Noah Ablett ” An Easy Outline of Economics”

August 21, 2014

Here’s an interesting book published by the Plebs League in 1919, Easy Outline of Economics.In it Noah Ablett explains what he calls “Marxian” economics.It’s written in his usual self-deprecating way and  was composed at the end of long days spent at work and  after countless negotiations with management on behalf of his union.The book is a small example of worker reading and writing- making sense of ideas by applying them to his world,before the “experts” took over!!! It’s not an easy book to find. Ablett  appears to have attempted to walk an individual path in the working class movement.That decision seems to have left him emotionally bruised as well as isolated at times.

Ablett had been a member of the Welsh” Unofficial Reform Committee” composed of miners who had taken part in the Cambrian combine dispute of 1911.They produced the  important pamphlet ” The Miners Next Step” in 1912. Written collaboratively (with Ablett playing an important role) it remains a classic of British syndicalism, criticising the collaborationist nature of union officials and calling for worker ownership of the collieries.You can find it on line easily enough, for instance here is a digititised copy from the University of Wales’ Library.

The KSL has three copies of  “The Miners Next Step” by different publishers:

1) Pluto Press; London, 1973

2) Daneford/Shirebrook Banner Appeal,; London,1985

3) Germinal and Phoenix Press: London 1991.In the introduction to this edition David Douglass writes ” the best plan forward will always be determined by the men and women at the point of production”

Enjoy