Crosland's Future: Opportunity and Outcome by David Reisman

By David Reisman

Anthony Crosland, a member of Harold Wilson's cupboard and the writer of the way forward for Socialism, was once immensely influential in looking to modernise the ideology of the Labour get together, to place chance and empowerment, the equity of existence possibilities and the sharing of social stories at its centre rather than nationalisation. The party's belated redefinition promises a in demand position in its highbrow heritage to the revisionists' champion. notwithstanding Crosland wrote whilst fiscal progress will be taken without any consideration because the foundation for social reform, his emphasis on equity and neighborhood, on schooling and chance, maintains to light up political debate in more durable occasions.

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The petty bourgeoisie cannot be expected to wither away. Unions defend their members. Good living standards become the norm. The proletariat ceases to be a single monolith as white-collar splits off from blue, the skilled propertyless from the manual propertyless. Social location ceases to be the simple correlate of labour and capital as subjective perception triumphs over economic category, as wages and profits give way to consumables and displays. In Marx's model, Bernstein said, it is the economy which speaks and the worker who listens.

38 Both Bernstein and Crosland had to cope with divided parties and had to pitch their arguments accordingly. Both Bernstein and Crosland took the Marxist constructs seriously and sought to enter into an on-going dialogue with the classics. Not least with respect to political democracy. Totally English or not that English, Bernstein, like Crosland, was in no doubt as to the possibility of parliamentary socialism. 39 He also made clear that he preferred the liberal expedient to the Leninist option precisely because he shared with the liberals a commitment to individual freedom and civil rights, a conviction that the leaders ought to be not the masters but the 'real servants of the people'40 and a belief that the dictatorship of the proletariat could never be acceptable for the simple reason that any and all dictatorship must effectively be a bad thing in its own right.

23 Marx and Engels published their appeal for socialist reformation that circumvented the parliamentary route in the early capitalist environment of 1848. Trade unions were repressed. The suffrage was restricted. Factory legislation was embryonic. Economic theory was dismally Malthuso-Ricardian. Working-class politics, forced underground, was secretive and conspiratorial. Marx and Engels in 1848 cannot in the circumstances be blamed for failing to imagine the possibility of parliamentary socialism.

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