MIA: M.I.A. Library: John MacLean:

John Maclean

John MacLean


Biography: (See also the FULL MacLean Biography on this site)
John MacLean was a Scottish schoolteacher and Marxist educator. His Marxist evening-classes produced many of the activists who became instrumental in the Clyde revolts during and after WWI. MacLean was appointed both an Honorary President of the first Congress of Soviets and Soviet Consul to Scotland in recognition of his consistent socialist position on the imperialist war and his tireless work in support of the Bolshevik revolution.

MacLean was at odds with much of the British left and dismissive of the newly-formed Communist Party of Great Britain. He had already turned his back on economism and the syndicalism favoured by the Clyde Workers’ Committee, had recognised the nature of British imperialism and come to the conclusion that revolution could only come about through the destruction of the British Empire. 

He died on 30th November, 1923. 

Speeches and Articles


Reflections on Belfast, Justice, 24 August
The ‘Great Contradiction’ of Marx, Justice, 14 December
Time-saving and Karl Marx, Justice, 14 December
The Greenock ’Jungle’, pamphlet
Capitalist Solidarity and the Army, Justice, 7 December


Socialist Unity, Justice, 29 February
Education in Scotland, Justice, 4 April
Education in Scotland, Justice, 23 May
An Affair of Outposts, Justice, 19 September
Great Britain and Germany, Justice, 5 December


Karl Marx and the Labour Party, Forward, 12 February
A Piece of Class Injustice, Justice, 26 June


The Socialist Vote, Justice, 12 February
A Workers’ Party Necessary, but Labour Party Useless, pamphlet
The Labour Party Muddle , Forward, 6 August 1910
Why a Labour Party? Come out!, Forward, 30 July 1910
My Objections, Forward, 30 July 1910
Why a Labour Party?, Forward,, 13 August 1910
Inflation, Letter in Justice, 12 November 1910
Wages and Prices, Justice, 26 November
The ‘Maximum’, Justice, 17 December


The Rise in Prices, Justice January 7, 1911
Proposals for Action, Justice January 14, 1911
The Strike at Singer’s, Justice April 1, 1911
End of Singer’s Strike, Justice April 15, 1911
The Rise in Prices, Justice April 29, 1911
Notes from the North, Justice May 7, 1911
Democracy and the Coming Coronation, Justice May 13, 1911
A Scotsman on the Rhondda Dispute, Justice July 29, 1911
Cooperation and Rise In Prices, Speech to the Renfrewshire Co-operative Conference, 25 November 1911
The Foundation of the British Socialist Party, Forward, 9 December 1911
Scottish Notes, Justice, 11 November - 30 December 1911


Scottish Notes, Justice, 6 January - 28 December 1912
Co-operation and Trusts, The British Socialist, April 1912


Scottish Notes, Justice, 4 January - 27 December 1913
The Co-operative Union and the Labour Party, Justice, 19 April 1913


Scottish Notes, Justice, 1 January - 30 July 1914
The Scottish Coal Crisis, Justice August 6, 1914
The War and Its Outcome, Justice September 17, 1914


The International, The Vanguard, October 1915
Hyndman’s Infamous Letter, Forward April 1915
Our Freedom is Going, The Vanguard October 1915
The Fight for Freedom in Glasgow, The Vanguard October 1915
Marx on the Franco-Prussian war, The Vanguard October 1915
German Industrial development, The Vanguard November 1915
The Clyde Unrest, The Vanguard November 1915
Rent Victories, The Vanguard December 1915
The Conscription Menace, The Vanguard December 1915
Concerning P. Petroff, Justice December 1915


A Labour College for Scotland, Prepared by John MacLean & finished by Jas.D. MacDougall while MacLean was in prison
A Plea For A Labour College For Scotland


Letter on first release from prison, The Call, 19 July
Letter to the Russian delegates in Great Britain, 24 July
Demand Petroff’s Release, The Call, 2 August
Lead from Lanarkshire Miners’ Historic Protest Against Profiteers, The Call, 9 August
Independence in Working Class Education, The Call, 6 September
Clyde Labour, The Call, 11 October
Letter to Peter Petroff, 13 November
Letter to Georgy Chicherin (USSR People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs), 13 November
Russian Political Refugees Defence Committee, The Call, 19 November
Trotsky demands Release of Tchitcherine and Petroff, 30 November


Speech from the Dock, at the High Court, Edinburgh on May 9, 1918
The War After the War in the Light of Working Class Economics, Glasgow Economics Class pamphlet No.1, Scottish Labour College
Letter, The Call, 18 April
An Acid Test of Sincerity, The Call, 29 December
The Release of John MacLean, Special Message to The Call, 12 December


Now’s the Day and Now’s the Hour, The Call, 23 January
Maclean’s Claim Against the Authorities, The Call, 2 February
Maclean in Cumberland, The Call, 4 February
The Coal Situation, The Call, 6 March
Coal and Cotton, The Call, 20 March
The Coal Compromise, The Call, 27 March
Maclean in the Colne Valley, The Call, 5 June
Glasgow “Worker” Explains Dublin Suppression, The Worker, 5 July
Mansion House Meeting Suppressed, The Worker, 2 August
Will Capitalism Collapse?, The Call, 28 August
The Trade Union Congress and After, The Call, 25 September
Points About the Strike, The Call, 9 October
The Miners’ Next Move, The Call, 23 October
America’s Shame, The Worker, 25 October
Labour’s Commissariat Department, The Call, 30 October
Capitalists Everywhere Accept Marxism, The Worker, 1 November
On with the Revolution, The Call, 6 November
Burn Bradbury & Down with Prices, The Call, 27 November
The Cure for High Prices, The Call, 4 December
High Prices! Bonar Law’s Admission! Burn Bradbury!, The Call, 9 December
High Prices and Low Wages, The Call, 16 December
The Coming War With America, pamphlet
Sack Dalrymple, sack Stevenson: The Forty-hour Strike, pamphlet


Bradbury Battered, The Call, 1 January
Inflation and High Prices, The Call, 29 January
British Materialism and British Idealism, The Call, 26 February
Away with the Idle Rich, The Call, 22 January 1920
The Vanguard resurrected, The Vanguard, May 1920
The Irish Tragedy: Scotland’s Disgrace., pamphlet
One Big Union, The Vanguard, July 1920
Irish Stew, The Vanguard, August 1920
Scotch Broth, The Vanguard, September 1920
Highland Land Seizures, The Vanguard, September 1920
A Rejoinder to Mary E. Marcy, The Call, 13 November
The Unemployed, The Vanguard, November 1920
Literary Note, The Vanguard, November 1920
A Scottish Communist Party, The Vanguard, December, 1920


Open letter to Lenin, The Socialist January 30, 1921
To the Electors of Kinning Park Ward, Given in the Duke Street Prison
The Unemployed: Will There be a General Strike?, The Socialist 27 January 1921


All Hail, the Scottish Workers Republic!, subsequently reissued along with Nov 1922 election address.
Election Address, Republican, November 1922
Explanation Of Election Address, November 1922
The Irish Tragedy: Up Scottish Revolutionists!, The Vanguard, November 1922
Red Flag Flutters, issued together with November 1922 election address


Election Manifesto 1923, Candidature of John MacLean M.A., Republican, 23 November 1923
Municipal Election Address, November, 1923, used by all SWRP candidates in Glasgow, 6 November 1923
Municipal Election Address To The Electors Of The Thirtieth Ward, February 14, 1923

Related material

The John MacLean March by Hamish Henderson
The Ballad of John MacLean by Matt McGinn