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Title: Socialism and Democracy in Europe
Author: Orth, Samuel Peter, 1873-1922
Language: English
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  _Author of "Five American Politicians" "Centralization of
  Administration in Ohio," etc._




  Published January, 1913



It is becoming more and more evident that democracy has served only
the first years of its apprenticeship. Political problems have served
only to introduce popular government. The economic problems now
rushing upon us will bring the real test of democracy.

The workingman has taken an advanced place in the struggle for the
democratization of industry. He has done so, first, through the
organization of labor unions; secondly, through the development of
political parties--labor parties. The blend of politics and economics
which he affects is loosely called Socialism. The term is as
indefinite in meaning as it is potent in influence. It has spread its
unctuous doctrines over every industrial land, and its representatives
sit in every important parliament, including our Congress.

Such a movement requires careful consideration from every point of

It is the object of this volume to trace briefly the growth of the
movement in four leading European countries, and to attempt to
determine the relation of economic and political Socialism to
democracy--a question of peculiar interest to the friends of the
American Republic at this time.

In preparing this volume, the author has made extended visits to the
countries studied. He has tried to catch the spirit of the movement by
personal contact with the Socialist leaders and their antagonists,
and by many interviews with laboring men, the rank and file in every
country visited.

Everywhere he was received with the greatest cordiality, and he wishes
here to express his appreciation of these many kindnesses.

He wishes especially to acknowledge his obligations to the following
gentlemen: Mr. Graham Wallas of the University of London; Mr. W.G.
Towler of the London Municipal Society; Mr. John Hobson of London, and
Mr. J.S. Middleton, assistant secretary of the Labor Party; to Dr.
Robert Herz and Prof. Charles Gide of the University of Paris; Dr.
Albert Thomas and M. Adolphe Landry of the Chamber of Deputies; M.
Jean Longuet, editor of _L'Humanité_; to Dr. Franz Oppenheimer of the
University of Berlin; Dr. Südekum of the Reichstag; Dr. Hilferding,
editor of _Vorwärts_; Prof. T.H. Norton, American Consul at Chemnitz;
M. Camille Huysmans, secretary of the "International," Brussels; as
well as to many American friends for providing letters of introduction
which opened many useful and congenial doorways.

  January, 1913.


CHAPTER                                                      PAGE

     I. WHY DOES SOCIALISM EXIST?                               1

    II. THE DEVELOPMENT OF SOCIALISM                           17

   III. The Political Awakening of Socialism--The Period
        of Revolution                                          42

        INTERNATIONAL                                          56

     V. THE SOCIALIST PARTY OF FRANCE                          75

    VI. THE BELGIAN LABOR PARTY                               118

   VII. THE GERMAN SOCIAL DEMOCRACY                           146


    IX. THE ENGLISH LABOR PARTY                               207

     X. CONCLUSION                                            250

        APPENDIX                                              273

        INDEX                                                 347




The answer to this question will bring us nearer to the core of the
social movement than any attempted definition. The French Socialist
program begins with the assertion, "Socialism is a question of class."
Class distinction is the generator of Socialism.

The ordinary social triptych--upper, middle, and lower classes--will
not suffice us in our inquiry. We must distinguish between the
functions of the classes. The upper class is a remnant of the feudal
days, of the manorial times, when land-holding brought with it social
distinction and political prerogative. In this sense we have no upper
class in America. The middle class is composed of the business and
professional element, and the lower class of the wage-earning element.

There are two words, as yet quite unfamiliar to American readers,
which are met with constantly in European works on Socialism and are
heard on every hand in political discussions--_proletariat_ and
_bourgeois_. The proletariat are the wage-earning class, the poor,
the underlings. The bourgeois[1] are roughly the middle class. The
French divide them into _petits_ bourgeois and _grands_ bourgeois.
Werner Sombart divides them into lower middle class, the manual
laborers who represent the guild system, and bourgeoisie, the
representatives of the capitalistic system.[2]

It will thus be seen that these divisions have a historical basis. The
upper class reflect the days of feudalism, of governmental prerogative
and aristocracy. The middle class are the representatives of the guild
and mercantile systems, when hand labor and later business acumen
brought power and wealth to the craftsman and adventurer. The lower
class are the homologues of the slaves, the serfs, the toilers, whose
reward has constantly been measured by the standard of bare existence.
Socialism arises consciously out of the efforts of this class to win
for itself a share of the powers of the other classes. It is necessary
to understand that while this class distinction is historic in origin
it is essentially economic in fact. It is not "social"; a middle-class
millionaire may be congenial to the social circles of the high-born.
It is not political; a workingman may vote with any party he chooses.
He may ally himself with the conservative Center as he sometimes does
in Germany, or with the Liberal Party as he sometimes does in England,
or with either of the old parties as he does in the United States. On
the other hand, a bourgeois may be a Socialist and vote with the
proletarians. Indeed, many of the Socialist leaders belong to the
well-to-do middle class.

This class distinction, then, is economic. It is a distinction of
function, the function of the capitalist and the function of the
wage-earner. Let us go one step further; it is a distinction in
property. The possessor of private wealth can become a capitalist by
investing his money in productive enterprise. He then becomes the
employer of labor. There are all grades of capitalists, from the
master wagon-maker who works by the side of his one or two workmen, to
the "captain" of a vast industry that gives employment to thousands of
men and turns out a wagon a minute.

The institution of private property is the basis of Socialism because
it is the basis of capitalistic production. It places in one man's
hands the power of owning raw material, machinery, land, factory, and
finished product; and the power of hiring men to operate the
machinery, and to convert the raw material into marketable wares. As
long as this power was limited to hand industry the proletarian
movement was abortive. When the industrial revolution linked the
ingenuity of man to the power of nature it so multiplied the potency
of the possessor that the proletarian movement by stress of
circumstances became a great factor in industrial life.

While the possession either of wealth or family tradition was always
the basis of class distinction, the industrial revolution brought with
it the enormously multiplied power of capital and the glorification of
riches. The proletarians multiplied rapidly in number, and all the
evils of sharp class distinction were heightened. In all lands where
capitalistic production spread, the two classes grew farther apart,
the distinction between possessor and wage-earner increased.

It is not the mere possession of wealth, however, which forms the
animus of the Socialist movement. It is probably not even the abuse of
this wealth, although this is a large factor in the problem. It is the
psychological effect of the capitalist system that is the real
enginery of Socialism. It is the class feeling, the consciousness of
the workingman that he is contributing muscle and blood and sweat to
the perfection of an article whose possession he does not share. This
feeling is aroused by the contrasts of life that the worker constantly
sees around him. He feels that his own life energy has contributed to
the magnificent equipages and the palatial luxuries of his employer.
He compares his own lot and that of his family with the lot of the
capitalist. This feeling of envy is not blunted by the kaleidoscopic
suddenness with which changes of fortune can take place in America
to-day. By some stroke of luck or piece of ingenious planning, a
receiver of wages to-day may be the giver of wages to-morrow.

Nor does the spread of education and intelligence dull the contrasts.
It greatly heightens them. The workman can now begin to analyze the
conditions under which he lives. He ponders over the distinctions that
are actual and contrasts them with his imagined utopia. To him the
differences between employer and employee are not natural. He does not
attribute them to any fault or shortcoming or inferiority of his own,
nor of his master, but to a flaw in the organization of society. The
social order is wrong.

The workingman has become the critic. Here you have the heart of
Socialism. Whatever form its outward aspect may take, at heart it is a
rebellion against things as they are. And whatever may be the
syllogisms of its logic, or the formularies of its philosophy, they
all begin with a grievance, that things as they are are wrong; and
they all end in a hope for a better society of to-morrow where the
inequalities shall somehow be made right.

In his struggle toward a new economic ideal, the proletarian has
achieved a class homogeneity and self-consciousness. The individuality
that is denied him in industry he has sought and found among his own
brethren. In the great factory he loses even his name and becomes
number so-and-so. In his union and in his party he asserts his
individuality with a grim and impressive stubbornness. The gravitation
of common ideals and common protests draws these forgotten particles
of industrialism into a massed consciousness that is to-day one of the
world's great potencies. The very fact that we call this body of
workers "the masses" is significant. We speak of them as a geologist
speaks of his "basement complex." We recognize unconsciously that they
form the foundation of our economic life.

The class struggle, then, is between two clearly defined and
self-conscious elements in modern industrial life that are the natural
product of our machine industry. On the one hand is the business man
pursuing with fevered energy the profits that are the goal of his
activity; on the other hand are the workingmen who, more and more
sullen in their discontent, are clamoring louder each year for a
greater share of the wealth they believe their toil creates.

There is some reason to believe that this class basis of Socialism is
vanishing. In England J. Ramsay MacDonald denies its significance.[3]
Revisionists and progressive Socialists, who are throwing aside the
Marxian dogmas, are also preaching the universality of the Socialist
conception. However, the economic factor based on class functions
remains the essence of the social movement.[4]

What are the ideals of Socialism? They are not merely economic or
social, they embrace all life. After one has taken the pains to read
the more important mass of Socialist literature, books, pamphlets, and
some current newspapers and magazines, and has listened to their
orators and talked with their leaders, confusion still remains in the
mind. The movement is so all-embracing that it has no clearly defined
limits. The Socialists are feeling their way from protest into
practice. Their heads are in the clouds; of this you are certain as
you proceed through their books and listen to their speeches. But are
their feet upon the earth?

For a literature of protest against "suffering, misery, and
injustice," as Owen calls it, there is a wonderful buoyancy and hope
in their words. It is one of the secrets of its power that Socialism
is not the energy of despair. It is the demand for the right to live
fully, joyfully, and in comfort. The Socialists demand ozone in their
air, nutrition in their food, heartiness in their laughter, ease in
their homes, and their days must have hours of relaxation.

The awakening aspirations of the proletarian were expressed by one of
their own number, William Weitling, a tailor of Magdeburg. He
afterwards migrated to America and became one of our first Socialist
agitators. His book is called _Garantieen der Harmonie und Freiheit_
(Guaranties of Harmony and Liberty). The book is illogical, full of
contradictions, and all of the errors of a child's reasoning. But it
remains the workingman's classic philippic, one of the most trenchant
recitals of social wrongs, because it blends, with the illogical
terminology of sentimentalism, the assurance of hope. "Property," he
says, "is the root of all evil." Gold is the symbol of this world of
wrongs. "We have become as accustomed to our coppers as the devil to
his hell." When the rule of gold shall cease, then "the teardrops
which are the tokens of true brotherliness will return to the dry eyes
of the selfish, the soul of the evildoer will be filled with noble and
virtuous sentiments such as he had never known before, and the impious
ones who have hitherto denied God will sing His praise." The humble
tailor is assured that the reign of property will be terminated and
the age of humanity begin, and he calls to the workingman, "Forward,
brethren; with the curse of Mammon on our lips, let us await the hour
of our emancipation, when our tears will be transmuted into pearls of
dew, our earth transformed into a paradise, and all of mankind united
into one happy family."[5] Nor is the closing cry of his book without
an element of prophecy. He addresses the "mighty ones of this earth,"
admonishing them that they may secure the fame of Alexander and
Napoleon by the deeds of emancipation which lie in their power. "But
if you compel us (the proletarians) to undertake the task alone with
our raw material, then it will be accomplished only after weary toil
and pain to us and to you."

Let us turn to Robert Owen, who was at an early age the most
successful cotton spinner in England. He adapted an old philosophy to
a new humanitarianism. He saw that a "gradual increase in the number
of our paupers has accompanied our increasing wealth."[6] He began the
series of experiments which made his name familiar in England and
America and made him known in history as the greatest experimental
communist. His experiments have failed. But his hopefulness persists.
In his address delivered at the dedication of New Lanark, 1816, he
said that he had found plenty of unhappiness and plenty of misery.
"But from this day a change must take place; a new era must commence;
the human intellect, through the whole extent of the earth, hitherto
enveloped by the grossest ignorance and superstition, must begin to be
released from its state of darkness; nor shall nourishment henceforth
be given to the seeds of disunion and division among men. For the time
has come when the means may be prepared to train all the nations of
the world in that knowledge which shall _impel them not only to love
but to be actively kind to each other in the whole of their conduct,
without a single exception_."

Here is an all-inclusive hopefulness. Its significance is not
diminished by the fact that it was spoken of his own peculiar remedy
by education and environment.

This faith and hope runs through all their books like a golden song.
Excepting Marx, he was the great gloomy one. Even those who condemn
modern society with the most scathing adjectives link with their
denunciations the most sanguine sentences of hope.

The Christian Socialism of Kingsley is filled with optimism. "Look up,
my brother Christians, open your eyes, the hour of a new crusade has

The song of the new crusade was sung by Robert Morris:

    "Come, shoulder to shoulder ere the world grows older!
      Help lies in naught but thee and me;
    Hope is before us, the long years that bore us,
      Bore leaders more than men may be.

    "Let dead hearts tarry and trade and marry,
      And trembling nurse their dreams of mirth,
    While we, the living, our lives are giving
      To bring the bright new world to birth."

This song of hope is sung to-day by thousands of marching Socialists.
Their bitter experiences in parliaments and in strikes, and all the
warfare of politics and trade, have not blighted their rosy hope. They
are still looking forward to "the bright new world," in which a new
social order shall reign.

Linked with this optimism is a certain prophetic tone, an elevation of
spirit that lifts some of their books out of the commonplace. The
sincerity of these prophets of Socialism contributes this quality more
than does their originality of mind.

In their search for happiness the Socialists see a great barrier in
their way. The barrier is want, poverty. There are no greater
contrasts, mental and temperamental, than between John Stuart Mill,
the erudite economist and philosopher, and H.G. Wells, the romancer
and sentimental critic of things as they are. Both begin their attacks
upon the social order at the same point--the vulnerable spot,
_poverty_. Mill places it first in his category of existing evils. He
asks, "What proportion of the population in the most civilized
countries of Europe enjoy, in their own person, anything worth naming
of the benefits of property?" "Suffice it to say that the condition of
numbers in civilized Europe, and even in England and France, is more
wretched than that of most tribes of savages who are known to us."[8]

Wells bases his racy criticism in his popular book, _New Worlds for
Old_, on the facts revealed in the reports of various charity
organizations in Edinburgh, York, and London. To both the exacting
economist and the popular expositor of Socialism, poverty is the
glaring fault of our social system. To Wells poverty is an "atrocious
failure in statesmanship."[9] To Mill it is "_pro tanto_ a failure of
the social arrangement."[10]

These examples are typical. Every school of Socialism finds in poverty
the curse, in private property the cause, of human misery, and in a
readjusted machinery of social production the hope of human

All Socialists, learned and unlearned, agree that poverty is the
stumbling-block in the pathway to better social conditions. They all
agree as to the causes of poverty: first, private capitalistic
production; second, competition. It is private capitalistic production
that enables the employer to pocket all the profits; it is competition
that enables him to buy labor in an open market at the lowest possible
price, a price regulated by the necessities of bare existence. To the
Socialist, competition is anarchy, an anarchy that leaves "every man
free to ruin himself so that he may ruin another."[11]

To do away with private capital and to abolish competition means
bringing about a tremendous change in society. All Socialists
unhesitatingly and with boldness are ready, even eager, to make such a
change. The problem is not insuperable to them.

The three theories that underlie Socialism permit the hope of the
possibility of a social regeneration. These theories are, first, that
God made the world good, hence all you need to do is to revert to this
pristine goodness and the world is reformed. Second, that society is
what it is through evolution. If this is true then it is only
necessary to control by environment the factors of evolution and the
product will be preordained. Third, that even if man is bad and has
permitted pernicious institutions like private property to exist, he
can remake society by a bold effort, i.e., by revolution, because all
social power is vested in man and he can do as he likes. The ruling
class can impose its social order upon all. When the Socialist becomes
the ruling class his social system will be adopted.

This great change which the Socialist has in mind means the
substitution of co-operation for competition and the placing of
productive property in the care of the state or of society, instead
of letting it remain under the domination of individuals. To abolish
private productive capital by making it public, to establish a
communistic instead of a competitive society, that is the object.

In the Socialist's new order of society, where poverty will be
unknown, there is to be a common bond. This bond is not possession,
but work. With glowing exultation all the expositors and exhorters of
the proletarian movement dwell upon the blessedness of toil. They
glorify man, not through his inheritance of personality, certainly not
through his possession of things, but through his achievements of

When all members of society work at useful occupations, then all the
necessary things can be done in a few hours. Six or four, or some even
say two, hours a day will be sufficient to do all the drudgery and the
essential things in a well-organized human beehive. There is to be
nothing morose or despondent in this toil. It is all to be done to the
melody of good cheer and willingness.

How is this great change to come about, and what is to be the exact
organization of society under this regime of work and co-operation?
Here unanimity ceases. As a criticism Socialism is unanimous, as a
method it is divided, as a reconstructive process it is hopelessly at

At first Socialists were utopians, then they became revolutionists.
This was natural. Socialism was born in an air of revolution--the
political revolutions of the bourgeois, and the infinitely greater
industrial revolution. The tides of change and passion were rocking
the foundations of state and industry. The evils in early
industrialism were abhorrent. Small children and their mothers were
forced into factories, pauperism was thriving, the ugly machine-fed
towns were replacing the quaint and cheerful villages, rulers were
forgetting their duties in their greed for gain, and the state was
persecuting men for their political and economic opinions. Every face
was turned against the preachers of the new order, and they naturally
thought that the change could be brought about only by violence and
revolution. Louis Blanc said "a social revolution ought to be tried:

"Firstly, because the present social system is too full of iniquity,
misery, and turpitude to exist much longer.

"Secondly, because there is no one who is not interested, whatever his
position, rank, and fortune, in the inauguration of a new social

"Thirdly, and lastly, because this revolution, so necessary, is
possible, even easy to accomplish peacefully."[12]

These are the naïve words of a young man of thirty-seven, the youngest
member of the ill-fated revolutionary government of France in 1848.
Not every one thought that the revolution could be peacefully
accomplished, and, it must be admitted, few seemed to care.

In their "Communist Manifesto," the most noted of all Socialist
broadsides, Marx and Engels know of no peaceful revolution. They close
with these virile words: "The communists disdain to conceal their
views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained
only by the forcible overthrow of all existing conditions. Let the
ruling classes tremble at a communistic revolution. The proletarians
have nothing to lose but their chains. They have the world to win.
Workingmen of all countries, unite!"

These words are often quoted even in these placid days of evolution
that have replaced the red days of violence. The workingmen of all
countries are uniting, as we shall see, not for bloody revolution nor
for the violence of passion, but for the promulgation of peace. To-day
the silent coercion of multitudes is taking the place of the eruptive
methods of the '40's and the '70's.

As to the ultimate form of organized society, there is nothing but
confusion to be found in the mass of literature that has grown up
around the subject. The earliest writers were cocksure of themselves;
the latest ones bridge over the question with wide-arching
generalities. I have asked many of their leaders to give me some hint
as to what form their Society of To-morrow will take. Every one
dodged. "No one can tell. It will be humanitarian and co-operative."

If one could be assured of this!

Finally, all Socialists agree in the instrument of change. It lies at
hand as the greatest co-operative achievement of our race, the state.
It is the common possession of all, and it is the one power that can
lay its hands upon property and compel its obedience. The power of the
state is to be the dynamo of change. This state is naturally to be
democratic. The people shall hold the reins of power in their own

It must be remembered that every year sees a shifting in the
Socialist's attitude. As he has left the sphere of mere fault-finding
and of dreaming, and has entered politics, entered the labor war
through unions, and the business war through co-operative societies,
he has been compelled to adapt himself to the necessities of things as
they are.

I have tried briefly to show that Socialism originated as a class
movement, a proletarian movement; that the classes, wage-earner and
capitalist, are the natural outcome of machine production; that
Socialism is one of the natural products of the antagonistic relations
that these two classes at present occupy; that Socialism intends to
eliminate this antagonism by eliminating the private employer. I have
tried to show also that Socialism is a criticism of the present social
order placing the blame for the miseries of society upon the shoulders
of private property and competition; that it is optimistic in spirit,
buoyant in hope; and that its program of reconstruction is confused
and immature.

Stripped of its glamour, our society is in a neck-to-neck race for
things, for property. Its hideousness has shocked the sensibilities of
dreamers and humanitarians. Our machine industry has produced a
civilization that is ugly. It is natural that the esthetic and
philanthropic members of this society should raise their protest.
Ruskin and Anatole France and Maeterlinck and Carlyle and Robert
Morris and Emerson and Grierson are read with increasing satisfaction.
It is natural that the participants in this death race should utter
their cries of alternate despair and hope. Socialism is the cry of the
toiler. It is not to be ignored. We in America have no conception of
its potency. There are millions of hearts in Europe hanging upon its
precepts for the hope that makes life worth the fight.

Their Utopia may be only a rainbow, a mirage in the mists on the
horizon. But the energy which it has inspired is a reality. It has
organized the largest body of human beings that the world has known.
Its international Socialist movement has but one rival for homogeneity
and zeal, the Church, whose organization at one time embraced all
kingdoms and enlisted the faithful service of princes and paupers.

It is this reality in its political form which I hope to set forth in
the following pages. We will try to discover what the Socialist
movement is doing in politics, how much of theory has been merged in
political practice, what its everyday parliamentary drudgery is, and,
if possible, to tell in what direction the movement is tending.

Before we do this it is necessary to state briefly the history of the
underlying theories of the movement.


[1] "By bourgeoisie is meant the class of modern capitalists, owners
of the means of social production, and employers of wage-labor. By
proletariat, the class of modern wage-laborers, who, having no means
of production of their own, are reduced to selling their labor power
in order to live."--FREDERICK ENGELS, _Notes on the Communist
Manifesto_, 1888.

[2] See SOMBART, _Socialism and the Social Movement_, Introduction,
for discussion of the class movement.

[3] _The Socialist Movement_, p. 147.

[4] The all-embracing character of Socialism was eloquently phrased by
Millerand in 1896: "In its large synthesis Socialism embraces every
manifestation of life, because nothing human is alien to it, because
it alone offers to-day to our hunger for justice and happiness an
ideal, purely human and apart from all dogma." See ENSOR, _Modern
Socialism_, p. 53.

[5] _Garantieen der Harmonie und Freiheit_, pp. 57-58, edition of

[6] Letter I, addressed to David Ricardo.

[7] Tract No. IV.

[8] _Socialism_, pp. 71-72.

[9] WELLS, _New Worlds for Old_, p. 36.

[10] MILL, _Socialism_, p. 72.

[11] LOUIS BLANC, _The Right to Labor_, p. 63.

[12] _Organization of Labor_, p. 87, 1847.




Socialism began in France, that yeast-pot of civilization. It began
while the Revolution was still filling men's minds with a turbulent
optimism that knew no limit to human "progress."

Saint-Simon (Count Henri de) may be considered the founder of French
Socialism. He was of noble lineage, born in 1760, and died in 1825. He
took very little part in the French Revolution, but was a soldier in
our Continental army, and always manifested a keen interest in
American affairs. Possessed of an inquiring mind, an ambitious spirit,
and a heart full of sympathy for the oppressed, he devoted himself to
the study of society for the purpose of elaborating a scheme for
universal human betterment.

Before he began his special studies he amassed a modest fortune in
land speculation. Not that he loved money, he assures us, but because
he wished independence and leisure to do his chosen work. This money
was soon lost, through unfortunate experiments and an unfortunate
marriage, and the most of his days were spent in penury.

He attracted to himself a number of the most brilliant young men in
France, among them De Lesseps who subsequently carried out one of the
plans of his master, the Suez Canal; and Auguste Comte, who embodied
in his positivism the philosophical teachings of Saint-Simon.

Saint-Simon believed that society needed to be entirely reorganized on
a "scientific basis," and that "the whole of society ought to labor
for the amelioration of the moral and physical condition of the
poorest class. Society ought to organize itself in the manner the most
suitable for the attainment of this great end."[1]

The two counteracting motives or spirits in society are the spirit of
antagonism and the spirit of association. Hitherto the spirit of
antagonism has prevailed, and misery has resulted. Let the spirit of
association rule, and the evils will vanish.

Under the rule of antagonism, property has become the possession of
the few, poverty and misery the lot of the many. Both property and
poverty are inherited, therefore the state should abolish all laws of
inheritance, take all property under its dominion, and let society be
the sole proprietor of the instruments of labor and of the fund that
labor creates.

Through the teachings of Saint-Simon runs a constant stream of
religious fervor. In Christianity he found the moral doctrine that
gave sanction to his social views. He sought the primitive
Christianity, stripped of the dogmas and opinions of the centuries. In
his principal work, _Nouveau Christianisme_ (New Christianity), he
subjects the teachings of Catholicism and Protestantism to ingenious
criticism, and finds in the teachings of Christ the essential moral
elements necessary for a society based on the spirit of association.

Saint-Simon was a humanitarian rather than a systematic thinker. His
analysis of society is ingenious rather than constructive. His
teachings were elaborated by his followers, who organized themselves
into a school called the "Sacred College of the Apostles," with Bazard
and Enfantin as their leaders. They were accused, in the Chamber of
Deputies, of promulgating communism of property and wives. Their
defense, dated October, 1830, and issued as a booklet, is the best
exposition of their views. They said that: "We demand that land,
capital, and all the instruments of labor shall become common
property, and be so managed that each one's portion shall correspond
to his capacity, and his reward to his labors." "Like the early
Christians, we demand that one man should be united to one woman, but
we teach that the wife should be the equal of the husband."

On the question of marriage, however, the sect split soon after this
defense was written. Enfantin became a defender of free love, and
inaugurated a fantastic sacerdotalism which drove Bazard from the
"Sacred College."[2]

The second French social philosopher of the Utopian school was
François Marie Charles Fourier (1772-1837). He was a bourgeois, son of
a draper, and brought as keen an intellect as did his noble
fellow-countryman, Saint-Simon, to the analysis of society, and a much
more practical experience. In his youth he had been employed in
various business enterprises. He recalls, in his works, several
experiences which he never forgot. As a lad, he was reproached for
telling a prospective customer the truth about some goods in his
father's shop. When a young man of twenty-seven he was sent to
Marseilles to superintend the destruction of great cargoes of rice
that had been held for higher prices, during a period of scarcity of
food when thousands of people were suffering from hunger. The rice had
spoiled in the waiting. The event made so profound an impression upon
his mind that he resolved to devote his life to the betterment of an
economic system that allowed such wanton waste.

To his mind the problem of rebuilding society was practical, not
metaphysical. But underlying his practical solution was a fantastic
cosmogony and psychology. He reduced everything to a mathematical
system, and even computed the number of years the world would spin on
its axis. He believed that God created a good world, and that man has
desecrated it; that the function of the social reformer is to
understand the design of the Creator, and call mankind back to this
original plan, back to the original impulses and passions, and
primitive goodness.

This could be done only under ideal environment. Such an environment
he proposed to create in huge caravansaries, which he called
phalansteries. Each group, or phalange, was composed of 400 families,
or 1,800 persons, living on a large square of land, where they could
be self-contained and self-sufficient, like the manors in the feudal
days. The phalanstery was built in the middle of the tract, and was
merely a glorified apartment house. Every one chose to do the work he
liked best. Agriculture and manufacture were to be happily blended,
and individual freedom given full sway. Each phalange was designed to
be an ideal democracy, electing its officers and governing itself. The
principle of freedom was to extend even to marriage and the relation
of the sexes.

It was Fourier's belief that one such phalange once established would
so impress the world with its superiority that society would be glad
to imitate it. Ere long there would be groups of phalanges
co-operating with each other, and ultimately the whole world would be
brought into one vast federation of phalanges, with their chief center
at Constantinople.

The general plan of this apartment-house utopia lent itself to all
sorts of fantastic details. It gained adherents among the learned, the
eager, and even the rich, and a number of experiments were tried. All
of these have failed, I think, excepting only the community at Guise,
founded by Jean Godin. Here, however, the fantasies have been
eliminated, and the strong controlling force of the founder has made
it prosperous. There is no agriculture connected with the Guise

A number of Fourier colonies, most of them modifications of his
phalanstery idea, were started in the United States. Of thirty-four
such experiments tried in America all have failed. The most famous of
these attempts was Brook Farm.[3]

Robert Owen (1771-1858) was the great English utopian. He was the son
of a small trader. Such was his business ability and tenacity of
character that at nineteen years of age he was superintendent of a
cotton mill that employed 500 hands. His business acumen soon made him
rich, his philanthropic impulses led him to study the conditions of
the people who worked for him. In 1800 he took charge of the mills at
New Lanark. There he had under him as pitiful and miserable a group of
workmen as can be imagined. The factory system made wretchedness the
common lot of the English workingman of this period. The hours of
labor were intolerably long, the homes of the working people
unutterably squalid, women and tiny children worked all day under the
most unwholesome conditions; vice, drunkenness, and ignorance were

Owen began as a practical philanthropist. He improved the sanitary
conditions of his mills and town, was the first employer to reasonably
shorten the hours of work, founded primary schools, proposed factory
legislation, and founded the co-operative movement that has grown to
great strength in England. He was one of the powerful men of the
island at this period. He had the enthusiastic support of the queen,
of many nobles, of clergy and scholars. But in a great public meeting
in London he went out of his way to denounce the accepted forms of
religion and declare his independence of all creeds, an offense that
the English people never forgive.

By this time he had perfected his scheme for social reform. He
proposed to establish communities of 1,000 to 1,200 persons on about
1,500 acres of land. They were to live in an enormous building in the
form of a square, each family to have its own apartments, but kitchen
and dining-room to be in common. Every advantage of work, education,
and leisure was planned for the inmates.

A number of Owenite communities were founded in England and America.
The one at New Harmony, Ind., was the most pretentious, and in it Owen
sank a large portion of his fortune. None of the experiments survived
their founder.[4]

The Utopians were all optimists--the source of their optimism was the
social philosophy that prevailed from the French Revolution to the
middle of the last century. It was the philosophy of an unbounded
faith in the goodness of human nature. A good God made a good world,
and made man capable of attaining goodness and harmony in all his
relations. The evil in the world was contrary to God's plan. It was
introduced by the perversity of society. The source of misery is the
lack of knowledge. If humankind knew the right way of living, knew the
original plan of the Creator, then there would be no misery. You must
find this knowledge, this science, and upon it build society. Hence
they are all seeking a "scientific state of society," and call their
system "scientific." From Rousseau to Hegel, the theory prevailed that
evil is collective, good is individual; society is bad, man is pure.

Cabet expresses it clearly. "God is perfection, infinite,
all-powerful, is justice and goodness. God is our father, and it
follows that all men are brethren and all are equal, as in one
all-embracing family." "It is evident that, to the fathers of the
Church, Christianity was communism. Communism is nothing other than
true Christianity...." "The regnancy of God, through Jesus, is the
regnancy of perfection, of omniscience, of justice, of goodness, of
paternal love; and, it follows, of fraternity, equality, and liberty;
of the unity of community interests, that is of communism (of the
general common welfare), in place of the individual."[5]

This edenesque logic was dear to Fourier, who left more profound
traces on modern thought than the fantastic Saint-Simonians.[6]

Fourier began with God. "On beholding this mechanism (the world and
human society), or even in making an estimate of its properties, it
will be comprehended that God has done well all that He has done."[7]
Man has only to find "God's design" in order to find the true basis of
society; and man's system of industrially parceling out the good
things of life among a few favored ones, is the "antipodes of God's
design." The finding of this design is the function of "exact
science"; man, who has stifled the voice of nature, must now
"vindicate the Creator."[8]

Saint-Simon's whole system rests on this principle: "God has said that
men ought to act toward each other as brethren." This principle will
regulate society, for "in accordance with this principle, which God
has given to men for the rule of their conduct, they ought to organize
society in the manner the most advantageous to the greatest

The social philosophers at the end of the eighteenth century did not
believe that this rightness should be brought about by violence. "What
I should desire," says Godwin, "is not by violence to change its
institutions, but by discussion to change its ideas. I have no
concern, if I would study merely the public good, with factions or
intrigue; but simply to promulgate the truth, and to wait the tranquil
progress of conviction. Let us anxiously refrain from violence."[10]

Owen, who lived a few decades later, came into contact with the
theories of the succeeding school of thought. His utopianism remained,
however, upon the older basis. He taught that the evils of society
were not inherent in the nature of mankind. The natural state of the
world and of man was good. But the evils "are all the necessary
consequences of ignorance." Therefore, by education and environment he
could "accomplish with ease and certainty the Herculean labor of
forming a rational character in man, and that, too, chiefly before the
child commences the ordinary course of education."[11]

The Utopians are hopefully seeking the universal law which will
re-form society. This was a natural view of things fundamental, to be
taken by men who had witnessed the political emancipation of the Third
Estate and had seen "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" carved over every
public portal in France, and the abstract principles of justice
debated in parliaments. A feeling of naïve simplicity runs through all
their writings. Just as civil liberty, they believed, had come by the
application of an abstract principle of natural law, so social and
economic freedom would come by the application of one universal
abstract principle of human conduct. From this simplicity came a
violent reaction, which reached its climax in the anarchy of


The Utopian period of Socialism may be said to end, and the
revolutionary era to begin, with the year 1830. The French Revolution
was a bourgeois uprising. But behind it was the grim and resolute
background of the proletarian mass. When the Third Estate achieved its
victory, it proceeded to monopolize the governmental powers to the
exclusion of its lowly allies. From 1830 to 1850 the ferment of
democratic discontent spread over Europe and forced the demands of the
workingman into the foreground. The first outbreak occurred in France,
in 1831, when the workingmen of Lyons, during a period of distressing
financial depression, marched under the banner, "Live working, or die
fighting," demanding bread for their families and work for themselves.
This second chapter of the development of Socialism begins with a red

Louis Blanc (1813-82), the first philosopher of the new movement,
struck out boldly for a democratic organization of the government.
This differentiates him from Fourier and Saint-Simon, and links him
with the leading Socialist writers of our day. He published his
_Organisation du Travail_ (Organization of Labor) in 1839. It
immediately gave him an immense popularity with the working classes.
It is a brilliant book, as fascinating in its phrases as it is
forceful in its denunciation of existing society.

He said that it is vain to talk of improving mankind morally without
improving them materially. This improvement would not come from
above, from the higher classes. It would come from below, from the
working people themselves. Therefore, a prerequisite of social reform
was democracy. The proletarian must possess the power of the state in
order to emancipate himself from the economic bondage that holds him
in its grasp.

This democratic state should then establish national workshops, or
associations, which he called "social workshops," the capital to be
provided by the state and the state to supervise their operation. He
believed that, once established, they would soon become
self-supporting and self-governing. The men would choose their own
managers, dispose of their own profits, and take care that this
beneficent system would spread to all communities.

He was careful to explain that "genius should assert its legitimate
empire"--there must be a hierarchy of ability.

Louis Blanc believed in revolution as the method of social
advancement. He was himself a leader in the abortive revolution of
1848, the revolt of the people against a weak and careless monarch. As
a member of the provisional government, he may be called the first
Socialist to hold cabinet honors. And, like his successors in modern
cabinets, he accomplished very little towards the bringing in of a new
social order. It is true that national workshops were built by the
French government at his suggestion; but not according to his plans.
His enemies saw to it that they served to bring discredit rather than
honor to the system which he had so carefully elaborated.[12]

Louis Blanc did not entirely free himself of the earlier utopian
conception that man was created good and innocent. He blames society
for allowing the individual to do evil. But he does take a step toward
the Marxian materialistic conception when he affirms that man was
created with certain endowments of strength and intellect and that
these endowments should be spent in the welfare of society. The empire
of service, not the "empire of tribute," should be the measure of
man's greatness.

The doctrine of revolt was carried to its logical extreme by Proudhon
(1809-65). He was the son of a cooper and a peasant maid, and he never
forgot that he sprang from the proletariat. He was a precocious lad,
was a theologian, philologist, and linguist before he undertook the
study of political economy. In 1840 he brought out his notable work,
_Qu'est-ce que la Propriété?_ (What Is Property?), a novel question
for that day, to which he gave an amazing answer, "Property is theft,"
ergo "property holders are thieves."

Proudhon was a man with the brain of a savant and the adjectives of a
peasant. His startling phrases, however, are merely spotlights thrown
on a theory of society which he permeated with a genuine good will. He
was puritanic in moral principle, loyal to his friends, and a despiser
of cant and formalism. But his love for paradoxes carried him beyond
the confines of logic.

Property is theft, he says, because it reaps without sowing and
consumes without producing. What right has a capitalist to charge me
eight per cent.? None. This eight per cent. does not represent
anything of time or labor value put into the article I am buying. It
is therefore robbery. Private property, the stronghold of the
individualist, is then to be abolished and a universal communism
established? By no means. Communism is as unnatural as property.
Proudhon had only contempt for the phalanstery and national workshop
of his predecessors. They were impossible, artificial, reduced life to
a monotonous dead level, and encouraged immorality. Property is wrong
because it is the exploitation of the weak by the strong; communism is
equally wrong because it is the exploitation of the strong by the
weak. To this ingenious juggler of paradoxes this was by no means a
dilemma. He resorted to a formula that was later amplified into the
most potent argument of Socialism by Marx. Service pays service, one
day's work balances another day's work, time-labor is the just measure
of value. Hour for hour, day for day, this should be the universal
medium of exchange.

Proudhon was really directing his attacks against rent and profit
rather than against property. He proposed, as a measure of reform, a
national bank where every one could bring the product of his toil and
receive a paper in exchange denoting the time value of his article.
These slips of paper were to be the medium of exchange capable of
purchasing equal time values. This glorified savage barter he even
proposed to the Constituent Assembly, of which he was a member, and
when it was rejected--only two votes were recorded for it--he tried to
establish it upon private foundations. He failed to raise the
necessary capital and his plan failed.

Proudhon is the father of modern Anarchy. His exaltation of
individualism led him to the suppression of government. Government, he
taught, is merely the dominance of one man over another, a form of
intolerable oppression. "The highest perfection of society is found in
the union of order and anarchy."

For his bitter tirades against property he received the scorn of the
bourgeois, for his attacks upon the government he served three years
in prison, and some years later he escaped a second term for a similar
cause by fleeing to Brussels.

The ultimate outcome of his individualism was equality, which he
achieved in economics by his theory of time-labor and in politics by
his theory of anarchy.

One cannot escape the conviction that the outcome of all his brilliant
rhetorical legerdemain is man in a cage. Not man originally pure and
good as the utopians would have him, but man wilful, egoistic, capable
of enslaving his fellows, a very different being from the man of mercy
and love crushed by the collective injustice of society. Proudhon
frees this man from his oppressor and his oppressiveness by creating a
condition of equality through the destruction of property and of
government. But in destroying property he retains possessions, and in
establishing anarchy he maintains order. "Free association,
liberty--whose sole function is to maintain equality--in the means of
production, and equivalence in exchanges, is the only possible, the
only just, the only true form of society."

"The government of man by man (under whatever name it be disguised) is
oppression. Society finds its highest perfection in the union of order
and anarchy."[13]

Proudhon has had a large influence on modern Socialism. His trenchant
invectives against property and society are widely copied. From his
utterances on government the Syndicalists of France, Italy, and Spain
have drawn their doctrine. The general strike is the child of his
paradoxes. He wrote as the motto for his most influential book, _What
Is Property?_, "Destruam et aedificabo" (I will destroy and I will
build again). But, while he pointed the way to destruction, he failed
to reveal a new and better order.

The way to modern Socialism was paved in Germany. The teaching of
Hegel cleared the way for the political unrest that spread over Europe
in the '40's. Hegel was the proclaimer of the social revolution. He
gave sanction to the tenets of destruction. Everything that exists is
worth destroying, may be taken as the primary postulate at which the
Young Hegelians arrived. Truth does not exist merely in a collection
of institutions or dogmatic axioms that could be memorized like the
alphabet; truth is in the process of being, of knowing, it has
developed through the toilsome evolution of the race, it is found only
in experience. Nothing is sacred merely because it exists. Existing
institutions are only the prelude to other and better institutions
that are to follow. This was roughly the formula that the radical
Hegelians blocked out for themselves when they split from the orthodox
conservatives in the '30's.

In 1843 appeared Feuerbach's _Wesen des Christentums_ (Essence of
Christianity), putting the seal of materialism upon the precepts of
the Young Hegelians.[14] The God of the utopians was destroyed.
Things were not created in harmony and beauty and disordered by man.
Things as they are, are the result of evolution, of growth; nothing
was created as it is, and even "Religion is the dream of the human

Out of this atmosphere of philosophical, religious, and political
rebellion sprang the prophet of modern Socialism, Karl Marx,[16] a man
whose intellectual endowments place him in the first ranks among
Socialists and link his name with other bold intellects of his age who
have forced the current of human thought. There have been many books
written on Marx, and every phase of his theories has been subjected to
academic and popular scrutiny. His treatise, _Capital_, is the
sacerdotal book of Socialists. It displays a mass of learning, a
diligence of research, and acumen in the marshaling of ideas, and a
completeness of literary expression that insures it a lasting place in
the literature of social philosophy. Whatever may be said of the
narrow dogmatism, of Marx, of his persistence in making the facts fit
his preconceived notions, of his materialistic conception of history,
or of the technical flaws in his political economy, he will always be
quoted as the founder of modern scientific Socialism and the Socialist
historian of the capitalistic régime.

I must content myself with a bare statement of his theories.

The economic basis of Marx is his well-known "Theory of Surplus
Value." It was not his theory in the sense that he originated it.
Economists like Adam Smith and especially Ricardo, Socialists like the
Owenites and the Chartists in England, and Proudhon in France, had
enunciated it; and in Germany Rodbertus, a lawyer and scholar of great
learning, had elaborated it in his first book, published in 1842.
Marx, with German thoroughness, developed this theory in all its

All economic goods, he said, have value. They have a physical value,
and a value given them by the labor expended on them. Labor is the
common factor of economic values. And the common denominator is the
time that is consumed by the labor. Labor-time, therefore, is the
universal measure of value, the common medium that determines values.
But this labor is acquired in the open labor market by the capitalist
at the lowest possible price, a price whose utmost limit is the bare
cost of living. The reward for his labor is called a wage. This wage
does not by any means measure the value of his services. What, then,
becomes of the "surplus value," the value over and above wages? The
capitalist appropriates it. Indeed, the great aim of the capitalist is
to make this surplus value as big as possible. He measures his success
by his profits.

"Surplus value," or profit, is, then, a species of robbery; it is
ill-gotten gain, withholding from the workman that which by right of
toil is his.

How did it come about that society was so organized as to permit this
wholesale wrong upon the largest and most defenseless of its classes?
It is in answer to this question that Marx makes his most notable
contribution to Socialistic theory. With great skill, and displaying a
comprehensive knowledge of economic history, especially of English
industrial history, he traces the development of modern industrial
society. He follows the evolution of capital from the days of medieval
paternalism through the period of commercial expansion when the
voyages of discovery opened virgin fields of wealth to the trader,
into the period of inventions when the industrial revolution changed
the conditions of all classes and gave a sudden and princely power to
capital, establishing the reign of "capitalistic production."

Always it was the man with capital who could take advantage of every
new commercial and industrial opportunity, and the man without capital
who was forced to succumb to the stress of new and cruel
circumstances. In every stage of development it has been the constant
aim of the capitalist to increase his profits and of the workingman to
raise his standard of living.

Marx then declares that, in order to have a capitalist society, two
classes are necessary: a capitalist and a non-capitalist class; a
class that dominates, and one that succumbs. There have always been
these two classes. Originally labor was slave, then it was serf, and
now it is free. But free labor to-day differs from serf-labor and
slave-labor only in that it has a legal right to contract. The
economic results are the same as they always have been: the capitalist
still appropriates the surplus value.

The method of production, however, is very different in our
capitalistic era from the earlier eras. The industrial system herds
the workmen into factories. Property and labor is no longer
individualistic; it is social, it is corporate. Marx calls it "social
production and capitalistic appropriation." Here is the eternal
antagonism between the classes, the large class of laborers and the
small class of the "appropriators" of their common toil.

These factories, where labor is herded, spring up willy-nilly wherever
there is a capitalist who desires to enter business. They flood the
markets, not by mutual consent or regulation, but by individual
ambitions. Each capitalist is ruled by self-interest; and
self-interest impels him to make as many goods as he can and sell them
at as big a profit as he can. Result, economic anarchy, called
"over-production" or "under-consumption" by the economists. This leads
to panics and all their attendant woes--woes that are further heaped
upon the proletarian by the fact that he must compete with machinery,
which, being more and more perfected, forces him out of the labor
market into the street.

These crises have the tendency to concentrate industry in fewer and
fewer hands; the weaker capitalist must succumb to the inevitable laws
of struggle and survival. The survivors fatten on the corpses of their
fallen competitors. Thus the factories grow larger and larger, the
number of capitalists fewer and fewer; the number of proletarian
dependents multiplies; the middle class is crushed out of existence;
the rich become richer and fewer, the poor more numerous and poorer.

In this turmoil of social production, capitalistic appropriation, and
anarchic distribution, there is discernible a reshaping of social
potencies. The proletarian realizes the power of the state and sees
how he may possess himself of that power and thereby gain control of
the economic forces and reshape them to fit the needs of a better
society. This will mean the appropriation of the means of production
and distribution by society. Private capital will vanish; surplus
values will belong to the people who created them; the people will be
master and servant, capitalist and laborer.

This is the Socialistic stage of society. It will be the result of the
natural evolution of human industry. Its immediate coming will be the
result of a social revolution. This revolution, this social cataclysm,
is written in the nature of things. Man cannot prompt it, he cannot
prevent it. He can only study the trend of things and "alleviate the
birth-pangs" of the new time.

Of this new time, this society of to-morrow, Marx gives us no glimpse.
His function is not to prophesy, but to analyze. He is the natural
historian of capital. He described the development of economic society
and sought to ascertain its trend. In the first chapter of _Capital_
he says: "Let us imagine an association of free men, working with
common means of production, and putting forth, consciously, their
individual powers into one social labor power. The product of this
association of laborers is a social product. A portion of this product
serves in turn as a means of further production. It remains social
property. The rest of this product is consumed by the members of the
association as a means of living. It must consequently be distributed
among them. The nature of this distribution will vary according to the
particular nature of the organization of production and the
corresponding grade of historical development of the producers."

This is the only mention of the future made by Marx. It is a dim and
uncertain ray of light cast upon a vast object.

The formulæ of this epoch-making study may be summarized as follows:

1. Labor gives value to all economic goods. The laboring class is the
producing class, but it is deprived of its just share of the products
of its labor by the capitalistic class, which appropriates the
"surplus value."

2. This is possible because of the capitalistic method of production,
wherein private capital controls the processes of production and

3. This system of private capitalism is the result of a long and
laborious process of evolution, hastened precipitately by the
industrial revolution.

4. This industrial age is characterized (a) by anarchy in distribution,
(b) private production, (c) the gradual disappearance of the middle
class, (d) the development of a two-class system--capitalist and
producer, (e) the rich growing richer and the poor growing poorer.

5. This will not always continue. The producers are becoming fewer
each year. Presently they will become so powerful as to be
unendurable. Then society--the people--will appropriate private
capital and all production and distribution will be socialized.

It is necessary to keep in mind the leading events in the life of this
remarkable man in order to understand the genesis of his theories.
Marx was born in Treves in 1818, of Jewish parentage. His mother was
of Dutch descent, his father was German. When the lad was six years of
age his parents embraced the Christian faith. His father was a
lawyer, but his ancestors for over two hundred years had been rabbis.
The home was one of culture, where English and French as well as
German literature and art were discussed by a circle of learned and
congenial friends. Marx studied at the universities of Bonn and
Berlin. He took his doctorate in the law to please his father, but
followed philosophy by natural bent, intending to become a university

The turmoil of revolution was in the air and in his blood. There was
no curbing of his fiery temperament into the routine of scholastic
life. In 1842 he joined the staff of the _Rhenish Gazette_ at Cologne,
an organ of extreme radicalism. His drastic editorials prompted the
police to ask him to leave the country, and he went to Paris, where he
met Frederick Engels, who became his firm friend, partner of his
views, and sharer of his labors. The Prussian government demanded his
removal from Paris, and for a time he settled in Brussels. He returned
to Germany to participate in the revolution of 1848, and in 1849 he
was driven to London, where, immune from Prussian persecutions, he
made his home until his death, in 1883.

In 1842 he married Jennie von Westphalen, a lady of refinement,
courage, and loyalty, whose family was prominent in Prussian politics.
Her brother was at one time a minister in the Prussian cabinet.

Marx was an exile practically all his life, though he never gave up
his German citizenship. He never forgot this fact. He concluded his
preface to the first volume of _Capital_, written in 1873, with a
bitter allusion to the "mushroom upstarts of the new, holy Prussian
German Empire." He lived a life of heroic fortitude and struggle
against want and disease.

From his infancy he had been taught to take a world view, an
international view, of human affairs. This gave him an immediate
advantage over all other Socialist writers of that day. At Bonn he was
caught in the current of heterodoxy that was then sweeping through the
universities. This carried him far into the fields of materialism,
whose philosophy of history he adopted and applied to the economic
development of the race. He received not alone his philosophy from the
"Young Hegelians," but his dialectics as well. It gave him a
philosophy of evil which, blending with his bitter personal
experiences, gave a melancholy bent to his reasoning, and revealed to
him the misericordia of class war, the struggle of abject poverty
contending with callous capital in a bloody social revolution.

There are four points which gave Marx an immense influence over the
Socialistic movement. In the first place, he put the Socialistic
movement on a historical basis; he made it inevitable. Think what this
means, what hope and spirit it inspires in the bosom of the
workingman. But he did more than this: he made the proletarian the
instrument of destiny for the emancipation of the race from economic
thraldom. This was to be accomplished by class war and social
revolution. Marx imparts the zeal of fatalism to his Socialism when he
links it to the necessities of nature. By natural law a bourgeoisie
developed; by natural law it oppresses the proletarian; by natural
law, by the compulsion of inexorable processes, the proletarians alone
can attain their freedom. Capitalism becomes its own grave-digger.
Liebknecht said in his Erfurt speech (1891): "The capitalistic state
of the present begets against its will the state of the future."

In the third place, Marx gave a formula to the Socialist movement. He
defined Socialism in one sentence: "The social ownership of the means
of production and distribution." This was necessary. From among the
vague and incoherent mass of utopian and revolutionary literature he
coined the sentence that could be repeated with gusto and the flavor
of scientific terminology.

And finally, he refrained from detailing the new society. He laid down
no program except war, he pointed to no utopia except co-operation.
This offended no one and left Socialists of all schools free to
construct their own details.

The Marxian system was no sooner enunciated than it was shown to be
fallible as an economic generalization; and the passing of several
decades has proved that the tendencies he deemed inevitable are not
taking place. The refutation of his theory of value by the Austrian
economist, Adolph Menger, is by economists considered complete and
final. The materialistic conception of history, which is the soul of
his work, lends itself more to the passion of a virile propaganda than
to a sober interpretation of the facts. Further, the two practical
results that flow from the use of his theory of surplus value and his
materialism--namely, the ever-increasing volume of poverty and the
ever-decreasing number of capitalists--are not borne out by the facts.
The number of capitalists is constantly increasing, in spite of the
development of enormous trusts; the middle class is constantly being
recruited from the lower class; there is no apparent realization of
the two-class system. And finally, the method by revolution is being
more and more discarded by Socialists, as they see that intolerable
conditions are being more and more alleviated, that "man's inhumanity
to man" is a constantly diminishing factor in the bitter struggle for


[1] _New Christianity_, p. 38, English edition, 1834.

[2] Saint-Simon's principal writings are: _Lettres d'un Habitant de
Genève_, 1803; _L'Organisateur_, 1819; _Du Système Industriel_, 1821;
_Catéchisme des Industriels_, 1823; _Nouveau Christianisme_, 1825. See
A.J. BARTH, _Saint-Simon and Saint-Simonism_, London, 1871; REYBAUD,
_Études sur les Réformateurs Modernes_, Paris, 1864; JANET,
_Saint-Simon et le Saint-Simonisme_, Paris, 1878. _New Christianity_
was translated into English by Rev. J.E. Smith, London, 1834.

[3] The best popular exposition of Fourierism is GATTI DE GAMMONT'S
_Fourier et Son Système_. His most eminent commentator is Victor
Considerant, whose _Destinée Sociale_ is the most complete analysis of
Fourier's System.

[4] It is interesting to note that the word "Socialism" first became
current in the meetings of Owen's "Association of All Classes of All
Nations," organized by him in 1835.

[5] _Le Vrai Christianisme_, Chap. XVIII, edition of 1846.

[6] An apt selection from the works of Fourier has been made by Prof.
Charles Gide, prefaced by an illuminating Introduction on the life and
work of Fourier. An English translation by Julia Franklin appeared in
London, 1901.

[7] _Le Nouveau Monde_, Vol. I, p. 26.

[8] _Thème de l'Unité Universelle_, Vol. II, p. 128.

[9] _New Christianity_, p. 2, English edition, 1834.

[10] _Political Justice_, Vol. II, pp. 531, 537.

[11] _Third Essay on a New View of Society_, pp. 65, 82.

[12] See ÉMILE THOMAS, _History of the National Workshops_.

[13] _What Is Property?_ Collected Works, Vol. I, p. 286.

[14] In 1845 Marx made this note on the work of Feuerbach: "The point
of view of the old materialism is bourgeois society; the point of view
of the new materialism is human society or the unclassed humanity
(vergesellschaftete Menschheit).

"Philosophers have only differently _interpreted_ the world, but the
point is to _alter_ the world." See FREDERICK ENGELS, _Ludwig
Feuerbach und der Ausgang der Klassischen Deutschen Philosophie_,
Stuttgart, 1903.

[15] _Essence of Christianity_, Preface, p. xiii.

[16] For a concise statement of the development of Marxian Socialism
out of the German philosophy of that period, see FREDERICK ENGELS,
_Die Entwickelung des Sozialismus von der Utopie zur Wissenschaft_,
Berlin, 1891. It is the third chapter out of his _Dühring, Umwälzung_.

[17] For a criticism of the teachings of Marx, see SOMBART, _Socialism
and the Social Movement_, Chap. IV.



From the point of view of our inquiry the most significant event in
the history of Socialism is its entrance into politics. This endows
the workingman with a new power and a great power; a power that will
bring him farther on his way toward the goal he seeks than any other
he possesses. Because the modern state is democratic, and the
democratic state bends in the direction of the mass. The revolutions
attempted in the middle of the last century are child's play compared
with the changes that can be wrought when constitutions and courts,
parliaments and administrative systems, become the instruments of a
determined, self-possessed, and united political consciousness.

Scarcely half a century elapsed between the French utopians and the
time when the proletarians organized actual political parties, and
arrayed themselves against the older orders in the struggle for
political privilege. In the interval, revolution had its brief hour,
and reaction its days of waiting.

The French Revolution was a necessary preliminary to the proletarian
movement. It was the most powerful instrument for the propagation of
those democratic ideas that were so attractively clothed by Rousseau
and so terribly distorted by the revolutionists. While this revolution
was a bourgeois movement, not a proletarian uprising, not a
revolution in the sense that Marx, for instance, uses the word, it
must not be forgotten that the proletarians were in the revolution.
The dark and sullen background of that tragedy was the mass of
unspeakably poor. They were not machine workers whose abjectness came
from factory conditions, like the workmen of England a few decades
later. They were proletarians without a class consciousness, but with
a class grievance; proletarians in the literal sense of the word,
poor, ragged, hungry, wretched.

Such democracy as was achieved by the revolution was bourgeois. The
powers of monarchy were transferred from the "privileged" classes to
the middle class, who, in turn, became the privileged ones. The day of
middle-class government had come. The class that had financed the
fleets of adventurers to new and unexploited continents, and had
backed the inventions of Arkwright and Hargreaves, were now in power
in politics as well as in commerce and industry. A unity of purpose
between industry and statecraft was thus achieved; new ideals became
dominant. The patriarchal precepts of the feudal manors were
forgotten. The people were no longer children of a great household
with their king at the head. The king, when he was retained, was shorn
of his universal fatherhood, and remained a mere remnant of ermine and
velvet, a royal trader in social distinctions.

While the old ideal, the feudal ideal, prevailed, governing was the
_duty_ of a class. The newer ideal made governing an incident in the
activities of a class whose dominating impulse was the making of
profits. These ideals are at polar points; one deals with things, the
other with men.

The change in the form of government was wrought while the people were
talking about the glittering abstractions of equality, liberty,
justice, as if they were commodities to be exchanged in the political
markets. The newer form of government marked an advance on the older.
It represented a step forward in human political experience. A larger
group of citizens was drawn into the widening circle of governmental
activities. It was an inevitable step. The discovery of the New World
and the invention of machinery were making a new earth--an
unattractive earth, but nevertheless a new one. The balance of power
was shifting from hereditary privilege to commercial privilege, and
nations were fulfilling the law of human nature, that the power of the
state reposes in the hands of the dominant class. The dominant class
is actuated by its dominant idea. In the aristocratic class it is
politics, in the middle class it is trade.

All this inevitably accentuated the proletarian's position in the
state. Under the older régime, as historians of our economic
development have clearly shown, the antagonisms and grievances were
fewer. The trader and the craftsman were overshadowed by the lord and
the bishop. Social, political, and economical values were distributed
by custom and imposed by heredity, rather than by individual effort or
individual capacity. When, therefore, this great change came over
society, a change that would have been unthinkable in the days of
Charlemagne or of Elizabeth,--a change that virtually destroyed the
most powerful of the classes and put human beings onto a basis of
competition rather than of birth, and shifted power from tradition to
effort, and transferred values from prerogatives to gold,--then the
whole class problem changed, and entirely new antagonisms were

The first movements of the new proletarians were mob movements.
Actuated more by a desire to revenge themselves than to better
themselves, they gather in the dark hours of the night and move
sullenly upon the factories, to destroy their enemies, the machines.
They pillage the buildings and threaten the house of their employer,
whom they consider the agent of their undoing. In France and Germany,
and especially in England, these infuriated workmen try to undo by
violence what has been achieved by invention.

When their first fury is abated and they see new machinery taking the
place of that which they have destroyed, and new factories built on
the foundations of those they have burned, they see the impotence of
their actions. In England a new movement begins. They try to re-enact
the Elizabethan statute of laborers, to bring back the days of
handicrafts, of journeyman and apprentice. They soon learned that the
old era had vanished, never to return. The workingman possessed
neither the power nor the ingenuity to bring it back. He turned, next,
to possess himself of the machinery of the state.

Political conditions paved the way. France, after her orgy, had fallen
back into absolutism. Germany and Austria had remained feudal in the
most distasteful sense of the word; the nobility retained their
ancient privileges and forsook their ancient duties. The landlord
class even retained jurisdiction over their tenants. The old industry
had been destroyed by Napoleon's campaigns; the new machine industry
did not establish itself until after the enactment of protective
tariffs and the creation "Zollverein," in 1818. This cemented the
bourgeois interests. Manufacturers, traders, and bankers achieved a
homogeneity of interest and ambition which was antagonistic to the
spirit of the _junker_ and the feudalist. The new bourgeoisie wanted
laws favorable to trade expansion. They needed the law-making
machinery to achieve this. By 1840 the upper middle class had become
feverish for political power. They imbibed the doctrines of the
literature of that period which preached a constitutional
republicanism. Hegel gave the weighty sanction of philosophy to the
overthrow of absolute monarchy.

The great mass of the people were, of course, workingmen, small
traders, and shopkeepers, and the rural peasantry. The small trader
was dependent upon the favors of the ruling class on the one hand, and
of the banker and manufacturer on the other hand. When the interests
of these two clashed he was alarmed, for he could neither remain
neutral nor take sides. The peasants were abject subjects, little
better than serfs. The laboring men, as we shall see presently, were
achieving a mass consciousness.

In Germany Frederick William, the Romantic, was face to face with
revolution. This was not an economic revolution. It was a political
revolution. It was joined by the communists and the Socialists. Marx
himself, was a leader in the revolt, and one of its most faithful
chroniclers. In 1844 the weavers of Silesia rose in revolt. There was
rioting and bloodshed. This was followed by bread riots in various
parts of Germany. In 1848 the whole country was in the turmoil of
revolution, a revolution led by the upper middle class, but prompted
and fired by the zeal of the proletarians, who, in some of the
cities, notably Berlin, became the leading factor in the uprising.
Marx says: "There was then no separate Republican party in Germany.
People were either constitutional monarchists or more or less clearly
defined Socialists or communists."[1]

In Austria conditions were even more reactionary than in Germany.
Metternich, the powerful representative of the ancient order of
things, had a haughty contempt for the demands of the constitutional
party. With the hauteur of absolutism he not only retained political
power in the feudal class, but suppressed literature, censored
learning, and rigorously superintended religion. A greater power than
caste and tradition was slowly eating its way into this country, which
had attempted to isolate itself from the rest of the world. This was
the power of machine industry. It brought with it, as in every other
country, a new class, the manufacturers, who, as soon as their
business began to expand, sought favorable laws. This led them into
political activity, which, in turn, brought friction with the
feudalists. Both sides took to the field. The revolution broke in
Vienna, March 13, 1848, seventeen days after the revolutionists had
driven Louis Philippe out of Paris, and five days before the Prussian
king delivered himself into the hands of a Berlin mob.

