Christmas 1976. Tony Benn (aged 51) reads the Communist Manifesto for the first time

In Uncategorized on December 29, 2021 by kmflett

Christmas 1976. Tony Benn (aged 51) reads the Communist Manifesto for the first time

Diary 26th December 1976

Caroline gave each of us a copy of the Communist Manifesto in our Christmas stockings published in English in Russia..I read the Communist Manifesto yesterday never having read it before, and I found out that, without having read any Communist text, I had come to Marx’s view. Its some confession to make in a diary but the analysis of feudal society, the role of the Church and religion, the class struggle, the impact of technology in destroying the professions, the cash society, the identification of monopoly, and the internationalisation of trade and commerce, all these things had been set out absolutely clearly by 1848 by Marx and Engels. It is a most astonishing thing and I felt so ignorant that at the age of fifty-one as a socialist politician in Britain I should never have read that basic text before…

Its reasonable to assume that during his Trotskyist phase in the mid-1980s Keir Starmer may well have at least flicked through the Communist Manifesto but given that he recently said in a newspaper interview that he doesn’t know what socialism is, he perhaps should have another Christmas time look.

He doesn’t need to worry about reading a Chinese printed copy. He should be able to get hold of the 1948 edition Harold Laski did for the Labour Party to mark 100 years of the Manifesto

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: