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We feel ourselves compelled to call the attention of the public to the present condition and immediate prospects of the Church of St. Peter at Westminster: and this seems to us to be all the more necessary, because the public have scarcely understood the really important considerations which should be kept in mind in dealing with this piece of national property. The idea that is current in most people's minds seems to be that, apart from its function as a place of worship, it is to be used in some way or other as a kind of registration office for the names of men whom the present generation considers eminent in various capacities: the method of so registering them being the placing of a monument to their honor in the church and sometimes bu... (From: Marxists.org.)
Source: “What 1887 Has Done” Commonweal, Vol 4, No. 104, 7 January 1888, p.4-5; Transcribed: by Ted Crawford. The year 1887 is come to an end, a year in many respects eventful; what will it be chiefly known by in the future, when it has become mere history? To some it will be the jubilee year; to some the central year of the great Tory ascendancy; to some, it may be, for a little while, the last of the thoroughly bad years of the depression of trade. Yet again it may be known hereafter as the last year of the European armed truce; and to others it will be remembered as the great year of Coercion. Which will it be? Another question can be our only answer. Is our future to be that of patient slaves bearing their hard lot apath... (From: Marxists.org.)
... some direst share in the national talk-shop. All this they will try for, and will get the formula thereto made into law within a certain time. Now I firmly believe that it is an illusion to think they can have the reality of any of these things without gaining the beginning of Socialism. ... it will be followed in due course by all the necessary administration which in its turn will lead to the formation of the habit of Socialism, when we shall no more talk of Socialism because it will be among us fully developed, when all contentious politics will be abolished, that is, all clashing interests; and our difference of opinion will be of opinion only, to be settled by the practical march of events. Meantime I do not fail to appreciate th... (From: Marxists.org.)
Source: “What is to Happen Next?” Commonweal, Vol 2, No. 28, 24 July 1886, p.129; Transcribed: by Ted Crawford. The elections are over with the result of a Parliament that comprises a majority of more than a hundred against Home Rule, although the Tories are in a considerable minority as regards a possible (?)combination between the Whigs, Jingo-Liberals, Parnellites, and Gladstonians or British Home Rulers. It would be idle not to admit that this is a success of the Reactionists, and a success unexpected by most persons. Moreover, it would certainly have been a great advantage to the Socialist propaganda if the ground had been cleared of a question which very naturally excites political passions deeply, and at the same time... (From: Marxists.org.)
Socialists no more than other people believe that persons are naturally equal: there are among men all varieties of disposition, and desires, and degrees of capacity; nevertheless these differences are inequalities are very much increased by the circumstances among which a man lives and by those that surrounded the lives of his parents: and these circumstances are more or less under the control of society, that is of the ordered arrangement of persons among which we live. So I say first that granted that men are born with certain tendencies those tendencies can be developed for good and evil by the conditions of our lives, and those conditions are in our own hands to deal with, taking us nation by nation as a whole. If we are careful to be ... (From: Marxists.org.)
I do not mean by this what the ideal of Socialism has to offer to us when we have got people's heads turned in the right direction, but rather what our present movement may reasonably expect to come across in its progress towards Socialism; it is not prophecy that I am about to-night but a reasonable forecast of the few next moves deduced from the experience of the last few. I consider this a dull job, a dispiriting job because it must necessarily deal with failure and disappointment and stupidity and causeless quarrels, and in short all the miseries that go to make up the degrading game of politics. Still I think it has to be done, in order that we may get on to the next step, and the next and the next, till we reach the one when the end o... (From: Marxists.org.)
The inaugural address in connection with the Oxford and District Socialistic Union was delivered on Wednesday by Mr. William Morris, at the Central School, Gloucester-green. There was a crowded attendance, which included many undergraduates and ladies. Professor York Powell took the chair, and briefly introduced the lecturer. Mr. Morris chose for his subject the words "What we have to look for", and said he did not mean by this what the ideal of Socialism had to offer to them when they had got people's heads turned in the right direction, but rather what their present movement might reasonably expect to come across in its progress towards socialism. Within the last five years or so the movement which represented the change from the society... (From: Marxists.org.)
Source: “Where Are We Now?” Commonweal, Vol 6, No. 253, 15 November 1890, p.361-362; Transcribed: by Ted Crawford. It is good from time to time for those who are engaged in a serious movement to look back and review the progress of the past few years; which involves looking around them and noting the way the movement is affecting other people. It is good to do so for this reason among others, that men absorbed in such a movement are apt to surround themselves with a kind of artificial atmosphere which distorts the proportions of things outside, and prevents them from seeing what is really going on, and consequently from taking due council as to what is best to do. It is now some seven years since Socialism came to life agai... (From: Marxists.org.)
Source: “Whigs Astray” [1]Commonweal, Vol 5, No. 158, 19 January 1889, p.18-19; Transcribed: by Ted Crawford. A Dialogue Between Owen Marx Bakunin Jones, an architect (unsuccessful), and — the Rev. Swain Stride, a Nonconformist parson, and Mr Jeremiah Brown, a business man — advanced Radicals. Scene — A comfortable batchelor-looking room in Mr Brown’s house, with tobacco and pipes and grog to the fore. Mr Stride and Mr Brown sitting on either side o f the fire, looking important and self-satisfied. Enter to them Mr Jones with an ill-concealed grin on his face; after the usual greetings he sits down and says: Jones. Well, Mr Brown, here I am, ready to hear what you have to say to me, and eager to kno... (From: Marxists.org.)
