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The Republic of Letters

The Republic of Letters is far more ancient than monarchy and of far higher character in the world than the vassal court of Britain. (Tom Paine)

The left in the United Kingdom has often offered a parody of ruling class politics - a defence of Great Britain; tacit acceptance or half-hearted criticism of its central political institutions - the monarchy, Westminster, the Labour Party and TUC; behind the scenes bureaucratic manipulation and suppression of independent thought and action; a jealous sectarianism, arrogance and detestation of genuine working class power, hidden behind a false fawning worship of ‘real workers’. If we are to firmly establish a new workers’ republicanism we need to fundamentally challenge this tradition. We must begin to develop a genuinely democratic workers’ culture. We can start by re-establishing the tradition of Tom Paine’s Republic of Letters.

Emancipation and Liberation has been sent to the organisations listed below. We have received their principal publications in return. They have joined the Republic of Letters. We want to widen this, seeking exchanges with other organisations. We welcome the publication of any article from our journal - just send a copy and acknowledge its source! We will publish attributed articles from other publications. If challenged to debate over any issue, we will take this up and try to address the substantial points raised. We will advertise events, which bring members and supporters of different organisations together for serious discussion and debate. RCN members have taken a lead in SSA/SSP debates and in organising the Marxist Forums. Although these debates can be spirited they have remained fraternal. Yes, it is possible to drive out that failed legacy of arrogant sectarianism and recreate a working class culture of genuine enquiry and debate.