A B C D E F
G H I J K L M 

Total read books on site:
more than 20000

You can read its for free!


Text on one page: Few Medium Many
If we substitute for the insurrectionary civil
wars of Marx's time, _i.e._ of the periods of 1848 and 1870, the
_industrial_ civil wars to-day, _i.e._ the more and more widespread and
successful, the more and more general, strikes that we have been
witnessing since 1900, in countries so widely separated and
representative as France, England, Sweden, Portugal, and Russia and
Argentine Republic, Marx's view is that of the overwhelming majority of
Socialists to-day.[290]

The suppression of such widespread strikes will become especially costly
as "State Socialism" brings a larger and larger proportion of the wage
earners under its policy of "efficiency wages," so that their incomes
will be considerably above the mere subsistence level. A large part of
these increased wages can and doubtless will be used against capitalism.
Socialists believe that strikes will become more and more extended and
protracted, until the capitalists will be forced, sooner or later,
either to repressive violence, or to begin to make vital economic or
political concessions that will finally insure their unconditional
surrender.

Already many non-Socialist observers have firmly grasped the meaning of
revolutionary Socialism. As a distinguished American editor recently
remarked, "Universal suffrage and universal education mean universal
revolution; _it may be--pray God it be not--a revolution of brutality
and crime_."[291] The ruling minority have put down revolutions in the
past by "brutality and crime" under the name of martial "law."
Socialists have new evidences every day that similar measures will be
used against them in the future, from the moment their power becomes
formidable.

FOOTNOTES:

[284] Rose Luxemburg, "Social-Reform oder Revolution."

[285] "La Guerre Sociale" (Paris), April 20, 1910.

[286] Kautsky, "The Road to Power," Chapter V.

[287] The organ of the Civic Federation, Nov. 15, 1909.

[288] "The Road to Power," Chapter VI.

[289] "The Road to Power," p. 50.

[290] A leading article of the official weekly of the German Socialist
Party on the eve of the elections of 1912 gives the strongest possible
evidence that the German Socialists regard the ballot primarily as a
means to revolution. The article is written by Franz Mehring, the
historian of the German movement, and its leading argument is to be
found in the following paragraphs:--

"The more votes the Social-Democracy obtains in these elections, the
more difficult it will be for the Reaction to carry out exceptional laws
[referring to Bismarck's legislation practically outlawing the
Socialists], and the more this miserable weapon will become for them a
two-edged sword. Certainly it will come to that [anti-Socialist
legislation] in the end, for no one in possession of his five senses
believes that, when universal suffrage sends a Social-Democratic
majority to the Reichstag, the ruling classes will say with a polite
bow: 'Go ahead, Messrs. Workingmen; you have won, now please proceed as
you think best.' Sooner or later the possessing classes will begin a
desperate game, and it is as necessary for the working classes to be
prepared for this event as it would be madness for them to strengthen
the position of their enemies by laying down their arms. It can only be
to their advantage to gather more numerous fighting forces under their
banner, even if by this means they hasten the historical process [the
day when anti-Socialist laws will be passed], and indeed precisely
because of this.

"La Salle used to say to his followers in confidential talks: 'When I
speak of universal suffrage you must always understand that I mean
revolution.' And the Party has always conceived of universal suffrage as
a means of revolutionary recruiting" (_Die Neue Zeit_, December 16,
1911).

[291] From a press interview with Mr. Henry Watterson in 1909; verified
by a private letter to the author.




CHAPTER IX

THE TRANSITION TO SOCIALISM


The Socialist policy requires so complete a reversal of the policy of
collectivist capitalism, that no government has taken any steps whatever
in that direction. No governments and no political parties, except the
Socialists, have any such steps under discussion, and finally, no
governments or capitalist parties are sufficiently alarmed or confused
by the menace of Socialism to be hurried or driven into a policy which
would carry them a stage nearer to the very thing they are most anxious
to avoid.

If we are moving towards Socialism it is due to entirely different
causes: to the numerical increase, and the improved education and
organization of the non-capitalist classes, to their training in the
Socialist parties and labor unions for the definite purpose of turning
the capitalists (as such) out of industry and government, to the
experience they have gained in political and economic struggles against
overwhelmingly superior forces, to the fact that the enemy, though he
can prevent them at present from gaining even a partial control over
industry or government, or from seizing any strategic point of the first
importance, is utterly unable to crush them, notwithstanding his greater
and greater efforts to do so, and cannot prevent them from gaining on
him constantly in numbers and superiority of organization.

If we are advancing towards Socialism, it is not because the
non-capitalist classes, when compared with the capitalists, are
gradually gaining a greater share of wealth or more power in society. It
is because they are gradually gaining that capacity for organized
political and economic action which, though useless except for defensive
purposes to-day, will enable them to take possession of industry and
government _when their organization has become stronger than that of the
capitalists_.

