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Thread: Pro communist literature in English and UK Politics

  1. #1
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    Pro communist literature in English and UK Politics

    Dear All

    Thank you for reading my post.

    I am looking for Pro communist literature in English and in particular which helped to raised awareness about issues in UK political culture.

    All tips are welcomed.

  2. #2
    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    There's The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell. That was very influential. Jack London wrote a book called The Iron Heel, which was a dystopia novel with a left wing message. I have not read it myself.
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

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    "Serving My Time" by Harry Pollitt a readable autobiography of the great general secretary that the British Communist Party ever had.

    "Cwm Maerdy" & "We Live" by Lewis Jones, fictional works charting the rise of the Communist Party in the Welsh Valleys after the First World War.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kev67 View Post
    There's The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell.
    I don't think RTP can be called pro-communist. I think it's certainly pro-socialist, but it lacks the appeal to violent overthrow of the capitalist system that typifies communism.

    "Generally speaking, Communist parties praise the Soviet Union; Socialist parties denounce it..."

    http://www.marxmail.org/faq/socialism_and_communism.htm

    Tressell doesn't explicitly denounce communism in this work, but he also doesn't suggest violent overthrow of the state, indeed he backs a vision of non-violent change. One wonders if this work, and that of Orwell and Bertrand Russell, defused communist tendencies in the UK by replacing them with much more appealing Socialist tendencies. Hence we have never been near a violent communist revolution in the UK, and the communist party in UK was never as prominent as it was in the USA. After Russell, Orwell and Tressell, attacking the communist party in the UK was never much needed. They had no significant literature, certainly not of the calibre of these three Socialist giants. Almost all the left's energies went into Socialist democracy, and the only fighting was for votes.

    You do find some notable writers flirting with communism, like Doris Lessing, but they usually "saw the light" fairly quickly (e.g., Lessing left the party after the invasion of Hungry in 1956.) Russell and Orwell had devastating critiques of communism, I doubt any intellectual in the UK could stand up to them and be taken seriously by anyone outside a small club of communists who everyone thought of as malign idiots and (largely) ignored.
    Last edited by mal4mac; 08-22-2014 at 02:47 PM.

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    Registered User prendrelemick's Avatar
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    Road to Nab End & Nab end and Beyond, by William Woodruff

    I've just finished these. They are not exactly pro Communist, but a biography of someone whose experience of extreme poverty and the inequalities of society led him to flirt with Communism in the 1930's.
    It puts the debate between Communism, Capitalism and fascism into the context of the time and of the conditions when that debate really mattered. It is also a very good read.
    Last edited by prendrelemick; 08-23-2014 at 03:56 AM.
    ay up

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    Card-carrying Medievalist Lokasenna's Avatar
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    William Morris's News from Nowhere was a very influential novel, and a superb piece of literature in its own right, that fused elements of Marxism and socialism - you won't find the word 'communism' in there as the novel pre-dates the concept, but many of the tenets of Morris's idealised socialist utopia embody those expressed in theoretical communism.
    "I should only believe in a God that would know how to dance. And when I saw my devil, I found him serious, thorough, profound, solemn: he was the spirit of gravity- through him all things fall. Not by wrath, but by laughter, do we slay. Come, let us slay the spirit of gravity!" - Nietzsche

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    The Wolf of Larsen WolfLarsen's Avatar
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    Somebody mentioned Iron Heel by Jack London. It is not British, but it is the best pro-Marxist novel I've ever read.

    For myself, I have found it so hard to write political fiction. Writing a non-fiction political work was easy enough for me. But writing political fiction is difficult for me. Sometimes I'm satisfied with the results. Other times I am not. Even in the beginning of Iron Heel it is a bit preachy. But the book becomes great soon enough. I mean like perhaps one of the best books ever written! I think it is so hard to write political work without being preachy. So hard. But some succeed.

    Sometimes to avoid sounding preachy, humor can be used. Humor can be quite effective, as in mocking humor.
    "...the ramblings of a narcissistic, self-obsessed, deranged mind."
    My poetry & other stuff on Amazon:
    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr...or=Wolf Larsen

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    As we're drifting across the pond, Hemingway is worth a mention. I've just read For Whom the Bell Tolls, which is a superb portrayal of a socialist hero fighting against fascists in Spain. It isn't a blinkered portrayal; Communists (Stalinists) come for a lot of flak.

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    The Wolf of Larsen WolfLarsen's Avatar
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    The Stalinists have done a lot of damage. To everything. To the cause of socialist revolution worldwide. And to the cause of literature & art.

    Lenin & Trotsky had a policy of leaving the arts alone, and the arts in the early Soviet Union flourished with creativity.

    Stalin changed all of that.
    "...the ramblings of a narcissistic, self-obsessed, deranged mind."
    My poetry & other stuff on Amazon:
    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr...or=Wolf Larsen

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