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Mr. Martin points to the irrigation projects, the conservation
of national resources, the railway policy of the national
administration, the expansion of the Federal government, and the
tendency towards compulsory arbitration since the interference of
President Roosevelt in the coal strike of 1902, as being "Socialistic"
and yet in no sense class movements. They tend towards social
reconstruction and to greater social organization and order; and there
are no "logical halting places," says Mr. Martin, "on the road to
Collectivism." But so far is this movement from a class movement in Mr.
Martin's opinion that its advance guard consists in part of millionaires
like Mr. Carnegie and Mrs. Sage, "who aim at a social betterment of both
getting and spending of fortunes," while "behind them, uncommitted to
any far-reaching theory, but patriotic and zealous for an improved
society, there are marching philanthropists, doctors, lawyers, business
men, and legislators, people of distinction." And finally the army is
completed by millions of common privates "_for_ whose children the
better order will be the greatest boon." (The italicizing is mine.) The
privates apparently figure rather as mere recipients of public and
private benefactions than as active citizens.[184]

Some of the reformers openly advise joining the Socialist movement with
the hope of using it for the purpose of reform and without aiding it in
any way to reach a goal of its own. Professor John Bates Clark, one of
America's most prominent economists, says of the Socialist Party that it
is legitimate because "it represents the aspirations of a large number
of workingmen" and because "its immediate purposes are good."


"It has changed the uncompromising policy of opposing all halfway
measures," continues Professor Clark. "It welcomes reforms and
tries to enroll in its membership as many as possible of the
reformers.... In short, the Socialist and the reformer may walk
side by side for a considerable distance without troubling
themselves about the unlike goals which they hope in the end to
reach.... What the reformers will have to do is to take the
Socialistic name, walk behind a somewhat red banner, and be ready
to break ranks and leave the army when it reaches the dividing of
the ways."[185]


Professor Clark, it will be seen, has no difficulty in suggesting a
"logical halting place on the road to collectivism"; namely, when the
Socialists turn from collectivist reforms and start out towards
Socialism.

Anti-Socialists may share the Socialist _ideal_ and even favor all the
reforms that the capitalists can permit to be put into practice without
resigning their power and allowing the overthrow of capitalism. But
Socialists have long since seen a way to mark off all such idealists and
reformers--by presenting Socialism for what it really is, not as an
ideal, nor a program of reform under capitalist direction, but as a
method, and the only practical method, of ending capitalist rule in
industry and government.

When Liebknecht insists on "the extreme importance of tactics and the
necessity of maintaining the party's class struggle character," he makes
"tactics," or the practical methods of the movement, _identical_ with
its basic principle, "the class struggle." Kautsky does the same thing
when he says that Socialism is, _both in theory and practice_, a
revolution against capitalism.

"Those who repudiate political revolution as the principal means of
social transformation, or wish to confine the latter to such measures as
have been granted by the ruling class," says Kautsky, "are social
reformers, no matter how much their social ideas may antagonize existing
forms of society."

The Socialists' wholly practical grounds against "reformism" have been
stated by Liebknecht, in his "No Compromise." "This political
Socialism, which in fact is only philanthropic humanitarian radicalism,
has retarded the development of Socialism in France exceedingly," he
wrote in 1899, before Socialist politicians and "reformists" had come
into prominence in other countries than France. "It has diluted and
blurred principles and weakened the Socialist Party because it brought
into it troops upon which no reliance could be placed at the decisive
moment." If, in other words, Socialism is a movement of non-capitalists
against capitalists, nothing could be more fatal to it than a reputation
due chiefly to success in bringing about reforms about which there is
nothing distinctively Socialistic. For this kind of success could not
fail ultimately to swamp the movement with reformers who, like Professor
Clark, are not Socialists and never will be.

