Book recommendation

April 2024 Forums Off topic Book recommendation


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    Xmas coming up.

    What socialist book (fiction or non-fiction) would you buy for your 12-year-old niece or nephew

    General recommendations for uncles:
    First, never, never give a 12-year old, a 120-year old, or anyone in between, the terrible book by Le Guin. An economy of scarcity or near scracity (Environmentally-determined? Not clear ) coupled with stifling social conformism, quasi-religion, and un-explained bureaucratism. If the White House Announcement on ‘Socialism’ for some reason had dealt with real socialism they probably would have quoted from this book to prove how awful ‘real socialism’ would be.
    Here are some good choices that come to mind:
    Pieter Lawrence: The Last Conflict
    Hogan: Voyage from Yesteryear
    Richard Montague: Within the System
    Richard Montague: Frank Faces of the Dead
    SOLFED: Fighting for Ourselves: Anarcho-Syndicalism and the Class Struggle.
    The Lawrence book is simply excellent.
    I have never set eyes on the books by Montegue, can’t get them. But someone on this forum must have read them. Well? All I know is that his non-fiction is certainly great, so perhaps his fiction as well. (Like P Lawrence.)
    Hogan’s book, although unintentionally so, is socialist-communist to the core. A communist and leaderless society of abundance. And a very good story, after a boring start. The only problem is that near the beginning I recall there are sexual references or innuendo that might not be suitable for a 12-year-old. (But I have no idea what 12-year-olds are like nowadays, especially in an exotic land like the UK, if that is where the hypothetical niece or nephew is so domiciled.)
    The book by Solfed is not a joke. These A-Sers are, need I mention?, communists, not collectivists. It is very well written (perhaps by J Kay of libcom??), and after reading could well serve as basis for discussion with niece or nephew of What is Not to be Done.  (I am surprised to see that the book was never reviewed in the SS.)
    1. The mainstream workers’ movement
    2. Radical currents in the workers’ movement
    3. Anarcho-syndicalism in the 20th century
    4. Capitalism and class struggle since World War II
    5. Anarcho-syndicalism in the 21st-century

    I don’t know what happened to the spaces between lines that should be there. Tried editing it. No good. Makes the thing very confusing to read.


    Actually, Richard Montague did write a short story called General Immunity Serum (A work of fiction?) which was proposed in 2003 as a Socialist Party pamphlet but the Executive Committee turned it down.  Fortunately, someone else picked up the text which is available on the internet here:

    Some copies were printed before the EC turned it down and were not supposed to circulate but of course they did. I have a copy and there are others in our archives.

    It is also included in the Within The System that you mention.

    Another work of fiction criticising capitalism is Castaways of Plenty. A Parable of Our Times by W. E. Hawkins, a science fiction writer influenced by the Technocracy movement (it was first published in 1935). Details here:

    If anyone wants a copy of Pieter Lawrence;s The Last Conflict they can get one from our Head Office.



    The short story ‘General Immunity Serum’ can be read on our blog


    Apologies, this story i posted on my personal blog, not a Party sanctioned blog


    “Party sanctioned blog” – holy fucking Jeremy Corbyn! Now I remember why I fucked off.  Too scared to take a shit unless the Committee has passed a (bowel) motion on it. Anyway, socialism for 12 year olds. No. Just no. I had one and the mere presence of the Socialist Standard in the house probably accounts for his raving Nazism now. That and his lame ass dipshit lefty mother. Since she’s now turned terf, he’ll probably be a she next week. However if you *really* must, one of the various graphic novels would be a good present for the average (non-fucked up) late preteen. The Rosa Luxemburg one’s supposed to be good.  I wouldn’t know. I read comic books for fun. ZJW: Your suggestions are the worst I’ve ever heard. You do remember what being a 12 year old was like right? Can you imagine what the fat little shit’s face will look like when they rip off the paper and see…SolFed’s Fighting for Ourselves.  “Thanks Unk. My best present ever.” On second thoughts – yes. SolFed’s Fighting for Ourselves. Highly recommended for any fat little shit.


    Tsk, Tsk…would you rather i made out that some of the posts on my personal blog represents the views of the Party and the other members.

    I am continually aware that what i post on our official blogs (we have three) has been sanctioned because the bloggers submit themselves to re-appointment each year and are endorsed by the membership for accurately reflecting the opinion of the members.

    But one of those days if we do not engage the interest of fellow-members  i may well go rogue, and see how long the Party takes to become aware of the fact.   😆



    Has he read the classics? I am thinking my favourites here, novel wise, like The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists ? Humorous in parts, still very real for the UK today and a great basic explanation of both socialism but more importantly capitalism with the Great Money Trick.

    1984, Animal Farm or anything by Orwell, even Keep The Aspidistra Flying

    If he is on the more negative side as I am, then perhaps even The Jungle by Upton Sinclair or The Iron Heel by Jack London.

    However, I can’t help thinking that a 12 year old would rather a graphic novel as suggested above, something with Marvel in it or a PS store voucher………


    BTW LOL at Kaz’s reply above.  😀

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