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Elizabeth Sandifer

Elizabeth Sandifer created Eruditorum Press. She’s not really sure why she did that, and she apologizes for the inconvenience. She currently writes Last War in Albion, a history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. She used to write TARDIS Eruditorum, a history of Britain told through the lens of a ropey sci-fi series. She also wrote Neoreaction a Basilisk, writes comics these days, and has ADHD so will probably just randomly write some other shit sooner or later.Support Elizabeth on Patreon.

23 Comments

  1. SK
    September 18, 2015 @ 9:09 am

    Just noticed. We know from

    http://www.philipsandifer.com/blog/guided-by-the-beauty-of-their-weapons-an-analysis-of-theodore-beale-and-his-supporters/#part4

    that to be fascist means for a group to hold a narrative of a mythical golden age in the past when the group was united, pure and dominant; but that there was a ‘stab in the back’ by an ‘enemy within’, that led to defeat and, worse, the compromising of the purity of the group; and that these ‘enemies’ are now scapegoats, reviled and held responsible for everything that has gone wrong since; and that therefore the group must coalesce around one ‘great man’, the only one pure enough to recapture the animating spirit of the golden age, to purge the enemy within, and to lead the group back to its glory days.

    Or in other words, the world’s newest fascist movement if the Labour party.

    Reply

    • Jack Graham
      September 18, 2015 @ 9:16 am

      Only if you empty the word ‘fascist’ of any actual content and then grossly misrepresent what’s going on inside the Labour Party.

      Reply

      • SK
        September 18, 2015 @ 9:21 am

        Gosh, you mean the linked article gives a really bad definition of fascism?

        Reply

        • Jack Graham
          September 18, 2015 @ 10:02 am

          I think the linked article could be qualified or added-to in some ways, but clearly you can’t take Phil’s definition of fascism’s formal traits and empty it of political/historical content.

          Reply

          • Elizabeth Sandifer
            September 18, 2015 @ 11:55 am

            In the rewritten version for the book, I’m just going with Eco’s definition of fascism.

    • Elizabeth Sandifer
      September 18, 2015 @ 11:53 am

      Try to be vaguely on topic, SK.

      Reply

      • Anton B
        September 19, 2015 @ 5:40 am

        I thought he was. Right up to the end I assumed SK was talking about Rorschach and the Minutemen.

        Labour = fascist? Would be laughable if not so easily disproved.
        By their actions shall we judge them.

        Also, I know you guys are working on it but the new Eruditorum press format is not very user friendly on my Kindle Fire.

        Reply

        • Aylwin
          September 19, 2015 @ 10:03 am

          Far be it from me to go in to bat for SK, but I think you’re missing the point of the mischief here. The suggestion is not that the Labour Party is fascist, but that it fits Phil’s definition of fascism, showing that definition to be inadequate. The party’s non-fascist character is a basic assumption of the argument.

          And as this blog’s most assiduous troll, SK was hardly going to hang around waiting for an opportunity to unleash that one on-topic.

          Reply

          • Jack Graham
            September 19, 2015 @ 10:11 am

            The trouble is that the Labour Party doesn’t fit Phil’s definition of fascism.

          • Aylwin
            September 19, 2015 @ 11:00 am

            Indeed, though I think the reasons why not (some of which have been mentioned by Josh04) are incidental rather than fundamental. Which is to say, I think it is perfectly feasible to imagine left-wing movements fitting that definition. None of its components are particularly alien to left-wing/radical politics, nor is the combination of them.

        • Elizabeth Sandifer
          September 19, 2015 @ 7:19 pm

          What’s the problem with it, exactly?

          Reply

          • Aylwin
            September 20, 2015 @ 3:23 pm

            To clarify any ambiguity in the phrasing of my previous comment, I feel I should state that I was outlining the nature of SK’s argument, not endorsing it.