It was in France that the revolution assumed its most virulent
character. In Paris the revolution was "carried on between the mass of
the working people on the one hand and all the other classes of the
Parisian population, supported by the army, on the other."[2] This
Parisian proletarian uprising was the red signal of warning to Germany
and Austria. The bourgeois were now as anxious to rid themselves of
the Socialist contingent as they had been eager for its support when
they began their struggle for political power. Compromises between
feudalists and commercialists were effected, and a sort of
constitutionalism became the basis of the reconstructed governments.

Of these revolutions Marx says: "In all cases the real fighting body
of the insurgents, that body which first took up arms and gave battle
to the troops, consisted of the working classes of the towns. A
portion of the poorer country population, laborers and petty farmers,
generally joined them after the outbreak of the conflict."[3]

They were not merely bourgeois uprisings. The Parisian revolution was
virtually a proletarian rebellion. Here "the proletariat, because it
dictated the Republic to the provisional government, and through the
provisional government to the whole of France, stepped at once forth
as an independent, self-contained party; and it at once arrayed the
entire bourgeoisie of France against itself.... Marche, a workingman,
dictated a decree wherein the newly formed provincial government
pledged itself to secure the position of the workingman through work,
to do away with bourgeois labor, etc. And as they seemed to forget
this promise, a few days later 200,000 workingmen marched upon the
Hôtel de Ville with the battle-cry, 'Organization of labor! Create a
ministry of labor!' and after a prolonged debate the provisional
government named a permanent special commission for the purpose of
finding the means for bettering the conditions of the working

It is evident that Marx considered the revolutions of 1848-50 as a
compound of proletarian and bourgeois uprisings against _feudal_
remnants in government. He is not always clear in his own mind as to
the direction of these movements. But we now know that the direction
was toward democracy.

The French, or Parisian, uprising was more "advanced" than the other
Continental attempts. The Parisians had piled barricades before; they
were experienced in the bloody business.

They tried again in 1871. This time the workingmen ruled Paris for two
months. It was a bloody, turbulent period. Marx characterized it as
"the glorious workingman's revolution of the 18th of March," and the
Commune "as a lever for uprooting the economical foundations upon
which rests the existence of classes, and therefore of class rule."
Its acts of violence he extolled, its burning of public buildings was
a "self-holocaust." This "workingman's Paris, with its Commune, will
be forever celebrated as the glorious harbinger of a new society."[5]

So the attempt to possess the state by revolution has been tried by
the proletarian. The revolutions were all abortive. The Socialists say
they were ill-timed. Writing in 1895, Frederick Engels, the companion
of Marx, could see these uprisings in a different perspective. He
acknowledged the mistake made by the Socialists in believing that they
could by violence somehow become the deciding factor in the
government, and therefore in the economic arrangement of society.
"History has shown us our error," he says. "Time has made it clear
that the status of economic development on the Continent was far from
ripe for the setting aside of the capitalistic régime."[6]

These revolutions were not merely bourgeois, as is so often affirmed.
There was everywhere a large element of Socialistic unrest. They were
revolutions begun in the fever heat of youth--"Young Germany," "Young
Austria," "Young Italy," were moved by "Young Hegelians" and "Young
Communists." They embraced bourgeois tradesmen and proletarian
workingmen, who, in their new-found delirium, thought that with "the
overthrow of the reactionary governments, the kingdom of heaven would
be realized on earth."[7] "They had no idea," continues Kautsky, who
speaks on these questions with authority, "that the overthrow of these
governments would not be the end, but the beginning of revolutions;
that the newly won bourgeois freedom would be the battleground for
the great class war between proletarian and bourgeois; that liberty
did not bring social freedom, but social warfare."

This is to-day the orthodox Socialist view. It believes that these
revolutions taught the proletarians the folly of ill-timed violence;
revealed to them their friends and their enemies; and, above all, gave
them a class consciousness.

Let us turn, for a moment, to a proletarian movement of a somewhat
different type, the Chartist movement in England. The flame of
revolution that enveloped Europe crossed the Channel to England and
Ireland. But here revolution took a different course. In Ireland it
was the brilliant O'Connell's agitation against the Act of Union; in
England it was the workingman's protest against his exclusion from the
Reform Act of 1832, an act that itself had been born amidst the throes
of mob violence and incipient revolution.

The Chartist movement was promulgated by the "Workingmen's
Association." It was a workingman's protest. Its organizers were
carpenters, its orators were tailors and blacksmiths and weavers,
surprising themselves and their audiences with their new-found
eloquence, and its writers were cotton spinners. The Reform Bill had
been a bitter disappointment to them. It gave the right of suffrage to
the middle class, but withheld it from the working class. A few
radical members of Parliament met with representatives of the
workingmen and drafted a bill. O'Connell, as he handed the measure to
the secretary of the association, said: "There is your charter"--and
the "People's Charter" it was called. Its "six points" were: Manhood
suffrage, annual Parliaments, election by ballot, abolition of
property qualifications for election of members to Parliament, payment
of members of Parliament, and equitably devised electoral districts.
These are all political demands, all democratic. But economic
conditions pressed them to the foreground. The "Bread Tax" was as much
an issue as the ballot. They demanded the ballot so that they might
remove the tax. "Misery and discontent were its strongest
inspirations," says McCarthy.[8]

Carlyle saw the inwardness of the movement. "All along for the last
five and twenty years it was curious to note how the internal
discontent of England struggled to find vent for itself through any
orifice; the poor patient, all sick from center to surface, complains
now of this member, now of that: corn laws, currency laws, free trade,
protection, want of free trade: the poor patient, tossing from side to
side seeking a sound side to lie on, finds none."

One of its own crude and forceful orators said on Kersall Moor to
200,000 turbulent workingmen of Manchester: "Chartism, my friends, is
no mere political movement, where the main point is your getting the
ballot. Chartism is a knife and fork question. The charter means a
good house, good food and drink, prosperity, and short working

The protest of this discontent became the nearest approach to a
revolution England had encountered since Charles I. Monster meetings,
for the first time called "mass meetings," were held in every county,
and evenings, after working hours, enormous parades were organized,
each participant carrying a torch, hence they were called "torchlight
parades." These two spectacular features were soon adopted by American
campaigners. A wild and desperate feeling seized the masses. "You see
yonder factory with its towering chimney," cried one of its orators.
"Every brick in that factory is cemented with the blood of women and
children." And again: "If the rights of the poor are trampled under
foot, then down with the throne, down with aristocracy, down with the
bishops, down with the clergy, burn the churches, down with all rank,
all title, and all dignity."[10]

In their great petition to Parliament, signed by several million
people, the agitators said: "The Reform Act has effected a transfer of
power from one domineering faction to another and left the people as
helpless as before." "We demand universal suffrage. The suffrage, to
be exempt from the corruption of the wealthy and the violence of the
powerful, must be secret." The whole movement had all the aspects of a
modern, violent general strike. Its papers, _The Poor Man's Guardian_,
_The Destructive_, and others, were full of tirades against wealth and
privilege. When the agitation became an uprising in Wales, there was a
conflict between the Chartists and the police in which a number were
killed and wounded. In the industrial centers, soldiers were present
at the meetings, and the outcry against the use of the military was
the same that is heard to-day. A number of the leaders were tried for
sedition, and the courts became the objects of abuse as they are
to-day. It was a labor war for political privilege; a class war for
economic advantages.


These revolutions were political in that they were a protest against
existing governmental forms. The revolutionary proletarian was found
in all of them. He not only stood under the standard of Daniel Manin
in Venice, when that patriot again proclaimed a republic in the
ancient city, and shared with Mazzini his triumph in Rome, and fought
with Kossuth for the liberty of Hungary; but he formed also the body
of the revolutionary forces in Germany, Austria, and France.

In all the Continental countries the uprisings were directed against
the arrogance and oppression of monarchism, and against the
recrudescence of feudalistic ideals. In France Louis Philippe had
attempted the part of a petty despot. He restricted the ballot to the
propertied class, balanced his power on too narrow a base, and it
became top-heavy.

While the workingmen of Germany and Austria were taking up arms under
command of the middle class against the feudal remnants, the
workingmen of France were sacking their capital because of an
attempted revival of monarchic privilege, and the workmen of England
were marching and counter-marching in monster torchlight parades in
protest against middle-class domination.

The panorama of Europe in these years of turmoil and blood thus
exhibits every degree of revolt against governmental power, from the
absolutism of Prussian Junkerdom and the oppression of the Hungarians
by foreign tyranny, to the dominance of the aristocratic and
middle-class alliance in Great Britain.

The bread-and-butter question was not wanting in any of these
political uprisings. The unity of life makes their separation a myth.
One is interwoven with the other. The social struggle is political,
the political struggle is social.

Socialism is not merely an economic movement. It seeks to-day, and
always has sought, the power of the state. The government is the only
available instrument for effecting the change--the revolution--the
Socialists preach, the transfer of productive enterprise from private
to public ownership. "Political power our means, social happiness our
end," was a Chartist motto. That is the duality of Socialism to-day.


[1] MARX, _Revolution and Counter-Revolution in 1848_.

[2] MARX, _Revolution and Counter-Revolution_, p. 70.

[3] _Op. cit._, pp. 123-124.

[4] MARX, _Die Klassenkämpfe in Frankreich_, pp. 26-28.

[5] See the third address issued by the International Workingmen's
Association on the Franco-Prussian war, 1870-71.

The Italian Socialists in Milan, June, 1871, closed a rhetorical
address to the Parisian Communards as follows: "To despotism they
responded, We are free.

"To the cannon and chassepots of the leagued reactionists they offered
their bared breasts.

"They fell, but fell like heroes.

"To-day the reaction calls them bandits, places them under the ban of
the human race.

"Shall we permit it? No!

"Workingmen! At the time when our brothers in Paris are vanquished,
hunted like fallow deer, are falling by hundreds under the blows of
their murderers, let us say to them: Come to us, we are here; our
houses are open to you. We will protect you, until the day of revenge,
a day not far distant.

"Workingmen! the principles of the Commune of Paris are ours: we
accept the responsibility of its acts. Long live the Social Republic!"

See ED. VILLETARD, _History of the International_, p. 342. This
sentiment was also expressed in London and other centers.

[6] Introduction to _Die Klassenkämpfe in Frankreich_, p. 8.

[7] KAUTSKY, _Leben Friedrich Engels_, p. 14, Berlin, 1895.

[8] _The Epoch of Reform_, p. 190.

[9] ENGELS, _Condition of the Working Classes in 1844_, p. 230.
Engels, who came to England at this time and was employed in
Manchester in his father's business, and was therefore in the heart of
the movement, says that Chartism was, after the Anti-Corn Law League
had been formed, "purely a workingman's cause." It was "the struggle
of the proletariat against the bourgeoisie." "The demands hitherto
made by him (the laborer), the ten-hours' bill, protection of the
worker against the capitalist, good wages, a guaranteed position,
repeal of the new poor law--all of these things belong to Chartism
quite as essentially as the 'Six Points.'"--_Supra cit._, pp. 229,
234, 235.

[10] R.G. GRUMMAGE, _History of the Chartist Movement_, 1837-54, p.
59, Newcastle, 1894.



With 1848 vanished, more or less rapidly, the revolutions of the old
school. "The street fight and barricade, which up to 1848 was
decisive, now grew antiquated," says Engels.[1] A new species of
plotting and propaganda began. The exiled agitators and revolutionists
met, naturally, in their cities of refuge for the discussion of their
common grievances. They complained that "the proletarian has no
fatherland," and internationalism became their patriotism.

In Paris a few of the ostracized Socialists, in 1836, founded "The
League of the Just," a communistic secret society.[2] The group were
compelled to leave Paris because they were implicated in a riot, and
when some of them met in London they invited other refugees to join
them. Among them was Marx, and his presence soon bore fruit. Their
motto, "All men are brethren," was singularly paradoxical when
contrasted with their methods of sinister conspiracy. Marx, with his
superior intellect, at once began to reshape their ideas, a
reorganization was effected called "The Communist League," and Marx
and Engels were delegated to write a statement of principles for the
League. That statement, written in 1847, they called "The Communist

The "Manifesto" is the most influential of all Socialist documents. It
is at once a firebrand and a formulary. Its formulæ are the well-known
Marxian principles; its energy is the youthful vigor and zeal of
ardent revolutionists. Nearly all the generalizations of _Capital_ are
found in the "Manifesto." This is important, for it gave the sanction
of a social theory to the Socialist movement. Hitherto there had been
only utopian generalizations and keen denunciations of the existing
order. It was of the greatest importance that early in the development
of the movement it was given an economic theory expressed in such
lucid terms, with the gusto of youth, and in the terminology of
science, that it remains to-day the best synopsis of Marx's
"Scientific Socialism."

As a piece of campaign literature it is unexcelled. Combined with its
clearness of statement, its economic reasoning, its terrific
arraignment of modern industrial society, there is a lofty zeal and
power that placed it in the front rank of propagandist literature.

Engels, the surviving partner of the Marxian movement, wrote in the
preface of the edition of 1888:

"The 'Manifesto' being our joint production, I consider myself bound to
say that the fundamental proposition which forms its nucleus belongs to
Marx." That proposition embraced the materialistic theory of social
evolution, that "the whole history of mankind has been a history of
class struggles ... in which nowadays a stage has been reached where
the exploited and oppressed classes--the proletariat--cannot attain
their emancipation from the sway of the exploiting and ruling
classes--the bourgeoisie--without at the same time and once for all
emancipating society at large from all exploitation, oppression, class
distinctions, and class struggles."

This liberation was, of course, to be accomplished by revolution. The
"Manifesto" closes with these spirited and oft-quoted words:

"The communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly
declare that their ends can be obtained only by the forcible overthrow
of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling class tremble at a
communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their
chains, they have a world to win. Workingmen of all countries, unite."

This was the language and the spirit of the times. The "Manifesto" was
published only a few days before the February revolution of 1848. For
a moment the ruling class did tremble; but the ill-timed uprisings
were promptly suppressed and the days of reaction set in.

Soon the workingmen of different countries were busy with the
stupendous development of industry which followed in the wake of the
wars and revolutions that had harassed the Continent for over fifty
years. The revival of industry brought a renewal of international
trade. This was followed by a wider exchange of views and greater
international intimacy. In 1862 the first International Exposition was

Before we proceed with the development of the "Old International," as
it is now called, let us notice three points about the "Manifesto."
First, it was not called the "Socialist Manifesto," although adopted
by Socialists the world over. Engels, in his preface of 1888, tells us
why. "When it was written we could not have called it a Socialist
Manifesto. By Socialist, in 1847, were understood, on the one hand,
the adherents of the various Utopian systems; Owenites in England,
Fourierists in France, both of them already reduced to the position of
mere sects, and gradually dying out; on the other hand, the most
multifarious social quacks who, by all manner of tinkering, professed
to redress, without any danger to capital and profit, all sorts of
social grievances; in both cases men outside the working-class
movement, and looking rather to the 'educated' classes for support.
Whatever portion of the working class had become convinced of the
insufficiency of mere political revolutions, and had proclaimed the
necessity of a total social change, that portion then called itself
communist. It was a crude, rough-hewn, purely instinctive sort of
communism; still it touched the cardinal point and was powerful enough
amongst the working class to produce the utopian communism in France
of Cabet, and in Germany of Weitling. This Socialism was, in 1847, a
middle-class movement; communism a working-class movement. Socialism
was, on the Continent at least, 'respectable'; communism was the very

It would be interesting to know how Engels would define Socialism

Second, it is important for us to know that the "Manifesto" recognized
the necessity of using the government as the instrument for achieving
the new society. "The immediate aim of the communists," it recites,
"is the conquest of political power by the proletariat"; to "labor
everywhere for the union and agreement of the democratic parties of
all countries."

The governmental organization of the communists' state was to be

Thirdly, a provisional program of such a politico-socio-democratic
party is suggested in the "Manifesto." Its principal points are:

    "1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents
    of land to public purposes.

    "2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.

    "3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.

    "4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.

    "5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means
    of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.

    "6. Centralization of the means of communication and transport
    in the hands of the state.

    "7. Extension of factories and the instruments of production
    owned by the state: the bringing into cultivation of waste
    lands, and the improvement of the soil generally, in accordance
    with a common plan.

    "8. Equal liability of all labor. Establishment of industrial
    armies, especially for agriculture.

    "9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries;
    gradual abolition between town and country, by a more equable
    distribution of population over the country.

    "10. Free education for all children in public schools,
    combination of education with industrial production," _etc._

Though the "Manifesto" was written in 1848, neither Marx, who lived
until 1882, nor Engels, who died in 1895, made any alteration in it,
on the ground that it had become "a historical document which we have
no longer any right to alter."[3]

"However much the state of things may have altered during the last
twenty-five years, the general principles laid down in this manifesto
are, on the whole, as correct to-day as ever."[4]

On one very important point, however, they could not refrain from
further comment. The revolutionary language in the original draft
would be radically mollified if written at the time of the joint
preface in 1872. The example of the Paris Commune was disheartening.
It demonstrated that "the working class cannot simply lay hold of the
ready-made state machinery and wield it for its own purposes."[5]

These, then, were the principles of the international movement of
which the "Manifesto" was the supreme expression. When labor had
revived from its first stupor, after the hard blows it received in the
years of revolution, the "Manifesto" was translated into several
Continental languages. With the revival of internationalism, it has
been translated into every language of the industrial world, and I am
told a Japanese and a Turkish edition have been issued. This is a
gauge of the spread of international Socialism.

In 1862 a number of French workingmen, visiting the International
Exhibition in London, were entertained by the Socialist exiles, and
the question of reviving an international movement was discussed. Two
years later, in St. Martin's Hall, London, workingmen from various
countries organized a meeting and selected Mazzini, the Italian
patriot, to draw up a constitution. But the South European view of
class war was out of accord with the German and French views, and
Mazzini's proposals were rejected. Marx then undertook the writing of
the address. He succeeded remarkably well in avoiding the giving of
offense to the four different elements present, namely, the trade
unionists of England, who, being Englishmen, were averse to
revolutions; the followers of Proudhon in France, who were then
establishing free co-operative societies; the followers of Lassalle in
Germany and Louis Blanc in France, who glorified state aid in
co-operation; and the less easily satisfied contingent of Mazzini from
Spain and Italy.

Marx's diplomacy and his international vocabulary stood him in good
stead. He began the "Address" by a clever rhetorical parallelism.
Gladstone, whose splendor then filled the political heavens, had just
delivered a great speech in which he had gloried in the wonderful
increase in Britain's trade and wealth. Marx contrasted this growth in
riches with the misery and poverty and wretchedness of the English
working classes. Gladstone's small army of rich bourgeois were
adroitly compared with Marx's large army of miserably poor. The growth
of wealth, he said, brought no amelioration to the needy. But in this
picture of gloom were two points of hope: first, the ten-hour working
day had been achieved through great struggles, and it showed what the
proletarian can do if he persists in fighting for his rights. Second,
Marx alluded to the co-operative achievements of France and Germany as
a proof that the laboring man could organize and carry on great
industries without the intervention of capitalists. With these two
elements of hope before them, the laborers should be of good cheer.
Marx admonished them that they had _numbers_ on their side, and all
that is necessary for complete victory is organization. In closing he
repeats the battle-cry of '48: "Workingmen of all lands, unite!"

The "statutes," or by-laws[6] were also drawn by Marx. The preamble is
a second "Manifesto," in which he reiterates the necessity for
international co-operation among workingmen, and concludes: "The First
International Labor Congress declares that the International
Workingmen's Association, and all societies and individuals belonging
to it, recognize truth, right, and morality as the basis of their
conduct towards one another and their fellowmen, without respect to
color, creed, or nationality. This congress regards it as the duty of
man to demand the rights of a man and citizen, not only for himself,
but for every one who does his duty. No rights without duties, no
duties without rights."

The "Address" and the "Statutes" were adopted by the association at
its first congress, held in Geneva in September, 1866, where sixty
delegates represented the new movement. With the vicissitudes of
Marx's International we are not especially concerned here. It met
annually in various cities until 1873, when its last meeting was held
at Geneva.

Marx had successfully avoided offense to the various elements in his
masterly address and preamble. But the organization contained
irreconcilable elements more or less jealous of one another. The two
extremes were the Anarchists, led by the Russian Bakunin, and the
English labor unions. The Anarchists believed in overthrowing
everything, the English laborists abhorred violence. Between these two
extremes stood Marx's doctrine of evolutionary revolution, as
distasteful to the English as it was despised by the Anarchists.

When the congress met at The Hague, in September, 1872, Marx was one
of the sixty-five delegates. He had hitherto held himself aloof from
the meetings. But here even his magnetic presence could not prevent
the breach with Bakunin.[7] There were stormy scenes. The Anarchists
were expelled, and the seat of the general council was transferred to
New York, where it could die an unobserved death.

Before the final adjournment a meeting was held in Amsterdam. Here
Marx delivered a powerful speech characterized by all the arts of
expression of which he was master. He compared these humble "assizes
of labor" with the royal conferences of "kings and potentates" who in
centuries past had been wont to meet at The Hague "to discuss the
interests of their dynasties." He admitted that in England, the United
States, and maybe in Holland, "the workmen might attain their goal by
peaceful means. But in most European countries force must be the lever
of revolution, and to force they must appeal when the time comes."

These were his last personal words to his International, the
crystallization of his lifelong endeavor to lead the workingmen's
cause. There was one more meeting at Geneva, in 1873; then it

Bakunin's following, renamed the International Alliance of Social
Democracy, meanwhile went the way of all violent revolutionists. They
took part in the uprisings in Spain in 1873; the rebellion was
promptly suppressed, and the alliance came to an end.

During its brief existence the International was the red bogey-man of
European courts. The most violent and bloodthirsty ambitions were
ascribed to it. Such conservative and careful newspapers as the London
_Times_ indulged in the most extreme editorials and news items about
the sinister organization that was soon to "bathe the thrones of
Europe in blood" and "despoil property of its rights" and "human
society of its blessings."

In the light of history, these fears appear ridiculous. The poor,
struggling organization that could summon scarcely one hundred members
to an international convention was powerful only in the possession of
an idea, the conviction of international solidarity. Its plotting
handful of Anarchists were a great hindrance to it, and the events of
the Commune put the stamp of veracity on the dire things the public
press had foretold of its ambitions.

The programs discussed at the various meetings are of more importance
to us because they reveal whatever was practical in Marx's
organization. For the second meeting, 1866, the following outline was
sent out by the general council from London. It was unquestionably
prepared by Marx himself.

    "1. Organization of the International Association; its ends; its
    means of action.

    "2. Workingmen's societies--their past, present, and future:
    stoppage, strikes--means of remedying them; primary and
    professional instruction.

    "3. Work of women and children in factories, from a moral and
    sanitary point of view.

    "4. Reduction of working hours--its end, bearing, and moral
    consequences; obligation of labor for all.

    "5. Association--its principle, its application; co-operation as
    distinguished from association proper.

    "6. Relation of capital and labor; foreign competition;
    commercial treaties.

    "7. Direct and indirect taxes.

    "8. International institutions--mutual credit, paper money,
    weights, measures, coins, and language.

    "9. Necessity of abolishing the Russian influence in Europe by
    the application of the principle of the right of the people to
    govern themselves; and the reconstitution of Poland upon a
    democratic and social basis.

    "10. Standing armies and their relation to production.

    "11. Religious ideas--their influence upon the social,
    political, and intellectual movements.

    "12. Establishment of a society for mutual help; aid, moral and
    material, given to the orphans of the association."

This reads more like the agenda of a sophomore debating society than
the outline of work for an international congress of workingmen. The
discussions of the congress were desultory, quite impractical, and
often tinged with the factional spirit that ultimately ruptured the
association. At its first meeting the discussion of the eight-hour
day, the limitation of work for women and children, and the
establishing of better free schools took a modern turn. But the French
delegates brought forward a proposal to confine the membership in the
association to "hand workers." This was to get rid of Marx and Engels,
who were "brain workers." Socialism was evidently no more clearly
defined then than it is to-day.

Occasionally practical subjects were debated, as the acquiring by the
state of all the means of transportation, of mines, forests, and
land. But their time was largely taken up in the discussion of general
principles, such as "Labor must have its full rights and entire
rewards." Or they resolved, as at Brussels in 1868, that producers
could gain control of machines and factories only through an
indefinite extension of co-operative societies and a system of mutual
credit; or, as at Basle the following year, that society had a right
to abolish private property in land.

It is apparent to any one who reads the reports of their meetings that
very little practical advance had been made since the "Manifesto."
Socialism was still in the vapor of speculation. It had absorbed some
practical aspects from the English unions. These were at first
interested in the International, and at their national conference in
Sheffield, 1868, they even urged the local unions to join it. This
interest waned rapidly as they saw the Continental contingent veer
towards the Commune.

However, the beginnings of a new movement, a "new Socialism," were
distinctly seen in the questions that the English element introduced:
the length of the working day, factory legislation, work of women and
children. These had been the subject of rigid governmental inquiry.
Marx was thoroughly familiar with these parliamentary findings. They
are no small part of the fortifications he built around his theory of
social development. But his German training inclined him to the
Continental, not the Anglo-Saxon, view of social progress and of

The "Old International," then, was an attempt to spread Marxian
doctrines into all lands. As such an attempt it is noteworthy. The
Marxian _modus_, however, did not fit the world. Some Socialist
writers attribute its failure to the fact that the time was not ripe
for Marx's methods. The time will never be ripe for the Marxian
method. Marx tried to move everything from one center. He was a German
dogmatist. His council was a centralized autocracy, issuing mandates
like a general to an army. This is an impossible method of
international organization. The center must be supported by the
periphery, not the periphery by the center. There could be no
proletarian internationalism until there was an organized proletarian

Its conceptions of its detailed duties were even cruder than its
machinery. The discussions were a blending of pedantic declamation and
phosphoric denunciation. Its programs were a mixture of English
trade-union realities and Continental vagaries. Such a movement had
neither wings nor legs.

But it had an influence, nevertheless, and a very important one. It
was the means of bringing the new generation of leaders together, the
men who were to make Socialism a practical political force. Even the
fact that an international laboring men's society could meet was
important. It realized the central idea of Marx, that the labor
problem is international. That is the important point. Human
solidarity is not ethnic, but inter-ethnic. The "Old International"
was a faltering step toward that solidarity of humanity that has been
advanced so rapidly by inventions, by international arbitrations, by
treaties of commerce, and every other movement that makes
international hostilities every year more difficult.

On Socialism the "International" had at least one beneficial effect.
It cleared its atmosphere of the anarchistic thunder clouds and
prepared the way for the present more practical movement. This was
largely due to the influence of the English trade unions. They were
not inclined toward philosophical dissertations like the Germans, nor
brilliant speculative vagaries like the French. Their stolid forms
were always on the earth. That Marx was anxious for their support is
apparent, and he drove them out of the movement by his indiscreet
utterances on the Parisian Commune of 1871.

The "Old International" was a revival of the "Society of the Just,"
tempered with English trade-unionism and tinged with Anarchism; it was
also a connecting link between the old and the new Socialism.

The characteristics of the "New Socialism" cropped out at the first
meeting of the "New International," as it is called. In the first
place, the co-operative movement and the trade-union movement were
both amply represented at the Paris meetings, where the "New
International" was formed in 1889. This is indicative of the new
direction that the economic phase of Socialism has since taken. In the
second place, the Socialist congress split into two parties,
ostensibly over the question of the credentials of certain delegates,
but really over the question that divides Socialists in all countries
to-day: Shall Socialists co-operate with other political parties or
remain isolated? The Marxian dogmatists believed in isolation; the
opportunists or Possibilists believed in co-operating with other
parties. There were two congresses. The Marxian congress had 221
French delegates and about 175 from other countries. The Possibilist
convention was composed of 91 foreign and 521 French delegates. It was
virtually a labor union convention, for over 225 unions were
represented. It is of great significance that these two meetings,
which divided on a question of political policy, discussed virtually
the same questions. They were against war, believed in collectivism,
demanded international labor legislation, the eight-hour day, the "day
of rest," etc.[8]

Liebknecht, the distinguished German Socialist, who was one of the
chairmen of the Marxian convention, wrote in his preface to the German
edition of the _Proceedings_ that the Paris meeting began a new era,
"and indicated a break with the past." He told the delegates at the
convention, "the Old International lives in us to-day." There was a
continuity of proletarian ambition. In this respect the old movement
was resurrected in the new. But in every other respect the old
movement was dead. The abstractions about property and the rights of
individuals did not interest the new generation. They were more
concerned with wages than wage theories, and in the purchasing power
of their wages than in a theory of values. Even the spirit of the
class consciousness had changed. Marx's organization was the source of
the old; national consciousness was the source of the new. The
present internationalism is the result of nationalism. The delegates
at Paris were representatives; they represented nationalities. One of
the rules of the Marxian congress was that votes should be counted "by
the head," unless a delegation from any country should unanimously
demand "voting by nationalities."

In the twenty years that had elapsed since Bakunin and his
conspiracy-loving following had disrupted the "Old International" by
their preaching of violence against nationalism, labor had increased
with the rapid strides of the increasing industry and commerce of the
world. This labor had organized itself into unions and all manner of
co-operative and protective associations. It had done this by natural
compulsion from within, not by a superimposed force from without. They
had thereby found their national homogeneity, and were ready to go
forward into a great and universal international homogeneity.

The International Workingmen's Association now embraces the labor
movement of all the leading countries of the world. At the last
congress, held in Copenhagen, 1910, reports were received from the
following organizations: the British Labor Party, the Fabian Society,
the Social Democratic Federation of England, the Social Democratic
Party of Germany, the Social Democratic Labor Party of Austria, the
Commission of Trade Unions of Austria, the Social Democratic Labor
Party of Bohemia, the Social Democratic Party of Hungary, the
Socialist Party of France, the Socialist Party of Italy, the
Revolutionary Socialist Party of Russia, the Social Democratic Party
of Lettland, the Social Democratic Party of Finland, the Socialist
Party of Norway, the Social Democratic Labor Party of Sweden, the
Danish Social Democracy, the Social Democratic Party of Holland, the
Belgian Labor Party, the Socialist Labor Party of the United States,
the Social Democratic Party of Servia, and the Bulgarian Laborers'
Social Democratic Party.[9] These names indicate the threefold nature
of the modern movement. It is a labor movement, it is democratic, and
it is Socialistic. And the list of countries shows that it is

At Brussels a permanent International Socialist Bureau is maintained,
with a permanent secretary, who is in constant touch with the movement
in all countries.

There are two directions in which this remarkable co-operation of
millions of workingmen of all lands may have a practical effect on
international affairs.

In the first place, there is an effort being made to internationalize
labor unions. In Europe this has been done, to some extent, among the
transportation workers. They have an international committee of their
own, and keep each other informed of labor conditions and movements.
The great railway strike in England, in the summer of 1911, was
planned on the Continent, as well as in London and Liverpool, and
there was a sympathetic restlessness with the strikers in various
countries adjacent to the Channel that threatened to break out in
violence. During the post-office strike in France the strikers
attempted to persuade English and Belgian railway employees to refuse
to handle French mail. The Syndicalists confidently look forward to
the day when an international labor organization will be able to
compel a universal general strike.

In the second place, the new international organization will have a
far-reaching influence on militarism. This is due to two causes:
first, the recruit himself is filled with the discontent of the
Socialist before he dons the uniform. In France, Germany, Belgium,
Austria, and other countries the anti-military virus has been long at
work. But more potent than this is the feeling of international
solidarity that binds these recruits into a brotherhood of labor who
are unwilling to fight each other for purposes that do not appeal to
the Socialist heart. Warfare, to the laboring man, is merely one phase
of the exploitation of the poor for the benefit of the capitalist, and
patriotism an excuse to hide the real purposes of war. At St. Quentin,
in 1911, the French Socialists denounced the war in Morocco as an
exploitation of human lives for the purposes of capitalistic gain. The
German Social Democracy has always opposed the colonial policy of the
chancellors on the same ground, and the Belgian Labor Party has been
the severest censor of the Belgian Congo campaigns.

During the summer of 1911 the Morocco incident threatened a war
between France and Germany, with England involved, and the other great
powers more than interested. In August and September the situation
became so acute that England and Germany were popularly said to have
been "within two weeks of war." A profound sense of danger and an
intense restlessness possessed the people. During this period of
excitement the French Socialists held anti-war demonstrations. The
German Social Democrats met in their annual convention at Jena and
passed a resolution condemning the German Morocco policy, and Herr
Bebel made a notable speech, detailing the horrors of war with grim
exactness, and arraigning a civilization that would resort to the
"monstrous miseries" of war for gaining a few acres of land. This
speech was quoted at length by the great European dailies, and made a
deep impression upon the people. In England the leaders of the Labor
Party admonished the government that, while they were patriots and
believed in national solidarity, the English workingman would never
cease to consider the German and the French workingman as a
fellow-laborer and brother. The International Socialist Bureau met in
Zurich to discuss the situation and to consider how the organizations
of labor might make their protests against war most effective.

It is difficult to measure the influence of such an international
protest against the powers of governments and of armies. That the
protest was made, that it was sincere, rational and free from the
hyperbola of passion, is the significant fact. Forty years ago such
action on the part of labor would have been ridiculed. To-day it is

Disarmament, when it comes, will be due to the influences exerted by
the recruit rather than to the benevolent impulses of governments and


[1] Introduction to _Klassenkämpfe_, p. 13.

[2] See ENGELS, Introduction to MARX'S _Enthüllungen über den
Kommunisten Process zu Köln_.

[3] Joint-preface of edition of 1872.

[4] _Ibid._

[5] See "Address of the General Council of the Workingmen's
Association on the Civil War in France."

[6] Many of the original documents, and extensive excerpts from others
are given in DR. EUGEN JÄGER'S _Der Moderne Socialismus_, Berlin,
1873, and in DR. R. MEYER'S _Der Emancipations-Kampf des Vierten
Standes_, 2nd edition, Vol. I, Berlin, 1882. Both of these works give
a fairly detailed account of the development of the International and
of its annual meetings.

[7] See _Ein Complot gegen die International Arbeiter Association_, a
compilation of documents and descriptions of Bakunin's organization.
The work was first issued in French and translated into German by S.

[8] The Possibilists declared for an eight-hour day; a day of rest
each week; abolition of night work; abolition of work for women and
children; special protection for children 14-18 years of age; workshop
inspectors elected by the workmen; equal wages for foreign and
domestic labor; a fixed minimum wage; compulsory education; repeal of
the laws against the International.

The Marxian program included: an eight-hour day; children under 14
years forbidden to work, and work confined to six hours a day for
youth 14-18 years of age, except in certain cases; prohibition of work
for women dangerous to their health; 36 hours of continuous rest each
week; abolition of "payment in kind"; abolition of employment bureaus;
inspectors of workshops to be selected by workmen; equal pay for both
sexes; absolute liberty of association.

For the first meeting of the "New International," see WEIL, _Histoire
Internationale de France_, pp. 262 et seq.

[9] See Appendix, p. 340. for list of countries that maintain
Socialist organizations and the political strength of same.




The Commune abruptly put an end to Socialism in France. The caldron
boiled over and put out the fire. Thiers, in his last official message
as president, claimed that Socialism, living and thriving in Germany,
was absolutely dead in France. It was, however, to be revived in a
newer and more vital form.

The exiled communards, in England and elsewhere, came in contact with
Marxianism, and in 1880, when a general amnesty was declared, they
brought to Paris a new and virile propaganda. The leader of the new
Marxian movement was Jules Guesde, a tireless zealot, burning with the
fire that kindles enthusiasm.

The "affaire Boulanger" absorbed attention at this time, and Guesde,
in his newspapers, _La Révolution Française_ and _Égalité_, supported
the Republic. But he was also insisting upon "Le minimum d'état et la
maximum de liberté" (a minimum of government and a maximum of
liberty). This may be taken as the political maxim of the Socialists
at that time, although it leads them into the embarrassing anomaly of
using their own slave as their master.

Meantime a political labor party had arisen. In Paris, in 1878, a
workingman became a candidate for the municipal council, and he headed
his program with the words "_Parti Ouvrier_"--Labor Party. This is
the first time the words were used with a political significance.[1]
It was a small beginning, his votes were few, and the newspaper that
espoused the workingman's cause, _Le Prolétaire_, was constantly on
the verge of bankruptcy for want of proletarian support. In other
cities the political labor movement began, and in 1879 a labor
conference was held in Marseilles.

The two movements, labor and Socialist, drew together in 1880 at a
general conference of workingmen at Havre. Here there were three
groups which found it impossible to coalesce: the Anarchists, under
Blanqui, formed the "Parti Socialiste Révolutionnaire"--the
Revolutionary Socialist Party; the co-operativists, calling themselves
the Republican Socialist Alliance, included the opportunist element of
the Socialists; and the Guesdists, who were in the majority, organized
the "Parti Ouvrier Français"--the French Labor Party--and adopted a
Marxian program.

The Guesdists entered the campaign with characteristic zeal. They
polled only 15,000 votes in Paris and 25,000 in the Departments for
their municipal tickets, and 50,000 in the entire country for their
legislative ticket.

From the first the Socialists in France have been rent by petty
factions. We will hastily review these constantly shifting groups
before proceeding to the larger inquiry.

In 1882 the Guesdists split, and Brousse formed the "Fédération des
Travailleurs Socialistes de France"--the Federation of Socialist
Workingmen of France. In 1885 Malon formed a group for the study of
the social problems, "Société d'Économie Sociale"--Society of Social
Economics--which rapidly developed into the important group of
Independent Socialists--"Parti Socialiste Indépendent." The labor
movement was stimulated by the act of 1884, and in 1886 the
"Fédération des Syndicats"--Federation of Labor Unions--was organized
at Lyons, and in 1887 the Paris Labor Exchange--"Bourse du
Travail"--was opened.

In 1882 Allemane seceded from the Broussists to found a faction of his
own, the Revolutionary Socialist Labor Party of France--"Parti Ouvrier
Socialiste Révolutionnaire Français." In 1893 the first confederation
of the labor exchanges (bourses) was held, and the first conspicuous
victory at the polls achieved.

In 1899 an effort was made to unify the warring factions, and a
committee representing every shade of Socialistic faith was appointed.
It was called the General Committee--"Comité Général Socialiste."
Within the year the Guesdists withdrew on account of the rigorous
quelling of the strike riots by the government at Châlons-sur-Saône.
In 1901 the Blanquists withdrew and, coalescing with the Guesdists,
formed the Socialist Party of France--"Parti Socialiste de France."
This movement was soon followed by the uniting of the Jaurèsites and
the Independents, who called themselves the French Socialist
Party--"Parti Socialiste Français."

After the expulsion of Millerand, the two parties united in 1905 at
Rouen. This unity was achieved at the suggestion of the International
Congress held at Amsterdam, 1904. The "United Party" is officially
known as the French Section of the International Workingmen's
Association--"Section Française de l'Internationale Ouvrière."

The United Party, after its years of ridiculous factionalism, is the
most compact and disciplined group in the Chamber of Deputies, and
this in spite of the fact that the Guesdists and Jaurèsites have not
forgotten their ancient differences. The French people are not
amenable to discipline and party rigor as are the Germans and the
Anglo-Saxons. At the last election (1910) the United Party elected 76
deputies in a chamber of 590 members.

There are to-day two other groups that are more or less Socialistic
but are not in "the Party." The Independent Socialists, numbering
thirty-four members in the Chamber, are men who, either because of
their intellectualism or because of their political ambitions, have a
repugnance to hard and fast organization. This group includes a number
of college professors and journalists; also Briand, Viviani, and
Millerand, former ministers. They are not committed to any definite
political program, take a leading part in all social reform measures,
and are accused by the "united ones" of using the name Socialist
merely as a bait for votes.

The other group is the Socialist-Radical Party, numbering about 250
members in the Chamber. In most countries their radicalism would be
called Socialism. But in France they are only the connecting link
between Socialists and liberal Republicans.[2]


The "social questions" were slow in entering parliament. In 1876 a
Bonapartist deputy, known for his charities, interpolated the
government, asking what inquiries were being made toward securing the
moral and material betterment of "the greatest number," and amidst the
cheers of his followers the Prime Minister replied that the
government's duty was comprehended in securing to the country
"liberty, security, and education." This was the old idea of the
functions of government. The new social movement had not yet gathered

With the development of the workingman's political party, interest and
sympathy for his problems suddenly increased. In 1880 the Republicans
adopted a resolution in favor of freedom of association. At this time
labor unions were illegal. In 1881 the government removed the
restrictions that had been placed on the press. In the following year
it extended the primary schools into every commune, and Gambetta did
everything in his power to promulgate what he termed "an alliance of
the proletariat and the bourgeois." Social science, he said, was the
solvent of social ills. The Socialists, however, believed that
politics, not "social science," was the solvent.

It was not until 1884, while Waldeck-Rousseau was Minister of the
Interior, that labor was given the legal right to organize.
Immediately unions--called _syndicats_ by the French--sprang up
everywhere. Article 3 of the act declared that these unions had for
their exclusive object "the study and the promulgation of their
interests, economic, industrial, commercial, and agricultural." They
were not given the liberal legal powers that English and American
unions have.

The social movement now invaded French politics in full battle array.
A government commission was intrusted with the study of the
co-operative movement. In 1885 several deputies, calling themselves
Socialists, began to interpellate the ministry on the labor questions.
The government brought in two proposals, one pertaining to communal
and industrial organizations, the other to the arbitration of
industrial disputes. Both were tabled.

In 1887 a man appeared in the Chamber ready to debate the social
questions with the keenest and the ablest. This was Jean Jaurès, a
professor of philosophy, whose profound knowledge and superb oratory
immediately commanded attention. He was joined by another new deputy,
M. Millerand, scarcely less proficient in debate, and even more
extreme in his convictions. Both were considered members of the
radical party. But they soon formed the nucleus of a new group, the
Independent Socialists, that grew rapidly in influence and power.

The social question was forced on the public from yet another
direction. The Anarchists, who had been expelled from the Havre
conference, remained passive until the organization of trade unions.
They then began to promulgate the doctrine of the general strike. The
unionists began not only to compel their employers to accede to their
demands, but to coerce workingmen to join the unions. It was during
this agitation that the government established an elaborate system of
labor exchanges--"Bourse du Travail."

From the labor unions the doctrine of the general strike was
insinuated into Socialist circles. In 1890 it was proposed as a
practical measure for enforcing the demand for an eight-hour day among
the miners. In 1892 the Departmental Congress of Workingmen at Tours
passed a resolution favoring the general strike, and it was discussed
a few days later in a general convention of the unions, at the
suggestion of Aristide Briand, a Socialist who was destined to play an
important rôle in the development of the theory and practice of
general strikes.

The government could no longer dodge the social question. Millerand
announced his conversion to Socialism and became the leader of a small
parliamentary coterie who pressed the issue daily. In a signed
statement to the unions they said: "The Republic has given the ballot
into your hand, now give the Republic your instructions."[3] The
parliamentary _entente_ of the liberal Socialists with the Radical
Left dates from this time. The campaign spread with surprising fervor.
Labor unions and parliamentary Socialists joined their forces. In 1893
they elected forty Socialists to the Chamber of Deputies. Among them
were Jaurès, who now espoused the cause of the Socialist opportunists;
Millerand, conspicuous as leader of the independent group; Guesde, the
vehement Marxian; and Vaillant, a communard and Socialist of the older

Now began the actual parliamentary Socialism in France. Jaurès, in
introducing the group--they were scarcely a party--to the Chamber,
affirmed their allegiance to the Republic and their devotion to the
cause of humanity. The misery of the people had awakened, he said,
after right of association had been granted. Labor had, through
strikes, gained certain minor improvements. It was now prepared to
conquer public authority. But so much of their time was spent in
quarreling with each other, and debating whether they should vote with
the Radicals, that very little substantial work was accomplished by
the Socialists.

Finally, encouraged by their unusual success in the municipal
elections of 1896, the leaders of the various factions met at
Saint-Mandé to celebrate their victory. They were tiring of their
quarrels and were ready to unite. At least they agreed that each group
could name its own candidate for the first ballot; on the second
ballot they should all support the Socialist who polled the most votes
on the first ballot.[4]

But who is a Socialist? Here for the first time a political definition
was attempted. Millerand, a Parisian lawyer who, we have seen, made
his political début with Jaurès, as a member of the Radical Left,
attempted the answer. It was made in the presence of Guesde, Vaillant,
and Jaurès, and many local leaders from various parts of France. So,
for the moment and for the occasion of rejoicing, there was a united
Socialism. And it gave assent, with varying enthusiasm, to the general
definition and program outlined by Millerand. He defined the ground to
be covered as follows:

"Is not the Socialistic idea completely summed up in the earnest
desire to secure for every being in the bosom of society the
unimpaired development of his personality? That implies two necessary
conditions of which one is a factor of the other: first, individual
appropriation of things necessary for the security and development of
the individual, i.e., property; secondly, liberty, which is only a
sounding and hollow word if it is not based on and safeguarded by

He then accepted _in toto_ the Marxian theory that capitalistic
society bears within itself the enginery of its own doom. "Men do not
and will not set up collectivism; it is setting itself up daily; it
is, if I may be allowed the phrase, being secreted by the capitalistic
régime. Here I seem to have my finger on the characteristic feature of
the Socialist program. In my view, whoever does not admit the
necessary and progressive replacement of capitalistic property by
social property is not a Socialist."

Millerand was not satisfied with merely including banking, railroads,
and mining in the list of "socialized" property. He believed that as
industries become "ripe" they should be taken over by the state, and
cites sugar refining as an example of a monopoly that is
"incontestably ripe." Millerand also laid great stress on municipal
activities, and hastened to guarantee to the small property owner his
modest possessions. All this taking over by the state was to be done
gradually. "No Socialist ever dreamed of transforming the capitalistic
régime instantaneously by magic wand." The method of this gradual
absorption by the state must be constitutional. "We appeal only to
universal suffrage. To realize the immediate reforms capable of
relieving the lot of the working class, and thus fitting it to win its
own freedom, and to begin, as conditioned by the nature of things, the
socialization of the means of production, it is necessary and
sufficient for the Socialist party to endeavor to capture the
government through universal suffrage."[5]

This mild formulary, which places the "socialized society" far into
the dim future, was accepted as long as it was rhetorical. But when
Millerand himself became a member of the cabinet in the
Waldeck-Rousseau coalition, and began to translate his words into
deeds, a rupture followed.

In the meantime occurred the Dreyfus affair, which shifted all the
political forces of the Republic. At first the Guesdists remained
indifferent, while Jaurès, with great energy, threw himself into the
contest in behalf of Dreyfus. But when the affair took an
anti-Republican turn and democracy was threatened, then all the
Socialists united, with no lack of energy and zeal, in the defense of
the Republic. On June 13, 1898, Millerand was spokesman in the Chamber
of Deputies for the Socialist group, which now held the balance of
power. With threats of violence against the Republic in the air, he
assured the deputies that his comrades were united for "the honor, the
splendor, and the safety of the Fatherland" (l'honneur, la grandeur,
et la sécurité de la Patrie). And this was part of the price of their
adhesion: old-age pensions, a fixed eight-hour day, factory
legislation protecting the life and health of the workman, military
service reduced to two years, and an income tax. The Radical Left
adopted this "minimum program" of the Socialists, and the famous
"Bloc" was formed. Jaurès was made vice-president of the Chamber and
soon proved himself master of the coalition. Now for the first time in
history the Socialists were in political power, and what occurred is
of the greatest interest to us.


And now for the first time a Socialist becomes a cabinet member. In
1899 Waldeck-Rousseau appointed Millerand Minister of Commerce, to the
consternation of the Conservatives and the division of the Socialists.
Jaurès congratulated his colleague on his courage in assuming
responsibility. But while the Independents were jubilant over the
elevation of one of their number, the Guesdists and Blanquists withdrew
from the "Bloc." They issued a manifesto setting forth their reasons.
They did not wish further alliances with a "pretended Socialist." They
were tired of "compromises and deviations," which for too long a time
had been forced on them as "a substitute for the class war, for
revolution, and the socialism of the militant proletariat."[6]

To them the war of the classes forbade their entrance into a bourgeois
ministry; and the conquest of political power did not imply
collaboration with a government whose duty it was to defend property.
Jaurès proposed to put the question up to the party congress, and in
1899 at Paris a bilateral compromise resolution was adopted. Guesde,
however, restless and dissatisfied, compelled the congress to vote
first upon the question, "Does the war of the classes permit the
entrance of a Socialist into a bourgeois government?" The answer was
818 "no," 634 "yes." Jaurès' compromise was then adopted, 1,140 to

The international congress held in Paris, September, 1900, adopted
Kautsky's resolution declaring that the acceptance of office by a
single Socialist in a bourgeois government "could not be deemed the
normal commencement of the conquest for political power, but only an
expedient called forth by transitory and exceptional conditions."

At the Bordeaux congress, April, 1903, the whole time was given over
to this perplexing question. The congress was composed largely of
friends of Millerand and Jaurès. By this time the Socialist minister
had had three years' experience in the cabinet. The Waldeck-Rousseau
premiership had given way to Combes, who was also dependent upon the
Socialists for his power.

Millerand had especially offended the Socialists by voting against his
party on three separate occasions: first, on a resolution abolishing
state support for public worship; second, on a resolution to prosecute
certain anti-militarists for publishing a book that tended to destroy
military discipline; and, third, on a resolution asking the Minister
of Foreign Affairs to invite proposals for international disarmament.
He had further offended the Socialists by officially receiving the
Czar on his visit to Paris.

The debate, then, was disciplinary rather than doctrinal. But it was
political discipline, evidence therefore that a party consciousness of
some sort had been achieved. This meeting is significant because it
tried to fix definite limits for Socialistic action and committed
Jaurès to the narrowing, not to the expanding, policy of the party.

M. Sarrante expressed the Millerand idea when he told the delegates
that they were to judge "an entire policy," the policy of "democratic
Socialism, which gains ground daily on the revolutionary Socialism, a
policy which Citizen Millerand did not start, which he has merely
developed and defined, and which forces itself upon us more and more
in our republican country." The test of Socialism, he said, was just
this "contact of theory with facts."

Jaurès found himself in logical difficulty when he endeavored to
reconcile both sides for the sake of party unity. He said that
Sarrante was wrong "when he thinks it enough to lay down the principle
of democracy in order to resolve, in a sort of automatic fashion, the
antagonisms of society.... The enthronement of political democracy and
universal suffrage by no means suppresses the profound antagonism of
classes.... Sarrante errs in positing democracy without noting that it
is modified, adulterated, thwarted by the antagonism of classes and
the economic preponderance of one class. Just as Guesde errs in
positing the class war apart from democracy."

To Jaurès the problem was to "penetrate" this democracy with the ideas
of Socialism until the "proletarian and Socialistic state has replaced
the oligarchic and bourgeois state." This can be brought about, he
said, by "a policy which consists in at once collaborating with all
democrats, yet vigorously distinguishing one's self from them."

Jaurès acknowledged the awkwardness of this policy, which required a
superhuman legerdemain never yet accomplished by any party in the
history of politics.

Guesde's motion to oust Millerand from the party was lost. And a
compromise offered by Jaurès censuring him for his votes, but
permitting him to remain in the party fold, was adopted by 109 to 89
votes, fifteen delegates abstaining from voting. This was a very close
margin, and in spite of Millerand's promise that he would in the
future be more careful of his party allegiance he was expelled the
following year from the Federation of the Seine. The stumbling-block
was removed.[8]

More important than the party discipline is the question of the
economic measures attempted by Millerand. In general he followed the
outlines laid down in his Saint-Mandé program.[9] His experience
carried him farther away from the Guesdists every year until he
repudiated the class war and adhered to social solidarity; substituted
the method by evolution for the method by revolution, still espoused
by Guesde; and placed the national interests upon as high a plane of
duty as the international and the personal. His program of labor
legislation was comprehensive, and he succeeded in getting some of it
passed into law. These were his leading proposals:

1. Regulating the hours of labor and creating a normal working day of
ten hours. He began the reduction at eleven hours, reducing it to ten
and a half, and then to ten within three years. In the public works of
his own department he reduced the working day at once to eight hours.

2. In public contracts he introduced clauses favorable to workingmen.
These clauses embraced the number of hours in a normal work day, the
minimum wage for every class of workmen, prohibition of piece-work,
guarantee of no work on Sunday, and the per cent. of foreign workmen
allowed on the job. He arranged that the workingmen should unite with
the employer in fixing the wages and the hours of labor before the
contract was signed. In these contracts, furthermore, the state
reserved the right to indemnify the workmen out of the funds due to
the contractor.

3. An accident insurance law.

4. The abolition of private employment agencies, with their many
abuses, and replacing them with communal labor bureaus free to all.
The voluntary federations of the trade unions were put on a similar
footing with the communal labor exchanges, and were encouraged to
co-operate with them. Millerand took great care to perfect the
organization of trade unions. He introduced amendments to the old law
of 1884, giving greater scope and elasticity to the unions, granting
them greater corporate powers, and making the dismissal of a workman
because he belonged to a union ground for a civil suit for damages. He
began a movement to secure the co-operation between the unions and the
state workshop inspectors. There had been a great deal of abuse in the
operation of the inspection laws by the employers. An attempt was now
made to define strictly the rights and duties of the inspectors.

5. His pet scheme was the establishing of labor councils (conseils du
travail). On these councils labor and employer were to have equal
representation. The duty of the councils embraced the adjudication of
all disputes arising between employer and employee, suggesting
improvements, and keeping vigilance over all local labor conditions.
In 1891 a supreme labor council had been established. To this
Millerand added lay and official members and greatly increased its
efficiency. He tried to make it a central vigilance bureau, keeping in
close touch with local conditions all over the land.

6. He elaborated a plan for regulating industrial disputes. This was
to be effected by a permanent organization in each establishment
employing more than fifty men, a sort of committee of grievance to
which all matters of dispute might be referred. In case of failure to
settle their difficulties an appeal to the local labor council was
provided. By this democratic representative machinery Millerand hoped
to solve the labor problem.

It will be seen that Millerand's plan was an attempt, by law, to
project the working class, not into politics but into the capitalist
class. He would do this by compelling the employer to share the
responsibility of ownership with his employees. This would mark the
beginning of a revolution very different from the revolution
ordinarily preached by propagandists, because this revolution would
substitute class peace in place of our present incessant economic
class war.

The Socialists made it plain that Millerand's procedure was not
Socialism. When Millerand was first asked to take a cabinet portfolio
his friend Jaurès told him to accept. When he had perfected his
practical procedure, and the bulk of the proletarians evinced their
disappointment and chagrin that the elevation of a Socialist had not
brought utopia, Jaurès gradually slipped away from his former alliance
and finally left the reformist group.

Jaurès also had his day of power. The Dreyfus affair presented the
issue in tangible form--the old traditions, religious, political,
social, against the new ideas of society, property, and government. It
was the heroic period of modern French Socialism. Red and black flags
were borne by enthusiastic multitudes through the streets of Paris.
The "_Université Populaire_" was inaugurated by students for the
purpose of instructing the common people in the issues that were at
stake. The flame of eager anticipation spread over the Republic.

As master of the "Bloc" in the Chamber, Jaurès became the first real
head in the first French democracy. Two great reforms were undertaken:
the disestablishment of the Church, carrying with it the
secularization of education and the reorganization of the army. The
old Royalist families had continued to send their sons into the army
and navy. Many of the officers were suspected of royalist sympathies.
An elaborate system of espionage was instituted, and the suspects
weeded out. The last vestige of the old monarchy has now disappeared
from French officialdom. France has a bourgeois army, a bourgeois
school system, a bourgeois bureaucracy, thanks to the power of the
proletarian Socialists led by Jaurès in the days of the Republic's

Jaurès remained orthodox; Millerand became heretic. The Millerand
episode left a deep impression on the public mind. The first Socialist
minister shaped not only a program but an entire policy. In 1906, when
a new cabinet was formed, Millerand declined a portfolio, but two
other Socialists accepted cabinet honors; Viviani, a well-known
Parisian lawyer, held the newly created ministry of labor and social
prevision (prévoyance sociale), and Aristide Briand became Minister of
Public Instruction and Worship, and later Minister of Justice.

The public regarded the elevation of two Socialists to the cabinet as
a matter of course. Millerand's activity had taken the fear out of
their hearts. Even the Marxian Socialists failed to notice the event.
They had written into their party by-laws that no Socialist could
accept office, so the new ministers, by their own acts, ceased to be

Clémenceau, the new Premier, ushered in the next period of social
adventure by a brilliant debate in the Chamber with Jaurès in which
the philosophical basis of individualism was reviewed with great skill
and some of the social questions discussed.[10]

Jaurès claimed for the Socialists a dominant share in the great
victory won by the friends of the Republic during the Dreyfus turmoil,
and made much of the multitudes of workingmen to whom the Republic was
now under great obligation. These workingmen, the proletariat, were
the force now to be dealt with. "If you really wish society to evolve,
if you wish it really to be transformed, there is the force you must
deal with, and that you must neither repress nor rebuff." The
parliamentary experience of Socialism Jaurès passed over lightly; it
added nothing new, he thought, to the theory or the arguments of the

His opponent, however, in a single sentence laid bare the weakness of
the Socialist's logic: "The truth is that it is necessary to
distinguish between two different elements of the social organization,
between the man and the system." Clémenceau read the Socialists'
program upon which they had won their victory. It embraced: the
eight-hour day, giving state employees the right to form unions,
sickness and unemployment insurance; a progressive income tax; ballot
reform (scrutin de liste) and proportional representation, and
"restoration to the nation of the monopolies in which capital has its
strongest fortress."

"What a terribly bourgeois program!" exclaimed Clémenceau. "M. Jaurès,
after expounding his program, challenged me to produce my own. I had
very great difficulty in restraining the temptation to reply: 'You
know my program very well. You have it in your pocket. You stole it
from me.'"

This debate was significant, not in what was said, but in the fact
that it was possible to enlist the Prime Minister, the cleverest of
French statesmen, and Jaurès, the greatest of French orators, in a
discussion of Socialism from the tribune of the Chamber of Deputies.
The whole country listened. During this brilliant tilt Clémenceau
taunted Jaurès that his Socialism was impractical, a dream. "You are a
visionary, I am a realist; you have dreams, I have facts." Jaurès
replied with great fervor that he would prove to the people of France
that Socialism is not impracticable and that within a year he would
produce a plan for the new social order. The "Unified" Socialist
Party, built up largely on Jaurès' abandonment of his former colleague
and his earlier liberal convictions, may be considered a part of the
fulfilment of this promise. The other part, the plans and
specifications for the new society, is not yet before the world. Its
introduction, properly its prelude, is the volume published by Jaurès
in 1911, _L'Armée Nouvelle_, containing suggestions for reorganizing
the state defense along lines of voluntary militia and cadets.[11]


Clémenceau's régime was destined to test the Socialist policy in a new
direction. The law of 1884 gave state employees the right to form
associations, but not to federate or organize _syndicats_. A great
many organizations were formed, especially among the postal employees
and teachers. They were mutual benefit societies, "friendly"
associations, and the government recognized them to the extent of
discussing their grievances and questions of mutual interest with

Among the workmen in the navy yards and the national match, tobacco,
and porcelain works similar organizations existed. The Syndicalists
would not let the matter rest there. They demanded that these
organizations become members of the C.G.T. (General Confederation of
Workingmen). The government objected because that would give the men
the right to strike, a dangerous anomaly giving to the state's
servants the right to make government nugatory. This extreme doctrine
found ready advocates in the Chamber among the Socialists.

In March, 1909, the post-office clerks and telegraph operators went
out on strike. The government promptly discharged thirty-eight of the
ringleaders and arrested eight of the strikers in Paris on the charge
of resisting the police. In the course of a few days over 800 out of
15,000 employees were discharged. Soldiers were introduced into the
service, and with the help of local chambers of commerce and other
civic bodies the postal service was renewed. The strikers were then
willing to make terms. They stipulated that the dismissed employees be
reinstated and that M. Simyan, the Under-Secretary of Posts and
Telegraphs, be dismissed. The first request was conceded, the second
was denied. The ostensible cause of the strike had been the attitude
of the under-secretary; the men asserted that he was arbitrary and had
imposed petty political exactions upon them. The government refused to
allow the men to dictate its affairs, the under-secretary remained,
and the men went back to work.

The Socialists censured the government for not being considerate with
the men, and placed the entire blame upon the ministry for refusing
the national employees a right to organize as other workmen. To this
Simyan replied: "We are in the presence of an organized revolutionary
agitation ... this is blackmail by strike." The Minister of Public
Works said: "Over our heads these officials have revolted against you
and against the entire nation. These are serious hours when the
government needs perfect facilities of communication with its
ambassadors and consuls [the Balkan question was in the pot], and in
such hours a strike is an attack upon the national sovereignty. In
these circumstances I cannot re-enter into negotiations with the
general postal association. If I did so that would mean
abdication."[12] The Socialist deputies voted against the government's
resolution "not to tolerate strikes of functionaries."

The general strike committee was not discharged when the men returned
to work. When it became evident that the government did not intend to
ask the under-secretary for his resignation the post-office employees
organized a trade union, unauthorized by law. The government refused
to meet representatives of this union, on the ground that state
employees had organized for one purpose only, namely, to have the
right to strike, and the government would not concede that right.

