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
In Austria, also, the road leads to the increase of
class oppositions, to the heaping up of wealth on the one side, and
of misery, revolt, and embitterment on the other, to the division
of society into two hostile camps, arming and preparing themselves
for war."[195]

Even though underlying economic forces should be found to be improving
Labor's condition at a snail's pace, instead of actually heaping up more
misery, no changes would be required in any of the other statements, or
in the conclusion of this paragraph, which, with this exception,
undoubtedly expresses the views of the overwhelming majority of
Socialists the world over.

"Democracy cannot do away with the class antagonisms of capitalist
society," says Kautsky, referring to the "State Socialist" reforms of
semidemocratic governments like those of Australia and Great Britain.
"Neither can we avoid the final outcome of these antagonisms--the
overthrow of present society. One thing it can do. It cannot abolish the
revolution, but it can avert many premature, hopeless revolutionary
attempts and render superfluous many revolutionary uprisings. It creates
clearness regarding the relative strength of the different parties and

The late Paul Lafargue stated the same principle at a recent congress of
the French Socialist Party, contending that, as long as capitalists
still control the national administration, representatives are sent by
the Socialists to the Chamber of Deputies, _not in the hope of
diminishing the power of the capitalist State to oppress, but to combat
this power, "to procure for the Party a new and more magnificent field
of battle_."


[178] Marx and Engels, the "Communist Manifesto."

[179] Anton Menger, "L'État Socialiste" (Paris, 1904), p. 359.

[180] August Bebel, "Woman, Past, Present, and Future" (San Francisco,
1897), p. 128.

[181] Frederick Engels, "Anti-Duhring" (3d ed., Stuttgart, 1894), p. 92.

[182] Frederick Engels, "Socialism, Utopian and Scientific," pp. 71-72.

[183] Karl Kautsky's "Erfurter Programm," p. 129.

[184] John Martin, in the _Atlantic Monthly_, September, 1908.

[185] Professor John Bates Clark, in the _Congregationalist and
Christian World_ (Boston), May 15, 1909.

[186] Otto Bauer, "Die Nationalitaeten-frage und die Sozial-demokratie,"
p. 487.

[187] _Social-Democratic Herald_, July 31, 1909.

[188] _Social-Democratic Herald_, Vol. XII, No. 5.

[189] Professor Werner Sombert, "Socialism and the Socialist Movement,"
p. 59.

[190] Jaurès, "Studies in Socialism."

[191] Kautsky, "The Road to Power," p. 101.

[192] Kautsky, "The Social Revolution," p. 66.

[193] Kautsky, "The Social Revolution," pp. 66-67.

[194] Kautsky, _International Socialist Review_, 1910.

[195] _Die Neue Zeit_, Sept. 11, 1911.



With the exception of a few years (1899 to 1903) the revolutionary and
anti-"reformist" (not anti-reform) position of the international
movement has become stronger every year. It is a relatively short time,
not more than twenty years, since the reformists first began to make
themselves heard in the Socialist movement, and their influence
increased until the German Congress at Dresden in 1903, the
International Congress of 1904 at Amsterdam, and the definite separation
of the Socialists of France from Millerand at this time and from Briand
shortly afterwards (Chapter II). Since then their influence has rapidly

The spirit of the international movement, on the whole, is more and more
that of the great German Socialist Wilhelm Liebknecht, who advised the
party to be "always on the offensive and never on the defensive,"[196]
or of La Salle when he declared, "True political power will have to be
fought for, and cannot be bought."[197]

The revolutionary policy of the leading Socialist parties has not become
less pronounced with their growth and maturity as opponents hoped it
would. On the contrary, all the most important Socialist assemblies of
the last ten years, from the International Congress at Paris in 1900,
have reiterated or strengthened the old position. The Congress of Paris
in 1900 adopted a resolution introduced by Kautsky which declared that
the "Social Democracy has taken to itself the task of organizing the
working people into an army ready for the social war, and it must,
therefore, above all else, make sure that the working classes become
conscious of their interests and of their power." The great task of the
Socialists at the present time is the preparation of the social war of
the future, and not any effort to improve the capitalists' society. The
working classes are to be made conscious of _their own strength_--which
will surely not be brought about by any reforms which, however much they
may benefit the workers, favor equally or to a still greater degree the
capitalistic and governing classes.

