Editorial: No Class Struggle?

It is interesting to note the revival, both inside the Labour Party and in the Tory-Liberal ranks, of the belief that though there was once a “class-struggle” that was in the bad old days, and we no longer have it with us. It is particularly amusing to recall that that Labour Party pioneer, Keir Hardie, was saying the same fifty years ago. In 1904, the year the S.P.G.B. was founded, Keir Hardie wrote in his paper, the Labour Leader (September 2nd. 1904):-


For my part I have always maintained that to claim for the Socialist movement that it is a “class” war dependent for its success upon the “class” consciousness of one section of the community is doing Socialism an injustice and indefinitely postponing its triumph.


and again:


There is no “ruling and oppressed class” in the Marxian sense of the terms in England now. . . Socialism will come for the most part as a thief in the night, without observation.


Socialism hasn’t come stealing in, but the Tories have stolen Labour’s reformist programme, including Keir Hardie’s beliefs about no class-struggle.