Source: “Whigs Astray [2]” Commonweal, Vol 5, No. 159, 26 January 1889, p.26-27; Transcribed: by Ted Crawford. A Dialogue Between Owen Marx Bakunin Jones, an architect (unsuccessful), and — the Rev. Swain Stride, a Nonconformist parson, and Mr Jeremiah Brown, a business man — advanced Radicals. Scene — A comfortable batchelor-looking room in Mr Brown’s house, with tobacco and pipes and grog to the fore. Mr Stride and Mr Brown sitting on either side of the fire, looking important and self-satisfied. Between them Mr Jones with an occasional ill-concealed grin on his face. S. ‘We are in favor of giving some relief by way of security of tenure to leaseholders who are exposed to enormous losses and... (From: Marxists.org.)
Objection has been made to the use of the word “Communism” to express fully-developed Socialism, on the ground that it has been used for the Community-Building, which played so great a part in some of the phases of Utopian Socialism, and is still heard of from time to time nowadays. Of Communism in this sense I am not writing now; it may merely be said in passing that such experiments are of their nature non-progressive; at their best they are but another form of the Mediæval monastery, withdrawals from the Society of the day, really implying hopelessness of a general change; which is only attainable by the development of Society as it is; by the development of the consequences of its faults and anomalies, as well as of wh... (From: Marxists.org.)
At a meeting of the Commons Preservation Society I heard it assumed by a clever speaker that our great cities, London in particular, were bound to go on increasing without any limit and those present accepted that assumption complacently, as I think people usually do. Now under the present Capitalist system it is difficult to see anything which might stop the growth of these horrible brick encampments; its tendency is undoubtedly to depopulate the country and small towns for the advantage of the great commercial and manufacturing centers; but this evil, and it is a monstrous one, will be no longer a necessary evil when we have got rid of land monopoly, manufacturing for the profit of individuals, and the stupid waste of competitive distribu... (From: Marxists.org.)
Source: “Why We Celebrate the Commune of Paris Commonweal, Vol 3, No. 62, 19 March 1887, p. 89-90; Transcribed: by Ted Crawford. The ‘moons and the days’ have brought us round again to the anniversary of the greatest tragedy of modern times, the Commune of Paris of 1871, and with it the recurring duty for all Socialists of celebrating it both enthusiastically and intelligently. By this time the blatant slanders with which the temporarily unsuccessful cause was assailed when the event was yet fresh in men’s minds have sunk into the dull gulf of lies, hypocritical concealments, and false deductions, which is called bourgeois history, or have become a dim but deeply rooted superstition in the minds of those who have... (From: Marxists.org.)
William Morris's Socialist Diary edited and annotated by Florence Boos INTRODUCTION Morris's achievements routinely exhaust the enumerative abilities of his biographers. When in 1883 William Morris joined the Social Democratic Federation, he had already been a writer of narrative poems and prose romances; pioneer in the decorative arts; translator of Icelandic sagas; designer of stained-glass windows, wallpapers, and tapestries; illuminator of manuscripts; vigorous man of business; founder of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB); and loyal personal friend and relation to an impressive range of people. More relevant to the Diary is Morris's identity as the most prominent Victorian artist to embrace the new s... (From: Marxists.org.)
I shall presently have the pleasure of showing you in some kind of sequence a number of illustrations taken from books of the fifteenth and first years of the sixteenth centuries. But before I do so I wish to read to you a few remarks on the genesis and the quality of the kind of art represented by these examples, and the lessons which they teach us. Since the earliest of those I have to show is probably not earlier in date than about 1420, and almost all are more than fifty years later than that, it is clear that they belong to the latest period of Medieval art, and one or two must formally be referred to the earliest days of the Renaissance, though in spirit that are still Gothic. In fact, it is curious to note the suddenness of the supp... (From: Marxists.org.)
Source: “Words of Forecast for 1887” Commonweal, Vol 3, No. 52, 8 January 1887, p. 9; Transcribed: by Ted Crawford. The war-rumors are solidifying and it cannot be denied that there is great probability of this year seeing the long-threatened war which will embrace all the nations of Europe. There have within the last few days been stories of alliance between Germany and Russia. This seems at first sight highly improbable, considering the strong race animosity between the Slav and the Teuton, and also the difficulties which dealing with Austria would offer to both the great reactionary states; because Austria, if not used as the tool of Germany against Russia, would probably in the case of a successful expedition of the two ... (From: Marxists.org.)
Source: “The Worker’s Share of Art,” Commonweal, Vol I, No. 3, April 1885, pp. 18-19; Transcribed: by Ted Crawford. I can imagine some of our comrades smiling bitterly at the above title, and wondering what a Socialist journal can have to do with art; so I begin by saying that I understand only too thoroughly how ‘unpractical’ the subject is while the present system of capital and wages last. Indeed that is my text. What, however, is art? whence does it spring? Art is man’s embodied expression of interest in the life of man; it springs from man’s pleasure in his life; pleasure we must call it, taking all human life together, however much it may be broken by the grief and trouble of individuals;... (From: Marxists.org.)
Source: “Workhouse Socialism” Commonweal, Vol 6, No. 251, 1 November 1890, p.345-346; Transcribed: by Ted Crawford. ‘General’ Booth no doubt does deserve his title; his conduct of the ‘Army’ shows that he is a general of no mean order. But like other people, he has the ‘defects of his qualities’ as the French phrase it, and a good general is not likely to be a good citizen; for it is the business of a general to sacrifice everything to immediate success, and I cannot help thinking that the Salvation General does not fall behind others of his kind in this respect. Anyhow, his ‘great scheme’ as it is called, seems on the face of it to be meant as a bait to catch those who are lo... (From: Marxists.org.)

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