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Communism And British Intellectuals

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Chapter Summary

Fortunately a number of studies of the history of the British Communist Party have recently been published which makes it possible to sift out the truth and the error. One is Doctor Neal Wood's Communism and the British Intellectuals. From this one can draw some striking conclusions about the role of the Communist Party in British political life. The most important of these is that, for the last thirty years, the Communist Party has been an essentially conservative force. Anthropologists have familiarised us with the idea that what looks like conflict in a society may not really be so. Where there are possibilities of destructive struggle, the risk of destroying the established order may be avoided by providing outlets in the form of ritualised pseudo-conflicts. The motions of conflict are gone through and by doing this the tensions are relieved and the real conflict is avoided.

Keywords:British Communist Party; British Intellectuals; British political life; Communism; Doctor Neal Wood; ritualised pseudo-conflicts



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