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International Socialism, Spring 1961


Peter Cadogan

Political Platform


From International Socialism (1st series), No.4, Spring 1961, pp.30-31.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.
Proofread by Anoma Cartwright (April 2008).


The Alternative for Labour: A Draft Socialist Programme
Dave Childs and Dave Harris
14, Talbot Road, Carshalton, Surrey. 1960. 2s.

This is a vigorous militant manifesto, thirty-two pages of good political ammunition, something that deserves the compliment of tough criticism. Both the following propositions appear: ‘it is by no means certain that Keynesian economists have found a way out of major slumps’ and ‘private enterprise economies are now dangerously dependent on armaments’. These contradict one another. The permanent war economy is Keynesianism.

The notion of workers’ democracy in the workshop is commonplace but what does it mean and what lies beyond it? The government (its character not defined) is to expropriate the capitalists and ‘the vast majority must stand ready to materialize the expropriation in a General Strike ... A party with revolutionary aims must be armed for all situations.’ Two comments on this. Firstly, the assumption is that the crisis will break over economic questions. The evidence is to the contrary. The probabilities are political and the issue – the outbreak or threatened outbreak of World War III. Secondly, it is assumed that the Labour Party can become a revolutionary party. This is to mistake its nature and function. The Labour Party is a united front organization and as such can become a revolutionary organization (not a party) if and when the revolutionary party proper is built within it.

On industrial matters there is no apparent awareness of the meaning of the speed-up and of the attempted splitting of the workers by the employers’ work-study tactics.

On education the significance of the Crowther Report and raising the school-leaving age is missed whilst on housing the essential demand for the abolition of interest on public loans goes wholly by default. The demand for the abolition of the monarchy does not make amends!


Peter Cadogan
Feb. 2nd 1961.

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