It was bad enough in 2005. Then, at the G8 summit in Scotland, Bono and Bob Geldof heaped praise on Tony Blair and George Bush, who were still mired in the butchery they had initiated in Iraq. At one point Geldof appeared, literally and figuratively, to be sitting in Tony Blair's lap. African activists accused them of drowning out a campaign for global justice with a campaign for charity.
But this is worse. As the UK chairs the G8 summit again, a campaign that Bono founded, with which Geldof works closely, appears to be whitewashing the G8's policies in Africa.
We, citizens of Europe and beyond, call on all our fellow citizens to support the Greek workers’ and journalists’ general strike.
At a moment when the IMF has implicitly admitted that the privatisations and restructuring imposed by the Troika in exchange for loans – supposedly meant to reduce Greek sovereign debt – have in fact driven the country to ruin, this same Troika (also including the European Commission and European Central Bank) has come to Athens to make fresh demands. Its terms were such that the Greek government has decided to speed up the enslavement of Greece to domestic and foreign neoliberal dictatorship.
Who would have thought? Jonathan Clark has just reviewed Ellen Wood’s Liberty and Property for the TLS. It may be that the TLS intended mischief. Clark is, after all, a pretty conservative, if idiosyncratic and iconoclastic, historian. He’s been called probably the most distinguished ‘revisionist’ historian of the long 18th century who has made it a personal mission to attack Marxism, and Marxist historians in particular. But here he is, telling us:
Wood’s book may signal the rebirth of Marxism, hitherto, he tells us, definitively dead. It shows us that Marxism still has much to offer on questions like ‘interactions between property and the state, how self-interest worked alongside professions of principle, how material goals marked out social constituencies, why polities differed in their long-term political trajectories’. Wood, it seems, not only represents a major challenge to the dominant school in the historiography of political thought, the so-called Cambridge School. More than that: ‘there is now the nagging fear that Marx's spectre may return to be the ghost of revolutions yet to come.’ Well, whatever it takes…
‘This is a notable book, wide-ranging and perceptive, by an eminent North American Marxist scholar…. I disagree with much of it. But that is not the point.’