Nicolas Walter

Nicolas Walter has been involved in the anarchist movement for more than thirty years and has written a pamphlet, ‘About Anarchism’.

Will-be-ism?

Nicolas Walter, 27 February 1992

We live in interesting times, alas. The new world order isn’t bringing much order to the world. What used to be called ‘actually existing socialism’ is no longer existing in most places, and while capitalism is existing it isn’t doing much better for most people. The warfare state and the welfare state (right or left) are both falling under their own weight, as the economy (market or command) fails to supply their rising demands. Many ‘isms’ are becoming ‘wasms’, and many ‘wasms’ are becoming ‘isms’ again. Old imperialism and Communism are dying, but old nationalism and racialism and older religious fundamentalism and fanaticism are being reborn, and even older despotism and gangsterism are as lively as ever. The Cold War is over, but the hot wars are getting hotter. As the world collapses into what is conventionally called ‘anarchy’, it may be worth taking more serious thought about alternatives to the way we live now, and in particular about what is more correctly called ‘anarchy’. Conveniently, if coincidentally (and indeed curiously), a major Anglo-American publishing conglomerate has produced what is intended to be a new standard book on anarchism. It may not be that, but it was well worth writing and is well worth reading.

Letter

Freethinking

24 April 1997

Eric Korn’s review of the second volume of Adrian Desmond’s biography of T.H. Huxley (LRB, 24 April), noting that Huxley ‘constructed a respectable, almost a pious agnosticism’, misleadingly states that he did this ‘while distancing himself from the political atheists Bradlaugh, Watts, Holyoake’, and even more misleadingly adds that ‘when the Agnostic Annual pirated a piece of his, Huxley...
Letter

Thee and Thuh

2 January 1997

John Lanchester accepts Robert Burchfield’s claim in The New Fowler’s Modern English Usage about the double pronunciation of the word the (LRB, 2 January); but it is surely as false as many of his other claims, which do so much damage to the rest of the book, as they previously did to the Oxford English Dictionary. It is true that the is pronounced thuh (neutral schwa) before words beginning with...
Letter

Wine and Poses

6 June 1996

Philip French’s memoir of Jeremy Wolfenden stirs other memories, some confirming but others contradicting his version, as Rex Winsbury shows (Letters, 20 June). French speaks as one of the stars alongside Wolfenden in the Oxford firmament forty years ago; but things looked different to those who were closer to the ground, who had neither sought nor received commissions during National Service, who...
Letter

Chimeras

22 February 1996

Thomas Laqueur’s review of The Facts of Life (LRB, 22 February) regrets that Roy Porter and Lesley Hall didn’t include in their survey of sexual literature ‘Richard and Jane Carlile and their Everywoman’s Book’, and adds a summary of the contribution of ‘the Carliles’ to the birth-control movement. He is right to point out the omission, but wrong about what was omitted. For one thing,...

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