On May 12 a second general post-office strike was called. The
government immediately dismissed over two hundred of the strikers. The
Socialists in the Chamber began a demonstration against the
government. One of their number started the "Internationale," the
Socialist war-song. After the first blush of indignation had passed,
the whole Chamber sprang to its feet, there were shouts of protest, a
Republican started the Marseillaise, and the two revolutionary hymns,
bourgeois and proletarian, were blended for the first time in a
parliamentary chamber.

Now the general confederation of labor (C.G.T.) took charge of the
strike, and soon plots began to be carried out in various parts of the
country. There were indications of violence everywhere. The general
committee of the C.G.T. declared a general strike. The situation
threatened to become serious, but the soldiers distributed over the
affected territory had a tranquilizing effect. Men in other trades
were reluctant to follow the orders of the committee. A few electric
workers succeeded in cutting some wires in Paris, leaving the city in
darkness a few hours. There were desultory acts of _sabotage_, but
there was more terror than enthusiasm, and in two days the general
strike was over.[13]

Here was an attempt to place the 800,000 French state employees into
the revolutionary current of the C.G.T. The real question at issue was
this: Is striking an act of mutiny? Barthou, a member of the ministry,
said in the Chamber of Deputies that "the more solemnly you denounce
the strike as a crime against the state, the greater the victory of
the Syndicalists." The Syndicalist journal, _Le Voix du Peuple_, the
day after the first strike was settled proclaimed "the victory which
our comrades of the postal proletariat have won over their employer
the state." This, they said, showed that the state conceded the main
contention of Syndicalism--that it is not different from a private
employer. And the Syndicalists gloried in the fact that the
government, instead of treating the strikers as mutineers, parleyed
with them and reinstated them.

Clémenceau brought in a bill designed to relieve the situation by
fixing the status of the state employees. The men were to be given the
right of association for "professional" purposes only,--i.e., for
improving their efficiency,--but were absolutely prohibited from
striking and from joining other unions. A comprehensive civil-service
reform was embodied in the bill, aimed to prevent the men from
becoming victims of political abuse.

Before the bill could be thoroughly considered the Clémenceau ministry
fell and a new Prime Minister was called to the helm. This was none
other than Aristide Briand, the first Socialist Prime Minister in
European history. His former comrades had long before this disowned
him, and he was soon to participate in events that would forever
alienate them. He had been a furious Socialist, an anti-militarist,
and defender of the general strike. In the Socialist congress at
Paris, 1899, he said: "The general strike has the seductive advantage
that it is nothing but the practice of an intangible right. It is a
revolution which arises within the law. The workingman refuses to
carry the yoke of misery any farther and begins the revolution in the
field of his legal rights. The illegality must begin with the
capitalist class, if it allows itself to be provoked into destroying a
right which they themselves have professed to be holy." At the same
meeting he expressed himself on the soldiery as follows: "If the
command to fire is given, if the officers are stubborn enough to try
to force the soldiers against their will, then the guns might be
fired, but perhaps not in the direction the officers thought." Briand
repeated these sentiments at the Amsterdam congress in 1903.

This was the man whom destiny had chosen to lead the French government
against the organized revolt of government employees.

On assuming the premiership he announced his program:

1. Parliamentary and electoral reform, he said, were of the first
necessity, but he deemed it best to experiment with the new methods of
balloting locally before adopting a national system of reform.

2. A graduated income tax.

3. Fixing the legal status of state servants.

4. Old-age pension.

October 10, 1910, the men employed on the Northern Railway went out on
strike. Before they did so they had a conference with the Prime
Minister and the Minister of Public Works, Millerand, requesting that
they try to arrange a meeting between the men and the officials of the
railway. The ministry offered its services to the railway directors,
but they refused to meet the strikers, although Briand had volunteered
to preside at such a meeting. The Prime Minister told the men firmly
that the government could not tolerate a suspension of railway
service, that it would exert its authority to prevent it, and that it
relied on the common sense and patriotism of the men to prevent it.

However, the strike spread to other lines, including the state
railway. The men's demands were three: 1. A minimum wage of five
francs a day. 2. A revision of the railway pension act making the
pensions retroactive. 3. A weekly day of rest--the men had been
excluded from the "rest day" act when it was passed.

Briand at once characterized the strike as political in motive and
revolutionary in character. In his mind the strike ceased to be merely
a question of the right to strike, but was a criminal outbreak, an act
of rebellion planned by a few revolutionary leaders and submitted to
by the rank and file without their even voting on the question. He was
greatly incensed at the sudden calling out of the men after the
government had received their representatives, and especially since
the railway companies had granted their request for a minimum wage and
had taken under advisement the other demands of the men.

Five of the ringleaders were promptly arrested under dramatic
circumstances. They were attending a meeting in the office of
_L'Humanité_,[14] attended by Jaurès and Vaillant and other leaders of
the party. They were arrested under color of Sections 17 and 18 of the
law of 1845 dealing with railway traffic.[15]

This law proved a powerful factor in checking the strike. Arrests were
made far and near. The energetic Prime Minister did not wait for acts
of violence; he anticipated them. Briand called out the reserves
(militia), and nearly all of the strikers were compelled to put on the
uniform. If they refused they were guilty of a serious offense; if
they obeyed they could no longer strike.

The railways were run as in times of war, under military rigor. In
spite of these precautions acts of violence occurred, and _sabotage_
was reported from various railway centers.[16]

In one week the soldiery, under the determined minister, had done its
work. The strike was over. The government refused to reinstate about
2,000 men employed on the state railway.

The strike committee issued a manifesto excusing the failure of the
strike, assuming the full responsibility for calling it, and affirming
that the government had "lowered itself to the level of the most
barbarous employer."

The strike was hastily conceived, never had the sympathy of the
public, and the destruction of property was deplored even by the labor
unions, which, when it was all over, passed resolutions condemning
_sabotage_. The leaders of the Syndicalists, the plotters of the
strike, no doubt believed that the time was opportune. The Prime
Minister and two of his cabinet, Viviani and Millerand, were
Socialists, and a third member, Barthou, was a Radical who had as a
private member of the Chamber, a short time before his appointment to
the cabinet, vigorously defended the railway men's "right to strike."
But official responsibility had its usual effect.[17]

Now began a series of dramatic events in the Chamber. The united
Socialists maintained that the men had a legal right to strike and
that the government had denied to French citizens their legal
privileges. Briand replied (October 25) that the strike had nothing to
do with the labor problem. The government, had been confronted with
"an enterprise designed to ruin the country, an anarchistic movement
with civil war for its aim, and violence and organized destruction for
its method"; and he had treated it as a rebellion, not as a strike.
The government, he said, had evidence of a well-laid plot for
_sabotage_; and the Syndicalist idea of liberty he characterized as a
"hideous figure of license."

Millerand (October 27) characterized the strike as a "criminal
enterprise," and the _saboteurs_ as "criminals" guilty of "a
revolutionary mobilization with a political object." For the
Socialists Bouveri, a miner, replied. He defended bomb-throwing and
_sabotage_; asked the Minister of War if, in case of invasion by a
foreign foe, he would not blow up the bridges; and said the strikers
were engaged in a social war and had the same excuse for destroying

The climax of the debate came October 29, when Briand, turning to the
Socialists, said: "I am going to tell you something that will make you
jump (que vous faire bondir). If the government had not found in the
law that which enabled it to remain master of the frontiers of France
and master of its railways, which are the indispensable instruments of
the national defense; if, in a word, the government had found it
necessary to resort to illegality, it would have done so."

No words can describe the disorder of the scene that followed this
challenge. Cries of "Dictator!" "Resign!" were mingled with catcalls
and hisses. Finally Jaurès was heard in bitter rebuke of his former
comrade. Viviani answered Jaurès; they had fought together the battles
of the workingman and would do so still "if Socialism had not adopted
the methods of _sabotage_, of anti-patriotism, and of anarchy."

A few weeks later Briand and his cabinet resigned, although sustained
by a majority of the Chamber. But President Fallières immediately
requested the dauntless Prime Minister to form a new cabinet. In his
new program he included measures that would greatly strengthen the
arms of the government in times of strikes, punishing _sabotage_ by
heavy fines and penalties, penalizing the public railway servant for
striking, and contemplating an elaborate system of conciliation boards
patterned after Millerand's plan.

These rigorous suggestions increased the flame of hatred against him,
and his life was threatened. Nothing daunted, he proceeded in his
warfare against the C.G.T., which he denounced as a handful of
plotters exercising a wicked tyranny over Socialists and workingmen.
Finally, February 27, 1911, he resigned, refusing to hold office by
the sufferance of the reactionary Right. The Socialists voted with
their enemies to dethrone their first Premier, whom they considered a
traitor to the course.[18]

So ended one of the most significant episodes of modern political
history. Every government, especially every democratic government,
will within the next few decades be compelled to meet the railway
problem and the question of the relation of the government to its
state servants.

Two important details in the Briand affair are of especial interest.

First, the Prime Minister's attempt to project the authority of the
state into the contract relations of the railway employees and the
companies. Instead of hostility, Briand's plan might well have
deserved the support of the Socialists. For he was expanding the
functions of the state, was enlisting the power of society in behalf
of a contract that is of universal interest.

Secondly, Briand's bill making it unlawful for a railway servant to
strike was quite as revolutionary as the C.G.T.'s contention that the
state had no right to interfere. Here, too, Briand was the Socialist
and the Socialists were the individualists; the one recognized the
paramount interests of society, the other saw only the interests of
the individual worker. Put to this test, French Socialism failed as
signally in theory as the violence, _sabotage_, and insubordination of
the C.G.T. failed in practice.[19]


Who were these revolutionary labor leaders, this small handful of
plotters to whom Briand constantly alluded?[20] In order to understand
the Socialist movement in any country, both politically and
industrially, it is necessary to understand the organization of labor.
Socialism began as a class movement, and in every country it is
endeavoring to capture the labor organizations.[21]

In no two countries are the relations quite the same. In the United
States the unions have traditionally kept out of politics altogether.
In Great Britain they refused to be busied with politics until a few
years ago, when the Labor Party was organized. Since then a number of
union men have identified themselves rather loosely with Socialism. In
Germany there is the closest co-operation between the party and the
unions, but not any organic unity. In Belgium the political and
economic organizations are virtually merged.

In France the most interesting development has taken place. From the
Revolution until 1864 no labor organizations were allowed. The
National Assembly abolished all the trade guilds and corporations. The
_Loi le Chappelier_ forbade unions of workers and of masters, and the
_Code Napoléon_ imposed a penalty of imprisonment on those engaging in
unlawful combinations. In 1864 the criminal laws were revised, and
unions of twenty members were allowed. The law of 1884 left the way
untrammeled for their development.[22]

Within a few years unions were formed everywhere.[23] In 1886 the
Guesdists organized the National Federation of Trade Unions, a
Socialist body of workers subordinated to the Workingman's Party. Soon
thereafter the Municipal Socialists, the Broussists, founded the Paris
Labor Exchange, built a large clubhouse for if, and succeeded in
getting an appropriation of 20,000 francs a year from the city for
its maintenance. Within ten years about fifty of these exchanges were
formed in as many cities, and about seventy per cent. of the union
members belonged to them. The object of these exchanges was
educational and benevolent. But they were soon made the hotbeds of
Socialistic politics. In 1892 they were all federated in the
Federation of Labor Exchanges (Fédération du Bourse du Travail).

In 1895 Guesde's political adjunct, the National Federation of Trade
Unions, became extinct. The Blanquists then organized a new
federation, the notorious General Confederation of Labor
(Confédération Générale du Travail), commonly called the C.G.T. These
two bodies were bitter rivals, after the French fashion, until, in
1902, they amalgamated, retaining the name C.G.T.[24] The organization
is dual, retaining the benevolent activities of the local exchanges
and the trade activities of the local unions. These activities are
federated into national councils. The union of these councils forms
the central governing body of C.G.T. The organization allows a great
deal of local autonomy, but the central control is none the less
effective. In 1907 the C.G.T. claimed 350,000 members, in 1911 it
reported 600,000.

This body of workmen is known for its violence. Within its ranks has
spread the doctrine known as revolutionary Syndicalism, a resurrection
of the spirit of Proudhonism in the body of labor unionism. Briefly
stated, it is class war in its most violent form without the aid of
parliaments and politics; with the enginery of the general strike, and
the spirit of universal upheaval and anarchy. It is the most effective
outbreak of Anarchism since the days of Bakunin.

The intellectual revival of the doctrine of violence may be dated from
the appearance of Georges Sorel's book, _The Socialist Future of Trade
Unions_, in 1897, and the culmination of the tide in his volume
_Reflections upon Violence_, in 1908.

For a movement so young Syndicalism has had a peculiarly expansive
literature, written by professors and journalists of the bourgeois
class, who live on respectable streets, receive you in comfortable
drawing-rooms, and from their upholstered ease display a fine zeal for
the oppressed proletariat.[25]

It is not easy to classify Syndicalism, for it refuses to be called
Anarchism, repudiates the leadership of Socialism, and scorns to be
merely trade-unionism. The following are its principal characteristics:

1. It is disheartened with Socialism because, it says, Socialists have
lost their ideals in the race for political power. Law-making is
useless, because no laws can emancipate the workingmen. It therefore
despises governments and abjures parliaments. But its ideals are
Socialistic; it believes "in reorganizing society on a communistic
basis, so that, with a minimum of productive effort, the maximum of
well-being will be obtained."[26]

2. But repudiating governments and parliaments, they say, does not
make them Anarchists. Syndicalists believe in local or communal
government. Their state is a glorified trade union whose activities
are confined to economic functions, their nation is a collection of
federated communal trade societies. When I went among them they were
especially solicitous that they should not be regarded as "mere

3. Syndicalism is not trade-unionism pure and simple, because its
method is violence and its ideal the industrial unit, not the trade or
craft unit. The weapon of Syndicalism is the general strike. A
circular issued by the executive committee in 1898 defined the general
strike as "the cessation of work, which would place the country in the
rigor of death, whose terrible and incalculable consequences would
force the government to capitulate at once. If it refused, the
proletariat, in revolt from one end of France to the other, would be
able to compel it." Sorel says that "revolutionary Syndicalism
nourishes in the masses the desire to strike, and it can thrive only
in places where great strikes, occupied with acts of violence, have
taken place."[27] The strike committee of the C.G.T. in 1899
proclaimed the general strike as "the only practical method through
which the working class can fully liberate itself from the
capitalistic and governmental yoke." The general strike includes the
boycott, _sabotage_, and all kindred forms of violence.[28]

4. Syndicalism revives the old revolutionary methods of conspiracy, of
a dominant minority swinging the masses into line; "a conscious
minority, which, through its example, sets the masses in motion and
drives them on."[29] There are plots, underground manoeuvers, and
sudden outbursts. An air of mystery pervades their spectacular
uprisings. In order to accomplish their purpose there must be a
solidarity of labor. But this unity is the result of the energy of the
"conscious few," not of the assertive many.

5. Finally, Syndicalism proclaims that democracy is a "fraud"
perpetrated upon the workingmen by the property-owning bourgeois;
representative government and majority rule is to them merely a polite
form of tyranny, and patriotism a farce. Potaud says: "Patriotism can
only be explained by the fact that all patriots without distinction
own a part of the social property, and nothing is more absurd than a
patriot without a patrimony."

"We workingmen will have none of these little fatherlands! Our country
is the international world!" cried Yvetot to the post-office strikers
in Paris.

They regard the soldiers with enmity. At the national congress at
Amiens, 1906, they resolved that the "anti-military and anti-patriotic
propaganda should be promulgated with the greatest zeal and

Syndicalism is the extreme pessimism of the laboring class. It reached
its height about 1907-1908. Portions of France were terrorized, more
by its extravagant language than by its overt acts. There was no limit
to their superlatives. "Rip up the bourgeois!" "Turn your rifles on
your officers!" "Cut buttonholes in the skins of the bourgeois!" were
familiar battle-cries. There was so much talk about putting vitriol
into coffee, ground glass into bread, pulling the fire-plug out of
engines, that finally language came to mean nothing.

The "new commune" thought it was coming into reality with the
post-office and railway strikes. We have seen how these outbreaks were
met by a Radical government. Since then their ardor has cooled, and
their adjectives grown flabby. They are now devoting themselves to

Anti-militarism does not mean merely opposition to standing armies.
All Socialists are opposed to the maintenance of armaments.
Anti-militarism is opposition to all force used by the state to assert
its sovereignty. This includes the police and constabulary as well as
the army, and courts and parliaments as well as the navy. Since
soldiers and policemen are servants of the state, and since the state
is the expression of nationalism, the anti-militarist concludes that
his supreme enemy is the nation, the master of the soldier.
Anti-militarism is the forerunner of anti-patriotism.

In 1906 this doctrine was so rampant that, on May Day, an uprising was
feared in Paris. A prophet had arisen, proclaiming the most extreme
doctrines of anti-patriotism. This was Gustave Hervé, a teacher of
history from Auxerre. He had spoken the suitable word, and became
famous overnight: "The French flag arose from dirt!"; and to the
peasantry he shouted, "Plant your country's flag in the barnyard
dung-heaps!" He came to Paris and started a daily paper, _La Guerre
Sociale_. Syndicalists and Socialists flocked to his standard, and
even Jaurès was compelled to acknowledge his influence.[31]

Hervé has a simple remedy for militarism: "The way to stop war is to
refuse to fight." He exhorts his fellow-Socialists to join the army,
but fire on their commanders, not on their comrades. He was arrested
several times for these utterances and the overt acts that they
aroused. Some years ago a Parisian workingman was arrested for an
offense against public morals. He protested his innocence and, when
released, in revenge killed a policeman. He was promptly executed.
Hervé used the occasion for an onslaught upon the government in his
paper. He said: "If the working class would display one-tenth of the
energy that this workman displayed, the social revolution would not be
long in coming." For his imprudence he was imprisoned for a term of
four years.[32] His influence is waning, but the words he and his
following have planted in the hearts of the conscripts may bear some
strange fruit.[33]


While the French Socialists have been prolific in the developing of
factions and theories, they have been slow at achieving practical
results. As early as 1887 they acquired considerable power in Paris.
They contented themselves with establishing a labor exchange and
extending a few municipal charities.

The local program, as outlined at Lyons, included: the feeding of
school children; an eight-hour day and a fixed minimum wage for
municipal employees; the abolition of the "_octroi_"; sanitary
regulations for workshops and factories; abolition of private
employment bureaus; establishment of homes for the aged; maternity
hospitals; free medical attendance for the poor; free public baths;
sanitaria for children of workmen; free legal advice for workingmen;
pensions for municipal employees; and the publication of a municipal
bulletin giving record of all the votes cast by the councilors.[34]

In 1892 a number of important cities were won by the Socialists, and
in September of that year the first convention of Socialist municipal
councilors was held at Saint-Ouen. The discussions were filled with
revolutionary phraseology. In a few years the ideas of violence were
discarded for more practical issues. In 1895, when the municipal
convention met at Paris, the time was largely given over to the
question of organizing the municipal public service, public hygiene,

In Lille the Socialists began their administration of local affairs by
raising the budget from 740,000 francs in 1897 to 1,019,000 francs in
1899. Free industrial education was established for the working
people; a municipal theater was opened; school children were fed and
clothed; and an attempt was made to regulate the length of the working
day and fix a minimum wage for municipal employees. At Dijon the
feeding and clothing of school children was regulated by the amount of
wages earned by the parents. Free medical aid was provided, and a
drug-store was induced to sell medicines to the poor at reduced cost.
The local labor exchange was voted an appropriation from public funds.

These illustrations show the general trend of municipal Socialism in
France. The results are not numerous. But the French Socialists
justify their meager practical results by pointing to the centralized
system of administration which enables the prefect and other
administrative officers to veto many of the acts of the municipal
councils. The first thing that the Socialists attempted to do in their
towns was the readjustment of the finances for the benefit of the
working classes. Their acts were vetoed on the ground that they were
_ultra vires_. The attempt to fix a minimum wage for municipal
employees met the same fate. Then the municipalities petitioned the
central government for greater financial autonomy. This was denied. In
Roubaix the opening of a municipal drug-store was disallowed by the
prefect on the ground that the corporations act does not grant that
power to municipalities. Municipal bakeries met the same fate. During
the last few years, however, the rigor of the central administration
has relaxed and the towns are allowed greater liberty in municipal

Under the circumstances it is perhaps little wonder that French
municipal Socialism is a poor housekeeper. You look in vain for the
high ideals of the Socialist evangelist. If you visit the towns where
Socialism abounds you will be told that the Socialists have spent more
money on the poor than their predecessors. You will find better
nurseries for the babies of the working mothers, meals and stockings
doled out to school children of the poor, here and there a physician
or a lawyer retained by the town to render free service to the working
people. On inquiry you will find that the soldiers are drawing
increased pensions, the widows and orphans of the workingmen are
especially provided for, and that bread is delivered to the needy at
the door so they need not go ask for it, need not be beggars.

You are impressed that these proletarian town governments are trying
to destroy poverty. Their ideal is noble, but some of their efforts
are very crude.

The French Socialists are not by any means a unit on the municipal
question. In 1911 it was the principal question discussed at their
national convention at Saint-Quentin. Professor Millhaud of the
University of Geneva, in a very clear and able speech, pointed out the
merits of municipalization, citing the ownership of street railways,
gas, waterworks, garbage plants, and other public utilities of
European and American cities. He included municipal drug-stores, the
feeding and clothing of school children, the establishing of
playgrounds, and many other municipal activities familiar to American
practice, in his local Socialistic program.

His exposition met with the approval of the Jaurès faction. But the
Guesdists were not satisfied. "Who would benefit by cheap municipal
gas?" cried a delegate from the rear of the hall. "The rich man, for
he needs a great deal of gas to light up his big house. But what
laboring man needs gas? When has he time to read? In the evening he is
too tired, and he gives no receptions." Guesde maintained with great
vehemence that municipal ownership and state ownership are not
Socialism; they may be a step toward Socialism, but often result in
substituting the tyranny of the state for the tyranny of the private

The convention adopted a municipal program after a prolonged
discussion that brought out clearly the fact that the Guesdists are
not devoted to state or municipal ownership as a principle, but only
as a means to a greater end.

During the last few years a very important movement has been taking
place among the peasantry of southern France. Under the leadership of
Compère-Morel, a gardener and member of the Chamber of Deputies,
Socialism is spreading rapidly among these small and independent
landowners. There are several million of these thrifty peasants in
France, and their acquisition to Socialism will mean, not only a great
increase in political power, but a modification of their theory of
property. The Socialists are luring the small land-holder by telling
him that they are with him in his fight against the large estates.
They assure the peasant that they have no designs upon his small
holdings. It is the _great_ property, not merely property, that is the
object of their hostility.[35]

There are other evidences that French Socialism is mellowing. Most of
its leaders are bourgeois. Of the seventy-six united Socialists in the
present Chamber, only thirty are workingmen, or trade-union officials;
eight are professors in the University or secondary schools; seven are
journalists; seven are barristers; seven are farmers; six are
physicians; three are school teachers; and two are engineers. This
does not suggest class war.

Socialism is a power in French politics. An observer who moves among
the middle class wonders how much of a power it is in French life. The
Radical Party would be considered Socialistic in England or the United
States; half of it calls itself Socialist-Radical. It rules the
Republic from the Chamber of Deputies. Everywhere you hear the people
talking about collectivism, the nationalization of railways, of mines,
of vineyards, of docks, and ultimately of wheat-fields and

But the French are a nation of small farmers and shopkeepers who cling
to their property while they argue and vote for their radicalism and
Socialism. This is the duality of their temperament; they love
possessions and they love philosophical speculation. They keep their
fields and their little shops, and speculate about the new to-morrow.
They vote and debate with imaginative fervor; they pay taxes with
stolid commonplace silence. In measuring the strength of French
Socialism it is necessary to keep this in mind. Not that the
Frenchman does not take Socialism seriously. He takes it as seriously
as he takes monarchism or republicanism, and much more seriously than
he takes religion. There is only one thing he takes more
seriously--his property.

That is why the Socialists number among their adherents all classes
and all conditions of men, from Anatole France, most fastidious of
literary aristocrats, to gaunt and hungry proletarians who infest the
cellars and garrets of ancient Paris.

The French are, after all, the greatest of realists. They speculate in
dreams and delicate theories; but they never lose their grip on their
little farms and their little shops and the gold bonds of Russia.


[1] GEORGES WEIL, _Histoire du Mouvement Socialiste en France_, Paris,
1904, p. 220.

[2] Other groups--the word party is hardly applicable in the French
Chamber of Deputies--are the reactionary Right; the republican
Conservatives, or Center; the Radical Left, or Liberals.

[3] WEIL, _supra cit._, p. 276.

[4] In France, when any one candidate for the Chamber of Deputies
fails to receive a majority of the votes cast, a second ballot is
taken, for the two receiving the highest number of votes

[5] Quoted by ENSOR, _Modern Socialism_, pp. 48-55. See also a
collection of Millerand's speeches, _Le Socialisme Réformiste
Français_, Paris, 1903.

[6] See "Manifeste 14 Juillet," 1899.

[7] See _V^{me} Congrès Général des Organisations Socialistes Français
tenu à Paris du 3 au 8 Décembre. Compte-rendu sténographique
officiel_, 1900, p. 154 ff.

[8] A partial report of the debate of the Bordeaux congress is given
in ENSOR'S _Modern Socialism_, pp. 163-184.

[9] See A. LAVY, _L'Oeuvre de Millerand_, Paris, 1902, a sympathetic
account of his work; contains also extracts from his speeches and
state papers.

[10] See the _Contemporary Review_, August, 1906, for a brief abstract
of this debate.

[11] One of the first laws passed with the aid of the Socialist vote
was the "day of rest" law, commanding one day of the week as a day of
rest. It met the obstinate opposition of the Conservatives. The
operation of the law is of interest, and instructive. The workmen
naturally rejoiced over this increased leisure. The employers, on the
other hand, found themselves paying wages for hours in which no
service was rendered. They lowered the wages; the workmen resisted.
Finally the law was so amended as virtually to annul its effect, in
certain trades. The Socialists became irritated to the verge of
breaking their _entente_ with the Radicals.

[12] Proceedings Chamber of Deputies, March 19, 1909.

[13] During this agitation the teachers of the public schools, who had
formed a great number of associations, joined in the demand of the
Syndicalists. One of their number who had signed a vitriolic circular
was dismissed by M. Briand, the Minister of Education, and for a time
a strike of schoolmasters was threatened, but it did not materialize.

[14] _L'Humanité_ is the leading Socialist daily of Paris. Briand had
written editorials for it in his "red" days.

[15] These sections declare that the employment, or abetting or
instigating the employment, of any means of stopping or impeding
railway traffic is a crime; and if it has been planned at a seditious
meeting, the instigators are as liable to punishment as the authors of
the crime, even if they did not intend to provoke the destruction of
railway property. The penalties imposed are very severe.

[16] Placards displayed the bitterness of the men. "For our vengeance
Briand will suffice" was read on the walls under flaming posters that
quoted fiery sentences from Briand's earlier speeches.

[17] Viviani, Minister of Justice, resigned soon after the close of
the strike. He did not agree with Briand in his efforts to pass a law
making all railway strikes illegal. He said as long as railways were
private property men had the right to strike, but not to destroy

[18] Before his resignation, the old-age pension bill had passed the
Senate and thus became a law. The Socialists supported the bill; but
Guesde voted against it in spite of his party's instructions, because
labor was charged with contributing to the fund. The syndicalists were
also violently opposed to it because they believe the amount of the
pension is too small.

[19] When in January, 1912, M. Poincaré was appointed Prime Minister,
he promptly invited Briand into his cabinet as vice-president and
Millerand as Minister of War.

[20] The co-operative movement is spreading gradually throughout
France. There are two kinds of societies--the Socialist and the
independent. In 1896 there were 202 co-operative productive societies.
In 1907 there were 362. The following figures show the increase in the
number of co-operative stores: 1902--1,641; 1903--1,683; 1906--1,994;

[21] The following table, compiled from the reports of the Minister of
Labor, shows the growth of the labor-union movement:

  Year    Number of    Number of
           Unions       Members
  1885       221         ...
  1886       280         ...
  1887       501         ...
  1888       725         ...
  1889       821         ...
  1890     1,006       139,692
  1891     1,250       205,152
  1892     1,589       288,770
  1893     1,926       402,125
  1894     2,178       403,430
  1895     2,163       419,781
  1896     2,243       422,777
  1898     2,324       437,739
  1899     2,361       419,761
  1900     2,685       491,647
  1901     3,287       588,832
  1902     3,679       614,173
  1903     3,934       643,757
  1904     4,227       715,576
  1905     4,625       781,344
  1906     4,857       836,134
  1907     5,322       896,012
  1908     5,524       957,102

[22] See _Journal of Political Economy_, March, 1909, for a
comprehensive article on French labor unions by O.D. SKELTON.

[23] From the beginning there were two kinds of unions, named after
the color of their membership cards. The "yellows" are those pursuing
a policy of peace, and the "reds" are the militants.

[24] The following figures show the increase of strikes since the
organization of the C.G.T.:

    Years      Average      Average
                Number       Number      Average Number
              of Strikes   of Strikers    of Days Idle
  1890-1898      379         71,961        1,163,478
  1899-1907      855        214,660        3,992,976

[25] The doctrines of Syndicalism may be found in the writings of
Georges Sorel. Also in the following: POUGET, _Les Bases du
Syndicalisme_; GRIFFUELHS, _L'Action Syndicaliste_, and _Syndicalisme
et Socialisme_; POUGET, _La Parti du Travail_; POTAUD and POUGET,
_Comment nous ferons la Révolution_; PAUL LOUIS, _Syndicalisme contre

[26] POUGET, _The Basis of Trade Unionism_, a pamphlet issued in 1908.

[27] _Réflexions sur la Violence._

[28] See YVETOT, _A B C du Syndicalisme_, Chap. V. This pamphlet is
issued by the C.G.T.

[29] Statement of Strike Committee C.G.T., 1899.

[30] "In every state, the army is for the property owner; in every
European conflict, the working class is duped and sacrificed for the
benefit of the governing class, the bourgeoisie, and the parasites.
Therefore the XVth Congress approves and extols every action the
anti-military and anti-patriotic propaganda, even though it only
compromises the situation of all classes and all political parties."
See YVETOT, _A B C du Syndicalisme_, p. 84.

[31] Hervé has written a history of France that has had considerable
vogue as a text-book in the public schools. He begins with the
significant year 1789; glorifies the violence, and praises the
Socialistic manifestations and the heroism of the revolutionists, that
have made the past century one of turmoil and perpetual commotion.
This book is a sample of the reading given into the hands of the
children of the Republic. I was told, upon careful inquiry, that a
large number of the primary and secondary school teachers are
Socialists. Thiers, before he became President, while still a
functionary of monarchy, objected to the establishment of government
schools in every village, because, he said, he did not want "a red
priest of Socialism in every town." To-day he would find these "red
priests" everywhere. They have even organized _syndicats_ and joined
the C.G.T.

[32] When I called upon him in the Prison Santé he told me that he was
as sincerely opposed to military measures as ever; but that it would
be a long time before the people would regard all mankind, rather than
a single ethnic group, as the object of their patriotism. Pointing to
the grim walls of his prison, he said, "Vive la République! Vive la

[33] Syndicalism and anti-militarism have spread to Spain and Italy.
But they have not found favor among the phlegmatic North-European

[34] See STEHELIN, _Essais de Socialisme Municipal_, 1901.

[35] See _Les Paysans et le Socialisme_, a speech delivered by
Compère-Morel, in the Chamber of Deputies, December 6, 1909. Also
published in pamphlet form by the Socialist Party.




In Belgium the physical, political, and economic environment is suited
to a symmetrical development of Socialism. It is a small country, "at
the meeting-point of the three great European civilizations,"
Vandervelde, the leader of the Belgian Socialists, has pointed out.
And his boast is true that the Belgian Socialists have absorbed the
leading characteristics of the social movement in each of these
countries. "From England Belgian Socialists have learned self-help,
and have copied their free and independent organizations, principally
in the form of co-operative societies. From Germany they have adopted
the political tactics and the fundamental doctrines which were
expressed for the first time in the 'Communist Manifesto.' From France
they have taken their idealistic tendencies, and the integral
conception of Socialism, considered as an extension of the
revolutionary philosophy and as a new religion, an extension and a
realization of Christianity."

This threefold growth would have been impossible if the environment
had not been favorable. The Belgian population is congested into
industrial towns that are thickly strewn over the country, like the
suburbs of one vast manufacturing community. These working people have
always been miserably housed and poorly fed. In 1903-05 a public
inquiry into housing conditions was instituted in Brussels. In the
most congested portions of the city, 564 households, comprising 2,224
persons, lived in one-room tenements. The houses were in miserable

The commission appointed after the riots of 1886 describes conditions
that are little better than those that prevailed in England in 1830.
Even as late as 1902, out of 750,000 working men and women one-tenth
only worked less than ten hours a day; the rest worked from ten to
twelve hours. One-fourth of these working people had a wage of 2
francs (40 cents) a day, another fourth had 2 to 3 francs (40 to 60
cents) a day, and the upper section only 3.50 to 4.50 francs (70 cents
to 90 cents) a day. The government inquiry in 1896 disclosed the
following rate of wages:

  170,000 persons received less than 2 fr. (40c.) a day.
  172,000 persons received less than 2-3 fr. (40-60c.) a day.
  160,000 persons received less than 3-4 fr. (60-80c.) a day.
  102,000 persons received more than 4 fr. (80c.) a day.[1]

In the low countries where agriculture is the leading occupation,
conditions are no better. The peasant is poor; the conditions of
tenancy hard, though recent legislation has modified them somewhat in
the tenant's favor; and the holdings small. Agricultural wages are
very low. The men in the Flemish district receive an average of 1.63
francs (33 cents) a day, without board, or about .90 francs (18 cents)
with board. The women receive 1.06 francs (21 cents) without board and
.64 francs (12-1/2 cents) with board.[2]

Here, then, is a population of industrial and peasant workers who are
barely able to make a living, who have little time and less
opportunity for education and general development. The percentage of
illiteracy is very great; and is equaled only by the most backward
countries of southern Europe. In 1902, out of every 1,000 militiamen,
101 were entirely illiterate; in France, 46; in England, 37; in
Holland, 23; in Switzerland, 20; in Denmark, .08; in Germany, .07. In
1909 Rowntree estimated the illiteracy in the four largest Belgian
cities to be 11.75 per cent.; in the Flemish communes, 34.69 per
cent.; and in the Walloon communes (excepting Liège), 17.34 per cent.

Outward circumstances have not been wanting to arouse this teeming
population into violent discontent. The government for years paid no
heed to their misery, and the Church, which is very powerful in
Belgium, was content to distribute charity and consolation, and to
admonish the employer to patriarchal care for his men.

The national status of the country is guaranteed by the powers; there
is no fear of invasion and no need for the intolerable military
burdens that weigh down the great countries of Europe. There have been
no international complications. This little country, with its clusters
of thriving towns, its mines, farms, and seaports, could settle down
contentedly to its daily tasks like a large family.

The great manufacturers and industrial leaders took even less interest
in the welfare of the working people than the state or the Church. No
one seemed to care how the worker fared, and when he himself learned
to care the first reactions were violent.

We will limit ourselves, in this inquiry, to the political development
of the labor movement.

Belgium is a constitutional monarchy. The Constitution, provides for a
parliament composed of the Senate and the Chamber of Representatives,
both elected by the people, the Representatives by direct, the
Senators by indirect, elections. The King has the veto power and the
power to prorogue parliament. A general election follows prorogation,
in which the whole membership of Senate and House are elected. The
communes are governed by elective communal councils.

From the establishment of the constitution, in 1831, there have been
two leading political parties--the Clerical or Catholic, and the
Liberal. The Clerical Party has been not merely conservative, it has
been reactionary. It clings not only to monarchic prerogatives, but to
ecclesiastical supremacy. This medieval policy it imposed upon school
and government and Church. The party has until very recently been in
the majority. It is strongest in the low counties, among the
agricultural Flemings. When the activity of the Socialists and
Radicals forced the question upon the country, a "left" wing of the
party began to interest itself in the laboring man, through the
traditional methods of the Church, rather than by means of state

The Liberal Party is a protest, not only against the predominant
influence of the Church in political affairs, but also against the
financial policies of the Conservatives. The Liberals early espoused
the cause of free schools, modified tariffs, greater local autonomy,
and liberal election laws.

The election laws confined the electorate to the few property-holders
and professional men of the country. In 1890, out of 1,800,000 male
citizens, 133,000 were qualified electors.


These were the conditions that prevailed when the Socialists quite
suddenly appeared on the scene. There had been a Socialist propaganda
for years in Belgium. Brussels was a city of refuge to many fleeing
revolutionists of 1848. In 1857 a labor union was organized among the
spinners and weavers of Ghent. The same year Colin published his book,
_What Is Social Science?_ This volume prepared the way for the
remarkable collectivist movement, which was stimulated into modern
activity by Anselee, a workingman of Ghent and organizer of the
Vooruit Co-operative Society. Cæsar de Paepe, a disciple of Colin and
a man of remarkable intellectual endowments, tried to bring unity to
the Belgian movement. But the factionalism was not cast aside until
1885, when the Belgian Labor Party (Parti Ouvrier Belge) was

Now Socialists of all factions were drawn together. But, unlike
Socialists in other countries, they did not expend their energies on
political action. The Belgian labor movement had a threefold
origin--the co-operative movement of Colin, the labor-union movement,
and the Socialistic or political movement of de Paepe. These three
activities, united in the Labor Party, have continued to develop,
until they are a model for Socialists in all countries.

The organization of the party is simple. The various organizations are
federated into large groups, e.g., the co-operative group, each with
a separate organization. The provinces and communes have their local
committees for each separate activity. Over the entire party sits a
general council (conseil général). An executive committee of nine is
chosen from this council, and this committee has practical control of
the party. The annual convention is the supreme authority. It elects
the general council and decides, in democratic fashion, all important
questions of policy and activity. Every constituent organization, such
as the co-operative societies, etc., contributes from its funds to the
support of the party. The party is therefore a federation of many
societies with various activities, not a vast group of individual
voters, as the German Social Democracy. Its solidarity is not
individual, but federal.

The organization of the Labor Party proved a stimulus to all the
constituent societies. From 1885 to 1895 over 400 co-operative
societies were formed, and within a few years 7,000 mutual aid
societies were organized. The membership of the labor unions increased
from less than 50,000 in 1880 to 62,350 in 1889, and nearly 150,000 in

The Socialist movement had now achieved solidarity, and was prepared
to enter into a conflict for power. Its issues were two: universal
suffrage and free secular education. The second was necessarily
included in the first; for without parliamentary power it would be
impossible to secure liberal educational laws, and without a liberal
franchise it would be impossible to get parliamentary power. All their
political energies were therefore devoted to the reform of the
election laws.

It is in this activity that the Belgian movement forms for our
purpose one of the most instructive chapters of European Socialism.
Here is a proletarian horde deprived of participation in government in
a constitutional monarchy, struggling toward political recognition. It
is armed with all the weapons of militant Socialism: a revolutionary
tradition; a national history rich in mob violence, street brawls, and
conflicts with police and soldiers; possessed of a well-organized
party, a class solidarity, and capable and courageous leaders who are
willing to go, and do go, to the extreme of the general strike and
violence in order to achieve their goal.

In short, here we have the Socialist political ideal working itself
from theory into reality through class struggle. But there is the
usual important modification of the Marxian conditions; viz., the
liberal bourgeois prove a potent ally to the Socialists in the press
and on the floor of the Chamber of Representatives. While the
Socialists were surging in vehement earnestness around the Parliament
House, the Liberals were as earnestly pleading their cause within.

The definite fight for universal suffrage began a few years before the
organization of the Labor Party. In 1866 a group of workingmen issued
an appeal to their fellows to begin the battle for the ballot. In 1879
the Socialists issued a manifesto which stated the case as follows:
"'All powers are derived from the nation; all Belgians are equal
before the law,' says the Constitution of 1831.

"In reality all powers are derived from a small number of privileged
ones, and all the Belgians are divided into two classes--those who are
rich and have rights, and those who are poor and have burdens.

"We wish to see this inequality vanish, at least before the
ballot-box. For the most numerous class of society ought to be
represented in the Chamber of Representatives, because the people
whose daily bread depends upon the prosperity of the country should
have the power to participate in public affairs.

"Constitutions are not immutable, and what was solemnly promulgated on
one occasion may, without revolution, be altered on another."[3]

The proclamation then proceeded to call a meeting at Brussels for the
following January (1880). At this meeting it was decided to circulate
a monster petition asking Parliament to pass a liberal election law
and to organize a demonstration to be held in Brussels the following
summer. In this, the first of a long series of demonstrations, about
6,000 persons from various parts of the kingdom paraded the streets of
the capital. There was a clash with the police, and a number of
arrests were made. From 1881 to 1885 the Liberals tried to persuade
the Clericals to agree upon a constitutional revision; and the
Socialists brought to bear upon them all the pressure of the streets.
But the Clericals were firm. Then the Socialists tried another
manoeuver. They issued a manifesto "to the people of Belgium,"
complaining of the dominion of the Church over education, the dominion
of a few families over the nation, and the failure of the government
to grant liberty to the people. "The hour has come for all citizens to
rally under the republican flag."

Instead of a republican uprising, something more significant and
potent occurred; the Labor Party was organized, welding together all
the forces of discontent and unifying their demands into a protest so
strong that the government was finally compelled to yield. Not,
however, until it had exhausted almost every resource of resistance.

The party was organized just in the crux of time. A financial crisis
was beginning to increase the hardships of the industrial classes. The
unrest was intensified by an ingenious piece of propagandist
literature, a _Workingman's Catechism_ (_Catechism du Peuple_),
written by a workingman. Two hundred thousand copies in French and
60,000 in Flemish were scattered among the discontented people. Its
influence was wonderful. A few questions will indicate the power that
lay behind its simple questions and answers.

    _Question._ "Who are you?"

    _Answer._ "I am a slave."

    _Q._ "Are you not a man?"

    _A._ "From the point of view of humanity I am a man, but in
    relation to society I am a slave."

    _Q._ "What is the 25th article of the Constitution?"

    _A._ "The 25th article of the Constitution says: 'All power is
    derived from the nation.'"

    _Q._ "Is this true?"

    _A._ "It is a falsehood."

    _Q._ "Why?"

    _A._ "Because the nation is composed of 5,720,807 inhabitants,
    about 6,000,000, and of this 6,000,000 only 117,000 are
    consulted in the making of laws."

And so through every grievance, social, economic, and political. Every
workman learned his catechism. Those who could not read gathered in
groups around their more fortunate comrades and listened to the
effective questions and answers.

By the beginning of 1886 the little land was a seething caldron of
political and economic unrest. The strike movement began at Liège and
soon spread to Charleroi and other industrial centers. There was
enough destruction of property and clashing with police and soldiery
to create a panic in the country. In Brussels business was at a
standstill for days. The Socialist Party, in a circular issued to the
people, said: "The country is visited by a terrible crisis. The
disinherited classes are suffering. Strikes are multiplying, riots are
provoked by the misery. The constantly decreasing wages are spreading
consternation everywhere."

The disorder aroused a number of Anarchists in Brussels. They posted
anonymous placards inciting the people to violence. The Socialists
repudiated the Anarchists, and one of their orators said: "Do not let
yourselves be carried away by violence; that will only benefit your

A mass demonstration was planned, but the mayor of Brussels prohibited
it. The Labor Party, however, were allowed to hold their annual
convention and to march under their red flag, the government merely
requesting that the demonstrants refrain from shouting, "Vive la
République!" Thirty thousand laboring men joined in the demonstration.
The Liberals and Radicals refused to take part in it because they
claimed it was only a workingman's movement, and the Anarchists
refused because "elections lead to nothing." This demonstration was so
serious and imposing that it made a deep impression upon the people,
and was not without effect upon the government.

The crisis finally passed over. A great many rioters were imprisoned
in spite of the popular clamor for universal amnesty. The general
strike brought no immediate advantage to the workmen.

The next few years the Socialists devoted to organization. They were
determined not to enter upon extended strikes again without thorough
preparation. In the meantime the Liberal Party split. The Radicals, or
Progressists, at their first congress in 1877 declared themselves in
favor of the separation of Church and state, military reform,
compulsory education, social and electoral reform. They were, however,
not yet prepared to commit themselves to universal suffrage. They
favored rather an educational test for voters. This, however, they
abandoned in 1890, and virtually placed themselves upon the Socialist

On August 10, 1890, another great demonstration in favor of universal
suffrage took place in Brussels. Over 40,000 men joined in the parade.
The Progressists did not take part in the marching, but they were
stationed along the route to cheer the men in line. Before they
dispersed, all the participants united in taking a solemn oath that
they would not give up the fight "until the Belgian people, through
universal suffrage, should regain their fatherland." This is the
famous "Oath of August 10."

After this demonstration the Progressists joined with the Socialists
in a conference for discussing ways and means for securing universal
suffrage.[4] This conference is notable because it drew Radicals,
Progressists, and Socialists into a united campaign for suffrage
reform. The conference resolved to organize demonstrations in every
corner of the kingdom and to memorialize Parliament. This was to be a
final peaceful appeal. If it remained unheeded a general strike would
follow. The bourgeois Progressists assented to this ultimatum.

A few days before the Socialist-Progressist conference met, a clerical
social congress had convened at Liège. The agitation of the Labor
Party had at last aroused the Conservatives. The resolutions of this
conference were pervaded by the traditional apostolic paternalistic
spirit of the Church. It demanded social reform, amelioration of harsh
conditions, state arbitration, industrial insurance; but it set its
face against universal suffrage. On the wings of an awakened
conservatism it tried to ride the whirlwind of Socialism.

But no halfway measures would now placate the agitators. The great
mass of Belgian workmen were aroused, and nothing but the ballot would
satisfy them.

A propaganda was begun in the army. The enlistment laws were favorable
to the rich, who could purchase freedom from military service. The
poor conscripts were especially susceptible to the Socialist

In the autumn of 1890 at the Labor Party's annual convention it was
suggested that, inasmuch as the parliament of the Few had not heeded
the wishes of the nation, a parliament of the People should be called,
to be composed of as many members as the existing parliament, but
chosen by universal suffrage. Even a program was proposed for this
fancied parliament.

By this time the petitions prepared by the suffrage congress were
ready. In every arrondissement there were demonstrations. In Brussels
8,000 men marched to the city hall and handed the mayor their petition
protesting against the privileged election laws and demanding
universal suffrage. From every village in the kingdom protests were
brought to the government demanding universal suffrage.

Finally on November 27, 1890, a Liberal member in the Chamber of
Representatives proposed a change in the Constitution enlarging the
electoral franchise. He explained the injustice of the limited
franchise, dwelt on the dangers of strikes and riots, and said that he
believed the Belgian workmen as capable of exercising the rights of
citizenship as those of neighboring countries. All parties agreed to
discuss the amendment. The debate held popular excitement in abeyance.
But as it became more and more evident that nothing would be done the
workingman became restive. Early in 1892 riots broke out in various
cities. The situation became acute. Socialists and Radicals organized
a popular referendum on the question. It was not an official
referendum, and its results were not binding. But it was an effective
method of propaganda, and in many of the communes the councils gave it
their sanction, thereby lending it the color of legality.

Five propositions were submitted to the voters: (1) manhood suffrage
at twenty-one years; (2) manhood suffrage at twenty-five years; (3)
exclusion of illiterates and persons in receipt of public or private
charity; (4) household suffrage and mental capacity defined by law;
(5) the exclusion of all who have not passed an elementary educational
standard. As a rule the Clericals refused to participate in the

In Brussels, out of 72,465 entitled to vote only 38,217 voted, with
the following results: manhood suffrage at twenty-one years, 29,949;
manhood suffrage at twenty-five years, 5,253; all other propositions
together, 3,015. In Huy, out of 3,513 voters only 1,800 voted, and
1,700 of these were in favor of universal suffrage. In Antwerp, where
Liberals and Clericals are about evenly divided, only forty-three per
cent. of the electors voted, and of 18,701 votes cast, 15,704 were for
universal suffrage.

This referendum, and all the demonstrations, had very little effect
upon parliament. The deputies were in favor of revision, but could not
agree upon a plan. The Radicals were in favor of universal suffrage,
the Clericals unalterably opposed to it, and the Liberals only
sympathetic towards it.

Finally, in April, all the proposals were voted down by the Chamber of
Representatives. The Socialists immediately ordered a general strike.

It began in the coal mines of Hainault, spread to the weavers and
spinners of Ghent, to the glass and iron works of the Walloon
districts, to the printers and pressmen of Brussels, and to the docks
at Antwerp. Two hundred thousand men stopped work in the course of a
few days. While the mills and mines were idle the police and soldiers
were busy. Six men were killed at Joliment, six killed and twelve
wounded at Mons. In Brussels the mob pried up the paving-stones for
weapons; the city guards patrolled the city, meetings were forbidden,
the streets were cleared of people, and the mayor was wounded in a
mêlée. A band of "communists" threw a barricade across Rue des
Eperonniers, the last of the barricades. The troops made short work of
it. Scores of arrests were made in the various cities and the
offenders received sentences varying from six years' imprisonment to a
fine of fifty francs.

In the height of the excitement the Chamber of Representatives
convened and agreed upon a franchise amendment. Immediately the
general council of the Labor Party met and declared the strike off. It
sent out this pronouncement: "The Labor Party through its general
council records the insertion of manhood suffrage in the Constitution.
It declares that this first victory of the party has been won under
pressure of a general strike. It is resolved to persist in the work of
propaganda until it has won universal political equality and has
suppressed the plural voting privilege."

The new electoral law (1893) was a compromise suggested by Professor
Albert Nyssens of the University of Louvain. It recognized the three
principal demands of the three parliamentary factions: universal
suffrage of the Radicals, property qualifications of the Clericals,
and educational qualifications of the Liberals. Universal suffrage was
granted to all male citizens twenty-five years of age. But this was
modified in favor of property and education by the granting of
additional votes. One additional vote was give (1) to every voter
thirty-five years of age who was the head of a family and paid a
direct tax of 5 francs (one dollar); (2) to every owner of real
property valued at 2,000 francs ($400.00), or who had an annual income
of 200 francs ($40.00) derived from investments in the Belgian public
funds. Two additional votes were given to the holders of diplomas from
the higher schools, to those who were or had been in public office,
and to those who practised a profession for which a higher education
was necessary. No one was allowed more than three votes.

Whatever may be said of this fancy franchise, it is at least
ingenious. It satisfied the first popular hunger after the ballot. The
workmen could vote. The conditions imposed for the casting of two
votes seem very liberal and the majority of American voters could
qualify under them. But in Belgium, the land of low wages and
congested populations, they were real barricades. Nearly two-thirds of
the voters failed to reach even this low standard.

Voting made compulsory. Election was by _scrutin de liste_.[5]


Under these conditions the Socialists went into battle. There were
1,370,687 electors; 855,628 with one vote 293,678 with two votes,
223,380 with three votes. The Socialists polled 346,000 votes, the
Clericals 927,000, the Liberals 530,000. The new parliament was
composed as follows: Chamber of Representatives--Clericals, 104;
Liberals, 19; Socialists, 29; Senate--Clericals 71; Liberals, 21;
Socialists, 2.[6]

From the first the Socialists in Belgium have not been reluctant in
making election arrangements with other parties. In this their first
election they united with the Progressists. In Brussels on the second
ballot they proposed terms to the Liberals, which were refused. The
Socialists, however, instructed their followers to vote against the
Clericals in every instance. Wherever there were no Radical or
Socialists lists they supported the Liberals.[7]

The same widespread alarm that the first Socialist parliamentary
accessions aroused everywhere, was caused by these twenty-nine Belgian
Socialist representatives, especially as some of their number were
promoted from prison to parliament, and one striker was given his
liberty for the time being so that he could attend the session.
Vandervelde allayed popular apprehension when he announced the program
of his party, which combined with the usual labor legislation the
demand for the state purchase of coal mines, state monopoly of the
liquor business, and communal election reforms. The proposals of the
Belgian Socialists in parliament have invariably been practical, not
revolutionary or visionary. One of the first bills introduced by them
provided for the reduction of the stamp tax and the tax on the
transfer of property and leases. This tax was extremely high, nearly
seven per cent., and worked a peculiar hardship on the small tenant.
The bill failed of passage. But the government was so impressed by the
facts presented in debate that it brought in a law reducing the tax on
transfers for all small estates.

It is by this indirect method, by their presence in the Chamber, and
by their powers in debate that the Belgian Socialists have achieved
many practical reforms. They have not the hauteur and aloofness of
the German Social Democrat, nor the fiery passion for idealistic
propaganda of the French; they are more sensible than either. Since
their entrance into parliament a Secretary of Labor has been added to
the cabinet, and every department of labor legislation has felt their
influence. The delegation is in constant touch with the party in the
various districts. An old-age pension act has been passed, great
reductions have been made in military expenditure, the conscript laws
have been modified, and the Socialists led in the opposition to the
Belgian policy in the Congo.

Their two main contentions have been over the educational laws and the
electoral laws. A school law was passed by the Clericals in 1895. It
was regarded as reactionary by the Socialists, and stormy scenes
accompanied its enactment. Its provisions are still the source of
constant agitation among Socialists and Liberals. They protest
especially against the teaching of religion in the communal schools.
It is true that any parent may have his child excused from attending
such instruction for reasons of conscience on written application to
the proper authorities. But they insist that this subjects the
objecting parent to harsh treatment in Clerical communities.[8]

The provincial and communal election laws were less favorable to the
Socialists than the national law. In 1895 the government brought in a
new local election bill which fixed the voting age at thirty,
required three years' residence in a commune, and strengthened the
plural voting system by giving a fourth vote to the large
land-holders. The Socialists and Radicals united in contesting 507 of
the communes (about one-fourth of the whole number). They won a
majority in eighty and a considerable minority in 180 of these
communal councils. Necessity had cemented the alliance of Radicals and
Socialists. The Radicals were now called "_Chèvre-choutiers_" because
they tried to carry the goat and the cabbage, Liberals and Socialists,
across the stream in the same boat.

In 1899 the government brought in its new election bill in which it
proposed to concede to the demand for proportional representation. But
only the large constituencies were to be included in the change,
leaving the smaller districts, mostly in the Flemish section, to the
Clerical majorities that prevailed there. The measure was unpopular.
The people organized protests against it in every city in the land. In
Brussels a mob gathered in front of the Chamber of Deputies.
Paving-stones were ripped up and hurled through the windows, and there
was charging and counter-charging between police and populace. Inside
the Chamber the scene was not less tumultuous. The Socialists tried to
prevent business by mob tactics. Desk-lids were banged, there was
shouting and singing, one deputy had provided himself with a horn. The
government was compelled to adjourn the session. All that night (June
28) there was rioting in Brussels. When the Chamber met the following
day the wild scenes were re-enacted, when a Clerical deputy moved that
any member causing a disturbance be expelled. In the debate that
followed the government declared itself willing to adjourn and study
the various proposals of the opposition. This cooled the crowd waiting
outside the Chamber, and at Vandervelde's suggestion the mob quietly

In the meantime the mayors of Brussels, Ghent, Antwerp, and Liège
waited on the King and told him they would no longer be responsible
for the maintenance of order in their cities if the minister did not
withdraw the obnoxious electoral bill. The Liberals now joined the
Socialists and Radicals in their processions in every town, singing
their war-songs and carrying placards and banners of protest.

All this had its effect on the government. A committee representing
all the groups in the Chamber was appointed to consider all the
proposals that had been introduced. Vandervelde, in supporting the
committee, said that he "spoke for the country that had so effectively
demonstrated its power and achieved a victory." Soon after this the
reactionary ministry fell, and the new government brought in a bill
providing uniform proportional representation for all the districts.
This bill was promptly enacted into law.

The first general election under this law resulted as follows:

  Total vote cast          2,105,270
  Socialists                467,326, electing 32 deputies.
  Clericals                 995,056      "    85    "
  Liberals                  449,521      "    31    "
  Radicals                   47,783      "     3    "
  Christian Democrats        55,737      "     1    "

The Clerical majority was cut from seventy to eighteen and at last the
Liberal elements were hopeful of gaining the government and effecting
universal suffrage "pure and simple."

We have now seen how popular agitation wrested, first, a law
permitting plural voting; second, a law permitting proportional
representation, from an unwilling government. The contest for
universal suffrage "pure and simple" has continued to the present day.
In 1901 the Labor Party at its congress at Liège decided to renew the
agitation in favor of universal suffrage, "even to the extent of the
general strike, and agitation in the streets, and not to cease until
after the conquest of political equality." Vandervelde introduced a
bill into the Chamber providing for "one man, one vote," and it was
defeated by a vote of 92 to 43. Immediately Vandervelde and the
Radical leader proposed a revision of the Constitution. The debate on
this motion continued until the spring of 1902. All the old spirit of
unrest and violence broke out anew. To the violence of protesting mobs
was added the coercive force of the general strike. Three hundred
thousand men stopped work and began demonstrating. Troops were called
out to guard the government buildings in Brussels and to hold the
crowds at bay in the provinces. In Louvain eight strikers were killed
by the soldiers, and in other localities there was bloodshed and
destruction of property.

Finally the Chamber of Representatives voted to close the debate and
dismiss the question entirely for the session. The strike was declared
off and quiet restored.

In the elections the following May the Socialists lost three seats.
This had its effect. A meeting of the party was called and it was
decided not to resort to further violence. A delegate from Charleroi,
the seat of the most tumultuous element in the party, expressed regret
that the Labor Party had compromised with the bourgeois parties in
calling off the strike. Vandervelde defended the action of the council
on the ground that the continuance of the strike threatened internal
dissensions because of the misery of the strikers and the violence of
the government.

The party organ, _Le Peuple_, said on June 5, 1902: "We are no longer
in 1848. The days of barricades have gone by. The narrow little
streets of former years have expanded into wide avenues. The soldiers
are armed with Albinis and Mausers. Even if all the people were armed
it would only be necessary to plant a few cannon at strategic places
in the city to put down an insurrection in spite of the greatest
heroism of the insurgents."[9]

Van Overbergh, in his history of the strike, says: "The period of
romantic Socialism in Belgium is past; the days of realism have
commenced."[10] And Bertrand, the historian, adds the reason: "Its [the
general strike's] effect was to keep down the vote. Even in the
elections of 1904 and 1906 the vote has remained quite stationary."[11]

Whether this means the apotheosis of the general strike in Belgium
will depend no doubt upon circumstances, it is significant that the
words were uttered, and still more significant that political
coalition has taken the place of industrial warfare. The Liberals and
Radicals now plan with the Socialists. They no longer stand aside and
let the Socialists march, but they join step with them and carry

The greatest of all Belgian demonstrations for universal suffrage and
free schools took place in August, 1911. In spite of the extreme
heat, nearly 200,000 Radicals, Liberals, and Socialists gathered in
the capital, "not so much to impress the government," a Socialist
leader said to me, "but to impress the people that we are in earnest,
and then to prepare for the coming elections."


It must not be inferred from this rapid survey of its warfare for
political privilege that Belgian Socialism has forgotten the
co-operative movement and all the various activities that were blended
in the making of the Labor Party. Belgian Socialism is primarily
economic. This makes it unique. It has succeeded in becoming economic,
in building dairies and bake-shops, in running dry-goods stores and
grocery stores and butcher shops, in the present dispensation; and it
has succeeded in doing so by accommodating itself to the present
conditions. It adopts the eight-hour day when it can, but it is not
averse to ten hours when necessary. It pays its employees the highest
wage it can, but it recognizes talent and ability like the bourgeois
shopkeeper across the street. It has insurance funds that draw
interest at the same rate that is paid by bourgeois banks, and it has
no scruples about putting the latest approved machinery into its
workshops and bakeries.

In all this, their activities have remained Socialistic. They compete
with the bourgeois, but co-operate among themselves. The profits of
their activities go to the members of their societies and to the
party. Their competition has brought ruin to the door of many a
shopkeeper who finds his customers flocking to their own shop.
Government commissions have inquired into the movement at the nervous
requests of merchants and tradesmen, but only to find every
co-operative enterprise carefully conducted and thriving.

The Belgian Socialist leaders all emphasize the importance of this
unity of economic and political activity, and the priority of the
economic over the political. It has been a splendid stimulant for the
Belgian workman. It has aroused him out of the lethargy that has been
his greatest enemy for years. It has taught him to work with others,
the value of mass movement, the futility of separateness. It has
schooled him, not only in reading and arithmetic, in the night classes
established everywhere; but in business, in weights and measures; in
percentage, in profit and loss; and most of all, in the real hardships
that meet tradespeople and commercial men everywhere in their endeavor
to get on. Workingmen often think that a business man is a necromancer
juggling profits out of other people's necessities. The Belgian
co-operativist has found out that trading is a commonplace and tedious
task which requires constant alertness and is merely the drudgery of
detail. This experience has taught him, moreover, the futility of laws
and the utility of effort. In Belgium I was impressed most of all by
the nonchalance, almost contempt, that the workman displays toward
mere legislation. "Why should I toy with words when I have this?" And
he points proudly to his co-operative store.

