The present calamity establishes, in my mind, the justness of my long opposition to Parliamentary Socialism. Parliamentarism has ended in militarism and war, and has wasted the long struggle towards a new social order of the working class of the world. the Labour Leaders have sold their birthright, loyalty to peace and freedom, for a mess of pottage, place and career within the national constitution of capitalism. Claiming that their way was the way of peace, denouncing Anarchists and theories of social revolution, they have committed the working class to a criminal orgy of violence, to plague and pestilence. At such time, in a spirit of calm, and in opposition to surrounding clamour, I recall the pioneers of Utopia - the pioneers of Anti-Parliamentarism.
The world of these pioneers is not so far away. 1886 - the year of Chicago - the year of the author's birth. Malatesta I knew well and he links to-day with Bakunin. yet the distance seems tremendous because so much ahs happened, so many dynasties have fallen, and even nations have collapsed. however viewed, the Labour movement, Left or Right, of those days is an activity that belongs to history. it has no longer a place in living reality.
To my view, these pioneers have failed. I believe in the promise of the principle for which they stood. I believe the genius which inspired them will be reincarnated in another generation and that the struggle will be resumed unto triumph. I believe that this small volume is a record of lights that failed - that failed both gloriously, and may be a little stupidly, the better to illuminate the world.
This tribute to their memory may be taken as an incitement to the further and more complete study of the principles of democracy and anti-Parliamentarism. It reasserts, in opposition to so much contemporary subservience to Nazism and Facism, the author's undiminished and uncompromising faith in Socialism, the genuine Socialism of the proletariat. To the workers of the world in their struggle, and to the overthrow of the dictators, this book is dedicated.
Glasgow, July 2, 1940.
Guy A. Aldred