Today was spent aimlessly – reading and listening to records – I did virtually nothing of note, except read my book and watch cricket (2nd test). England closed at 239-7 after being 160-odd for 1 at tea.
Mum came home at four and in the evening, I watched a programme called “Uncle Sam’s Backyard” about US interference in the economic affairs of the Caribbean. Tonight’s programme was concerned with the Dominican Republic and its virtual take over by a huge US firm, Gulf + Western, run by a McCarthy type billionaire.
The film showed how the company had built for its workers a whole village, a hospital and other facilities. Dominican Republic workers are either employed by G+W or unemployed. The film also told of the succession of fascist dictators placed in power there by the US Government; - so much for the US being the saviour of the ‘free’ world and protector of democracy. It is as bad as the Soviet Union.
I also watched ‘Newsnight’ which featured an interview with Master-Sergeant Samuel Doe, now leader of Liberia. Horrible film was shown of the public executions of thirteen ex-Government officials, on a beach – they were not blindfolded and were tied to stakes before being machine-gunned ruthlessly down.
I’m fired with enthusiasm over this ‘Guide to Marxism’ book. A lot of what Marx said was pure commonsense – every man is equal, total egalitarianism, a classless society etc. Today I’ve been reading about his ideas on the class struggle in society and his theory that it is only groups, not Great Men, who have affected, or can affect the course of history – Much of what I’ve read I agree with. I was amused to discover that under Marx’s class classification idea – that class is determined by the differences in relationship to the ‘factors of production’ (in other words there are only three classes; bourgeois; artisans or peasants; and proletarians; including in the bourgeois, the bourgeois lackeys) – Dad is a bourgeois lackey. (A proletarian who betrays the interests of his class by implementing the law which benefit the bourgeois). I wonder how he’d react to that!
A superb record I kept playing today was Nick Drake’s “Five Leaves Left” album. It’s all slow, acoustic stuff but it’s really good. This sounds totally corny but in a way it is sad and haunting. The track on side one, “River Man” is so good I kept playing it over and over again. Perhaps the fact that Nick Drake killed himself in 1972 explains a lot of the album’s melancholy atmosphere.