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He again mentions Imperialism as the great issue that
forbids even temporary co÷peration between Socialists and the most
advanced of the Radicals. But he admits that the rapid development of
China and other Eastern countries will probably check the profits to be
made by Europe and America from their economic development. And after
Imperialism begins to wane in popularity among certain of the middle
classes, _i.e._ the salaried and professional classes, he thinks the
latter _may_ turn to genuine democratic, though capitalistic,

He reaches this conclusion with some hesitation, however. These new
middle classes differ fundamentally from the older middle classes, which
were composed chiefly of small farmers, shopkeepers, and artisans. The
old middle classes, when they found themselves in a hopeless position,
have often joined with the proletariat to bring about revolutions, only
to betray it, however, after they had won. The new middle class is most
dependent on the large capitalists for favor and promotion, and so is
not in the least revolutionary. It does not care to fight with the
proletariat until the latter becomes very strong, but when victory seems
possible, by a concerted action will be ready, because of its lack of
property, to stand steadfastly for Socialism.

The question remains as to when such a Socialist victory will be
imminent. Kautsky holds that as soon as Imperialism fails as a
propaganda, the ground is ready for Socialism to flourish, and that the
new middle class then divides into two parts, one of which remains
reactionary, while the other becomes Socialistic (_Berliner Vorwaerts_,
February 25, 1912).

I have shown that after Imperialism, on the contrary, we may expect a
temporarily successful Liberal policy based on capitalistic
collectivism, and even on complete political democracy, where the small
farmers are sufficiently numerous. This view would accord with the
latest opinion of Kautsky, except that he expects the new policy to be
supported chiefly by the salaried and professional classes. I have
proved, on the contrary, that it is to the economic interest also of all
those capitalists, whether large or small, who are deeply rooted in the
capitalist system and therefore want its evolution to continue. In favor
of "State Socialism," therefore, will be found most active trust
magnates, the prosperous middle and upper groups of farmers, and those
remaining capitalists who either through their economic or through
their _political_ position have no cause to be alarmed at the present
concentration of capital. Against the collectivist tendency will be all
those capitalists who want to compete with trusts, city landlords, and
real estate dealers, and financial magnates whose power consists largely
in their control over the wealth of inactive large capitalists or small

Kautsky has begun to see that a progressive capitalistic policy _may_
take hold of the professional and salaried classes in Germany; he would
probably not deny that in many other countries it is being taken up by
certain groups of capitalists also, and that this same tendency may soon
be seen in Germany. And when it is, the German Socialists will obviously
be less anxious about the fate of much-needed reforms, will find
themselves able more frequently to trust these reforms to capitalistic
progressives, and will give themselves over more largely than ever to
the direct preparation of the masses for the overthrow of capitalist

That is to say, the Socialist movement, like all the other forces of
individual and social life, becomes more aggressive as it becomes
stronger--and it is, indeed, inexplicable how the opposite view has
spread among its opponents.

Not only does it seem that the German movement is showing little or no
tendency to relax the radical nature of its demands, but it does not
appear that its enemies are, for the present at least, to be given the
satisfaction of seeing even a minority split off from the main body.
That a split may occur in the future is not improbable, but if the
movement continues to grow as it has grown, it can afford to lose many
minorities, just as it has suffered comparatively little damage from the
desertion of several prominent individual figures.

It is true that the division of opinion in the Party might now be
sharper but for the artificial unity created by the great fight for a
more democratic form of government that lies immediately ahead. If the
needed reforms are granted without any very revolutionary proceedings on
the part of the Socialists, as similar reforms were granted in Austria,
the Party might then conceivably divide into two parts, in which case it
is probable that a majority of the four million Socialist _voters_ might
go with the anti-revolutionist and reform wing, but it is equally
probable that a large majority of the Party members--now nearly a
million (including women)--would go with the revolutionists. In case of
a split, the reform wing of the party, already in the friendliest
relations with the non-Socialist radicals, would doubtless join with
them to constitute a very powerful, semidemocratic party, similar to the
Radicals and Labourites of Great Britain or the so-called "Socialist
Radicals" and "Independent Socialists," who dominate the Parliament of
France. Besides a difference in ideals, which counts for little in
practical politics,--for nothing, in the extremely opportunist policies
of the "reformists,"--the only difference of importance between them is
in their attitude towards militarism and war. If peace is firmly
established with France, it is difficult to see what can keep the
reformers and the "reformists" of Germany much longer apart.

