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Priestley's EnglandJ. B. Priestley and English Culture$
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John Baxendale

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780719072864

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719072864.001.0001

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‘Now we must live up to ourselves’: New Jerusalem and beyond

‘Now we must live up to ourselves’: New Jerusalem and beyond

(p.166) 6 ‘Now we must live up to ourselves’: New Jerusalem and beyond
Priestley's England

John Baxendale

Manchester University Press

This chapter shows that the New Jerusalem would never be built under trade union rules, because unions are about making the best bargain within the existing system, not building a better one. They would be more inclined to pop in after the job had started to check that the wages and hours were all right. A true revolution would require creativity, gusto and commitment, not regulated hours and wages, and, for this, wider support than the working class and its organisations would be needed. It was from lower middle class, despite their obsession with respectability, and from the cultured minority of the upper middle class, that the most progressive ideas came. The left especially needed the support of ‘highly-trained technicians’ who had a vision of a better society, and the enthusiasm and skill to build it.

Keywords:   New Jerusalem, revolution, working class, lower middle class, highly trained technicians

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