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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent early political tract back in print, 16 Aug 2008
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Lark (North Coast of Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Proposed Roads to Freedom: Socialism, Anarchism & Syndicalism (Paperback)
It is brilliant to find this early political tract back in print once more, this edition includes a contents and index, has on the cover a picture of an angelic statue and the back a very early picture of Russell and is categorised as Philosophy / Social Commentary by the publishers [...]

Divided into two parts with an introduction, Part 1 is historical broken into 1. Marx and Socialist Doctrine, 2. Bakunin and Anarchism, 3. The Syndicalist Revolt and Part 2 labelled Problems of The Future is broken into 4. Work and Pay, 5. Government and Law, 6. International Relations, 7. Science and Art Under Socialism, 8. The World as it Could be Made.

The book is very well indexed and the reader can browse it with easy and quickly refer to chapter and verse for easy of reading or study (if you're looking for an accessible text to write an essay its a safe bet).

This book would probably prove to be an embarrassment for those who are attempting to reclaim Russell as a spokesperson for classical liberalism, the moderate alternative to militants like Hayek or Mise, because Russell staunchly affirms a variety of socialism.

The work is not an economic treatise by any stretch really, more of a political or philosophical work Russell considers Marxism, and is very perturbed by the idea of replacing the evils of capitalist monopolies with a single state monopoly, then anarchist criticism, with which he appears sympathetic but ultimately considers to be aristocratic, and then discusses syndicalism, the unions being a source of political thinking and organising at that time.

Finally Russell supports a decentralised guild socialism, considering it uniquely suited to British traditions and culture, developing organically, much like other advocates including GDH Cole did.

While its relevance is not any longer what it was it gives a great insight into the past political psyche. It is only with an appreciation of this that the impact of the destruction, death and decline of socialism for Britain can be fully understood.

I would recommend this book to any who has read Cole, anyone interested in British history and politics, not just socialist politics or history but that of the British Isles generally, or anyone who has read and appreciated George Orwell's journalism and letters or Homage to Catalonia.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting though inconclusive, 10 Oct 2010
By 
Rerevisionist (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Proposed Roads to Freedom: Socialism, Anarchism & Syndicalism (Paperback)
The correct title was 'Roads to Freedom' - 'Proposed' was added without his permission by the American publisher. The seed for this book was the First World War, which Russell correctly perceived as a disaster. In the 50s and 60s this book was available in bookshops (in the UK, published by the now-defunct Allen and Unwin) - the other reviewer presumably remembers this.

As with H G Wells, Russell wanted to consider reconstructing the world ('Principles of Social Reconstruction' was his book on that). His main limitation in my view was his impracticality in a physical sense: he knew little about food and water and buildings and population, and was therefore rather ungrounded - like many people he was overimpressed by verbosity, possibly a Christian heritage - all the material quoted is bookish stuff. (His first book, 'German Social Democracy', had the same fault). Russell admired Marx, regarding him as a first-rate thinker - Russell wasn't the only person to be lured by the novelty of the then-new immigration of Jewish 'intellectuals'. Russell liked Bakunin, and also had hopes for the trade union movement, which within living memory had been illegal. Looking back, I personally think that movement was compromised right from the start, so that 'socialism' mutated into various horrors.

The book isn't too long and I recommend it both for its enthusiasm, but also for mulling over and contemplating the traps lurking in wait for reformers.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little book, 22 July 2011
This review is from: Proposed Roads to Freedom: Socialism, Anarchism & Syndicalism (Paperback)
I think this is a very nice little book and I believe more people should read it.
I am not an anarcho-syndicalist ( which is in the end the best road to freedom according to Bertrand Russell) but I don't believe this book to be of the propagandistic kind that might have "unhealthy" results upon "society" (tongue-in-cheek here!); on the contrary I think it will induce people to think through their good intentions to the effects upon our freedom and the practicality of any millenarianistic political program.
Let's just say that I am not an anarcho-syndicalist because I found holes in my doctrine after BR taught me to look more thoroughly into it. :)
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Proposed Roads to Freedom: Socialism, Anarchism & Syndicalism
Proposed Roads to Freedom: Socialism, Anarchism & Syndicalism by Bertrand Russell (Paperback - 20 Feb 2008)
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