A really nice find today on Richard Gold's stand at the ephemera fair - a pamphlet, probably from 1920, by the remarkable Leonard Motler. He was a deaf mute man who was an active propagandist and publisher in the anarchist tradition.
Soviets for the British was published by the left communist Workers' Socialist Federation - Sylvia Pankhurst's movement, based in the East End of London - in the aftermath of the Bolshevik revolution, when the dotted line between communism and anarchism was particularly indistinct.
According to Ken Weller's Don't be a Soldier! the radical anti-war movement in North London, 1914-1918, Leonard Motler and another deaf mute anarchist, George Scates, published during the First World War a journal entitled Satire. This was suppressed early in 1918, Motler then wrote a weekly column for Pankhurst's Workers' Dreadnought and published a book of poetry. According to Weller, in May 1920, Motler and Scates joined forces again to publish Labour's Voice from their own printshop on Crowndale Road in Camden (the road on which the Working Men's College still stands). Motler apparently died in South Africa in 1967.
Nick Heath has written a brief biographical note about Motler - here's the link - which is well worth reading. There's a bit more about him here.
This pamphlet, all eleven pages of it, sold for three halfpence, and was described the journal Plebs as 'excellently simple propaganda' - which as you can see from Motler's sub-title, was exactly his aim. He asserts: 'The purpose of this pamphlet is to explain Soviets for the British. What the Soviets are, and the advantages of a Soviet system to the British workers. It will be written in the plainest English possible, with plain facts for plain people.'
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