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R. Palme Dutt

Letters: A Letter from a Former Communist

[We have received the following letter from a former Communist. It is particularly interesting, as the writer took an active part, in the Manchester area, in the work of the Communist Party. While we may not see eye-to-eye with the writer on every point, his letter merits serious attention, as an example of the outlook to which years of wholehearted support of the Communist Party has brought one of its adherents.—ED. COMM.]

Stockport.
      February 20th, 1935.

The Editorial Committee,
              THE SOCIALIST STANDARD.
Dear Comrades,

Should Socialists Vote for Labour Candidates?

At its formation the Communist Party of Great Britain decided by a small majority to seek entrance to the Labour Party. But while willing to sacrifice their independence, they nevertheless denounced the leaders of that Party and ran candidates against MacDonald at Woolwich, and Morgan Jones at Caerphilly. Later they were ordered by those who pay the piper and call the tune to advocate the policy of the “united front." They expressly pointed out that this did not mean unconditional support of the Labour Party, but only a willingness to co-operate in any action against the employing class.

Editorial: Confusionists in Conflict

In the February issue of the “Labour Monthly” the Editor, R. Palme Dutt, adversely criticises the Plebs' League in a review of their text-book on “Modern Imperialism.” He says that the Plebs’ teaching is merely a “substitute for Marxism,” with the “essence of Marx left out”; that their “class consciousness” is abstract,” leading only to “Labour Party vagueness” ; that “Promising young men are sent to the Labour College for two years and come back budding snobs and trade union officials.”

He summarises the difference between the Plebs’ interpretation of Marxism and the real thing thus:—

    “Marxism interprets history and politics in. terms of the class struggle. The British-American substitute for Marxism interprets history and politics in the terms of economics (an occupation favoured by many bourgeois historians).”

Book Reviews: 'Karl Marx', & 'Lenin'

Marx and Lenin - Distorted Views

'Karl Marx', by R. W. Postgate. 1s. 6d.

'Lenin', by R. Palme Dutt. Is. 6d. (Hamish Hamilton, Ltd., 90, Great Russell Street, W.C.1.)

The above two booklets form part of a series purporting to deal with the pioneers of Socialism and issued at a uniform price. Containing less than a hundred pages each, it is obvious that the subjects suffer a great deal from compression. This is particularly noticeable in the case of Marx. Unfortunately, this is not the only serious defect.

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