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The Political Trajectory of J. T. Murphy$
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Ralph Darlington

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780853237334

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846313813

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Towards Bolshevism, 1919–1920

Towards Bolshevism, 1919–1920

Chapter:
(p.54) Chapter Three Towards Bolshevism, 1919–1920
Source:
The Political Trajectory of J. T. Murphy
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/UPO9781846313813.005

After World War I, J. T. Murphy became full-time chair of the Sheffield Workers' Committee and assistant secretary of the National Administrative Council of the Shop Stewards' and Workers' Committee Movement. He also became active in the Sheffield branch of the Plebs League, which offered study classes among trade unionists and conducted two weekly Labour College lectures on Marxist economics and industrial history. Murphy was also elected an executive committee member of the Socialist Labour Party. This period of 1919–1920 witnessed Murphy's political evolution from syndicalism to communism and his development of a new form of revolutionary socialist politics wherein he combined his own wartime shop steward experiences with the events in Bolshevik Russia. This chapter examines Murphy's political evolution from syndicalism to communism and towards the need for a Bolshevik-type revolutionary party. It also considers his appreciation of the soviet as the chief agency of socialist revolution and his insistence that the working class must conquer state power. Furthermore, it looks at Murphy's wartime analysis of bureaucracy in trade unions.

Keywords:   J. T. Murphy, Shop Stewards' and Workers' Committee Movement, Socialist Labour Party, syndicalism, communism, Bolshevik Russia, socialist revolution, working class, bureaucracy, trade unions

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