The resolution continued: "The proletariat in a modern democratic State
cannot obtain political power accidentally. It can do so only when the
long and difficult work of the political and economic organization of
the proletariat is at an end, when its physical and moral regeneration
have been accomplished, and when more and more seats have been won in
municipal and other _legislative_ bodies.... But where the government is
centralized, political power cannot be obtained step by step." (The
italics are mine.)[198]

According to the proposer and mover of this resolution and its
supporters, nearly all, if not all, modern governments are at the bottom
centralized in one form or another. So the resolution amounts to saying
that political power cannot be obtained step by step. The election of
Socialist minorities in the legislatures can only be used to urge
capitalism on its work of bringing up the physical condition and
industrial productivity of the masses, and not for the purpose of
organizing and educating them with the object of seizing the reins of
power, of overthrowing capitalism, and revolutionizing the present form
of government.

The resolution adopted at the following International Congress at
Amsterdam (in 1904) was necessitated by certain ambiguities in the
former one. Yet Kautsky's explanation of his own meaning makes it quite
clear that even the Paris resolution was revolutionary in its intent,
and the Amsterdam Congresses, moreover, readopted its main proposition
that "the Social Democracy could not accept any participation in
government in capitalist society."

At this latter congress Jaurès's proposed reformist tactics were
definitely and finally rejected so that they have not even been
discussed at the later international gatherings. This was a critical
moment in the international movement; for it was about this time that
the tendency to opportunism was at its strongest, and this was the year
in which it was decided against Jaurès that all Millerands of the
future, impatient to seize immediate power in the name of Socialism, no
matter how sincerely they might hope in this way to benefit the
movement, should be looked upon as traitors to the cause. The _terms
upon which such power was secured or held_ were considered necessarily
to be such as to compromise the principles of the movement. Socialists
in high government positions, it was pointed out, by the very fact of
their acceptance of such responsibilities, become servants of a
capitalistic administration--and of the economic régime it supports.

Jaurès began his argument with the proposition that the difference
between Socialism and mere reform consisted in the fact that the former
alone worked for "a total realization of all reforms" and "the complete
transformation of capitalistic property into social property"--which is
merely the statement of Socialism as an ultimate ideal, now indorsed
even by many anti-Socialists. He next quoted Liebknecht to the effect
that there were only 200,000 individuals in Germany, and Guesde,
Jaurès's chief Socialist opponent in France, to the effect that the
number was the same in the latter country, who, on account of their
economic interests, were directly and completely opposed to Socialism;
and this being the case, he held that the task of the body of working
people already organized by the Socialists against capitalism, was
gradually to draw all but this 200,000 into the Socialist ranks. He
concluded that it was the duty of the Socialists to "ward off reaction,
to obtain reforms and to develop labor legislation" by the help of this
larger mass, which, when added to their own numbers, constituted 97 or
98 per cent of the population.

It goes without saying, replied the revolutionaries, that all Socialists
will lend their assistance to any elements of the population who are
fighting against reaction and in favor of labor legislation and reform,
but it does not follow that they should consider this the chief part of
their work, nor that they should even feel it necessary to claim that
the Socialists were _leading_ the non-Socialists in these matters.

In contrasting his section of the French Party with the German movement,
Jaurès claimed that the French were both more revolutionary than the
German, and more practical in their efforts at immediate reform. "You,"
he said, speaking to the Germans, "have neither a revolutionary nor a
parliamentary activity." He reminded them that having never had a
revolution they could not have a revolutionary tradition, that universal
suffrage had been given to them from above (by Bismarck), instead of
having been conquered from below, that they had been forced tamely to
submit when they had recently been robbed of it in Saxony. "You continue
in this way too often," he continued, "to obscure and to weaken, in the
German working class, the force of a revolutionary tradition already
too weak through historic causes." And finally he asserted that the
German Socialists, who, a year or so before this conference, had
obtained the enormous number of 3,000,000 votes, had been able to do
nothing with them in the Reichstag. He said that this was due in part to
the character of the German movement, as shaped by the circumstances of
the past, and partly to the fact that the Reichstag was powerless in the
German government, and claimed that they would have been only too glad
to follow the French reformists' course, if they could have done so,
just as their only reason for not using revolutionary measures was also
that the German government was too strong for them.

"Then," concluded Jaurès, "you do not know which road you will choose.
There was expected from you after this great victory a battle cry, a
program of action, a policy.

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: future, amsterdam, reform, capitalism, obtained, capitalist, against, capitalistic, democracy, engels
U V W X Y Z 

Your last read book:

You dont read books at this site.