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Belfort Bax

Is There a Class War?

Mr. J. Keir-Hardie, M.P., answers "YES-NO" and "NO-YES!"

The "Socialist" humorist of the day is Mr. J. Keir Hardie, M.P. At least, Mr. Hardie claims to be a Socialist. Of his humour there is no question. That it is unconscious humour makes the gentleman's contortions even a little pitiful. Mr. Hardie has Capitalist friends. He is a Reform politician. One of his methods of advancing Socialism is to give electoral support to non-Socialists ― he would, in fact, cast out Beelzebub by means of Beelzebub. Consequently, he appears to find himself in this dilemma : he desires to "moralise" the capitalists; thinks it possible that the wolves of Commercialism will loose their hold upon their prey voluntarily, and, whilst he is incapable of arguing the position, feels instinctively that he cannot reconcile reform with the fundamental principle of the class war, without recognition of which no scientific theory of Socialism is possible.

Belfort Bax and the Ethics of Socialism

Part of the series 'Socialist Thinkers: People Who History Made'

Islington Branch

Recorded: 
Sunday, 28 November 1982

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