Scaffolding the Revolution? Socialist Worker, 1972-74

Socialist History - ISSN 0969-4331
Volume 2023 Number 63

Scaffolding the Revolution? Socialist Worker, 1972-74
Keith Copley pages 50-70


Marxist politics in Britain have been characterised by marginality, despite the long-term existence of political groups and parties self-described as Marxist dating back to the late nineteenth century. A major activity of such groups, certainly before the dominance of the internet, has been the production of newspapers, seen as the essential scaffolding with which to build their organisation and influence within the labour movement. One of the most successful, albeit briefly, of these in the post-war period was Socialist Worker, produced by an unorthodox Trotskyist grouping originally known as the International Socialists. This study critically examines the most intense period of popularity for this paper, between 1972 and 1974, to illuminate what this can tell us about the political function of this now largely redundant form of left-wing activism, how it related to the wider socio-political context of the era, and finally what lessons it may contain for the role of an agitational leftist media today in a markedly different political-cultural eco-system.

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To cite this article
Keith Copley (2023) Scaffolding the Revolution? Socialist Worker, 1972-74, Socialist History, 2023(63), 50-70

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