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Pacifism

The Pacifists and Socialism

 The Labour Party claims (sometimes) to represent the interests of the workers. An illustration of its method of doing this occurred in the House of Commons recently.

 On March 17th Mr. Ponsonby (one of the Liberal “converts”) moved that the Air Force be reduced by 32,000 men. This is, of course, quite consistent with the general attitude of the author of the “Peace Letter” on the question of Disarmament. Such a motion, however, is about as practical as asking the master-class to commit suicide outright.

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.

Inquest on the I.L.P.

Fenner Brockway's 'Inside the Left' (Allen & Unwin, 15/-) contains no original contribution to Socialist thought nor even an adequate restatement of old theories. Brockway says of Sir Stafford Cripps (p. 264) that Cripps "has no experience of the working-class and he has no real knowledge of Socialist theory. . . . I doubt whether he has ever read Marx or any book of fundamental Socialist economics." Brockway has experience of the working-class and has probably read more about Socialist theory than Cripps but it is not unfair to say that he has no real understanding of it. In this he is a representative figure in the I.L.P. The I.L.P. membership, taking each incident of the working-class struggle in isolation, are able to use what they know of Socialist theory and past experience to discuss the pros and cons of short-term courses of action but have no clear idea of Socialism or of how capitalism is to be abolished.

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