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International Socialism, Winter 1980


Geoff Hodgson

Britain’s crisis and the road to international socialism:
a reply to Jonathan Bearman

(Winter 1980)


From International Socialism, 2 : 7, Winter 1980, pp. 82–94
Transcribed by Marven James Scott.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


“There is one, and only one, kind of real internationalism, and that is – working wholeheartedly for the development of the revolutionary movement and the revolutionary struggle in one’s own country, and supporting (by propaganda, sympathy, and material aid) this struggle, this, and only this, line, in every country without exception.” (Lenin, Tasks of the Proletariat in our Revolution)

“It has not occurred to them (the ‘Left Communists’) that state capitalism would be a step forward as compared with the present state of affairs ... It is not state capitalism that is at war with socialism, but the petty bourgeoisie plus private capitalism fighting together against both state capitalism and socialism. The petty bourgeoisie oppose every kind of state interference, accounting and control, whether it be state capitalism or state socialist. This is an absolutely unquestionable fact of reality, and the root of the economic mistake of the ‘Left Communists’ is that they have failed to understand it.” (Lenin, ‘Left-Wing’ Childishness and the Petty-Bourgeois Mentality)

Britain today is not Russia 1917. Neither is Tony Benn the new Lenin. But there are important lessons in the above-quoted remarks. They concern our attitude, as revolutionary socialists, to the limits of class struggle and social transformation within one country, and to struggles and conflicts between elements of the economy and class structure which are not purely socialist in character. Both of these questions are central to the assessment of the ‘Bennite Left’ and the Alternative Economic Economic Strategy.

Jonathan Bearman’s contribution to this assessment [1] is welcome, even if serious faults can be found within it. There are too many non-members of the Labour Party on the revolutionary left who have simply wished that the Labour Party would go away, and have abstained from any serious analysis of the important developments within that Party in the 1970s. This ostrich mentality is not detected in recent issues of International Socialism, Socialist Review, and Socialist Worker, where there has been a notable revival of interest and discussion on events within the Labour Party. Bearman himself concludes that:

‘over the next few years Benn will become the major focus of opposition to the Tories – and the Labour right ... the Bennites will inevitably be seen by millions who have never heard of the SWP, as the left alternative to Thatcher and Callaghan. To many their ideas will not only be attractive, but they will also be untainted by the record of dismal failure of the 1974-9 Labour government. Irrespective of their immediate success or failure in the party machine, they are bound to be a considerable pole of attraction. They may even succeed in sucking in significant layers of militants into the Labour party and its periphery.’ [2]

Bearman’s recognition of the growth and significance of the present Labour Left contrasts with the prognosis of decline and collapse offered by Raymond Challinor in International Socialism in 1972. He talked of the ‘complete disintegration’ of the Labour Left, and he wrote:

‘increasingly the Labour Left is seen as an irrelevancy. In size, cohesion and policy, it has never been as weak as it is today. Given the trend over the past fifty years, there is not the remotest chance of it capturing control of the labour party for socialist policies.’ [3]

Just over a year after these words were published the Labour Left achieved victory at the 1973 Party Conference, with the acceptance of the radical economic policies in Labour’s Programme 1973 and the consolidation of the left-wing control over the National Executive Committee of the Party. The Left was not strong enough to counter Wilson’s manoeuvres, neither was Labour’s Programme an adequate socialist document, containing no comprehensive strategy for the class struggle and socialist transformation other than the limited and transitional economic arrangements proposed by Benn and Holland. But Challinor’s 1972 assessment now seems unduly dismissive. The present discussion within the SWP is welcome, but there is still a danger that the same mistake can be made again.

