Anti-Socialist Pamphlets

The anti-socialists make arguments from both political and religious angles. Despite their differing perspectives, they primarily focus on the perceived challenge of socialism to the sovereignty of the individual--and to the dominance of a markedly individualistic social order.

Many of the more political pamphlets, with titles like Socialism Means the Abolition of Family Life and The Truth About the Paris Commune, were published by the Anti-Socialist Union, a group devoted to laissez-faire economic policy that was founded in 1908 by R.D. Blumenfeld, editor of the newspaper Daily Express. Its primary membership came from the Conservative Party, and it was staunchly opposed to many reforms promoted by the Labour Party, such as a guaranteed minimum standard of living and increased taxes on wealth. Although in name a free trade movement, the union was linked to the fascist movements that began to emerge in the U.K. in the 1920s, in large part due to their shared opposition to communism.

The religious pamphlets presented here, Socialism and the United Free Church of Scotland and Socialism and Religion, attempt to make arguments against socialism based on the authors’ belief that socialism restricts individual liberty and right to property, viewed by the writers as elements crucial to their Christian ethics. Likewise, they promote a sense of individualism--and reform of individuals--rather than a campaigning for widespread social or political change. While their arguments are grounded in a religious sensibility and worldview, it is worth noting that other Christian leaders in the U.K. advocated in favor of socialist policies, such as Anglican priest Charles Kingsley, a prominent proponent of Christian socialism.