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New Left Review I/165, September-October 1987

Raphael Samuel

Class Politics: The Lost World of British Communism, Part (III)

I. The War of Ghosts

The schism in British Communism, like many of those in Marxist political formations, resembles nothing so much as a war of ghosts in which the living actors are dwarfed by the spectres they conjure up. The debate on the ‘British way’—the major issue at the 1977 Congress when the present schism first emerged—echoes the never-resolved debate on ‘parliamentism’ which nearly paralysed the cpgb at birth; while the argument for the ‘broad democratic alliance’ mirrors the turn from the ‘class against class’ politics of the Comintern’s Third Period (1928–34) to those of the Popular Front—an analogy which has been strenuously promoted by the supporters of Eurocommunism.

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Raphael Samuel, ‘Class Politics: The Lost World of British Communism (Part III)’, NLR I/165: £3

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