The national dimension to Britain’s crisis

Bearman recognises the political significance of the tendencies grouped around Benn on the Labour Left. His assessment is far less dismissive than that of Challinor, and he recognises the need for all socialists to examine and relate to this new current. However, when he attempts to unearth the basic assumptions of this wide and relatively heterogeneous current he makes some serious errors. For example, he states that all members of this current, including myself and my co-thinkers in the ILP, hold to: ‘the assumption that if Britain can break the chains that enmesh it into world capitalism it could lead to comparatively unrestricted national reconstruction and thereby retrieve the position of a major industrial power. ‘ [4]

The view that Britain could ‘go it alone’ in this way has an obvious implausibility. It is not held, as an ‘assumption’, by myself the ILP, the leading members of the IWC, nor, I suspect, by Tony Benn. Such an ‘assumption’ is absent in the key literature on economic strategy from the Labour Left.

Nevertheless, having dispensed with a major red herring, there are serious and explicit differences to be discussed. Bearman writes on the Left Labour programme for industrial regeneration:

‘the lack of investment, decline of industry, contraction of the manufacturing base are part and parcel of the world system and not any British system. If they (the ‘Bennites’) were to try and tear out the British component from the others in an effort to isolate the “British crisis” and resolve its problems the consequences would be catastrophic for the working class.’ [5]

The second of these two sentences is correct. But the denial in the first sentence of any specific national dimension to the grave economic crisis we face in Britain is unconvincing, and supported by no rigorous and extensive argument. Bearman has over-reacted to the red herring of Britain ‘going it alone’ by suggesting that the recession in Britain is a precise and exact reflection of the world recession, and in no sense the crisis in Britain is more severe than that in other advanced capitalist countries.

The contrary view, that the world crisis is supplemented in Britain by an especially ailing industrial structure and senile politico-economic institutions, has been supported by a number of studies. The best historical analysis of the basis to Britain’s economic decline was made by Perry Anderson over a decade ago. [6] From a more right-wing point of view the Hudson Report suggested in 1974:

‘The present reality is that it is Britain that is the unstable and socially divided nation, economically depressed. Today, the continental states, overall, have not only a vastly better economic performance but also superior popular standards of living and amenity ... We hold that Britain’s fundamental troubles come from within the society, and from certain economic, social, and institutional forces which are peculiarly British: aspects of British culture and an inheritance of a particular British historical experience.’ [7]

Whereas Marxists would disagree with much of this analysis, we should take note when a capitalist research institution, such as Hudson Europe, identifies Britain as a weak link in the capitalist chain.

Naturally, a complete analysis of the national dimension to Britain’s crisis is beyond the scope of this essay. But we reproduce below a few key indicators for a few advanced capitalist countries (the inclusion of the Soviet Bloc, as a set of supposedly ‘state capitalist’ countries – a label which I would not apply to that Bloc – would reinforce the disparity between Britain’s economic performance and that of other advanced industrial nations). The chosen indicators are (1) Investment in plant and machinery as a percentage of Gross Domestic Products (1972), (2) Growth in output per person (1973-6 average annual percentage increase), (3) Efficiency of investment in plant and machinery, i.e. change in Gross Domestic product divided by investment in plant and machinery (1968-72), (4) Growth in Gross Domestic Product per capita (average annual percent 1967-77). [8]



Level of
Growth in

Growth in

Efficiency of












W. Germany















These figures should indicate that the problems of British capitalism are significantly more severe than those of its most advanced capitalist competitors. Whilst the world recession affects all counties, and the underdeveloped world most severely, Britain is likely to suffer more than the United States and most of Western Europe. Flagging investment, very slow growth in productivity, and low investment efficiency all indicate serious problems in the process of capital accumulation in Britain. They have all contributed to a low comparative growth rate. Whilst there is an international capitalist crisis as well, brought about by the decline of U.S. hegemony, the growth of capitalist rivalry, and the collapse of the post-war monetary settlement, there is a particular crisis in Britain as well. Whilst the two are obviously connected, we should not ignore the specific and acute crisis which has matured on this island.

