We marvel at them; we read them aloud to our friends and spouses, even, occasionally, to passersby; we analyze them; we lament a]our inability to match them.
Headmaster: Clad in the magnificent white silk robes of an Arab prince, with in his belt the short curved, gold sword of the Ashraf descendants of the Prophet, he hoped to pass unnoticed through London. Alas, he was mistaken. "Who am I?" he would cry despairingly. "You are Lawrence of Arabia" passers-by would stop him and say, "And I claim my five pounds."Alan Bennett
May he be cursed on earth who gives his trust to virtue, that bankrupt crone who takes our life's pure gold and gives but bad receipts for payment in the lower world. Ah, passers-by that stroll, travelers that come and go, all that I had, I placed on virtue, and lost the game!Nikos Kazantzakis
The body is a house of many windows : there we all sit, showing ourselves and crying on the passers-by to come and love us.
In both theory and practice the SPGB was an extreme manifestation of the pre-1917 Marxist tradition. Its function was to educate the workers in the intractability of capitalism and the hopelessness of all trade union action or reform: its medium was the streetcorner pitch where speakers would harangue passers-by and sell the Socialist Standard . Since prospective members were examined for their knowledge of Marxism and ability to speak in public, and since they prided themselves on their ‘scientific socialism’, propagandists of the SPGB enjoyed a reputation as formidable Marxist purists.
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