Harold Laski
(1893-1950)

Died aged c. 57

Harold Joseph Laski (30 June 1893 – 24 March 1950) was an English political theorist and economist. He was active in politics and served as the chairman of the British Labour Party during 1945–1946, and was a professor at the London School of Economics from 1926 to 1950. He first promoted pluralism, emphasising the importance of local voluntary communities such as trade unions. After 1930 he shifted to a Marxist emphasis on class conflict and the need for a workers' revolution, which he hinted might be violent. Laski's position angered Labour leaders who promised a nonviolent democratic transformation. Laski's position on democracy came under further attack from Winston Churchill in the 1945 general election and the Labour party had to disavow Laski, its chairman. Laski was one of Britain's most influential intellectual spokesmen for Marxism in the interwar years. In particular, his teaching greatly inspired students, some of whom later became leaders of newly independent nations in Asia and Africa. He was perhaps the most prominent intellectual in the Labour Party, especially for those on the hard left who shared his trust and hope in Joseph Stalin's Soviet Union. He was distrusted by the Labour politicians who were in charge, such as Prime Minister Clement Attlee, and was never given a major government position or a peerage. Born to a Jewish family, Laski was also a supporter of Zionism and supported the creation of a Jewish state.

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Commemorated on 1 plaque

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Harold Laski 1893-1950 teacher and political philosopher lived here 1926-1950

5 Addison Bridge Place, Hammersmith and Fulham, W14, London, United Kingdom where they lived (1926-1950)