The high hopes many people held for the British Labor Party after 1945 have, to some extent, been replaced by disillusionment. But the present difficulties of the Party are not to be explained by electoral defeat or the sound and fury of the Bevanite quarrel. These are superficial manifestations of a larger concern—the facts of mid-twentieth century society and their meaning for socialism. The last twenty-five years have brought changes in British social and political life which throw considerable doubt on the traditional beliefs and assumptions of British socialists and socialists everywhere. It is discussion about these facts, and not whether Britain should build the hydrogen bomb or nationalize the Imperial Chemical Company, which has caused the party publicly to harrow itself with argument about “The Nature of Socialism” (one would have thought that had been discovered by now) and “The Next Step in Socialism,” etc., etc.
The despair with which G....
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