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

John Baxendale

in Priestley's England

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print July 2007 | ISBN: 9780719072864
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700662 | DOI:
‘Now we must live up to ourselves’: New Jerusalem and beyond

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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

Chapter.  13247 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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