The fact is that Britain is a weak link in the capitalist chain. Its economic and political health has been the concern of foreign capitalist governments. When the Pound Sterling fell through the floor in the autumn of 1976, and the then Labour Government brought its begging bowl to the International Monetary Fund in order to rescue British capitalism, aid was not given through simple generosity. The dominant, American, interests in the IMF saw the 1976 crisis as a threat to world capitalist stability. In reflecting upon the event of that year, the head of President Ford’s Security Council remarked: ‘It was considered by us in the White House at the time as the greatest single threat to the stability of the Western World.’ [9]

The guardians of international capitalism regard Britain as a major weak link in the capitalist chain. It is a pity that the same facts are not recognised in the pages to International Socialism.

Towards international socialism

It must be stated at the outset that I and many other supporters of the Alternative Economic Strategy do not see it as possible to have genuine socialism in one country. Britain particularly is deeply involved in world trade and the world-wide division of labour. On economic grounds alone a socialist siege economy is not feasible, apart from the military and political threat from hostile capitalist countries in Europe and elsewhere. Britain cannot ‘go it alone’.

However, it is no more feasible to wait for a world-wide and simultaneous proletarian insurrection. Whilst the working class is united by interests on an international scale, its consciousness and struggle are mediated through mainly national institutions. The weight of national history, and nationally-defined institutions such as Parliament, the State, the trade unions and political parties bears down upon the present, and ensures that the class struggle has a predominantly national form. Whilst the overall and ultimate strength and weakness of classes depends on the international relationship of forces, in the short term advances and retreats are made within national boundaries. The events of May 1968, for example, shook the world, but they did not shake State power as much as in France itself. Even the revolutionary events of 1917-20, whilst they had a clear international aspect, had vastly different dimensions and features in different countries, and the element of international simultaneity was provided by the catastrophe of World War. Socialism in one country must be impossible, but so too is simultaneous international socialist revolution. As Lenin pointed out, we fulfil our internationalist duty by pushing radical social change to its limits within this nation, and supporting similar offensives by our comrades elsewhere. We do not aid internationalism by restraining advances in the socialist movement (recognising that every socialist movement has faults and limitations) and by dismissing important positive and leftward developments within the working class. Whilst being critical of social-democracy and reformism, the positive and useful features of present developments in the Labour Movement must not be underestimated.

The transition to an international socialist order must involve an irregular pattern of change between different countries. Circumstances will arrive in one nation which will allow it to advance more than many of the others. In turn this will encourage similar developments and advances elsewhere. As Trotsky understood, and explained with lucidity, international social and political advance is both combined and uneven. We do not necessarily turn our back on an international perspective by taking advantage of opportune developments within this country.

The political significance of the Alternative Economic Strategy

It is certainly true that many of the supporters of the Alternative Economic Strategy would not agree with the internationalist and revolutionary perspective outlined above. That fact is significant, and it has to be pointed out But it is not sufficient reason to abandon the Alternative Economic Strategy to the reformists. The most central question is: will the class struggle be advanced by critical but vigorous support for the strategy, or does an alternative and effective means of advance exist? That is the question that has to be asked and answered before the Alternative Economic Strategy is dismissed.

I have explored this issue in greater detail elsewhere, [10] but it is here possible to give a brief summary of the arguments. First, the socialist left in Britain has to recognise that it has few roots in the working class outside the Labour Party, and the Labour Party itself is an inadequate instrument at present, to say the least. Furthermore, militant class consciousness in Britain is confined to a narrow trade unionism which rarely broadens out to global political issues beyond the confines of wages and conditions within the workplace. Socialist ideas have, unfortunately, not as yet got a great following. These are dismal facts, but facts that have to be taken into account if the left is to take the most effective route, and make the most of the present situation.

