John Crump (1944-2005)

John Crump died at the beginning of March at the early age of 60. Best known to Anarchist Federation members and Organise! readers as the author of our pamphlet The Anarchist Movement in Japan, he had been active in the socialist and libertarian movement since the early 1960s. He started his political life in the Socialist Party of Great Britain and for some time was one of the editors of their magazine the Socialist Standard. In the early 1970s a significant number of younger members began to develop a libertarian communist critique of the SPGB. John was involved in this current and eventually left the SPGB after a number of others had been expelled. He helped form the libertarian group Social Revolution and wrote a number of articles for its publications, Libertarian Communism and Social Revolution. He eventually went to live in Japan, but continued to contribute articles from there. In the late 1970s he wrote a pamphlet, A Contribution to the Critique of Marx, which was published jointly by Social Revolution and Solidarity. This pamphlet can be found on our northern website,

John was unhappy with the eventual merger of Social Revolution and Solidarity and took no further part in those groups. His next important contributions were two books. In 1986 he helped write a critique of the Russian economy State Capitalism: The Wages System under New Management. He co-edited with Maximilien Rubel a book Non-Market Socialism in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (1987). In this he argued that there exists a "thin red line of non-market socialism", which includes all those tendencies arguing for a stateless. money-less, classless society. When the Subversion group was formed in the late 80s, he again helped. This time he wrote a pamphlet on the Japanese economy and delivered a seminar at a day school in Manchester.

Those of us who knew John valued him for the basic sense of his views and the straightforward way he expressed them. He made many in Britain aware of the contribution of Japanese anarchists, whilst at the same time doing much to argue against sectarianism and narrow mindedness. His lasting contribution was to help others see the links that unite those of us in "the thin red line". He will be missed.

Taken from Organise!, magazine of the Anarchist Federation #64, postal address: BCM ANARFED, London WC1N 3XX, web: (The Anarchist Movement in Japan £1.50 from them)

From: Organise!, magazine of the Anarchist Federation #64.