The Belgian workman has been taught through his co-operative
experience the value of patient toil and frugality. Slowly he has
built up these institutions out of his own savings. When he thought
his scant wages were barely enough for bread, he discovered means
somehow to pay his dues in the "Mutualité." As an instance of his
thrift, he saves every year a little fund which is used by the family
for an annual holiday, usually a short excursion to a neighboring
place of interest. Every member of the family contributes to this
fund, and, no matter how poor, they look forward to their yearly

The Belgian Socialist has also been successful in another field. While
in other countries the Socialists have tried usually in vain to lure
the peasant and small farmer, the Belgians have made constant progress
in this direction. The agrarian movement began with the organizing of
the Labor Party.[12]

Vandervelde and Hector Dennis, a Professor of Economics in the
University at Brussels, have been constant in their zeal for the
agrarian interests. Again, the lure is not Socialism in the abstract,
nor the gospel of discontent. It is practical, business co-operation.
Dairies, stores, markets are proving powerful propagandists, even in
the Catholic lowlands. Dr. Steffens-Frauenweiler quotes from a
conservative newspaper: "From different sides we have heard the remark
that Socialism would never penetrate into the country. In
contradiction to this opinion we must observe that those who express
this view, and presume to laugh away the Socialistic movement among
the peasants and farmers, are either not well informed or are
submitting themselves to illusions. Only a serious attempt to fight
Socialism through positive reforms will prove a lasting check upon the
ambitions of Socialists."[13]

In Belgium the general strike has been used as an aid in the warfare
for political power. We have seen how the first strike was premature,
the second effective, and the third proved a boomerang in its reaction
upon the Labor Party.

Vandervelde distinguishes between the general strike as a means toward
social revolution, and the general strike as a political weapon used
for securing a _definite_ object.[14] He says: "The revolutionary
general strike is itself the revolution. The reformist general strike,
on the contrary, is the attempt of the proletariat to secure partial
concessions from the government without questioning the existence of
the government, and especially the administration that represents the
government." To effect this, it is not essential that all the workmen
go out, but only enough to interrupt "the normal course of business,
even if the majority of the workers remain at work."[15]

The political general strike has its example, then, in the Belgian
movement for the electoral franchise. Whether it would succeed in
wresting other political privileges from the state, is conjecture;
that it would not succeed except under the most favorable conditions,
is certain.

The Belgian movement has displayed great absorptive powers and
facility of adaptation. It has absorbed all the labor activities of
the Radical and Socialist workmen. It has adapted itself to the
necessities of the hour, giving up the daydreams of intangible things.
In all this, it has displayed a saneness, in spite of its
revolutionary traditions and anarchistic blood.[16] It has the most
"modern" program of the European Socialist parties, and the most
worldly efficiency.

In visiting one of the large workingmen's clubhouses found in the
cities, the visitor is impressed with the beehive qualities of the
Belgian movement. At the "Maison du Peuple" in Brussels--that was
built by these underpaid workmen at a cost of 1,000,000 francs--you
find activity everywhere. The savings-bank department is swarming with
women and children, come to conduct the business of the family. The
café, the headquarters of the party, the offices of the co-operative
societies, all are busy. In the evening there are debates, gymnasium
contests, moving-picture shows, classes for instruction in the
elementary branches, in art, and literature.[17] A temperance
movement, started by the workmen some years ago, has attained a great
deal of influence. Placards are on the walls of the clubhouses,
setting forth the evils of the drink habit.

Or you visit a co-operative bakery or butcher-shop or grocery store,
and the same spirit of diligence, thrift, and reasonableness is there.
And you are quite convinced that here is Socialism approximating
somewhere near its ultimate form. If the Belgian Labor Party should
secure control of the government to-morrow it would be more competent
to assume the actual obligations of power than would the Socialists in
any other European country. For they have not built a structure in
mid-air, with merely an underpinning of more or less indifferent


[1] _L'Enquête Gouvernementale_, Vol. XVIII.

[2] _L'Annuaire Statistique._

[3] BERTRAND, _Histoire de la Démocratie et du Socialisme en Belgique
depuis 1830_, Vol II, p. 331.

[4] This conference sent the following telegram to the King: "You have
asked what is the watchword of the country; the watchword is universal

[5] The candidates are arranged in groups or "lists," and the voter
votes the list as well as for the individual names on the list. Any
100 electors may prepare such a list. The successful candidate must
receive a majority. This often necessitates a second ballot between
the two receiving the highest number of votes.

[6] BERTRAND, _Histoire_, Vol. II, p. 552.

[7] One of the significant incidents of this election was the contest
against Frère Orban, for thirty years a parliamentary leader and one
of the greatest politicians of his day. His seat was contested by an
obscure workingman, and the distinguished parliamentarian was
compelled to submit to the ordeal of a second ballot.

[8] The Clerical forces are gradually retreating before the repeated
onslaughts of Liberals and Socialists. But the loyalty to the Church
remains undiminished. On May 17, 1901, a Clerical deputy remarked in
the Chamber that he would like to see the temporal power of the pope
restored. The Socialists immediately started an uproar which ended in
their singing their "Marseillaise" and the adjournment of the sitting.

[9] BERTRAND, _Histoire_, II, p. 590.

[10] _La Grève Générale Belge d'Avril_, 1902, Brussels, 1902.

[11] _Histoire_, II, p. 592.

[12] See DR. STEFFENS-FRAUENWEILER, _Der Agrar-Sozialismus in Belge_.

[13] _Op. cit._, p. 37.

[14] See an article by E. VANDERVELDE, "_Der General Streik_," in
_Archiv für Sozial-wissenschaft und Sozial-Politik_, Tübingen, May,
1908. The same article was published, same date, in _Revue du Mois_,

[15] _Supra cit._, p. 541.

[16] Bakunin had a large following in Belgium during the days of the
"Old International," and Anarchists have never entirely ceased their
activities in the large cities.

[17] On the walls of the "Maison du Peuple" you will find noble
paintings. Here labored Constantine Meunier, the sculptor, on his
notable "Monument au Travail." Three remarkable sections of this
monument, "La Mine," "L'Industrie," "La Glèbe," can be seen in the
Gallery of Modern Art, in Brussels. There are evidences everywhere of
the art interest of these alert working people. One of them, with
sincere indignation, pointed out to me the large pile of stone that
surmounts the heights of the city, the Palace of Justice, completed in
1883, and said its "bourgeois Babylonian hideousness is the high-water
mark of bourgeois taste in art and bourgeois power in politics."




It is the constant complaint of the German Democrats that there is no
Liberal Party in Germany. The wars that repeatedly devastated the
country during past centuries drove property owners to seek the
protection of a strong, centralized government. This habit has
survived the centuries. Whenever the middle classes show signs of
breaking away from the conservatism of the "Regierung," the Prince
always finds a way of bringing them back. The Period of
Revolution--1850--ended in a compromise that ignored the workingmen
and virtually left absolutism on the throne. When the new era dawned,
and Bismarck, like a young giant, shaped the highways of empire, he
used the Liberals so adroitly that, when his national legerdemain was
accomplished, they were a broken and impotent faction, lost in the
conservative reaction of the hour.

Universal suffrage for the Reichstag elections was written into the
Constitution of the new empire, not because the Chancellor and his
Prince loved democracy, but because the smaller states insisted upon
this safeguard against Prussian omnipotence.

Democracy and Liberalism have never been strong enough to break the
fetters of national habit; and nearly all the democracy, certainly all
the workingman's democracy, in Germany to-day is found in the Social
Democratic Party.

In order to understand the development of Social Democracy in Germany,
it is necessary to bear in mind the bureaucratic, autocratic,
paternalistic character of the German government.[1]

It is the German governmental policy to do everything for the welfare
of its citizens that can be done; and, in return, it expects the
people to let the government alone. The medieval conception of class
responsibility survives. It is the attitude of a self-righteous parent
toward ignorant and wilful children. The government assumes the right,
and possesses the power, to regulate every phase of the citizen's
life, in domestic, industrial, educational, moral, and political
affairs. It is a regal survival of the theory that government is
omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent.

Germany is a made-to-order country that clings to medieval
conservatism in government; a country that is thoroughly modern in
industry and distinctly middle-age in caste; where the workingman has
always been treated with patronizing condescension and his political
acts watched with jealousy; and where he has, against great odds,
determined to work out his own salvation. Surrounded by preordained
and rigid conditions, he has perfected an organization that is the
most remarkable example of proletarian achievement found anywhere in
history. To the development and description of this organization we
will now address ourselves.

German Social Democracy, while Marxian in theory, owes its active
existence to Ferdinand Lassalle, one of those brilliant and daring
geniuses who flash, in an hour of adventure, across the prosaic days
of history.[2] He was pronounced a _Wunderkind_ by William von
Humboldt; dashed his way through university routine; attracted the
friendship of poets, philosophers, and politicians; was lionized by
society; became a revolutionist in 1848, and was, at the age of
twenty-three, indicted for inciting a mob of Düsseldorf workingmen to
acts of violence. He defended himself in a brilliant speech which
launched him fully into the campaign of the workingman.[3]

Early in his career he volunteered to defend the cause of the Countess
Hatzfeldt, whose unfaithful husband was squandering his estates and
suffering her to live in want. Lassalle fought the case through
thirty-six courts for nine years, and won an ample fortune for the
countess, who became the main financial support of Lassalle's

After his first arrest, Lassalle was kept under vigilance by the
government. But finally, through the interposition of distinguished
friends, he was allowed to return to Berlin. There, in 1862, he
delivered a series of addresses that soon brought him into conflict
with the police. His defense in the court was published later under
the title, _Science and the Workingman_. This he followed with a
letter, _Might and Right_,[4] sent broadcast over the land.

In these two publications he succinctly enunciated his theory of
democracy: "With Democracy alone dwells right, and in Democracy alone
will might be found. No person in the Prussian state to-day has the
right to speak of 'rights,' except the Democracy, the old and true
Democracy. For Democracy alone has constantly clung to the right, and
has never lowered herself by compromising with might."[5]

In the political turmoil of that period, when new forces were
awakening to their power and feudalism, conservatism, Cobdenism, and
democracy were all contending for supremacy, there were three
predominating currents of thought. The first was naturally the feudal,
the absolutist that would put down by the police power, and failing in
that by the soldiery, every attempt at changing the organization of
the government. This was embodied in the reactionary, or Conservative
Party, which held then, as it still does, the high places in army and
government. Bismarck was its leader. It had ample nationalist aims,
and was called the "Great German Party" ("Gross Deutschland"); Austria
was included in its ambitions, and monarchic supremacy was the token
of its power. It comprised the landowners, the nobles, and the

The second tendency was commercial, bourgeois. It found expression in
the National Liberal Party, which was liberal in name only. It was the
"Small German" ("Klein Deutschland") Party, preferring the ascendency
of Prussia. It comprised the enterprising traders, manufacturers, and
bankers, and was strongest in the cities. It was attached to monarchy,
cared little for military or political glory, except as it affected
trade and taxes.

The third tendency had nothing in common with the other two. It was
the revolt of the proletarians, led by men of great ability. It was
the democratic movement. It abhorred both the idea of feudal
prerogative in government, as expressed by king and noble, and the
vulgar trade patriotism, as expressed by the National Liberals, the
bourgeoisie. It took its inspiration from France and its example from
England. From France came the political platitudes of equality and
liberty with which we are familiar in America; from England, the
example of strongly organized trade unions. In Germany these two
movements, economic and political, were blended into one.

Not that the workingman's movement was a unity. Schultze-Delitsch, the
founder of the German co-operative movement, contended that labor
should keep out of politics and devote itself to economic activities
alone. Rodbertus, the distinguished economist, who was potent in
shaping economic and political thought in Germany, wrote Lassalle,
when he was entreated to join the brilliant agitator's propaganda,
that he could "tolerate no political agitation which would excite the
working classes against the existing executive power."[6]

There was no unity in the theories of the workingman's movement. The
first organizations, the "Workingmen's Associations," were founded
soon after 1848, as soon as the laws gave a limited right of
association to the working class. The government looked with suspicion
on every political act of labor, and especially upon organizations for
political purposes. The ban of the law was put upon those
organizations in July, 1854, and the right of public meeting was
greatly restricted; police autonomy increased, giving them arbitrary
power to stop meetings; and the right of free press was virtually
denied. Democracy became a movement of silent intrigue and occasional
rough outbreak.

At this juncture a new political party was organized, to absorb what
was "legal" in the democratic workingman's movement and what was truly
liberal in the National Liberal Party. The new party was called
Progressist ("Fortschrittler"). It was a German party, devoted to the
Manchester doctrine: Free commerce, free trade, free press, free
speech; freedom of expression in every phase of human activity. It was
_laissez-faire_ to the uttermost plunged into the reactionary mass of
German politics. The economic issue became freedom of contract
_versus_ feudal status; the political issue, freedom of ballot
_versus_ hereditary prerogative.

The new party began to appeal for the workingman's support. Their lure
of free speech and freedom of organization was not without effect. The
older workingmen, who were not familiar with the teachings of Marx and
Engels, and who had not even read Weitling's communistic
idealizations, were brought, in some numbers, into the new party.

The younger and more radical element in the workingmen's clubs were
restless. In 1862 some of them had visited the International
Exposition in London and had talked with Marx. The fire of the
"International" was kindled. A movement for calling a national
workingman's convention was started among these radicals. The
Progressists tried to check the agitation, saying that every effort
should be directed toward establishing a new Constitution. But it was
in vain. In Leipsic a group of radicals seceded from the Workingman's
Union (Arbeiter Bildungs-Verein), and formed a new organization, which
they called "Vorwärts" (Progress). These now invited Lassalle to
address them on his views of the labor situation.

The movement was opportune, and Lassalle's answer is the basic
document of present-day Social Democracy.[7]

There is no salvation for the workingman except through "political
freedom," he says. This freedom demands laws, and to secure laws
united action is essential. They must be powerful enough to get laws
to their liking. This power they will not get by being an appendix to
the Progressists, for they are dominated by a trade doctrine, not by
altruistic ideals for the oppressed.

With a clearness that has not been excelled, he showed the dependence
of economic upon political power and influence. His economic program
was none other than Louis Blanc's state-subsidized workshops. It made
no great impression and soon faded away. But his bold plan of a
workingman's party fighting fiercely for democracy, and for the
betterment of the "normal conditions of the entire working classes,"
has been developed to surprising perfection.

The state, he says, must be the instrument of their power, not the
object of their striving. They are in politics, not as politicians,
but as proletarians. "The state is nothing but the great organization,
the all-embracing association of the working classes." No "sustaining
and helping hand" will be their guide. Political supremacy is the
"only way out of the desert." And how win the state? There is only one
way: through universal suffrage, democracy. "Universal suffrage is not
only your political but also your social foundation principle, the
condition precedent of all social help. It is the only means for
bettering the material conditions of the working classes."

Cut loose from Rodbertus economically, and from the Progressists
politically, Lassalle was invited to take the leadership of the new
movement, which from the start was political rather than economic. He
aimed to organize the German workingmen into a great national party,
so powerful that it could control governments, make laws, and demand
obedience. But it was slow work, and to the fiery spirit of Lassalle
its snail's pace was exasperating. It provoked him into violence of
speech which led him everywhere into the courts and into constant
altercations with the Crown's solicitors.

His powerful personality and unusually active mind made a profound
impression everywhere. At the last conference of his association which
he attended he claimed the Bishop of Mayence and the King of Prussia
as converts. The Bishop, Baron von Ketteler, was indeed turning toward
Socialism, but not Lassalle's political Socialism. He was the founder
of that Christian Socialism which has made the Catholic Church in
South Germany and the Rhineland a potent factor in the labor movement.
The King, whose conversion Lassalle boldly announced, had only
received a delegation of Silesian weavers who laid their grievances
before him and were promised the royal sympathy.

However, Lassalle and Bismarck had formed a general liking for each
other, and the great minister received from the brilliant agitator
many suggestions which he later embodied in his state insurance laws.
Both Bismarck and Lassalle believed in the power of the state for the
amelioration of social conditions. They met several times at the
Chancellor's solicitation, and Bismarck disclosed their conversations
to the Reichstag, on the insistence of Bebel, when the insurance bills
were under discussion. The Chancellor expressed his admiration for the
virility of the Socialist's mind and said he believed Lassalle
perfectly sincere in his purpose.[8]

Lassalle did not live to see his General Workingmen's Association
("Allgemeiner Deutscher Arbeitsverein") attain political power. He was
killed in a duel over a love affair August 31, 1864. His brilliant
campaign for democracy had resulted in a petty organization of 4,610

Lassalle's influence is increasing every year. His death-day is
celebrated by the German Socialists (Lassalle Feier). The present-day
German movement is Lassallian rather than Marxian.[9]

In a letter to Rodbertus, February, 1864, Lassalle says that he aimed
to show the workingman "how identical the economic and the political
forces are. Every separation of them is an abstraction, and I believe
that uniting the two is the principal potency which I can give to the


The little handful was soon rent by internal strife and threatened
with utter extinction, both by police aggression and by Marxian
competition. The year Lassalle died the International Workingman's
Association was organized and agitation began in Germany under the
leadership of William Liebknecht, a friend and disciple of Marx.
Liebknecht was the scholar of the early Social Democratic group. He
possessed a university education, was a revolutionist in 1848, a
fugitive in Switzerland and England until 1862. His foreign sojourn
did not mellow his natural dogmatism; on the contrary, his long
intercourse with Marx in London hardened his orthodoxy. He was a
powerful polemist. However, alone he could not have organized a
national movement. He did not possess the personal traits that lure.
He made a notable convert when he won August Bebel, a Saxon
woodturner, to his cause. "I was Saul and became Paul," Bebel said to
me. The words are not inapt: his power is Pauline. Lie has been
persecuted and imprisoned, has written speeches and epistles, has
made many missionary journeys, and kept constantly in intimate touch
with every local phase of his propaganda. His imprisonments have
undermined his health, but they have not diminished his mental vigor;
and more than once the Iron Chancellor winced under his ferocious

Liebknecht and Bebel were more advanced than the Workingmen's
Association, which now had fallen under the leadership of Schweitzer,
an able but dissolute disciple of Lassalle. The two organizations
fought each other as rivals. The international wing, under Liebknecht
and Bebel, in 1869, organized the Democratic Workingmen's Party at
Eisenach, and were called "Eisenachers." Their program is of great
importance. It stated that the first object of the new party was the
attaining of the free state (Freier Volkstaat). This state Liebknecht
explained at his trial in 1872: "The idea of a free state is
interpreted by a majority of our party to mean a republic; but does
this necessarily imply that it is to be forcibly introduced? No one
has expressed an opinion as to how it is to be introduced. Let a
majority of the people be won for our opinions, and the state is of
our opinions, for the people are the state. A state without a king is
conceivable, but not a state without a people. The government is the
servant of the people."

This free state, the program continues, can be won only by political
freedom, and political freedom is the forerunner of economic freedom.
Demand is therefore made for universal, equal, direct suffrage, with
secret ballot, for all men twenty years of age, in both parliamentary
and municipal elections. Other leading demands were: direct
legislation; the abolition of all privileges, whether of birth,
wealth, or religion; the establishment of militia in place of standing
armies; the separation of Church and state; the secularizing of
education; the extension of free schools and compulsory education;
reform of the courts and extension of the jury system; abolition of
all laws restricting freedom of speech, of press, and of association;
the establishment of a normal workday; the restriction of female, and
abolition of child, labor; the abolition of indirect taxes; the
establishment of an income and inheritance tax; the extension of state
credit for co-operative enterprises.

This program sounds very modern and moderate. But its expositors were
not restrained to moderation, and when the congress met at Dresden in
1871 it adopted a resolution extolling the French Commune. A great
deal of popular sympathy was lost through this action.

Meanwhile the Lassalle party was slowly gaining ground. In 1875 the
two parties united at Gotha. There were 9,000 members in the
Liebknecht party and 15,000 members in the Lassalle party. Here was
adopted the first program of the united German Social Democracy. Its
economics are thoroughly Marxian in theory and are only slightly
tinged by the teachings of Lassalle and Schultze-Delitsch in practice.
Labor, it affirmed, was the source of all wealth and was held under
duress by the capitalistic class. Its only emancipation could come
from the social ownership of the means of production. The way to this
goal could be found through productive copartnership with state aid.
The political part of the program embraced the demands made at

With its unity, a new vigor took possession of the party. Its
organization was perfected; 145 agitators were in the field; its
twenty-three newspapers had over 100,000 subscribers. This meant
increased police vigilance. All the leaders served terms in prison,
newspapers were suppressed, organizations dissolved, houses searched,
agitators ordered to leave the country. The government did everything
in its power to suppress the movement. Every act of oppression
popularized the Democracy among the proletarians. The blood of the
martyrs bore the usual harvest.

The new empire had been launched amidst the greatest enthusiasm,
shared by every one except the discontented workingmen who had so
stoutly fought for entire political freedom. The new imperial
parliament was thrown open to them because Bismarck had found it
necessary to include universal suffrage in the constitution of the
Reichstag. In 1871 the Socialists elected two members, and the feudal
lords beheld the novel sight of workingmen sitting with them in the
imperial Diet. The voting strength of the party was 124,665. This was
increased to 351,952 in 1874, when nine members were elected. In 1877
the party cast 493,288 votes, electing twelve members. This was cause
for alarm. The party had now reached fifth place in point of votes
among the fourteen parties or factions that contended for power in
Germany, and eighth place in point of members elected. But in point of
agitation, of perfervid speech and pointed interpellation, it ranked
easily first. Its delegation in 1877 included Bebel and Liebknecht,
now out of jail, and Most, afterwards the notorious Anarchist in
America, and Hasselman and Bracke, who were not modest in the
expression of their opinions. These representatives of democracy let
no occasion pass to embarrass the government with peppery questions.

Bismarck was slowly evolving a scheme for checking the Socialist
growth and satisfying the demands of labor for better conditions. Both
revolved around the pivot of patriarchal omnipotence. The suppression
was to be accomplished by force; the gratification, by paternal rigor.


He addressed himself first to repression. He entreated the governments
of Europe in 1871 to unite in stamping out Socialism, but he received
no encouragement. In 1872 Spain, exasperated by the revolutionary
outbreaks, addressed a circular to the Powers, asking their
co-operation to check the growth of the revolutionary element.
Bismarck was ready. But Lord Granville, for England, said the
traditions of his country were favorable to an unrestricted right of
residence for foreigners as long as they violated no law of their
host. This ended the international attempt. Next (in 1874) Bismarck
attempted to tighten the gag on the press, but the Reichstag refused
to sanction his proposals. Then he fell back on existing legislation
and with great vigor enforced the statutes against revolutionary
activity. The police were given wide latitude in interpreting these

Several acts of wanton violence now occurred which brought about a
sudden change of temper in the people. On May 11, 1878, while driving
in Unter den Linden, Emperor William was shot at by a young man. The
Emperor was not struck by the bullets, but the shots were none the
less effective in rousing public indignation. Popular condemnation was
turned against the Social Democrats because photographs of Liebknecht
and Bebel were found on the person of the intended assassin. Two days
later Bismarck introduced the anti-Socialist laws. They were debated
in the Reichstag, while Most was being tried for libeling the clergy.
But the Reichstag was not ready to go to the lengths of the
Chancellor's desire, and by a vote of 251 to 57 rejected his bill.
Here the matter would have rested had not a second attempt been made
on the life of the aged Emperor. This occurred on June 2, and this
time the Emperor was seriously wounded.

Naturally the indignation of the nation was thoroughly aroused. In the
midst of the excitement, a general election was held, and Bismarck
won. His own peculiar Conservatives increased their delegation from 40
to 59, the Free Conservatives from 38 to 57; the National Liberals
reduced their number from 128 to 99, the Liberals from 13 to 10, the
Progressists from 35 to 26. The Socialists retained nine seats, losing
three; their vote fell from 493,288 to 437,158.

Immediately a repressive law was introduced. It was called "a law
against the publicly dangerous activities of the Social Democracy"
(Gesetz gegen die gemein-gefährlichen Bestrebungen der

Bismarck prefaced his law with a very clever prologue (Begründung). In
simple language he arraigned the Social Democracy as being, first,
anti-social, because it aims at the modern system of production, and
does so, not through "humanitarian motives," but through revolution;
second, as anti-patriotic, because it makes "the most odious attacks"
on the German Empire. "The law of preservation therefore compels the
state and society to oppose the Social Democratic movement with
decision.... True, thought cannot be repressed by external compulsion;
the movements of minds can only be overcome in intellectual combat.
But when movements take wrong pathways and threaten destruction, the
means for their growth can and should be taken away by legal means.
The Socialist agitation, as carried on for years, is a continual
appeal to violence and to the passions of the multitudes, for the
purpose of subverting the social order. The state _can_ check such a
movement by depriving Social Democracy of its principal means of
propaganda, and by destroying its organization; and it _must_ do so
unless it is willing to surrender its existence, and unless the
conviction is to spread amongst the people that either the state is
impossible or the aims of Social Democracy are justifiable.[11]

The law was passed against the vehement protest of the Socialists.
They disclaimed any connection with the dastardly attempts on the life
of the aged Emperor. Bebel, in an impressive speech, declared that
while Socialists do "wish to abolish the present form of private
property in the factors of production, labor, and land," they had
never been guilty of destroying a penny's worth of property. Nor did
they aim to do so. It was the system of private ownership of great
properties, that enabled a few to oppress the many, that they were
fighting. And here they were in good company: Rodbertus, Rosher,
Wagner, Schaeffle, Brentano, Schmoller, and a host of other scholars
and economists, Bebel affirmed, were Socialistic in their tendencies.

Bismarck was unyielding. He said he would welcome any real effort to
alleviate harsh conditions. But the Socialists were a party of
destruction and were enemies to mankind.

The leader of the Progressists said, "I fear Social Democracy more
under this law than without it." The vote of 221 to 149 in favor of
the law showed the grim Chancellor's sway over the assembly.

The law made clean work of it. It forbade all organizations which
promulgated views controvening the existing social and political
order. It prohibited the collecting of money for campaign purposes;
put the ban on meetings, processions, and demonstrations; on
publications of all kinds, confiscating the existing stock of
prohibited books; and created a status akin to martial law by endowing
the police authorities with the power of declaring a locality in a
"minor state of siege," and exercising arbitrary authority for one

A commission was appointed by the Chancellor to carry out these
inquisitions, and the war between Socialistic democracy and medieval
autocracy was on. Its events are instructive to every government; its
sequel a warning to all nations.[12]

The government organized its commission; the Socialists met at Hamburg
to consider the situation. They determined to perfect their
organization, to promulgate a secret propaganda, and to use the
tribune in the Reichstag as the one open pulpit whence they could
proclaim their wrongs.

The government promptly declared Berlin in a "minor state of siege."
In the course of a few months about fifty agitators were expelled,
bales of literature confiscated, organizations dissolved, meetings
dismissed, gatherings prohibited, and the Socialist agitation pushed
into cellars and back rooms.

But there was one tribune which the Chancellor could not close--the
Reichstag tribune. Here Bebel and Liebknecht talked to the nation, and
their speeches were given circulation through the records of debate.
Prince Bismarck, in his extremity, tried to muzzle the Socialist
members and expunge their words from the records; but the members of
the Reichstag refused this extreme measure. Then Bismarck asked
permission to imprison Hasselman and expel Fritzche from Berlin. These
two deputies had been especially vituperative in their attacks upon
the law. The Chancellor claimed that the famous Section 28 of the
anti-Socialist law authorizing the minor state of siege extended to
members of the Reichstag. But the House, under the vehement leadership
of Professor Gneist, the distinguished constitutional lawyer, refused
to sanction this dangerous measure on the ground that the thirty-first
article of the federal Constitution exempted members of the Reichstag
from arrest.

Bismarck soon had another plan for ridding himself of the Socialist
nettles in the Reichstag. He introduced a bill creating a
parliamentary court chosen by the House, who should have the power to
punish any member guilty of parliamentary indiscretion. The bill also
empowered the House to prevent the publication of any of its
proceedings if it desired. The Reichstag also refused to sanction this

The assassination of Czar Alexander of Russia in March, 1881, gave
Bismarck the opportunity to renew his efforts to quell Socialism and
Anarchism by international concert. He asked Russia to take the
initiative, and a conference was called at Brussels to which all the
leading states were invited. Germany and Austria eagerly accepted,
France made her participation dependent on England's action, and
England refused to participate. Bismarck next tried to form an Eastern
league, but Austria failed him and he had to content himself with an
extradition treaty with Russia.

Bismarck now fell back on his Socialist law. He enforced it with
vigor, extending the minor state of siege to Altona, Leipsic, Hamburg,
and Harburg. His commission reported yearly. Its words were not
reassuring. In 1882 it said: "The situation of the Social Democratic
movement in Germany and other civilized countries is unfortunately not
such as to encourage the hope that it is being suppressed or
weakened." The Minister of the Interior said to the Reichstag: "It is
beyond doubt that it has not been possible by means of the law of
October, 1878, to wipe Social Democracy from the face of the earth, or
even to strike it to the center."[13]

The duration of the law had been fixed at two years. At the end of
each term it was renewed, each time with diminishing majorities.
Meanwhile the rigor of the law was not diminished. The minor state of
siege was extended to other centers, including Stettin and Offenbach.
Meetings were suppressed everywhere, and dismissed often for the most
trivial reasons. The police were given the widest powers and exercised
them in the narrowest spirit.[14] "A hateful system of persecution,
espionage, and aggravation was established, and its victims were the
classes most susceptible to disaffection."[15]

On the unique _index expurgatorius_ of the government were over a
thousand titles, including the works of the high priests of the party,
the poetry of Herwegh, the romances of Von Schweitzer, the photographs
of the favorite Socialist saints, over eighty newspapers and sixty
foreign journals. Bales of interdicted literature were smuggled in
from Switzerland to feed the morose and disaffected mind of the German

I can find no record of how many arrests were made. Bebel reported to
the party convention in 1890 that 1,400 publications of all kinds had
been interdicted and that 1,500 persons had been imprisoned, serving
an aggregate of over one thousand years.[16] Every trial was a
scattering of the seeds, and every imprisoned or exiled comrade
became a hero. The awkwardness of the government was matched against
the adroitness of the propagandists. A good deal of terror was spread
among the people, stories of sudden uprisings and bloody revolutions
were told. Even the National Liberals lost their heads at times. But
Bebel was always superbly cool. This woodturner developed into one of
the ablest political generals of his time.

Persecuted and pressed into underground channels of activity the party
persisted in growing. In 1880 it rid itself of the violent
revolutionary faction led by Most and Hasselman.

In the elections of 1881 the Socialists gained three deputies, but
their popular vote was reduced over 125,000. In the next election,
1884, they won twenty-four seats and polled 549,990 votes; two out of
six seats in Berlin were won, and one-tenth of the voters in the land
were rallied under the red flag. The police were alarmed and the law
was enforced with renewed energy.

With this powerful backing Liebknecht asked the repeal of the
"Explosives Act." A violent debate took place. Liebknecht said: "I
will tell you this: we do not appeal to you for sympathy. The result
is all the same to us, for we shall win one way or another. Do your
worst, for it will be only to our advantage, and the more madly you
carry on the sooner you will come to an end. The pitcher goes to the
well until it breaks."[17]

Bebel roused all the fury of Bismarck when he warned him that if
Russian methods were imported there would be murder. In July of this
year (1886) at Freiburg occurred the memorable trial of nine
Socialist leaders, including Bebel, Dietz, Von Vollmar, Auer, Frohme,
and Viereck, charged with participating in an illegal organization.
All were sentenced to imprisonment for terms varying from six to nine

Preceding the election of 1887 the Reichstag had been dissolved on the
army bill. The patriotic issue, always effective, was made the
universal appeal by the government. In spite of this the Social
Democrats polled 763,128 votes, a gain of 213,128. Saxony had
succeeded in holding down the vote to 150,000; but in Prussia the
result was startling; in Berlin forty per cent. of the voters were
Social Democrats. With all their voting strength the party elected
only eleven members to the Reichstag. With proportional representation
they would have elected forty. The Bismarck Conservatives returned
forty-one members with fewer votes than the Socialists.

Finally in 1890 came the end of this farce. It was also the end of the
chancellorship of Bismarck. His old Emperor had died, and a young and
daring hand was at the helm. Bismarck proposed to embody the
anti-Socialist laws permanently in the penal code. This might have
passed; but he also proposed to exile offenders, not merely from the
territory under minor siege, but from the Fatherland. This
expatriation the Assembly would not brook and the Reichstag was

The Socialists left parliament with eleven members, they returned with
thirty-five; they left with 760,000 mandates, they returned with
1,500,000, more votes than any other party could claim, and on a
proportional basis eighty-five seats would have been theirs. Bebel
was justified in saying in the Reichstag, "The Chancellor thought he
had us, but we have him."

When midnight sounded on the last day of the existence of the
oppressive law, great throngs of workingmen gathered in the streets of
the larger cities, to sing their Marseillaise, cheer their victory,
and wave their red flag. Now they could breathe again.

For the first time in thirteen years they met in national convention
on German soil. The veteran Liebknecht, recounting their hardships and
sacrifices, raised his voice in jubilant phrase: "Our opponents did
not spare us, and we, too proud and too strong to prove cowardly,
struck blow for blow, and so we have conquered the odious law."[18]


During the enforcement of the anti-Socialist law Bismarck began the
second part of his policy. He would repress with one hand, with the
other he would placate. In 1883 he introduced his sickness insurance
bill, followed in 1884-85 by his accident insurance, and in 1889 by
his old-age pension act.[19]

It is not unnatural that these measures were opposed by the Social
Democrats. They had no love for the Chancellor. The Dresden congress
decided to "reject state Socialism unconditionally so long as it is
inaugurated by Prince Bismarck and is designed to support the
government system." Bismarck "had sown too much wind not to reap a
whirlwind."[20] He had planted hatred in the hearts of the workingmen;
he could not hope to reap respect and affection.

Bismarck believed that Socialism existed because the laboring man was
not sufficiently interested in the state. He had no property, and was
not enlightened enough to appreciate the intangible benefits of
sovereignty. In 1880 German trade had reached a low ebb. Agriculture
had fallen into decay. German peasants and workingmen were emigrating
to America by the tens of thousands. Bismarck promulgated his
industrial insurance, first, to placate the workingman; second, to
restore prosperity to German industry.

As a result of his policy Germany is to-day the most "socialized"
state in Europe. Here a workingman may begin life attended by a
physician paid by the state; he is christened by a state clergyman; he
is taught the rudiments of learning and his handicraft by the state.
He begins work under the watchful eye of a state inspector, who sees
that the safeguards to health and limb are strictly observed. He is
drafted by the state into the army, and returns from the rigor of this
discipline to his work. The state gives him license to marry,
registers his place of residence, follows him from place to place, and
registers the birth of his children. If he falls ill, his suffering is
assuaged by the knowledge that his wife and children are cared for and
that his expenses will be paid during illness; and he may spend his
convalescent days in a luxurious state hospital. If he falls victim to
an accident the dread of worklessness is removed by the ample
insurance commanded by the state even if his injury permanently
incapacitates him. If he should unfortunately become that most pitiful
of all men, the man out of work, the state and the city will do all in
their power to find employment for him. If he wanders from town to
town in search of work the city has its shelter (Herberge) to welcome
him; if he wishes to move to another part of his town the municipal
bureau will be glad to help him find a suitable house, or may even
loan him money for building a house of his own. If he is in difficulty
the city places a lawyer at his disposal. If he is in a dispute with
his employer the government provides a court of arbitration. If he is
sued or wishes to sue his employer, he does so in the workingmen's
court (Gewerbe Gericht). If he wishes recreation, there is the city
garden; if he wishes entertainment let him go to the public concert;
if he wishes to improve his mind there are libraries and free
lectures. And if by rare chance, through the grace of the state's
strict sanitary regulations and by thrift and care, he reaches the age
of seventy, he will find the closing days of his long life eased by a
pension, small, very small, to be sure, but yet enough to make him
more welcome to the relatives or friends who are charged with
administering to his wants.[21]


[1] For a comprehensive description of the German government, see
DAWSON, _Germany and the Germans_, Vol. I.

[2] Liebknecht said, in the Breslau congress of the Social-Democratic
party: "Lassalle is the man in whom the modern organized German labor
movement had its origin."--"Sozial-Demokratische Partei-Tag,"
_Protokoll_, 1895, p. 66.

[3] For sketch of Lassalle and his work see KIRKUP, _History of
Socialism_, pp. 72 et seq.; ELY, _French and German Socialism of Modern
Times_, p. 189; RAE, _Contemporary Socialism_, pp. 93 ff. For an
extended account, see DAWSON, _German Socialism and Ferdinand
Lassalle_, London, 1888. GEORG BRANDES, _Ferdinand Lassalle_,
originally in Danish, has been translated into German, 1877, and into
English, 1911. Also see FRANZ MEHRING. _Die Deutsche Sozial-Demokratie:
Ihre Geschichte und ihre Lehre_; BERNHARD BECKER, _Geschichte der
Arbeiter Agitation Ferdinand Lassalles_, Brunswick, 1874: this volume
contains a good detailed account of Lassalle's work.

[4] Published in Zürich, 1863: _Macht und Recht_.

[5] _Macht und Recht_, p. 13.

[6] Letter dated April 22, 1863.

[7] "Öffentliches Antwort-schreiben an das Zentral Committee zur
Berufung eines Allgemeinen Deutschen Arbeiter Congress zu Leipzig,"
first published in Zurich, 1863.

[8] In the Reichstag, September 16, 1878.

[9] When Bernstein collected Lassalle's works he wrote a sketch of the
agitator's life as a preface. A number of years later, 1904, he
published his second sketch, _Ferdinand Lassalle and His Significance
to the Working Classes_, in which he shifted his position and assumed
a Lassallian tone. This change of mind is typical of the Social
Democratic movement toward the Lassallian idea.

[10] The law is reprinted in MEHRING, _Die Deutsche

[11] See DAWSON, _German Socialism and Ferdinand Lassalle_, pp. 251
ff., for a discussion of this law.

[12] A good description of the working of this law is found in DAWSON,
_Germany and the Germans_, Vol. II, Chap. XXXVII.

[13] December 14, 1882.

[14] "At a large Berlin meeting a speaker innocently used the word
commune (parish), whereupon the police officer in control, thinking
only of the Paris Commune, at once dismissed the assembly, and a
thousand persons had to disperse into the streets disappointed and
embittered.... 'Militarism is a terrible mistake,' said a speaker at
an election meeting, which legally should have been beyond police
power, and at these words, further proceedings were forbidden and
several persons were arrested. The Socialist deputy Bebel, in
addressing some workingmen on economical questions, said that 'In the
textile industry it happens that while the wife is working at the
loom, the husband sits at home and cooks dinner,' and the meeting was
dismissed immediately."--DAWSON, _Germany and the Germans_, Vol. II,
pp. 190-1.

[15] DAWSON, _supra cit._, p. 192.

[16] _Protokoll des Partei-Tages_, 1890, p. 30.

[17] Reichstag debates, April 2, 1886.

[18] _Protokoll des Partei-Tages_, 1890, pp. 11-12.

[19] For discussion of German industrial insurance, see W.H. DAWSON,
_Bismarck and State Socialism_, also J. ELLIS BARKER, _Modern

[20] R. MEYER, _Der Emancipations-Kampf des Vierten Standes_, p. 475.

[21] See Appendix for table showing cost of industrial insurance.

In Germany the state owns railways, canals, river transportation,
harbors, telephones, telegraph, and parcels post. Banks, insurance,
savings banks, and pawnshops are conducted by the state.
Municipalities are landlords of vast estates, they are capitalists
owning street cars, gas plants, electric light plants, theaters,
markets, warehouses. They have hospitals for the sick, shelters for
the homeless, soup-houses for the hungry, asylums for the weak and
unfortunate, nurseries for the babies, homes for the aged, and
cemeteries for the dead.




Before we proceed to describe the present organization of the Social
Democratic Party it will be necessary to say a few words about the
organization of labor in Germany.[1] There are four kinds of labor
unions: the Social Democrat or free unions, the Hirsch-Duncker or
radical unions, the Christian or Roman Catholic unions, and the
Independent unions. All except the last group have special political
significance; and only the Independents confine themselves purely to
economic activity. The Socialist unions are called "Reds," the
Independents "Yellow," the Christians "Black."

The Hirsch-Duncker unions were the first in the field. They were
organized in 1868 by Dr. Hirsch and Herr Franz Duncker, for the
purpose of winning the labor vote for the Progressists. Dr. Hirsch
went to England for his model, but the political bias he imparted to
the unions was very un-English. They have grown less political and
more neutral in every aspect, probably because political radicalism
has dwindled, and because they contain a great many of the most
skilled of German workmen, the machinists. They are a sort of
aristocracy of labor, prefer peace to war, and hesitate long before

The Christian unions are strongest in the Rhine valley and the
Westphalian mining districts. They are the offspring of Bishop
Kettler's workingmen's associations, organized to keep the laborer in
harmony with the Roman Catholic Church. They have undergone a great
deal of change since the days of the distinguished bishop, and are now
modeled after strict trade-union principles. They retain their
connection with the Church and the Center Party (the Roman Catholic
group in the Reichstag). For some years there has been a restlessness
among these unions. The more militant members are protesting against
the influence of the clergy in union affairs, and demand that laborers
lead labor.

The "Yellow" unions stand in bad repute among the others. They are for
peace at any price. Their membership is largely composed of the
engineering trades; and they are usually under contract not to strike,
but settle their differences by arbitration. The employing firms
contribute liberally to their union funds.

By far the largest unions are the Social Democratic or "Free" unions.
They embrace over eighty per cent. of all organized labor. Their
growth has been very rapid during the last twenty years. In 1890, when
the Socialist law was lifted, they numbered a little over 250,000; in
1910 they numbered nearly 2,000,000.

As organizations, the Social Democratic unions possess all the
perfection of detail and painstaking craftsmanship for which the
Germans are justly celebrated.[2] Not the minutest detail is omitted;
everything is done to contribute to the solidarity of the working
classes. The theory of the German labor movement is, that physical
environment is the first desideratum. A well-housed, well-groomed,
well-fed workman is a better fighter than a hungry, ragged man; and it
is for fighting that the unions exist. The bed-rock of the German
workingman's theory is the maxim: "First, be a good craftsman, and all
other things will be added unto you."

These unions strive to do everything within their power to make,
first, a good workman; second, a comfortable workman. This naturally,
without artificial stimulants, brings the solidarity, the class
patriotism, which is the source of the zeal and energy of these great
fighting machines. In all of the larger towns they own clubhouses
(Gewerkschaftshäuser), which are the centers of incessant activity.
They contain assembly halls, restaurants, committee rooms, and
lodgings for journeymen and apprentices (Wander-bursche) seeking work.
There are night classes, public lectures, educational excursions, and
circulating libraries. In Berlin the workingmen have organized a

The workingman has a genuine sympathy for his union. It enlists his
loyalty as much as his country enlists his patriotism. He finds social
and intellectual intercourse, sympathy and responsiveness in his
union. He saves from his frugal wages to support the union and to
swell the funds in its war-chest. He is never allowed to forget that
he is first a workingman, and owes his primary duties to his family
and his union.[4]

This vast and perfect organization of labor has a complete
understanding with the Social Democratic party, but it is not an
integral part of the party. When the unions began to revive, after the
repeal of the anti-Socialist law, there was a short and severe
struggle between the party and the unions for control. The victory of
the unions for complete autonomy was decisive. Since then good feeling
and harmony have prevailed. The governing committees of the two bodies
meet for consultation, the powerful press of the party fights the
union's battles, and often party headquarters are in the union's
clubhouse. They are virtually two independent branches of the same

In the national triennial convention of the Social Democratic unions
at Hamburg, 1908, a speaker said: "We can say with truth that to-day
there are no differences of a fundamental nature between the two great
branches [the Social Democratic unions and the Social Democratic
Party] of the labor movement."[5]

Bebel has said of the relation between the unions and the party:
"Every workingman should belong to the union, and should be a party
man; not merely as a laboring man, but as a class-conscious
(Classenbewustsein) laboring man; as a member of a governmental and a
social organization which treats and maltreats him as a laboring
man."[6] This is the class spirit of Socialism, carried into practical

In Germany, then, the vast bulk of organized labor is co-operating
voluntarily with the Social Democratic Party.


And what is the present organization of the Social Democratic Party?
It is the most perfect party machine in the world. It is organized
with the most scrupulous regard for details and oiled with the
exuberance of a class spirit that is emerging from its narrowness and
is finding room for its expanding powers in the practical affairs of
national and municipal life. The only approach to it is the faultless,
silently moving, highly polished mechanism devised by the English
gentry to control the political destinies of the British Empire. Our
American parties are crude compared with the noiseless efficacy of
the English machine, or the remorseless yet enthusiastic and entirely
effective operation of the German Social Democracy.

Every detail of the workingman's life is embraced in this remarkable
political organization. Every village and commune has its party
vigilance committee. A juvenile department brings up the youth in the
principles of the Social Democracy. The party press includes
seventy-six daily papers, some of them brilliantly edited, a humorous
weekly, and several monthly magazines. This press co-operates with the
trade journals. Some of these--notably the masons' journal and the
ironworkers' journal--have a vast circulation, numbering many hundred
thousand subscribers.

The party propaganda is stupendous. In 1910 over 14,000 meetings were
held, and over 33,000,000 circulars and 2,800,000 brochures were
distributed. Every workingman, every voter, was personally solicited
during the campaign just closed (January, 1912). Committees and
sub-committees were everywhere in this national beehive of workers.
Women and children were enlisted in the work.

The national party is controlled by an executive committee, elected by
the national convention, who govern its many activities with the
gravity of a college faculty, the astuteness of a lawyer, and the
frugality of a tradesman. They issue annual reports, as full of
statistics and involved analyses as a government report. And they have
no patience for party stars who are ambitious to move in the orbit of
their own individual greatness.

Because the keynote of the party is solidarity, which is a synonym for
discipline, "We have no factions, we are one. Personally any Social
Democrat may believe as he pleases and do as he pleases. But when it
comes to political activity, we insist that he act with the party."
These are the words in which one of the younger leaders of the party
explained their unity to me.

In 1890, when the Bavarian rebels were under discussion in the
national congress, Bebel told the delegates that "a fighting party
such as our Social Democracy can only achieve its aims when every
member observes the strictest discipline."[7]

Evidences of party discipline are not lacking. The Prussian
temperament is rough, dogmatic, implacable; the South German is
mellow, yielding, kind. The two temperaments often clash. The one
loves individual action; the other, military unity. The southern
Socialist votes for his local budgets in town council and diet, and he
receives the chastisement of the northern disciplinarian with mellow
good-nature. But solidarity there is, whatever the price; and a
class-consciousness, a brotherhood: they call each other

The membership of the party includes all those who pay party dues and
will oblige themselves to party fealty, to do any drudgery demanded of
them.[9] In six parliamentary districts the membership equals thirty
per cent. of the Social Democratic vote cast; in twenty-four other
districts there is a membership of over 10,000 per district.[10] It is
difficult to say what proportion of the members of the union are
members of the party. The vast bulk of the party members are laboring
men, and no doubt the majority of them are members of the union.

In the last imperial elections (January, 1912) this party cast
4,250,000 votes, almost one-fourth of the entire federal electorate,
and elected 110 members to the Reichstag, over one-fourth of the
entire membership.[11] In nineteen state legislatures the Social
Democrats have 186 members, in 396 city councils 1,813 members, and in
2,009 communal councils 5,720 members.[12]

The supreme authority of the party is the annual national convention,
called "congress." Here detailed reports are made by the various
committees; and the parliamentary delegation make an elaborate
statement, detailing every official act of the group in the Reichstag.
Everything is discussed by everybody; the speeches made by the members
in the Reichstag, the opinions of the party editors in their daily
editorials, the party finances, everything is freely criticised. The
most insignificant member has the same privilege of criticism as the
party czars; and the criticism often becomes naïvely personal. No
doubt the party patriotism is largely fed by this frank, fearless,
aboveboard airing of grievances, this freedom from "boss rule." Every
one has his opportunity, and this robs the plotter and backbiter of
his venom.

Having listened to the faultfinder, they vote; and having voted, they
rarely relent. When a decision is reached, the members are expected to
abide by it faithfully and cheerfully. They make short work of

Every year a detailed report on the imperial budget is read, showing
how the money is spent on armaments, on police, on courts, and every
other department of the empire; and how the money is raised. The
convention resolves itself into a school of public finance. This
analysis is sent broadcast, as a campaign document. So yearly a report
is read of the number of arrests made and the fines and penalties
ensuing, on account of _lèse-majesté_ and other laws infringing upon
the liberty of the press and of speech. Also, every year the central
committee report, in great detail, every party activity in every
corner of the empire. A well-knit hegemony of party interest is
created. The mass is willing to listen to the individual, to bend to
the needs of the smallest commune.

Throughout their frank discussions and involved debates there runs a
certain polysyllabic flavor that is characteristically German. They
often choose, a year in advance, some important national question,
such as the tariff, mining laws, the agrarian situation, and discuss
it in great detail, more like an academy of universal knowledge than a
political party. The learned blend their involved phraseology and
store of facts with the refreshing frankness and ignorance of the


We will now return to the present activities of this party that was
born in revolution and nurtured by persecution. In order to
understand this activity, it is necessary to review the present
attitude of the government toward democracy and Socialism. The repeal
of the anti-Socialist law could not suddenly alter the spirit of
opposition. It merely changed the outward aspect of the opposition.

The government indicates in many ways its distrust of Social
Democrats. No member of the party has ever been invited by the
government to a place of public honor and responsibility. Indeed, to
be a Social Democrat effectively closes the door against promotion in
civil life.[14] This silent hostility is not confined to political
offices and the civil service; it extends into the professions. Judges
and public physicians, pastors in the state church, teachers in the
public schools, professors in the great universities are included in
the ban. A pastor may be a "Christian Socialist," a professor may
nourish his "Socialism of the chair," and a judge or a government
engineer may be inclined toward far-reaching social experiment. But
with Social Democracy they must have absolutely nothing to do.[15]

The government's attitude is based on the theory that the Social
Democrats are enemies of the monarchy, and are designing to overthrow
it and declare a republic the moment they get into power. The Kaiser,
on several public occasions, has expressed his distrust and
disapproval for this vast multitude of his subjects. A number of
years ago he is reported to have said that "the Social Democrats are a
band of persons who are unworthy of their fatherland" ("Eine Bande von
Menschen die ihres Vaterlands nicht würdig sind"). And more recently:
"The Social Democrats are a crowd of upstarts without a fatherland"
("Vaterlandslose Gesellen"). The Kaiser joined in the public rejoicing
over the check that had apparently been administered to the growth of
the Social Democracy by the elections of 1907, and in a speech
delivered to a throng of citizens gathered for jubilation in the
palace yard in Berlin, he said that the "Socialists have been ridden
down" ("niedergeritten"), a military figure of speech.

Retaliation is not unnatural. The pictures of the Hohenzollerns and
the high functionaries of state and army do not adorn the walls of the
homes of the Social Democrats. There are seen the portraits of Marx
and Lassalle, Liebknecht and Bebel. The members of the party never
join in a public display of confidence in the government. They
exercise a petty tyranny over their neighbors. Instances are told of
shopkeepers who were compelled to yield to the boycott instituted
against them because they voted against the Social Democrats, and of
workmen coerced into joining the union.

This feeling of bitterness is most clearly marked in Prussia. In
southern Germany a feeling of good will and co-operation is becoming
more marked every year. The King of Bavaria is not afraid to shake
hands with Von Vollmar. Some years ago a Bavarian railway employee was
elected to the Diet on the Social Democratic ticket, and his employer,
the state, gave him leave of absence to attend to his legislative
duties. In Baden the leader of the Social Democratic Party called at
the palace to present the felicitations of his comrades to the royal
family on the occasion of the birth of an heir.

The principal immediate issue of the Social Democrats in Germany is
electoral reform. None of the states or provinces are on a genuinely
democratic electoral basis. In Saxony a new electoral law was passed
in 1909 which typifies the spirit of the entire country.[16] The
electorate is divided into four classes according to their income. The
result of the first election under this law in the city of Leipsic was
as follows: There were 172,800 votes cast by 79,928 voters.

  32,576 voters in the   one-vote class cast 32,576 votes
  20,323   "    "   "    two-  "    "    "   40,646   "
   8,538   "    "   "  three-  "    "    "   25,614   "
  18,491   "    "   "   four-  "    "    "   73,964   "

There are ninety-one members in the Saxon Diet. The law provided that
only forty-three of these should be elected from the cities. The three
leading cities of Saxony, Chemnitz, Dresden, Leipsic, are strongholds
of Social Democracy, while the country districts are Conservative. The
Social Democrats feel that the property qualifications and the
distribution of the districts impose an unfair handicap against them.
In spite of these obstacles they elected so many deputies that they
were offered the vice-presidency of the Chamber of Deputies. The
offer, however, was conditioned upon their attending the annual
reception given by the King to the representatives. They had hitherto
refused to attend these royal functions and were not willing to
surrender for the sake of office.[17]

The ancient free cities--Hamburg, Bremen, Lübeck--have election laws
as ancient and antiquated as their charters. In Lübeck a large
majority of the legislative body is elected by electors having an
income of over 2,000 marks a year. In Hamburg the nobles, higher
officials, etc., elect 40 representatives, the householders elect 40,
the large landholders elect 8, those citizens having an income of over
2,500 marks a year elect 48, those who have an income from 1,200 to
2,500 marks a year elect 24, those who have an income of less than
1,200 marks have no vote. In Bremen the various groups or kinds of
property are represented in the law-making body. Property, not the
person, is represented.

Prussia is the special grievance of the Social Democrats. Here the
three-class system of voting prevails. The taxpayers are divided into
three classes, according to the amount of taxes paid, each class
paying one-third of the taxes. Each class chooses one-third of the
electors who name the members of the Prussian Diet. By this
arrangement the large property class virtually controls the
elections.[18] By this system the Social Democratic representation is
held down to 6 in a membership of 420. In 1909 the party polled
23-9/10 per cent. of the entire Prussian vote. Here again the
districts are so arranged that the majority of the members are elected
from the Conservative rural districts, while the cities, which are
strongholds of Social Democracy, must content themselves with a
minority, although nearly 60 per cent. of the population of Prussia is
urban. These examples are sufficient to indicate the general nature of
franchise legislation in Germany.[19] For the past several years
universal suffrage demonstrations have been held throughout the
empire. The general strike has not been used as a method of political
coercion. It is doubtful whether the German temperament is adapted to
that kind of warfare. Mass-meetings, however, and street
demonstrations are the favorite means of the propaganda. Sometimes
there are conflicts with the police, but these are diminishing in
number every year. The government has not diminished its vigilance,
and its jealous eyes are never averted from these demonstrations.[20]

An incident occurred in March, 1910, which illustrates the temper of
the people and the government. A gigantic demonstration was announced,
to be held in Treptow Park, Berlin. The Police-president forbade the
meeting and had every street leading to the park carefully guarded.
One hundred and fifty thousand demonstrants met in the Thiergarten, in
the very heart of the city, and so secretly had the word been given,
so quietly was it executed, and so orderly was this vast throng of
workingman, that the police knew nothing of it until the meeting was
well under way. Permission for the Treptow meeting was not again

The immediate issue, then, of the German Social Democracy is universal
suffrage. Lassalle's cry is more piercing to-day than when that
brilliant and erratic agitator uttered it: "Democracy, the universal
ballot, is the laboring man's hope." The name of the party is
significant. The accent has shifted from the first to the second part
of the compound--from the Marxian to the Lassallian word.

The German Social Democrats have never had a Millerand or a Briand or
a John Burns; their participation in imperial and provincial affairs
has been strictly limited to parliamentary criticism. Even in local
government, in the communes and cities, they have been allowed only a
small share in actual constructive work. But in spite of these facts
the party has undergone a most remarkable change of creed and tone.


We will concern ourselves only with the most significant changes.
These follow two general lines: (1) the attitude of the party towards
legislation and practical parliamentary participation; (2) the
internal changes in the party. We will follow these changes through
the official reports of the annual party conventions.

First we will briefly see what change has taken place in their
attitude toward parliamentary activity. The Social Democrats began as
revolutionists and violent anti-parliamentarians. They entered
parliament, not to make laws, but to make trouble. In 1890 they
changed their name from the Socialist Labor Party to the Social
Democratic Party; and when some of the older members thought that this
was a compromise with their enemies, one of the leaders replied that
"a Socialist party must _eo ipse_ be a democratic party."[21] In 1890
Liebknecht said: "Formerly we had an entirely different tactic.
Tactics and principles are two different things. In 1869 in a speech
in Berlin I condemned parliamentary activity. That was then. Political
conditions were entirely different."[22] Gradually tactics and
principles have coalesced until their line of cleavage is obscured.

The earlier reports of the parliamentary delegation are tinged with
apology--they are in parliament as protestors, as propagandists, not
as legislators. They seem to say: "Fellow-partisans, excuse us for
being in the Reichstag. We don't believe in the bourgeois law-making
devices. But since we are here, we purpose to do what we can for the
cause. We will not betray you, nor the glorious Socialistic state of
society that we are all working for."

From the first, Social Democrats have voted against the imperial
budget, have opposed all tariffs, indirect taxes, extension of the
police power, increase in naval and military expenditure, and colonial
exploitation. They took no part at first in law-making, held
themselves disdainfully aloof from practical parliamentary efforts,
and especially avoided every appearance of coalition with other

But gradually a change came over them. In 1895 they nominated one of
their number for secretary of the Reichstag.[23]

Gingerly they dipped their fingers into the pottage of reality. Soon
they began to introduce bills. In 1901 they proposed a measure that
increased the allowance of the private soldier. Their bill became a
law. In the next national convention, when they were called to task
for their worldliness, they excused themselves by saying that ninety
per cent. of the private soldiers were proletarians and their parents
were too poor to supply them with the money necessary for army
sundries, and the allowance of the state had been inadequate. This was
therefore a law that actually benefited the poor.

In 1906 and 1908 they were compelled to face the practical question of
an inheritance tax. The delegation supported the measure, after
prolonged deliberation over what action to take. This action
precipitated a heated discussion in the party congress; the veterans
feared the party was surrendering its principles. They were assured by
Bebel that the vote was orthodox.[24]

In 1906 the party instructed its delegation to introduce bills for
redistricting the empire for Reichstag elections; to reduce the
legislative period from five to three years; to revise the laws
relating to sailors and provide for better inspection of ships and
shipping. These instructions mark a revolution in German Social
Democracy, a change that can best be illustrated by the shift in its
attitude on state insurance. In 1892 the party resolved: "So-called
state Socialism, in so far as it concerns itself with bettering the
conditions of the working people, is a system of half-reforms whose
origin is in the fear of Social Democracy. It aims, through all kinds
of palliatives and little concessions, to estrange the working people
from Social Democracy and to cripple the party.

"The Social Democracy have never disdained to ask for such
governmental regulations, or, if proposed by the opposition, to
approve of those measures which could better the conditions of labor
under the present industrial system. But Social Democrats view such
regulations as only little payments on account, which in nowise
confuse the Social Democracy in its striving for a new organization of

They are now not above collecting even small sums on account. In 1910
their convention declares that state insurance is "the object of
constant agitation. For what we have thus far secured by no means
approaches what the laborer demands."[26]

The committee on parliamentary action reported, a few years ago, that
"no opportunity was lost for entering the lists in behalf of political
and cultural progress. In the discussion of all bills and other
business matters, the members of the delegation took an active part in
committee as well as in _plenum_."[27] There is no longer half-abashed
juvenile reluctance at legislative participation. The reports boast of
the work done by the party in behalf of the workingman, the peasant,
small tradesman, small farmer, and humbler government employees.
Eleven bills were introduced by the delegation in 1909-10, relating to
factory and mine inspection, amending the state insurance laws, the
tariff laws, the redistricting of the empire for Reichstag
elections--i.e., all pertaining to labor, politics, and finance.
Twenty resolutions were moved by the delegation, and many
interpellations called.

Interpellation, however, is not very satisfactory in a government
where the ministry is not responsible to parliament. In 1909 the
Social Democrats introduced a bill to make the Chancellor and his
cabinet responsible to the Reichstag. Ledebour, who made the leading
speech for the Social Democrats, gave a clear exposition of his
party's contention. He wanted a government "wherein the people, in the
final analysis, decided the fate of the government. For, in such a
government, only those men come into power who represent a program,
represent conviction and character; not any one who has succeeded, for
the moment, in pleasing the fancy and becoming the favorite of the
determining kamarilla." If the election should turn on this issue,
"whether there shall be a perpetuation of the sham-constitutional,
junker bureaucracy, or the establishing of a democratic parliamentary
authority," the parliamentary party would win. "The will of the people
should be the highest law."[28]

In January, 1912, this party of isolation entered the Reichstag as the
strongest group: 110 members acknowledge the leadership of Bebel. By
co-operating with the Radicals and National Liberals, the progressive
elements had a majority over the Conservative and Clerical
reactionaries for the first time in the history of the empire. Here
Bebel consented to become a candidate for president of the Chamber. He
received 175 votes; the candidate of the Conservatives, Dr. Spahn,
leader of the Clerical Center, received 196. Enough National Liberals
had wavered to throw the balance in favor of Conservatism. A Socialist
was elected first vice-president, and a National Liberal second
vice-president. The President-elect refused to act with a Socialist
vice-president and resigned. The Radical member from Berlin, Herr
Kaempf, was then elected President.[29] Thereupon the National Liberal
second vice-president also resigned, and a Radical was chosen in his
stead. The Social Democrats and the Radicals were made responsible for
the leadership of the new Reichstag.

