Living Marxism

"Living Marxism" was originally launched in 1988 as the journal of the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP). It was later rebranded as "LM Magazine" and folded in March 2000 following an adverse ruling in a libel lawsuit brought by the British news corporation, Independent Television News ITN.Staff [ ITN wins Bosnian war libel case] BBC 15 March 2000] Mick Hume, " [ The end of LM Magazine. Statement by Mick Hume, Editor] ", 29 March 2000]

"Living Marxism's" Aims

Living Marxism's introduction summarised an adversarial outlook from the start:

quotes|We live in an age of caution and conformism, when critical opinions can be outlawed as 'extremism' and anything new can be rubbished as 'too risky'. Ours is an age of low expectations, when we are always being told what is bad for us, and life seems limited on all sides by restrictions, guidelines and regulations.

The spirit of "LM" is to go against the grain: to oppose all censorship, bans and codes of conduct; to stand up for social and scientific experimentation; to insist that we have the right to live as autonomous adults who take responsibility for our own affairs. These are basic human values that cannot be compromised if we are ever going to create a world fit for people." [] verify source|date=April 2008] verify source|date=April 2008


Views expounded with regularity in "LM" included 'Fear Culture', for example by questioning the then media coverage of AIDS as a predominantly heterosexual disease in the West. Their critique covered media coverage in Africa and the developing world in the context of Western intervention, under-development and poverty. They also debated environmentalist claims that limiting consumption was a progressive view. The magazine also raised concerns about the Left's rejection of scientific thought and critique, especially of medicine, biotechnology and nuclear physics. "LM" writers also engaged in a controversial critique of the media portrayal of the civil wars in Rwandan and Bosnia by questionning the use of the term "genocide" to describe the conflicts.fact|date=April 2008

ITN vs. LM

In the first issue where the journal was re-named "LM", editor Mick Hume published an article by German journalist Thomas Deichmann which claimed that British Independent Television News (ITN) had misrepresented the Bosnian war in its coverage in 1992. The case caused international condemnation of ITN as even one of LM'S most trenchant critics George Monbiot notes:

The article "The picture that fooled the world" argued that ITN's footage, in which an emaciated Bosnian Muslim man stood behind a barbed wire fence, was designed to portray a Nazi-style extermination camp. Whereas in fact:quote|It was not a prison, and certainly not a 'concentration camp', but a collection centre for refugees, many of whom went there seeking safety and could leave again if they wished.| [ source|date=April 2008]

The publishers of "LM", Informinc (LM) ltd., were sued for libel by ITV and in March 2000 the magazine was forced to close. Reporters Penny Marshall and Ian Williams were each awarded £150,000 over the "LM" story and the magazine was also ordered to pay £75,000 for libelling ITN in a February 1997 article.

The result produced very mixed reactions as Alexander Cockburn comments:quote|...ITN put LM out of business by winning a libel suit against the magazine. But due to the quaint nature of British libel law, the decisive issue in court was NOT the truth about the wire fence. Rather, it was whether or not the ITN reporters had "deliberately" sought to deceive the public. The issue become one of intentions and emotions. The judge, in his summing up, acknowledged that the ITN team reporters were mistaken as to who was enclosed by the old barbed-wire fence, adding, "but does it matter?" The jury decided it did not.|Alexander Cockburn [cite web | url = | title = Guardian Fabricates Chomsky Quotes in Bid to Smear World's Number One Intellectual| date = 2005-05-11 | first = Alexander | last = Cockburn | publisher = Counterpunch |]

Looking back Hume comments:

Writers such as Hume continue to campaign for the repeal of the UK's libel laws arguing that they are archaic, unfair and stifle freedom of speech.

George Monbiot and the 'LM Network'

It has been claimed by environmentalists such as George Monbiot and Peter Melchett that there is an 'LM Network' pursuing an ideologically motivated 'anti-environmentalist' agenda under the guise of promoting Humanism. [Peter Melchett [ Clear intentions] , Comment is Free, Guardian Unlimited, 19 April 2007] [staff. [ Profiles: Martin Durkin] , [ LobbyWatch] . Accessed 17 April 2007.] Writers who used to write for Living Marxism reject this as a 'McCarthyite' conspiracy:

quote|From their craven search for hidden agendas to their spider-web linking of various individuals to their censorious and McCarthyite demands: they might be treehuggers by day, but these individuals share all the worst traits of the most hardened conspiracy theorists.|Brendan O'Neill [cite news | url = | title = 'Humanising politics — that is my only agenda' | first = Brendan | last = O'Neill | publisher = Spiked | accessdate = 2007-04-27 ]

ee also

*Institute of Ideas
*Spiked Online
*Graham Barnfield
*Frank Furedi
*Claire Fox
*James Heartfield
*Fiona Fox
*Science Media Centre
*Sense About Science


Further reading

* [ archive of LM Magazine website] verify source|date=April 2008
*, [ Living Marxism profile] , accessed Dec 2003

;Press articles
*George Monbiot, " [ The Revolution Has Been Televised] ", "The Guardian", December 18 1997.
*Matthew Price, " [ Raving Marxism] ", "Lingua Franca", March 1999.
*Andy Beckett, " [,3605,295888,00.html Licence to rile] ", "The Guardian", May 15 1999.
*"The Guardian", " [,3604,184070,00.html Living Marxism and the Serbs] ", 17 March 2002
*Chris McGreal, " [,3604,181819,00.html Genocide? What genocide?] ", "The Guardian", 20 March 2000
*Eddie Ford, " [ Farewell, Living Marxism] ", "Weekly Worker" 344, 13 July 2000
*David Pallister, John Vidal and Kevin Maguire, " [,3604,341054,00.html Life after Living Marxism: Fighting for freedom - to offend, outrage and question everything] ", "The Guardian", 8 July 2000
*David Pallister, John Vidal and Kevin Maguire, " [,3604,341053,00.html Life after Living Marxism: Banning the bans] ", "The Guardian", July 8 2000.
*George Monbiot, " [,3604,1102753,00.html Invasion of the Entryists] ", "The Guardian", December 9 2003
*Chris Bunting, " [ What's a nice Trot doing in a place like this] ", "Times Higher Education Supplement", 28 January 2005 (log-in required). Mirrored " [ here] ".

;Libel action
*Thomas Deichmann, " [ The picture that fooled the world] ", LM Magazine issue 97, February 1997verify source|date=April 2008
*LM Magazine, [ Press release to accompany Deichmann article] , 25 January 1997
*Ed Vulliamy, " [,2763,191236,00.html I stand by my story] ", "The Guardian", 2 February 1997
*LM Magazine, " [ Press statement: ITN tries to gag LM] ", 21:00 24 January 1997
*Virtual Security [ "Atrocity, memory, photography: imaging the concentration camps of Bosnia - the case of ITN versus Living Marxism"]
*Julia Hartley-Brewer, " [,2763,191247,00.html ITN reporter 'bent over backwards for accuracy'] ", "The Guardian", 1 March 2000
*Ed Vulliamy, " [,2763,184815,00.html Poison in the well of history] ", "The Guardian", 15 March 2000
*John McVicar, [ "The Scoop that Folded a Magazine"] , "Punch", #106, May 2000
*Alexander Cockburn (with Phillip Knightley's 1998 excerpts), [ "Storm Over Brockes' Fakery"] , "Counterpunch", November 5/6, 2005

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