The advantage of the Alternative Economic Strategy is that it has some roots in the trade union and Labour Movement, being endorsed by both the TUC and several major unions, and by Labour Party conferences. It is a means by which revolutionary socialists can reach the ear of literally thousands of workers and inject important ideas of their own. It is a formal commitment by the working class movement which can be used to instigate and endorse particular struggles in the localities, bringing thousands of workers into the experience of struggle. The very existence of the Alternative Economic Strategy should, despite its faults, be seen as an advantage by the left and a means of raising socialist class consciousness.

There are still those, however, who would dismiss the strategy as a reformist trap. It is, of course, necessary to warn of the dangers of reformism. But Lenin’s slogan of ‘Peace, bread and land’ could have had reformist connotations. The real antidote to reformism is not criticism from the sidelines but active involvement in real struggles so that they may be diverted in a revolutionary direction. It has to be pointed out, for example, that any effective strategy to regenerate British industry on the basis of working class democracy and control is likely to face the stiff, and even violent, resistance of the capitalists. It is precisely by full involvement in the Labour Movement that this warning can be made to the widest audience.

In addition it has to be argued that any major economic reform, such as the nationalisation under workers’ control of the leading monopolies and multinationals, will require a mass mobilisation of the working class, both to ensure that there is not an effective right-wing reaction to these plans, and to provide the infrastructure of workers’ power within industry itself. But do we help mobilise people by simply warning them of the dangers, and campaigning against the, albeit imperfect, package of reforms that is being proposed by the present leaders of the Labour and Trade Union Movement? Of course not. It is necessary to give active and critical support to the reforms by energetic and effective activity within the Movement itself.

In short, the Alternative Economic Strategy is a means of working class mobilisation in the present situation, with the relationship of forces being unfavourable to the revolutionary socialist left. It is no accident that major positive initiatives, such as the Corporate Plan of the Lucas Aerospace workers and the similar plan by the workers at Vickers, were connected to, and inspired by, the struggle for an Alternative Economic Strategy at the macroeconomic level. They are clear microeconomic versions of that strategy.

Import controls

The reader may agree with what is said above but still reject the Alternative Economic Strategy because of the inclusion of allegedly reactionary import controls. This issue has to be discussed in particular detail.

In the real economic world there is basically a choice between a laissez-faire, free trade, policy on international trade, on the one hand, and a policy of involving some sort of control of imports and exports on a planned or quota basis on the other. The option of controlled trade contains many variants. Crudely, there is the narrow and often nationalist protectionism that was typical of some firms in the last century and, for instance, capitalists in the British textile trade today. Some supporters of import controls within the Labour Party still, unfortunately, support the narrow protectionist version of import controls. But that is not necessarily what the phrase means. Import control means control of imports, and that could mean a planned state monopoly of trade, where deals are done with other nations on the basis of the progressiveness of their internal regime and where, for example, long term arrangements are made of benefit to underdeveloped countries. Import control does not necessarily mean a reduction of imports. It means an extension of state control of trade and a move away from the ravages of the international market.

Incidentally, I do not, as Bearman suggests, argue for import controls on the basis of Ricardo’s theory of comparative advantage. A glance at my pamphlet Socialist Economic Strategy will show that I see Ricardo’s theory as the traditional basis of a policy of free trade, and I reject the comparative advantage theory for several reasons. Bearman’s sloppiness on this question is indicative of a more subtle and widespread mishandling of the entire issue of the Alternative Economic Strategy. [11]

The argument for import controls is analogous to the socialist argument for nationalisation within capitalism. These advances do not alone bring socialism, but they are necessary prerequisites, and the struggle for them can raise working class consciousness and power. At the same time they can be abused, as nationalised property is abused by the bureaucracy within the Soviet Union. Import controls can be abused in the nationalist or reactionary way. But we must not confuse the policy options associated with a reform with the reform itself. We support the principle of nationalisation but oppose its abuses. The same is true for import controls.

