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Early Labour Movement

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.

Lansbury: A Figure of the Past

 With the death of George Lansbury there has gone from the Labour Movement a figure of unusual character. There has passed out a type that will have no place in the future history of the Labour Party. The times that found a place for him have passed away. The necessities of the movement in which he was an impressive personality demand men of a different mould. The world in which we live has driven and will continue to drive that “movement” to place its leadership in the hands of men more able and of opportunistic Inclinations.

Labourism: A Confession of Failure

 Mr. A. M. Thompson of the Clarion, was one of the founders of the Labour Party. He has, throughout a long career, consistently opposed the formation of a definitely socialist organisation striving for Socialism, on the specious plea that the workers could not afford to sacrifice possible present gains for the sake of a solution of the whole problem of their poverty through a Socialism which could not be obtained immediately.

"Half a loaf is better than no bread ”— so declared Thompson and his fellow Labourites. We opposed that view then, as we do now, on the plain ground that people get what they fight for. If they fight for reforms, they get reforms but not Socialism. Whether reforms are worth struggling for is another point. Experience always testifies that they are not.

The Socialist Party and the Trade Unions


 The Socialist Party and the Trade Unions have a common origin in the class struggle. The former is the organised expression on the political field of the conscious recognition of that struggle by the workers. Its growth is the measure of their determination to end the struggle by converting the means of living into common property, and thus establishing a harmony of interests within society.

 The class struggle, however, does not commence with the conscious recognition of it as a fact. “In the beginning is the thing ”; the idea follows in its wake, and is, in fact, its reflection in the human mind.

 Long before the origin of the Socialist Party the class struggle was in progress. Strikes and lock-outs, machine-breaking and penal legislation have all testified to the antagonism of interests in modern society for over a century.

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