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Psychological SocialismThe Labour Party and Qualities of Mind and Character, 1931 to the Present$
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Jeremy Nuttall

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780719071645

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719071645.001.0001

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Conclusion: complexity and simplicity in Labour Party history

Conclusion: complexity and simplicity in Labour Party history

(p.192) 7 Conclusion: complexity and simplicity in Labour Party history
Psychological Socialism

Jeremy Nuttall

Manchester University Press

This book has been a history of the Labour Party simultaneously stressing complexity and simplicity. It has been a pluralist narrative which has highlighted diverse constraints, the multiple social spheres of progressive thought and action, and the increasing absence of any single centre of overwhelming ‘power’ through which a great leap forward to social democracy could be made. The book stresses the complex multitude of factors impinging upon Labour's treatment of the issue of qualities of mind and character, including the diverse, and sometimes conflicting pulls on socialists in considering their vision of the good life for individuals and society (material progress, economic equality, social equality, an equal distribution of power, as well as improving mentalities); the possibilities and limits of what government and the state could actually do to ‘change minds’; the fact that Labour simultaneously represented values (socialism) but also interest groups (trade unions and the working class); and the strengths and limits in the levels of morality and intelligence amongst the citizenry, and amongst Labour Party members and leaders themselves.

Keywords:   Labour Party, social democracy, qualities of mind, character, socialism, mentalities, material progress, morality, intelligence, interest groups

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