            Still though, I admit that I probably wouldn’t have bothered if I didn’t think there was something resembling a valid point tucked away inside what SK said. While I think that what you presented was a perfectly sound description of fascism, I’m not convinced it amounts on its own to an effective definition. The idea of stripping out the specific content (natonalism, militarism, authoritarianism, romanticism, whatever) to leave a sort of mythic outline as the common denominator of different manifestations of fascism is an interesting one, but I think it led to something too loosely-drawn, too potentially applicable to tendencies that would not generally be considered fascist, to work in isolation. Laments for lost unity, purity and strength, narratives of betrayal by enemies within, purgative revivalism and personality cults are hardly unknown in left-wing politics, for starters. And I don’t see any particular reason why these things should not on occasion be found in combination in that sort of context. So I don’t think it can be sustained that where you find these things together, you will know that you are looking at fascism.

          • SK
            September 26, 2015 @ 7:47 pm

            Also it means that Franco wasn’t a fascist. And while that’s a perfectly tenable position historically (he was allied with fascists, but was himself arguably a nationalist, rather than specifically a fascist dictator) it is perhaps not arguable at the same time as you’re trying to expand the definition of ‘fascist’ to include ‘anyone you disagree with’.

    • Josh04
      September 18, 2015 @ 12:44 pm

      There’s quite a mangle to get that to work, anyway. Labour was never a party of any particular ‘purity’ that Blairites compromised. It was also never particularly united or dominant. The ‘golden age’ has to either refer to the last time Labour were winning elections, which was under Blair so that doesn’t work, or else go back to the pre-Blair Labour leadership when they couldn’t seem to win anything for love or money – a curious choice of golden age.

      Reply

      • SK
        September 26, 2015 @ 7:44 pm

        Labour’s golden age myth (remember, in the definition it’s important that it’s a myth, not reality) is one of the least controversial bits; Ken Loach made a whole film about it. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2332801/

        Reply

  2. Daibhid C
    September 18, 2015 @ 12:46 pm

    The font for the picture captions being the same as the main text is confusing (well, to those of us who are easily confused), although in a way that’s probably appropriate for a piece about cut-up literature.

    Reply

    • Elizabeth Sandifer
      September 18, 2015 @ 3:39 pm

      I’ll see what I can do.

      Reply

      • Daibhid C
        September 19, 2015 @ 11:05 am

        Thanks, that’s easier on the eye.

        Reply

  3. Jesse
    September 18, 2015 @ 4:10 pm

    Watchmen does not hew to the plot of Naked Lunch

    Nothing could, really.

    Reply

    • Elizabeth Sandifer
      September 18, 2015 @ 5:37 pm

      I really never get tired of writing sentences like that.

      Reply

      • Daru
        September 28, 2015 @ 4:13 am

        Beautiful sentence.

        Reply

  4. JKtheMac
    September 22, 2015 @ 7:52 am

    Just a quick note to point out your tagging seems inconsistent with the Last War material.

    In order to read the last few articles it in the correct order I had to switch to the main blog.

    Reply

  5. Daru
    September 28, 2015 @ 4:23 am

    “Or, as Moore puts it, “Burroughs tends to see the word and the image as the basis for our inner, and thus outer realities. He suggests that the person who controls the word and the image controls reality.”

    Great stuff in this post about Burroughs – one of my big favourites – and his cut-ups. This is why I come here, in fact I am almost seeing the whole of Last War as one massive time-spanning cut-up now, and perhaps seeing a further clue also how the Nintendo Project will destroy Gamergate.

    The above quote with reference to Watchmen makes me think of my experience as a trained designer, as throughout the book one of the features that struck me (and still does) is the use of advertising and logos. I would interpret this as a perfect comment on the attempts by corporations and advertisers attempting to do the above. In a lot of ways this idea is even more relevant now as many of us carry around and use logo-based devices that apparently “give us control and freedom” over text, image and our lives, but the joke’s on us.

    Reply

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