It is customary for the President and the vice-president of the
Chamber to announce to the Kaiser when the Reichstag is organized and
ready for business. The Kaiser let it be known that he did not care to
receive the Radical officers. The Socialist first vice-president
refused to join in the proposed official visit. The Prussian temper is
slow to change.

These illustrations clearly indicate the trend of Social Democratic
legislative and political policy. It is the universal story--ambition
brings power, power brings responsibility, responsibility sobers the


The second development that we are to trace relates to the program, or
platform, of the party. The official program has not undergone any
change, but the interpretation, the spirit, has mellowed. The Erfurter
program of 1891 is still their party pledge. The program is in two
parts; the first an elaborate exposition of Marxian economics, the
second a series of practical demands differing only slightly from the
Gotha program.

Only one speech was made in the national convention on the adoption of
this bifurcated platform, that attempted to link Marxian theory to
Lassallian realism. This speech was made by Liebknecht, friend of
Marx, who elaborately explained his friend's theory of value, doctrine
of class war and social evolution. The program was adopted _en bloc_.
The chairman ignored a few protesting "noes" when the vote was called,
and declared it unanimously adopted. These few voices of protest soon
swelled to considerable volume. Within one year after the repeal of
the Socialist law the party had entered upon the difficult task of
being both critic and parliamentarian, constructive and destructive,
under rigid military discipline.

To the few protesters at Erfurt, it seemed as though the party had
entered the lifeboat, manned the oars, and neglected to untie the

When the elections of 1897 recorded a severe setback for the party the
progressives were told to keep the eyes of faith on the "ultimate
goal" of Socialism. One of the réformistes replied: "The whole idea of
an ultimate goal is distasteful to me. There is no ultimate goal; for
beyond your ultimate goal is another world of striving."[30] And
another critic said: "Nothing wears threadbare so rapidly by constant
use as words of faith. Constantly spoken or heard, they become
stereotyped into phrases, and the inspired prophet creates the same
offensive impression as a priest who has nothing else to offer but
words." The interest of the workingman "finds its expression in the
practicalness of the second part of the Erfurter program, and the
wholly practical work of the party."[31] It was at this time that
Edward Bernstein, friend and literary heir of Engel, published a
series of critical papers in the party journal, _Die Neue Zeit_,
attacking especially the catastrophic and revolutionary postulates and
saying "the movement is everything, the goal is nothing." Kautsky, the
dogmatist of the party, replied to these articles and a feverish
discussion followed in all the party press.[32]

In the party conventions of 1898 and 1899 this controversy was waged
with considerable energy. Von Vollmar made merry over Kautsky's
"inquisition" and called the debate "a noisy cackling over nothing."
The mass of the party, he said, did not trouble their heads about
theories, but plodded along unmindful of hairsplitting.[33] Bebel made
a herculean effort to reconcile both elements. To the revisionists he
said, "We are in a constant state of intellectual moulting,"[34] to
the orthodox he said, "We remain what we have always been."[35]

It was at Dresden, 1903, that the revisionist tempest reached its
height in the party teapot. The Germans' love for polysyllabic
phrase-making, for which Jaurès taunted them at the Amsterdam
congress, was here given full play. Von Vollmar repeated that nobody
except a few dull theorists read Kautsky's or Bernstein's views; the
mass of voters cared for practical results, and "revisionists and
anti-revisionists are nothing but a bugbear."[36]

Here the matter rested until the elections of 1907 opened the eyes of
the party high priests. They gained only 248,249 votes and lost
one-half of their seats in the Reichstag. A number of the leading
Socialists promptly began to attack the dogmas of the party program as
illusions and pitfalls. The class war, the revolutionary method, the
theory of an ever-increasing proletariat and decreasing bourgeoisie
were attacked as unscientific, and illusory. "The Erfurt program
recites a vagary, it repels the intellect, it must be changed;" that
was the opinion of the advanced thinkers of the party.

No party congresses, no priestly pronunciamentos have been able to
check the spread of revolt. As long as Kautsky and Bebel live the
program will probably not be re-phrased. But even Kautsky is mellowing
under the ripeness of years and circumstances; and Bebel, shrewd
politician, knows the campaigning value of appearing at the same time
orthodox and progressive.[37]

To-day one hears very little of Marx and a great deal of legislation.
The last election, with its brilliant victory for Social Democracy,
was not won on the general issues of the Erfurter program but on the
particular issue of the arrogance of the bureaucracy, and ballot
reform. A large mass of voters cast their ballots for Social
Democratic candidates as a protest against existing governmental
conditions, not as an affirmation of their assent to the Marxian
dogmas. The truth is, Marx is a tradition, democracy is an issue.[38]

Another indication of the notable changes that have come over Social
Democracy is seen in the Socialists' relation to other parties. Here
their dogmatic aloofness is the most tenacious. During the years of
their bitter persecution by the government they found their excuse in
an isolation that was forced upon them. Von Vollmar told his
colleagues, immediately after the repeal of the anti-Socialist law,
that the South Germans were ready to co-operate with every one who
would be willing to give them an inch. In reply to this Bebel
introduced a resolution affirming that "the primary necessity of
attaining political power" could not be "the work of a moment," but
was attained only by gradual growth. During the period of growth the
Social Democrats should not work for mere "concessions from the ruling
classes," but "have only the ultimate and complete aim of the party in
mind." The Bebelian theory linked the ultimate goal with ultimate
power, both to be attained by waiting until the flood tide.

This question became practical when the Social Democratic members of
the provincial legislatures voted with other parties for the state
budget. The national party claimed authority over the local party, a
claim which was resented by the Bavarians and other South German

In 1894 the South Germans were chastised by a vote of 164 to 64 for
voting for their state budget. They were rebuked again in 1901 and in
1908. In the latter year Bebel told them "three times is enough,"
indicating that there would be a split in the party if they insisted
on voting for their local budgets. The South Germans defended their
action by saying that they had always agitated for more pay for state
employees, and that they were willing to vote the funds that would
make this possible. A new champion appeared for the réformistes--Dr.
Frank of Mannheim, a brilliant speaker who is called by his following
a "second Lassalle." He made a withering attack on the Marxian school,
but Bebel's censure was carried by 256 to 119.

Finally at Magdeburg, 1910, the budget question reached its climax.
Bebel boasted that his policy of negation had wrought great changes in
Germany. "I say it without boasting, in the whole world there is no
Social Democracy that has accomplished as much positive good as the
German Social Democracy."[40] He claimed the insurance laws, factory
laws, and the repeal of special and oppressive legislation as the
fruits of his policy. Bebel then warned the Badensians that this is
the last time they will be forgiven; one other offense, and they will
be put out of the party.

Dr. Frank made an elaborate reply. He said that there was a working
agreement between the Social Democrats and Liberals whereby they
co-operated against the Conservatives. In the state legislature they
had a "bloc" with the Liberals and had elected a vice-president and
secretary and important chairmanships by means of this coalition. They
had, moreover, reformed the public school system, secured factory
legislation, and had secured direct elections in all towns of 4,000
or over. The réformistes' principles are so clearly stated in this
speech that I quote several paragraphs:

"I tell you, comrades, if you think that under all the circumstances
you can win only small concessions; with such a message of
hopelessness you will not conquer the world, not even the smallest
election district. [_Great commotion and disturbance._] But what would
be the meaning of this admission that small concessions can be
secured? In tearing down a building dramatic effects are possible. But
the erection of a building is accomplished only by an accumulation of
small concessions. Behold the labor unions, that are so often spoken
of, how they struggle for months, how they suffer hunger for months,
in order to win a concession of a few pennies. Often one can see that
a small concession contains enormous future possibilities, and in
twenty or thirty years will become a vital force in the shaping of the
society that is to come."

"Nor will I examine the question whether in parliamentary activity
only small concessions can be won. Is it not possible, through
parliamentary action, to take high tariffs and business speculations
from the necks of the workingmen? Is it not possible to modify police
administration, and the legislative conditions that profane Prussia
to-day? Are these conditions necessary concomitants of the modern
class-state (Klassenstaat)? Is it not possible to create out of
Prussia and Germany a modern state, where our workingmen, even as
their brethren in Western Europe, can fight their great battles upon
the field of democratic equality and citizenship? If you wish to view
all that as 'small concessions' you are at liberty to do so. I view it
as a tremendous revolution, if it succeeds, to secure, through such a
struggle, liberty for the Prussian working class."[41]

The censure was carried, the Baden delegation left the hall during the
voting. On the following day it returned to declare its loyalty to the
party, but with the proviso that they would by no means promise how
they would vote on their state budget in the future.

Events are shaping themselves rapidly in Germany. Ministerial
responsibility cannot much longer be denied. The elections of 1912
should serve as a plain portent to the reactionaries. That Bebel is
willing to be a candidate for President of the Reichstag is a
significant concession; that the Radicals and many National Liberals
are willing to vote for him, would have been deemed impossible ten
years ago.

Such conditions as prevail between the government and the Radicals and
Social Democrats cannot long continue. The break with the past must
come, sooner or later. The pressure of Radical and Democratic votes
will become so powerful, that not even the strong traditions of the
empire can wholly withstand it.

In May, 1911, I visited the Reichstag on an eventful occasion. The
Social Democrats had voted with the government for a new Constitution
for Alsace-Lorraine containing universal manhood suffrage. Herr Bebel
was jubilant. He said: "It marks a new epoch. We have voted with the
government. Not that we have capitulated. But the government have come
to our convictions, they have granted universal suffrage to Alsace,
now they cannot long deny that right to Prussia and the other

We have now seen that politically a great change has come over the
German Socialists; that they are participating in legislation, and are
especially solicitous about all acts that pertain to labor and
political liberty; that they are gradually moving toward co-operation
with other parties; that they are gradually sloughing off the
inflexible Marxian armor, and are assuming the pliable dress of

All this is to be expected of a party that began as a vigorous,
narrow, autocratic party of revolution and protest, and is emerging
from its hard experiences, a self-styled "cultural party" ("Kultur
Partei"). Dr. Südekum, editor of Communal Praxis, in his report of the
parliamentary group, in 1907, wrote: "We have in the Reichstag two
kinds of duties; first, the propaganda of our ideas and program;
second, practical work, i.e., to enhance, not alone the interests of
the working class, but the entire complex, so-called cultural
interests. The problems that the Social Democratic party as a
'cultural party' has to solve, which are assigned to it as the
representative of cultural progress in every realm of human activity,
must increase in the same proportion that the bourgeois parties allow
themselves to be captured by the government and neglect these

It is a far cry from "class war" to "human cultural activities." Such
an expansion of purpose requires a greatly enlarged electorate. The
majority of the workingmen are already in the party, where will the
increase come from?

There are two directions in which the party can hope to gain new
recruits--the small farmer and the small tradesman. The small farmer
is peculiarly hard to reach. He is well guarded--the Church on the one
side, the landlord and _junker_ on the other. To step in and steal his
heart is a very difficult task. The work is pushed steadily, with
tenacity, but results are slow in coming.

Among the tradespeople and business men, there is more rapid progress,
especially in southern Germany. In Munich a great many tradespeople
vote for Von Vollmar.[44]

Primarily it will always be a workingman's party. Its soul is the
labor movement. Its political aim is democracy, and its hope is the
power of sheer preponderance of numbers. What it will do when it has
that power is a speculation that does not lure the prosaic Teutonic
mind. "We will find plenty to do," one of them said, "when we have the
government. We have plenty to do now, that we haven't the government."
This is wisdom learned of France.

This means that the party have given up their "splendid
isolation"--what Von Vollmar called their "policy of sterility and
despair"[45]--a policy which they acknowledged by words long after
they had abandoned it in fact. They abandoned it the moment they
championed labor legislation, and sought the sanitation of cities and
the opening of parks, in their municipal councils.

The pressure of things as they are has been too powerful for even the
German Social Democracy, with its dogmatic temper and strength of
millions. Revolution has, even here, been replaced by a slow and
orderly development.

The rapidity with which the medieval empire will be democratized will
depend upon the formation of a genuine liberal party that will enlist
those citizens who are inclined toward modernism but cannot be enticed
into the Social Democratic or Radical parties. When such a party is
formed, and an alliance made with the Social Democrats, then the
transformations will be rapid.[46] Among the most significant
accessions to the Social Democracy are many professional men: lawyers,
physicians, engineers, etc. This augurs a change in party spirit and
method. Dr. Frank of Mannheim told me that he considered the extent to
which the party could lure the intellectual element the measure of the
party greatness and power.


A word should be added upon the attitude of the Social Democrats
toward militarism. The standing army and the increasing navy of
Germany are a heavy tax upon the people. The Germans for centuries
have been military in ambition, soldiers by instinct.

The Social Democrats, in common with all Socialists, are opposed to
war. But the German is a patriot. In the International Congress at
Stuttgart, the French and Russian delegations imposed an extreme
anti-military resolution upon the Socialists, against the protest of
the Germans. Bebel called their anti-patriotic utterances "silly

The Berlin congress, 1892, adopted the following resolution, in view
of the added military burdens proposed by the Reichstag: "The
prevailing military system, not being able to guarantee the country
against foreign invasion, is a continual threat to international peace
and serves the capitalistic class-government, whose aim is the
industrial exploitation and suppression of the working classes, as an
instrument of oppression against the masses.

"The party convention therefore demands, in consonance with the
program of the Social Democratic platform, the establishment of a
system of defense based upon a general militia, trained and armed. The
congress declares that the Social Democratic members of the Reichstag
are in complete accord with the party and with the politically
organized working classes of Germany, when they vote against every
measure of the government aimed at perpetuating the present military

During a debate in the Reichstag in 1907, Bebel declared, in the
defense of the Fatherland, _if it were invaded_, even he in his old
age would "shoulder a musket." He demanded military drill for youths
as a preliminary to the shortening of military service in the standing
army; if this were not done the defense of the country would be
weakened whenever the service shall be reduced to one year.

The Chancellor had on this occasion introduced a bill making all
military service uniformly two years, and abolishing the privileges
that had been granted to a few favored classes.

For this action they were severely criticised in the next party
convention. Bebel replied: "I said, _if the Fatherland really must be
defended_, then we will defend it. Because it is our Fatherland. It is
the land in which we live, whose language we speak, whose culture we
possess. Because we wish to make this, our Fatherland, more beautiful
and more complete than any other land on earth. We defend it,
therefore, not for you but against you."[49] This patriotic
declamation was received with "tremendous applause."

Von Vollmar, himself a soldier of distinction, said, in the Bavarian
Diet, a few years ago:

"If the necessity should arise for the protection of the realm against
foreign invasion, then it will become evident that the Social
Democrats love their Fatherland no less than do their neighbors; that
they will as gladly and heroically offer themselves to its defense. On
the other hand, if the foolish notion should ever arise to use the
army for the support of a warring class prerogative, for the defense
of indefeasible demands, and for the crushing of those just ambitions
which are the product of our times, and a necessary concomitant of our
economic and political development,--then we are of the firm
conviction that the day will come when the army will remember that it
sprang from the people, and that its own interests are those of the

This makes their position very clear.


The party that for years held itself in disdainful aloofness, was so
defiant of co-operation, in the national parliament, is ductile,
neighborly, and eager to help in the municipal and communal councils.
It has a communal program of practical details, and no small part of
the splendid progress in municipal administration in Germany is due to
the Social Democrats. Everywhere you hear praise from officials and
from political rivals for the careful work of the Social Democratic
members of municipal bodies.

Owing to the unfavorable election laws, the Social Democrats do not
elect a large number of members to local councils. In no important
city do they preponderate. If universal manhood suffrage were enacted,
they would control the majority of the local legislative bodies. As it
is, they are an active minority, and guard jealously the interests of
the working classes.

Munich may be taken as the type of city in which the Social Democrats
are active.[50]

In 1907 there were 130,000 qualified electors for the Reichstag
election in Munich, in 1905 there were only 31,252 qualified electors
for the municipal elections. This shows the restrictive influence of
property qualifications for local elections.

In a city council of 60 members, the Social Democrats elected only 9.
And of 20 elected members of the chamber of magistrates they elected
only 3.

This minority is an active committee of scrutiny. It carefully and
minutely scrutinizes all the acts of the municipal authorities,
especially pertaining to labor, to contracts for public work, and to
the conditions of city employees. They vote consistently in favor of
the enlargement of municipal powers; e.g., the extension of parks, of
street-car lines, the building of larger markets. For a number of
years the Social Democrats of Munich have urged the utilizing of the
water power of the Isar, which rushes through the city. And the
municipality is now utilizing some of this power.

The Social Democrats also favor every facility for the extension of
the art and culture for which Munich is justly celebrated. They take
no narrow, provincial views of such questions, and set an example that
might with profit be followed by parties who claim for themselves the
prerogative of culture. They are constantly working for better public
educational facilities, and are especially hostile to the
encroachments of the Church upon the domain of public education.

They are in favor of increased public expenditures; opposed to all
indirect taxes, especially those that tend to raise the price of food.

Their special grievance is the property qualification required for
voting. They say that a law which allows only one-fifteenth of the
citizens (30,000 out of over 500,000) a right to vote is "shameful,"
and they are bending every effort to change the law.

What is true in Munich is true in other cities: democratic election
laws are denied them. But they are active everywhere, and do not
despise the doing of small details, doing them well and with zest. It
is obvious that Socialism in Germany cannot be put to a constructive
test until the election laws are democratized and the higher
administrative offices are opened to them. That will bring the real
test of this colossal movement.

       *       *       *       *       *

We may sum it all up by saying that Social Democracy in Germany is
first of all a struggle for democracy. The accent is on the second
part of the compound. It is, secondly, a struggle for the
self-betterment of the working classes; and it is, thirdly, a protest
against certain conditions that the present organization of society
imposes upon mankind.

An American sojourning among the German people must be impressed with
the painstaking organization of the empire. Every detail of life is
carefully ordered to avoid waste and to secure efficiency, even at the
cost of individual initiative. This military empire, of infinite
discipline, is now undergoing a political metamorphosis. The force
that is bringing about the change is being generated at the bottom of
the social strata, not at the top. This signifies that a change is
sure to come.


[1] See MEYER, _Emancipations-Kampf des Vierten Standes_, Chap. V;
also J. SCHMOELE, _Die Sozial-Demokratische Gewerkschaften in
Deutschland, seit dem Erlasse des Sozialistischen Gesetzes_, Jena,
1896, et seq.

[2] The following table compiled from _Statistisches Jahrbuch_ shows
their growth in recent years:

  Year                 Members
  1902                 733,206
  1903                 887,698
  1904               1,052,108
  1905               1,344,803
  1906               1,689,709
  1907               1,865,506
  1908               1,831,731
  1909               1,892,568

In 1909 their income was 50,529,114 marks, their expenditure
46,264,031 marks. See Appendix, p. 295, for membership of all the

[3] When I visited the Berlin _Gewerkschaftshaus_, a model three-room
dwelling--living room, kitchen, and bedroom--had been furnished and
decorated in simple, durable, and artistic fashion. This exhibit was
thronged with workingmen, their wives and daughters.

Some years ago it was discovered that the youth of the working people
were reading cheap and unworthy literature. The Central Committee of
the Unions now issues cheap editions of the choicest literature for
children and young people.

These two incidents show the vigilance of the unions, in looking after
all the wants of their people.

[4] The number of strikes in recent years are given as follows: 1902,
1,106; 1903, 1,444; 1904, 1,990; 1905, 2,657; 1906, 3,626; 1907,
2,512; 1908, 1,524.--From _Statistisches Jahrbuch für das Deutsche

[5] _Protokoll: Sozial-Demokratische Partei-Tag_, 1908, p. 14.

[6] See Bebel, _Gewerksbewegung und Politische Parteien_: Preface.

[7] See _Protokoll des Partei-Tages_, 1890, pp. 156-7.

[8] "_Genossen_": the word really means "brethren."

[9] Party membership has grown as follows: 1906, 384,527; 1907,
530,466; 1908, 587,336; 1909, 633,309; 1910, 720,038; 1911, 836,562.

[10] _Bericht des Partei-Vorstandes_, 1909-10.

[11] See Appendix, p. 296, for complete election returns.

[12] _Bericht des Partei-Vorstandes_, 1909-10.

[13] In 1891-2 the "Berliner Opposition" threatened a revolt. They
were given every opportunity of explaining their grievances, were told
what to do, and, disobeying, were promptly shown the door.

[14] "It has been truthfully said that in Germany a Social Democrat
cannot even become a night-watchman."--PROF. BERNHARD HARMS
(University of Kiel), _Ferdinand Lassalle und Seine Bedeutung für die
Sozial-Demokratie_, 1909, p. 103.

[15] "Do you enjoy freedom from political interference?" I asked a
high official in the civil service. "Absolutely. We think as we
please, talk as we please, and do as we please. But we must let the
Social Democrats alone."

[16] See Appendix, p. 293, for synopsis of this law.

[17] The vote for the Saxon legislature at this time was as follows:

       Party                     Voters      Votes
  Social Democrats               341,396     492,522
  Conservatives                  103,517     281,804
  National Liberal               125,157     236,541
  Independents (Freisinnige)      41,857     100,804
  Anti-Semites                    20,248      55,502

The Social Democrats included over one-half of the voters, cast about
one-third of the votes, and elected only one-fourth of the members.

[18] Some curious instances of inequality appear in the cities. In
Berlin in one precinct one man paid one-third of the taxes and
consequently possessed one-third of the legislative influence in that
precinct. In another precinct the president of a large bank paid
one-third of the taxes, and two of his associates paid another third.
These three men named the member of the Diet from that precinct.

[19] For the struggle for ballot reform in Bavaria, see _Der Kampf um
die Wahlreform in Bayern_, issued in 1905 by the Bavarian Social
Democratic Party Executive Committee.

[20] February 13, 1910, was set aside as a day for suffrage
demonstration throughout the empire. In Berlin alone forty-two
meetings were announced. These provoked the following edict: "Notice!
The 'right to the streets' is hereby proclaimed. The streets serve
primarily for traffic. Resistance to state authority will be met by
the force of arms. I warn the curious. Berlin, February 13, 1910.
Police-president, VON IAGOW." The Social Democratic papers called
attention to the fact that these notices were printed on the same
forms that the Police-president often used to announce that the
streets would be closed to all traffic on account of military parades.

[21] _Protokoll_, 1890, pp. 119-120.

[22] _Protokoll_, 1890, pp. 96-7.

[23] There are eight secretaries elected. They are distributed, by
custom, among the parties, according to their voting strength. The
Social Democrats had always refrained from taking part in any of the
elections; now they enter the lists, abstaining from voting for any
candidate except their own--who, in turn, received no other votes.

[24] Bebel was not present in the Reichstag at the time this vote was
taken, but he told the convention that, had he been present, he should
have supported the Tax Bill. _Protokoll_, 1908, p. 364.

[25] _Protokoll_, 1892, p. 173.

[26] _Protokoll_, 1910, p. 469.

[27] _Protokoll_, 1910, p. 95.

[28] Reichstag Debates, December 2, 1908.

[29] In the election of January, 1912, the Social Democrats carried
every district in Berlin excepting the one in which the Kaiser's
palace is situated. Here a spirited contest took place. A second
ballot was made necessary between the Radicals and Social Democrats,
and the Conservatives, throwing all their forces on to the Radical
side, succeeded in keeping this last stronghold from their enemies.
But Herr Kaempf's majority was only 6 votes.

[30] _Protokoll_, 1898, p. 89.

[31] _Supra cit._, p. 90.

[32] This controversy is known as the "revisionist movement." The
revisionists' position is set forth in Bernstein's book, _Die
Voraussetzung des Sozialismus und die Aufgaben der Sozial-Demokratie_.
The Marxian position is set forth in Kautsky's reply, _Bernstein und
die Sozial-Demokratie_. An English edition of Bernstein's book has
been published in the Labor Party series in London.

[33] _Protokoll_, 1899.

[34] _Supra cit._, p. 94.

[35] _Supra cit._, p. 127.

[36] _Protokoll_, 1903, pp. 321-45.

[37] In the congress of 1907 Bebel tried to dispel the gloom by a long
and optimistic speech in which he declared that their success was not
to be measured by the number of seats they won, but by the number of
voters. He closed by saying, "We are the coming ones, ours is the
future in spite of all things and everything."--_Protokoll_, 1907, p.

[38] One of the veteran party leaders answered my question as to the
present-day influence of Marx as follows: "The bulk of our party have
never read Marx. It takes a well-trained mind to understand him.
Conditions have entirely changed since his day, and we are busy with
questions of which Marx never dreamed and of which he could not
foretell. He laid the philosophical basis for our party, but our party
is practical, not philosophical."

[39] In 1900 Bebel proposed the necessity of a working coalition with
other parties in Prussia to gain electoral reform. He said: "We cannot
stand alone. We must attempt to go hand in hand with certain elements
in the bourgeois parties--without, however, endangering our identity."
But the party was not willing to go as far as the veteran, and a
resolution was adopted limiting such co-operation strictly to Prussia
and giving the central committee full power to veto the acts any
electoral district might take in this direction.

[40] _Protokoll_, 1910, p. 249.

[41] _Protokoll_, 1910, p. 272.

[42] In November, 1911, Berlin's new city hall was dedicated. The
members of the city council were invited to be present. The Social
Democrats cast a large majority of all the votes in Berlin. But the
Social Democrats refused to attend the ceremonies. The program, as
published, called for a "Hoch!" to the Kaiser, and the Social
Democrats never joined in public approval of the government.
_Vorwärts_, the leading Social Democratic daily, said that Social
Democrats have nothing to do with such a display of "Byzantinism." "If
any one thought it necessary to shout 'Hoch!' he could shout 'Hoch!'
to the working population of Berlin."

[43] _Protokoll_, 1907, pp. 227-8.

[44] Amongst the business people of Mannheim, Munich, and other cities
in Baden, Bavaria, and Hesse, there are many who support the Social
Democratic candidates, because, they say, there is no genuinely
liberal party. It should, however, be borne in mind that the Social
Democrats of these southern districts are liberal and progressive, not
the unbending, orthodox variety of Prussia.

[45] VON VOLLMAR, _Über die Aufgaben der Deutschen Social-Demokratie_.

[46] The _Hansa Bund_ (Hanseatic League), organized a few years ago,
may be the nucleus of such a party. It is composed of smaller
manufacturers and business men opposed to tariffs and the trusts, and
in favor of a more liberal government.

[47] _Protokoll_, Social Democratic Party, 1907, p. 228.

[48] _Protokoll_, 1892, p. 132.

[49] _Protokoll_, 1907, p. 255.

[50] See _Die Sozial-Demokratie im Münchener Rathaus_, issued by the
Bavarian party executive committee, 1908. Also _Die Sozial-Demokratie
im Bayerischen Landtag, 1888-1905_, 3 vols., issued by the Party Press
in Munich; and E. AUER, _Arbeiterpolitik im Bayerischen Landtag_.




We come now to the land of the industrial revolution--that colossal
upheaval which changed the face of society, as the vast continental
uplifts of past geological epochs changed the face of the earth. And
just as the continents were centuries in settling themselves to their
new conditions, so human society is now slowly adjusting itself to the
conditions wrought by this violent change. One of the evidences of
this gradual readjustment is Socialism. For to Socialism machine
industry is a condition precedent. In this sense England has produced
modern Socialism.

There is no blacker picture than the England of 1780 to 1840, and no
drearier contrast than the quaint villages and their household
industries of the earlier period and the "spreading of the hideous
town," after Arkwright and Hargreaves and Watt. These inhuman
conditions are faithfully and dispassionately revealed in the reports
of the various Royal Commissions of Inquiry: statistical mines where
Marx and Engels found abundant material for their philosophy of gloom.
And from these dull and depressing government folios Charles Kingsley
drew his indignant invectives, and Carlyle his trenchant indictments
against a society that would imprison its eight-year-old children,
its mothers, and its grandmothers in dingy factories fourteen hours a
day for the sake of profits, and then release them at night only to
find lodgings in the most miserable hovels and rickety tenements. It
is almost surprising to one familiar with the details of this gruesome
record that a social revolution did not follow immediately in the wake
of the industrial revolution.

There were riots at first, and machines were smashed. But the hand of
the worker was impotent against the arm of steel. The workman soon
resigned himself to his fate and his misery. The poor laws did not
help, they only multiplied the burdens upon the state without taking
the load from the poor. The laborer was too helpless to help himself,
and the state and society were apathetic. The rapid expansion of
industry found an ample outlet in the growing commerce to every corner
of the world. England was making money. She was gradually shifting
control from the traditional landowner to the new factory owner. The
landed gentry had inherited a fine sense of patriarchal
responsibility. The factory owner had no traditions. He was a parvenu.
His interests were machinery and ships, not politics and humanity. He
acquiesced in the poor laws as the easiest way out of a miserable
mess; he let private charity take its feeble and intermittent course,
paying his rates and giving his donations with self-satisfied

All this time labor was abundant. The markets of the world were hungry
for the goods of English mills. Then came suddenly the Chartist
Movement.[1] The flame of discontent spread and a revolution seemed
impending. This first great outbreak of English labor was a political
movement, fed by economic causes. The repeal of the corn laws and the
passage of the factory acts modified economic conditions and mollified
labor for the time. The repeal of the corn laws brought cheaper food;
the factory acts brought better conditions of labor.

Meanwhile individualism was evolving an economic creed. The Manchester
doctrine was the logical outcome of England's insular position and her
driving individualistic manufactures. But it was _laissez-faire_ in
industrialism, not in unionism. The laboring men were now beginning to
organize, and Cobden himself proposed the act that made unionism
ineffective as a political force. However, indirectly, free trade
stimulated labor, because it brought great prosperity, made work
abundant, and employers sanguine. Unions now rapidly multiplied, but
they were local, isolated. Their federation into a great national body
came later.

Socialism, or unionism, or any other general movement cannot develop
in England with the rapidity and enthusiasm that is shown for
"movements" on the Continent. The traditions of the English people are
constitutional. Socialism can thrive among them only if it is
"constitutional," and the Fabians are to-day talking about
"constitutional Socialism" with judicial solemnity. All the training
of the English people is contrary to the theory of progress through
violence. They have had few revolutions accompanied by bloodshed, they
have had a great many accompanied by prayers and Parliamentary
oratory--"constitutional" methods. They have, moreover, a real
reverence for property. The poor who have none are taught to respect
the rich who have. The Church, the common law, the statute law, the
customs, all the sources of tradition and habit, have emphasized the
sanctity of property. Only within the last few decades, as will be
seen presently, has a radical change, a veritable revolution, come
over the people in this respect.

The British temperament is not given to nerves. This stolid,
phlegmatic, self-contained individualist has no inflammable material
in his heart. Ruskin failed to arouse him, he wove too much artistry
into his appeal; and Carlyle could not move him, his epigrams were too
rhapsodical. Such temperaments are not given to rapid propagandism.
And finally, the Englishman is too practical to be a utopist. He
concerns himself with the duties of to-day rather than the vagaries of
to-morrow. Utopianism made no impression on him. Owen, the great
Utopian, was a Welshman. The Celt has imagination. Nor do intricate
theories or involved philosophies touch the mind of the Briton. The
splendor that enraptures the Frenchman, the abstruse reasoning that
delights the German, are alike boredom to this practical inventor of
machinery and builder of ships.

In spite of these characteristics there is no country in Europe where
there is more agitation about Socialism than there is in England
to-day. It is discussed everywhere. Almost the entire time of
Parliament during the past few years has been taken up with more or
less "Socialistic" legislation. The public mind is steeped in it.

There is more actually being done in England toward the
"socialization" of property, and the state, than in any other European
country. And less being said about the theory of value, the class
war, capitalistic production, proletariat and bourgeois, and the
other Continental pet phrases of Socialism.

Marx, who lived among the English for many years, but whose heart was
never with them, would not call this rapid social movement
Socialistic, because it does not avowedly "aim" at "socializing
capitalistic production." The doings of the English are certainly not
accomplished in the spirit of his orthodoxy. But the current toward
state control, toward pure democracy, land nationalization,
nationalization of railways and mines, has set in with the swiftness
of a mill-race and is grinding grist with an amazing rapidity.

As I write these words, London and the whole country are wrought up
over Lloyd George's Insurance Bill and the projected ballot reform
bill. Meetings everywhere, fervid Parliamentary debate, the papers
filled with letters from everybody; every organization, debating
society, and board of directors of great industries passing
resolutions. Even the Labor Party is divided over the paternalistic
measure that aims to bring relief to the sick and disabled working man
and woman. Amidst all this discussion, noise, and party zeal is
discerned the drift of the nation toward a new and unexpected goal.

Nowhere is it so difficult to define a Socialist, or to mark
boundaries to the movement. But why mark shore-lines? The flood is on.
I will here take the position that whatever extends the functions of
the state (community) over property, or into activities formerly left
to individuals or to the home, is an indication of the Socialistic
trend. Old-fashioned Socialists like Keir Hardie are constantly
warning the people that what is now going on in England is only social
reform, not Socialism. The Fabians, on the other hand, are exerting
every effort to add to the swiftness of the present movement.

To a student of democracy things now passing into law, and events now
shaping into history, in England, are of peculiar significance. Such
events, transpiring in a country so long abandoned to a rampant
individualism, are portents of a newer time. They are signals of
approaching changes to America, to us who have inherited the common
law, the governmental traditions, the democratic ideals of liberty, if
not the substantial stolidity of temperament and self-complacent
egoism of the Briton.

All parties, Socialists and Conservatives, will admit this: that all
this turmoil, these rapidly succeeding general elections, these public
discussions, these new laws, indicate that a new social ideal is being
formed. That in itself is worthy of consideration. For the ideal will
shape the destiny.


Present-day Socialism in England seems to have risen to sudden
magnitude from vacuity, to have permeated this cautious island over
night. For over a generation all Socialism had disappeared from view.
The elaborate schemes of Owen, the altruistic propaganda under the
gentle Kingsley and his noble companion Maurice, the artistic revolt
against the ugliness of commercialism led by Ruskin, who even shared
the toil of the breakers of stones to prove his sincerity--all these
movements seem suddenly to have disappeared from the face of the
island, like a glacial current dropping suddenly, without warning,
into the depths of the Moulin.

England was given over to a highly prosperous industrialism. The
Manchester doctrine was enthroned. Commercialism and a glittering
pseudo-humanitarian internationalism found expression in the
alternating victories of the astute Disraeli and the grandiloquent

Meanwhile poverty and misery infested the underplaces of the land, a
poverty and misery that was appalling. Every protester was proudly
pointed to the repeal of the corn laws, the revision of the poor laws,
the reform act of 1832, and the factory acts.

When Sir Henry Vane had ascended the scaffold which his sacrifice made
historic, he said: "The people of England have long been asleep; when
they awake they will be hungry." When the England of to-day awoke it
was to a greater hunger than the politically starved Roundhead or
Cavalier ever endured.

It is no figure of speech to speak of hungry England. Its brilliant
industrialism has always had a drab background of want. Chiozza Money
says of the present position of labor: "The aggregate income of the
44,500,000 people in the United Kingdom in 1908-9 was approximately
£1,844,000,000; 1,400,000 persons took £634,000,000; 4,100,000 persons
took £275,000,000; 39,000,000 persons took £935,000,000."[2] And he
sums up the condition as follows: "The position of the manual workers
in relation to the general wealth of the country has not improved.
They formed, with those dependent upon them, the greater part of the
nation in 1867, and they enjoyed but about forty per cent. of the
national income, according to the careful estimate of Dudley Baxter.
To-day, with their army of dependents, they still form the greater
part of the nation, although not quite so great a part, and, according
to the best information available, they take less than forty per cent.
of the entire income of the nation." Although during this time the
national income had increased much faster than the rate of population,
"the Board of Trade, after a careful examination of the question of
unemployment in 1904, arrived at the general conclusion that 'the
average level of employment during the last 4 years has been almost
exactly the same as the average of the preceding 40 years.'"[3]

While the general level of wage-earners has been maintained, and while
wealth has greatly increased, the poverty of the kingdom has shown
little tendency to diminish. "As for pauperism, it is difficult to
congratulate ourselves upon improvement since 1867, when we remember
that in England and Wales alone 1,500,000 to 2,000,000 persons are in
receipt of relief in the course of a single year. This means _one
person in every 20_ has recourse to the poor-law guardians during a
single year."

"If our national income had but increased at the same rate as our
population since 1867, it would in 1908 have amounted to but about
£1,200,000,000. As we have seen, it is now about £1,840,000,000. Yet
the Error in Distribution remains so great, that, while the total
population in 1867 was 30,000,000, we have to-day a nation of
30,000,000 poor people in our rich country, and many millions of these
are living under conditions of degrading poverty. Of those above the
line of primary poverty, millions are tied down by the conditions of
their labor to live in surroundings which preclude the proper
enjoyment of life or the proper raising of children."[4]

An event occurred in 1889 that aroused public opinion on the question
of labor conditions. The dockers along the great wharves in London
went out on strike, and forced public attention upon the misery of
these most wretched of British workmen,[5] whose wages were so low
that they could not buy bread for their families and their employment
was so irregular that they were idle half of the time. John Burns came
into prominence first during this strike. He raised over $200,000 by
public appeals to support the strikers. General sympathy was with the
men; and the arbitrators to whom their grievances were submitted
awarded most of their demands.

The effect of this strike was far-reaching. All over the kingdom
unskilled labor was roused to its power, and a new era in labor
organization began.


In no country has the labor-union movement achieved a greater degree
of organization than in England.[6] The movement has been economic,
turning to politics only in recent years; it concerned itself with
wages and conditions of labor, not with party programs and
Parliamentary candidates.

The characteristic feature of English trade-unionism is collective
bargaining, long since introduced into America, but unknown in most
European countries. The English unions also organized insurance
societies called "Friendly Societies."[7]

For many years the laws regulating labor unions had been liberally
construed by the courts, and the unions had done very much as they
pleased. Two decisions have been rendered during the last decade that
threatened the unions' existence both as a political and economic

In 1900 the Taff Vale Railway Company brought suit against the
Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, charging the men with
conspiring to induce the workmen to break their contracts with the
company. The court enjoined the union from picketing and from
interfering with the men in their contractual relations with the
employing company, and assessed the damages at $100,000 against the
offending union. The House of Lords, sitting in final appeal, affirmed
the judgment of the trial court. This virtually meant the stopping of
strikes, for strikes without pickets and vigilance would usually be
unavailing. It also meant financial bankruptcy.

A second far-reaching decision was made by the House of Lords in
December, 1909, when the "Osborne Judgment" was affirmed, granting to
one Osborne, a member of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants,
an injunction restraining the union from making a levy on its members,
and from using any of its funds for the purpose of maintaining any of
its members, or any other person, in Parliament. The unions had taken
it for granted that they had the legal right to contribute out of
their funds to political campaigns, and to pay the labor members of
Parliament a salary out of the union treasury.[8] The court held such
payments were illegal, on the ground that they were _ultra vires_. The
charter of the unions did not sanction it.[9]

The English workman has not only had the trade union for a training
school in practical affairs, but the co-operative movement began here;
and here it flourishes, not as widely spread among the poorer workmen
as in Belgium, but among the better-paid workers it is very popular.

It is singular that the only practical result left of Owen's
stupendous plans was the little co-operative shop, opened in 1844 at
Rochdale, with a capital of $140 and a gross weekly income of $10.
Owen did not start this shop, but a handful of his followers were the
promoters of the tiny enterprise. The co-operative union to-day
embraces wholesale, retail, productive, and special societies, with
nearly 3,000,000 members, increasing at the rate of 70,000 a year, and
doing $550,000,000 worth of business annually.

There is also a rapidly growing co-partnership movement, especially in
the building of "garden suburbs" and tenements. In 1903 there were two
such companies, with $200,000 worth of property. In 1909 they had
increased to 15 associations, with over $3,085,000 worth of property.
The membership is not confined to workingmen, but they form the

From the beginning of the modern labor movement we see that the
British workmen have shown a strong tendency to organize. Their
organizations included at first only the skilled workers. There was a
gulf between the trained worker and the unskilled worker. The latter,
forming the substratum of poverty, were too abject for organizing.

These two great bodies of workers, skilled and unskilled, have been
gradually brought together and their interests united. The Taff Vale
and Osborne judgments have forced them into politics. The unskilled
have been given the benefit of the experience of the skilled, and a
fair degree of homogeneity and group ambition has been reached.

To enter politics a new form of organization was necessary. We will
see how one was prepared for them.


We will now turn to the Socialist organizations. They are more
numerous than in the other countries we have studied, and more varied
in color. But not any of them are as strong as the French or German

In 1880 William Morris and H.M. Hyndman, a personal friend of Marx,
organized the "Democratic Federation." For a few years it was the only
Socialist organization. It split on the question of revolution. Morris
and his friends, many of them inclined toward Anarchy, founded the
"Socialist League." This league has long since vanished. Hyndman and
his followers renamed their society the "Social Democratic
Federation." It still persists, under the name Social Democratic Party
(popularly "S.D.P."), and remains the only organized trace of
militant, reactionary Marxianism in England. For a long time it
refrained from politics, advocated violence, and was the faithful
imitator of the Guesdist party in France. These are doctrines and
methods that repel the English mind, and the Federation never has been
strong. It has a weekly paper, _Justice_, and a monthly paper, _The
Social Democrat_; claims one member in Parliament, elected however by
the Labor Party, and (in 1907) 124 members of various local governing
bodies. Its aged leader, Hyndman, clings tenaciously to the dogmas of
Marx, and all the changes that have come over the Socialist movement
during the last decades have not altered his views or methods.[11] The
Federation's affiliations and sympathy have been with the
International rather than the British movement, and until a few years
ago it monopolized British representation on the International
Executive Committee.

Soon after Morris left the Federation a new and novel Socialist
society was formed in London. Two Americans gave the impulse that
started the movement--Henry George, through his works on Single Tax,
and Thomas Davidson of New York, a gentle dreamer of the New
To-morrow. Henry George's books had been read by a group of young men
in London, and when Dr. Davidson went there to lecture he found these
young men ready to listen to his utopian generalizations. Soon these
men organized the Fabian Society. They were not sure of their ground,
and took for their motto: "For the right moment you must wait as
Fabius did when warring against Hannibal, though many censured his
delays; but when the time comes you must strike hard, as Fabius did,
or your waiting will be in vain and fruitless."

A number of brilliant young men soon joined the Fabians, and their
"tracts" have become famous. Among their members they include Sidney
Webb, the sociologist; George Bernard Shaw, the playwright and cynic;
Chiozza Money, statistician and member of Parliament; Rev. R.J.
Campbell of the City Temple; Rev. Stewart Headlam, leader in the
Church Socialist Movement; and a horde of others, famous in letters,
the professions, and the arts.

It is difficult to estimate the influence of this unique group of
personages, and it is very easy to underestimate it. From the first
they committed themselves to the policy of "permeation," instead of
aggressive propaganda. They would transform the world by intellectual
osmosis. They have, thus, not only contributed by far the most
brilliant literature to modern Socialism, but have touched some of the
inner springs of political and social power. Prime ministers and
borough councilmen, poor-law guardians and chancellors of the
exchequer, have been influenced by the propulsion of their ideas. But
it has all been done so noiselessly and so well disguised, that to the
Social Democratic Federation the Fabians are "mere academicians," and
to the Independent Labor Party they are forerunners of "tyrannical

Eleven Fabians are in Parliament, and they are not silent onlookers.
For years the Fabians have dominated the London County Council. Its
brilliant "missionaries" attract large audiences, and "Fabian Essays"
have passed through many editions. Each member of this society is the
creator of his own dogma. The Marxian formulas, especially the theory
of surplus value, are not reverenced by them.

England is the only country in Europe where there is a strong Church
Socialist Movement. In 1889 the Christian Social Union was formed by
members of the Church of England. It is not a Socialist organization,
but it has enlisted a wide practical interest in the labor movement.
It was the outgrowth of the Pan-Anglican Congress, which met at
Lambeth in 1888. At this conference a committee on Socialism made a
noteworthy report, recommending the bringing together of capital and
labor through the agency of co-operation and association.[12]

In 1906 "The Church Socialist League" was organized. "It seeks to
convert the christened people of England to Socialism. Its members are
committed to the definite economic Socialism of accredited Socialist
bodies. The League is growing rapidly. Branches are springing up all
over the country. Its members have addressed thousands of meetings on
behalf of both Socialist and labor candidates at Parliamentary and
principal elections.... The members of the League are Socialists. They
seek to establish a commonwealth in which the people shall own the
land and industrial capital collectively and administer the same

The influence of the Church Socialist League and the Fabians has
spread to the universities, especially to Oxford and Cambridge. A
number of distinguished professors are active Socialists.

The movement thus gained ground more rapidly among the intellectuals
than among the workingmen. It was not until 1893 that a Socialist
Labor Party was organized. The Social Democratic Federation was too
dogmatic, hard, and bitter to draw the English laboring man; the
Fabians and the Church Socialists were avowedly not partisan. In 1893
a group of labor delegates met at Bradford and, under the leadership
of Keir Hardie, organized the Independent Labor Party (I.L.P.). This
definite step had been preceded by many local political organizations
among labor unionists. The necessity for political activity had been
felt in many places. The Bradford convention was merely the coalescing
of many local movements. The I.L.P. is a Socialist body, but it is not
dogmatically, not obnoxiously so. It forms, rather, a connecting link
between Socialism and labor unions.

It entered politics at once, but with discouraging results. Its 29
candidates polled only 63,000 votes; only 5 were elected. A closer
alliance with the labor unions was necessary. This was accomplished
when the unions, in 1899, appointed a Labor Representative Committee,
whose duty it was, as the name implies, to increase labor's
representation in Parliament.[14] This committee had first to
determine its relation to the other political parties. The Liberals
and Conservatives among the laborites were outvoted, and the committee
determined upon a new course. Representatives from the Socialist
bodies--the I.L.P., S.D.F., and Fabians--were asked to join the unions
in an alliance that should use its united strength in electing members
to Parliament. All agreed, but the S.D.F. soon withdrew.

In 1906 the name of the committee was changed to the Labor Party. It
is founded upon the broadest basis of co-operation, so that neither
Socialist, no matter how radical, nor non-Socialist should find it
impossible to work with the party. Its constitution defines this
coalition: "The Labor Party is a federation consisting of Trade
Unions, Trade Councils, Socialist Societies, and Local Labor Parties."
"Co-operative Societies are also eligible," as are "national
organizations of women accepting the basis of this constitution and
the policy of the party."

The object of the party is "to secure the election of candidates to
Parliament and to organize and maintain a Labor Party with its own
whips and policy."

Party rigor is carefully prescribed: "Candidates and members must
accept this constitution and agree to abide by the decisions of the
Parliamentary party in carrying out the aims of this constitution;
appear before their constituents under the title of labor candidates;
abstain strictly from identifying themselves with or promoting the
interests of any Parliamentary party not affiliated, or its
candidates; and they must not oppose any candidate recognized by the
national executive of the party." "Before a candidate can be regarded
as adopted for a constituency, his candidature must be sanctioned by
the national executive."

The party, thus centrally controlled, is well organized in every part
of the kingdom. It maintains a fund for paying the election expenses
of its members.[15] The Osborne judgment has been a serious setback to
the party, especially in local elections. The payment of members was
voted in 1911 by Parliament as a partial remedy, and the government
has promised a reform election bill that will impose the burden of all
necessary election expenses upon the state.

The party membership has grown from 375,000 in 1900 to nearly
1,500,000 in 1912. Such leading members of the party as J. Ramsay
MacDonald, Keir Hardie, Philip Snowden, and over one-half of the
Parliamentary group, are Socialists. The party refused to commit
itself to Socialistic principles until 1907, when it declared itself
in favor of the following resolution: "The socialization of the means
of production, distribution, and exchange to be controlled in a
democratic state in the interests of the entire community, and the
complete emancipation of labor from the domination of capitalism and
landlordism, with the establishment of social and economic equality
between the sexes."[16]

In 1908 the party had 26 members in county councils, 262 in town
councils, 168 in urban district councils, 27 in rural district
councils, 124 in parish councils, 145 on poor-law boards, 23 on school
boards. There are (1910) about 1,500 labor men and Socialist members
on the various local governing bodies in Great Britain.[17]


We see, then, that Socialism and trades-unionism in England coalesced.
But a more important confluence of political ideals was soon to occur.

The elections of 1906 indicated to the people of England that a new
force had entered the domain of political power, which had so long
been assigned to the gentry and men of wealth. A careful observer of
political events, and a member of Parliament, described the results as
follows: "When the present House of Commons (1907) was completed in
January last, and it was discerned that 50 labor members had been
elected, a cry of wonder went up from press and public. People wrote
and spoke as if these 50 members were the forerunners of a political
and social revolution; as if the old party divisions were completely
worn out, and as if power were about to pass to a new political party
that would represent the masses as opposed to the classes. These fears
or hopes were reflected in the House of Commons itself. During the
early months of the session the Labor Party received from all quarters
of the House an amount of deference that would have been described as
sycophantic if it had been directed towards an aristocratic instead of
towards a democratic group."[18] The tidal wave of reaction following
the Boer war had swept the Liberal Party into power, and had given
fifty seats to the Labor Party. The effect was nothing short of

Disraeli, in his _Sibyl_, spoke of "two nations," two Englands, the
England of the gentry and the England of the working classes. The
elections since the Boer war have given this "other England" its
chance. The gentry, the Whigs and Tories, will never again fight their
political jousts with the "other England" looking contentedly on. This
"mass mind of organized labor" has become the "new controlling force
in progressive politics."[19]

The "transformed England" began to see evidences of the change. The
first bill brought in by the Labor Party provided for the feeding of
school children, from the homes of the poor, out of public funds. "The
business in life of my colleagues and myself is to impress upon this
House the importance of the poverty problem," said the spokesman of
the Labor Party in an important debate.[20]

England had awakened hungry.

Now occurred the most significant political event in the history of
modern England. The Liberal Party took over the immediate program of
the Labor Party. This is significant because it swept England away
from her industrial moorings of individualistic _laissez-faire_, and
extended the functions of the state into activities that had hitherto
been left to individual initiative. A complete revolution had taken
place since Cobden's day. The state acknowledged new social and
economic obligations. In the Parliamentary struggle that followed
hereditary prerogative in property was undermined and hereditary
prerogative in government virtually destroyed, and the principles of
democracy enormously extended.[21]

In England the question of co-operation between Socialists and other
parties has been more important than in any other European country:
because in a democratic parliament concessions are always made to
large portions of the electorate by the parties in power, and because
the practical temperamental qualities of the British discard the
fine-drawn distinctions between groups and sub-groups that are so
assiduously maintained in France and Germany.

In the Amsterdam Congress of The International the question was
discussed whether Socialists should act with other parties. Jaurès and
his _bloc_ were the occasion of the debate. Kautsky said that in times
of national crises like war it might be necessary for Socialists to
co-operate with the government to insure national safety. No such
extraordinary standard has ever existed among practical Englishmen,
who usually know what they want, and are not particular about the
means of getting it.

William Morris, uncompromising dogmatist, inveighed against the Whigs
in 1886 as "the Harlequins of Reaction." Democracy was his ideal of
government, and he was not entirely averse to political action on the
part of Socialists. "To capture Parliament, and turn it into a popular
but constitutional assembly, is, I must conclude, the aspiration of
the genuine democrats wherever they may be found."

But he was wary of compromise. "Some democrats take up actual pieces
of Socialism, the nationalization of land, or of railways, or
cumulative taxation of incomes, or limiting the right of inheritance,
or new patent laws, or the restriction by law of the day's labor....
All this I admit and say is a hopeful sign, and yet once again I say
there is a snare in it.... A snake lies lurking in the grass." "Those
who think they can deal with our present system in this piecemeal way
very much underrate the strength of the tremendous organization under
which we live, and which appoints to each of us his place, and, if we
do not choose to fit it, grinds us down until we do."[22]

Morris' advice, "Beware the Whigs," was uttered at a time when the
leader of that party, Gladstone, was beginning to see that the chief
event of the century would be the merging of the social question with
politics. The "piecemeal" method that Morris decried became the actual
method of Parliamentary activity as soon as a new party, a third
party, arose and drew its inspiration from the working classes.

Such a party was anticipated. Lord Rosebery said in 1894: "I am
certain there is a party in this country, unnamed as yet, that is
disconnected with any existing political organization--a party that is
inclined to say, 'A plague on both your houses, a plague on all your
politics, a plague on all your unending discussions that yield so
little fruit.'"[23] And the same year John (now Lord) Morley
prophesied: "Now I dare say the time may come, it may come sooner than
some think, when the Liberal Party will be transformed or superseded
by some new party."[24] And Professor Dicey, over a decade ago, spoke
of the waning orthodoxy of Liberalism and its rapid merging into

The "piecemeal" party of Morris, the "transformed" party of Morley,
the radicalized party of Dicey, is the Liberal Party of to-day. The
"unnamed" party of Rosebery is the Labor Party, which not only says,
"A plague upon all your discussions," but, "A plague upon all your
fine-spun theories of class war--it's results we want."

Before detailing some of the significant acts of this new democratic
coalition, it should be added that the motive of the Liberal Party has
not been unmixed with politics. The Labor Party possesses not only the
30 or 40 votes in the House of Commons; there are hundreds of
thousands of labor votes outside. This background of silent, vigilant
voters forms the greatest force of the Labor Party. Many Liberal
members hold their seats by its favor.

There are in both the great parties men with strong sympathies for the
labor ideal. In fact, a number of Socialists are sitting with the
Liberals. There is no clear demarcation. It is only a difference of
the degree of infusion.

The Labor Party has had a strong influence upon the House of Commons.
For many years the "Government" has ruled quite arbitrarily. When
there are only two parties this is possible. But when an influential
third party appears on the scene, government by the "front benchers"
must be moderated.[25]

The "cross benchers" have wrested a good deal of power from the
leaders. This is necessary in a democracy which is kept alive only by
contact with the people. There is more government by the Commons, and
less government by the ministry. This _entente_ can degenerate into
Parliamentary tyranny if it wishes. It can demand the clôture, as well
as open the valves of useless debate. But an arbitrary act
unsanctioned by the cross benchers would be likely to bring
destruction upon the government that perpetrated it.


A review of the Acts of Parliament since the Liberal-Labor coalition
and a perusal of the debates are convincing proof of the character of
the new legislation and the opinions that prompt it. We must confine
ourselves to a few types of this legislation, enough to show the
actual changes now in process.

The first bill introduced by the Labor Party, and enacted into law,
authorized the providing of meals for poor children in the schools. It
does not make this compulsory, but under its sanction in 1909 over
$670,000 were spent in providing over 16,000,000 meals. Nearly half of
these were in London.[26] This law is especially assailed by the
anti-Socialists. They claim its administration has been too lenient,
not discriminating between the needy and those capable of self-help.
It is only the entering wedge of Socialism, they say; it is only a
step from feeding the child to clothing him, and from feeding and
clothing the child to caring for the parent. They recall that Sidney
Webb has often said that if the city furnishes water free to its
citizens it should be able to furnish milk as well.

The second bill introduced by the Labor Party was the Trades Dispute
Act. This was framed to annul the Taff Vale decision, making the
unions immune from suits for tortious acts and providing an elaborate
system of arbitrating labor disputes. The provisions of this act were
tested by two railway crises. In 1907 the railway employees threatened
to go out on strike. Lloyd George, then president of the Board of
Trade, averted the strike by enlisting all the power of the government
in persuading the companies and the men to agree to a scheme of
arbitration. This was to last a stipulated term of years, but before
the time had elapsed the men actually struck (1911), and for a week
the country was in a panic. Lloyd George, then Chancellor of the
Exchequer, again used all the power of the government to bring peace,
and a commission was appointed to investigate the grievances of the
men, who had agreed to abide by its decision. In this way the
government has become the most active force in settling labor
disputes--a subject that was formerly left to the two parties of the
labor contract.

A Workman's Compensation Act and an Old-Age Pension Act soon followed.
The latter provides a pension for all workmen who are 70 years old.
Unlike the German act, the government provides all the funds. In 1909
the Labor Exchange Act empowered the Board of Trade to establish labor
exchanges. These have been established in every city. At first there
was some friction with the unions because "blacklegs" were assigned to
places. But since union men have been invited to sit on the local
governing committees, things are running smoother.

There are three laws which show the trend of the changing relation of
the state to property.

The Development Act of 1909 provides for the appointment of five
commissioners, upon whose recommendation the Treasury advances money
to any governmental department or public authority or university or
association of persons for the purpose of aiding agriculture and rural
industries of all sorts; the reclamation of drainage lands and of
forests; the general improvement of rural transportation, including
the building of "light railways"; the construction and improvement of
harbors; the improvement of inland navigation, including the building
of canals; and the development and improvement of fisheries. This law
endows the government with the necessary authority for the absorption
of virtually all the internal means of communication except the trunk
railways, and extends the paternal arm of the government over
agriculture and the fisheries and subsidiary industries.[27] The
first report of the commission, 1910-11, indicates that work under
this law has begun in earnest. A comprehensive plan of regeneration,
embracing the entire kingdom and based on adequate surveys, is
outlined. One of the interesting features of the plan is the proposal
to do as much of the work as possible by direct labor rather than by
competitive bidding. The commission wants to make sure "that the funds
shall not go into the pockets of private individuals."[28] Under an
enthusiastic commission there will be practically no limit to the
influence of this law.

Two other acts are closely allied with this scheme: the Small Holdings
Act of 1908, and the Housing and Town Planning Act of 1909. The Small
Holdings Act gives authority to county councils to "provide small
holdings for persons who desire to buy or lease and will themselves
cultivate the holdings." This provision is extended to borough, urban,
district, and parish councils. These authorities may purchase such
lands "whether situate within or without their county."

The Town Planning Act gives cities and towns the power to purchase
land and allot it, to tear down undesirable buildings, to co-operate
with any workingman's association for improving and erecting
dwellings, and to buy the necessary land for making improvements of
all kinds. John Burns, who stood sponsor for this bill, explained that
it gave complete authority to local governing bodies "to make a city
healthful and a city beautiful."

Following the British habit, work has very cautiously begun under
these acts. Up to December, 1910, about 28,000 acres were purchased or
leased under the allotment act, and sublet to 100,498 individual
tenants. "Town planning" has progressed rapidly, and the regeneration
of the British slums, the most dismal in the world, may be not far

Under the Small Holdings Act there were, up to December, 1910, nearly
31,000 applicants, asking for over 500,000 acres. Only one-fifth of
this amount was acquired, for 7,000 holders. Thirty per cent. of the
applicants are agricultural laborers, and the majority of the others
are drawn from the rural population who have some small business or
trade in the villages and wish a plot of land for a garden. This
"often makes the difference between a bare subsistence and comparative

These laws show the drift of the current. The question of the
nationalization of railways has been the subject of Parliamentary
inquiry, and the great railway strike of 1911 emphasized the matter
profoundly. The state in 1911 completed the taking over of all the
telephone lines; it conducts an extensive postal savings bank and a
parcels post.

In local affairs some British cities are models of municipal
enterprise. Even London, that amorphous mass of human misery and
opulence, is changing its aspect. Since the granting of municipal home
rule it has built a vast system of street railways, cleaned out acres
of slums, opened breathing spaces, built tenements, and in many other
ways displayed evidences of an awakening civic consciousness.

Three other pieces of legislation must be described more in detail,
because they are more revolutionary, far-reaching, and democratic than
anything attempted by the British nation since the days of the Reform

First is the famous "Budget" of Lloyd George. When this virile
Welshman became Chancellor of the Exchequer he cast his budget in the
mold of his social theories. He said: "Personally, I look on the
Budget as a part only of a comprehensive scheme of fiscal and social
reform: the setting up of a great insurance scheme for the unemployed
and for the sick and infirm, and the creation, through the development
bill, of the machinery for the regeneration of rural life."[31]

The land system of England is feudal. Tenure still legally exists.
There still clings the flavor of social and political distinction to
fee simple. This the landowners have fortified against all the changes
that industrialism has wrought. There has been no general land
appraisement since the Pilgrims landed at the new Plymouth. The "land
monopoly" successfully resisted every attack until the famous budget
of 1908. Chiozza Money quotes John Bateman's analysis of the "New
Domesday Book," fixing the ownership of land in England and Wales as

In 1883, in the United Kingdom, there was a total area of 77,000,000
acres; of this 40,426,000 acres were owned by 2,500 persons. "While
the total income of the nation is £1,840,000,000, the landowners take
£106,000,000 as land rent."[33] England is a great industrial and
commercial nation living on leased land.

The development of the industrial towns has enormously multiplied the
value of some of these vast estates.[34]

The new budget proposed, first, to tax the land values; not a
fictitious sum, or the value of the land with improvements, but the
site value--the increment value with which the land is endowed because
of its favorable location. Second, to this was added a 10 per cent.
reversion duty. Third, a tax was levied on undeveloped land held for
speculative purposes. And, fourth, a 5 per cent. tax on mineral rights
was assessed on the owners of the land that contained the mines.

