R.H.S. Crossman, reviewing John Strachey’s Contemporary
Capitalism* last summer, began by observing that British socialists have run out of fresh ideas. This is true, but the explanation lies not, as he seems to think, in their overwhelmingly successful concentration upon practice (“under the Labor Government they were so busy changing the world that they had no time to understand it”), but rather in the exhaustion of a certain intellectual heritage which was never quite as ample as the beneficiaries had been led to suppose. Laborists of varying tendencies continue to write pamphlets and books, but the hard core of scientific analysis is difficult to locate. An exception must be made for the Keynesians; but then, for all the well-meant efforts of the left-wingers among them to pass themselves off as Socialists, no one has yet quite succeeded in demonstrating that socialism, laborism and Keynesian liberalism all come to the same thing in the long run—a demonstration not required, let me hasten to add, in the interests of politics, since the Labor Party is quite happy to accommodate all of these conflicting strains. When one speaks of intellectual doubts one refers to the state of mind now prevalent amon...
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