Supercilious Ivy League High Tory
- Aug 29, 2011
On a frigid January morning, four men - Oswlad Mosely, George Valois, Benito Mussolini, and Lavrentiy Beria - gathered in a large Birmingham office. The quartet was joined by a sizable contingency of proteges and political hopefuls, most of them local synthesizers to the Commissary for the Exchequer. Among the notable crowd was Clive Staples Lewis, a glorified Syndicalist writer, who had made Mosely's acquaintance during the 1925 strikes. Later in his life, Lewis described the atmosphere in that office as: "apprehensive, at the least." Few more accurate depictions can be illustrated - the quartet had their own share of qualms - not eased by an abstruse language divide. Mussolini, for example, boasted quite the aggressive attitude, while Mosely, immersed in his own self-confidence, relegated his comrade's to mere listeners. The former, previously serving as the Chairman of the Marxist-Leninist National-Syndicalist Union, despised this degradation, and refused to cooperate until another member of the audience could be chosen to direct the meeting. After much deliberation, the noted Bolshevik, Nikolai Bukharin, was selected to lead the congregation. Despite their disagreements, Mosely's Maximists, Valois's Sorelians, Mussolini's National Syndicalists, and Beria's Mencheviks, all concluded that the obligatory path for International Socialism would be under the auspices of a centralized system. The boundaries between civilian and state had to be destroyed in order to further the Syndicalist ideal, or else administrative weakness would encumber the revolution. Unified in their conclusion, the quartet published the "Totalist Charter," outlining the structural principles of Totalitarian Socialism - an ideology rooted in total state involvement in regards to internal, civilian, and foreign matters.
Oswald Mosely, the man that would drape Britain in Red.
The importance of the Totalist Charter cannot be understated. Across the World, its importance, as one might well guess, was strongest felt in the Syndicalist nations, specifically in developing countries that lacked tenacity. Mikhail Tukhachevsky, the famous Bolshevik General and Trotskyist, embraced Totalism as a means to facilitate the World Revolution. In Central America, Socialist sympathizers flooded the urban streets with copies of the Charter, while Autocratic nations, frantically attempted to suppress its distribution. President Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich of Russia, ordered a multitude of charges regarding possession, disturbed by the immense popularity the charter amassed. Harsh penalties were introduced for individuals or families who circumvented these restrictions, and it was frequently reported that Okhrana was peeled for violators. In the Union of Britain, views on the Charter were violently divisive. Philip Snowden, Chairman of the Congress of Trade Unions, denounced the theory on the grounds that it was contrary to the "idealist structure of Britain" - but did not persecute the ideology any further. Other politicians, like Annie Kennedy, called for Mosely's exclusion from the Congress. As a sly to his opponents, Mosely authorized C.S Lewis to legally publish the Charter in the United States, accumulating substantial American wealth from the publication.
Often called the 'Asquith' of British Syndicalism, Phillip Snowden was the first among the "English Idealists" - a group of Socialist philosophers that aspired to create a egalitarian Utopian society. As one of the principle leaders of the Revolution, Snowden had championed the principles of decentralization, co-operativism, and isolationism. Accompanied by the eccentric trade unionist, Arthur Horner, Snowden managed to build the Union of Britain on regional authority, leading British policy away from the more radical measures deployed by the French. Together, they ruled the Union of Britain with a keen focus on isolated economic issues, remaining properly distanced from their Syndicalist brethren on the continent. Despite the technical ban on political parties, Snowden and Horner indirectly gathered support over their decade long rule, holding significant sway in the legislature through the influence of the Federationist faction. But by the mid-1930's, opposition had gained traction in the Congress, endangering the democratic socialism that had been engineered by the Idealists.
Left: Phillip Snowden, Chairman of the Congress of the Trade Unions
Right: Arthur Horner, General Secretary of the Union of Britain
The Chairman and the General Secretary were often viewed as 'Socialist Conservatives' by those that believed the Proletariat Revolution had not been completed. The feminist Congregationalist faction, led by Annie Kennedy, was one of these critics, unsatisfied that the egalitarian 'utopia' had failed to liberate women from political constrictions. Snowden's lack of foresight and tendency towards inaction alienated him from female support, who by all accounts rallied behind Kennedy. Considered more vocal than the Chairman, Kennedy attempted to depict the 1936 Congressional elections as a second revolutionary struggle. She gave commanding speeches to the regional trade unions - demanding that Snowden's Federationalists open their gates to feminist progress. Horner, disturbed by the acerbic affronts, demanded that Kennedy restrain herself, much to the acquiescence of the Congress. When she refused, the revered Niclas y Glais, leader of the Authonomist faction, wrote a brief poem on Kennedy's petulance. Encouraged by Aneurin Bevan, the Globe published Niclas's verse, enraging the Congregationalist faction.
