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Berger said: "Any interference by the government with
the rights of private property is Socialistic in tendency," that is,
that every step in collectivism is a step in Socialism. Yet this demand
for the restriction of the rights of private property by a conservative
government is the identical principle advocated by progressives who will
have nothing to do with Socialism. (See Part I, Chapter III.)

Mr. Berger and the large minority of Socialist Party members that vote
with him in Party Congresses and referendums may be said to represent a
combination of trade unionism of the conservative kind, and "State
Socialism," together with opportunistic methods more or less in
contradiction with the usual tactics of the international movement.
These methods and the indiscriminate support of conservative unionism
have been repeatedly rejected by the Socialists in this country. But
very many Socialists who repudiate all compromise and will have nothing
of Australian or British Labor Party tactics in the United States are in
entire accord with Mr. Berger on "State Socialist" reform. It is thus a
modified form of "State Socialism" and not Laborism that now confronts
the organization and creates its greatest problem.

Mr. Charles Edward Russell, for example, says that "we are not striving
for ourselves alone, but for our children," that "our aim is not merely
for one country, but for all the world," that "we stand here immutably
resolved against the whole of capitalism."[165] And Mr. Russell will
hear nothing either of compromise or of a Labor Party. But when we come
to examine the only question of practical moment, how his ideal is to be
applied, we are astounded to read that, "every time a government
acquires a railroad, it practices Socialism."[166]

Mr. Russell points out that "almost all the railroads in the world,
outside of the United States, are now owned by government," yet in his
latest book, "Business," he refers to Prussia, Japan, Mexico [under
Diaz], and other countries as having boldly purchased railways and coal
mines when they desired them _for the common good_.[167] Mr. Russell
here seems to overlook the fact that the history of Russia, Japan,
Mexico, and Prussia has shown that there is an intermediate stage
between our status and government "for the Common Good," a stage during
which the capitalist class, having gained a more firm control over
government than ever, intrusts it (with the opposition of but a few of
the largest capitalists) with some of the most important business
functions.

Yet Mr. Russell himself admits, by implication, that government by
Business "properly informed and broadly enlightened" might continue for
a considerable period, and therefore directs his shafts largely against
Business Government "as at present conducted," and he realizes fully
that the most needed _reforms_, even when they directly benefit the
workingmen, are equally or still more to the benefit of Business:--


"In the first place, if the masses of people become too much
impoverished, the national stamina is destroyed, which would be
exceedingly bad for Business in case Business should plunge us into
war. In the second place, since poverty produces a steady decline
in physical and mental capacity, if it goes too far, there is a
lack of hands to do the work of Business and a lack of healthy
stomachs to consume some of its most important products.

"For these reasons, a Government for Profits, like ours, incurs
certain deadly perils, _unless it be properly informed and broadly
enlightened_.

"Something of the truth of this has already been perceived by the
astute gentlemen that steer the fortunes of the Standard Oil
Company, a concern that in many respects may be considered the
foremost present type of Business in Government. One of the rules
of the Standard Oil Company is to pay good wages to its employees,
and to see that they are comfortable and contented. As a result of
this policy the Standard Oil Company is seldom bothered with
strikes, and most of its workers have no connection with labor
unions, do not listen to muck-rakers and other vile breeders of
social discontent, and are quite satisfied with their little round
of duties and their secure prospects in life....

"Unless Business recognizes quite fully the wisdom of similar
arrangements for its employees, Business Government (_as at present
conducted_) will in the end fall of its own weight."[168] (My
italics.)


Surely nobody has given more convincing arguments than Mr. Russell
himself why Business Government should go in for government ownership
and measures to increase the efficiency of labor. Surely no further
reasons should be needed to prove that when a government purchases a
railroad to-day, it does not practice Socialism. Yet the reverse is
sustained by a growing number of members of the Socialist Party (though
not by a growing proportion of the Party), which indicates that the
Socialism of Bebel, Liebknecht, Kautsky, Guesde, Lafargue, and the
International Socialist Congresses is at present by no means as firmly
rooted in this country as it is on the Continent of Europe.

FOOTNOTES:

[144] _Journal of Political Economy_, October, 1911.

[145] In her "American Socialism of the Present Day" (p. 252) Miss
Hughan _denies that there are many varieties of American Socialism_, and
says that the assertion that there are is justified only the many shades
of _tactical policy_ to be found in the Party, "founded usually on
corresponding gradations of emphasis upon the idea of catastrophe."

