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Ramsay MacDonald

Socialism and Respectability

Socialism is the political expression of the recognition by the working-class of their suppression and oppression under the present form of society, based as it is upon their exploitation, and politically administered as it is solely with a view to conserving, and, as far as possible perpetuating their exploitation and subjection.
Like every other social ideal in which men expressed their wants and aspirations, Socialism has its history, its stages of growth.

Cures for Strikes

 Strikes have been increasing in recent years and from all sides we are offered advice about how to reduce them; another Royal Commission, new laws to enforce ballots before strikes or to make “unofficial" strikes illegal, more discipline by union executives over their members, or more effective control by members of the unions and the TUC, compulsory arbitration, and so on.
 None of it is new except that the name-calling alters.


Mr. Ramsay McDonald recently gave it out that the Party of which he is ‘Leader “Fights for Divine Justice.” The question of divinity need not detain us, but one of the things which clearly mark off the Socialists from the Labour Party is, that we do not fight for justice; we fight for Socialism. Lest it be thought that the one is as vague and unsatisfactory as the other, let me add that we also define our aim :

  “The establishment of a system of society based upon the common ownership and democratic control of the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth by and in the interest of the whole community.”

We deal with facts, they live in a world of abstractions. We see a system of society, in which a small minority, the capitalist class, own the means of producing wealth.

English Social Democratic Parties - Part Two

 Part 1 here.

 January, 1884, the Democratic Federation brought out a weekly periodical, "Justice,” which had a hard struggle to exist owing to lack of funds, and was eventually taken over by the Twentieth Century Press, a publishing company whose share capital was provided by small subscriptions from workers and small organisations. A monthly periodical was also issued privately with Belfort Bax and J. L. Joynes as editors. The title of this publication was “To-Day” and it claimed to be a journal of Scientific Socialism, but would open its columns “to all expressions of advanced opinion.” Its contributors were drawn from a very wide field, including Eleanor Marx. Morris, Lafargue, Hyndman, Shaw, Havelock Ellis, Walt Whitman, Michael Davitt, Stepniak, William Archer, and Henry Arthur Jones.

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