These proposals raised a storm. They aimed at the traditional
stronghold of English aristocracy. The budget passed the House of
Commons by a large majority; the Lords rejected it. The government
promptly prorogued Parliament and went before the people. And what was
at first only an attack upon hereditary rights in land became an
attack also upon hereditary rights in politics. The House of Lords
became an issue as well as the budget. After a fiery and furious
campaign, in which Socialists and Laborites joined Radicals and
Liberals, the budget won by a safe majority.[35] The Lords passed the
measure. But this resistance cost them dear. One of the first
prerogatives established by the House of Commons was the right to
control the purse-strings of the kingdom. Custom has given the
sanction of constitutionality to this prerogative. And the Lords, in
first denying and then delaying the budget, laid themselves open to
the charge of "hereditary arrogance" and "unconstitutionalism."

After the passage of the budget there followed six months of
conference between the two front benches, to find a basis of reform
for the House of Lords upon which all could unite. When it became
evident that this was impossible, the government again prorogued
Parliament and went to the people for a mandate on the question of
"reforming the Lords." The Liberals and their allies were, for a third
time, returned to power, and in February, 1911, the Prime Minister,
Mr. Asquith, introduced his "Parliament Bill," taking from the House
of Lords the power to amend a money bill so as to change its
character. If any other bill passed by the Commons is rejected by the
Lords, the Commons can pass it over their veto; and if this is done in
three consecutive sessions of the same Parliament--provided two years
elapse between the introduction of the bill and its third rejection by
the Lords--it becomes a law. The law is intended as a preliminary
measure. The preamble states that it is the intention of the
government to provide for a second chamber "constituted on a popular
instead of hereditary basis." The bill was so amended by the Lords as
to change its character and returned to the Commons. The Prime
Minister then informed the leaders of the opposition that the King,
"upon the advice of his ministers," had consented to create enough
peers to insure the passage of the bill in its original form. Rather
than have their house encumbered by 400 new peers, the Lords gave a
reluctant consent to the measure that virtually destroyed the
bicameral system in England.

This profound constitutional change, that practically makes England a
representative democracy pure and simple, was unaccompanied by any of
those popular and spectacular demonstrations one naturally expects to
see on such occasions. The debate in both houses rarely touched the
pinnacle of excitement, its fervor was partisan rather than

In 1832, when the hereditary peers stood in the way of the Reform
Bill, which had passed the Commons by only one majority, the populace
rose _en masse_, surged through the streets of the capital, and
threatened the King and his Iron Duke,--whose statue now adorns every
available square in the city,--and made it known that their wishes
must be respected. To-day the people, secure in the knowledge of their
supremacy, scarcely notice the efforts of the opposition, in its
attempts to bolster the falling walls of hereditary prerogative in
representative government. So far has England assumed the air of

The third piece of legislation, to which allusion has been made,
indicates the direction that this democracy is taking. It is the
Insurance Bill, also introduced by Lloyd George, and passed in
December, 1911. It insures the working population against "sickness
and breakdown." It is planned to follow up the law with insurance
against non-employment. The law is of especial interest to Americans,
because it adapts the principle of the German system to the
Anglo-Saxon's traditional aversion to state bureaucracy. It commands a
compulsory contribution from employer and employee, supplemented by
state grants. These funds are not administered by the state, but by
"Friendly Societies" (insurance orders organized by the unions) and
other benevolent organizations of workingmen now in existence. These
are democratic, voluntary organizations. Where no such organizations
exist, the post-office administers the fund.

The keynote of this law is the prevention of invalidity. Its details
are largely based upon the reports of the Royal Poor Law
Commissioners, 1905-9. The commission made two voluminous reports;
Mrs. Sidney Webb, a member of the commission, prepared the minority

The Labor Party, in all of these measures, voted with the Liberals.
The Insurance Bill was denounced by the most radical Laborites on the
ground that labor was charged with contributing to the fund, and that
the bill was inadequate. But the majority of the delegation voted for
the measure.


Enough has now been said to indicate the changes in economic and
social legislation that are being brought about in England by the
coalition of Socialists and Liberals.[38] The causes for this change
cannot be laid to Socialism alone. Socialism is an effect quite as
much as a cause; it is the result of industrial conditions, as well as
the prompter of changes. The permeation of the working classes with
the principles of state aid; the spread of discontent; the lure of
better days; all deepened and emphasized by the poverty of the Island,
are the sources of this Social Democratic current. This has led,
first, to the unification of the several Socialist groups; secondly,
to the coalescing of labor union and Socialist ambitions into the
Labor Party; thirdly, to an effective co-operation between the Labor
Party and the Liberal-Radicals.

Sagacious Socialists saw this trend long ago. In 1888 Sidney Webb
appealed to the Liberals to espouse the cause of labor. He pointed out
the inevitable, and it has happened.[39]

Two questions naturally arise: First, how far will this movement
toward Social Democracy go? Second, how long will the Labor Party hold
together and prompt the action of the Liberals and Radicals in social

The first question is not merely conjectural. The Reform Bill now
(1912) prepared by the government will destroy the last vestige of
property qualifications for voting. It will destroy plural voting,
which now allows a freeholder to vote in every district where he holds
land. In some districts the absentee voters hold the balance of
power.[40] Votes for women are also promised. This increased
electorate will not be conservative in its convictions. Along with
this will come the abolishing of the custom that compels candidates to
bear the election expenses; the payment of members of Parliament has
already begun; the lure of office is no longer a will-o'-the-wisp to
the poor with ambition.

The new Liberalism is, then, devoted first of all to real democracy,
in which the King's prerogatives retain their sickly place. As to the
functions of the state, it will "probably retain its distinction from
Socialism in taking for its chief test of policy the freedom of the
individual citizen rather than the strength of the state, though the
antagonism of the two standpoints may tend to disappear in the light
of progressive experience."[41]

As to property, it will probably continue to make unearned increments
and incomes bear the burden of social reform; create a business
democracy for running the public utilities, leaving more or less
unhampered the fields of legitimate industrial opportunity. "Property
is not an absolute right of the individual owner which the state is
bound to maintain at his behest. On the contrary, the state on its
side is justified in examining the rights which he may claim, and
criticising them; seeing it is by the force of the state and at its
expense that all such rights are maintained."[42] This, the
well-considered opinion of a well-known scholar, may be properly taken
as the gauge of present-day English Radical sentiment on the
inviolability of property rights.

As to the second question: How long will the coalition hang together?
the Socialists are now (1912) showing signs of restiveness. The old
question, that has rent all Socialists in all countries, and always
will, because Socialism is a wide-spreading and vague generalization,
has arisen among these practical Englishmen. In the convention of the
I.L.P., 1910, there was a prolonged discussion on the policy of the
party in its relation to other parties. "The Labor Party should stand
for labor, not for Liberalism," was the complaint. Keir Hardie
suggested that they were not in Parliament to keep governments in
office or to turn them out, but "to organize the working classes into
a great independent political power, to fight for the coming of
Socialism."[43] A resolution objecting to members of the party
"appearing on platforms alongside Liberal and Tory capitalists and
landlords," was defeated by a large majority.[44]

In the House of Commons clashes are not infrequent between the
Laborites and the Liberals. Annually the labor members move an
amendment to the Address of the Crown, asking for a bill "to establish
the right to work by placing upon the state the responsibility of
directly providing employment or maintenance for the genuinely
unemployed."[45] John Burns opposed their amendment in 1911, in a
brilliant and vehement speech, not so much because the government was
opposed to the principle, but for the political reason that the
government was not ready to bring in a bill of its own, which should
be a part of its comprehensive system of social reform.[46]

The great strike of transportation workers, in the summer of 1911,
widened the breach between Laborites and Liberals, and between the
extreme and moderate Socialists. This strike spread from the dockers
of Liverpool to London, from the dockers to the railway workers, and
then to the teamsters and drivers of the larger cities, until a
general tie-up of transportation was threatened. It came very near
being a model general strike. Its violence was met with a call for the
troops. The labor members in Parliament protested earnestly against
the use of soldiers. But the government was prompt and firm in its
suppression of disorder. A bitter debate took place between the
government and the labor leaders.[47]

How much of this give and take must be attributed to the play of
politics, it is impossible to declare. But this great strike clearly
revealed the difference between violent Socialism and moderate
radicalism. The one is willing to effect revolutions through law and
order, the other to effect them through violence and disruption.

The moderate Socialists seem willing to take a middle course between
these extremes. The following quotation from a speech delivered by
Ramsay MacDonald, leader of the Labor Party, at a convention of the
I.L.P., clearly illustrates the moderate view:

"We can cut off kings' heads after a few battles, we can change a
monarchy into a republic, we can deprive people of their titles, and
we can make similar superficial alterations by force; but nobody who
understands the power of habit and of custom in human conduct, who
appreciates the fact that by far and away the greater amount of an
action is begun, controlled, and specified by the system of social
interrelationship in which we live, move, and have our being; and
still more, nobody who understands the delicate and intricate
complexity of production and exchange which keeps modern society
going, will dream for a single moment of changing it by any act of
violence. As soon as that act is committed, every vital force in
society will tend to re-establish the relationship which we have been
trying to end, and what is more, these vital forces will conquer us in
the form of a violent reaction, a counter revolution. When we cut off
a newt's tail, a newt's tail will grow on again.

"I want the" I.L.P.'s action "to be determined by our numbers, our
relative strength, the state of public opinion, the character of the
question before the country. I appeal to it that it take into account
all the facts and circumstances, and not, for the sake of satisfying
its soul and sentiment, go gaily on, listening to the enunciation of
policies and cheering phrases which obviously do not take into account
some of the most important and at the same time most difficult
problems which representation in Parliament presents to it."[48] In
another place MacDonald has detailed the steps in the progress of
Parliamentary Socialism. He begins with "palliatives," such as factory
inspection, old-age pensions, feeding of school children; next, the
state engages in constructive legislation, "municipalization and
nationalization in every shape and form, from milk supplies to
telephones," and finally insists on the taxing of unearned increment
and a general redistribution of the burdens of the state.[49]

Not all the members of the I.L.P. are agreed upon this moderate
statement. Keir Hardie and his immediate followers still cling to the
"larger hope" of a socialized society, to which commonplace
legislation is only a crude preliminary.

Bernard Shaw has confessed the orthodoxy of the new Social Democracy.
"Nobody now considers Socialism as a destructive insurrection ending,
if successful, in millennial absurdities," and of the budget he said:
"If not a surrender of the capitalist citadel, it is at all events
letting down the drawbridge."[50] The public utterances of the Radical
leaders are often less restrained than those of the Socialists,[51] so
that it becomes increasingly difficult to tell the difference.

Professor Hobhouse, in his analysis of the difference between
Liberal-Radicalism and Socialism, says: "I venture to conclude that
the differences between a true and consistent public-spirited
liberalism and a rational collectivism, ought, with a genuine effort
at mutual understanding, to disappear. The two parties are called on
to make common cause against the growing power of wealth, which, by
its control of the press and of the means of political organization,
is more and more a menace to the healthy working of popular

And Brougham Villiers stated, a year before the Liberals gained
control of the government, that the hope of the country lay in an
"alliance, won by persistent, intelligent helpfulness on the part of
the Liberals, with the alienated artisans, for the betterment of the
conditions of the poorest, so as to give at once hope and life and
better leisure for thought."[53]

So we see Socialism and Liberalism united in accomplishing changes in
legislation and ancient institutions--changes that are revolutionary
in character and will be far-reaching in results. It is not the red
revolutionary Socialism of Marx; it is the practical British Socialism
of amelioration. "This practical, constitutional, evolutionary
Socialism," a chronicler of the Fabians calls it.[54] It would have to
be practical to appeal to the British voter, constitutional to lure
the British statesman, and evolutionary to satisfy the British

In the troublous days of 1888-90 there were a great many young
Socialists who believed the social revolution was waiting around the
next corner and would soon sweep over London in gory reality. Many of
these young men are sober Fabians now, or staid Conservatives or
Liberals. To-day they think they were mistaken. They were not. There
was a revolution around the next corner. It has already captured the
high places. Society, government, is rapidly encroaching upon private
property through the powers of taxation, of police supervision, and
all manner of constitutional instrumentalities. Ownership, even in
land, is now only an incident, the rights of the community are in the
ascendant. Democracy has conquered hereditary privilege. And the
revolution is still advancing. England is showing the world that "The
way to make Socialism safe is to make democracy real."[55]


[1] See _supra_, p. 51.

[2] See CHIOZZA MONEY, _Riches and Poverty_, first page, edition 1911.

[3] _Op. cit._, p. 337.

[4] _Op. cit._, pp. 337-8.

[5] See V. NASH and H.L. SMITH, _The Story of the Dockers' Strike_,
London, 1890.

[6] See SIDNEY and BEATRICE WEBB, _History of Trades Unionism_,
London, 1911.

[7] There are about 650,000 members in those unions that pay
out-of-work benefits. The following table gives some conception of the
magnitude of the out-of-work problem in England. It shows the sums
expended by the unions for out-of-work relief:

  Year             Amount
  1898           £234,000
  1899            185,000
  1900            261,000
  1901            325,000
  1902            429,000
  1903            516,000
  1904            655,000
  1905            523,000
  1906            424,000
  1907            466,000

Out of a body of 15,000,000 workmen, Chiozza Money estimates that
500,000 are always out of work. _Opus cit._, p. 122.

[8] Members of Parliament received no pay until 1911, when the
Radical-Liberal government passed a law giving each member a salary of
$2,000 a year.

[9] A discussion of this case from the Fabian point of view is found
in the Preface to WEBB'S _History of Trades Unionism_, edition of
1911. The labor unions and the Labor Party have issued pamphlets on
these two decisions. The legal points are fully discussed in the
official reports of the cases.

[10] There are 15,000,000 working men and women in Great Britain;
3,000,000 belong to co-operative enterprises, 2,500,000 to trade

[11] See H.M. HYNDMAN, _Autobiography_, London, 1911.

[12] Dr. Wescott, Bishop of Durham, was the founder of the Christian
Social Union. His pamphlet, _Socialism_, is a real contribution to the
literature on the Church and its relation to labor. The present
attitude of the Union may be gleaned from the following quotation
taken from the letter written by Dr. Gore, Bishop of Birmingham, to
his diocese, on the occasion of his transfer to the bishopric of
Oxford. The letter was written during the railway and dockers' strike,
in September, 1911: "There is a profound sense of unrest and
dissatisfaction among workers recently. I cannot but believe that this
profound discontent is justified, though some particular exhibitions
of it are not. As Christians we are not justified in tolerating the
conditions of life and labor under which the vast mass of our
population is living. We have no right to say that these conditions
are not remediable. Preventable lack of equipment for life among
young, and later the insecurity of employment and inadequacy of
remuneration, and consequent destitution and semi-destitution among so
many people, ought to inspire in all Christians a determination to
reform our industrial system."

[13] From _Statement of Principles of the League_.

[14] Even at this time the conservatism of the unions was hard to
break. The vote to take this step was 546,000 to 434,000 in favor of
appointing the committee.

[15] Election expenses are borne by the candidates, not by the state.
They frequently are over $3,000, and it obviously is impossible for a
workingman to conduct such a campaign at his own expense.

[16] Proceedings of Labor Party, Annual Congress, 1907.

[17] See _Socialists in Great Britain_, a compilation published by the
London _Times_, p. 24.

The following table shows the membership of the Labor Party since its
formation in 1900, from the annual report of the party executive,

                            Trades Councils
                            and Local Labor
            Trade Unions        Parties         Socialist Societies
           No.  Membership        No.        No.  Membership    Total
  1900-1    41     353,070           7         3    22,861     375,931
  1901-2    65     455,450          21         2    13,861     469,311
  1902-3   127     847,315          49         2    13,835     861,150
  1903-4   165     956,025          76         2    13,775     969,800
  1904-5   158     885,270          73         2    14,730     900,000
  1905-6   158     904,496          73         2    16,784     921,280
  1906-7   176     975,182          83         2    20,885     998,338{1}
  1907     181   1,049,673          92         2    22,267   1,072,413{2}
  1908     176   1,127,035         133         2    27,465   1,158,565{3}
  1909     172   1,450,648         155         2    30,982   1,486,308{4}
  1910     137   1,306,473         125         2    31,377   1,342,610{5}

{1} This total includes 2,271 Co-operators. {2} Includes 472
Co-operators. {3} Includes 565 Co-operators, and 3,500 members of the
Women's Labor League. {4} Includes 678 Co-operators, and 4,000 members
of the Women's Labor League. {5} Includes 760 Co-operators, and 4,000
members of the Women's Labor League.

The decrease in membership during the last year is ascribed to the
Osborne judgment.

[18] HAROLD COX, _Socialism in the House of Commons_, p. 1.

[19] See J.A. HOBSON, _The Crisis of Liberalism_, for a discussion of
the new party alignments.

ÉMILE BOUTMY, philosophical critic of the English, says that England,
"transformed in all outward seeming, ... has just begun a new
history." See his _The English People: A Study in Their Political
Psychology_, London, 1904, for a keen analysis of English political

[20] _Parliamentary Debates_, 5th series, vol. 21, p. 649. Speech by
G. Lansbury.

[21] The new Liberal government invited John Burns into the cabinet.
He is the first workingman in English history to occupy a cabinet
position. The more restless Socialists are inclined to call him a
Liberal because responsibility has taught him caution. But he still
persists that he is a Socialist. He is a Fabian, and boasts of the
three times that he was imprisoned for participating in labor
agitations. About twenty years before his elevation he said in the Old
Bailey, where he had been arraigned for "sedition and conspiracy" in
conducting a strike: "I may tell you, my lord, that I went to work in
a factory at the early age of ten years and toiled there until five
months ago, when I left my workshop to stand as Parliamentary
candidate for the western division of Nottingham."

It must be kept in mind that many of the Conservatives are committed
to social legislation. They are not, however, in favor of the
indefinite expansion of democracy, and are opposed to the adult
suffrage bill as proposed by the Liberals.

[22] WILLIAM MORRIS, _Signs of Change_, p. 4.

[23] Speech delivered in St. James' Hall, March 21, 1894.

[24] Speech delivered at Newcastle, May 21, 1894.

[25] In the British House of Commons the ministry and the opposition
leaders sit in the front benches on opposite sides of the House facing
each other. A "front bencher" always commands a hearing, owing to his
high position in the party. The members of the party sit behind their
leaders and are called "back benchers." The minor groups, the Labor
Party and the Irish Party, sit in the cross benches at the lower end
of the chamber and are called "cross benchers."

[26] See _Annual Report Board of Education_, 1909-1910.

[27] Keir Hardie, the dean of the Socialist group in Parliament,
fathered this law. Sidney Webb, the distinguished Fabian, was made a
member of the commission.

[28] See First Annual Report of the Commission.

[29] See _Annual Report Home Office_, 1909-1910.

[30] _Ibid._

[31] The money for these things he proposed to raise by taxes, and
especially by a tax on land values.

[32] CHIOZZA MONEY, _Riches and Poverty_, p. 82.

  No. of Owners    Class of Owners        Acres owned
        400        Peers and peeresses      5,729,927
      1,288        Great landowners         8,497,699
      2,529        Squires{1}               4,319,271
      9,589        Greater yeomen{1}        4,782,627
     24,412        Lesser yeomen{1}         4,144,272
    217,049        Small proprietors        3,931,806
    703,289        Cottagers                  151,148
     14,459        Public bodies            1,443,548
                   Waste lands              1,524,624
    -------                                 ---------
    973,015                                34,524,922

{1} This classification is purely arbitrary.

[33] _Op. cit._, p. 91.

[34] The leaseholder is burdened with "rack-rent" and "premiums"; when
the lease expires the improvements revert to the landlord. There has
been, for years, a well-organized Single-Tax movement in England that
points to the evils of this land system as conclusive proof of the
validity of Henry George's theory.

[35] One of the choruses popular with the great throngs that paraded
the streets in that eager campaign is full of significance. It was
sung to the tune of "Marching through Georgia."

    "The land, the land, 'twas God who gave the land;
    The land, the land, the ground on which we stand;
    Why should we be beggars, with the ballot in our hand?
          God gave the land to the people."

[36] During the debate on the second reading in the House of Commons,
the writer one day counted twenty members on the benches, and a labor
member called the attention of the Speaker to the fact that "in this
hour of constitutional crisis only twenty brave men are found willing
to defend the prerogatives of the realm!"

[37] Some of the Fabians, nevertheless, fought the bill, and their
champion, Bernard Shaw, called Lloyd George's effort "The premature
attempt of a sentimental amateur."

[38] In 1909 the Labor Party claimed credit for the following measures
passed during the Parliamentary session of that year:

"(1) The grant of an additional £200,000 ($1,000,000) for the
unemployed, and the extraction of a promise that, if it was
insufficient, 'more would be forthcoming.'

"(2) The passing of the Trades Boards Bill--the first effective step
against 'sweating.'

"(3) The smashing of the bill authorizing the amalgamation of three
great railways.

"(4) A discussion, protest, and vote against the visit of Bloody
Nicholas, the Tsar. The Labor Party's amendments secured 70
supporters, whilst only 187 members of the British Parliament were
dirty enough to support the Tsar's visit.

"(5) The introduction of the Shop Hours Bill and the extortion of a
promise that it shall be adopted by the government and passed."--From
a campaign pamphlet, _The Labor Party in Parliament_, p. 20.

[39] See _Wanted--A Program: An Appeal to the Liberal Party_. S. WEBB,
London, 1888.

[40] See article by PROFESSOR HOBHOUSE, on "Democracy in England,"
_Atlantic Monthly_, February, 1912.

[41] J.A. HOBSON, _The Crisis of Liberalism_, p. 93.

[42] L.T. HOBHOUSE, _Democracy and Reaction_, p. 230.

[43] See "Report Eighteenth Annual Conference, I.L.P.," 1910, p. 59.

[44] _Supra cit._, p. 71.

Some of the I.L.P. members are Continental in their views. The
president of the party used these words in his address, 1910: "All
this jiggery-pokery of party government played like a game for
ascendency and power is no use to us" (_supra cit._, p. 35). The
discipline of the Labor Party was unable to keep half a dozen of its
ablest debaters from fighting the Insurance Bill. The reversion of the
radical Socialist element to the I.L.P. is by some observers
considered not unlikely. Then the liberal or _réformiste_ element will
become either a faction of the Liberal-Radical party or melt entirely
away as the Chartists did in 1844.

[45] This was the language used in the amendment moved in January,

[46] See _Parliamentary Debates_, 5th series, vol. 21, February 10,

[47] The Socialist workmen always resent the activity of the police
and soldiers during strikes. In 1888 F. Engels wrote to an American
friend: "The police brutalities in Trafalgar Square have done wonders
in helping to widen the gap between the workingmen Radicals and the
middle-class Liberals and Radicals." (See _Briefe und Auszüge aus
Briefen von Fr. Engels u. A._, Stuttgart, 1906.)

One of the incidents of the debate over the railway strike in the
House of Commons was a clash between Lloyd George, the Liberal leader,
and Keir Hardie, the Socialist. Keir Hardie had made inflammatory
speeches to striking workmen, and for this the Chancellor of the
Exchequer gave him a terrific and unmerciful flaying. (See
_Parliamentary Debates_, 5th series, vol. 29, Aug. 22, 1911.)

[48] J. RAMSAY MACDONALD: speech delivered at Edinburgh, 1909.

[49] See J. RAMSAY MACDONALD, _The Socialist Movement_, pp. 150-7.

[50] G.B. SHAW, Preface to "Fabian Tracts."

[51] See LLOYD GEORGE'S famous "Limehouse Speech."

[52] L.T. HOBHOUSE, _Democracy and Reaction_, p. 237.

[53] BROUGHAM VILLIERS, _The Opportunity of Liberalism_, Preface.

[54] See article by Secretary PEASE, of the Fabians, on the Fabian
Society, _T.P.'s Magazine_, February, 1911.

[55] J.A. HOBSON, _The Crisis of Liberalism_, p. 156.



We have now concluded our survey of the political activities of
Socialism in the four countries that present the most characteristic
features of this movement of the working classes. It is peculiarly
difficult to draw general conclusions from the study of a movement so
protean. Democracy is young; Socialism is in its early infancy.

Is there a rational trend in Socialism? Or is it only a passing whim
of the masses? Is it a crude theory, an earnest protest, a powerful
propaganda? Or is it a current of human conviction so strong, so
deep-flowing that it will be resistless?

It is futile to deny the power of the Socialist movement. The greatest
proof of its virility is its ability to break away from Marxian dogma
and from the fantasies of the utopists, and acknowledge mundane ways
and means. In spite of this earthiness, it still has its fanciful
abstractions. Some of its prophets are still glibly proclaiming a new
order,--as if society were artificial, like a house, and could be torn
down piecemeal or by dynamite, and then rebuilt to suit the vagaries
of a new owner.

On the other hand, a portion of the Socialists are learning that
society is a living thing that can be shaped only by training, like
the mind of a child. Socialism, as a whole, is metamorphosing. Some of
its vicious eccentricities, like the ravings against religion and the
espousal of free love, have already vanished. It is learning that
institutions are the product of ages, not of movements, and cannot be
changed at the fancy of every new and disgruntled social prophet.

The best school for Socialism has been the school of parliamentary
activity. Here the hot-blooded protesters become sober artisans of
statecraft. We have seen how the early utopian ideas, with their
edenesque theory of the guilelessness of man, were abruptly exchanged
for the theory of violence, based on the materialistic conception of
the universe and of man. Neither the soft humanities of the utopists
nor the blood and thunder of revolution overturned the existing state.
But when the workingmen appeared in parliaments, then things began to

In every country where the Socialists have entered parliament, they
appeared suddenly, in considerable numbers. So in France, Germany,
England, Belgium, Austria. And they always produced a flutter, often a
scare, among the conservatives. They were an untried force. Their
preachings of violence and their antagonism to property made them an
unknown quantity, to be feared, and not to be lightly handled--a bomb
of political dynamite that might explode any moment and scatter the
product of ages into fragments!

But no explosion came. And one more example of the persistence of
human nature was added to the long annals of history.

In every country the parliamentary experience has been the same: the
liberal and radical element, attracted by the legislative demands of
the labor party, coalesced, for specific issues, with the Socialists,
and a new era of economic and social legislation was ushered in. Even
in Germany, with its unmodern conditions in government, all the powers
of feudal autocracy failed to crush the rising forces of the new
political consciousness.

In France and England we have seen Socialists take their places in the
cabinet, to the chagrin of that portion of the Socialists who still
regard social classes as natural enemies, and consider social
co-operation among all the elements of society impossible.

In brief, Socialism has entered politics and has become mundane. You
need a microscope to tell a Socialist from a Socialist-Radical in
France, and a Laborite from a Radical-Liberal in England. Briand and
Millerand may be voted out of the Socialist Party, and John Burns may
be spurned by the I.L.P. But these men are teaching a double lesson:
first, that there are no new ways to human betterment; second, that
the old way is worth traveling, because it does lead to happier and
easier conditions of toil. Socialists the world over will soon be
compelled to realize that the political force which shrinks from the
responsibility of daily political drudgery will never be a permanent
factor in life. A political party that is afraid to assume the
obligations of government for fear that it will lose its ideal, is too
fragile for this world.

The Socialist Party wherever it exists is a labor party, with a labor
program that is based on conditions which need to be remedied. Their
practical demands as a rule are of such a nature that all of society
would benefit by their enactment into law. The mystery has all gone
out of the movement. It is not necromancy, it is plain parliamentary
humdrum which you see. The threatened witchery is all words; the
doing is intensely human, of the earth earthy.

The Socialist movement tends toward the latest phase of democracy,
which is social democracy; the democracy that has ceased to toy with
Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity, and the other tinsel abstractions
of the bourgeois revolutions; the democracy that sees poverty and
suffering increase as wealth and ease increase. It is the democracy of
the human heart, that cares for the babe in the slums, the lad in the
factory, the mother at the cradle, and the father in his old age.
Against all these helpless ones society has sinned. And it is to a
universal, sincere, social penance that the new democracy calls the
rich, the powerful, and the comfortable.

Socialism is merging rapidly into this new democracy. In doing so it
is abandoning its two great illusions. The first illusion is that the
interests of the worker are somehow different from the interests of
the rest of the community. Class war has been a resonant battle-cry,
and has served its purpose. It is folly for any class to magnify its
needs above those of the rest of society. Civilization and culture
embrace the artisan and the artist, the poor and the powerful. Any
class interest that clashes with the welfare of society as a whole
cannot survive. Socialism is abandoning the tyranny of class war, is
being mellowed by class co-operation. Socialists are now claiming that
their interests are the interests of society. The social complexion of
the party in the countries of its greatest advancement is an
indication of this. Many of the party leaders are of middle-class
origin. Some of them are rich. You call at their homes and servants
open the door and receive your card on a silver tray. Multitudes of
lawyers, physicians, journalists, and professors are in the movement.
Dr. Frank of Mannheim, the leader of the Badensian Socialists, said to
me that the degree to which Socialism can gain the support of the
intellectual element is the measure of success of the movement. All
this indicates that Socialism is breaking the bonds of self-limited
class egoism. The peasant landowner, the small shopkeeper, the
intellectualist, and occasionally a man or two of wealth and high
social position are being drawn into this new democracy.

The question is now being seriously asked: Can there be a social
co-operation? Must there always be industrial war? Von Vollmar,
Millerand, Vandervelde, MacDonald proclaim the possibility of rational
co-operation. MacDonald says: "The defense for democracy which is far
and away the weightiest is that progress must spring, not from the
generosity or enlightenment of a class, but from the common
intelligence." "It must be pointed out that the labor legislation now
being asked for is very much more than a sequel to that passed under
the influence of Lord Shaftesbury. This differs from that as the
working of the moral conscience differs from the motives of the first
brute man who shaped his conduct under a contract of mutual defense
with a friendly neighbor. To use the arm of the law to abolish crying
evils, to put an end to an ever-present injustice, is one thing; to
use that arm to promote justice and to keep open the road to moral
advancement, to bring down from their throne in the ideal into a place
in the world certain conceptions of distributive justice, is quite
another thing. And yet this latter is now being attempted, and was
certain to be attempted as soon as democracy came into power. When
society is enfranchised, the social question becomes the political

"The state is not the interest of a class, but the organ of
society."[2] There can be no broader foundation for political action
than this. All progress springs from the "common intelligence" to
which every one contributes his quota.

The second great illusion of Socialism is the social revolution. No
one except a few extremists any longer thinks of the revolution by
blood. Engels, the friend of Marx, shows that everywhere violence is
giving way to political methods. "Even in the Romance countries we see
the old tactics revised. Everywhere the German example of using the
ballots is being followed. Even in France the Socialists see more and
more that no lasting victory is to be theirs unless they win
beforehand the great masses of the people. The slow work of propaganda
and parliamentary activity is here also recognized as the next step in
party development."[3] Engels shows how Socialists have entered the
parliaments of Belgium, Italy, Denmark, Bulgaria, Roumania, as well as
the parliaments of the great powers. And he indicates that the
revolution of the Socialist must come as a revolution by
majorities--which is democracy.

Engels still believed that violence would follow the accession of
democratic power. If he had lived another decade he would have
discarded this last remnant of the theory of violence. In Germany the
bourgeois are more frightened over the legal than over the illegal
acts of the Socialist. They fear the results of elections more than
rebellion. Violence they can suppress with a bayonet, but laws--they
must be obeyed.

This is true in every country. The power of the ballot is infinitely
greater than the power of the bullet, provided it is followed up with
common sense and energy.

The theory of violence, then, has almost disappeared. The Syndicalist,
in his reversion to anarchy, attempts to revive the forsaken theory.
He does this by a general strike. But the general strike is not to be
confused with the social revolution. The general strike, wherever it
has been tried as an economic forcing valve, has failed. But whenever
it has been used as a political uprising, demanding political rights,
it has been more or less successful. In Belgium we have seen how it
brought results. In Sweden a few years ago there was a general strike
that not only shut every factory, but stopped the street cars and all
transportation lines, closed the gas-works, and even the newspapers
were suspended. It was a powerful political protest, but the number of
striking workmen did not equal the non-strikers.

In Italy in 1904 a general strike was called to protest against the
arbitrary attitude of the government toward the labor movement. In
some of the cities all work ceased, even the gondoliers of Venice
joined the strikers. In Russia in 1904-5 the transportation lines and
post and telegraph lines were tied up while the workingmen
demonstrated for their political liberty.

The violence of Socialism to-day is political; the violence of trade
unionism is economic. As the democratic consciousness spreads, there
may be such a coalescing of interests that violence will cease. But a
human society without warfare and contention is still a tax upon the
imagination. Strikes are increasing in number and bitterness and all
the arbitrations and devices of democracies seem helpless in the
turmoil of economic strife.

I am not unmindful that behind all this parliamentary activity there
is the dim background of hope in the hearts of many Socialists that
somehow the wage system will vanish, that competition will cease, that
the primary activities of production and distribution will be assumed
by society, and that economic extremes will become impossible. In a
people of fitful temper and ebullient spirit the doctrine of
overturning remains a constant menace. Socialism in Spain and Italy
wears a scarlet coat, in Germany a drab, and in England a black. The
danger to civilization lurks, not in the survival of the doctrines of
the older Socialism, but in the temper of the people who espouse them.

The Socialist movement has accomplished three notable things. First,
it has spread democracy. The bourgeois revolutions established
democracy; Socialism extends it. We have seen how in Belgium it
compelled the governing powers to give labor the ballot; how in
Germany, hard set and dogmatic, it is shaping events that will surely
lead to ministerial responsibility and to universal suffrage; and how
in England it is resulting in universal manhood suffrage and probably
"votes for women." Socialism is spreading the obligations of
government upon all shoulders. It is not, however, democratizing the
machinery of administration. In France the centralized autocracy of
Napoleon's empire remains almost untouched. In England the ancient
traditions of administration are slow to change. In Germany the civil
service will be the last barrier to give way.

Secondly, Socialism has forced the labor question upon the lawmakers.
This is a great achievement. The neglected and forgotten portions of
the human family are now the objects of state solicitude. The record
of this revolution is written in the statute books. Turn the leaves of
the table of contents of a modern parliamentary journal, and compare
it with the same work of thirty years ago. Almost the entire time is
now taken up with questions that may be called humanitarian rather
than financial or political. Grave ministers of state make long
speeches on the death-rate of babies in the cities, on the cost of
living in factory towns, on the causes of that most heartbreaking of
modern woes, non-employment. Budgets are now concerned with the
feeding of school children as well as the building of warships, and
with the training of boys as well as the drilling of soldiers.

Nowhere has this radical change taken place without a labor party. The
laboring man forced the issue. He bent kings and cabinets and
parliaments to his demands. The time was ripe, society had reached
that stage of its development when it was ready to take up these
questions. But it did not do so of its own free will. When labor
parties sprang like magic into puissance, a decade ago, the social
conscience was ready to hear their plea. Bismarck foresaw their
demands. But he was too obsessed of feudalism to realize their
motives. Therefore his state socialism failed to silence the
Socialists. The workman had his heart in the cause, not merely his

And the third great achievement is the natural result of the other
two. When democracy is potent enough to force its demands on
parliament, then the power of the state is ready to fulfil its
demands. So we find in every country where Social Democracy has gained
a foothold a constant increase of the functions of the state. What
shall the state do? That is now the great question. One hundred years
ago it was, What sort of a state shall we have? That is answered: a
democratic state; at least, a state democratic in spirit. The state is
no longer merely judge, soldier, lawmaker, and governor. It is
physician, forester, bookkeeper, schoolmaster, undertaker, and a
thousand other things. Society has grown complex, and the state, which
is only another name for society, has developed a surprising

We have seen that in England especially the trend of legislation is to
deprive the individual, one by one, of those prerogatives which gave
him dominion over property. A man owning land in the city of London,
for instance, has not the liberty to build as he likes or what he
likes. He must build as the state permits him, and the exactions are
manifold. He can be compelled to build a certain distance from the
street,--that is, the city demands a strip of his land for common use.
He can build only a certain height,--the community wants the sunlight.
If his older buildings are dilapidated, the city tears them down. If
the streets through his allotment are too narrow, the city widens
them. In short, he may have title in fee simple, but the community has
a title superior. Even his income from this parcel of land is not all
his own. The state now takes a goodly slice in taxes. If he is
inclined to resent this, and does not improve his property, the state
taxes him on the unearned increment, and if he refuses to submit to
this "socialism," the constable seizes the whole parcel, and he can
have what is left after the community has satisfied its demands.

The taxes that he pays are distributed over a vast variety of
activities. They go to feed school children, to pension aged workmen,
to send inspectors into the factories, to keep up hospitals, as well
as to light and pave the streets and pay policemen. Other taxes that
he pays on other forms of property go to the improvement of
agriculture, to the payment of boards of arbitration, and so on. In
short, ownership is becoming more and more only an incident; it is not
merely a badge of ease, but a symbol of social responsibility.

The burden of the law is shifting from property to persons, from
protecting things to protecting humanity. This change from the Roman
law is almost revolutionary. Even Blackstone, our halfway-mark in the
evolution of the common law, is busy with postulates protecting

Where is this encroachment of the state on private "rights" going to
end? There are some things which the state (society) can do better
than the individual; like the marshaling of an army or conducting a
post-office, and things that are done to counteract the selfishness of
individuals, like factory inspection. But there are other things which
society cannot do; things that depend on individual effort, like art,
literature, and invention. The two fields of state and individual
activity merge into each other. Each nation marks its own
distinctions. But this is certain: _in a democracy the state will do
the things which the people want it to do_. And in a Social Democracy
these things are numerous.

Social Democracy strikes a balance between individual duty and
collective energy. It brings the power of government (collective
power), not to the few who are rich, therefore ignoring oligarchy; nor
to the few who are clever, thereby ignoring tyranny; nor to the few
who are well-born, thus discarding aristocracy; but it brings all the
power of the government to all the people. It attempts to coalesce the
cleverness of the tyrant, the experience of the aristocrat, the wealth
of the industrial nabob, and the aggregate momentum of the mass, into
a humanitarian power. It attempts to use the gifts of all for the
benefit of all.

Social Democracy is the resultant of two forces meeting from opposite
directions: the forces of industrialism, and Socialism, of
collectivism and individualism. No one can draw the exact direction of
this resultant. It attempts to avoid the tyranny and selfishness of
the few, and the tyranny and greed of the many.

Our study of the operation of governments under the sway of Social
Democracy has shown the sort of legislation that is demanded. It is
not necessary to repeat here the details of these laws. But it is
necessary to bear in mind that there are two industrial questions
which have absolutely refused to bend to the power of government: the
question of the length of the workday and the question of wages. The
vast majority of strikes are due to differences over these two
questions. The eight-hour day and the minimum wage have been
successful only in a limited government service.[4] Nor has any
machinery set up by governments to avoid industrial collisions between
workmen and employers been successful in avoiding differences over
hours and wages. The elaborate system of Germany, for instance, is
nothing more than the good will of the state offered to the warring
industrial elements in the interests of peace. The questions of hours
and wages are so fundamental that they embrace the right of private
property. Any power that divests an individual of the right to dispose
of his time or substance by contract virtually deprives him of the
right of ownership.

The limits to the possibilities of Social Democracy are the limits of
private ownership. This brings us at once to the verge of the eternal
question of government--the finding of a just ratio between individual
and collective responsibility: a ratio that varies with varying
nationalities, and that will vary with the passing years. Each
generation in every land will have to fix the limitations for itself.

The new Social Democracy has acquired certain characteristics which
will help us in determining the trend of its movements. In the first
place it is an educated Social Democracy. The taunt of ignorance
applied to the old Socialism of passion cannot be applied to the new
Socialism of practice. The nations of Europe no longer debate the
suitability of universal education. That question happily was settled
for the United States with the landing of the Pilgrims. It took one
hundred years for Europe to understand the Ordinance of 1787, that
"schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged." Not
all of the European nations have touched the heights of this ideal,
but Social Democracy is struggling towards it, and schools, more or
less efficient, are open to the workmen's children. This education is
extended to adults by the press and by self-imposed studies. The
eagerness with which men and women flock to lectures and night classes
is a great omen. In Paris the _École Socialiste_ and _Université
Populaire_, in Germany and Belgium the night classes in the labor
union clubhouses, the debates and the lecture courses, are evidences
of intellectual eagerness.

In the second place it is a drilled democracy. It is organized into
vast co-operative societies and trade unions. Here it learns the
lesson of constant watchfulness over details. This training in the
infinite little things of business is a good sedative. Socialists
bargain and sell and learn the lessons of competition; do banking and
learn discount; engage in manufacture and learn the problem of the

They are, moreover, drilled in parliaments, in city and county
councils, in communal offices. They learn the advantages of give and
take, are skilled in compromise, and feel the friction of opposition.

All this has wrought a wonderful change in Socialism. To a Belgian
co-operativist running a butcher-shop, the eight-hour day is a
practical problem; and to a Bavarian member of a city council the
question of opening communal dwellings ceases to be only a subject for
debate. Nothing has brought these people to earth so suddenly as the
infusion of earthly experience into their blood. And this transfusion
has given them life. It has rid them of their many adjectives and
given them a few verbs. It has robbed them in large measure of their
mob spirit.[5] Every year the arbitrary governments of Europe are
finding police coercion more and more unnecessary. The Socialist crowd
is growing orderly, is achieving that self-control which alone
entitles a people to self-government.

It is not unnatural that this movement has made leaders. Of these,
Herr August Bebel is the most remarkable example. This woodturner,
turned party autocrat and statesman, is a never-ending wonder to the
German aristocracy. His speeches are read as eagerly as those of the
Chancellor, and his opinions are quoted as widely as the Kaiser's.
When in 1911 he made his great speech on the Morocco Question in the
Social Democratic Convention, it was reported by the column in all of
the great Continental and English dailies. Bebel is an example of what
the open door of opportunity will do, and he had to force the door
himself. A few years ago, in a moment of reminiscent confidence, he
confessed that he used to cherish as an ideal the time when he could,
for once, have all the bread and butter he could eat. In America we
are accustomed to this rising into power of obscure and untried men.
But in Europe it is rare. European Social Democracy is an expression
of the desire on the part of the people for the open highways of

In the third place, Social Democracy is self-conscious. I have not
used the word class-conscious, because it is more than the
consciousness of an economic group. History is replete with instances
that reveal the irresistible power generated by mass consciousness.
This is the psychology of nationalism. The dynamo that generates the
mysterious voltage of patriotism, of tribal loyalty, is the heart.
Socialism has replaced tribal and national ideals and welded its
devotees into a self-conscious international unity. Whatever danger
there may be in Socialism is the danger of the zealot. The ideal may
be impracticable and discarded, but the devotion to it may be blind
and destructive.

As a rule, Socialist leaders and writers maintain that this drawing
together of Socialism and democracy is only transitory, and that
beyond this lies the promised land of social production. Jaurès has
explained this clearly: "Democracy, under the impetus given it by
organized labor, is evolving irresistibly toward Socialism, and
Socialism toward a form of property which will deliver man from his
exploitation by man, and bring to an end the régime of class
government. The Radicals flatter themselves that they can put a stop
to this movement by promising the working classes some reforms, and by
proclaiming themselves the guardians of private property. They hope to
hold a large part of the proletariat in check by a few reforming laws
expressing a sentiment of social solidarity, and by their policy of
defending private property to rouse the conservative forces, the petty
bourgeoisie, the middle classes, and the small peasant proprietors to
oppose Socialism."[6]

So we see that in spite of their experiences Socialists still draw a
clear distinction between their Socialism and democracy. The Socialist
is willing to ignore the experiences of the past twenty years in his
ecstasy of vision. He claims that whatever has been done is mere
reform. He affects to belittle it, the Marxian scorns it. To the
Socialist, democracy is only the halfway house on the road to the
economic paradise. He has his gaze fixed on the New Jerusalem of
"co-operative production" and "distributive justice." Whether this New
City, with its streets paved with the gold of altruism and its gates
garnished with the pearls of good will and benevolence, will be
brought from the fleecy clouds of ecstatic imagination to our sordid
earth remains a question of speculation to that vast body of sincere
and practical citizens who have not scaled the heights of the
Socialistic Patmos.

European Socialism has been transplanted to America. But its growth
until quite recently has been very slow, and confined largely to
immigrants. There is no political spur to hasten the movement. Here
democracy has been achieved. The universal ballot, free speech, free
press, free association are accomplished. Many of the economic
policies espoused by the Social Democratic parties of Europe are
written into the platforms of our political parties. There will be no
independent labor party of any strength until the old parties have
aroused the distrust of the great body of laboring men, and until the
labor unions cut loose from their traditional aloofness and enter
politics. How socialistic such a party will be must depend upon the
circumstances attending its organization. The two third-party
movements which have flourished since the Civil War, the Greenback
movement of the '70's and the Populist movement of the '90's, were
virtually "class" parties, restricted to the agricultural population
of the Middle and Far West; and both of them feared Socialism as much
as they hated capitalism. Neither of these parties outlived a decade.
Economic prosperity abruptly ended both.[7]

The stress of political exclusiveness and the harsh hand of government
will not produce a reactionary movement among the workingmen of
America. But economic circumstances may do so. We are still a young
country full of the hope of youth. The ranks of every walk of life are
filled with those who have worked their way to success from humble
origin. Most of our famous men struggled with poverty in their youth.
Their lives are constantly held up to the children of the nation as
examples of American pluck, enterprise, and opportunity. A nation that
lures its clerks toward proprietorship and its artisans toward
independence offers barren soil for the doctrines of discontent. We
have no stereotyped poverty in the European sense. Our farmers own
their acreage, and many of the urban poor are able to buy a cottage in
the outskirts of the city.

But there are signs that these conditions are undergoing profound
changes. Unlimited competition has led to limitless consolidation of
industries, and the financial destinies of the Republic repose in the
hands of comparatively few men. So much of the Marxian proposition is
fulfilled, at the moment, in America. This concentrated wealth has not
been unmindful of politics. Governmental power and money power are
closely identified in the public mind. Our cities are overflowing with
a new population from the excitable portions of southern Europe, a
population that is proletarian in every sense of the word. Panics
follow one another in rapid succession. The uneasiness of business is
fed by the turmoil of politics. Unrest is everywhere. Labor and
business are engaged in constant struggles that affect all members of
society. The cost of living has increased alarmingly in the last ten
years. We are becoming rapidly a manufacturing nation; the balance of
power is shifting from the farm to the city.[8]

European Socialists are taking a keen interest in American affairs.
Bebel said to me: "You are getting ready for the appropriation of the
great productive enterprises and the railways. Your trusts make the
problem easy." John Burns prophesied that violence and bloodshed alone
would check us in our mad career for wealth. Jaurès asked how long it
would take before our poverty would be worse than that of Europe. At a
distance they see us plunging headlong into a Socialist régime.

Professor Brentano of Munich knows us better. He said to me,
"Conservation will be your Socialism."[9] If the fundamental
principles of conservation can be embodied in constitutional laws,
then there will be an almost indefinite extension of the power of the
state over industry. It will embrace mines, forests, irrigated
deserts; it will extend to the sources of all water supply and water
power; the means of transportation may ultimately be included. So that
without radical legal and institutional changes it will be possible
for many of the sources of our raw materials to be placed under
governmental surveillance, leaving the processes of manufacture and
exchange in the hands of private individuals.

There are at present many indications that this will be our general
process of "socialization." The people appear to want it; and in a
democracy the will of the people must prevail.

Before we have advanced far along the new road of conservation we will
find it necessary to reconstruct our whole system of administration.
The haphazard of politics must be foreign to public business.
Everywhere in Europe, especially in Germany and England, the people,
including the Socialists, appear satisfied with the efficiency of
their administrative machinery. Who would intrust the running of a
railroad to our Federal or State governments?

We have reached the extreme of rampant _laissez-faire_. Our youthful
vigor and material wealth have kept us buoyant. Politically we will
become more radical, economically less individualistic, in the next
cycle of our development. There is no magic that saves a people except
the magic of opportunity. In a democracy especially it is necessary to
constantly purge society by free-moving currents of talent and virtue.
This replenishing stream has its sources in the sturdy, healthy
workers of the nation. The movement is from the depths upward. It is
the supreme function of the state to keep these sources unclogged.


[1] J. RAMSAY MACDONALD, _Ethical Democracy_, pp. 61-71.

[2] J. RAMSAY MACDONALD, _Socialism and Government_, Vol. II, p. 117.

[3] FREDERICK ENGELS' Introduction to MARX' _Klassenkampf_, pp. 16-17,

[4] The coal strike in England in March, 1912, brought the question of
a legalized minimum wage before the people.

[5] On November 28, 1905, a vast army of working men and women,
estimated at 300,000 by the anti-Socialist papers, marched under the
red flag through the streets of Vienna as a protest against the
existing franchise laws. They were given the right of way and walked
in silence through the streets of the capital. Their orderliness was
more impressive than their vast numbers. It was an object-lesson that
the government did not forget.

[6] JEAN JAURÈS, _Studies in Socialism_, Eng. ed., p. 25.

[7] What the so-called Progressive Party will accomplish, in this
direction, remains to be seen.

[8] The Socialist vote in the United States is as follows:

  1892           21,164
  1896           36,274
  1900           87,814
  1904          402,283
  1908          402,464
  1910          607,674
  1911        1,500,000 (estimated)

The vast increase shown in 1911 was made in municipal and other local
elections. On January 1, 1912, 377 villages, towns, and cities in 36
States had some Socialist officers. Several important cities have been
under Socialist rule, notably Milwaukee and Schenectady, where the
Socialists captured the entire city machinery. In 1912 the Socialists
lost control of Milwaukee, although their vote increased 3,000. Their
overthrow was accomplished by the coalescing of the old parties into a
Citizens' Party, a line-up between radicalism and conservatism that
will probably become the rule in American local politics.

The party is organized along the lines of the German Social Democracy.
Its membership has grown as follows:

  1903           15,975
  1904           20,764
  1905           23,327
  1906           26,784
  1907           29,270
  1908           41,751
  1909           41,479
  1910           48,011
  1911           84,716
  1912 (May)    142,000

[9] In this statement, Professor Brentano re-enforces the opinions of
the American economist to whose teachings and writings the
"progressive" movement in American economics and politics, and
especially the movement for conservation of natural resources, must be
traced. For many years Professor Richard T. Ely has been pointing the
way to this conservative "socialization" of our natural wealth.



The following list of the principal works consulted in the preparation
of this volume may serve also as a bibliography on the subject. There
are very few American books in the list, because the object of this
volume is to summarize the European situation.

For the spirit of the movement the student must consult the
contemporary literature of Socialism--the newspapers, magazines, and
pamphlets, and the campaign documents that flow in a constant stream
from the Socialist press. These are, of course, too numerous and too
fluctuating in character to be catalogued. Lists of these publications
can be secured at the following addresses:

The Fabian Society, 3 Clements Inn, Strand, London, W.C.

The Labor Party, 28 Victoria Street, Westminster, London, S.W.

The Independent Labor Party, 23 Bride Lane, Fleet Street, London, E.C.

German Social Democracy, Verlags-Buchhandlung _Vorwärts_, 68
Lindenstrasse, Berlin, S.W.

Belgian Labor Party, _Le Peuple_, 33-35 rue de Sable, Brussels.

French Socialist Party, _La Parti Socialiste_, 16 rue de la Corderie,


  BLANC, LOUIS: _Socialism._ An English edition was published in

  ---- _Organization of Labor._ English edition in 1848.

  BOOTH: _Saint-Simon and Saint-Simonism._

  CABET, ÉTIENNE: _Le Vrai Christianisme_, 1846.

  FEUERBACH, FRIEDRICH: _Die Religion der Zukunft_, 1843-5.

  ---- _Essence of Christianity._ An English translation, 1881, in
      the "English and Foreign Philosophical Library."

  FOURIER, F.C.M.: _Oeuvres Complètes._ 6 vols. 1841-5.

  GAMMOND, GATTI DE: Fourier and His System, 1842.

  GIDE, CHARLES: _Selections from Fourier._ An English translation
      by Julien Franklin, 1901.

  GODWIN, WILLIAM: _An Inquiry Concerning Political Justice_, 1796.

  KINGSLEY: _Cheap Clothes and Nasty_, 1851.

  MORRELL, J.R.: _Life of Fourier_, 1849.

  MORRIS, WILLIAM: _Works of_; _Chants for Socialists_, 1885.

  OWEN, ROBERT: _An Address_, etc., 1813.

  ---- _Addresses_, etc., 1816.

  ---- _An Explanation of the Distress_, etc., 1823.

  ---- _Book of the New Moral World_, etc., 1836.

  PROUDHON, PIERRE JOSEPH: The Works of. English translation by
      Tucker, American edition, 1876.

  SAINT-SIMON: _New Christianity._ An English translation by Rev.
      J.E. Smith. 1834.

  WEIL, G.: _L'École Saint-Simonisme--son Histoire_, etc., 1896.

  WEITLING, WILLIAM: _Garantieen der Harmonie und Freiheit_, 1845.


  BEBEL, A.: _Woman, in the Past, Present, and Future._ An English
      translation appeared in London in 1890.

  BERNSTEIN, EDWARD: _Responsibility and Solidarity in the Labor
      Struggle_, 1900.

  BROOKS, J.G.: _The Social Unrest_, 1903.

  ELY, R.T.: _French and German Socialism_, 1883.

  ENSOR, R.C.K.: _Modern Socialism._ A useful collection of
      Socialist documents, speeches, programs, etc.

  GRAHAM, W.: _Socialism New and Old_, 1890.

  GUTHRIE, W.B.: _Socialism Before the French Revolution_, 1907.

  GUYOT, Y.: _The Tyranny of Socialism_, 1894.

  JAURÈS, J.: _Studies in Socialism_, 1906.

  KAUTSKY, K.: _The Social Revolution._ An English translation by
      J.B. Askew. The best Continental view of modern Marxianism,
      and the most widely read.

  KELLY, EDMOND: _Twentieth Century Socialism_, 1910. The most
      noteworthy of recent American contributions to Socialist

  KIRKUP: _A History of Socialism_, 1909. A concise and
      authoritative narrative.

  KOIGEN, D.: _Die Kultur-ausschauung des Sozialismus_, 1903.

  LEVY, J.H.: _The Outcome of Individualism_, 1890.

  MACDONALD, J.R.: _Socialism and Society_, 1905. MacDonald is not
      only the leader of the British Labor Party, but his writings
      comprise a comprehensive exposition of the views of labor

  ---- _Character and Democracy_, 1906.

  ---- _Socialism_, 1907.

  ---- _Socialism and Government_, 1909.

  MILL, J.S.: _Socialism_, 1891. A collection of essays, etc., from
      the writings of John Stuart Mill touching on Socialism.

  RAE, J.: _Contemporary Socialism_, 1908. A standard work.

  RICHTER: _Pictures of the Socialist Future_, 1893.

  SCHAEFFLE: _The Impossibility of Social-Democracy_, 1892.

  ---- _The Quintessence of Socialism_, 1898. Probably the most
      authoritative and concise refutation of the Socialist dogmas.

  SOMBART, WERNER: _Socialism and the Social Movement_, 1909. Widely
      read, both in the original and in the English translation.
      Contains an interesting critique of Marxianism.

  SPENCER, HERBERT: _The Coming Slavery_, 1884. A reprint from _The
      Contemporary Review_.

  STODDARD, JANE: _The New Socialism_, 1909. A convenient

  TUGAN-BARANOVSKY, M.I.: _Modern Socialism_, 1910. A systematic and
      scholarly résumé of the doctrines of Socialism.

  WARSCHAUER, O.: _Zur Entwickelungsgeschichte des Sozialismus_,

  WELLS, H.G.: _New Worlds for Old_, 1909. One of the most popular
      expositions of Socialism.


  AVELING, E.B.: _The Student's Marx._ A handy compilation. 1902.

  BOEHM-BAWERK: _Karl Marx and the Close of His System._ An English
      translation was made in 1898.

  ENGELS, FRIEDRICH: _Die Entwickelung des Socialismus von der
      Utopie zur Wissenschaft_, 1891.

  ---- _Socialism--Utopian and Scientific_, 1892.

  ---- _L. Feuerbach und der Ausgang der Klassischen Deutschen
      Philosophie_, 1903.

  ---- _Briefe und Auszüge von Briefen_, 1906.

  ---- _Friedrich Engels, Sein Leben, Sein Wirken und Seine
      Schriften_, 1895.

  MARX and ENGELS: _The Communist Manifesto._ There have been many
      editions; that of 1888 is probably the widest known for its
      historical Introduction.

  MARX, KARL: _The Poverty of Philosophy._ An answer to Proudhon's
      _La Philosophie de la Misère_. An English translation was made
      by H. Quelch, 1900.

  ---- _Enthüllungen über den Kommunisten Process zu Köln_, 1875.
      Engels' Preface gives an account of the origin of the "Society
      of the Just."

  ---- _Die Klassenkämpfe in Frankreich, 1848-50._

  ---- _Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Germany in 1848._ An
      English translation appeared in 1896.

  ---- _Capital_, 1896.

  ---- _The International Workingmen's Association._ Two addresses
      on the Franco-Prussian War, 1870.

  ---- _The international Workingmen's Association--The Civil War in
      France._ An address to the General Council of the
      International, 1871.


  DAVE, V.: _Michel Bakunin et Karl Marx_, 1900.

  ENGELS, F.: _The International Workingmen's Association_, 1891.

  FROEBEL, J.: _Ein Lebenslauf_--for an account of Marx vs. Bakunin.

  GUILLAUME, J.: _L'Internationale: Documents et Souvenirs_, 1905.

  JAECKH, GUSTAV: _L'Internationale._ An English translation was
      published in 1904.

  JAEGER, E.: _Karl Marx und die Internationale Arbeiter
      Association_, 1873.

  MAURICE, C.E.: _Revolutionary Movements of 1848-9_, 1887.

  TESTUT, O.: _L'Internationale--son origine, son but, son
      principes, son organisation_, etc. Third edition, 1871. A
      German edition translated by Paul Frohberg, Leipsic, 1872.

  ---- _Le Livre Bleu de l'Internationale_, 1871.

  VILLETARD: _History of the International._ Translated by Susan M.
      Day, New Haven, 1874.

  _Ein Complot gegen die Internationale Arbeiter Association_, 1874,
      gives a careful version of the Marxian side of the Bakunin

  "International Workingmen's Association"--"_Procès-verbaux,
      Congrès à Lausanne_," 1867.

  _Troisième Congrès de l'Association Internationale des
      Travailleurs_, Brussels, 1868.

  _Manifeste aux Travailleurs des Campagnes._ Paris, 1870.

  _Manifeste addressé à toutes les associations ouvrières_, etc.
      Paris, 1874.

  _International Arbeiter Association Protokoll._ A German edition
      of the Proceedings of the Paris Congress, 1890, with a
      valuable Introduction by W. Liebknecht.


  JAEGER, EUGEN: _Geschichte der Socialen Bewegung und des
      Socialismus in Frankreich_, 1890.

  JAURÈS, JEAN: _L'Armée Nouvelle--L'Organisation Socialiste de la
      France_, 1911. The initial installment of the long-promised
      account of the Socialist state.

  LAVY, A.: _L'Oeuvre de Millerand_, 1902. An appreciative history
      of Millerand's work. Contains many documents, speeches, etc.

  PEIXOTTO, J.: _The French Revolution and Modern Socialism_, 1901.

  VON STEIN, LORENZ: _Der Sozialismus und Communismus des Heutigen
      Frankreichs_, 1848.

  WEIL, GEORGES: _Histoire du Mouvement Socialiste en France_, 1904.


  BERTRAND, LOUIS: _Histoire de la Démocratie et Socialisme en
      Belgique depuis 1830_, 1906. Introduction by Vandervelde.

  ---- _Histoire de la Coopération en Belgique_, 1902.

  BERTRAND, LOUIS, et al.: _75 Années de Domination Bourgeois_,

  DESTRÉE et VANDERVELDE: _Le Socialisme en Belgique._

  LANGEROCK, H.: _Le Socialisme Agraire_, 1895.

  STEFFENS-FRAUWEILER, H. VON: _Der Agrar Sozialismus in Belgien_,
      Munich, 1893.

  VANDERVELDE, ÉMILE: _Histoire de la Coopération en Belgique_,

  ---- _Essais sur la Question Agraire en Belgique_, 1902.

  ---- Article on the General Strike in _Archiv für Sozial
      Wissenschaft_, May, 1908.


  BEBEL, AUGUST: _Die Social-Demokratie im Deutschen Reichstag._ A
      series of brochures detailing the activity of the Social
      Democrats--1871-1893. Of course from a partisan point of

  ---- _Aus Meinem Leben_, 1910. An intimate recital of the
      development of Social Democracy in Germany.

  BERNSTEIN, EDWARD: _Ferdinand Lassalle und Seine Bedeutung für die
      Arbeiter Klasse_, 1904.

  BRANDES, GEORG: _Ferdinand Lassalle: Ein Literarisches
      Charakter-Bild._ Berlin, 1877. An English translation was
      published in 1911. This is a brilliant biography.

  DAWSON, W.H.: _German Socialism and Ferdinand Lassalle_, 1888.

  ---- _Bismarck and State Socialism_, 1890.

  ---- _The German Workman_, 1906.

  ---- _The Evolution of Modern Germany_, 1908.

