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Table of Contents. Related Content. Thomas, Joel Wainwright, and Amy Wendling. Toward a Dialectic of Philosophy and Organization. Does a dialectic in philosophy itself bring forth a dialectic in revolutionary organization? This question is explored via organizational practices in the Paris Commune, the 2nd International, the Russian Revolutions of and , the Spanish Revolution of and the Hungarian Revolution of , as well as the theoretical-organizational concepts of such thinkers as Lassalle, Lenin, Luxemburg, Trotsky and Pannekoek.
Marx and Critical Theory. Author: Emmanuel Renault. Lenin's faction also had a narrow majority at this congress. In the Russian case the Bolshevik faction, as it became known, insisted on its right to lead the party, and it was the minority that split away. The split's damaging effect on the socialist movement can be overemphasised.
A History Of Socialist Thought Volume II - Marxism and Anarchism 1850-1890
The SDF executive members who split thus reconstituted themselves, and Morris drafted a "Manifesto of the Socialist League", adopted at a general conference in July , which declared for the principles of "Revolutionary International Socialism". New members will be recruited to the party, "made" into socialist cadres and then, when the masses move, the body of revolutionaries will be "ready to step into their due places and deal with and direct the irresistible movement". As Jack Lindsay has written, "The concept of educating the workers through struggle through a succession of interlinked struggles aimed at raising their standards of living and giving them confidence, was nowhere present.
The evolution of the Socialist League, in which Morris himself played the central role, was characterised essentially by a dialectic of conflict between its parliamentarist "right" wing and its anarchist "left". This conflict eventually led to splits and then disintegration.
Morris attempted to hold the league together, though his strong anti-parliamentarist position pushed him, at times, close to the anarchist wing. Eleanor Marx criticised him for this. It would be too easy to catalogue Morris's errors in the field of political organisation and tactics during his period as central leader of the Socialist League.
His actual record as a party organiser has not perhaps been brought out sufficiently in the research to date, but the correspondence with J. Mahan, the Northern SL leader, gives a good indication that he was conscientious and sensitive in relations with the branches. Regrettably, the major struggles of the decade found the league often tailending other forces.
The "Free Speech Fight"  and the Unemployed Agitation  are to some extent exceptions. But when major opportunities emerged at the end of the decade, with the rise of a militant new industrial unionism, the league leadership responded with only a lukewarm commitment, repeating sectarian and ultimatist errors made in the Northumberland miners' strike of Perhaps the finest achievement of the Socialist League was the publication and distribution of Commonweal , one of the best quality journals ever produced in the history of the British labour movement.
Most commentators have agreed that the paper set a high standard while under the editorial control of Morris. In the Socialist League's trajectory lurched to the left, following the defeat and resignation of the tendency around Eleanor Marx and Edward Aveling, which had been advocating a more positive attitude towards participation in the mass movements, and use of the electoral tactic. He wrote in Commonweal :. Freedom from authority means the assertion of the advisability or possibility of an individual man doing what he pleases, always and under all circumstances; this is an absolute negation of society, and makes Communism as the highest expression of society impossible.
But the anarchist influence in the Socialist League grew strong enough to have Morris removed from editorial control of the paper. By his branch in Hammersmith, London, had decided to form itself into a separate society and leave the Socialist League to the anarchists. It has been said of the Social Democratic Federation and, by extension, of the Socialist League that, despite their shortcomings, the major positive contribution to the labour movement in Britain of these organisations was the training of cadres in socialist ideas.app-books.jp/wp-content/gow-generisch-azithromycin-500mg.php
A History of Socialist Thought' (7-volume set) at theoterswildcalba.ml
Some Socialist League cadres in the provinces in particular played an important role in the broad labour movement. Tom Maguire, for example, was instrumental in guiding the formation of the Independent Labour Party in West Yorkshire. In his last years Morris reconciled himself with the Social Democratic Federation. But a trenchant passage from a lecture he delivered in March anticipates arguments later developed by Rosa Luxemburg in the fight against Eduard Bernstein's revisionism: "Most anti-socialists and even some socialists are apt to confuse One of Morris's last public speeches, occasioned by the Jameson Raid of , attacked the machinations of British imperialism in southern Africa.
