Wednesday, February 24, 2016

'William Morris: Revolutionary Socialist or Utopian Dreamer?'

Saturday, 27 February from 1pm.
The Red Shed,
18 Vicarage St South,
Wakefield WF1 1QX

A speaker from the Socialist Party will be among those contributing to a forum on William Morris, hosted by Wakefield Socialist History Group.

Here's the line-up for this event:
Brian Else (Wakefield Green Party)
Bill Martin (SPGB)
Colin Waugh (Independent Working Class Education Network)

Admission is free. There is also a free light buffet and an excellent bar with real ale.

Useful reading:
Art, Labour & Socialism by William Morris

Wee Matt on William Morris 

A man can't help the class he is born into. William Morris betrayed his class and sided with the working class. If you are a worker, do you make common cause with your fellow worker to get rid of capitalism, (revolution) as Morris did, or do you slavishly support reforms as most workers still do, despite the evidence capitalism cannot be reformed?

Even the Left would not have been of the 'Left' as Morris would have understood it.  He well understood that the revolution would only be made by the workers 'themselves' and tried to assist in developing understanding for a society where buying and selling would be seen as quaint behaviour from the annals of historical capitalist development. He also understood that the new society would be a post-capitalist one, using the technology thrown up by intensive capitalist development, to produce a superabundance of wealth in the new society, with common rather than elite, ownership and with free access to the common wealth, rather than a rationed access via the wages system as at present. He knew that all wealth flowed from labour and should return to labour with the abolition of private property and the wages system. He is a political giant compared to the leftist pygmies.

There can't be politics as we know it when we reach socialism. As there are no vested interests competing for the means and instruments of creating and distributing wealth. This doesn't mean there won’t be competing ideas and arguments but the interests are common so the heat is out of it. We won't know for sure until we get there but a world without buying and selling, without waged slavery ,without war, without government over people but rather an administration by the people over things will certainly have us relating differently to one another. This is essentially what Morris was exploring and speculating about.

We need to get out of the present capitalist schooled, 'combative', 'competitive', mindset, to get what Morris was driving at in his abstractions. Until the workers arm themselves with the knowledge of their common class interest, to remove the parasite class from their ownership of the means and instruments for creating and distributing wealth and establish common ownership, without social classes or elites, then capitalism will continue in its present decadent phase, from crisis to crisis, even to war, just as feudalism did.

1 comment:

ajohnstone said...

Twenty three attended the forum earlier today. Great speakers, Chair and Discussion.
Three party members attended and sold several copies of the party's edition of Morris's Art, Labour and Socialism, plus other literature.