  EISNER, K.: _Liebknecht--Sein Leben und Wirken_, 1900. A brief
      sketch of the veteran Social Democrat.

  FRANK, DR. LUDWIG: _Die Bürgerlichen Parteien des Deutschen
      Reichstags_, 1911. A Socialist's account of the rise of German
      political parties.

  HARMS, B.: _Ferdinand Lassalle und Seine Bedeutung für die
      Deutsche Sozial-Demokratie_, 1909.

  ---- _Sozialismus und die Sozial-Demokratie in Deutschland._

  HOOPER, E.G.: _The German State Insurance System_, 1908.

  KAMPFMEYER, P.: _Geschichte der Modernen Polizei im Zusammenhang
      mit der Allgemeinen Kulturbewegung_, 1897. A Socialist's
      recital of the use of police.

  ---- _Geschichte der Modernen Gesellschafts-klassen in
      Deutschland_, 1896. From a Socialist standpoint.

  KOHUT, A.: _Ferdinand Lassalle--Sein Leben und Wirken_, 1889.

  LASSALLE, FERDINAND: _Offenes Antwortschreiben an das
      Central-Comité zur Berufung eines Allgemeinen Deutschen
      Arbeiter Congress zu Leipzig_, 1863.

  ---- _Die Wissenschaft und die Arbeiter_, 1863.

  ---- _Macht und Recht_, 1863. A complete edition of Lassalle's
      works was published in 1899, under the title "Gesamte Werke
      Ferdinand Lassalles."

  LOWE, C.: _Prince Bismarck: An Historical Biography_, 1885. A
      sympathetic description of Bismarck's attempt to solve the
      social problem.

  MEHRING, F.: _Die Deutsche Sozial-Demokratie--Ihre Geschichte und
      Ihre Lehre_, 1879. Third edition. A compact narrative.

  MEYER, R.: _Emancipationskampf des Vierten Standes_, 1882.

  NAUMANN, FRIEDRICH: _Die Politischen Parteien_, 1911. History of
      German political parties. A Radical account.

  SCHMOELE, J.: _Die Sozial-Demokratische Gewerkschaften in
      Deutschland seit dem Erlasse des Sozialisten Gesetzes_, 1896,

  _Sozial-Demokratische Partei-Tag-Protokoll._ Annual reports of the
      party conventions.

  _Documente des Sozialismus._ An annual publication edited by


  ARNOLD-FOSTER, H.: _English Socialism of To-day_, 1908.

  BARKER, J.E.: _British Socialism_, 1908. A collection of

  BIBBY, F.: _Trades Unionism and Socialism_, 1907.

  BLATCHFORD, R.: _Merrie England_, 1895.

  CHURCHILL, WINSTON: _Liberalism and the Social Problem_, 1909.

  ENGELS, F.: _The Condition of the Working Classes in England in
      1844_, 1892.

  FAY, C.R.: _Co-operation at Home and Abroad_, 1908.

  GAMMAGE, R.G.: _History of the Chartist Movement_, 1894.

  HARDIE, KEIR: _From Serfdom, to Socialism_, 1907.

  HOBHOUSE, L.T.: _The Labor Movement_, 1898.

  ---- _Liberalism_, 1911.

  ---- _Democracy and Reaction_, 1904.

  HOBSON, J.A.: _The Crisis in Liberalism_, 1909.

  HOLYOAKE: _History of Cooperation_, 1906.

  KNOTT, Y.: _Conservative Socialism_, 1909.

  LECKY, W.E.H.: _Democracy and Liberty_, 1899.

  MACDONALD, J.R.: _The People in Power_, 1900.

  ---- _Socialism To-day_, 1909.

  MASTERMAN, C.F.G.: _The Condition of England_, 1909.

  MCCARTHY, J.: _The Epoch of Reform_, 1882. For Chartism and the
      reform movements of the nineteenth century democracy.

  MONEY, CHIOZZA: _Riches and Poverty_, 1911.

  NICHOLSON, J.S.: _History, Progress and Ideals of Socialism._ A
      criticism of the Socialist viewpoint.

  NOEL, CONRAD: _The Labor Party._ A criticism of the attitude of
      Liberals and Conservatives toward the social problems. From
      the Labor Party viewpoint.

  SNOWDEN, P.: _The Socialist Budget_, 1907.

  TOWLER, W.G.: _Municipal Socialism._ The anti-Socialist viewpoint.

  _The Times_: _The Socialist Movement in Great Britain_, 1909. A
      reprint of a series of carefully prepared articles in _The

  VILLIERS, B.: _The Opportunity of Liberalism_, 1904.

  ---- _The Socialist Movement in England_, 1908.

  WEBB, S.: _Wanted--A Program: An Appeal to the Liberal Party_,

  ---- _Socialism in England_, 1890.

  WEBB, B. and S.: _Industrial Democracy_, 1902.

  ---- _The History of Trade Unionism_, 1911.



Yves Guyot, the distinguished French publicist, told the writer that
there was only one compact, disciplined political party in France, the
United Socialists. Other than the Socialists, there is no
well-organized group in the Chamber of Deputies. The Right, Center,
and Left coalesce almost insensibly into each other. Party platforms
and party loyalty are replaced by a political individualism that to an
American politician would seem like political anarchy.

The Chamber of Deputies is supreme--the ministry stands or falls upon
its majority's behest. This gives to the deputy a peculiar personal
power. He is only loosely affiliated with his group, is a powerful
factor in the government of the Republic, and is directly dependent
upon his constituents for his tenure in office. The result is a
personal, rather then a party, system of politics.

This remarkably decentralized system of representative governance is
counterbalanced by a highly efficient and completely centralized
system of administration, which is based on civil service, and
outlives all the mutations of ministries and shifting of deputies. The
ministry, naturally, has theoretical control over the administrative
officials. During the campaign for reorganizing the army and navy, and
the disestablishment of the Church, under the Radical-Socialist
_bloc_, a few years ago, General André, acting for the ministry,
resorted to a comprehensive system of espionage to ferret out the
undesirable officers. Every commune has its official scrutinizer, who
reports the doings of the employees to the government.

This, in turn, has created a clientilism. The deputy is needed by the
ministry, the deputy needs the votes of his constituency, the local
officials need the good will of the deputy. The result is a fawning
favoritism that has taken the place of party servitude as we know it
in America.

The Socialists have precipitated a serious problem in this relation of
the government employee to the state: Can the state employees form a
union? There are nearly 1,000,000 state employees. This includes not
only all the functionaries, but all the workmen in the match
factories, the mint, the national porcelain factory and tobacco
plants, and the navy yards. In 1885 and again in 1902 the Court of
Cassation decided that "the right of forming a union (_syndicat_) is
confined to those who, whether as employers or as workmen or employed,
are engaged in _industry, agriculture, or commerce_, to the exclusion
of all other persons and all other occupations."

The government has, however, countenanced some infringements. A few
syndicates of municipal and departmental employees are allowed; but
they are mostly workmen, not strictly functionaries. There are several
syndicates of elementary school teachers. But they have not been
allowed to federate their unions. At Lyons the teachers formed a union
and, according to law, filed their rules and regulations with the
proper official, who turned them over to the Minister of Justice, and
after a cabinet consultation it was decided that the union was
illegal, but would be ignored. They then joined the local _Bourse du
Travail_ (federation of labor), and Briand, then Minister of
Education, vetoed their action. Then a number of branches in the
public service, including post-office and customs-house employees,
teachers, etc., united in forming a committee "_pour la défense du
droit syndical des salaries de l'état, des départements et du
commerce_." This "Committee of Defense" petitioned Clémenceau on the
right to organize, and intimated that the great and only difference
between the state and the private employer is that the former adds
political to economic oppression. This is pure Syndicalism. Under the
individual political jugglery that takes the place of the party system
in France, the problem is not made any the easier.


_I.--Declaration of Principles_

Socialism proceeds simultaneously from the movement of democracy and
from the new forms of production. In history, from the very morrow of
the French Revolution, the proletarians perceived that the Declaration
of the Rights of Man would remain an illusion unless society
transformed ownership.

How, indeed, could freedom, ownership, security, be guaranteed to all,
in a society where millions of workers have no property but their
muscles, and are obliged, in order to live, to sell their power of
work to the propertied minority?

To extend, therefore, to every citizen the guarantees inscribed in the
Declaration of Rights, our great Babeuf demanded ownership in common,
as a guarantee of welfare in common. Communism was for the boldest
proletarians the supreme expression of the Revolution.

Between the political régime, the outcome of the revolutionary
movement, and the economic régime of society, there is an intolerable

In the political order democracy is realized: all citizens share
equally, at least by right, in the sovereignty; universal suffrage is
communism in political power.

In the economic order, on the other hand, a minority is sovereign. It
is the oligarchy of capital which possesses, directs, administers, and

Proletarians are acknowledged fit as citizens to manage the milliards
of the national and communal budgets; as laborers, in the workshop,
they are only a passive multitude, which has no share in the direction
of enterprises, and they endure the domination of a class which makes
them pay dearly for a tutelage whose utility ceases and whose
prolongation is arbitrary.

The irresistible tendency of the proletarians, therefore, is to
transfer into the economic order the democracy partially realized in
the political order. Just as all the citizens have and handle in
common, democratically, the political power, so they must have and
handle in common the economic power, the means of production.

They must themselves appoint the heads of work in the workshops, as
they appoint the heads of government in the city, and reserve for
those who work, for the community, the whole product of work.

This tendency of political democracy to enlarge itself into social
democracy has been strengthened and defined by the whole economic

In proportion as the capitalistic régime developed its effects, the
proletariat became conscious of the irreducible opposition between its
essential interests and the interests of the class dominant in
society, and to the bourgeois form of democracy it opposed more and
more the complete and thorough communistic democracy.

All hope of universalizing ownership and independence by multiplying
small autonomous producers has disappeared. The great industry is more
and more the rule in modern production.

By the enlargement of the world's markets, by the growing facility of
transport, by the division of labor, by the increasing application of
machinery, by the concentration of capitals, immense concentrated
production is gradually ruining or subordinating the small or middling

Even where the number of small craftsmen, small traders, small peasant
proprietors, does not diminish, their relative importance in the
totality of production grows less unceasingly. They fall under the
sway of the great capitalists.

Even the peasant proprietors, who seem to have retained a little
independence, are more and more exposed to the crushing forces of the
universal market, which capitalism directs without their concurrence
and against their interests.

For the sale of their wheat, wine, beetroot, and milk, they are more
and more at the mercy of great middlemen or great industries of
milling, distilling, and sugar-refining, which dominate and despoil
peasant labor.

The industrial proletarians, having lost nearly all chance of
individually rising to be employers, and being thus doomed to eternal
dependence, are further subject to incessant crises of unemployment
and misery, let loose by the unregulated competition of the great
capitalist forces.

The immense progress of production and wealth, largely usurped by
parasitic classes, has not led to an equivalent progress in well-being
and security for the workers, the proletarians. Whole categories of
wage-earners are abruptly thrown into extreme misery by the constant
introduction of new mechanisms and by the abrupt movements and
transformations of industry.

Capitalism itself admits the disorder of the present régime of
production, since it tries to regulate it for its gain by capitalistic
syndicates, by trusts.

Even if it succeeded in actually disciplining all the forces of
production, it would only do so while consummating the domination and
the monopoly of capital.

There is only one way of assuring the continued order and progress of
production, the freedom of every individual, and the growing
well-being of the workers; it is to transfer to the collectivity, to
the social community, the ownership of the capitalistic means of

The proletariat, daily more numerous, ever better prepared for
combined action by the great industry itself, understands that in
collectiveness or communism lie the necessary means of salvation for

As an oppressed and exploited class, it opposes all the forces of
oppression and exploitation, the whole system of ownership, which
debases it to be a mere instrument. It does not expect its
emancipation from the good will of rulers or the spontaneous
generosity of the propertied classes, but from the continual and
methodical pressure which it exerts upon the privileged class and the

It sets before itself as its final aim, not a partial amelioration,
but the total transformation of society. And since it acknowledges no
right as belonging to capitalistic ownership, it feels bound to it by
no contract. It is determined to fight it, thoroughly, and to the end;
and it is in this sense that the proletariat, even while using the
legal means which democracy puts into its hands, is and must remain a
revolutionary class.

Already by winning universal suffrage, by winning and exercising the
right of combining to strike and of forming trade-unions, by the first
laws regulating labor and causing society to insure its members, the
proletariat has begun to react against the fatal effects of
capitalism; it will continue this great and unceasing effort, but it
will only end the struggle when all capitalist property has been
reabsorbed by the community, and when the antagonism of classes has
been ended by the disappearance of the classes themselves, reconciled,
or rather made one, in common production and common ownership.

How will be accomplished the supreme transformation of the capitalist
régime into the collectivist or communist? The human mind cannot
determine beforehand the mode in which history will be accomplished.

The democratic and bourgeois revolution, which originated in the great
movement of France in 1789, has come about in different countries in
the most different ways. The old feudal system has yielded in one case
to force, in another to peaceful and slow evolution. The revolutionary
bourgeoisie has at one place and time proceeded to brutal
expropriation without compensation, at another to the buying out of
feudal servitudes.

No one can know in what way the capitalist servitude will be
abolished. The essential thing is that the proletariat should be
always ready for the most vigorous and effective action. It would be
dangerous to dismiss the possibility of revolutionary events
occasioned either by the resistance or by the criminal aggression of
the privileged class.

It would be fatal, trusting in the one word revolution, to neglect the
great forces which the conscious, organized proletariat can employ
within democracy.

These legal means, often won by revolution, represent an accumulation
of revolutionary force, a revolutionary capital, of which it would be
madness not to take advantage.

Too often the workers neglect to profit by the means of action which
democracy and the Republic put into their hands. They do not demand
from trade-unionist action, co-operative action, or universal
suffrage, all that those forms of action can give.

No formula, no machinery, can enable the working-class to dispense
with the constant effort of organization and education.

The idea of the general strike, of general strikes, is invincibly
suggested to proletarians by the growing magnitude of working-class
organization. They do not desire violence, which is very often the
result of an insufficient organization and a rudimentary education of
the proletariat; but they would make a great mistake if they did not
employ the powerful means of action, which co-ordinates working-class
forces to subserve the great interests of the workers or of society;
they must group and organize themselves to be in a position to make
the privileged class more and more emphatically aware of the gulf
which may suddenly be cleft open in the economic life of societies by
the abrupt stoppage of the worn-out and interminably exploited
workers. They can thereby snatch from the selfishness of the
privileged class great reforms interesting the working-class in
general, and hasten the complete transformation of an unjust society.
But the formula of the general strike, like the partial strike, like
political action, is only valuable through the progress of the
education, the thought, and the will of the working-class.

The Socialist party defends the Republic as a necessary means of
liberation and education. Socialism is essentially republican. It
might be even said to be the Republic itself, since it is the
extension of the Republic to the régime of property and labor.

The Socialist party needs, to organize the new world, free minds,
emancipated from superstitions and prejudices. It asks for and
guarantees every human being, every individual, absolute freedom of
thinking, and writing, and affirming their beliefs. Over against all
religions, dogmas, and churches, as well as over against the class
conception of the bourgeoisie, it sets the unlimited right of free
thought, the scientific conception of the universe, and a system of
public education based exclusively on science and reason.

Thus accustomed to free thought and reflection, citizens will be
protected against the sophistries of the capitalistic and clerical
reaction. The small craftsmen, small traders, and small peasant
proprietors will cease to think that it is Socialism which wishes to
expropriate them. The Socialist party will hasten the hour when these
small peasant proprietors, ruined by the underselling of their
produce, riddled with mortgage debts, and always liable to judicial
expropriation, will eventually understand the advantages of
generalized and systematized association, and will claim themselves,
as a benefit, the socialization of their plots of land.

But it would be useless to prepare inside each nation an organization
of justice and peace, if the relations of the nations to one another
remained exposed to every enterprise of force, every suggestion of
capitalist greed.

The Socialist party desires peace among nations; it condemns every
policy of aggression and war, whether continental or colonial. It
constantly keeps on the order of the day for civilized countries
simultaneous disarmament. While waiting for the day of definite peace
among nations, it combats the militarist spirit by doing its utmost to
approximate the system of permanent armies to that of national
militias. It wishes to protect the territory and the independence of
the nation against any surprise; but every offensive policy and
offensive weapon is utterly condemned by it.

The close understanding of the workers, of the proletarians of every
country, is necessary as well to beat back the forces of aggression
and war as to prepare by a concerted action the general triumph of
Socialism. The international agreement of the militant proletarians of
every country will prepare the triumph of a free humanity, where the
differences of classes will have disappeared, and the difference of
nations, instead of being a principle of strife and hatred, will be a
principle of brotherly emulation in the universal progress of mankind.

It is in this sense and for these reasons that the Socialist party has
formulated in its congresses the rule and aim of its
action--international understanding of the workers; political and
economic organization of the proletariat as a class party for the
conquest of government and the socialization of the means of production
and exchange; that is to say, the transformation of capitalist society
into a collectivist or communist society.

_II.--Program of Reforms_

The Socialist party, rejecting the policy of all or nothing, has a
program of reforms whose realization it pursues forthwith.

(1) _Democratization of Public Authorities_

1. Universal direct suffrage, without distinction of sex, in every

2. Reduction of time of residence. Votes to be cast for lists, with
proportional representation, in every election.

3. Legislative measures to secure the freedom and secrecy of the vote.

4. Popular right of initiative and referendum.

5. Abolition of the Senate and Presidency of the Republic. The powers
at present belonging to the President of the Republic and the Cabinet
to devolve on an executive council appointed by the Parliament.

6. Legal regulation of the legislator's mandate, to be revocable by
the vote of any absolute majority of his constituents on the register.

7. Admission of women to all public functions.

8. Absolute freedom of the press, and of assembly guaranteed only by
the common law. Abrogation of all exceptional laws on the press.
Freedom of civil associations.

9. Full administrative autonomy of the departments and communes, under
no reservations but that of the laws guaranteeing the republican,
democratic, and secular character of the State.

(2) _Complete Secularization of the State_

1. Separation of the Churches and the State; abolition of the Budget
of Public Worship; freedom of public worship; prohibition of the
political and collective action of the Churches against the civil laws
and republican liberties.

2. Abolition of the congregations; nationalization of the property in
mortmain, of every kind, belonging to them, and appropriation of it
for works of social insurance and solidarity; in the interval, all
industrial, agricultural, and commercial undertakings are to be
forbidden to the congregations.

(3) _Democratic and Humane Organization of Justice_

1. Substitution for all the present courts, whether civil or criminal,
of courts composed of a jury taken from the electoral register and
judges elected under guarantees of competence; the jury to be formed
by drawing lots from lists drawn up by universal suffrage.

2. Justice to be without fee. Transformation of ministerial offices
into public functions. Abolition of the monopoly of the bar.

3. Examination from opposite sides at every stage and on every point.

4. Substitution for the vindictive character of the present
punishments, of a system for the safe keeping and the amelioration of

5. Abolition of the death penalty.

6. Abolition of the military and naval courts.

(4) _Constitution of the Family in conformity with Individual Rights_

1. Abrogation of every law establishing the civil inferiority of women
and natural or adulterine children.

2. Most liberal legislation on divorce. A law sanctioning inquiry into

(5) _Civic and Technical Education_

1. Education to be free of charge at every stage.

2. Maintenance of the children in elementary schools at the expense of
the public bodies.

3. For secondary and higher education, the community to pay for those
of the children who on examination are pronounced fit usefully to
continue their studies.

4. Creation of a popular higher education.

5. State monopoly of education at the three stages; as a means towards
this, all members of the regular and secular clergy to be forbidden to
open and teach in a school.

(6) _General recasting of the System of Taxation upon Principles of
Social Solidarity_

1. Abolition of every tax on articles of consumption which are primary
necessaries, and of the four direct contributions;[1] accessorily,
relief from taxation of all small plots of land and small professional

2. Progressive income-tax, levied on each person's income as a whole,
in all cases where it exceeds 3,000 francs (£120).

3. Progressive tax on inheritances, the scale of progression being
calculated with reference both to the amount of the inheritance and
the degree of remoteness of the relationship.

4. The State to be empowered to seek a part of the revenue which it
requires from certain monopolies.

(7) _Legal Protection and Regulation of Labor in Industry, Commerce,
and Agriculture_

1. One day's rest per week, or prohibition of employers to exact work
more than six days in seven.

2. Limitation of the working-day to eight hours; as a means towards
this, vote of every regulation diminishing the length of the

3. Prohibition of the employment of children under fourteen; half-time
system for young persons, productive labor being combined with
instruction and education.

4. Prohibition of night-work for women and young persons. Prohibition
of night-work for adult workers of all categories and in all
industries where night-work is not absolutely necessary.

5. Legislation to protect home-workers.

6. Prohibition of piece-work and of truck. Legal recognition of

7. Scales of rates forming a minimum wage to be fixed by agreement
between municipalities and the working-class corporations of industry,
commerce, and agriculture.

8. Employers to be forbidden to make deductions from wages, as fines
or otherwise. Workers to assist in framing special rules for

9. Inspection of workshops, mills, factories, mines, yards, public
services, shops, etc., shall be carried out with reference to the
conditions of work, hygiene, and safety, by inspectors elected by the
workmen's unions, in concurrence with the State inspectors.

10. Extension of the industrial arbitration courts to all wage-workers
of industry, commerce, and agriculture.

11. Convict labor to be treated as a State monopoly; the charge for
all work done shall be the wage normally paid to trade-unionist

12. Women to be forbidden by law to work for six weeks before
confinement and for six weeks after.

(8) _Social Insurance against all Natural and Economic Risks_

1. Organization by the nation of a system of social insurance,
applying to the whole mass of industrial, commercial, and agricultural
workers, against the risks of sickness, accident, disability, old age,
and unemployment.

2. The insurance funds to be found without drawing on wages; as a
means towards this, limitation of the contribution drawn from the
wage-workers to a third of the total contribution, the two other
thirds to be provided by the State and the employers.

3. The law on workmen's accidents to be improved and applied without
distinction or nationality.

4. The workers to take part in the control and administration of the
insurance system.

(9) _Extension of the Domain and Public Services, Industrial and
Agricultural, of State, Department, and Commune_

1. Nationalization of railways, mines, the Bank of France, insurance,
the sugar refineries and sugar factories, the distilleries, and the
great milling establishments.

2. Organization of public employment registries for the workers, with
the assistance of the Bourses du Travail and the workmen's
organizations: and abolition of the private registries.

3. State organization of agricultural banks.

4. Grants to rural communes to assist them to purchase agricultural
machinery collectively, to acquire communal domains, worked under the
control of the communes by unions of rural laborers, and to establish
depôts and entrepôts.

5. Organization of communal services for lighting, water, common
transport, construction, and public management of cheap dwellings.

6. Democratic administration of the public services, national and
communal; organizations of workers to take part in their
administration and control; all wage-earners in all public services to
have the right of forming trade-unions.

7. National and communal service of public health, and strengthening
of the laws which protect it--those on unhealthy dwellings, etc.

(10) _Policy of International Peace and Adaptation of the Military
Organization to the Defense of the Country_

1. Substitution of a militia for the standing Army, and adoption of
every measure, such as reductions of military service, leading up to

2. Remodeling and mitigation of the military penal code; abolition of
disciplinary corps, and prohibition of the prolongation of military
service by way of penalty.

3. Renunciation of all offensive war, no matter what its pretext.

4. Renunciation of every alliance not aimed exclusively at the
maintenance of peace.

5. Renunciation of Colonial military expeditions; and in the present
Colonies or Protectorates, withdrawn from the influence of
missionaries and the military régime, development of institutions to
protect the natives.


_Adopted January 13, 1905_

The representatives of the various Socialistic organizations of
France: the revolutionary Socialist Labor Party, the Socialist Party
of France, the French Socialist Party, the independent federations of
Bouches-du-Rhône, of Bretagne, of Hérault, of the Somme, and of
l'Yonne, commanded by their respective parties and federations to form
a union upon the basis indicated by the International Congress of
Amsterdam, declare that the action of a unified party should be based
upon the principles established by the International Congress,
especially those held in France in 1900 and Amsterdam in 1904.

The divergence of views and the various interpretations of the tactics
of the Socialists which have prevailed up to the present moment have
been due to circumstances peculiar to France and to the absence of a
general party organization.

The delegates declare their common desire to form a party based upon
the class war which, at the same time, will utilize to its profit the
struggles of the laboring classes and unite their action with that of
a political party organized for the defense of the rights of the
proletariat, whose interests will always rest in a party fundamentally
and irreconcilably opposed to all the bourgeois classes and to the
state which is their instrument.

Therefore the delegates declare that their respective organizations
are prepared to collaborate immediately in this work of the
unification of all the Socialistic forces in France, upon the
following basis, unanimously adopted:

1. The Socialist Party is a class party which has for its aim the
socialization of the means of production and exchange, that is to say,
to transform the present capitalistic society into a collective or
communistic society by means of the political and economic
organization of the proletariat. By its aims, by its ideals, by the
power which it employs, the Socialist Party, always seeking to realize
the immediate reforms demanded by the working class, is not a party of
reforms, but a party of class war and revolution.

2. The members of Parliament elected by the party form a unique group
opposed to all the factions of the bourgeois parties. The Socialist
group in Parliament must refuse to sustain all of those means which
assure the domination of the bourgeoisie in government and their
maintenance in power: must therefore refuse to vote for military
appropriations, appropriations for colonial conquest, secret funds,
and the budget.

Even in the most exceptional circumstances the Socialist members must
not pledge the party without its consent.

In Parliament the Socialist group must consecrate itself to defending
and extending the political liberties and rights of the working
classes and to the realization of those reforms which ameliorate the
conditions of life in the struggle for existence of the working class.

The deputies should always hold themselves at the disposition of the
party, giving themselves to the general propaganda, the organization
of the proletariat, and constantly working toward the ultimate goal of

3. Every member of the legislature individually, as well as each
militant Socialist, is subject to the control of his federation; all
of the officials in all of the groups are subject to the central
organization. In every case the national congress has the final
jurisdiction over all party matters.

4. There shall be complete freedom of discussion in the press
concerning questions of principle and policy, but the conduct of all
the Socialist publications must be strictly in accord with the
decisions of the national congress as interpreted by the executive
committee of the party. Journals which are or may become the property
of the party, either of the national party or of the federations, will
naturally be placed under the management of authorities permanently
established for that purpose by the party or the federations. Journals
which are not the property of the party, but proclaim themselves as
Socialistic, must conform strictly to the resolutions of the congress
as interpreted by the proper party authorities, and they should insert
all the official communications of the party and party notices, as
they may be requested to do. The central committee of the party may
remind such journals of the policies of the party, and if they are
recalcitrant may propose to the congress that all intercourse between
them and the party be broken.

5. Members of Parliament shall not be appointed members of the central
committee, but they shall be represented on the central committee by a
committee equal to one-tenth of the number of delegates, and in no
case shall their representation be less than five. The Federation
shall not appoint as delegates to the Central Committee "_militants_"
who reside within the limits of the Federation.

6. The party will take measures for insuring, on the part of the
officials, respect for the mandates of the party, and will fix the
amount of their assessment.

7. A congress charged with the definite organization of the party will
be convened as soon as possible upon the basis of proportional
representation fixed, first upon the number of members paying dues,
and second upon the number of votes cast in the general elections of



There are a great many "fractions" in German politics. But, following
the Continental custom, they are all grouped into three divisions, the
Left or Radical, Right or Conservative, and the Center. In Germany the
Center is the Catholic or Clerical Party. The leading groups are as

1. _Conservative._--The "German Conservatives" are the old tories; the
"Free Conservatives" profess, but rarely show, a tendency toward
liberal ideas, although they have, at intervals, opposed ministerial
measures. The Conservatives are for the Government (Regierung) first,
last, and all the time. They were a powerful factor under Bismarck and
docile in his hands. Since his day they have suffered many defeats
because of their reactionary policy. But the group still is the
Kaiser's party, the stronghold of modern medievalism, opposed to
radical reforms, and adhering to "the grace of God" policy of
monarchism. Economically they are _junker_ and "big business." The
anti-Socialist laws were the expression of their ideas as to Socialism
and the way to quench it.

2. _National Liberal._--This party is not liberal, in the sense that
England or America knows liberalism. It is really only a less
conservative party than the extreme Right, although it began as the
brilliant Progressist Party of the early '60's. It was triumphant in
the Prussian Diet until Bismarck shattered it on his war policy. In
the first Reichstag it had 116 members, nearly one-third of the whole.
But Bismarck needed it, got it, and left it quite as conservative as
he wished. It voted for the anti-Socialist laws and for state

3. _Progressive_ (_Freisinnige_, literally, "free-minded").--This
faction is a cession from the old Progressist Party of which Lassalle
was a member for a few months. They are Radicals of a very moderate
type, and are opposed to the junker bureaucracy. There are two
wings--the People's Party (_Freisinnige Volkspartei_) and the
Progressive Union (_Freisinnige Vereinigung_). It is a constitutional
party, and has counted in its ranks such eminent scholars as Professor
Virchow and Professor Theodor Mommsen. They are in favor of
ministerial responsibility, are free traders of the Manchester type,
opposed to state intervention and state insurance, but favor factory
inspection, sanitation, and other social legislation. They are in
favor of freedom in religion, trade, and education, and espouse ballot
reform. They have a well-organized party, but do not seem effective
in winning elections. They share, to some degree, with the Social
Democrats the prejudice of the religious folk against free-thinking
and religious latitudinarianism. It is the middle-class party of
protest against bureaucracy.

4. The _Center_, or Catholic Party, is a homogeneous, isolated,
well-disciplined, inflexible group, dominated by loyalty to their
religion. Whenever they have co-operated with the government it has
been in return for favors shown. The ranks of this party were closed
by the _Culturkampf_, which resulted in the expulsion of the Jesuit
orders and the separation of the elementary schools from the Church.
The party is reactionary in politics and economics.

5. _Anti-Semitic._--The name discloses the ideals of a party inspired
by dread and hatred of an element that comprises less than 1.5 per
cent. of the population, and whose political disabilities were not all
removed until 1850 in Prussia and 1869 in Mecklenburg. This party was
formed in 1880, largely through the agitation of the Court Chaplain,
Pastor Stöcker, whose diatribes were peculiarly effective in Berlin,
where some very disgraceful scenes were enacted by members of this

6. _Independent groups_ are formed by the various nationalities that
are under subjection to German dominance. These are the Danish,
Hannoverian, Alsace-Lorraine, and Polish groups. They usually are
grouped with the Center.

7. There are also a number of independent members in the Reichstag.
They adhere loosely to the larger groups, but as a rule merit the name
given them--_Wilden_, "wild ones."

The accompanying table (p. 297) shows the distribution of seats in the
Reichstag, for the past thirty years.


_Analysis of the New Election Law of Saxony_

  _A._ One vote--every male 25 years of age.

  _B._ Two votes, every male, as follows:

      1. Those who have an annual income of over 1,600 marks

      2. Those who hold public office or a permanent private
          position with an annual income of over 1,400 marks ($350).

      3. Those who are eligible to vote for Landskulturrat
          (Agricultural Board) or Gewerbskammer (Chamber of
          Commerce) and from their business have an income of over
          1,400 marks. (This includes merchants, landowners, and

      4. Those who are owners or beneficiaries of property in the
          kingdom from which they have an income of 1,250 marks
          ($312.50) a year, and upon which at least 100 tax units
          are assessed.

      5. Those who own, or are beneficiaries of, land in the
          kingdom, to the extent of at least 2 hectares, devoted to
          agriculture, or forestry, or horticulture, or more than
          one-half hectare devoted to gardening or wine culture.

      6. Those who have conducted such professional studies as
          entitle them to the one-year volunteer military service.

  _C._ The following have three votes:

      1. Those who have an income of over 2,200 marks ($550).

      2. Those in division B, 2 and 3, who have an income from
          office or position of over 1,900 marks ($475).

      3. Those who are not in private or public service and have a
          professional income of over 1,900 marks. (This includes
          lawyers, physicians, artists, engineers, publicists,
          authors, professors.)

      4. Those in B, 4, whose income is over 1,600 marks ($400).

      5. Those in B, 5, with 4 hectares devoted to agriculture,
          etc., and 1 hectare to gardening or wine culture.

  _D._ The following have four votes:

      1. Those who have an income of 2,800 marks ($700).

      2. Those in B, 2 and 3, or in C, 3, with an income over 2,500
          marks ($625).

      3. Those in B, 4, with an annual income of over 2,200 marks

      4. Those in B, 5, with 8 hectares devoted to agriculture or 2
          hectares devoted to gardening or wine culture.

  _E._ Voters over 50 years old have an extra vote (Alters-stimme),
      but no voter is allowed over four votes.

Sachsen-Altenburg, in 1908-9, modified its election laws as follows:
The legislature is composed of 9 representatives elected by the
cities; 12 by the rural districts; 7 by the highest taxpayers; one
each by the Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Agriculture, the Craft
guilds (Handwerks-kammer), and the Labor Council (Arbeiter-kammer).
The vigorous protest of the Social Democrats did not avail against the
passage of this law.

Saxe-Weimar recently modified its election law as follows: All
citizens of communes were given the right to vote. The great feudal
estates (165 persons in 1909) elect 5 representatives to the Diet; the
rest of the highest taxpayers, i.e., those who have a taxable income
of over 3,000 marks, elect 5. The University of Jena elects 1 member,
the Chamber of Commerce 1, the Handwerks-kammer (Craft Guilds) 1,
Landwirthschaftkammer (Agricultural Board) 1, the Arbeitskammer (Labor
Council) 1. There are 38 members in the Diet: the remaining 23 are
elected at large.



  _Industrial Insurance in Germany, 1908._

  Sick benefits: Number insured             13,189,599
                   Men                       9,880,541
                   Women                     3,309,058
                 Income                    365,994,000 marks
                 Outlay                    331,049,900   "
  Accident Insurance: Number insured        23,674,000
                        Men                 14,795,400
                        Women                8,878,600
                      Income               207,550,500 marks
                      Outlay               157,884,700  "
  Old-Age Pensions: Number insured          15,226,000
                       Men                  10,554,000
                       Women                 4,672,000
                     Income                285,882,000 marks
                     Outlay                181,476,800   "

From 1885 to 1908 a total of 9,791,376,100 marks ($2,447,844,025) was
paid out in industrial insurance. (Compiled from _Statistisches
Jahrbuch des Deutschen Reiches_.)


   _Name of Union_ |     _Membership_  | _No. of     |      _Amount in
                   |                   | Unions_     |   Treasury--Marks_
                   |   1908  |   1909  | 1908 | 1909 |   1908   |   1909
  Social Democratic|1,831,731|1,892,568|11,024|11,725|40,839,791|43,743,793
  Hirsh-Duncker    |  105,633|  108,028| 2,095| 2,102| 4,210,413| 4,372,495
  Christian        |  264,519|  280,061| 3,212| 3,856| 4,513,409| 5,365,338
  Patriotic        |   16,507|    9,957|    69|    91|    57,786|    24,858
  "Yellow"         |   47,532|   53,849|    79|    85|   386,305|   437,602
  Independent*     |  615,873|  654,240|      |      | 1,357,802| 1,655,325
   * This is a nondescript group of local organizations, containing (1909)
   56,183 Poles, as well as the organization of railwaymen, telegraph
   operators, postal employees, all in the government service, and
   organized as friendly societies rather than as fighting bodies.
   Government employees are not supposed to participate in "Unionism."
   Compiled from _Statistisches Jahrbuch des Deutschen Reiches_.


   Election Year            |   1871   |   1874   |   1877   |   1878   |
   Population of Empire     |40,997,000|42,004,000|43,610,000|44,129,000|
   Number of voters         | 7,656,000| 8,523,000| 8,943,000| 9,128,000|
   Number who voted         | 3,885,000| 5,190,000| 5,401,000| 5,761,000|
   Per cent. of vote cast   |   51.0   |   61.2   |   60.6   |   63.3   |
   Conservative             |   549,000|   360,000|   526,000|   749,000|
   Imperial Conservative    |   346,000|   376,000|   427,000|   786,000|
   Anti-Semites             |    ...   |    ...   |    ...   |    ...   |
   Other Conservative Groups|    ...   |    ...   |    ...   |    ...   |
   Center                   |   724,000| 1,446,000| 1,341,000| 1,328,000|
   Guelphs                  |    73,000|    72,000|    86,000|   107,000|
   Danes                    |    21,000|    20,000|    17,000|    16,000|
   Poles                    |   176,000|   209,000|   216,000|   216,000|
   Alsatians                |    ...   |   190,000|   149,000|   130,000|
   National Liberal         | 1,171,000| 1,499,000| 1,470,000| 1,331,000|
   Other Liberal groups     |   281,000|    98,000|    89,000|    69,000|
   Progressist or Radical   |   361,000|   469,000|   403,000|   388,000|
   People's Party           |    50,000|    39,000|    49,000|    69,000|
   Social Democrats         |   124,000|   352,000|   493,000|   437,000|
   Election Year            |   1881   |   1884   |   1887   |   1890   |
   Population of Empire     |45,428,000|46,336,000|47,630,000|49,241,000|
   Number of voters         | 9,090,000| 9,383,000| 9,770,000|10,146,000|
   Number who voted         | 5,098,000| 5,663,000| 7,541,000| 7,229,000|
   Per cent. of vote cast   |   56.3   |   60.6   |   77.5   |   71.6   |
   Conservative             |   831,000|   861,000| 1,147,000|   895,000|
   Imperial Conservative    |   379,000|   388,000|   736,000|   482,000|
   Anti-Semites             |    ...   |    ...   |    12,000|    48,000|
   Other Conservative Groups|    ...   |    ...   |    ...   |    66,000|
   Center                   | 1,183,000| 1,282,000| 1,516,000| 1,342,000|
   Guelphs                  |    87,000|    96,000|   113,000|   113,000|
   Danes                    |    14,000|    14,000|    12,000|    14,000|
   Poles                    |   201,000|   203,000|   220,000|   247,000|
   Alsatians                |   147,000|   166,000|   234,000|   101,000|
   National Liberal         |   747,000|   997,000| 1,678,000| 1,179,000|
   Other Liberal groups     |   429,000|    ...   |    ...   |    ...   |
   Progressist or Radical   |   649,000|   997,000|   973,000| 1,160,000|
   People's Party           |   108,000|    96,000|    89,000|   148,000|
   Social Democrats         |   312,000|   550,000|   763,000| 1,427,000|
   Election Year            |   1893   |   1898   |   1903   |
   Population of Empire     |50,757,000|54,406,000|58,629,000|
   Number of voters         |10,628,000|11,441,000|12,531,000|
   Number who voted         | 7,674,000| 7,753,000| 9,496,000|
   Per cent. of vote cast   |   72.2   |   68.1   |   75.8   |
   Conservative             | 1,038,000|   859,000|   935,000|
   Imperial Conservative    |   438,000|   344,000|   333,000|
   Anti-Semites             |   264,000|   284,000|   249,000|
   Other Conservative Groups|   250,000|   250,000|   230,000|
   Center                   | 1,469,000| 1,455,000| 1,866,000|
   Guelphs                  |   106,000|   109,000|   101,000|
   Danes                    |    14,000|    15,000|    15,000|
   Poles                    |   230,000|   252,000|   354,000|
   Alsatians                |   115,000|   107,000|   127,000|
   National Liberal         |   997,000|   984,000| 1,338,000|
   Other Liberal groups     |   258,000|   235,000|   285,000|
   Progressist or Radical   |   666,000|   558,000|   538,000|
   People's Party           |   167,000|   109,000|    92,000|
   Social Democrats         | 1,787,000| 2,107,000| 3,011,000|
   Election Year            |   1907   |   1912
   Population of Empire     |61,983,000|65,407,000
   Number of voters         |13,353,000|14,442,000
   Number who voted         |11,304,000|12,207,000
   Per cent. of vote cast   |   84.7   |   84.5
   Conservative             | 1,099,000| 1,126,000
   Imperial Conservative    |   494,000|   383,000
   Anti-Semites             |   261,000|    ...
   Other Conservative Groups|   272,000|   424,000
   Center                   | 2,159,000| 1,991,000
   Guelphs                  |    94,000|    91,000
   Danes                    |    15,000|    17,000
   Poles                    |   458,000|   448,000
   Alsatians                |   107,000|   157,000
   National Liberal         | 1,696,000| 1,723,000
   Other Liberal groups     |   435,000}
   Progressist or Radical   |   744,000} 1,506,000
   People's Party           |   139,000}
   Social Democrats         | 3,259,000| 4,250,000

  * In round numbers. From Kürschner's _Deutscher Reichstag_, p. 24.



     _Party or Faction._    | 1881 | 1884 | 1887 | 1890 | 1893 | 1898 |
    Conservatives           |  50  |  76  |  80  |  72  |  67  |  53  |
    German or Imperial      |      |      |      |      |      |      |
      Conservatives         |  27  |  28  |  41  |  20  |  28  |  22  |
    "Wild" Conservatives    |   1  |   2  |  --  |   1  |   5  |   4  |
    Anti-Semites            |  --  |  --  |   1  |   5  |  16  |  14  |
    League of Landowners    |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --  |   5  |
    Bavarian Land League    |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --  |   4  |   5  |
    Center                  |  98  |  99  |  98  | 106  |  96  | 102  |
    Poles                   |  18  |  16  |  13  |  16  |  19  |  15  |
    Guelphs                 |  10  |  11  |   4  |  11  |   7  |   9  |
    Alsatians               |  15  |  15  |  15  |  10  |   8  |  10  |
    Danes                   |   2  |   1  |   1  |   1  |   1  |   1  |
    "Wild" Clericals        |   2  |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --  |
    National Liberals       |  45  |  51  |  98  |  41  |  53  |  48  |
      United Progressives   |  47  }      |      |      {  14  |  13  |
       (Radicals)           |      }  64  |  32  |  64  {      |      |
      Other Progressive     |      }      |      |      {      |      |
        groups (Radicals)   |  59  }      |      |      {  23  |  29  |
      People's Party        |   8  |   7  |  --  |  10  |  11  |   8  |
      "Wild" Liberals       |   3  |   3  |   3  |   5  |   1  |   3  |
     Social Democrats*      |  12  |  24  |  11  |  35  |  44  |  56  |
     _Party or Faction._    | 1900 | 1903 | 1906 | 1907 | 1911 | 1912 |
  RIGHT                                                               |
    Conservatives           |  51  |  52  |  52  |  58  |  59  |  43  |
    German or Imperial      |      |      |      |      |      |      |
      Conservatives         |  20  |  19  |  22  |  22  |  25  |  14  |
    "Wild" Conservatives    |   7  |   6  |   1  |   4  |   2  |   2  |
    Anti-Semites            |  13  |  11  |  14  |  20  }  29  |  13  |
    League of Landowners    |   4  |   3  |   4  |   7  }      |      |
    Bavarian Land League    |   3  |   3  |   3  |   1  |  --  |   2  |
  CENTER                                                              |
    Center                  | 102  | 100  | 100  | 104  | 103  |  90  |
    Poles                   |  14  |  16  |  16  |  20  |  20  |  18  |
    Guelphs                 |   7  |   7  |   7  |   2  |   3  |   5  |
    Alsatians               |  10  |  10  |  10  |   8  |   7  |   9  |
    Danes                   |   1  |   1  |   1  |   1  |   1  |   1  |
    "Wild" Clericals        |   1  |  --  |   1  |  --  |  --  |   1  |
  LEFT                                                                |
    National Liberals       |  53  |  50  |  51  |  54  |  51  |  45  |
    RADICALS                                                          |
      United Progressives   |  15  |   9  |  10  |  14  }      |      |
       (Radicals)           |      |      |      |      }      |      |
      Other Progressive     |      |      |      |      }  49  |  42  |
        groups (Radicals)   |  28  |  21  |  20  |  28  }      |      |
      People's Party        |   7  |   6  |   6  |   7  }      |      |
      "Wild" Liberals       |   3  |   2  |  --  |   4  |   4  |   2  |
     Social Democrats*      |  58  |  81  |  79  |  43  |  53  | 110  |

  * They form the extreme Radical Left.

   (These groups are those given in Kürchner's _Deutscher Reichstag_,
    p. 398.)


_Adopted at Erfurt, 1891_

The economic development of bourgeois society leads by natural
necessity to the downfall of the small industry, whose foundation is
formed by the worker's private ownership of his means of production.
It separates the worker from his means of production, and converts him
into a propertyless proletarian, while the means of production become
the monopoly of a relatively small number of capitalists and large

Hand-in-hand with this monopolization of the means of production goes
the displacement of the dispersed small industries by colossal great
industries, the development of the tool into the machine, and a
gigantic growth in the productivity of human labor. But all the
advantages of this transformation are monopolized by capitalists and
large landowners. For the proletariat and the declining intermediate
classes--petty bourgoisie and peasants--it means a growing
augmentation of the insecurity of their existence, of misery,
oppression, enslavement, debasement, and exploitation.

Ever greater grows the number of proletarians, ever more enormous the
army of surplus workers, ever sharper the opposition between
exploiters and exploited, ever bitterer the class-war between
bourgeoisie and proletariat, which divides modern society into two
hostile camps, and is the common hall-mark of all industrial

The gulf between the propertied and the propertyless is further
widened through the crises, founded in the essence of the capitalistic
method of production, which constantly become more comprehensive and
more devastating, which elevate general insecurity to the normal
condition of society, and which prove that the powers of production of
contemporary society have grown beyond measure, and that private
ownership of the means of production has become incompatible with
their application to their objects and their full development.

Private ownership of the means of production, which was formerly the
means of securing to the producer the ownership of his product, has
to-day become the means of expropriating peasants, manual workers, and
small traders, and enabling the non-workers--capitalists and large
landowners--to own the product of the workers. Only the transformation
of capitalistic private ownership of the means of production--the
soil, mines, raw materials, tools, machines, and means of
transport--into social ownership and the transformation of production
of goods for sale into Socialistic production managed for and through
society, can bring it about, that the great industry and the steadily
growing productive capacity of social labor shall for the hitherto
exploited classes be changed from a source of misery and oppression
to a source of the highest welfare and of all-round harmonious

This social transformation means the emancipation not only of the
proletariat, but of the whole human race which suffers under the
conditions of to-day. But it can only be the work of the
working-class, because all the other classes, in spite of mutually
conflicting interests, take their stand on the basis of private
ownership of the means of production, and have as their common object
the preservation of the principles of contemporary society.

The battle of the working-class against capitalistic exploitation is
necessarily a political battle. The working-class cannot carry on its
economic battles or develop its economic organization without
political rights. It cannot effect the passing of the means of
production into the ownership of the community without acquiring
political power.

To shape this battle of the working-class into a conscious and united
effort, and to show it its naturally necessary end, is the object of
the Social Democratic Party.

The interests of the working-class are the same in all lands with
capitalistic methods of production. With the expansion of
world-transport and production for the world-market the state of the
workers in any one country becomes constantly more dependent on the
state of the workers in other countries. The emancipation of the
working-class is thus a task in which the workers of all civilized
countries are concerned in a like degree. Conscious of this, the
Social Democratic Party of Germany feels and declares itself _one_
with the class-conscious workers of all other lands.

The Social Democratic Party of Germany fights thus not for new
class-privileges and exceptional rights, but for the abolition of
class-domination and of the classes themselves, and for the equal
rights and equal obligations of all, without distinction of sex and
parentage. Setting out from these views, it combats in contemporary
society not merely the exploitation and oppression of the
wage-workers, but every kind of exploitation and oppression, whether
directed against a class, a party, a sex, or a race.

Setting out from these principles the Social Democratic Party of
Germany demands immediately--

1. Universal equal direct suffrage and franchise, with direct ballot,
for all members of the Empire over twenty years of age, without
distinction of sex, for all elections and acts of voting. Proportional
representation; and until this is introduced, re-division of the
constituencies by law according to the numbers of population. A new
Legislature every two years. Fixing of elections and acts of voting
for a legal holiday. Indemnity for the elected representatives.
Removal of every curtailment of political rights except in case of

2. Direct legislation by the people by means of the initiative and
referendum. Self-determination and self-government of the people in
empire, state, province, and commune. Authorities to be elected by the
people; to be responsible and bound. Taxes to be voted annually.

3. Education of all to be capable of bearing arms. Armed nation
instead of standing army. Decision of war and peace by the
representatives of the people. Settlement of all international
disputes by the method of arbitration.

4. Abolition of all laws which curtail or suppress the free expression
of opinion and the right of association and assembly.

5. Abolition of all laws which are prejudicial to women in their
relations to men in public or private law.

6. Declaration that religion is a private matter. Abolition of all
contributions from public funds to ecclesiastical and religious
objects. Ecclesiastical and religious communities are to be treated as
private associations, which manage their affairs quite independently.

7. Secularization of education. Compulsory attendance of public
primary schools. No charges to be made for instruction, school
requisites, and maintenance, in the public primary schools; nor in the
higher educational institutions for those students, male and female,
who in virtue of their capacities are considered fit for further

8. No charge to be made for the administration of the law, or for
legal assistance. Judgment by popularly elected judges. Appeal in
criminal cases. Indemnification of innocent persons prosecuted,
arrested, or condemned. Abolition of the death-penalty.

9. No charges to be made for medical attendance, including midwifery
and medicine. No charges to be made for death certificates.

10. Graduated taxes on income and property, to meet all public
expenses as far as these are to be covered by taxation. Obligatory
self-assessment. A tax on inheritance, graduated according to the size
of the inheritance and the degree of kinship. Abolition of all
indirect taxes, customs, and other politico-economic measures which
sacrifice the interests of the whole community to the interests of a
favored minority.

For the protection of the working-class the Social Democratic Party of
Germany demands immediately--

1. An effective national and international legislation for the
protection of workmen on the following basis:

(_a_) Fixing of a normal working-day with a maximum of eight hours.

(_b_) Prohibition of industrial work for children under fourteen

(_c_) Prohibition of night-work, except for such branches of industry
as, in accordance with their nature, require night-work, for technical
reasons, or reasons of public welfare.

(_d_) An uninterrupted rest of at least thirty-six hours in every week
for every worker.

(_e_) Prohibition of the truck system.

2. Inspection of all industrial businesses, investigation and
regulation of labor relations in town and country by an Imperial
Department of Labor, district labor departments, and chambers of
labor. Thorough industrial hygiene.

3. Legal equalization of agricultural laborers and domestic servants
with industrial workers; removal of the special regulations affecting

4. Assurance of the right of combination.

5. Workmen's insurance to be taken over bodily by the Empire; and the
workers to have an influential share in its administration.

6. Separation of the Churches and the State.

(_a_) Suppression of the grant for public worship.

(_b_) Philosophic or religious associations to be civil persons at

7. Revision of sections in the Civil Code concerning marriage and the
paternal authority.

(_a_) Civil equality of the sexes, and of children, whether natural or

(_b_) Revision of the divorce laws, maintaining the husband's
liability to support the wife or the children.

(_c_) Inquiry into paternity to be legalized.

(_d_) Protective measures in favor of children materially or morally


Inasmuch as our communes are hindered in the fulfilment of their
economic and political duties by reactionary laws, we demand:


1. A change of the municipal code, granting genuine local autonomy. A
single representative chamber, a four-year term of office, one-half
retiring every two years. Universal adult suffrage, secret ballot, the
franchise not to be denied to those receiving public aid.

2. Radical tax reform, through the establishing of a uniform,
progressive income and property tax, collected by the communes; local
taxes to be assessed upon increment value; and prohibition of all
taxes upon the necessaries of life.

3. A common-school law providing universal public education free from
all religious bias, compulsory up to fourteen years of age. Obligatory
secondary schools, the inclusion of social and political economy in
their curricula; the defraying of expenses of pupils by the state.
Substitution of professional supervision of schools for clerical

4. Enactment of a domiciliary law, in place of the present inadequate
laws, providing for all the necessary sanitary and socio-political
demands. Extending the municipalities' right of condemnation to the
extent that towns may erect houses and schools, open streets, and make
all necessary public improvements demanded by the public welfare.

5. Passage of a sanitary code. Regulation of sanitation in the public
interests. Free medical attendance at births. Public nurseries.

6. The administration of public charities by the local authorities.


1. Abolishing all taxes upon the rights of citizenship and of
residence. Granting of full franchise rights after one year's

2. Elections to be held on a holiday or on Sunday.

3. Pensions for communal employees.

4. The cost of local administration to be borne by local property or
from additions to the direct state taxes. Abolishing of all indirect
taxes. Denial of all public aid to the Church.

5. All public services to be conducted by the commune; these to be
considered as public conveniences and necessities, and not to serve a
mere pecuniary interest, but to be run as the public welfare demands.
Rational development of existing water-power, means of communication,

6. Stipulating, in every contract for municipal work, the wages to be
paid, and other conditions of labor, such arrangements to be made with
the labor organizations; the right to organize into unions not to be
denied to laborers and municipal employees and officers. Abolishing of
strike clause in contracts for public works. Prohibition, of the
sub-contractor system. Securing wages of workmen by bonds. Forbidding
municipal officers participating in any business that will bring them
into contract relations with the municipality.

7. Development of a public school system which shall be non-sectarian
and free to all. Restricting the number of pupils in the classes as
far as practical. Furnishing free meals and clothing to needy school
children; such service not to be counted as public charity.
Establishing continuation schools for both sexes, and schools for
backward children. Establishing of public reading-rooms and free
public libraries.

8. The advancement of public housing plans. The purchasing of large
land areas by the municipality, to prevent speculation in building
lots. Simplification of the procedure in examination of building
plans, and the granting of building permits. Simplifying the
regulations pertaining to the building of cottages and small
residences. Municipal aid in the building of workingmen's homes.
Providing cheaper homes in municipal houses and tenements. Providing
loans of public moneys to building associations and agricultural
associations. Leasing of land by the municipality. Municipal
inspection of dwellings and of all buildings, the municipality to keep
close scrutiny on all real estate developments. Establishment of a
public bureau of homes, where information and aid can be secured, and
where proper statistics can be gathered concerning building

9. Providing for cheap and wholesome food through the regulation and
supervision of its importation and inspection.

10. Extension of sanitation. Conducting hospitals according to modern
medical science. Establishing municipal lying-in hospitals. Free

11. Public care for the poor and orphans. The bettering of the
economic condition of women. The granting of aid out of public funds.
Public inspection and control of all orphanages, hospitals for
children, and nurseries.

12. The establishment of public labor bureaus, which are to act as
employment agencies, information bureaus, gather labor statistics, and
supervise the sociological activities of the municipality.

Providing work for those in need of employment, on the public works of
the commune. Provision for the support of those out of work in
co-operation, with the labor unions' efforts in the same direction.
The extension of municipal factory inspection and labor laws, as far
as the general laws permit. Appointment of laborers as building
inspectors. The development of the industrial and commercial courts.
Sunday as a day of rest.

13. Liberal wages to be paid workmen employed on public works. Fixing
a minimum wage in accordance with the rules of the labor unions;
formation of public loan and credit system; eight-hour day. Insuring
public employees against sickness, accident, and old age. Making
provision for widows and orphans of public employees. Right to
organize not to be denied all municipal employees and officials.
Recognition of the unions. Annual vacation, on full pay, to every
municipal employee and official. Municipal employees to be given their
wages during their attendance on military manoeuvers, and the payment
of the difference between their wages and their sick-benefits in case
of illness.

14. Formation of a union of communes or towns, when isolated
municipalities find themselves impotent in securing these demands.


On the 12th of January, 1912, the general election for the Reichstag
takes place. Rarely have the voters been called upon to participate in
a more consequential election. This election will determine whether,
in the succeeding years, the policy of oppression and plundering
shall be carried still farther, or whether the German people shall
finally achieve their rights.

In the Reichstag elections of 1907 the voters were deceived by the
government and the so-called national parties: many millions of voters
allowed themselves to be deluded. The Reichstag of the "National"
_bloc_ from Heydebrand down to Weimar and Nauman has made nugatory the
laws pertaining to the rights of coalition; has restricted the use of
the non-Germanic languages in public meetings; has virtually robbed
the youth of the right of coalition, and has favored every measure for
the increase of the army, navy, and colonial exploitation.

The result of their reactionaryism is an enormous increase of the
burdens of taxation. In spite of the fact that in 1906 over
200,000,000 marks increase was voted, in stamp tax, tobacco tax, etc.,
in spite of the sacred promise of the government, through its official
organ, that no new taxes were being contemplated, the government has,
through its "financial reforms," increased our burden over five
hundred millions.

Liberals and Conservatives were unanimous in declaring that
four-fifths of this enormous sum should be raised through an increase
in indirect taxes, the greater part of which is collected from
laborers, clerks, shopkeepers, artisans, and farmers. Inasmuch as the
parties to the Bülow-_bloc_ could not agree upon the distribution of
the property tax and the excise tax, the _bloc_ was dissolved and a
new coalition appeared--an alliance between the holy ones and the
knights (Block der Ritter und der Heiligen). This new _bloc_ rescued
the distiller from the obligations of an excise tax, defeated the
inheritance tax, which would have fallen upon the wealthy, and placed
upon the shoulders of the working people a tax of hundreds of
millions, which is paid through the consumption of beer, whiskey,
tobacco, cigars, coffee, tea--yea, even of matches. This
Conservative-Clerical _bloc_ further showed its contempt for the
working people in the way it amended the state insurance laws. It
robbed the workingman of his rights and denied to mothers and their
babes necessary protection and adequate care.

In this manner the gullibility of the voters who were responsible for
the Hottentot elections of 1907 was revenged. Since that date every
by-election for the Reichstag, as well as for the provincial
legislatures and municipal councils, has shown remarkable gains in the
Social Democratic vote. The reactionaries were consequently
frightened, and now they resort to the usual election trick of
diverting the attention of the voters from internal affairs to
international conditions, and appeal to them under the guise of

The Morocco incident gave welcome opportunity for this ruse. At home
and abroad the capitalistic war interests and the nationalistic
jingoes stirred the animosities of the peoples. They drove their
dangerous play so far that even the Chancellor found himself forced to
reprimand his _junker_ colleagues for using their patriotism for
partisan purposes. But the attempt to bolster up the interests of the
reactionary parties with our international complications continues in
spite of this.

Voters, be on your guard! Remember that on election day you have in
your hand the power to choose between peace or war.

The outcome of this election is no less important in its bearing upon
internal affairs.

Count Bülow declared, before the election of 1907, "the fewer the
Social Democrats, the greater the social reforms." The opposite is
true. The last few years conclusively demonstrate this. The
socio-political mills have rattled, but they have produced very little

In order to capture their votes for the "national" candidates, the
state employees and officials were promised an increase in their pay.
To the high-salaried officials the new Reichstag doled out the
increase with spades, to the poorly paid humble employees with spoons.
And this increase in pay was counterbalanced by an increase in taxes
and the rising cost of living.

To the people the government refused to give any aid, in spite of
their repeated requests for some relief against the constantly
increasing prices of the necessities of life. And, while the
Chancellor profoundly maintained that the press exaggerated the actual
conditions of the rise in prices, the so-called saviors of the middle
class--the Center, the Conservatives, the anti-Semites and their
following--rejected every proposal of the Social Democrats for
relieving the situation, and actually laid the blame for the rise in
prices upon their own middle-class tradesmen and manufacturers.

_New taxes, high cost of living, denial of justice, increasing danger
of war_--that is what the Reichstag of 1907, which was ushered in with
such high-sounding "national" tom-toms, has brought you. And the day
of reckoning is at hand. Voters of Germany, elect a different
majority! The stronger you make the Social Democratic representation
in the Reichstag, the firmer you anchor the world's peace and your
country's welfare!

The Social Democracy seeks the conquest of political power, which is
now in the hands of the property classes, and is mis-used by them to
the detriment of the masses. They denounce us as "revolutionists."
Foolish phraseology! The bourgeois-capitalistic society is no more
eternal than have been the earlier forms of the state and preceding
social orders. The present order will be replaced by a higher order,
the Socialistic order, for which the Social Democracy is constantly
striving. Then the solidarity of all peoples will be accomplished and
life will be made more humane for all. The pathway to this new social
order is being paved by our capitalistic development, which contains
all the germs of the New Order within itself.

For us the duty is prescribed to use every means at hand for the
amelioration of existing evils, and to create conditions that will
raise the standard of living of the masses.

Therefore we demand:

1. The democratizing of the state in all of its activities. An open
pathway to opportunity. A chance for every one to develop his
aptitudes. Special privileges to none. The right person in the right

2. Universal, direct, equal, secret ballot for all persons twenty
years of age without distinction of sex, and for all representative
legislative bodies. Referendum for setting aside the present unjust
election district apportionment and its attendant electoral abuses.

3. A parliamentary government. Responsible ministry. Establishment of
a department for the control of foreign affairs. Giving the people's
representatives in the Reichstag the power to declare war or maintain
peace. Consent of the Reichstag to all state appropriations.

4. Organization of the national defense along democratic lines.
Militia service for all able-bodied men. Reducing service in the
standing army to the lowest terms consistent with safety. Training
youth in the use of arms. Abolition of the privilege of one-year
volunteer service. Abolition of all unnecessary expense for uniforms
in army and navy.

5. Abolition of "class-justice" and of administrative injustice.
Reform of the penal code, along lines of modern culture and
jurisprudence. Abolition of all privileges pertaining to the
administration of justice.

