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The
unbiased observer can well conclude that they are likely to divide this
control between them--and, indeed, that the complete victory of either
party is economically and politically unthinkable. Already banks,
railways, industrial "trusts," mining and lumber interests, are being
forced to follow a policy satisfactory to small capitalist investors,
borrowers, customers, furnishers of raw material, and taxpayers--while
small capitalist competitors are being forced to abandon their effort to
use the government to restore competition and destroy the "trusts."

In the reorganization of capitalism, the non-capitalists, the wage and
salary earning class are not to be consulted. Taken together with those
among the professional and salaried class who are small investors or
expect to become independent producers, the small capitalists constitute
a majority of the electorate (though not of the population), or at
least hold the political balance of power. It is capitalist interests
alone that really count in present-day politics, and it is for
capitalists alone that government control would be instituted.

Viewed in this light the statements of Mr. Woodrow Wilson that "business
is no longer in any proper sense a private matter," or that "our
program, from which we cannot be turned aside, is, that we are going to
take possession of the control of our own economic life," and the
similar statements of Mr. Roosevelt, are not so Socialistic as they
seem. What their use by the leading "conservative-progressive" statesmen
of both parties means is that a partnership of capital and government is
at hand.

FOOTNOTES:

[31] Lincoln Steffens in _Everybody's Magazine_, beginning September,
1910.

[32] _McClure's Magazine_, 1911.

[33] Governor Woodrow Wilson, Speech of April 13, 1911.

[34] The _Outlook_, Nov. 18, 1911.




CHAPTER III

THE POLITICS OF THE NEW CAPITALISM


We are told that the political issue as viewed by American radicals is,
"Shall property rule, or shall the people rule?" and that the radicals
may be forced entirely over to the Socialist position, as the
Republicans were forced to the position of the Abolitionists when
Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Mr. Ray Stannard Baker
notes also that capital is continually the aggressor, as were the
slaveholders, and that the conflict is likely to grow more and more
acute, since "no one imagines that these powerful men of money will give
up their advantage lightly" any more than the old slaveholders did.

Another "insurgent" publicist (Mr. William Allen White) says that the
aim of radicalism in the United States is "the regulation and control of
capital" and that the American people have made up their minds that
"capital, the product of the many, is to be operated fundamentally for
the benefit of the many." It is one of those upheavals, he believes,
which come along once in a century or so, dethrone privilege, organize
the world along different lines, take the persons "at the apex of the
human pyramid" from their high seats and "iron out the pyramid into a
plane."[35]

If the aim of the "progressives" is the overthrow of "the rule of
property" as Mr. Baker claims--if, in the words of Mr. White again,
"America is joining the world movement towards equal opportunity for all
men in our modern civilization," then indeed the greatest political and
economic struggle of history, the final conflict between capitalism and
Socialism, is at hand.

But when we ask along what lines this great war for a better society is
to be waged, and by what methods, we are told that the parties to the
conflict are separated, not by practical economic interests, but by
"ideas" and "ideals," and that the chief means by which this social
revolution is to be accomplished are direct legislation and the recall
and their use to extend government ownership or control so as gradually
to close one door after another upon the operations of capital until its
power for harm is annihilated, _i.e._ democracy and collectivism. In
other words, the militant phrases used by Socialists in earnest are
adopted by radicals as convenient and popular battle cries in their
campaign for "State Socialism," as to banking, railroads, mines, and a
few industrial "trusts," but without the slightest attempt either to end
the "rule of property" or to secure "equal opportunity" for any but
farmers and small business men. They do nothing, moreover, to bring
about the new political and class alignment that is the very first
requirement, if the rule of property in all its forms is to be ended, or
equal opportunity secured for the lower as well as the comparatively
well-to-do middle classes.

Similarly the essential or practical difference between the "Socialism"
of Mr. Roosevelt's editorial associate, Dr. Lyman Abbott, who
acknowledges that classes exist and says that capitalism must be
abolished, and the Socialism of the international movement is this, that
Dr. Abbott expects to work, on the whole, with the capitalists who are
to be done away with, while Socialists expect to work against them.


