Robert Blatchford

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Robert Blatchford (1895)

Robert Blatchford (17 March 185117 December 1943) was a socialist campaigner, journalist and author in the United Kingdom. He was a prominent atheist and opponent of eugenics.


  • To say that we could not work without capital is as true as to say that we could not mow without a scythe. To say that we could not work without a capitalist is as false as to say that we could not mow a meadow unless all the scythes belonged to one man. Nay, it is as false as to say that we could not mow unless all the scythes belonged to one man and he took a third of the harvest as payment for the loan of them.
    • Merrie England (1893) Chapter XXIII, Luxury, p. 182 (1894 printing)

Quotes about Robert Blatchford[edit]

  • In giving to the world "Merrie England," Robert Blatchford has rendered a service of inestimable value to humanity. It has been read, and is being read and will continue to be read by millions. No book has done so much to convert the masses to Socialism.
    • Eugene V. Debs, "Introduction," in Merrie England, Robert Blatchford (Chicago: Charles H. Kerr & Company, 1907)
  • In these years Mr. Blatchford gave invaluable help to Socialist propaganda. No man did more than he to make Socialism understood by the ordinary working man. His writings in them had nothing of economic abstruseness. He based his appeal on the principles of human justice. He preached Socialism as a system of industrial co-operation for the common good. His arguments and illustrations were drawn from facts and experiences within the knowledge of the common people. Socialism as he taught it was not a cold, materialistic theory, but the promise of a new life as full, sweet and noble as the world can give...Mr. Blatchford is still living, hale and hearty, his mental powers undiminished at the ripe age of eighty-three. I saw him recently, and we talked of those grand and inspiring times of forty years ago. Only the men who were in the Socialist movement in those days can know the great part Robert Blatchford took in making it popular, and of the personal devotion he inspired by his writings.
    • Philip, Viscount Snowden, An Autobiography. Volume One. 1864–1919 (London: Ivor Nicholson and Watson, 1934), pp. 58–59

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