It must not be inferred from this that Socialists are indifferent to
reform. They are necessarily far more anxious about it than its
capitalist promoters. For while many "State Socialist" reforms are
profitable to capitalism and even strengthen temporarily its hold on
society, they are in the long run indispensable to Socialism. But this
does not mean that Socialism is compelled to turn aside any of its
energies from its great task of organizing and educating the workers, in
order to hasten these reforms. On the contrary, the larger and the more
revolutionary the Socialist army, the easier it will be for the
progressive capitalists to overcome the conservatives and reactionaries.
Long before this army has become large enough or aggressive enough to
menace capitalism and so to throw all capitalists together in a single
organization wholly devoted to defensive measures, there will be a long
period--already begun in Great Britain, France, and other
countries--when the growth of Socialism will make the progressive
capitalists supreme by giving them _the balance of power_. In order,
then, to hasten and aid the capitalistic form of progress, Socialists
need only see that their own growth is sufficiently rapid. As the
Socialists are always ready to support every measure of capitalist
reform, the capitalist progressives need only then secure enough
strength in Parliaments so that their votes added to those of the
Socialists would form a majority. As soon as progressive capitalism is
at all developed, reforms are thus automatically aided by the Socialist
vote, without the necessity of active Socialist participation--thus
leaving the Socialists free to attend to matters that depend wholly on
their own efforts; namely, the organization and education of the
non-capitalist masses for aggressive measures leading towards the
overthrow of capitalism.

Opposition to the policy of absorption in ordinary reform movements is
general in the international movement outside of Great Britain. Eugene
V. Debs, three times presidential candidate of the American Socialist
Party, is as totally opposed to "reformism" as are any of the Europeans.
"_The revolutionary character of our party and of our movement_," he
said in a personal letter to the present writer, which was published in
the Socialist press, "_must be preserved in all its integrity at all
cost, for if that be compromised we had better cease to exist_.... If
the trimmers had their way we should degenerate into bourgeois
reformers.... But they will not have their way." (Italics mine.)

No American Socialist has more ably summarized the dangers opportunism
brings to the movement than Professor George D. Herron in his pamphlet,
"From Revolution to Revolution," taken from a speech made as early as
1903. Later events, it will be noted, have strikingly verified his
predictions as to the growing popularity of the word "Socialism" with
nearly all political elements in this country.


"Great initiatives and revolutions," Herron says, "have always been
robbed of definition and issue when adopted by the class against
which the revolt was directed....

"Let Socialists take knowledge and warning. The possessing class is
getting ready to give the people a few more crumbs of what is
theirs.... If it comes to that, they are ready to give some things
_in the name of Socialism_.... The old political parties will be
adopting what they are pleased to call Socialistic planks in their
platforms; and the churches will be coming with the insipid
'Christian Socialism,' and their hypocrisy and brotherly love. We
shall soon see Mr. Hanna and Bishop Potter, Mr. Hearst and Dr.
Lyman Abbott, even Mr. Roosevelt and Mr. Bryan, posing as
reasonable kinds of Socialists. You will find the name of Socialism
repeatedly taken in vain, and perhaps successfully. You will see
the Socialist movement bridled and saddled by capitalism, in the
hope of riding it to a new lease of capitalistic power....

"But Socialism, like liberty or truth, is something you cannot have
a part of; you must have the whole or you will have nothing; you
can only gain or lose the whole, you cannot gain or lose a part.
You may have municipal ownerships, nationalized transportation,
initiative and referendum, civil service reforms and many other
capitalist concessions, and be all the farther away from Social
Democracy.... You may have any kind and number of reforms you
please, any kind and number of revolutions or revivals you please,
any kind and number of new ways of doing good you please, it will
not matter to capitalism, so long as it remains at the root of
things, the result of all your plans and pains will be gathered
into the Capitalist granary." (The italics are mine.)


Yet no Socialist dreams that the presence in the movement of
semi-Socialist or non-Socialist elements, which is both the cause and
the effect of reformism and compromise, is a mere accident, or that
there is any device by which they may either be kept out or
eliminated--until the time is ripe. The presence of opportunists and
reformists in all Socialist parties is as much an inevitable result at a
certain stage of social evolution as the appearance of Socialism itself.
The time will come when these "MitlaŘfer," as the Germans call them,
will either become wholly Socialist or will desert the movement, as has
so often happened, to become a part of the rising tide of "State
Socialism," but that day has not yet arrived.

The division of the organization at a certain stage into two wings is
held by the able Austrian Socialist, Otto Bauer, to be a universal and
necessary process in its development.



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Keywords: please, society, progressive, become, enough, practical, reformism, because, nothing, france
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