"" First rule of all dictatorships: seize control of the radio stations, the telephone system, and the newspapers. Neo-marxists claim that Marxism does not necessarily lead to dictatorship, but it's hard to agree with that claim when one of Karl Marx's ten commandments is the state seizure of all "means of communication"! Such far-reaching government power over communications can be abused to muzzle miscreants or suppress public knowledge of state misdeeds at any time, so it effectively removes freedom of expression. Without freedom of expression, there can be no freedom at all. Of course, it goes without saying that the seizure of transport has a similar chilling effect on freedom of movement (not to mention the power of the masses to punish or reward competing suppliers of transportation services).
The real secret of the editor’s power, in a situation where the writer has the last word on editorial suggestions, is the editor’s ability to waste the writer’s time. When a book-length manuscript is sent back to the author with several hundred editorial changes, the deck is already stacked in favor of accepting a fait accompli. But there are ways of neutralizing that leverage. Having a rubber stamp made up with the word “STET” on it can help, for example, especially if one gets a red ink pad to use with it.
Collins,however, appears to disagree with mathematical interpretations ofthese relationships, for she states that they (meaning race, genderand class) cannot be "added together to produce one so-called grandoppression" (Collins, cited in Barnett, 1999:15); it follows theycannot be multiplied either.
The peasants who settled in the cities as proletariat and pettybourgeois learned to read and write for the sake of efficiency,but they did not win the leisure and comfort necessary for theenjoyment of the city's traditional culture. Losing, nevertheless,their taste for the folk culture whose background was the countryside,and discovering a new capacity for boredom at the same time, thenew urban masses set up a pressure on society to provide themwith a kind of culture fit for their own consumption. To fillthe demand of the new market, a new commodity was devised: ersatzculture, kitsch, destined for those who, insensible to the valuesof genuine culture, are hungry nevertheless for the diversionthat only culture of some sort can provide.
Prior to this the only market for formal culture, as distinguishedfrom folk culture, had been among those who, in addition to beingable to read and write, could command the leisure and comfortthat always goes hand in hand with cultivation of some sort. Thisuntil then had been inextricably associated with literacy. Butwith the introduction of universal literacy, the ability to readand write became almost a minor skill like driving a car, andit no longer served to distinguish an individual's cultural inclinations,since it was no longer the exclusive concomitant of refined tastes.
Some young would-be writers may lament their misfortune in living out in the boondocks, instead of being at the heart of the publishing industry in New York. When I first started writing, in my teens, I lived in New York City and worked in downtown Manhattan. That is how I got my rejection slips back so fast. If I had lived out in Podunk, I could have dreamed on, in a fool’s Paradise, from Monday morning until Thursday or Friday evening, before the brutal truth caught up with me.
Finally, the last hurdle are the book reviewers, only some of whom actually review the book. These people are all part of the gauntlet that the writer has to run, in order to reach the person for whom his writing was intended from the outset—the reader. All too often, you never know if your book has reached the reader in any sense other than the fact that it was bought. It could be gathering dust on a table or a shelf. In some cases, however, heartfelt letters come in, telling you that your book has reached readers in the sense in which you wanted it to reach them. That makes all the struggle seem worthwhile.
Learning to write by trial and error not only calls for patience on the writer’s part, it also taxes the patience of wives, landlords, and creditors. Whenever someone, especially a young person, tells me of an ambition to become a writer, my heart goes out to him or her immediately—and my spirits sink. There is seldom a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, even for those who become established writers eventually—and a lot can happen between now and eventually, like broken marriages, eviction for non-payment of rent, and the like.
See, first, for different ways of getting your reader involved in your essay. The introductory paragraph should also include the thesis statement, a kind of mini-outline for the paper: it tells the reader what the essay is about. The last sentence of this paragraph must also contain a transitional "hook" which moves the reader to the first paragraph of the body of the paper.
Instead of trying to be someone that you are not, be the best at what you are. My own writing practices are the direct opposite of that followed by these prolific and renowned writers. I write only when I have something to say. The big disadvantage of this is that it can mean a lot of down time. There are manuscripts of mine that sat around gathering dust for years without a word being added to them. How then have I managed to write more than 20 books within the Biblical threescore and ten years?
My own particular idiosyncrasy is writing several books at once. I may reach the point where I have nothing whatever to add to a manuscript on Marxism or affirmative action, but am bursting with things to say about late-talking children. I go with what has seized my attention and inspired my thoughts at the time. There are days, perhaps even weeks, when I have nothing worth saying in print about anything. I keep a backlog of unpublished newspaper columns on hand to send out to the syndicate during such times, while I go to Yosemite or just hang around the house printing photographs or otherwise trying to keep out of mischief.
The big advantage of this off-beat way of working is that what I write is written when I am full of ideas and enthusiasm about the subject—even if these periods occur only at intervals, with months or even years in between for a given book. Some of my favorite books came from manuscripts that I thought would never get finished.