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Ramsay MacDonald

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.

Miners and Leaders

 The Socialist Party of Great Britain wishes to express its deepest sympathy with our miner fellow-workers. By the time this article appears, the struggle in South Wales will no doubt have been “settled.” Even in the extremely improbable granting of the strikers' full demands, the miner will remain one of the worst victims of capitalism. We speak as worker to worker. All of us in varying degrees have tasted the bitter pill of poverty and been under the harrow of callous employers.

 We rejoice that the miner has not been driven so low as to be indifferent to the taste of the dirt of life offered by his masters, and explained away by his pastors.

The Daily Herald has offered you advice. It bids you “Go back to work; Trust your Leaders .”

The S.P.G.B. begs its comrades of the pit to review their history, especially in the light of this advice.

The I.L.P. and Their Idols: The Conference of Opportunism

 The Easter I.L.P. Annual Conference has provoked much publicity in the Press, but it has not been publicity for Socialism. The hero-worship of MacDonald versus the idolatry of Maxton and Wheatley, is the tone of the controversy within the I.L.P. ranks. The entire time of the Conference was given up to discussion and disputes about policies and opinions on matters purely capitalist and opportunist.

 The chairman’s address was typical of Maxton, a mixture of sentimentalism and reform. His admission concerning the present tendency in the I.L.P. is worth recording:

Editorial: The Great Sham Fight at the Polls

 The Election came too suddenly for us to be able to deal with it before the event—which saved us at least from the temptation to offer you the name and score of the winning team. Our attitude will be well known to our readers. We have but one policy, the same as at between elections. We want Socialism, and we say now, as always, that whatever the workers may get by supporting either of the three great parties, they will not get Socialism.

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