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Either this will be done, or the "Socialist" Party which
continues to exist in a form dictated by its enemies, will be Socialist
in name only, and Socialists will reorganize--probably along the lines I
have suggested.

It would seem, then, that neither by an attack from without or from
within is the revolutionary character of Socialism or the essential
unity of the Socialist organization to be destroyed.

The departure from the Party of individuals or factions that had not
recognized its true nature, and were only there by some misunderstanding
or by local or temporary circumstances is a necessary part of the
process of growth. On the contrary, the Party is damaged only in case
these individuals and factions remain in the organization and become a
majority. The failure of those who represent the Party's fundamental
principles to maintain control, might easily prove fatal; with the
subordination of its principles the movement would disintegrate from
within. In fact, the possibility of the deliberate wrecking of the
Party in such circumstances, by enemies within its own ranks, has been
pointed out and greatly feared by Liebknecht and other representative
Socialists. This tendency, however, seems to be subsiding in those
countries in which the movement is most highly developed, such as
Germany and France.

FOOTNOTES:

[196] Quoted by Chairman Singer at the Congress of 1909.

[197] Quoted by _Vorwaerts_ (Berlin), Sept. 24, 1909.

[198] The proceedings of most of the German Party Congresses may be
obtained through the _Vorwaerts_ (Berlin), those of the International
and American Congresses from the Secretary of the Socialist Party, 180
Washington St., Chicago, Ill.

[199] Kautsky, "Der Aufstand in Baden," in the _Neue Zeit_, 1910, p.
624.

[200] The _Socialist Review_, April, 1909.

[201] The _Atlantic Monthly_, July, 1911.

[202] The _New York Call_, Jan. 6 and 8, 1912.

[203] The _New York Call_, Jan. 9, 1912.

[204] The _Socialist Review_ (London), April, 1909.

[205] "Parlamentarismus und Demokratie," 1911 edition, pp. 114-116.

[206] "Parlamentarismus und Demokratie," 1911 edition, pp. 14-15.




PART III

SOCIALISM IN ACTION




CHAPTER I

SOCIALISM AND THE "CLASS STRUGGLE"


Socialists have always taught that Socialism can develop only out of the
full maturity of capitalism, and so favor the normal advance of
capitalist industry and government and the reforms of capitalist
collectivism--on their constructive side. But if capitalism in its
highest form of "State Socialism" is the only foundation upon which the
Socialism can be built, it is at the same time that form of capitalism
which will prevail when Socialism reaches maturity and is ready for
decisive action; and it is, therefore, the very enemy against which the
Socialist hosts will have been drilled and the Socialist tactics
evolved.

The older capitalism, which professed to oppose all industrial
activities of the government, must disappear, but it is not the object
of attack, for the capitalists themselves will abandon it without
Socialist intervention in any form. Socialists have urged on this
evolution from the older to the newer capitalism by taking the field
against the reactionaries, but they do not, as a rule, claim that by
this action they are doing any more for Socialism than they are for
progressive capitalism.

Socialism can only do what capitalism, after it has reached its
culmination in State capitalism, leaves undone; namely, to take
effective measures to establish equal opportunity and abolish class
government. To accomplish this, Socialists realize they must reckon with
the resistance of every element of society that enjoys superior
opportunities or profits from capitalist government, and they must know
just which these elements are. It must be decided which of the
non-privileged classes are to be permanently relied upon in the fight
for this great change, to what point each will be ready to go, and of
what effective action it is capable. Next, the classes upon which it is
decided to rely must be brought together and organized. And, finally,
the individual members of these classes must be developed, by education
and social struggles, until they are able to overcome the resistance of
the classes now in control of industry and government.

The popular conviction that the very _existence_ of social classes is in
complete contradiction with the principles of democracy, no amount of
contrary teaching has been able to blot out. What has not been so
clearly seen is the active and constant _resistance_ of the privileged
classes to popular government and industrial democracy, _i.e._ the class
struggle.

