From MacDonald to Gaitskell (A Socialist Labour League Pamphlet)
London: Socialist Labour League, N.D. . Pamphlet. Stapled wraps, 7 x 5 inches, 8 pp. Toning to wrappers and pages with “Labor Book Shop” stamp to front wrapper; faint crease marks to upper-right leaves; one-inch chip to top of rear wrapper (along spine); one-inch closed tear to rear wrapper; wrappers pulling from staples. A delicate and rare pamphlet written by Alasdair MacIntyre for the Socialist Labour League. Very good. Item #105
Rare original printing of Alasdair MacIntyre’s (b. 1929) early pamphlet discussing and debating a proposed change to Clause 4 of the Labour Party Constitution. Celebrated for his monumental work on virtue ethics, After Virtue (1981), MacIntyre was early influenced by Marxist thought and principles, and briefly joined the Socialist Labour League as a young scholar. His first book, Marxism: An Interpretation, published in 1953, evaluated the influence of theological concepts on Marxist thought. Although his Marxist sympathies would evolve throughout his distinguished career, MacIntyre’s “revolutionary Aristotelianism” remains indebted to his early Marxist influences and his attempt to combine historical Marxist insights with both theological (Catholic) and philosophical (Aristotelian) principles. In this respect, MacIntyre’s oeuvre can be seen as an exploration and elucidation of why “scientific Marxism” failed (and had to fail) and why an Aristotelian alternative is our best hope for realizing human fulfillment. This early pamphlet, published by the Socialist Labour League, represents a rare artifact in the development of MacIntyre’s thought.