While working on another project, I came across a couple of statements that embody one of the core principles of socialism with national characteristics:

Hence, in order not to err in policy, in order not to find itself in the position of idle dreamers, the party of the proletariat must not base its activities on abstract “principles of human reason,” but on the concrete conditions of the material life of society, as the determining force of social development; not on the good wishes of “great men,” but on the real needs of development of the material life of society.

The result:

Hence Socialism is converted from a dream of a better future for humanity into a science.

As Losurdo often puts it: the move from utopia to science is the move from populism to socialism.

Footnote: the quotations come from none other than an interesting and under-studied work called History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks): Short Course.


With all the full-size tiles laid, the time came to cut to shape and cut tiles to fit up against the walls. Imagining I would end up up with a massive pile of cracked and broken tiles in my efforts to cut them to size, I approached the task with a little apprehension. Not to worry, for soon enough I was tackling the task with glee – although I notice the neighbours have started sporting hearing aids after two days of endless cacaphony. The straight cut is a cinch, but what about the intricate twists and turns, the odd angles of walls and corners, the variations and bends in what appears to be a straight wall? With two tiles I am thoroughly enthralled:

Obviously, for the builder who produced the wall angle into which this tile must fit the simple square is passe.

And then:

One of my great discoveries of recent days is the night shirt:

When I hit the half ton, Christina gave me a couple of these brilliant pieces of clothing as a gift. The great thing is that you don’t need to wear any undies and you can be in reasonably civilised company (as long as you don’t spread your legs or put your feet up too high). Unlike the t-shirts I used to wear to bed. So comfortable is it to let the family jewels get some air, I long to put on my night shirt in the evening, and wear it is as long as possible in the morning. The night shirt is the unheralded key to utopia.