Dr. Abbott claims that the "democratic Socialism" he advocates is
directly the opposite of "State Socialism ... the doctrine of
Bismarck," that it "aims to abolish the distinction between
possessing and non-possessing classes," that our present industrial
institutions are based on _autocracy_ and _inequality_ instead of
liberty, democracy, and equality, that under the _wages system_ or
capitalism, the laborers or wage earners are practically unable to
earn their daily bread "except by permission of the capitalists who
own the tools by which the labor must be carried on." He then
proceeds to what would be regarded by many as a thoroughly
Socialist conclusion:

"The real and radical remedy for the evils of capitalism is the
organization of the industrial system in which the laborers or tool
users will themselves become the capitalists or tool owners; in
which, therefore, the class distinction which exists under
capitalism will be abolished."[36]


And what separates the advanced "State Socialism" of Mr. Hearst's
brilliant editor, Mr. Arthur Brisbane, from the Socialism of the
organized Socialist movement? Has not Mr. Brisbane hinted repeatedly at
a possible revolution in the future? Has he not insisted that the crux
of "the cost of living question" is not so much the control of prices
by the private ownership of necessities of life (as some "State
Socialist" reformers say, and even some official publications of the
Socialist Party), as the _exploitation_ of the worker _at the point of
production_, the fact that he does not get the full product of his
labor--phrases which might have been used by Marx himself?

The _New York Evening Journal_ has even predicted an increasing conflict
of economic interests on the political field--failing to state only that
the people's fight must be won by a class struggle, a movement directed
against capitalism and excluding capitalists (except in such cases where
they have completely abandoned their financial interests).

Asked whether the influence of the Interests (the "trusts") would
increase or diminish in this country in the near future, the _Journal_
answered:--


"The influence of the interests, which means the power of the
trusts, or organized industry and commerce, will go forward
steadily without interruption.

"Just as steadily as early military feudalism advanced and grew,
UNTIL THE PEOPLE AT LAST CONTROLLED IT AND OWNED IT, JUST SO
STEADILY WILL TO-DAY'S INDUSTRIAL FEUDALISM advance and grow
without interruption UNTIL THE PEOPLE CONTROL IT and own it.

"The trusts are destined to be infinitely more powerful than now,
infinitely more ably organized.

"And that will be a good thing in the long run for the people. The
trusts are the people's great teachers, proving that destructive,
selfish, unbrotherly competition is unnecessary.

"They are proving that the genius of man can free a nation or a
world. They are saying to the people: 'You work under our ORDERS.
One power can own and manage industry.'

"It is hard for individual ambition just now. But in time THE
PEOPLE WILL LEARN THE LESSON AND WILL SAY TO THE TRUST OWNERS:--

"'THANK YOU VERY MUCH. WE HAVE LEARNED THE LESSON. WE SEE THAT IT
IS POSSIBLE FOR ONE POWER TO OWN AND CONTROL ALL INDUSTRY, ALL
MANUFACTURES, ALL COMMERCE, AND WE, THE PEOPLE, WILL BE THAT ONE
POWER.'

"Just as the individual feudal lords organized their little armies
in France, and just as the French people themselves have all the
armies in one--UNDER THE PEOPLE'S POWER--so the industries
organized NOW by the barons of industrial feudalism, one by one,
will be taken and put together by the people, UNDER THE PEOPLE'S
OWNERSHIP."[37]


Yet we find the _Journal_, like all the vehicles and mouthpieces of
radicalism, other than those of the Socialists, unready to take the
first step necessary in any conflict; namely, to decide who is the
enemy. Unless defended by definite groups in the community, "the rule of
property," could be ended in a single election. Nor can the group that
maintains capitalist government consist, as radicals suggest, merely of
a handful of large capitalists, nor of these aided by certain cohorts of
hired political mercenaries--nor yet of these two groups supported by
the deceived and ignorant among the masses. Unimportant elections may be
fought with such support, but not revolutionary "civil wars" or "the
upheavals of the centuries." _In every historical instance such
struggles were supported on both sides by powerful, and at the same time
numerically important, social classes, acting on the solid basis of
economic interest._

Yet non-Socialist reformers persist in claiming that they represent all
classes with the exception of a handful of monopolists, the bought, and
the ignorant; and many assert flatly that their movement is altruistic,
which can only mean that they intend to bestow such benefits as they
think proper on some social class that they expect to remain powerless
to help itself.



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Keywords: industry, journal, ownership, opportunity, steadily, without, powerful, socialists, social, feudalism
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