I do not contend that there are _many_ varieties of Socialism within the
Party either here or in other countries, but I have pointed out that
there are _several_ and that _their differences are profound, if not
irreconcilable_. It is precisely because they are founded on differences
in tactics, _i.e. on real instead of theoretical_ grounds that they are
of such importance, for as long as present conditions continue, they are
likely to lead farther and farther apart, while new conditions may only
serve to bring new differences.

[146] Eugene V. Debs in the _International Socialist Review_ (Chicago),
Jan. 1, 1911.

[147] The _Social-Democratic Herald_ (Milwaukee), Oct. 12, 1901.

[148] The _Social-Democratic Herald_, Feb. 22, 1902.

[149] The _Social-Democratic Herald_, May 28, 1904.

[150] _Press Despatch_, Aug. 26, 1911.

[151] _New York Journal_, April 22, 1910.

[152] _Social-Democratic Herald_, Vol. XII, No. 12.

[153] _Social-Democratic Herald_, Vol. XII, No. 12.

[154] _Social-Democratic Herald_, Vol. XII, March 24, 1906.

[155] The following account is taken from the Garment Workers'
Bulletin:--

"Recently the hod carriers in San Francisco presented a petition to
their employers for increased pay and pressed for its consideration.
This gave the members of the National Association of Manufacturers the
opportunity they longed for to open war in San Francisco, and they
promptly availed themselves of it. The petition was refused, of course,
and two large lime manufacturers in the city took a hand. The
contractors resolved on heroic measures, and work was stopped on some
sixty buildings to 'bring labor to its senses.' Then Mayor McCarthy came
into the controversy. He called his board of public workers together and
remarked: 'I see all the contractors are tying up work because of the
hod carriers' request. Better notify these fellows to at once clear all
streets of building material before these structures and to move away
those elevated walks and everything else from the streets.' The board so
ordered. Then Mr. McCarthy said: 'Notice that those lime fellows are
taking quite an interest in starting trouble. Guess we had better notify
them that their temporary permits for railroad spurs to their plants are
no longer in force.' And due notice went forth. The result was that the
trouble with the hod carriers was settled in a week, and the
contemplated industrial war in the city was indefinitely postponed...."

[156] The _Bridgeport Socialist_, Oct. 29, 1911.

[157] The _New York Times_, Oct. 20, 1911.

[158] _New Yorker Volkszeitung_, Dec. 9, 1911.

[159] _New York Evening Post_, Nov. 13, 1911.

[160] _Collier's Weekly_, Dec. 9, 1911.

[161] _Saturday Evening Post_, Nov. 18, 1911.

[162] The _Outlook_, Aug. 26, 1911.

[163] The _New York Call_, Aug. 14, 1911.

[164] W. R. Shier in the _New York Call_, Aug. 16, 1911.

[165] Speech at Carnegie Hall, New York, Oct. 15, 1910.

[166] _Hampton's Magazine_, January, 1911.

[167] "Business," p. 290.

[168] "Business," p. 114.




CHAPTER V

REFORM BY MENACE OF REVOLUTION


An American Socialist author expresses the opinion of many Socialists
when he says of the movement: "It strives by all efforts in its power to
increase its vote at the ballot box. It believes that by this increase
the attainment of its goal is brought ever nearer, and also that _the
menace of this increasing vote_ induces the capitalist class to grant
concessions in the hope of preventing further increases. _It criticizes
non-Socialist efforts at reform as comparatively barren of positive
benefit_ and as tending, on the whole, to insure the dominance of the
capitalist class and to continue the grave social evils now
prevalent."[169] (My italics.)

Because non-Socialist reforms tend to prolong the domination of the
capitalist class, which no Socialist doubts, it is asserted that they
are also comparatively barren of positive benefit. And if, from time to
time and in contradiction to this view, changes are bought about by
non-Socialist governments which undeniably do very much improve the
condition of the working people, it is reasoned that this was done by
the _menace_ either of a Socialist revolution or of a Socialist
electoral majority.

"A _Socialist_ reform must be in the nature of a working-class
conquest," says Mr. Hillquit in his "Socialism in Theory and
Practice"--expressing this very widespread Socialist opinion.



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Keywords: international, american, either, socialists, increase, should, country, tactics, company, standard
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