The student resources previously accessed via GarlandScience. Exclusive web offer for individuals. Krishna MenonJoseph P. Inhe was made professor of political science at the LSE. He steadily lost his influence.
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In , he studied eugenics under Karl Pearson for six months. The same year he met and married Frida Kerry, a lecturer of eugenics. His marriage to Frida, a gentile and eight years his senior, antagonised his family.
He also repudiated his faith in Judaism, claiming that reason prevented him from believing in God. After studying for a degree in history at New College, Oxford , he graduated in He was awarded the Beit memorial prize during his time at New College. He failed his medical eligibility tests and thus missed fighting in World War I. After graduation he worked briefly at the Daily Herald under George Lansbury.
His daughter Diana was born in He also lectured at Yale in — For his outspoken support of the Boston Police Strike of , Laski received severe criticism. He was briefly involved with the founding of The New School for Social Research in ,  , where he also lectured.
He was often invited to lecture in America and wrote for The New Republic. His long friendship with Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes was cemented by weekly letters, which have been published.
His wife commented that he was "half-man, half-child, all his life. In , he was made professor of political science at the LSE. Laski was an executive member of the socialist Fabian Society during — He was a prolific writer, producing a number of books and essays throughout the s and s. However, he was liked by his students, and was especially influential among Asian and African students who attended the LSE. They taught a faith that ideas mattered, that knowledge was important and its pursuit exciting His seminars taught tolerance, the willingness to listen although one disagreed, the values of ideas being confronted.
And it was all immense fun, an exciting game that had meaning, and it was also a sieve of ideas, a gymnastics of the mind carried on with vigour and directed unobtrusively with superb craftsmanship. I think I know now why he gave himself so freely. Partly it was because he was human and warm and that he was so interested in people.
But mainly it was because he loved students, and he loved students because they were young. Because he had a glowing faith that youth was generous and alive, eager and enthusiastic and fresh. That by helping young people he was helping the future and bringing nearer that brave world in which he so passionately believed. He argued that the state should not be considered supreme, because people could and should have loyalties to local organisations, clubs, labour unions, and societies.
The state should respect these allegiances and promote pluralism and decentralisation. Instead of, as he saw it, a coercive state, Laski believed in the evolution of co-operative states that were internationally bound and stressed social welfare. But he also had a commitment to civil liberties, free speech and association, and representative democracy.
However, from the late s, his political beliefs became radicalised and he believed that it was necessary to go beyond capitalism to "transcend the existing system of sovereign states". Murrow , Max Lerner , and Eric Sevareid. It is one of the permanent enemies of all that is decent in the human spirit. He had some success but this element typically found itself marginalised in the Labour Party. He was tireless in his speeches and pamphleteering, and was always on call to help a Labour candidate.
In between he served on scores of committees and carried a full load as a professor and advisor to students. In , he turned down the offer of a parliament seat and cabinet position by Ramsay MacDonald , and also a seat in the Lords.
He felt betrayed by MacDonald in the crisis of , and decided that a peaceful, democratic transition to socialism would be blocked by the violence of the opposition.
During —45, he served as an alderman in the Fulham Borough Council and also the chairman of the libraries committee. In , the Socialist League was rejected by the Labour Party and folded. He suffered a nervous breakdown brought about by overwork. During the war he repeatedly feuded with other Labour figures, and with Churchill, on matters great and small.
He steadily lost his influence. While speaking for the Labour candidate in Nottinghamshire on 16 June , Laski said: "If Labour did not obtain what it needed by general consent, we shall have to use violence even if it means revolution".
He was replying to a question planted by Conservatives hoping to get exactly that response. Laski filed a libel suit against the Conservative Daily Express newspaper. The defence showed that over the years Laski had often bandied about loose threats of "revolution". The jury found for the newspaper[ clarification needed ] within forty minutes of deliberations. He tried to bypass Attlee by directly dealing with Winston Churchill.
Attlee rebuked him: You have no right whatever to speak on behalf of the Government. Foreign affairs are in the capable hands of Ernest Bevin. His task is quite sufficiently difficult without the irresponsible statements of the kind you are making I can assure you there is widespread resentment in the Party at your activities and a period of silence on your part would be welcome.
His pessimism deepened as he disagreed with the anti-Soviet policies of the Attlee government in the emerging Cold War , and he was profoundly disillusioned with the conservative direction of American policy. But he was a serious thinker and a charismatic personality whose views have been distorted because he refused to accept Cold War orthodoxies.
The first three were pluralist — , Fabian — , and Marxian — Newman notes that "It has been widely held that his early books were the most profound and that he subsequently wrote far too much, with polemics displacing serious analysis. He was a revered figure to Indian students at the LSE. Lovers of freedom all over the world pay tribute to the magnificent work that he did. At no time did he falter or compromise on the principles he held dear, and a large number of persons drew splendid inspiration from him.
Those who knew him personally counted that association as a rare privilege, and his passing away has come as a great sorrow and a shock. Anping was later prosecuted by the Chinese Communist regime of the s.
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