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International Socialism, Spring 1960


Editorial Note

Introduction to a Journal


From International Socialism (1st series), No. 1, Spring 1960, p. 4.
Transcribed by Christian Høgsbjerg, with thanks to Paul Blackledge.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


Unless a journal has a specific job, it might as well not be produced; only if it has such a specific job can it join the throng of existing journals as an enriching rather than a competitive element.

The job we envisage for International Socialism is to bring together original contemporary social and political analysis that has special relevance to the waging of the class struggle and the deepening of working class consciousness. We shall develop historical studies that bear on contemporary problems; we shall open our pages to original poems and short stories with the same proviso. We shall, however, attempt to avoid mere description or definition of our time, not because we consider these unimportant – the contrary is true – but because these things are being handled competently by our contemporaries, such as New Left Review.

We wish to be a journal of socialist theory, drawing from the full range of socialist thought without distinction or censorship (other than is required to safeguard the seriousness and openness of the journal), drawing together contributions from many countries (we already have promises of articles from American, Indian, Egyptian and French socialists) and combining in its editorial board many shades of socialist opinion.

A word on origins. International Socialism is not a new name. A first, duplicated, version appeared in the autumn of 1958; nos. 2 & 3 appeared in print as a political biography of Rosa Luxemburg (by Tony Cliff) in January 1960. They were successful in every way, but they were the responsibility and expression of one stream of socialist thought, that centred on Socialist Review. This is no longer true: International Socialism is to be completely independent of Socialist Review financially, administratively, and in personnel. The success of this journal will depend on the extent to which it is nourished by the currents of socialist thought within the labour movement. All are invited to share its burdens and to contribute to its, we hope, achievements. Readers, it is yours to judge, to use and to help.

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