Trotsky on reformist economic strategies

It can be argued that if Trotsky was still alive today he might give critical support to the Alternative Economic Strategy. This supposition is based on historical precedent. In Belgium in the 1930s the social democratic leader, De Man, proposed an economic plan for the Belgian Labour Party that was quite similar to the present-day Alternative Economic Strategy. Like the present time, capitalism was in crisis. Also, in Belgium, the Labour Party had significant weight and influence, and was much bigger than other socialist groups on the far left. Again this parallels the present situation. In his advice to the Belgian Trotskyists, Trotsky wrote:

‘If we had to present a plan to the Belgian proletariat, this plan would have had an altogether different aspect. Unfortunately, the Belgian proletariat gave this mandate not to us but to the Belgian Labour Party (POB), and the plan reflects two facts: the pressure of the proletariat on the POB and the conservative character of this party. In what consists the deception of this plan?In the fact that the leadership of the POB, De Man included, does not wish to lead the masses into struggle, and without struggle this plan, inadequate as it is, is completely unrealizable. Then, when we say to the masses that to realize this imperfect plan it is necessary to struggle to the end, we are far from covering up the deception; on the contrary, we are helping the masses to expose it by their own experience.’ [12]

These arguments could apply perfectly to the Alternative Economic Strategy.

In his efforts to persuade his followers to give critical support to the De Man plan, Trotsky recalls a classic example. In May 1917 the Russian Social Revolutionary Party formulated an agrarian programme for the peasantry. The Bolsheviks saw internal inadequacies and inconsistencies in the programme. But, despite that, “They recognised that the realization of this programme would mean an enormous advantage for the peasants, for the whole people’. So ‘the Bolsheviks did everything they could to draw the peasants into the struggle for their plan. They even finished by inscribing the plan into their programme of action’. All this despite the manifest ‘faults’ in the programme! [13] Again, an analogy with the Alternative Economic Strategy can be made. This strategy has faults, but in giving it critical support we are helping the advancement of working class struggle, and at the same time exposing in practice the limitations of the strategy.

Marx on cooperatives

There are similar attempts in Bearman’s article to derive authority from the Marxist classics for his position. He gives references to certain passages in Marx’s Capital and elsewhere (without actually quoting them) which are meant to support the proposition that workers’ control and workers’ cooperatives are not a significant change or advance under capitalism. [14] The references he gives are worthy of examination. They simply do not support the latter proposition. For example, the reference to the Critique of the Gotha Programme makes the following points, and the following points only, about producer cooperatives. The Gotha Programme itself reads:

‘the German workers’ party ... demands the establishment of producers’ co-operative societies with state aid under the democratic control of the toiling people. The producers’ co-operative societies are to be called into being for industry and agriculture on such a scale that the socialist organisation of the total labour will arise from them.’

In response, Marx comments:

‘Instead of arising from the revolutionary process of transformation of society, the “socialist organisation of the total labour” “arises” from the “state aid” that the state gives to the producer’s co-operatives and which the state, not the worker, “calls into being” ... That the workers desire to establish the condition for .co-operative production on a social scale, and first of all on a national scale, in their own country, only means that they are working to revolutionise the present conditions of production, and it has nothing in common with state aid. But as far as the present co-operative societies are concerned, they are of value only in so far as they are the independent creations of the workers and not the proteges either of the governments or of the bourgeois.’

These remarks simply do not support Bearman’s interpretation. Clearly, Marx is arguing against a programme which relies on the state to call cooperatives into being, he is not arguing against cooperatives per se. Once again Bearman’s accuracy and scholarship is called into question. For a much more accurate assessment of Marx’s attitude to worker cooperatives I refer the reader to Ken Coates’ article Some Questions and Some Arguments in Ken Coates (ed.), The New Worker Cooperatives. There will be found an excellent critique of the present hostile attitude of the far left to worker cooperatives under capitalism.

