Skip to Content

Fabianism

Socialism and the Intellectuals: A Confession of Impotence

The Fabian Society have just issued Tract No. 304. It is by Kingsley Amis and is entitled Socialism and the Intellectuals. On the inside of the cover we are told that he is “a poet, novelist, literary critic and lecturer in English at the University College of Swansea. Author of the widely-acclaimed and best-selling Lucky Jim” Having read this we rubbed our eyes and looked at the title again, but right enough it was Socialism and the Intellectuals.

That the Fabian Society should have thought that this statement of Mr. Amis' qualification was a reason for giving weight to his pronouncements in a field quite foreign to him is an example of how foreign the field is to the futile Fabian Society—futile as far as understanding and changing the present basis of society is concerned.

Where Reformism Fails

The dispute between Reformists and Socialists is not a very easy one to disentangle. This is partly due to the variety of arguments put forward by reformists, but above all to the failure of reformists to grasp the Socialist explanation of the problem that has to be solved.

The problem is not that of a social system that is satisfactory on the whole and only needs improvements here and there. If it were the reformist would be on the right road —but then there would be nothing in the Socialist case for the abolition of Capitalism.

The Labour Party is Not, and Has Never Been, a Socialist Party

The recent furore in the press and within the Labour Party itself over whether the Party will admit to its ranks “Marxists” has been the cause of much debate concerning the origins of Labourism. Tony Benn, a member of the Government, defended the notion that Marxism has had a strong influence in developing the Labour Party. Benn’s claim is spurious and unfounded: the rejection of Marxism, and hence revolution, fated Labour to follow a reformist path leading to the inevitable disillusionment of its members.

The Need For 'Intellectuals'

It is often asserted by the geniuses of the Fabian Society and other middle-class misleaders of the working class, that the workers to-day, and in the future, require the assistance and guidance of educated, intelligent, middle-class men, both to direct their agitation and energies now, and to manipulate municipal and national affairs in the future. The workers, therefore, should not endeavour to obtain control of the political machinery themselves, but should place the "intellectual experts" in that position and obey their behests.

Syndicate content