story rather than mount a counter offensive, no doubt operating on the principle of ‘out of sight, out of mind’.

In the US however, the story is somewhat different if only because the corporate press has been hoisted on its own propaganda petard and forced onto the defensive as the petulant (and slanderous) piece by the Washington Post so clearly demonstrated.

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