When the 28-year old Stalin attended the London Congress of the RSDLP (Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party), he first encountered Trotsky. The assessment:

Trotsky proved the be ‘pretty but useless’ (Collected Works, vol. 2, p. 52)

And in an observation that applies as much today as then:

What will a flunkey of capital not chatter about in the hope of pleasing his master (vol. 2, p. 119)

Among many other things, it reminds me of the supposedly independent ‘think tank’, The Institute of Public Affairs, which happens to be funded by big tobacco, Rupert Murdoch, a motley collection of mining magnates, and so on. Guess what? By coincidence, they are opposed to bans on smoking, restriction on media ownership, environmental restrictions on mining etc.

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