The overwhelming majority of Socialists and labor unionists are occupied
either with purely defensive measures or with preparations for
aggressive action in the future. This does not mean that no economic or
political reforms of benefit or importance can be expected until the
Socialists have conquered capitalism or forced it to recognize their
power; I have shown that, on the contrary, a colossal program of such
reforms is either impending or in actual process of execution. It means
only that for every advance allotted to labor, a greater advance will be
gained by the capitalist class which is promoting these reforms, that
their most important effect is to increase the _relative power_ of the
capitalists.

The first governmental step towards Socialism will have been taken when
the Socialist organizations are able to say: _During this administration
the position of the non-capitalist classes has improved faster than that
of the capitalists._ But even such a governmental step towards Socialism
does not mean that Socialism is being installed. It may be followed by a
step in the opposite direction. _No advance can be permanently held
until the organizations of non-capitalists have become superior to or at
least as powerful as those of the capitalists._ An actual step _in_
Socialism, moreover, as distinct from such an insecure political step
_towards_ Socialism, depends in no degree upon the action of
non-Socialist governments (and still less on local Socialist
administrations subject to higher non-Socialist control) unless such
governments are already practically vanquished, and so forced to obey
Socialist orders. An actual installment of Socialism awaits, first, a
certain development of Socialist parties and labor unions, and second,
on these organizations securing control of a sovereign and independent
government (if there be any such), or of a group of industries that
dominates it. And if the governments of the various capitalistic
countries are as interdependent as they seem, a number of them will have
to be captured before the possession of any is secure.

_The essential problem before the Socialists under State capitalism,
with every reform now under serious discussion already in force, will be
fundamentally the same as it is under the private capitalism of to-day._
The capitalists will be even more powerful than they are, the _relative_
position of the non-capitalists in government and industry still more
inferior than it now is. However, with better health, more means,
greater leisure, superior education, with a better organized and more
easily comprehended social system, with the enemy more united and more
clearly defined, Socialists believe that the conditions for the
successful solution of this problem will be far more favorable.

The evolution of industry and government under capitalism sets the
problems and furnishes the conditions necessary for the solution, but
the solution, if it comes at all, must come from the Socialists
themselves. I have shown what the Socialists are doing to-day to gain
supreme control over governments. What do they expect to do when they
have obtained that power? I have given little attention to the steps
they will probably take at that time because the question belongs to the
future, and has not yet been practically confronted. It is impossible to
tell how any body of men will answer any question until it is before
them and they know their answer must be at once translated into acts.
Yet a few concrete statements as to what Socialists expect and intend
for the future--especially in those matters where there is practical
unanimity among them, may be justified, and may help to define their
present aims. There are certain matters where Socialists have as yet had
no opportunity to show their position in acts, and yet where their
present activities, supported by their statements, indicate what their
course will be.

First, how do Socialists expect to proceed during the transitional
period, when they have won supreme power, but have not yet had time to
put any of their more far-reaching principles into execution? The first
of these transitional problems is: What shall be done with those
particular forms of private property or privilege which stand in the way
of an economic democracy? How far shall existing vested rights be
compensated?


"And as for taking such property from the owners," asks Mr.



Pages: | Prev | | 1 | | 2 | | 3 | | 4 | | 5 | | 6 | | 7 | | 8 | | 9 | | 10 | | 11 | | 12 | | 13 | | 14 | | 15 | | 16 | | 17 | | 18 | | 19 | | 20 | | 21 | | 22 | | 23 | | 24 | | 25 | | 26 | | 27 | | 28 | | 29 | | 30 | | 31 | | 32 | | 33 | | 34 | | 35 | | 36 | | 37 | | 38 | | 39 | | 40 | | 41 | | 42 | | 43 | | 44 | | 45 | | 46 | | 47 | | 48 | | 49 | | 50 | | 51 | | 52 | | 53 | | 54 | | 55 | | 56 | | 57 | | 58 | | 59 | | 60 | | 61 | | 62 | | 63 | | 64 | | 65 | | 66 | | 67 | | 68 | | 69 | | 70 | | 71 | | 72 | | 73 | | 74 | | 75 | | 76 | | 77 | | 78 | | 79 | | 80 | | 81 | | 82 | | 83 | | 84 | | 85 | | 86 | | 87 | | 88 | | 89 | | 90 | | 91 | | 92 | | 93 | | 94 | | 95 | | 96 | | 97 | | 98 | | 99 | | 100 | | 101 | | 102 | | 103 | | 104 | | 105 | | 106 | | 107 | | 108 | | 109 | | 110 | | 111 | | 112 | | 113 | | Next |


Keywords: practically, education, advance, forced, non-socialist, possession, already, either, organizations, expect
N O P Q R S T
U V W X Y Z 

Your last read book:

You dont read books at this site.