chapter  9
7 Pages

Fifty Years On

This chapter looks at William Booth's social scheme in terms of its impact on the two elements of Karl Marx's surplus population, the lumpenproletariat and the reserve army of labour. It assesses the work of the Salvation Army under the three categories of Marx's criticism of religion. In addition an assessment is made of the role played by the London residuum in the development of the thought of Booth and Marx. Engels' own writing, even though Marx approved of it at the time, gave rise to conceptions of Marxism quite incompatible with the central themes of the latter's work. By the end of Booth's life the organisation he had founded had developed its own ethos, identity and dynamic. Regarding the question of redemption, there were always important differences in its timing between Booth and Marx. Redemption would come at a future point in history, according to Marx. Redemption was available in the present, according to Booth.