Such was the scene when the much anticipated annual Congress of the Trade Unions opened with a extravagant spectacle. Elected members from each faction, the Congregationalists, the Authonomists, the Federationists, and the Maximists, convened in One Brewer's Green, London. The procession was led by the esteemed General Secretary, followed by representatives numbering in the hundreds, marching together as 'independent socialists.' It is important to note that, due to the legal structure in Britain, political parties did not technically exist. Rather, delegates were elected by their relative constituency as independents, making the determination of political loyalties nigh impossible until the Congress convened. The anticipation to discover the political leanings of the nation was nearly unbearable, especially as rumors circulated that Snowden would resign.
And how did the average Briton, laboring away in the factory, fathom the ongoing in London? Did they watch with a restless eye? Did they eagerly crowd around the radio, desperate to catch a glimpse of news? No, they did none of these. In their opinion, the politicians were a world away. But one man stretched beyond - from the champagne Socialists to the beggar stroller - Oswald Mosely fermented into a household name. His charter had galvanized the people, sparking the long repressed hint of British Nationalism that had been purged during the Revolution. Few other leaders could hold a candle to the support that Mosely managed to amass in a matter of months - and none of them could even approach his reassuring equanimity and unparalleled commonality. The former aristocrat, 6th Baronet of Ancoats, was cast into the fire, and replaced by the charismatic commoner, Commissary Mosely or, Comrade Oswald. Totalism was setting Briton alight, while the population descended into euophria.
During the afternoon, on 6th September, Mosely took the stage. As the British people tuned on their radio's, Mosely's pragmatism was unleashed - the Commissary called for rapid economic centralization, expansion, and socialization. He 'ordered' the Congress to approve a vast range of industrial progressions, including a proposition that forced Trade Union's withdrawal from major economic decisions. Citing investigations carried out during his time as Commissary for the Exchequer, Mosely turned controversial radical reforms into factual statistics. The validity of these statements, while questionable, silenced irritated trade unionists, who were incapable to reciprocate a response. After Mosely stepped down from the podium, amid a thunderous applause, Federationalists accused the Maxists of encouraging draconian measures. Horner warned the Congress that pursuing these policies would send the isle down the destructive path that the French had endeavored down. Spurring fears of collectivization, Horner's rebuttal was viewed as adequate to obstruct Mosely's legislature - but his confidence in the present Federationalist support would prove disastrous - the bill passed the legislature by a startling super-majority.
Mosely gives his infamous fiery speech at the 1936 CTU.
None were more frightened by Mosely's success than the paci-isolationists, namely the Authonomists and Congregationalists. In the five days preceding the following debate, Kennedy and Niclas assembled a number of times, determined to expunge their former conflicts. Kennedy furnished a deal - she proposed a coalition agreement between the Authonomists and Congregationalists that would unify their stance on internal policy. Both were concerned that a hypothetical Mosely victory in the domestic sphere would endanger the democratic structure. The fear was great enough that, despite their previous animosity, the two political champions forged an "alliance of restraint." The allied factions extended their proposition to Snowden, who had taken a more passive approach to Mosely's rise. Snowden's disinterest would have disastrous results in Congress, when he rejected the pact on ideological grounds. The ensuing crisis did little to improve Snowden's diminishing popularity - the Syndicalist media ruthlessly attacked his indecisive response and immovable commitment to the 'status quo.'
Niclas y Glais, leader of the Authonomist faction.
And yet, despite all the efforts to unify against him, Mosely trumped his opponents once more. The groundwork was laid for a radical centralization, while the opposition could do nothing more but sit and watch. The Maxists had allowed the opposition to quarrel, but now, with the legislature beneath their grasp, Mosely launched a ruthless offensive against his opponents.
