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Intellectuals

Editorial: The Sterility and Futility of Ex-Communist "Intellectuals"


 The Manchester Guardian for the 10th July contains an article giving a report of the “Congress for Cultural Freedom" that was held in Berlin from June 26th to 30th. The article is by H. R. Trevor-Roper who attended as one of the British delegates and who appears to have summed up the nature of the congress and the delegates with a considerable amount of clear-sightedness.

     :-  “This congress turned out to be a political demonstration. As such it was well organised and no doubt successful. My only objection is that it was not advertised as such, and I do not think it would have obtained all its sponsors or all its delegates if it had been correctly advertised.”

The Waning Status of the "Intellectual"

 The death of H. G. Wells and the celebration of the ninetieth birthday of G. B. Shaw is a reminder of the social influence of a group of which they were outstanding representatives. Wells may have been a first-class novelist and Shaw an equally first-class dramatist, but what concerns us is their advocacy of the pernicious doctrine of “ intellectualism,” based upon a mythical middle-class layer of society; this group of self-styled intellectuals have so often, during the post hundred years, striven to control the working-class movement, basing their claim to leadership upon the alleged incapacity of the workers to handle their own affairs. Although the modern claim is rooted in the losing battle of small and pushful proprietors for independence and for protection against the crushing power of large industry, it is not new in history.

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.

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