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Intellectuals

Letters: The Socialist Forum: Socialism By Dictatorship

 Mr. R. J. Freeman (Thornton Heath) writes, putting forward several points of criticism of our position. For convenience and in order to save space, these points have been extracted from the letter and numbered:—

    The S.P.G.B. proposes to do nothing to ameliorate the conditions of the working class, other than press the socialist doctrine wherever possible as the only remedy.
    This work of propaganda can still be carried on by the I.L.P. members outside of Parliament just as persistently as the S.P.G.B., and by their presence in the House of Commons as well, can attempt to resist encroachments on the workers' standard of living.
    I admit socialist knowledge is growing, but it is not due, as you would suggest, to the theory of the increasing poverty and economic pressure making them think . . .  but because capitalism breeds it.

The Socialist Party of America

 The Socialist Party of America was always one of the most weird travesties of a Socialist organisation, among the many such, affiliated to the late “International.” A confusion of elements, seemingly as distant as the poles, found a haven in the S.P of A. Booze reformers, Municipalist and Nationalisation cranks, anti-corruptionists, trust-busters, Anarchists of the I. W. W.—all were held in its “embracing unity."' Its many journals—mostly privately owned— advocated a multitude of doctrines often directly contradictory. The really Socialist elements—before the war, at any rate, were few and were powerless in the organisation.

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.

Marx: According to Humpty-Dumpty

'What Marx Really Meant'. By G. D. H. Cole. (Gollancz, 5s. net.)

    “It's a stupid name enough!” Humpty-Dumpty interrupted impatiently, “ What does it mean?" “Must a name mean something?" Alice asked doubtfully. . . . "When I use a word," Humpty-Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “ it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less."

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