A more or less "State Socialistic" Party, such as would result from this
fusion would, of course, involve concessions by both sides. While the
non-Socialist "reformers" would have to adopt a more aggressive attitude
in their fight for a certain measure of democracy and against
militarism, and would have to be ready to defend the rights of the more
conservative labor unions, the "reformists" would have to take up a
still more active interest in colonies and still further their
republicanism. Many of them have already gone far in these directions.
Colonialism even had the upper hand among the Germans at the Stuttgart
Congress (1907); and the tendency of the South Germans to break the
Socialist tradition and tacitly to accept monarchy by participation in
court functions is one of the most common causes of recrimination in the
German Party. It is difficult, then, to see how these two movements can
long keep apart. The only question is whether, when the time comes,
individuals or minorities will leave the Socialist Party for this
purpose, or whether in some of the States the Party organization will be
captured as a whole, leaving only a minority to form a new Socialist

"It is a well-known fact," says W. C. Dreher, expressing the
prevalent view of the German movement, "that, for some years, many
voters have been helping those who by no means subscribe to the
Socialists' creed,--doing so as the most effective means of
protecting against the general policy of the government. It is
equally certain that a large part of the regular Socialist
membership is composed of discontented men who have but a lukewarm
interest in collectivism, or believe that it can never be
realized.... If a change should come over Germany, if Prussia
should get rid of its plutocratic suffrage reform and give real
ballot reform, if the protective duties should be reduced in the
interest of the poorest class of consumers,--it may be safely
assumed that the tide of Socialism would soon begin to ebb."[201]

If Mr. Dreher had added the reduction of military burdens to tariff
reform and equal Reichstag election districts, an extended suffrage
for Prussia, and a responsible ministry, there would have been at
least this truth in his statement--that _if all these things were
accomplished_, the tide of Socialist _votes_ would for the moment
be checked. His interpretation of the situation, however, is
typical of the illogical statements now so commonly made concerning
the growth of the German movement. That political tide which is
wrongly assumed to be wholly Socialist would indeed be suddenly and
greatly checked; but there is no reason to suppose that the
Socialist tide proper, as indicated by growth of the Socialist
Party membership, would be checked, nor that the Socialist vote
even, after having been purified of the accidental accretions,
which are its greatest hindrance, would rise less rapidly than

The German Socialist situation is important internationally for the
decisive defeat of the "revisionists," and for the light it throws on
party unity, but it is still more important for the _means_ that have
been adopted for preserving that unity. If Socialist parties are to
reconstruct society, they must first control their own members in all
matters of common concern, especially those who are elected to public
office. For before a new society can arise against the resistance of the
old, the Socialist parties, according to the prevailing Socialist view,
must form a "State within a State."

This principle is soon to be put to a severe test in the United States.
The policy which says that the Socialist movement must be directed by
organized Socialists, who can be taxed, called on for labor, or expelled
by the Party, and not by mere voters, over whom the Party has no
control, becomes of the first moment when forms and methods of
organization are prescribed for all parties by law. By the primary laws
of a number of States, anybody who for any reason has voted for
Socialist candidates may henceforth have a voice not only in selecting
candidates, but in forming the party organization, and in constructing
its platform. In some States even, any citizen may vote at any primary
he pleases.

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Keywords: political, control, voters, parties, themselves, farmers, little, kautsky, organization, reformists
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