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Pioneers of Anti-Parlimentarism
by Guy A. Aldred

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outside these lines as I, for one, must always be : but I shall be able to do just as much work in the movement when the League is gone as I do now.

"The main cause of the failure, which was obvious at least two years ago, is that you cannot keep a body together without giving it something to do in the present, and now, since people will willingly listen to Socialist doctrine, our rank and file have nothing to do."

This seems a strange and rather naive conclusion. What can the parliamentarians give their rank and file to do in the present? What have they given the rank and file to do except to toil in misery and employ their spare time sacrificing to make a leader's career and holiday? There is real work for Anti-Parliamentarism and Anti-Parliamentary organization to attend to: the real work of enunciating Socialism, of spreading the word, of exposing the futility of capitalist reformism, of emancipating the workers from their slavish regard and respect for capitalist honours and honour. It is a giant's task, lending inspiration and content to the life of each man and woman who participates in it: the complete undermining of the capitalist system, the death of an allegiance to it in the hearts of men. That he stumbled on the threshold of greatness, that he failed so completely in final clearness of vision, earns for Morris our sorrow. So near - and yet so far!

How strange that it should require so many philosophers to vision the new social order! How awkwardly each visions! St. Simon saw clearly the idea Morris was groping for, saw it years before Morris was born : the liquidation of all political society, the complete industrialization of society. And Proudhon discovers the true explanation of the non-appeal of Anti-Parliamentarism: the tendency of the oppressed to exhaust the power of established and entrenched law and custom to alleviate social misery, before winging to the side of revolution for the solution by social change. This is the law of progress, of evolving social revolution. Inevitable inherent conservatism which secures finally the triumph of revolution.

Morris writes to Glasier, in November, 1891, explaining his determination to stand aloof, equally, from uninformed Anarchist agitation and from parliamentary action. He described the two parties struggling for supremacy in the Socialist League: "the old Communist one, with which it began, adn the Anarchist." The result is constant quarrel. Morris adds: -

"I have gone through this, as you well know, before ; and I am determined never to stand it again. As soon as there are two parties in any body I am in, then out I go."

Morris explains the position and strength of the Hammersmith Branch, and concludes that the best policy is to break from the Socialist League and form the Hammersmith Socialist Society,

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