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Early Labour Movement

English Social Democratic Parties - Part Two

 Part 1 here.

 January, 1884, the Democratic Federation brought out a weekly periodical, "Justice,” which had a hard struggle to exist owing to lack of funds, and was eventually taken over by the Twentieth Century Press, a publishing company whose share capital was provided by small subscriptions from workers and small organisations. A monthly periodical was also issued privately with Belfort Bax and J. L. Joynes as editors. The title of this publication was “To-Day” and it claimed to be a journal of Scientific Socialism, but would open its columns “to all expressions of advanced opinion.” Its contributors were drawn from a very wide field, including Eleanor Marx. Morris, Lafargue, Hyndman, Shaw, Havelock Ellis, Walt Whitman, Michael Davitt, Stepniak, William Archer, and Henry Arthur Jones.

English Social Democratic Parties Part One

 Neither Marx, who died in 1883, nor Engels, who died in 1895. were impressed by the early efforts made in England to advance the Socialist movement. Social Democratic Parties did not make their appearance until the last two decades of the nineteenth century. In the eighties the Social Democratic Federation, the Fabian Society, and the Socialist League, made their appearance, and in the nineties the Independent Labour Party. Of these parties the Socialist Democratic Federation and the Socialist League claimed to be based upon Marxism but the other two spurned “ imported ” ideas and based their “Socialism” upon “reason,” “justice,” John Stuart Mill and Stanley Jevons, liberally mixed with religion and out-of-date philosophical ideas.

English Social Democratic Parties (part Three Concluded)

See Parts One and Two in the series

 While the organisations we have been discussing were struggling for recognition they were joined by an entirely different stream.

Editorial: The Evolution of Sir Stafford Cripps, The "Revolutionary"

 Socialists are not concerned about the career of Sir Stafford Cripps and his success in the world of capitalist politics. There is, however, a value in observing the evolution of his political ideas because he represents a type with which Socialists have long been familiar.    Forty years ago, when the S.P.G.B. first laid it down that Socialism could never be brought about except by the conscious act of a Socialist majority, this principle was criticised by all the reformists because it meant, they said, long postponement of the emancipation of the working class.

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