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May 06, 2008



Is this an attempt to influence the content of David Miliband's speech tomorrow, Mr, don't associate yourself with the ideas of Noam Chomsky, or else ?


"Marxist theorist" ...

I note that people who I respect like Norman Geras, Christopher Hitchens and many others do or did describe themselves as Marxists. I do not know where you stand on this, Oliver, but I remain surprised at the power of Marx to entrance the young and utopian. I may have mentioned this before, but the position on Marx of John Maynard Smith seems utterly conclusive.

Smith was a Marxist, but found Marx and Darwin to be unreconcilable (from 0:37:33.000). Being a scientist, he took the standard line that any honest scientist would take, viz. it only requires *one* contrary fact to destroy a theory. Evolution has stood fast against every test, but Marx has not, so Smith had to ditch Marxism - all of it. Why this killer point evades so many on the Left, remains a mystery to me. It also means that one might as well be an Astrologer as a "Marxist Theroist", and I cannot consider such people to be rational or intellectual. Why waste your time on them?


"Marxist", "Socialist", "Communist", "The Left", "Liberal", "Chomskyites"'s all the same to the 'Kammites' - who appear intent on demonizing anyone opposed to a Zionist Neo-Con agenda of PNAC's 'Full Spectrum Dominance'...cleverly in disguise, in the 'U.S.K.', as The Henry Jackson Society/Euston Manifesto Group.

Jonathan O.

Oliver Kamm attacking a left-winger over foreign policy? In the words of Harry Hill, 'surely not'.
Seriously, it cannot be a mystery to you why people doubt your left-wing credentials. It's well-known that the Reagan administration sided with the Khmer Rouge at the UN after the Vietnamese invasion; even the historian Niall Ferguson (often, like yourself, considered to be a neo-conservative) mentioned this in his last documentary series. For some reason, you seem less incensed or enthralled by the follies of the most powerful people in the world than by those of dead socialist writers or obscure bloggers.


Smith starts with sympathy for Lysenko's bogosity, goes on to mention social darwinism while seemingly unaware of Darwin's own opinions on the matter, and then declares evolution and historical materialism incompatible due to personal incredulity.

This is conclusive, just not as proof of Marx's incompatibility with Darwin...



Alcuin writes: "Evolution has stood fast against every test . . ."

Could you point me to a scientific experiment which set out to falsify evolutionary theory and which failed to do so?

I believe the theory of evolution is articulated at such an abstract level, or over such long time scales, that it is simply not falsifiable.

What you could justifiably assert is that no competing theory so far proposed explains the wide range of phenomena explained by the theory of evolution. Such an assertion is very different from saying that the theory of evolution has passed every test.


Would anyone be interested in the views of Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson on the subject of the legality of Vietnam's invasion and occupation of Cambodia?

Tim Newman

Thanks for posting this link. I was until now under the mistaken impression that educated people in the west no longer made lengthy statements justifying the horrors of the Soviet Union.


I believe the theory of evolution is articulated at such an abstract level, or over such long time scales, that it is simply not falsifiable.

Evolution could easily be falsified. A Google search featuring the keywords "falsification" and "evolution" shows many examples. e.g.:

Evolution by natural selection has indeed passed every test so far.

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