PDF Version Historical Materialism Preface Most people know that in past centuries the world was very different from what it is now – different methods of production and means of transport, different ideas and behaviour, different political systems, and different social classes – slave owners and slaves, feudal lords and serfs, and now employers and …
S.P.G.B. Library No.12
The Socialist Party – Its Principles and Policy 1934
Since the break-up of the USSR and its eastern European empire, with the consequent collapse of Leninist ideas of revolution, it has become the accepted wisdom that Marxism is outdated. In this series of public forums The Socialist Party examined that body of thought known as Marxism and reassessed its relevance to modern conditions and to the development of an alternative society.
Each forum lasted two hours including the discussion which followed each talk.
From ‘Summer School 1998’, 3-5 July, at Fircroft College, Selly Oak, Birmingham. Audio recordings are also available by clicking the titles below….
PREFACE TO THIRD EDITION
THE first edition of this pamphlet, which amounted to 20,000 copies, was sold out some time ago. The delay in bringing out the second edition has been due to that bugbear of working-class organisations— lack of funds. Perhaps those who are interested in seeing more pamphlets produced by us and who are able to spare a little towards this end, will bear that fact in mind. The more funds we have the more literature we will produce.
In bringing out this second edition we have brought some of the illustrations up to date and deleted others that are too old to be interesting and illuminating. We have also revised the text in places where we thought greater clearness of presentation would be achieved by so doing.
Our aim has been to give our fellow-workers as clear and concise a picture of their present position in society as is possible in a pamphlet of this size. How far we have succeeded is for the reader to judge.
From Handicraft to Capitalism (by Karl Kautsky, 1906)
S.P.G.B. Library No. 2.
Translated from the German by H. J. Neumann for The Socialist Party of Great Britain and approved by the Author.
By the courtesy of our Comrade Karl Kautsky—to whom we are indebted, not only for his readily accorded permission to reproduce in English, but also for his personal correction of the proofs of our translation— we are able to publish as our second contribution to the Socialist library which we are anxious to build up, the first section of Kautsky’s famous book, Das Erfurter Programme, a section which has already appeared through the columns of the Party Organ, The Socialist Standard.
Manifesto of the Socialist Party of Great Britain (6th edition, 1920)
PREFACE TO THE SIXTH EDITION
Since we issued the last edition of our Manifesto the world has been convulsed with a stupendous war.
Like a consuming fire the militarist fever has swept through countries and continents. Passions which has laid dormant for years broke into fierce activity at the first blast of the war trumpet, and foul jingo sentiment surged over almost every European country at the first tap of the drum.
Report of a Debate Between Federal Union (Mrs. Barbara Wootton) and The Socialist Party of Great Britain (Mr. E. Hardy)
Chairman Mr. R.G.W MacKay
Debate held at Conway Hall, London: May 6th, 1940
THE CHAIRMAN, in opening the proceedings, said the debate had been arranged jointly by the organisation known as Federal Union and by the Socialist Party of Great Britain. Mrs. Barbara Wootton would answer the question, “Should Socialists support Federal Union?” in the affirmative, and Mr. Hardy would answer it in the negative.
Mrs. Wootton would first speak for thirty minutes and then Mr. Hardy would speak for thirty minutes, after which they would speak in the same order for twenty minutes and then for ten minutes. There would be no speeches or questions from members of the audience.
P R E F A C E
This pamphlet consists of articles published originally on the Socialist Standard. It is a record, in collected form, of the attitude of the Socialist Party of Great Britain to events in Russia since 1917. In March of that year the Czarist regime collapsed and was followed, after short-lived stop-gap Ministry, by the Kerensky Government which was a coalition of various reformist parties. This Government was opposed by the Bolsheviks who, under the leadership of Lenin and Trotsky, overthrew it and seized power in October, 1917.
We are in the midst of a crisis that is world-wide. Every country feels its ravages. Millions and millions of workers are unemployed and in acute poverty. Everywhere there is discontent and a feeling of insecurity, and the prestige of even the strongest of governments has been shaken. All sorts of emergency measures have been hastily adopted, but the depression still continues. Working men and women who normally ignore such questions, are now asking why the crisis has occurred, what will be its outcome, and whether it could have been avoided. In some minds there is a fear, and in others a hope, that the industrial crisis may bring the present system of society down in ruins, and make way for another.
So the crisis is over. Representatives of the four major European Powers sat round the table and concluded arrangements that carve up Czechoslovakia, freeze Russia out of Europe, and, we are fervently assured, lay the basis of “peace in our time”. Lest there should be any doubt about this peaceful future, a great drive to develop armaments is proposed, and plans are being made to ensure that everybody will have a niche in defensive and offensive operations. The temporary popularity of Chamberlain, the general relief at the banishing of immediate war danger, and the united support worked up on behalf of the Czechs, are being utilised to push forward the increased armament campaign.