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He says
that reforms inaugurated by small farmers, manufacturers, or traders,
cause an "arrest of development or even a return to conditions of past
ages, while the reforms of the more educated classes if less reactionary
are not of a more efficient type."

"The task of developing and extending factory legislation falls entirely
on the organized workmen," according to this view, because the dominant
classes have no interest in developing it, while the evils of the slums
and of the employment of women and children in industry can be cured
only by Socialism. Such reforms as can be obtained in this direction,
though they are not considered by Mr. Hillquit "as the beginnings or
installments of a Socialist system," he holds are to be obtained only
with Socialist aid. In other words, while capitalism is not altogether
unable or unwilling to benefit the working people, it can do little, and
even this little is due to the presence of the Socialists.

Another example of the "reformist's" view may be seen in the editorials
of Mr. Berger, in the _Social-Democratic Herald_, of Milwaukee, where he
says that the Social-Democrats never fail to declare that with all the
social reforms, good and worthy of support as they may be, conditions
_cannot be permanently improved_. That is to say, present-day reforms
are not only of secondary importance, but that they are of merely
temporary effect.

"There is nothing more to hope from the property-holding classes."

"The bourgeois reformers are constantly getting less progressive and
allying themselves more and more with the reactionaries."

"It is impossible that the capitalists should accomplish any important

"With all social reform, short of Socialism itself, conditions cannot be
permanently improved."

These and many similar expressions are either quotations from well-known
Socialist authors or phrases in common use. Many French and German
Socialists have even called the whole "State Socialist" program
"social-demagogy." As none of the reforms proposed by the capitalists
are sufficient to balance the counteracting forces and to carry society
along their direction, Socialists sometimes mistakenly feel that
_nothing whatever of benefit_ can come to the workers from capitalist
government. As the capitalists' reforms all tend "to insure the
dominance of the capitalist class," it is denied that they can cure any
of the grave social evils now prevalent, and it is even asserted that
they are reactionary.

"For how many years have we been telling the workingman, especially the
trade unionist," wrote the late Benjamin Hanford, on two successive
occasions Socialist candidate for Vice President of the United States
"that it was folly for him to beg in the halls of a capitalist
legislature and a capitalist Congress? Did we mean what we said? I did,
for one.... I not only believed it--I proved it." Obviously there are
many political measures, just as _there are many improvements in
industry and industrial organization_, that may be beneficial to the
workers as well as the capitalists, but it is also clear that such
changes will in most instances be brought about by the capitalists
themselves. _On the other hand, even where they have a group of
independent legislators of their own_, however large a minority it may
form, the Socialists can expect no concessions of political or economic
power until social revolution is at hand.

The municipal platform adopted by the Socialist Party in New York City
in 1909 also appealed to workingmen not to be deluded into the belief
"that the capitalists will permit any measures of real benefit to the
working class to be carried into effect by the municipality so long as
they remain in undisputed control of the State and federal government
and especially of the judiciary." This statement is slightly inaccurate.
The capitalists will allow the enactment of measures that benefit the
working class, provided those measures do not involve loss to the
capitalist class. Thus sanitation and education are of real benefit to
the workers, but, temporarily at least, they benefit the capitalist
class still more, by rendering the workers more efficient as wealth

The Socialist platforms of the various countries all recognize, to use
the language of that of the United States, that all the reforms indorsed
by the Socialists "are but a preparation of the workers to seize the
_whole_ power of government, in order that they may thereby lay hold of
the _whole_ system of industry and thus come to their rightful
inheritance." (Italics are mine.) This might be interpreted to mean that
through such reforms the Socialists are gaining control over parts of
industry and government. Marx took the opposite view; "the first step in
the revolution by the working class is to raise the proletariat to the
position of ruling power...." He left open no possibility of saying that
the Socialists thought that without overthrowing capitalism they could
seize a _part_ of the powers of government (though they were already
electing legislative minorities and subordinate officials in his day).