Benn on mobilisation

We have argued that the Alternative Economic Strategy is a means of mobilising the working class for socialist ends. Bearman recognises that the current headed by Benn within the Labour Party also speaks of mobilisation. But Bearman argues that Benn really has other ideas in mind:

‘when Benn speaks about the “mobilisation of the Labour Movement”, what he is referring to is, essentially, official action, like conferences, motions, Parliamentary speeches, and perhaps the occasional rally.’ [15]

Again Bearman has not done his homework. Benn has his faults, and his conception of mobilisation may be inadequate, but it cannot be identified with ‘official action ... and perhaps the occasional rally’. Simply read what Benn has to say. Chapter 11 of his Speeches contains phrases like the following:

‘Since individual action cannot achieve a great deal, more and more people are banding themselves together to get things done, outside the party system ... (Political parties) are therefore being supplemented by the development of thousands of pressure groups ... (such as) the consumers’ movement, tenants’ associations, Shelter, the Black Power movement, the student left ... The (Labour) Party must consciously go out to these groups which are studying contemporary issues, whether those groups or the people who compose them are politically sympathetic or not, and deliberately seek to learn from them.’ [16]

Very ‘official’!

And what about ‘Parliamentary speeches’?

‘There are others who say that our basic problem stems from the fact that the Party has been betrayed by its leaders ... But this analysis implies that socialism can be created simply by change at the very top. The danger of believing that is that it encourages an endless search of new hero figures. What we really need is a search for new sources of public strength to achieve socialism ... In the process of political advance we must therefore start at the bottom and work back toward the top ... The people must be helped to understand that they will make little progress unless they are more politically self-reliant and are prepared to organize with others, nearest where they work and where they live, to achieve what they want ... This is not a wishy-washy appeal for “participation” as a moral duty or “job enrichment” as a management technique, or “involvement” as a Dale Carnegie philosophy of life. It means telling people the truth: if you don’t organise with others to change your life situation, the only change we guarantee you is the “in” or “out” of alternative parties in power.’ [17]

After a look at even these short extracts from Benn’s speeches and writings, Bearman’s evaluation just cannot be taken seriously. We repeat, Benn has his faults; but they are not the faults of a conventional, social-democratic, elitist, reformist. Bearman’s Anatomy of the Bennite Left is more like an autopsy on Kautsky and Bernstein, I would suggest that this instruments are blunt and he is examining the wrong body.

‘What, though, if the workers rebelled?’

At the dramatic climax of his essay, Bearman brings out the final, clinching argument. If the Alternative Economic Strategy was applied in practice, perhaps with Benn at the helm:

‘It would be a constant and desperate struggle to keep above water ... What, though, if the workers rebelled? Where would the Bennites stand then? As we have seen, the Bennites have been aware of this predicament from the outset. The “alternative strategy” is designed in such a way that it has carefully embraced the role of workers, planning to incorporate them in the self-same strategy by way of “workers control”.’

Here we have the ‘deception’ in Benn’s ‘plan’. It is ‘really’ designed to keep the workers in control.

But, for a minute let us turn away from a direct answer to this serious charge. Let us conjecture on the glistening ‘alternative’ road to socialism provided by the theoreticians of the Socialist Workers Party. Here there are no problems at all. The workers will arise in enough countries to prevent effective counter-action by the capitalists. The capitalists will use force against the workers, that is clearly admitted, but the hardships involved will be much less than the tyranny of the Alternative Economic Strategy. The civil war will be a clean-cut affair with most of the workers on one side and a few misguided stragglers on the other. The hardships endured will certainly be insufficient to promote disturbance or rebellion in our own ranks. We can be absolutely certain that there will be no Kronstadt. And Cambodia? That is an underdeveloped country, far, far away, and the murders and crimes were all ‘ultimately’ the fault of Sino-Soviet bureaucracy and American imperialism. Nothing of the sort could happen here. And Ireland, that too cannot be invoked to dissuade us that the working class is indivisible. Our Revolution is guaranteed. The workers will solve all the problems.

