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Confusion

Ted Crawford, business manager of the Socialist Worker, spoke on August 7 at our Westminster branch on “International Socialism”. After tracing the origins of the group in Bolshevism and Trotskyism, he went on to explain the “permanent” arms economy and what IS was trying to do. He confessed that he was dissatisfied with the “class composition” of the group; there were too many lecturers, teachers and students and not enough workers.

Pressed to define Socialism, Crawford said “democracy”, “man in control of his environment”. Asked if this was compatible with the existence of banks, he said he could not give a blueprint but he expected that there would have to be some credit facilities in a “socialist state”. One of his supporters, coming to his rescue, pooh-poohed the idea of a society without money or government.

Socialists present pointed out that his concern about the class composition of IS showed that he did not know what the working class was; as lecturers and teachers were, and students soon would be, forced to work for wages they too were members of the working class. Discussion also centred on whether democratic institutions could be used by the working class to achieve Socialism (we said yes; they said no and thought there would have to be a civil war –but then they don’t aim at Socialism) and as to whether the ruling class could suspend democracy and unleash fascism at will (we said no; they said yes). The Chairman pointed out that there was not enough time to discuss our differing views on nationalism.