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By David Selbourne

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Extra info for Against Socialist Illusion: A Radical Argument

Sample text

A crude British political translation of this dilemma might read as follows: given that another Labour government would once more unsuccessfully pursue economic policies not greatly different from those of the Tories, given that there is lacking any general momentum of working-class support for 'genuine' socialist measures, and given that the right is easily capable of being ideologically perceived as the defender of much-desired individual citizen-rights to personal ownership and possession, the scope for a coherent Labour alternative to the politics of capital itself comes into serious question.

66 If this is so, the need for the 'majestic winning of democratic control' is simply hot air, a~d the whole prospectus an ideological South Sea bubble. Yet this kind of fundamental intellectual incoherence has spread widely as socialist desperation has developed. To take another example at random: a 'radical strategy for Britain's future', prepared in 1981 by Francis Cripps, John Griffith, Peter Townsend and others, similarly calls, on page 18, for the 'liberation of Britain by a Labour Government'; but sixty pages later is declaring that 'we are fortunate to live in one of the more free societies in the world today'.

To avoid the real issues, emphasis can also be shifted from the fact that the working class may once and for all have 'ceased to be largely Labour>~ to the proposition that the 'new right' is itself engaged in an intensified form of 'ideological class struggle' as capitalism totters. 3 That 'a major party has seldom penetrated so deeply into the political thinking of the other side's staunchest supporters', 4 as Tory has with Labour, gives way in analytical precedence to hectic assertions about the 'radical and traumatic The Appeal ofthe Right 33 restructuring of.

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