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Tuesday, 27 August 2013 00:00

Revolution went as far as it could

Richard Maunders (M Star August 22) makes a good point looking at the work of Marxist historians on the English revolution.

The ideas of the Diggers and Levellers were certainly revolutionary and we can take inspiration from them today. Yet their support base was the threatened petit bourgeois and army. That is why the revolution could not have been taken further.

A socialist revolution was impossible in the absence of an industrial working class and the further development of capitalism. It was an early bourgeois revolution where - as Harry Pollitt put it - "the growing capitalist class … led by Oliver Cromwell, shattered the system of feudalism." As the leader of that revolution, Cromwell deserves our respect.

George Waterhouse


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