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The effect was to throw Turati and his followers
into the arms of the revolutionaries, where they form a minority.

And thus the situation becomes similar to that in France. The reformist
"leaders," Jaurès and Turati, do all that is possible to lead the
Socialist Parties of the two countries in the opposite direction from
that in which these organizations are going. But though these "leaders"
are turned in the direction of class conciliation, they are constantly
being dragged backwards in the direction of class war. Unconsciously
they are doing all they can to retard Socialism--short of leaving the
movement. But as long as they consent to go with Socialism when they are
unable to make Socialism go with them, their ability to retard the
movement is strictly limited.

FOOTNOTES:

[101] Charles Rappaport, "Das Ministerium Briand," _Die Neue Zeit_
(1910).

[102] See _Die Neue Zeit_, April, 1911, p. 46. Article by Vandervelde.

[103] The _Avanti_, April, 1911.

[104] The _Avanti_, Oct. 18, 1911.

[105] _Critica Sociale_, Nov. 1, 1911.

[106] _Azione Socialista_, Nov. 19, 1911.

[107] _Avanti_, Dec. 2 and 3, 1911.




CHAPTER III

"LABORISM" IN GREAT BRITAIN


The British Socialist situation is almost as important internationally
as the German. The organized workingmen of the world are indeed divided
almost equally into two camps. Most of those of Australia, South Africa,
and Canada, as well as a large majority in the United States, favor a
Labour Party of the British type, and even the reformist Socialist
leaders, Jaurès in France, Vandervelde in Belgium, and Turati in Italy,
often take the British Party as model. On the other hand the majority of
the _Socialists_ everywhere outside of Great Britain, including the
larger part of all the _working people_ in every country of continental
Europe, look towards the Socialist Party of Germany as their model, the
political principles and tactics of which are diametrically opposed to
those of the British Labour Party.

Far from opposing their Socialism to the "State Socialism" of the
government, the British Socialists in general frankly admit that they
also are "State Socialists," and seem not to realize that the increased
power and industrial functions of the State may be used to the advantage
of the privileged classes rather than to that of the masses. The
Independent Labour Party even claims in its official literature that the
"degree of civilization which a state has reached may almost be measured
by the proportion of the national income which is spent collectively
instead of individually."[108]

"Public ownership is Socialism," writes Mr. J. R. MacDonald, until
lately Chairman of the Labour Party,[109] while Mr. Philip Snowden says
that the first principle of Socialism is that the interests of the State
stand over those of individuals.[110]

"I believe," says Mr. Keir Hardie, "the collectivist state to be a
preliminary step to a communist state. I believe collectivism or State
Socialism is the next stage of evolution towards the communist state."
"Every class in a community," he said in this same speech, "approves and
accepts Socialism up to the point at which its class interests are
being served." It would appear, then, that Mr. Hardie means by
"Socialism" a program of reforms a part of which at least is to the
benefit of every economic class. He contends only that this "Socialism"
could never be "fully" established until the working class intelligently
coöperate with other forces at work in bringing Socialism into
being.[111]

"State Socialism with all its drawbacks, and these I frankly admit,"
said Mr. Hardie, "will prepare the way for free communism." Mr. Hardie
considers it to be the chief business of Socialists in the present day
to fight for "State Socialism," and is fully conscious that this forces
him to the necessity of defending the present-day State, as, for
instance, when he writes elsewhere, "It is not the State which holds you
in bondage, it is the private monopoly of those means of life without
which you cannot live." Private property and war and not the State Mr.
Hardie believes to have been the "great enslavers" of past history as of
the present day, apparently ignoring periods in which the State has
maintained a governing class which consisted not so much of property
owners as of State functionaries; to periods which may soon be repeated,
when private property served merely as one instrument of an all-powerful
State.

