for noncommunist values of British

Alabarna

Member
Russian
Then England First arrived to avenge our martyrs, with a hefty contingent of armed Peelers and a mandate to Keep Britain British, for noncommunist values of British—
-- Life's a Game by Charles Stross

What does "for noncommunist values of British" mean here? Could you put it in other words?
 
  • Alabarna

    Member
    Russian
    The sentence is complete. You can replace — with a full stop.

    > British what?

    Keep Britain British, for noncommunist values of British.
     

    Alabarna

    Member
    Russian
    There's nothing more to the sentence. It is complete. The narrator probably wanted to add something, but that doesn't matter. The next paragraph isn't relevant. Martyrs aren't relevant.

    Anyway, here's more context, FWIW:

    The government fell the next day. But I got lucky: I took the day off for the first time in months. Next thing I knew, Rock Paper Lizard was surrounded by street barricades. The Red Star dragged Istvan and his fellow executives out of their offices and strung them up from the lampposts. Then England First arrived to avenge our martyrs, with a hefty contingent of armed Peelers and a mandate to Keep Britain British, for noncommunist values of British—
    The mobs burned down our building. That took out our hardwired VPN endpoints. That meant that The Movement’s blockchain and magnet servers were running in an offshore cloud. The entire Movement was out of my hands. I had lost my hardware token in the arson. I had no way to authenticate myself.
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    It seems perfectly unremarkable to me. "For non-communist values of British" means something like "where British means non-communist British". In effect "Keep Britain British" means "Keep the communists out of Britain".
     

    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    ... a mandate to Keep Britain British, for noncommunist values of British—
    Since "Keep Britain British" is in title case, I'd say it is a (political) slogan expressing some xenophobia. It follows the idea of Keep France French, Keep Germany German, Keep Russia Russian, aso. asf.

    [cross-posted]
     

    Alabarna

    Member
    Russian
    Since "Keep Britain British" is in title case, I'd say it is a (political) slogan expressing some xenophobia.
    Yes, that's what the story is all about. I was asking about the supplement that comes after the comma: for noncommunist values of "British" (the quote marks are implied).
     

    Alabarna

    Member
    Russian
    Well, it was somehow obvious to me that there must be quotes. This figure of speech is not unusual in Stross' works. Compare, e.g. (from Rhesus Chart by the same author):
    Things are about to get very messy indeed, for blood-on-the-walls values of messy.
     

    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    I think Edinburgher captured it nicely:
    "For non-communist values of British" means something like "where British means non-communist British".
    In terms of grammar, I read 'British' as the word British, and in extension the value/meaning of being British.

    PS: I suppose this is a fictional story, right? I thought that the fear of communism craze was a thing from the past, the post-war cold war era? But well, I'm not much into politics.
     

    Alabarna

    Member
    Russian
    It seems perfectly unremarkable to me. "For non-communist values of British" means something like "where British means non-communist British". In effect "Keep Britain British" means "Keep the communists out of Britain".
    Whoops, I didn't see your reply. Thanks. I think the question is answered.
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    help me understand what the whole "noncommunist" business means
    It means what I said in #8. The word British can have a number of values, or interpretations. They (England First and the Peelers) are restricting the meaning of British to non-communist values.
    "The Red Star" is a communist guild.
    Exactly. England First and the Peelers, however, are anti-communist. They arrived to fight against the Red Star people.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top