"We have long rested comfortably in this country on the assumption,"
says Senator La Follette, "that because our form of government was
democratic, it was therefore automatically producing democratic results.
Now there is nothing mysteriously potent about the forms and names of
democratic institutions that should make them self-operative. Tyranny
and oppression are just as possible under democratic forms as under any
other. We are slowly realizing that democracy is a life, and involves
continual struggle."[207]

Senator La Follette fails only to note that this struggle to make
democracy a reality is not a struggle in the heart of the individual,
but between groups of individuals, that these groups are not formed by
differences of temperament or opinion, but by economic interests, and
that nearly every group falls into one of two great classes, those whose
interests are with and those whose interests are against the capitalists
and capitalist government.

Why is the sinister rôle of the upper classes not universally grasped?
Because the ideas and teachings of former generations still survive,
however much contradicted by present developments. At the time of the
American and French Revolutions and for nearly a century afterwards,
when political democracy was first securing a world-wide acceptance _as
an ideal_, it was looked upon as a creed which had only to be mentally
accepted in order to be forthwith applied to life. The only forces of
resistance were thought to be due to the ignorance or possibly to the
unregenerate moral character of the unconverted. The democratic faith
was accepted and propagated by the French and others almost exactly as
religion had been. As late as the middle of the last century this
conception of democracy, due to the wide diffusion of small and in many
localities approximately equal farms and small businesses, continued to
prevail.

About the middle of the nineteenth century the first advance was made.
It became recognized with the coming of railroads and steamships that
society could never become fixed as a Utopia or in any other form, but
must always be subject to change,--and the ideal of social evolution
gained a considerable acceptance even before the evolution theory had
been generally applied to biology. It was seen that if the ideal of
democracy was to become a reality, a certain degree of intellectual and
material development was required,--but it was thought that this
development was at hand. It was a period when wealth was rapidly
becoming more equally distributed, when plenty of free land remained,
and when it was commonly supposed that universal free trade and
universal peace were about to dawn upon the nations, and equal
opportunity, if not yet achieved, was not far away. The obstacles in the
way of progress were not the resistance of privileged classes, but the
time and labor required for mankind to conquer the world and nature.
With the establishment of so-called democratic and constitutional
republics in the place of monarchies and landlord aristocracies, and the
abolition of slavery in the United States, all systematic opposition to
social progress, except in the minds of a few perverted or criminal
individuals, was supposed to be at an end.

A generation or two ago, then, though it was now recognized that the
golden age could not be attained immediately by merely converting the
majority to a wise and beneficent social system (as had been proposed in
the first half of the century), yet it was thought that, with the
advance of science and the conquest of nature, and without any serious
civil strife, "equality of opportunity" was being gradually and rapidly
brought to all mankind. This state of mind has survived and is still
that of the majority to-day, when the conditions that have given rise to
it have disappeared.

Not all previous history has a greater economic change to show than the
latter half of the nineteenth century, which converted all the leading
countries from nations of small capitalists into nations of hired
employees. Even such a far-sighted and broad-minded statesman as
Lincoln, for example, had no idea of the future of his country, and
regarded the slaveowners and their supporters as the only classes that
dreamed that we could ever become a nation of "hired laborers" (the
capitalism of to-day), any more than we could remain in part a nation of
"bought laborers." Lincoln puts a society based on hired labor in the
same class with a society based on owned labor, on the ground that both
lead to an effort "to place capital on an equal footing, if not above
labor in the structure of the government." This effort, marked by the
proposal of "the abridgment of the existing right of suffrage and the
denial to the people of the right to participate in the selection of
public officers except the legislative" (so similar to tendencies
prevailing to-day), he calls "returning despotism." And so inevitable
did it seem to Lincoln that a nation based on hired labor would evolve a
despotic government, that he fell back on the fact that the population
was composed chiefly not of laborers, but of small capitalists, and
would probably remain so constituted, as the only convincing ground that
our political democracy would last. In a word, our greatest statesman
recognized that our political democracy and liberty were based on the
wide distribution of the land and other forms of capital.



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Keywords: thought, without, change, principles, to-day, laborers, advance, interests, evolution, nation
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