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"Making Socialists": Bill Pritchard, the Socialist Party of Canada, and the Third International

Peter Campbell
Labour / Le Travail
Vol. 30 (Fall, 1992), pp. 45-63
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25143621
Page Count: 19
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"Making Socialists": Bill Pritchard, the Socialist Party of Canada, and the Third International
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Abstract

The legacy of the socialist party of Canada has come down to us in phrases such as economic determinism, mechanistic materialism, impossiblism, and sectarianism. The life of Bill Pritchard reveals the humanist roots of the SPC and what the party's leading thinkers owed to William Morris and the British ethical socialist tradition. That tradition was about "making socialists" who were educated, organized, and prepared to implement fully a socialist society. Bill Pritchard and other Marxian socialists, as much as they supported the Russian Revolution, were unwilling to submerge that goal in the program of the Third International. Their humanism, as much as their determinism, explains the choices they made and the legacy they left. /// Le legs du parti socialiste du Canada nous a été transmis par le biais d'expressions dont celles de déterminisme économique, de matérialisme mécaniste, d''impos-sibilisme', et de sectarisme. La vie de Bill Pritchard nous révèle les origines humanistes du parti et l'influence d'une tradition britannique d'éthique socialiste parmi ses plus grands penseurs. Cette tradition visait à former un cadre de socialistes instruits, organisés et résolus à fonder une société entièrement socialiste. Même s'ils appuyèrent la Révolution russe, Bill Pritchard et ses confrères marxiste-socialistes ne désiraient aucunement compromettre leur objectif à la faveur du programme de la Troisième Internationale. Leur humanisme, autant que leur déterminisme, nous permet de comprendre leurs décisions et l'héritage de croyances qu'ils nous ont transmis.

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