Having looked at Morris's political record, we now turn to the question of his contribution to socialist theory. In my view the central preoccupation of Morris, a theme that runs like a red thread through all his writings and lectures, is the problem of the degradation of work or labour activity under the capitalist mode of production, and the urgent requirement for a socialist transformation of society to remedy this situation.
These themes are absolutely central to the Marxist tradition. The concept of "alienated labour" is crucial for an understanding of Marxism. Morris, writing and thinking to a certain extent in a different tradition from the one that formed the matrix of Marx's own intellectual development, reached conclusions essentially similar to those of the early Marx, the Marx of the Grundrisse , and the Marx of the chapters on commodity fetishism in volume 1 of Capital , and indeed of the whole of that work.
The appearance of E. Thompson's biography of Morris in reflected to some degree the beginning of the rediscovery of the early Marx in post-war Europe, particularly the Marx of the "Paris Manuscripts", and The German Ideology , texts that were unknown even to Lenin.
The theme of alienation that runs through these works has been at the basis of at least the two major strands in post-war philosophy and social thought. Morris undoubtedly made major contributions to the Marxist theory of alienation, particularly in its aesthetic dimension. The concepts he developed were enriched by a profound grasp of history, which is clear from a reading of such works as the lecture Art and Labour and the book he co-authored with Belfort Bax: Socialism: Its Growth and Outcome Morris admitted that he had little aptitude for pure economic studies, yet his writings indicate a firm grasp of some central Marxist economic concepts, such as the division of labour and surplus value.
Morris' vision, and he was a visionary, is best seen in the utopian romance News from Nowhere Paul Meier, the French scholar, has written an important book establishing the firm links between Morris' outlook in that book, and the perspective of the communist future developed by Marx in The Critique of the Gotha Programme. Apart from its vision of a future communist society, which depicts the Thames Valley years hence, when the restraints of the division of labour have largely been overcome and where a totally new attitude to work and leisure prevails, the most striking feature of News from Nowhere is its historical realism -- the detailed description in it of the transition from the old society.
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In conclusion we could briefly look at Morris's historical status with the traditions of the British and international labour movements. Historians have unhesitatingly considered that Morris was "admitted to be the most influential socialist of his day in Britain", and "the greatest of English socialists". Morris's international stature is in some ways an open question. Perry Anderson has maintained, in a footnote in his Considerations on Western Marxism , that Morris "unjustly remained without much influence even within his own country, and was unknown outside it".
We have seen that Morris had a quite definite influence on the British labour tradition. But internationally as well, he was far from being "unknown". For one thing he had attended the founding congress of the Socialist International in Paris in , and was received there as the "most distinguished British representative". The currency and influence of William Morris's ideas and example will no doubt extend, both within the international labour movement and in society at large, as major interpretative works such as those by E.
Thompson and Paul Meier continue to be discussed and subjected to critical appraisal. Study of the contribution of this outstanding socialist should be among the priorities of those who are seeking a road to the full emancipation of humankind. See the famous passage that has Morris disavowing Marxist political economy: p.
German Socialism to 1914
Laurence Thompson, in The Enthusiasts: a Biography of John and Katherine Bruce Glasier London, , holds that Glasier's memoir "should perhaps be taken as impressionist in its detail rather than strictly factual", p. John Y. See Thompson's comments in the postscript of the edition of William Morris: Romantic to Revolutionary , pp. See, for example, J. Thompson, William Morris: Romantic to Revolutionary , part 1, ch. Talmon, in Romanticism and Revolt London, , comments on romanticism's "dual" character; its reactionary as well as its progressive strains: p.
Bertrand Russel, in his History of Western Philosophy. The Age of Revolution London, , p. It is of some significance to note that the young Marx was profoundly influenced by romanticism, as his earliest literary efforts demonstrate.