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Busybody do-gooders

“Like a crack in a plank of wood which cannot be sealed, the difference between the worker and the intellectual was ineradicable in Socialism. Organized Socialism bore the name Workingmen’s Association but in fact it was never any such thing. It was a movement not of, but on behalf of, the working class, and the distinction remained basic. Although it spoke for the worker and made his wants articulate, goals and doctrine were set, and thought, energy and leadership largely supplied by, intellectuals. The working class was both client and ultimately, in its mass strength, the necessary instrument of the overthrow of capitalism. As such it appeared as Hero; it was sentimentalized. In the illustrations for an English pamphlet commemorating the London Congress of 1896, the workingmen appeared as handsome strong-muscled Burne-Jones figures in smocks accompanied by indomitable women with long limbs and rippling hair.” – Barbara Tuchman, The Proud Tower

Published inBarbara TuchmanLit & CritPolitics & LawThe Great War

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