The Point
Last updated: 27 June 2022. sky thinking for an open and diverse left

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Recent Articles

In Praise of Beethoven

Arthur C Clarke - A Very Modern Odyssey

Tackling Private Landlords

Investigating the Value Form

The Eternal Dark Heart of Empire

If You Build Them, They Will Come

We - The First Revolutionary Dystopia

√ -1 = Reason Without Reason: A review of Zamyatin's "We"


Adrian Cruden



"We" - 2006 edition from Modern Library (New York)
ISBN 0-812907462-X


Yevgenny Zamyatin was a revolutionary: a Bolshevik agitator against the Czar, he was arrested and beaten up by the police in 1905, kept in solitary confinement and then sent on internal exile - the punishment of choice of the Romanov authorities: Russia was large enough to send dissenters far enough away to neutralise them, but still within the purview of the God-anointed Father of All-Russia.

After the collapse of the Imperial regime in 1917, Zamyatin's hopes were high as the social liberal experiment of the Soviets began - initially unsullied by the dogmatic centralism of the Leninist Bolsheviks. He enthusiastically participated in Maxim Gorky's House of Arts at Ryabushinsky in Petrograd, blazing a trail with others in developing Soviet "NeoRealism" in writing - the florid, repetitive language of the Old Days was to be swept away. The Revolution was not just about breaking down the old barriers and extreme inequalities; it was also about a new way of thinking, living and expression - rationale, efficient, and all the more powerful for it. One word should convey what in the past a dozen were used to describe; "written with 90-proof ink", as he put it.


Class Distinctions


A review of two films – Anne Edmonds

Films about characters the Tory chief whip would label “plebs” are less frequent than those about the middle class – still rarer if they do not feature what David Cameron calls “problem families” on “sink estates”. The British director Shane Meadows specialises in this genre with Nottingham based films like Twentyfour Seven and, my favourite, A Room for Romeo Brass; Andrea Arnold’s excellent Fish Tank, about a teenage girl on an Essex council estate, is in the same mould.

The French director Robert Guediguian concentrates instead on working class characters who fit Ed Miliband’s  “hard working families”, which cliché seems to mean drug free manual workers with jobs and not known to the police. Guediguian‘s films are set in L’Estaque, the dockyard area of Marseilles where he was born and bred. He works with the same actors in most films, rather like Mike Leigh who frequently casts Timothy Spall, Lesley Manville and Jim Broadbent. Guediguian’s  latest film is The Snows of Kilimanjaro which, despite its title, shares the Marseilles setting.


Celebration Day - Led Zeppelin are back

   Spacebound Ape looks forward to the return of Led Zeppelin to the public arena for the first time in five years.

Hold onto your hard hats, folks, the Zeps are back.

Celebration Day, the film of Led Zeppelin’s legendary re-union (and supposedly last ever gig) at the 02 Arena in London in 2007 is coming to a big screen near you on October 17th and 18th only, in full glorious HD and surround sound. The gig in 2007 was hugely oversubscribed with over 3 million applying in the space of a couple of days for a limited number of tickets. At the time those of us (including Spacebound Ape) who couldn’t make it fully expected a DVD to be issued shortly.

Well, we’ve waited for five years, and the rumour mill is that it will be well worth the wait, with the film theatre release being followed by a DVD release around Christmas time.  Spacebound Ape will write a full review of the film for The Point once it’s released, in the meantime look on this as a little teaser...


Was Elvis a racist?

In an article first published in The Point's predecessor, (Democratic Green Socialist 10), and on the occasion of what would have been Elvis Presley's 75th birthday, Gary Fraser examines the rock 'n' roll legend's legacy, and his attitude to race.