If there was a single man to champion Mosely's ideals, then it was Bill (William) Alexander, often called the "secret-epitome of Totalism." Alexander was born into the idealistic proletarian household - his father worked and died in a steel mill - leaving behind a young child whose mother could not sustain the family. Forced to work at an early age, Alexander never attended primary school, instead, he was tutored by educated workers at a local factory. They taught him basic skills, such as reading and writing, but also influenced the child in the political sphere, often citing their situation as "the undesirable plight of the workers." After his mother died, when he was 18, Alexander briefly moved to London. His short time in the city was overshadowed by international events - after just three months, he was drafted into the BEF and sent to France. For reasons that Alexander described, "the resolve of the working man," William survived the entire duration of the First Weltkrieg, despite his frequent service on the front-lines.
William Alexander, Chief of Republican County Militas
Following the war, Alexander's deep animosity towards's Lloyd's government proved the catalyst for his entry into politics. In 1922, William joined the Independent Labour Party, often participating in strikes and acts of opposition. His active approach to politics quickly lead him into prominence - the ILP forged a small cult of personality around Alexander, who named him "the True British Worker." His reputation became the driving motor during the Revolution of 1925, when he rallied Republican militia's's and lead them to a string of victories against the Royalists. Labeled as the local military genius, the Supreme Commissary of the Republican Armed Forces, Tom Wintringham, appointed Alexander as the effective leader of the Union's Army. As the Chief of Republican County Milita's, Alexander concluded that his success in the 1925 Revolution could be exported to locations where the proletariat remained suppressed.
Alexander, an obvious internationalist, was privately critical towards the "British consensus of Isolationism." In his memoir's, Alexander made correlation's between the Royalist policy, splendid isolation, and the contemporary Syndicalist position. Despite his poor, often hostile opinion towards politicians, Alexander commanded considerable respect in the local constituencies. Of all the officers (excluding Wintringham), Alexander carried the greatest sway in military affairs, playing his part as a silent adviser to the Chairman. As fate would have it, Oswald Mosely would be the first politician to recognize the strategic importance that Alexander carried. He traveled frequently to the General's home, who received the Maxist with great endorsement, slowly drawing the prestigious commander into his ideological fold. Mosely manipulated Alexander and exploited his Trotskyist attitude toward International affairs, hinting at aspects included in the Totalist Charter. The General fell victim to Mosely's ploys - in 1935, Alexander agreed to support Mosely in his Totalist pursuit.
Beloved by his fellow citizens, Alexander would lead the Maxist contingency in the matter of military and foreign affairs, amassing a sizable entourage from his 'Totalist' proclamations. Reinforced by Mosely's excellent foreign track-record: including support for the CNT-FAI, the Combined Syndicates, the Bhartiya Commune, and the distribution of Wells "World Encyclopedia - the Maxists won easy victories over the opposition. Additionally, they were aided by a controversial Authonomists foreign policy, which outlined the path for international reconciliation - Mosely's policies reversed the isolationist political machine in a matter of weeks.
At the last day of the TUC congress, Chairman Phillip Snowden clumbed up to the podium and gave his final speech. He claimed that in the face of massive rifts within the TUC, coupled with bad health, the time had arrived for his official resignation. Snowden's resignation, was, at the time, the most beneficial solution - both for his own reputation, and his political successor, Horner - but nonetheless shocked the entire nation. Upon closer examination, Snowden's resignation may have been forced by Horner's supporters, whom believed that Phillip's resistance to compromise had endangered the integrity of democratic socialism. Posterity notes that this assumption may not be farcical - Mosely's domestic triumph in the Congress was a clear indicator that reform was required. In addition, Snowden's resignation paved a path for the General Secretary to accepted a coalition pact from Kennedy and Niclas. Together, they hoped, the Congress would elect Horner as Chairman and rid the Union of the Maxist Radicalism.
Despite their hopes, on the 16th of October, the Congress of Trade Unions elected Oswald Mosely as the Chairman of the CTU. In less then a month, Mosely transformed the Maxists holdings from a minimal position, to a super-majority. Niclas, Horner, and Tom Mann, all hoping to moderate Mosely's regime, petitioned for appointment to the position of General Secretary. Comrade Oswald chose none - he had an idea of his own.
Bukharin was the only individual present that was comprehensible in English, French, Italian, and Georgian.
 Bevan is perhaps most famous for his Syndicalist propaganda pamphlet, "Guilty Men."
 Mann was a leading Trade Unionist with ties to the Feds. and Auths.