Sunday, August 12, 2018

Notes by the Way: Laski's Error. (1930)

The Notes by the Way Column from the August 1930 issue of the Socialist Standard

Laski's Error.
Professor Harold Laski, writing in the current number of the Political Quarterly, refers to the “well-known” view of Marx and his followers that capitalism can only be overthrown by violent means.

This may be well-known to Professor Laski, but it is unknown to us, and was unknown to Marx. It is a pity that Professor Laski does not give the evidence for his extraordinary statement. When, about three years ago, his book on "Communism" was reviewed in these columns, attention was drawn to other mistaken views about Marx which are held by Laski, but although a copy was sent to him and acknowledged, he did not attempt to defend his statements. He continues to repeat them, still without evidence.

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The American Socialist Party Gets Further Away From Socialism.
About a year ago the American Socialist Party, in its endeavour to become more popular, dropped from its constitution the mention of the class-struggle. It is now considering the advisability of dropping the word Socialist from its title and calling itself the "Independent Labour Party." We are sure that all Socialists, both here and in the U.S.A., will be quite enthusiastic about the idea. The American Socialist Party was never in any respect Socialist, and the proposed change of title would clear the way for our colleagues of the American Socialist Education Society to form a real Socialist Party.

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The S.L.P. in Trouble.
The Australian S.L.P. has broken with and been repudiated by the parent body in America. The Australians claim that "the American S.L.P. has weakened from the Principles, Policies and Tactics advocated by Daniel De Leon.”

The trouble appears to have arisen largely out of the insertion in the American Weekly People of advertisements of books containing matter contrary to the S.L.P. position.

The whole controversy, as described in the Australian Revolutionary Socialist is, however, so clouded under a stream of personal abuse that it is a little difficult to tell what really is the matter. Anyhow, they are annoyed, and describe Peterson, of the American S.L.P. as a "demented being," the associate of "assassins," "slanderers," "larceny - mongers," "thieves," and "thugs."

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