Sometimes there are still more ambiguous expressions in Socialist
platforms which even make it possible for social reformers who have
joined the movement to confess publicly that they use it exclusively for
reform purposes, and still to claim that they are Socialists (see
Professor Clark's advice in the following chapter). For example,
instead of heading such proposals as the nationalization of the
railroads and "trusts" and the State appropriation of ground rent
"reforms indorsed by Socialists," they have called such reforms, perhaps
inadvertently, "_Immediate Demands_," and the American platform has
referred to them as measures of relief which "we may be able to _force_
from capitalism." There can be no doubt that Marx and his chief
followers, on the contrary, saw that such reforms would come from the
capitalists without the necessity of any Socialist force or
demand--though this pressure might hasten their coming (see Part I,
Chapter VIII). They are viewed by him and an increasing number of
Socialists not as _concessions to Socialism forced from the capitalists,
but as developments of capitalism desired by the more progressive
capitalists and Socialists alike, but especially by the Socialists_
owing to their desire that State capitalism shall develop as rapidly as
possible--as a preliminary to Socialism,--and to the fact that the
working people suffer more than the capitalists at any delay in the
establishment even of this transitional state.

The platform of the American Party just quoted classes such reforms as
government relief for the unemployed, government loans for public work,
and collective ownership of the railways and trusts, as measures it may
be able "to force from capitalism," as "a preparation of the workers to
seize the whole power of government." But if the capitalists do enact
such reforms as these, not on the independent grounds I have indicated,
but out of fear of Socialism, as is here predicted, why should not the
process of coercing capitalism continue indefinitely until gradually all
power is taken away from them? Why should there be any special need to
"seize" the whole power, if the capitalists can be coerced even now,
while the government is still largely theirs?

Some "reformists" do not hesitate to answer frankly that there is indeed
no ground for expecting any revolutionary crisis. Mr. John Spargo feels
that reforms "will prove in their totality to be the Revolution itself,"
and that if the Socialists keep in sight this whole body of reforms,
which he calls the Revolution, "as the objective of every Reform," this
will sufficiently distinguish them from non-Socialist reformers. Mr.
Morris Hillquit also speaks for many other influential Socialists when
he insists that the Socialists differ from other Parties chiefly in that
they alone "see the clear connection and necessary interdependence"
between the various social evils. That there is no ground for any such
assertion is shown by the fact that the social evils discussed in the
capitalist press, and all the remedies which have any practical chance
of enactment, as is now generally perceived, are due to extreme poverty,
the lack of order in industry, and the need of government regulations,
guided by a desire to promote "efficiency," and to perfect the
_capitalist_ system. Non-Socialist reformers have already made long
strides toward improving the worst forms of poverty, without taking the
slightest step towards social democracy. These reforms are being
introduced more and more rapidly and are not likely to be checked until
what we now know as poverty and its accompanying evils are practically
abolished _by the capitalist class while promoting their own comfort and
security_. This, for example, is, as I have shown, the outspoken purpose
of Mr. Lloyd George and his capitalistic supporters in England.
Similarly, it is the outspoken purpose of the promoters of the present
"efficiency" movement among the business men of America. However the
material conditions of the working classes may be bettered by such
means, their personal liberty and political power may be so much
curtailed in the process as to make further progress by their own
associated efforts more difficult under "State Socialism" than it is

The State platform of the Socialist Party of New York in 1910, while
seemingly self-contradictory in certain of its phrases, makes the
sharpest distinctions between Socialism and "State Socialist" reform.
Its criticism of reform parties is on the whole so vigorous and its
insistence on class struggle tactics so strong as to make it clear that
there is no expectation of reaching Socialism through reforms granted,
from whatever motive, by a non-Socialist majority. I have italicized
some significant phrases:--

"The two dominant political parties pretend to stand for all the
people; the so-called reform parties claim to speak for the good
people; the Socialist party frankly acknowledges that it is
concerned chiefly with the working people....

"The great fortunes of the wealthy come from the spoliation of the

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Keywords: especially, phrases, non-socialist, without, should, example, ground, system, poverty, desire
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