Mr. MacDonald still more closely restricts the word "Socialism" to the
"State Socialist" or State capitalist period into which we are now
entering. "Socialism," says MacDonald, "is the _next_ stage in social
growth,"[112] and throughout his writings and policy leaves no doubt
that he means the very next stage, the capitalist collectivism of which
I have been speaking. The international brotherhood of the nations,
which many Socialist thinkers feel is an indispensable condition for the
establishment of anything like democratic Socialism, Mr. MacDonald
expects only in the distant future, while the end of government based on
force, which is also considered essential by the majority of Socialist
writers, Mr. MacDonald postpones to "some far remote generation."[113]
In other words, the position of the recent Chairman of the Labour Party
is that what the world has hitherto known as Socialism can only be
expected after a vast period of time, and his opinion accords with that
of many bitter critics and opponents of the movement, who avoid a
difficult controversy by admitting all Socialist arguments and merely
asking for time--"Socialism, a century or two hence--but not now,"--for
all practical purposes an endless postponement.

Mr. MacDonald, who is not only a leader of the Labour Party, but also
one of the chief organizers also of the leading Socialist Party of that
country, has given us by far the fullest and most significant discussion
of that party's policy. He says that an enlightened bourgeoisie will be
just as likely to be Socialist as the working classes, and that
therefore the class struggle is merely "a grandiloquent and aggressive
figure of speech."[114] Struggle of some kind, he concedes, is
necessary. But the more important form of struggle in present-day
society, he says, is the trade rivalry between nations and not the
rivalry between social classes.[115] Here at the outset is a complete
reversal of the Socialist attitude. Socialists aim to put an end to this
overshadowing of domestic by foreign problems, principally for the very
reason that it aids the capitalists to obscure the class struggle--the
foundation, the guiding principle, and the sole reason for the existence
of the whole movement.

Mr. MacDonald claims further that a class struggle, far from uniting the
working classes, can only divide them the more; in other words, that it
works in exactly the opposite direction from that in which the
international organization believes it works. The only "natural
conflicts" in the present or future, within any given society, according
to the spokesman of the Labour Party, represent, not the conflicting
interests of certain economic classes, but the "conflicting views and
temperaments" of individuals.[116] And the chief divisions of
temperament and opinion, he says, will be between the world-old
tendencies of action and inaction--a view which does not differ one iota
from that of Mr. Roosevelt.

Mr. MacDonald asserts that "it is the _whole_ of society which is
developing towards Socialism," and adds, "The consistent exponent of the
class struggle must, of course, repudiate these doctrines, but then the
class struggle is far more akin to Radicalism than to Socialism."[117] I
have already pointed out how the older Radicalism, or political
democracy, no matter how individualistic and anti-Socialist it may be,
is often, as Mr. MacDonald says, more akin to International Socialism
than that kind of "State Socialism" or State capitalism Mr. MacDonald
represents.

Mr. MacDonald typifies the majority of British Socialists also in his
opposition to every modern form of democratic advance, such as the
referendum and proportional representation. Far from being disturbed,
as so many democratic writers are, because minorities are suppressed
where there is no plan of proportional representation, he opposes the
second ballot, which has been adopted in the majority of the countries
of Continental Europe--and, in the form of direct primaries, also in the
United States. The principal thing that the electors are to do, he says,
is to "send a man to support or oppose a government."

Mr. MacDonald finds that there is quite a sufficiency of democracy when
the elector can decide between two parties; and far from considering the
members of Parliament as delegates, he feels that they fill the chief
political rôle, while the people perform the entirely subordinate task
either of approving or of disapproving what they have already done.
Parliament "first of all initiates ideas, suggests aims and purposes,
makes proposals, and educates the community in these things with a view
to their becoming the ideals and aims of the community itself."[118]

While Mr. MacDonald continues to receive the confidence of the trade
union party, including its Socialistic wing, the Trade Union Congress
votes down proportional representation by a large majority, apparently
because it does not desire its members to be constituted into a truly
independent group in Parliament, does not care to work for any political
principle however concrete, but prefers to take such share of the actual
powers of government as the Liberal Party is disposed to grant.
Proportional representation would send for the first time a few outright
Socialists to Parliament, but the election returns demonstrate that the
trade unionists, if more independent of the Liberals, would be fewer in
number than at present. A part of the Socialist voters desire this
result and, of course, believe it is their right. The majority of the
trade unionists, however, who have won a certain modicum of authority in
spite of the undemocratic constitution of their party, do not care to
grant it--as possibly conflicting with the relatively conservative plans
of "the aristocracy of labor."

The Fabian Society's "Report on Fabian Policy" says that the referendum,
"in theory the most democratic of popular institutions, is in practice
the most reactionary."[119] Mr.



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