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For Class and CountryThe Patriotic Left and the First World War$
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David Swift

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781786940025

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781786940025.001.0001

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‘The experiments are not found wanting’ – Labour and the Wartime State

‘The experiments are not found wanting’ – Labour and the Wartime State

(p.127) 5 ‘The experiments are not found wanting’ – Labour and the Wartime State
For Class and Country

David Swift

Liverpool University Press

This chapter is concerned with the growth of the British state during the war, the relationship of the labour movement vis-à-vis the state, and the ramifications of this for the ideology and practice of the Left after the conflict. The first three decades of the twentieth century saw a variety of viewpoints as to how best theoretically and practically organise the economy and society, and the vision which was put into practice after 1945 was not necessarily destined to dominate. While the experience of the Depression and the Second World War - and the memory of broken promises and failed ambitions after the First – was certainly crucial to the coalescence of the ‘spirit of ‘45’ it is argued in this chapter that not enough significance has been attributed to the experience of 1914-1918 in this development.

Keywords:   Socialism, Statism, War Emergency Workers National Committee, Wartime state, Labour

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