I only wish it were true. It is not. The insurrectionary road to socialism has not succeeded in one advance capitalist country. Where insurrection has been attempted in those countries, such as Germany in 1919, the result has been bloody defeat, a divided working class, and a right-wing reaction amongst a significant section of that class. Look at the facts of history. Insurrectionary dreams are coloured not by roses but with blood. Both the reformist and the insurrectionary roads to socialism have failed.

I have put the argument elsewhere [18] that a new ‘third road’ to socialism is required. We have not got all the answers. But we should be able to learn enough from history to convince us that both reformism and romantic insurrectionism are not effective routes to a democratic and contented socialist world.

And if the workers rebelled when a Bennite Labour Government was in power? The answer is simple, but it may be surprising to those unfamiliar with the established norms of democracy. If the Bennite Labour Government lost the support for its policies from a majority of the population, or a majority of the working class, it would stand down, i.e. resign. Simple. It would certainly not crush the rebellion from a position of minority power. Have the Socialist Workers Party got the same position? I have yet to hear it voiced. Would the SWP stand down and resign if it lost majority popular support or a parliamentary election? Or would there be no Parliament? And what if the ‘soviets’ disapproved of the SWP? Could such a thing be possible? Where is the SWP commitment to democracy, both within, and outside, its own Party? If a group of workers misguidedly took up arms against a SWP Government how would the SWP know that the rebellion had only the support of a minority of the working class? What would be the criterion? Or do we suppose that no-one would dream of rebelling under a SWP regime?

Results and prospects

It is unfortunate that Bearman’s textual inaccuracies are compounded by inaccuracies of prediction. I say it is unfortunate because things could have easily gone the other way. Bearman rashly predicts in his article, that within the Labour Party: ‘the block votes will ensure that any fundamental changes in the party structure are defeated at conference.’19 Perhaps we were just dreaming this October when mandatory reselection of MPs was introduced into the Constitution of the Labour Party.

The victory of the democratic, revolutionary socialist current within the Labour Party is not ensured. And even if the Party was transformed in that direction there would be many, many, more problems and struggles to face. But can we seriously ignore the possibilities? Is not the present situation in the Labour Party unprecedented, at least since the 1950s? Is not the situation within the Labour Party more healthy for the Left than when the International Socialism Group argued for entryism in the 1960s? The resurgence of interest in the Labour Party from the far left is encouraging, but there is the danger that still the opportunity will be lost. The battle for socialist ideas and actions within the largest working class party in Britain is on. Is the SWP to remain on the sidelines?


1. J. Bearman, Anatomy of the Bennite Left, International Socialism, 2 : 6, Autumn 1979.

2. Ibid., pp. 67–8.

3. R. Challinor, Labour and the Parliamentary Road, International Socialism, 1 : 52, July–September 1972, p. 13.

4. Bearman, op.cit., p. 51.

5. P. Anderson, Origins of the Present Crisis, in P. Anderson and R. Blackburn (eds.) Towards Socialism, Fontana 1966.

6. P. Anderson, Origins of the Present Crisis, in P. Anderson and R. Blackburn (eds.) Towards Socialism, Fontana 1966.

7. Hudson Institute, The United Kingdom in 1980, London 1974.

8. Sources: OECD Accounts, F. Blackaby (ed.) De-industrialisation, NIESR; NEDC, Finance for Investment.

9. The Day the Pound Nearly Died, Part 1, Sunday Times, 14 May 1979.

10. G. Hodgson, Socialist Economic Strategy, ILP Leeds, 1979.

11. Bearman, op.cit., p. 70.

12. L. Trotsky, Writings 1934–5, Pathfinder, p. 213.

13. L. Trotsky, Writings 1934–5, Pathfinder, p. 443.

14. Bearman, op.cit., pp. 66–7, 70.

15. Ibid., p. 67.

16. T. Benn, Speeches, Spokesman 1974, pp. 265–6.

17. Ibid., pp. 276, 278.

18. G. Hodgson, Socialism and Parliamentary Democracy, Spokesman 1977.

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