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Transnational Radicalism and the Connected Lives of Tom Mann and Robert Samuel Ross$
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Neville Kirk

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781786940094

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781786940094.001.0001

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Unfolding Differences, Enduring Similarities

Unfolding Differences, Enduring Similarities

(p.136) 4 Unfolding Differences, Enduring Similarities
Transnational Radicalism and the Connected Lives of Tom Mann and Robert Samuel Ross

Neville Kirk

Liverpool University Press

Notwithstanding continuing similarities, Mann’s and Ross’s socialism was increasing characterised by differences. These similarities and, especially so, differences constitute the subject matter of chapter four. Mann and Ross continued to share commitments to the Social Revolution, labour movement unity and ethical and scientific socialism. Yet against these were Mann’s developing syndicalism, his downgrading of the political, especially parliamentary, means to socialism, and his synthesis of syndicalism and Bolshevism, as manifested in his membership of the Communist Party of Great Britain. He also had a positive impression of the Soviet Union right up to his death. In contrast, Ross increasingly attached equal importance to political and economic means, and in the 1920s worked actively in the Australian Labor Party. He opposed the application of the Soviet Bolshevik revolutionary model to Australia and fought against Australian communists. Ross’s growing attachment to Rationalism also signified that he was becoming more outspoken than Mann in his opposition to most kinds of religion. Yet, remarkably, the two men remained good friends and comrades. In conclusion, their case sheds new light upon the origins and character of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century socialism.

Keywords:   The Social Revolution, Industrial and Political Means, The Case of Mann, The Case of Ross, Socialism : Scientific and Ethical

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