to pass from a “way of conflict” to a “way of life” is to pass out of the main line of the socialist intellectual tradition. I don’t mean that Raymond Williams has “broken” with socialism: at many points he has a more constructive insight into the possibilities of socialism in this country than anyone living. But in his first conceptual chapters he has cast loose his moorings; and some of his insights in the last section, “Britain in the 1960s”, do not arise so much from his stated conceptual framework as from unstated allegiances or traditional assumptions—derived from Marx or Morris or evoked in Border Country. Indeed, they often contradict what has gone before. At the end of his interesting discussion of problems in the field of publishing he comments:

But “culture” is being used here in a different— and more limited—meaning from the one which we have been discussing; and “capitalism” carries implications which might conflict with a “system of maintenance”. Again and again in these pages unsuspected connections are revealed which throw light upon contemporary capitalism as a social system, or “way of conflict”, which call in question his own unsatisfactory definition of capitalism as “a particular and temporary system of organising the industrial process” (by whom? for whom?).

It may be that Mr. Williams’ originality demands free play outside a tradition within which so much is now confused. But if others accept his vocabulary and his conceptual framework, without sharing his allegiances, they may come up with very different results. For between these “systems” and that “way of life” I fear that they may forget that at the centre there are men in relation with one another: that “organising the industrial process” involves ownership, that ownership involves power, and that both perpetually feed property-relationships and dominative attitudes in every field of life. And that, between this system and a human system there lies, not just a further long episode of “expansion” and “growth”, but a problem of power.

Power, indeed, does not seem to find an easy to Lawrence “was very much more rich and exciting than the usual accounts infer.” But their inference still stops short at the inference of socialism—Edward Carpenter at Milthorpe and his many working-class disciples do not enter the picture, and we scarcely see that group of ILP activists who were among young Lawrence’s closest friends and of whom one witness told Mr. Harry Moore: “England was almost remade by groups such as ours in that Midland town.” And this process of re-making was a way of struggle against, or in spite of, the bourgeois tradition. And so we come back to “Miriam”:

The two traditions are there, in a moment of poignant contrast: for Miriam it is the final loss of Paul, and her own return to the other tradition, ending—Mr. Moore accusingly throws out—in the “pilgrimage to Russia”. In Lawrence the traditions continued to argue within him all his life. But—this is surely Miriam’s point?—her tradition had discovered itself.