6. Security to all workingmen, employees, and officials in their right
to combine, to meet, and to organize.

7. Establishment of a national Department of Labor, officials of this
Department to be elected by the interests represented upon the basis
of universal and equal suffrage. Extension of factory inspection by
the participation of workingmen and workingwomen in the same.
Legalized universal eight-hour day, shortening the hours of labor in
industries that are detrimental to health.

8. Reform of industrial insurance, exemption of farm laborers and
domestic servants from contributing to insurance funds. Direct
election of representatives in the administration of the insurance
funds; enlarging the representation of labor on the board of
directors; increasing the amounts paid workingmen; lowering age for
old-age pensions from 70 to 65 years; aid to expectant mothers; and
free medical attendance.

9. Complete religious freedom. Separation of Church and State, and of
school and Church. No support of any kind, from public funds, for
religious purposes.

10. Universal, free schools as the basis of all education. Free
text-books. Freedom for art and science.

11. Diminution and ultimate abolition of all indirect taxes, and
abolition of all taxes on the necessities of life. Abolition of duties
on foodstuffs. Limiting the restrictions upon the importation of
cattle, fowl, and meat to the necessary sanitary measures. Reduction
in the tariff, especially in those schedules which encourage the
development of syndicates and pools, thereby enabling products of
German manufacture to be sold cheaper abroad than at home.

12. The support of all measures that tend to develop commerce and
trade. Abolition of tax on railway tickets. A stamp tax on bills of

13. A graduated income, property, and inheritance tax; inasmuch as
this is the most effective way of dampening the ardor of the rich for
a constantly increasing army and navy.

14. Internal improvements and colonization; the transformation of
great estates into communal holdings, thereby making possible a
greater food supply and a corresponding lowering of prices. The
establishment of public farms and agricultural schools. The
reclamation of swamp-lands, moors, and dunes. The cessation of foreign
colonization now done for the purpose of exploiting foreign peoples
for the sake of gain.

Voters of Germany! New naval and military appropriations await you;
these will increase the burdens of your taxes by hundreds of millions.
As on former occasions, so now the ruling class will attempt to roll
these heavy burdens upon the shoulders of the humble, and thereby
increase the burden of existence of the family.

Therefore, let the women, upon whom the burden of the household
primarily rests, and who are to-day without political rights, take
active part in this work of emancipation and join themselves with
determination to our cause, which is also their cause.

Voters of Germany! If you are in accord with these principles, then
give your votes on the 12th of January to the Social Democratic Party.
Help prepare the foundations for a new and better state whose motto
shall be:

Death to Want and Idleness! Work, Bread, and Justice for all!

Let your battle-cry on election day resound: Long live the Social


  BERLIN, December 5, 1911.


[1] Personal tax; tax on movables; tax on land; door and window tax.

[2] A license to trade is required for many businesses in France.



The Catholic Church essayed to organize in Belgium a "Christian
Socialist" movement, patterned after Bishop Kettler's movement in the
Rhine provinces. The movement was called "Fédération des Sociétés
Ouvriers Catholiques" and grew to considerable power. The federation
soon, however, developed democratic tendencies that separated it from
the Clerical Party, and the Abbé Daens, their first deputy in the
Chamber of Representatives, provoked the hostility of the
ecclesiastical authorities and was deprived of his clerical

The Catholic labor unions, which did not join in this democratic
movement, have in the last few years developed some strength, and have
now about 20,000 members.

The Progressists or Radicals have from the first been favorable to
labor and have in their ranks many workmen from the industries "de
luxe," such as bronze workers, jewelers, art craftsmen, etc.

The Liberals have a trades-union organization which does not flourish.
It has about 2,000 members. The Liberals have, however, together with
the Progressists, some influence over the independent unions, with
their 32,000 members.

The Socialist labor unions are the largest and most powerful. Their
average yearly membership in the years 1885-90 was 40,234; in 1899 it
was 61,451; in 1909 it had increased to 103,451.



         |           |            |           |         |
         |  _No. of  | _Sales--   | _Profits--| _No. of |
  _Year_ | Societies_| Francs_    | Francs_   | Members_|
   1904  |    168    | 26,936,873 | 3,140,210 | 103,349 |
   1905  |    161    | 28,174,563 | 3,035,941 | 119,581 |
   1906  |    162    | 33,569,359 | 3,493,586 | 126,993 |
   1907  |    166    | 39,103,673 | 3,843,568 | 134,694 |
   1908  |    175    | 40,655,359 | 3,855,444 | 140,730 |
   1909  |    199    | 43,288,867 | 4,678,559 | 148,042 |
         |    _No.   | _Value of  | _Paid-up
         |     of    |  Realty    | Capital
  _Year_ | Employees_|  Francs_   |  Francs_
   1904  |   1785    | 10,302,059 | 1,146,651
   1905  |   1752    | 12,091,300 | 1,655,061
   1906  |   1809    | 12,844,976 | 1,694,878
   1907  |   2093    | 14,280,955 | 1,940,175
   1908  |   2128    | 14,837,114 | 1,942,266
   1909  |   2223    | 15,850,158 | 1,893,616


          | _Amount of Business
   _Year_ | Done--Francs_
    1901  |        760,356
    1902  |      1,211,439
    1903  |      1,485,573
    1904  |      1,608,475
    1905  |      2,219,842
    1906  |      2,416,372
    1907  |      2,796,196
    1908  |      2,995,615
    1909  |      3,221,849
    1910  |      4,489,996


_Adopted at Brussels in 1893_


1. The constituents of wealth in general, and in particular the means
of production, are either natural agencies or the fruit of the
labor--manual and mental--of previous generations besides the present;
consequently they must be considered the common heritage of mankind.

2. The right of individuals or groups to enjoy this heritage can be
based only on social utility, and aimed only at securing for every
human being the greatest possible sum of freedom and well-being.

3. The realization of this ideal is incompatible with the maintenance
of the capitalistic régime, which divides society into two necessarily
antagonistic classes--the one able to enjoy property without working,
the other obliged to relinquish a part of its product to the
possessing class.

4. The workers can only expect their complete emancipation from the
suppression of classes and a radical transformation of existing

This transformation will be in favor, not only of the proletariat, but
of mankind as a whole; nevertheless, as it is contrary to the
immediate interests of the possessing class, the emancipation of the
workers will be essentially the work of the workers themselves.

5. In economic matters their aim must be to secure the free use,
without charge, of all the means of production. This result can only
be attained, in a society where collective labor is more and more
replacing individual labor, by the collective appropriation of natural
agencies and the instruments of labor.

6. The transformation of the capitalistic régime into a collectivist
régime must necessarily be accompanied by correlative transformations--

(_a_) In _morals_, by the development of altruistic feelings and the
practice of solidarity.

(_b_) In _politics_, by the transformation of the State into a
business management (_administration des choses_).

7. Socialism must, therefore, pursue simultaneously the economic,
moral, and political emancipation of the proletariat. Nevertheless,
the economic point of view must be paramount, for the concentration of
capital in the hands of a single class forms the basis of all the
other forms of its domination.

To realize its principles the Labor Party declares--

(1) That it considers itself as the representative, not only of the
working-class, but of all the oppressed, without distinction of
nationality, worship, race, or sex.

(2) That the Socialists of all countries must make common cause (_être
solidaires_), the emancipation of the workers being not a national,
but an international work.

(3) That in their struggle against the capitalist class the workers
must fight by every means in their power, and particularly by
political action, by the development of free associations, and by the
ceaseless propagation of Socialistic principles.


1. _Electoral reform._

(_a_) Universal suffrage without distinction of sex for all ranks
(age-limit, twenty-one; residence, six months).

(_b_) Proportional representation.

(_c_) Election expenses to be charged on the public authorities.

(_d_) Payment of elected persons.

(_e_) Elected persons to be bound by pledges, according to law.

(_f_) Electorates to have the right of unseating elected persons.

2. _Decentralization of political power._

(_a_) Suppression of the Senate.

(_b_) Creation of Legislative Councils, representing the different
functions of society (industry, commerce, agriculture, education,
etc.); such Councils to be autonomous, within the limits of their
competence and excepting the veto of Parliament; such Councils to be
federated, for the study and defense of their common interests.

3. _Communal autonomy._

(_a_) Mayors to be appointed by the electorate.

(_b_) Small communes to be fused or federated.

(_c_) Creation of elected committees corresponding to the different
branches of communal administration.

4. _Direct legislation._

Right of popular initiative and referendum in legislative, provincial,
and communal matters.

5. _Reform of education._

(_a_) Primary, all-round, free, secular, compulsory instruction at
the expense of the State. Maintenance of children attending the
schools by the public authorities. Intermediate and higher instruction
to be free, secular, and at the expense of the State.

(_b_) Administration of the schools by the public authorities, under
the control of School Committees elected by universal suffrage of both
sexes, with representatives of the teaching staff and the State.

(_c_) Assimilation of communal teachers to the State's educational

(_d_) Creation of a Superior Council of Education, elected by the
School Committees, who are to organize the inspection and control of
free schools and of official schools.

(_e_) Organization of trade education, and obligation of all children
to learn manual work.

(_f_) Autonomy of the State Universities, and legal recognition of the
Free Universities. University Extension to be organized at the expense
of the public authorities.

6. _Separation of the Churches and the State._

(_a_) Suppression of the grant for public worship.

(_b_) Philosophic or religious associations to be civil persons at

7. _Revision of Sections in the Civil Code concerning marriage and the
paternal authority._

(_a_) Civil equality of the sexes, and of children, whether natural or

(_b_) Revision of the divorce laws, maintaining the husband's
liability to support the wife or the children.

(_c_) Inquiry into paternity to be legalized.

(_d_) Protective measures in favor of children materially or morally

8. _Extension of liberties._

Suppression of measures restricting any of the liberties.

9. _Judicial reform._

(_a_) Application of the elective principle to all jurisdictions.
Reduction of the number of magistrates.

(_b_) Justice without fees; State-payment of advocates and officials
of the Courts.

(_c_) Magisterial examination in penal cases to be public. Persons
prosecuted to be medically examined. Victims of judicial errors to be

10. _Suppression of armies._

Provisionally; organization of a national militia.

11. _Suppression of hereditary offices, and establishment of a


A.--_General Measures_

1. _Organization of statistics._

(_a_) Creation of a Ministry of Labor.

(_b_) Pecuniary aid from the public authorities for the organization
of labor secretariates by workmen and employers.

2. _Legal recognition of associations, especially--_

(_a_) Legal recognition of trade-unions.

(_b_) Reform of the law on friendly societies and co-operative
societies and subsidy from the public authorities.

(_c_) Repression of infringements of the right of combination.

3. _Legal regulation of the contract of employment._

Extension of laws protecting labor to all industries, and especially
to agriculture, shipping, and fishing. Fixing of a minimum wage and
maximum of hours of labor for workers, industrial or agricultural,
employed by the State, the Communes, the Provinces, or the contractors
for public works.

Intervention of workers, and especially of workers' unions, in the
framing of rules. Suppression of fines. Suppression of savings-banks
and benefit clubs in workshops. Fixing of a maximum of 6,000 francs
for public servants and managers.

4. _Transformation of public charity into a general insurance of all

(_a_) against unemployment;

(_b_) against disablement (sickness, accident, old age);

(_c_) against death (widows and orphans).

5. _Reorganization of public finances._

(_a_) Abolition of indirect taxes, especially taxes on food and
customs tariffs.

(_b_) Monopoly of alcohol and tobacco.

(_c_) Progressive income-tax. Taxes on legacies and gifts between the
living (excepting gifts to works of public utility).

(_d_) Suppression of intestate succession, except in the direct line
and within limits to be determined by law.

6. _Progressive extension of public property._

The State to take over the National Bank. Social organization of
loans, at interest to cover costs only, to individuals and to
associations of workers.

i. _Industrial property._

    Abolition, on grounds of public utility, of private ownership
      in mines, quarries, the subsoil generally, and of the great
      means of production and transport.

ii. _Agricultural property._

    (_a_) Nationalization of forests.

    (_b_) Reconstruction or development of common lands.

    (_c_) Progressive taking over of the land by the State or the

7. _Autonomy of public services._

(_a_) Administration of the public services by special autonomous
commissions, under the control of the State.

(_b_) Creation of committees elected by the workmen and employees of
the public services to debate with the central administration the
conditions of the remuneration and organization of labor.

B.--_Particular Measures for Industrial Workers_

1. _Abolition of all laws restricting the right of combination._

2. _Regulation of industrial labor._

(_a_) Prohibition of employment of children under fourteen.

(_b_) Half-time system between the ages of fourteen and eighteen.

(_c_) Prohibition of employment of women in all industries where it is
incompatible with morals or health.

(_d_) Reduction of working-day to a maximum of eight hours for adults
of both sexes, and minimum wage.

(_e_) Prohibition of night-work for all categories of workers and in
all industries, where this mode of working is not absolutely

(_f_) One day's rest per week, so far as possible on Sunday.

(_g_) Responsibility of employers in case of accidents, and
appointment of doctors to attend persons wounded.

(_h_) Workmen's memorandum-books and certificates to be abolished, and
their use prohibited.

3. _Inspection of work._

(_a_) Employment of paid medical authorities, in the interests of
labor hygiene.

(_b_) Appointment of inspectors by the Councils of Industry and Labor.

4. _Reorganization of the Industrial Tribunals_ (Conseils de
Prud'hommes) _and the Councils of Industry and Labor_.

(_a_) Working women to have votes and be eligible.

(_b_) Submission to the Courts to be compulsory.

5. _Regulation of work in prisons and convents._

C.--_Particular Measures for Agricultural Workers_

1. _Reorganization of the Agricultural Courts._

(_a_) Nomination of delegates in equal numbers by the landowners,
farmers, and laborers.

(_b_) Intervention of the Chambers in individual or collective
disputes between landowners, farmers, and agricultural workers.

(_c_) Fixing of a minimum wage by the public authorities on the
proposition of the Agricultural Courts.

2. _Regulation of contracts to pay farm-rents._

(_a_) Fixing of the rate of farm-rents by Committees of Arbitration or
by the reformed Agricultural Courts.

(_b_) Compensation to the outgoing farmer for enhanced value of

(_c_) Participation of landowners, to a wider extent than that fixed
by the Civil Code, in losses incurred by farmers.

(_d_) Suppression of the landowner's privilege.

3. _Insurance by the provinces, and reinsurance by the State, against
epizootic diseases, diseases of plants, hail, floods, and other
agricultural risks._

4. _Organization by the public authorities of a free agricultural

Creation or development of experimental fields, model farms,
agricultural laboratories.

5. _Purchase by the communes of agricultural implements to be at the
disposal of their inhabitants._

Assignment of common lands to groups of laborers engaging not to
employ wage labor.

6. _Organization of a free medical service in the country._

7. _Reform of the Game Laws._

(_a_) Suppression of gun licenses.

(_b_) Suppression of game preserves.

(_c_) Right of cultivators to destroy all the year round animals which
injure crops.

8. _Intervention of public authorities in the creation of agricultural
co-operative societies--_

(_a_) For buying seed and manure.

(_b_) For making butter.

(_c_) For the purchase and use in common of agricultural machines.

(_d_) For the sale of produce.

(_e_) For the working of land by groups.

9. _Organization of agricultural credit._


1. _Educational reforms._

(_a_) Free scientific instruction for children up to fourteen. Special
courses for older children and adults.

(_b_) Organization of education in trades and industries, in
co-operation with workmen's organizations.

(_c_) Maintenance of children; except where the public authorities
intervene to do so.

(_d_) Institution of school refreshment-rooms. Periodical distribution
of boots and clothing.

(_e_) Orphanages. Establishments for children abandoned or cruelly

2. _Judicial reforms._

Office for consultations free of charge in cases coming before the
law-courts, the industrial courts, etc.

3. _Regulation of work._

(_a_) Minimum wage and maximum working-day to be made a clause in
contracts for communal works.

(_b_) Intervention of trade associations in the fixing of rates of
wages, and general regulation of industry. The Echevin of Public Works
to supervise the execution of these clauses in contracts.

(_c_) Appointment by the workmen's associations of inspectors to
supervise the clauses in contracts.

(_d_) Rigorous application of the principle of tenders open to all,
for all services which, during a transition-period, are not managed

(_e_) Permission to trade-unions to tender, and abolition of

(_f_) Creation of _Bourses du Travail_, or at least offices for the
demand and supply of employment, whose administration shall be
entrusted to trade-unions or labor associations.

(_g_) Fixing of a minimum wage for the workmen and employees of a

4. _Public charity._

(_a_) Admission of workmen to the administration of the councils of
hospitals and of public charity.

(_b_) Transformation of public charity and the hospitals into a system
of insurance against old age. Organization of a medical service and
drug supply. Establishment of public free baths and wash-houses.

(_c_) Establishment of refuges for the aged and disabled.
Night-shelter and food-distribution for workmen wandering in search of

5. _Complete neutrality of all communal services from the
philosophical point of view._

6. _Finance._

(_a_) Saving to be effected on present cost of administration. Maximum
allowance of 6,000 francs for mayors and other officials. Costs of
entertainment for mayors who must incur certain private expenses.

(_b_) Income tax.

(_c_) Special tax on sites not built over and houses not let.

7. _Public services._

(_a_) The commune, or a federation of communes composing one
agglomeration, is to work the means of transport--tramways, omnibuses,
cabs, district railways, etc.

(_b_) The commune, or federation of communes, is to work directly the
services of general interest at present conceded to companies--lighting,
water-supply, markets, highways, heating, security, health.

(_c_) Compulsory insurance of the inhabitants against fire; except
where the State intervenes to do so.

(_d_) Construction of cheap dwellings by the commune, the hospices,
and the charity offices.



In 1885 the Earl of Wemyss made a speech in the House of Lords
deploring the advancement of state interference in business and giving
a résumé of the Acts of Parliament that showed how "Socialism" invaded
St. Stephens from 1870 to 1885.

His speech is interesting, not because it voices the
ultra-Conservative's apprehensions but because the Earl had really
discovered the legal basis of the new Social Democratic advance, which
had come unheralded. The Earl reviewed the bills that Parliament had
sanctioned, which dealt with state "interference." Twelve bills
referred to lands and houses. "All of these measures assume the right
of the state to regulate the management of, or to confiscate real
property"--steps in the direction of substituting "land
nationalization" for individual ownership. Five laws dealt with
corporations, "confiscating property of water companies," etc.; nine
dealt with ships: "all of them assertions by the Board of Trade of its
right to regulate private enterprise and individual management in the
mercantile marine;" six with mines, "prompting a fallacious confidence
in government inspection;" six with railways, "all encroachments upon
self-government of private enterprise in railways--successive steps in
the direction of state railways." Nine had to do with manufactures and
trades, "invasions by the state of the self-government of the various
interests of the country, and curtailment of the freedom of contract
between employers and employed." "The Pawnbrokers' Act of 1872 was the
thin edge of the wedge for reducing the business of the 'poor man's
banks' to a state monopoly." Twenty laws dealt with liquor, "all
attempts on the part of the state to regulate the dealings and habits
of buyers and sellers of alcoholic drinks." Sixteen dealt with
dwellings of the working class, "all embodying the principle that it
is the duty of the state to provide dwellings, private gardens, and
other conveniences for the working classes, and assume its right to
appropriate land for these purposes." There were nine education acts,
"all based on the assumption that it is the duty of the state to act
_in loco parentis_." Four laws dealt with recreation, "whereby the
state, having educated the people in common school rooms, proceeds to
provide them with common reading-rooms, and afterwards turns them out
at stated times into the streets for common holidays."

Of local government and improvement acts, there were passed "a vast
mass of local legislation ... containing interferences in every
conceivable particular with liberty and property."

The Earl quotes Lord Palmerston as saying in 1865, "Tenant right is
landlord wrong," and Lord Sherbrooke, in 1866, "Happily there is an
oasis upon which all men, without distinction of party, can take
common stand, and that is the good ground of political economy." And
the noble lord concludes by predicting, "The general social results of
such Socialistic legislation may be summed up in 'dynamite,'
'detectives,' and 'general demoralization.'"[1]

In 1887 the Earl again turned his guns upon the radical advance, but
only seven peers were on the benches to listen. In 1890 he made a
third résumé under a more liberal patronage of listeners; this time
the factory laws and inspection measures came in for his especial
criticism. He said: "Now, my lords, what is the character of all this
legislation? It is to substitute state help for self help, to regulate
and control men in their dealings with one another with regard to land
or anything else. The state now forbids contracts, breaks contracts,
makes contracts. The whole tendency is to substitute the state or the
municipality for the free action of the individual."[2]


The earlier attitude of the Marxian Socialists of London toward
participating in elections is shown in the following broadside, dated
July, 1895:

"We, revolutionary Social Democrats, disdain to conceal our
principles. We proclaim the class war. We hold that the lot of the
worker cannot to any appreciable extent be improved except by a
complete overthrow of this present capitalist system of society. The
time for social tinkering has gone past. Government statistics show
that the number of unemployed is slowly but surely increasing, and
that the decreases in wages greatly preponderate over the increases,
and everything points to the fact that the condition of your class is
getting worse and worse.

"Refuse once for all to allow your backs to be made the stepping
stones to obtain that power which they (the politicians) know only too
well how to use against you.

"Scoff at their patronizing airs and claim your rights like men.
Refuse to give them that which they want, i.e., your vote. Give them
no opportunity of saying that they are _your_ representatives. Refuse
to be a party to the fraud of present-day politics, and




   _Name of Institution_                  | _Number of   | _Funds_--£
                                          | Members_     |
   Building Societies                     |    623,047   |  73,289,229
   Ordinary Friendly Societies            |  3,418,869   |  19,346,567
   Friendly Societies having branches     |  2,710,437   |  25,610,365
   Collecting Friendly Societies          |  9,010,574   |   9,946,447
   Benevolent Societies                   |     29,716   |     337,393
   Workingmen's Clubs                     |    272,847   |     381,463
   Specially Authorized Societies         |     70,980   |     532,717
   Specially Authorized Loan Societies    |    141,850   |     897,784
   Medical Societies                      |    313,755   |      65,513
   Cattle Insurance Settlers              |      4,029   |       8,570
   Shop Clubs                             |     12,207   |       1,349
      Total                               | 15,983,264   |  57,128,168
   Co-operative Societies, industry and   |              |
     trade                                |  2,461,028   |  53,788,917
   Business Co-operative Societies        |    108,550   |     984,680
   Land Co-operative Societies            |     18,631   |   1,619,716
      Total                               |  2,588,209   |  56,393,313
   Trade Unions                           |  1,973,560   |   6,424,176
   Workmen's Compensation Schemes         |     99,371   |     164,560
   Friends of Labor Loan Societies        |     33,576   |     260,905
   Grand Total of Registered Provident    |              |
     Societies                            | 21,301,027   | 193,660,351
   Railway Savings Banks                  |     64,126*  |   5,865,351@
   Trustee Savings Banks                  |  1,780,214*  |  61,729,588@
   Post Office Savings Banks              | 10,692,555*  | 178,033,974@
       Bank Total                         | 12,536,895   | 245,628,634
       Grand Total                        | 33,837,922   | 439,388,985
                                          | * Depositions| @ Deposits

   In this table allowance must be made for those belonging to more
   than one society, and, of course, not all the depositors or
   members are workingmen, especially in the savings banks and




Affiliation Fees and Parliamentary Fund Contributions must be paid by
December 31st each year.

_Annual Conference_

1. The Annual Conference shall meet during the month of January.

2. Affiliated Societies may send one delegate for every thousand or
part of a thousand members paid for.

3. Affiliated Trades Councils and Local Labor Parties may send one
delegate if their affiliation fee has been 15s., and two delegates if
the fee has been 30s.

4. Persons eligible as delegates must be paying bona fide members or
paid permanent officials of the organizations sending them.

5. A fee of 5s. per delegate will be charged.

6. The National Executive will ballot for the places to be allotted to
the delegates.

7. Voting at the Conference shall be by show of hands, but on a
division being challenged, delegates shall vote by cards, which shall
be issued on the basis of one card for each thousand members, or
fraction of a thousand, paid for by the Society represented.

_Conference Agenda_

1. Resolutions for the Agenda and Amendments to the Constitution must
be sent in by November 1st each year.

2. Amendments to Resolutions must be sent in by December 15th each

_Nominations for National Executive and Secretaryship_

1. Nominations for the National Executive and the Secretaryship must
be sent in by December 15th.

2. No member of the Parliamentary Committee of the Trade Union
Congress or of the Management Committee of the General Federation of
Trade Unions is eligible for nomination to the National Executive.


(As revised under the authority of the Newport Conference, 1910)


I. _Affiliation._

1. The Labor Party is a Federation consisting of Trade Unions, Trades
Councils, Socialist Societies, and Local Labor Parties.

2. A Local Labor Party in any constituency is eligible for
affiliation, provided it accepts the Constitution and policy of the
Party, and that there is no affiliated Trades Council covering the
constituency, or that, if there be such Council, it has been consulted
in the first instance.

3. Co-operative Societies are also eligible.

4. A National Organization of Women, accepting the basis of this
Constitution, and the policy of the Party, and formed for the purpose
of assisting the Party, shall be eligible for affiliation as though it
were a Trades Council.

II. _Object._

To secure the election of Candidates to Parliament and organize and
maintain a Parliamentary Labor Party, with its own whips and policy.

III. _Candidates and Members._

1. Candidates and Members must accept this Constitution; agree to
abide by the decisions of the Parliamentary Party in carrying out the
aims of this Constitution; appear before their constituencies under
the title of Labor Candidates only; abstain strictly from identifying
themselves with or promoting the interests of any Parliamentary Party
not affiliated, or its Candidates; and they must not oppose any
Candidate recognized by the National Executive of the Party.

2. Candidates must undertake to join the Parliamentary Labor Party, if

IV. _Candidatures._

1. A Candidate must be promoted by an affiliated Society which makes
itself responsible for his election expenses.

2. A Candidate must be selected for a constituency by a regularly
convened Labor Party Conference in the constituency. [The Hull
Conference accepted the following as the interpretation of what a
"Regularly Convened Labor Party Conference" is:--All branches of
affiliated organizations within a constituency or divided borough
covered by a proposal to run a Labor Candidate must be invited to send
delegates to the Conference, and the local organization responsible
for calling the Conference may, if it thinks fit, invite
representatives from branches of organizations not affiliated but
eligible for affiliation.]

3. Before a Candidate can be regarded as adopted for a constituency,
his candidature must be sanctioned by the National Executive; and
where at the time of a by-election no Candidate has been so
sanctioned, the National Executive shall have power to withhold its

V. _The National Executive._

The National Executive shall consist of fifteen members, eleven
representing the Trade Unions, one the Trades Councils, Women's
Organizations, and Local Labor Parties, and three the Socialist
Societies, and shall be elected by ballot at the Annual Conference by
their respective sections.

VI. _Duties of the National Executive._

The National Executive Committee shall

1. Appoint a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, and Treasurer, and shall
transact the general business of the Party;

2. Issue a list of its Candidates from time to time, and recommend
them for the support of the electors;

3. Report to the affiliated organization concerned any Labor Member,
Candidate, or Chief Official who opposes a Candidate of the Party, or
who acts contrary to the spirit of the Constitution;

4. And its members shall strictly abstain from identifying themselves
with or promoting the interests of any Parliamentary Party not
affiliated, or its Candidates.

VII. _The Secretary._

The Secretary shall be elected by the Annual Conference, and shall be
under the direction of the National Executive.

VIII. _Affiliation Fees and Delegates._

1. Trade Unions and Socialist Societies shall pay 15s. per annum for
every thousand members or fraction thereof, and may send to the Annual
Conference one delegate for each thousand members.

2. Trades Councils and Local Labor Parties with 5,000 members or under
shall be affiliated on an annual payment of 15s.; similar
organizations with a membership of over 5,000 shall pay £1 10s., the
former Councils to be entitled to send one delegate with one vote to
the Annual Conference, the latter to be entitled to send two delegates
and have two votes.

3. In addition to these payments a delegate's fee to the Annual
Conference may be charged.

IX. _Annual Conference._

The National Executive shall convene a Conference of its affiliated
Societies in the month of January each year.

Notice of resolutions for the Conference and all amendments to the
Constitution shall be sent to the Secretary by November 1st, and shall
be forthwith forwarded to all affiliated organizations.

Notice of amendments and nominations for Secretary and National
Executive shall be sent to the Secretary by December 15th, and shall
be printed on the Agenda.

X. _Voting at Annual Conference._

There shall be issued to affiliated Societies represented at the
Annual Conference voting cards as follows:

1. Trade Unions and Socialist Societies shall receive one voting card
for each thousand members, or fraction thereof paid for.

2. Trades Councils and Local Labor Parties shall receive one card for
each delegate they are entitled to send.

Any delegate may claim to have a vote taken by card.


I. _Object._

To assist in paying the election expenses of Candidates adopted in
accordance with this Constitution, in maintaining them when elected;
and to provide the salary and expenses of a National Party Agent.

II. _Amount of Contribution._

1. Affiliated Societies, except Trades Councils, and Local Labor
Parties shall pay a contribution to this fund at the rate of 2d. per
member per annum, not later than the last day of each financial year.

2. On all matters affecting the financial side of the Parliamentary
Fund only contributing Societies shall be allowed to vote at the
Annual Conference.

III. _Trustees._

The National Executive of the Party shall, from its number, select
three to act as Trustees, any two of whom, with the Secretary, shall
sign checks.

IV. _Expenditure._

1. _Maintenance._--All Members elected under this Constitution shall
be paid from the Fund equal sums not to exceed £200 per annum,
provided that this payment shall only be made to Members whose
Candidatures have been promoted by one or more Societies which have
contributed to this Fund; provided further that no payment from this
Fund shall be made to a Member or Candidate of any Society which has
not contributed to this Fund for one year, and that any Society over
three months in arrears shall forfeit all claim to the Fund on behalf
of its Members or Candidates, for twelve months from the date of

2. _Returning Officers' Expenses._--Twenty-five per cent. of the
Returning Officers' net expenses shall be paid to the Candidates,
subject to the provisions of the preceding clause, so long as the
total sum so expended does not exceed twenty-five per cent. of the

3. _Administration._--Five per cent. of the Annual Income of the Fund
shall be transferred to the General Funds of the Party, to pay for
administrative expenses of the Fund.



_The Independent Labor Party._


Open to all Socialists who indorse the principles and policy of the
Party, are not members of either the Liberal or Conservative Party,
and whose application for membership is accepted by a Branch.

Any member expelled from membership of a Branch of the I.L.P. shall
not be eligible for membership of any other branch without having
first submitted his or her case for adjudication of the N.A.C.


The Object of the Party is to establish the Socialist State, when land
and capital will be held by the community and used for the well-being
of the community, and when the exchange of commodities will be
organized also by the community, so as to secure the highest possible
standard of life for the individual. In giving effect to this object
it shall work as part of the International Socialist Movement.


The Party, to secure its objects, adopts--

1. _Educational Methods_, including the publication of Socialist
literature, the holding of meetings, etc.

2. _Political Methods_, including the election of its members to local
and national administrative and legislative bodies.


The true object of industry being the production of the requirements
of life, the responsibility should rest with the community
collectively, therefore:--

The land being the storehouse of all the necessaries of life should be
declared and treated as public property.

The capital necessary for the industrial operations should be owned
and used collectively.

Work, and wealth resulting therefrom, should be equitably distributed
over the population.

As a means to this end, we demand the enactment of the following

1. A maximum of 48 hours' working week, with the retention of all
existing holidays, and Labor Day, May 1st, secured by law.

2. The provision of work to all capable adult applicants at recognized
Trade Union rates, with a statutory minimum of 6d. per hour.

In order to remuneratively employ the applicants, Parish, District,
Borough, and County Councils to be invested with powers to:--

(_a_) Organize and undertake such industries as they may consider

(_b_) Compulsorily acquire land; purchase, erect, or manufacture
buildings, stock, or other articles for carrying on such industries.

(_c_) Levy rates on the rental values of the district, and borrow
money on the security of such rates for any of the above purposes.

3. State pension for every person over 50 years of age, and adequate
provision for all widows, orphans, sick and disabled workers.

4. Free, secular, moral, primary, secondary, and university education,
with free maintenance while at school or university.

5. The raising of the age of child labor, with a view to its ultimate

6. Municipalization and public control of the Drink Traffic.

7. Municipalization and public control of all hospitals and

8. Abolition of indirect taxation and the gradual transference of all
public burdens on to unearned incomes with a view to their ultimate

The Independent Labor Party is in favor of adult suffrage, with full
political rights and privileges for women, and the immediate extension
of the franchise to women on the same terms as granted to men; also
triennial Parliaments and second ballot.



1. Chairman and Treasurer.

2. A _National Administrative Council._--To be composed of fourteen
representatives, in addition to the two officers.

3. No member shall occupy the office of Chairman of the Party for a
longer consecutive period than three years, and he shall not be
eligible for re-election for the same office for at least twelve
months after he has vacated the chair.

4. _Election of N.A.C._--Four members of the N.A.C. shall be elected
by ballot at the Annual Conference, and ten by the votes of members in
ten divisional areas.

5. _Duties of N.A.C._--

(_a_) To meet at least three times a year to transact business
relative to the Party.

(_b_) To exercise a determining voice in the selection of
Parliamentary candidates, and, where no branch exists, to choose such
candidates when necessary.

(_c_) To raise and disburse funds for General and By-Elections, and
for other objects of the Party.

(_d_) To deal with such matters of local dispute between branches and
members which may be referred to its decision by the parties

(_e_) To appoint General Secretary and Officials, and exercise a
supervising control over their work.

(_f_) To engage organizers and lecturers when convenient, either
permanently or for varying periods, at proper wages, and to direct and
superintend their work.

(_g_) To present to the Annual Conference a report on the previous
year's work and progress of the Party.

(_h_) To appoint when necessary sub-committees to deal with special
branches of its work, and to appoint a committee to deal with each
Conference Agenda. Such Committee to revise and classify the
resolutions sent in by branches and to place resolutions dealing with
important matters on the Agenda.

(_i_) It shall not initiate any new departure or policy between
Conferences without first obtaining the sanction of the majority of
the branches.

(_k_) Matters arising between Conferences not provided for by the
Constitution, shall be dealt with by the N.A.C.

(_l_) A full report of all the meetings of the N.A.C. as held shall be
forwarded to each branch.

6. _Auditor._--A Chartered or Incorporated Accountant shall be
employed to audit the accounts of the Party.


1. _Branch._--An Association which indorses the objects and policy of
the Party, and affiliates in the prescribed manner.

2. _Local Autonomy._--Subject to the general constitution of the
Party, each Branch shall be perfectly autonomous.


1. Branches shall pay one penny per member per month to the N.A.C.

2. The N.A.C. may strike off the list of branches any branch which is
more than 6 months in arrears with its payments.

3. The N.A.C. may receive donations or subscriptions to the funds of
the Party. It shall not receive moneys which are contributed upon
terms which interfere in any way with its freedom of action as to
their disbursement.

4. The financial year of the Party shall begin on March 1st, and end
on the last day of February next succeeding.


1. The _Annual Conference_ is the ultimate authority of the Party, to
which all final appeals shall be made.

2. _Date._--It shall be held at Easter.

3. _Special Conferences._--A Special Conference shall always be called
prior to a General Election, for the purpose of determining the policy
of the Party during the election. Other Special Conferences may be
called by two-thirds of the whole of the members of the N.A.C, or by
one-third of the branches of the Party.

4. _Conference Fee._--A Conference Fee per delegate (the amount to be
fixed by the N.A.C.) shall be paid by all branches desiring
representation, on or before the last day of February in each year.

5. No branch shall be represented which was not in existence on the
December 31st immediately preceding the date of the Annual Conference.

6. Branches of the Party may send one delegate to Conference for each
fifty members, or part thereof. Branches may appoint one delegate to
represent their full voting strength. Should there be two or more
branches which are unable separately to send delegates to Conference,
they may jointly do so.

7. Delegates must have been members of the branch they represent from
December 31st immediately preceding the date of the Conference.

8. Notices respecting resolutions shall be posted to branches not
later than January 3d. Resolutions for the Agenda, and nominations for
officers and N.A.C. shall be in the hands of the General Secretary
eight weeks before the date of the Annual Conference, and issued to
the branches a fortnight later. Amendments to resolutions on the
Agenda and additional nominations may be sent to the Secretary four
weeks before Conference, and they shall be arranged on the final
Agenda, which shall be issued to branches two weeks before Conference.
A balance sheet shall be issued to branches two weeks before the
Conference, showing the receipts and expenditure of the Party for the
year, also the number of branches affiliated and the amount each
branch has paid in affiliation fees during the year.

9. The Chairman of the Party for the preceding year shall preside over
the Conference.

10. _Conference Officials._--The first business of the Conference
shall be the appointment of tellers. It shall next elect a Standing
Orders Committee, with power to examine the credentials of delegates,
and to deal with special business which may be delegated to it by the

11. In case any vacancy occurs on the N.A.C. between Conferences, the
unsuccessful candidate receiving the largest number of votes at the
preceding election shall fill the vacancy. Vacancies in the list of
officers shall be filled up by the vote of the branches.

12. The principle of the second ballot shall be observed in all

13. The Conference shall choose in which Divisional Area the next
Conference shall be held.


1. The N.A.C. shall keep a list of members of the Party from which
candidates may be selected by branches.

2. Any Branch at any time may nominate any eligible member of the
Party to be placed upon that list.

3. The N.A.C. itself may place names on the list.

4. No person shall be placed upon this list unless he has been a
member of the Party for at least twelve months.

5. Branches desiring to place a candidate in their constituencies must
in the first instance communicate with the N.A.C., and have the
candidate selected at a properly convened conference of
representatives of the local branches of all societies affiliated with
the Labor Party, so that the candidate may be chosen in accordance
with the constitution of the Labor Party. The N.A.C. shall have power
to suspend this clause where local or other circumstances appear to
justify such a course.

6. Before the N.A.C. sanctions any candidature it shall be entitled to
secure guarantees of adequate local financial support.

7. No Branch shall take any action which affects prejudicially the
position or prospects of a Parliamentary candidate, who has received
the credentials of the Labor Party, without first laying the case
before the N.A.C.

8. Each candidate must undertake that he will run his election in
accordance with the principles and policy of the Party, and that if
elected he will support the Party on all questions coming within the
scope of the principles of the I.L.P.

       *       *       *       *       *

_The Constitution shall not be altered or amended except every third
year, unless upon the requisition of two-thirds of the N.A.C. or
one-third of the branches of the Party, when the proposed alterations
or amendments shall be considered at the following
Conference._--Resolution, Edinburgh, 1909.


The Fabian Society consists of Socialists.

It therefore aims at the re-organization of society by the
emancipation of land and industrial capital from individual and class
ownership, and the vesting of them in the community for the general
benefit. In this way only can the natural and acquired advantages of
the country be equitably shared by the whole people.

The Society accordingly works for the extinction of private property
in land and of the consequent individual appropriation, in the form of
rent, of the price paid for permission to use the earth, as well as
for the advantages of superior soils and sites.

The Society, further, works for the transfer to the community of the
administration of such industrial capital as can conveniently be
managed socially. For, owing to the monopoly of the means of
production in the past, industrial inventions and the transformation
of surplus income into capital have mainly enriched the proprietary
class, the worker being now dependent on that class for leave to earn
a living.

If these measures be carried out, without compensation (though not
without such relief to expropriated individuals as may seem fit to the
community), rent and interest will be added to the reward of labor,
the idle class now living on the labor of others will necessarily
disappear, and practical equality of opportunity will be maintained by
the spontaneous action of economic forces with much less interference
with personal liberty than the present system entails.

For the attainment of these ends the Fabian Society looks to the
spread of Socialist opinions, and the social and political changes
consequent thereon. It seeks to promote these by the general
dissemination of knowledge as to the relation between the individual
and society in its economic, ethical, and political aspects.

The following questions are addressed to Parliamentary candidates by
the Fabians:

Will you press at the first opportunity for the following reforms:--

I.--_A Labor Program_

1. The extension of the Workmen's Compensation Act to seamen, and to
all other classes of wage earners?

2. Compulsory arbitration, as in New Zealand, to prevent strikes and

3. A statutory minimum wage, as in Victoria, especially for sweated

4. The fixing of "an eight-hours' day" as the maximum for all public
servants; and the abolition, wherever possible, of overtime?

5. An Eight-Hours' Bill, without an option clause, for miners; and,
for railway servants, a forty-eight-hours' week?

6. The drastic amendment of the Factory Acts, to secure (_a_) a safe
and healthy work-place for every worker, (_b_) the prevention of
overwork for all women and young persons, (_c_) the abolition of all
wage-labor by children under 14, (_d_) compulsory technical
instruction by extension of the half-time arrangements to all workers
under 18?

7. The direct employment of labor by all public authorities whenever
possible; and, whenever it is not possible, employment only of fair
houses, prohibition of sub-contracting, and payment of trade-union
rates of wages?

8. The amendment of the Merchant Shipping Acts so as (_a_) to secure
healthy sleeping and living accommodation, (_b_) to protect the seaman
against withholding of his wages or return passage, (_c_) to insure
him against loss by shipwreck?

II.--_A Democratic Budget_

9. The further taxation of unearned incomes by means of a graduated
and differentiated income-tax?

10. The abolition of all duties on tea, cocoa, coffee, currants, and
other dried fruits?

11. An increase of the scale of graduation of the death duties, so as
to fall more heavily on large inheritances?

12. The appropriation of the unearned increment by the taxation and
rating of ground values?

13. The nationalization of mining rents and royalties?

14. Transfer of the railways to the State under the Act of 1844?

III.--_Social Reform in Town and Country_

15. The extension of full powers to parish, town, and county councils
for the collective organization of the (_a_) water, (_b_) gas and
(_c_) electric lighting supplies, (_d_) hydraulic power, (_e_)
tramways and light railways, (_f_) public slaughter-houses, (_g_)
pawnshops, (_h_) sale of milk, (_i_) bread, (_j_) coal, and such other
public services as may be desired by the inhabitants?

16. Reform of the drink traffic by (_a_) reduction of the number of
licenses to a proper ratio to the population of each locality, (_b_)
transfer to public purposes of the special value of licenses, created
by the existing monopoly, by means of high license or a license rate,
(_c_) grant of power to local authorities to carry on municipal public
houses, directly or on the Gothenburg system?

17. Amendment of the Housing of the Working Classes Act by (_a_)
extension of period of loans to one hundred years, treatment of land
as an asset, and removal of statutory limitation of borrowing powers
for housing, (_b_) removal of restrictions on rural district councils
in adopting Part III. of the Act, (_c_) grant of power to parish
councils to adopt Part III. of the Act, (_d_) power to all local
authorities to buy land compulsorily under the allotments clauses of
the Local Government Act, 1894, or in any other effective manner?

18. The grant of power to all local bodies to retain the free-hold of
any land that may come into their possession, without obligation to
sell, or to use for particular purposes?

19. The relief of the existing taxpayer by (_a_) imposing, for local
purposes, a municipal death duty on local real estate, collected in
the same way as the existing death duties, (_b_) collecting rates from
the owners of empty houses and vacant land, (_c_) power to assess land
and houses at four per cent. on the capital value, (_d_) securing
special contributions by way of "betterment" from the owners of
property benefited by public improvements?

20. The further equalization of the rates in London?

21. The compulsory provision by every local authority of adequate
hospital accommodation for all diseases and accidents?

IV.--_The Children and the Poor_

22. The prohibition of the industrial or wage-earning employment of
children during school terms prior to the age of 14?

23. The provision of meals, out of public funds, for necessitous
children in public elementary schools?

24. The training of teachers under public control and free from
sectarian influences?

25. The creation of a complete system of public secondary education
genuinely available to the children of the poor?

26. State pensions for the support of the aged or chronically infirm?

V.--_Democratic Political Machinery_

27. An amendment of the registration laws, with the aim of giving
every adult man a vote, and no one more than one vote?

28. A redistribution of seats in accordance with population?

29. The grant of the franchise to women on the same terms as to men?

30. The admission of women to seats in the House of Commons and on
borough and county councils?

31. The second ballot at Parliamentary and other elections?

32. The payment of all members of Parliament and of Parliamentary
election expenses, out of public funds?

33. Triennial Parliaments?

34. All Parliamentary elections to be held on the same day?



The Socialization of the Means of Production, Distribution, and
Exchange, to be controlled by a Democratic State in the interests of
the entire community, and the complete Emancipation of Labor from the
Domination of Capitalism and Landlordism, with the establishment of
Social and Economic Equality between the Sexes.

The economic development of modern society is characterized by the
more or less complete domination of the capitalistic mode of
production over all branches of human labor.

The capitalistic mode of production, because it has the creation of
profit for its sole object, therefore favors the larger capital, and
is based upon the divorcement of the majority of the people from the
instruments of production and the concentration of these instruments
in the hands of a minority. Society is thus divided into two opposite
classes: one, the capitalists and their sleeping partners, the
landlords and loanmongers, holding in their hands the means of
production, distribution, and exchange, and being, therefore, able to
command the labor of others; the other, the working-class, the
wage-earners, the proletariat, possessing nothing but their
labor-power, and being consequently forced by necessity to work for
the former.

The social division thus produced becomes wider and deeper with every
new advance in the application of labor-saving machinery. It is most
clearly recognizable, however, in the times of industrial and
commercial crises, when, in consequence of the present chaotic
conditions of carrying on national and international industry,
production periodically comes to a standstill, and a number of the few
remaining independent producers are thrown into the ranks of the
proletariat. Thus, while on one hand there is incessantly going on an
accumulation of capital, wealth, and power into a steadily diminishing
number of hands, there is, on the other hand, a constantly growing
insecurity of livelihood for the mass of wage-earners, an increasing
disparity between human wants and the opportunity of acquiring the
means for their satisfaction, and a steady physical and mental
deterioration among the more poverty-stricken of the population.

But the more this social division widens, the stronger grows the
revolt--more conscious abroad than here--of the proletariat against
the capitalist system of society in which this division and all that
accompanies it have originated, and find such fruitful soil. The
capitalist mode of production, by massing the workers in large
factories, and creating an interdependence, not only between various
trades and branches of industries, but even national industries,
prepares the ground and furnishes material for a universal class war.
That class war may at first--as in this country--be directed against
the abuses of the system, and not against the system itself; but
sooner or later the workers must come to recognize that nothing short
of the expropriation of the capitalist class, the ownership by the
community of the means of production, distribution, and exchange, can
put an end to their abject economic condition; and then the class war
will become conscious instead of unconscious on the part of the
working-classes, and they will have for their ultimate object the
overthrow of the capitalist system. At the same time, since the
capitalist class holds and uses the power of the State to safeguard
its position and beat off any attack, the class war must assume a
political character, and become a struggle on the part of the workers
for the possession of the political machinery.

It is this struggle for the conquest of the political power of the
State, in order to effect a social transformation, which International
Social Democracy carries on in the name and on behalf of the
working-class. Social Democracy, therefore, is the only possible
political party of the proletariat. The Social Democratic Federation
is a part of this International Social Democracy. It, therefore, takes
its stand on the above principles, and believes--

1. That the emancipation of the working-class can only be achieved
through the socialization of the means of production, distribution,
and exchange, and their subsequent control by the organized community
in the interests of the whole people.

2. That, as the proletariat is the last class to achieve freedom, its
emancipation will mean the emancipation of the whole of mankind,
without distinction of race, nationality, creed, or sex.

3. That this emancipation can only be the work of the working-class
itself, organized nationally and internationally into a distinct
political party, consciously striving after the realization of its
ideals; and, finally,

4. That, in order to insure greater material and moral facilities for
the working-class to organize itself and to carry on the class war,
the following reforms must immediately be carried through:--



Abolition of the Monarchy.

Democratization of the Governmental machinery, viz., abolition of the
House of Lords, payment of members of legislative and administrative
bodies, payment of official expenses of elections out of the public
funds, adult suffrage, proportional representation, triennial
parliaments, second ballot, initiative and referendum. Foreigners to
be granted rights of citizenship after two years' residence in the
country, without any fees. Canvassing to be made illegal. All
elections to take place on one day, such day to be made a legal
holiday, and all premises licensed for the sale of intoxicating
liquors to be closed.

Legislation by the people in such wise that no legislative proposal
shall become law until ratified by the majority of the people.

Legislative and administrative independence for all parts of the

_Financial and Fiscal_

Repudiation of the National Debt.

Abolition of all indirect taxation and the institution of a cumulative
tax on all incomes and inheritance exceeding £300.


Extension of the principle of local self-government.

Systematization and co-ordination of the local administrative bodies.

Election of all administrators and administrative bodies by equal
direct adult suffrage.


Elementary education to be free, secular, industrial, and compulsory
for all classes. The age of obligatory school attendance to be raised
to 16.

Unification and systematization of intermediate and higher education,
both general and technical, and all such education to be free.

State maintenance for all attending State schools.

Abolition of school rates; the cost of education in all State schools
to be borne by the National Exchequer.

_Public Monopolies and Services_

Nationalization of the land and the organization of labor in
agriculture and industry under public ownership and control on
co-operative principles.

Nationalization of the trusts.

Nationalization of railways, docks, and canals, and all great means of

Public ownership and control of gas, electric light, and water
supplies, as well as of tramway, omnibus, and other locomotive

Public ownership and control of the food and coal supply.

The establishment of State and municipal banks and pawnshops and
public restaurants.

Public ownership and control of the lifeboat service.

Public ownership and control of hospitals, dispensaries, cemeteries,
and crematoria.

Public ownership and control of the drink traffic.


A legislative eight-hour working-day, or 48 hours per week, to be the
maximum for all trades and industries. Imprisonment to be indicted on
employers for any infringement of the law.

Absolute freedom of combination for all workers, with legal guarantee
against any action, private or public, which tends to curtail or
infringe it.

No child to be employed in any trade or occupation until 16 years of
age, and imprisonment to be inflicted on employers, parents, and
guardians who infringe this law.

Public provision of useful work at not less than trade-union rates of
wages for the unemployed.

Free State insurance against sickness and accident, and free and
adequate State pensions or provision for aged and disabled workers.
Public assistance not to entail any forfeiture of political rights.

The legislative enactment of a minimum wage of 30s. for all workers.
Equal pay for both sexes for the performance of equal work.


Abolition of the present workhouse system, and reformed administration
of the Poor Law on a basis of national co-operation.

Compulsory construction by public bodies of healthy dwellings for the
people; such dwellings to be let at rents to cover the cost of
construction and maintenance alone, and not to cover the cost of the

The administration of justice and legal advice to be free to all;
justice to be administered by judges chosen by the people; appeal in
criminal cases; compensation for those innocently accused, condemned,
and imprisoned; abolition of imprisonment for contempt of court in
relation to non-payment of debt in the case of workers earning less
than £2 per week; abolition of capital punishment.


The disestablishment and disendowment of all State churches.

The abolition of standing armies, and the establishment of national
citizen forces. The people to decide on peace and war.

The establishment of international courts of arbitration.

The abolition of courts-martial; all offenses against discipline to be
transferred to the jurisdiction of civil courts.


[At the beginning of every session of Parliament, the Labor Party
members agree on a program of procedure to which they adhere for that
session. They stick to the bills, in the order chosen, until they are
either passed or defeated. The following is the list for 1911.]

Bills to be balloted for in order named:

  1. Trade Union Amendment Bill.
  2. Unemployed Workmen Bill.
  3. Education (Administrative Provisions) Bill.
  4. Electoral Reform Bill.
  5. Eight-Hour Day Bill.
  6. Bill to Provide against Eviction of Workmen during Trade
  7. Railway Nationalization Bill.

Motions to be balloted for in order named:

  1. Militarism and Foreign Policy: (on lines of Resolution passed
      by the Special Conference at Leicester).
  2. Defect in Sheriffs' Courts Bill (Scotland) relating to power of
      Eviction during Trade Disputes.
  3. General 30s. Minimum Wage.

  Other Motions from which selection may be made after the three
      foregoing subjects have been dealt with:

  Saturday to Monday Stop.
  Eviction of Workmen during Trade Disputes.
  Extension of Particulars Clause to Docks, etc.
  Nationalization of Hospitals.
  Adult Suffrage.
  Commission of Inquiry into Older Universities.
  Workmen's Compensation Amendment.
  Atmosphere and Dust in Textile Factories.
  System of Fines in Textile and Other Trades.
  Inclusion of Clerks in Factory Acts.
  Eight-Hour Day.
  Electoral Reform.
  Inquiry into Industrial Assurance.
  Poor Law Reform.
  Railway and Mining Accidents.
  Labor Exchanges Administration.
  Labor Ministry.
  Veto Conference.
  Day Training Classes.
  School Clinics.
  Indian Factory Laws.
  Hours in Bakehouses.
  House-letting in Scotland.


[The following is an election broadside issued for the municipal
election of London, soon after the establishment of municipal home
rule for the metropolis, by the organization of the London County
Council. It discloses the practical nature of the earlier Fabian
political activities.]


                                      Central Committee Rooms,
                                        484, New Cross Road, S.E.


On the nomination of a Joint Committee of Delegates of the Liberal and
Radical Association, the Women's Liberal Association, the Working
Men's Clubs, and leading Trade Unionists and Social Reformers in
Deptford, I come forward as a Candidate for the County Council
Election. I shall seek to lift the contest above any narrow partisan
lines, and I ask for the support of all who are interested in the
well-being of the people.

_The Point at Issue_

For much is at stake for London at this Election. Notwithstanding the
creation of the County Council, the ratepayers of the Metropolis are
still deprived of the ordinary powers of municipal self-government.
They have to bear needlessly heavy burdens for a very defective
management of their public affairs. The result is seen in the poverty,
the misery, and the intemperance that disgrace our city. A really
Progressive County Council can do much (as the present Council has
shown), both immediately to benefit the people of London, and also to
win for them genuine self-government. Do you wish your County Council
to attempt nothing more for London than the old Metropolitan Board of
Works? This is, in effect, the Reactionary, or so-called "Moderate,"
program. Or shall we make our County Council a mighty instrument of
the people's will for the social regeneration of this great city, and
the "Government of London by London for London?" That is what I stand

_Relief of the Taxpayer_

But the crushing burden of the occupier's rates must be reduced, not
increased. Even with the strictest economy the administration of a
growing city must be a heavy burden. The County Council should have
power to tax the ground landlord, who now pays no rates at all
directly. Moreover, the rates must be equalized throughout London. Why
should the Deptford ratepayer have to pay nearly two shillings in the
pound more than the inhabitant of St. George's, Hanover Square? And we
must get at the unearned increment for the benefit of the people of
London, who create it.

_A Labor Program_

I am in favor of Trade Union wages and an eight-hours day for all
persons employed by the Council. I am dead against sub-contracting,
and would like to see the Council itself the direct employer of all


At present London pays an utterly unnecessary annual tribute, because,
unlike other towns, it leaves its water supply, its gas-works, its
tramways, its markets, and its docks in the hands of private
speculators. I am in favor of replacing private by Democratic public
ownership and management, as soon and as far as safely possible. It is
especially urgent to secure public control of the water supply, the
tramways, and the docks. Moreover, London ought to manage its own
police, and all its open spaces.

_The Condition of the Poor_

But the main object of all our endeavors must be to raise the standard
of life of our poorer fellow-citizens, now crushed by the competitive
struggle. As one of the most urgent social reforms, especially in the
interests of Temperance, I urge the better housing of the people; the
provision, by the Council itself, of improved dwellings and common
lodging-houses of the best possible types, and a strict enforcement of
the sanitary laws against the owners of slum property.

_Local Questions_

I believe in local attention to local grievances, and I should deem it
my duty, if elected, to look closely after Deptford interests,
especially with regard to the need for more open spaces, and the early
completion of the new Thames tunnel.

A more detailed account of my views may be found in my book, "The
London Programme," and other writings. I am a Londoner born and bred,
and have made London questions the chief study of my life. I have had
thirteen years' administrative experience in a Government office, a
position which I have resigned in order to give my whole time to
London's service. With regard to my general opinions, it will be
enough to say that I have long been an active member of the Fabian
Society, and of the Executive Committee of the London Liberal and
Radical Union.

                                                     SIDNEY WEBB.

  4, Park Village East, Regent's Park, N.W.

The following meetings have already been arranged. Others will be
announced shortly.

  February 11.--Lecture Hall, High Street, at 8 P.M.
  February 25.--Lecture Hall High Street, at 8 P.M.
  March 3.--New Cross Hall, Lewisham High Road, at 8 P.M.


[The Fabians and other Socialists broke into London municipal politics
under the name "Progressives." The following is one of their earliest
election dodgers.]


_Saturday, March 5, 1892_

Part of the


_Rates._--Reduce the Occupiers' Rates one-half, by charging that
portion upon the great Landlords, whose ground values are increased by
every improvement, and are now untaxed; and by a Municipal Death Duty.

_Gas and Water._--Reduce the cost and improve the quality and quantity
by new sources of supply, if the present Companies will not come to
terms favorable to the Taxpayer.

_City Companies._--Apply their whole Income of, say £500,000 (on leave
obtained from the new Parliament), for the benefit of London. The
Royal Commission of 1884 stated that this income is virtually Public
Property. About £300,000 is now squandered each year among the members
and their friends.

_Homes for the Poor._--The Poor can all be comfortably housed, as in
the Municipal Dwellings of Glasgow and Liverpool, without extra cost
to the Taxpayer, and the "Doss-houses" abolished.

_Cheap Food._--By doing away with the Market Monopolies of the City
Corporation and other private owners, Food can be lowered in price.
Good food, especially fish, is now often destroyed or sold for manure
to keep up the price.

_Poor Man's Vote._--One-third of your Votes are lost. The Registration
Laws must be thoroughly altered.


[1] Debates, House of Lords, July, 31, 1885. The speech was privately

[2] Debates, May 19, 1890. This speech was also given private



"This word, invented by Colins, came into common use toward the end of
the Empire. Bakunin used it in the congress at Berne in 1868, to
oppose it to the communistic régime of Cabet. An economist in 1869
designated, under this name, the system under which production will be
confined to communes or parishes. The Socialists who opposed
authority, disciples of Bakunin, used the word for a long time to
designate their doctrine. The section of Locle was one of the first to
employ it. But by and by, about 1878, the Marxists, partisans of the
proletarian reign, used the word 'collectivism' to distinguish their
'scientific Socialism,' of which term they were fond, from the
communistic utopias of the older school, which they discovered. And
they gave to Bakunins the name Anarchists. These accepted the name,
taking care to write it with a hyphen, _an-archie_, as their master
Proudhon had done. They soon dropped the hyphen and accepted the word
anarchy as a declaration of war against all things as they are."[1]



                      |    _No.   | _Total No.|_No. Seats |_Per cent. of
         _Country_    | Socialist | Seats in  |Held by    |Socialists
                      |   Votes_  |Parliament_|Socialists_|  Seats_
  Great Britain (1910)|   505,690 |    670    |     40    |     5.97
  Germany (1912)      | 4,250,000 |    397    |    110    |    38.81
  Luxemburg (1909)    |           |     48    |     10    |    20.8
  Austria (1907)      | 1,041,948 |    516    |     88    |    17.06
  France (1910)       | 1,106,047 |    584    |     76    |    13.01
  Italy (1909)        |   338,885 |    508    |     42    |     8.26
  Spain (1910)        |    40,000 |    404    |      1    |     0.25
  Russia              |           |    442    |     17    |     3.82
  Finland (1910)      |   316,951 |    200    |     86    |    43.00
  Norway (1907)       |    90,000 |    123    |     11    |     8.94
  Sweden (1909)       |    75,000 |    165    |     36    |    21.81
  Denmark (1910)      |    98,721 |    114    |     24    |    21.06
  Holland (1909)      |    82,494 |    100    |      7    |     7.00
  Belgium (1910)      |   483,241 |    166    |     35    |    21.08
  Switzerland (1908)  |   100,000 |    170    |      7    |     4.11
  Turkey (1908)       |           |    196    |      6    |     3.06
  Servia (1908)       |     3,056 |    160    |      1    |     0.62
  U.S.A. (1910)       |           |           |      1    |


   Great Britain        1126  |  Finland               351
   Germany              7729  |  Norway                873
   Austria-Bohemia      2896  |  Sweden                125
   Hungary                96  |  Denmark              1000
   France               3800  |  Belgium               850
   Bulgaria                7  |  Servia                 22



                           |        1907       |        1908
                           |_Local |           |_Local |
         _Country_         |Groups_| _Members_ |Groups_| _Members_
   Great Britain, L.P.     |  275  | 1,072,412 |  307  | 1,152,786
                           |       |           |       |
   Great Britain, J.L.P.   |  600  |    35,000 |  765  |    50,000
   Great Britain, S.D.F.   |  202  |    14,500 |  250  |    16,000
   Great Britain, Fabians  |   10  |     1,207 |   27  |     2,015
   Germany                 | 2704  |   530,466 | 3120  |   587,336
                           |       |   (10,943)|       |   (29,458)
   Austria                 |       |           |       |
   Bohemia                 |       |           |       |
                           |       |           |       |
   Hungary                 |       |   130,000 |       |   102,054
   France                  |       |    48,237 |       |    49,328
   Italy                   |       |           |       |    43,000
   Russia*                 |    8  |    16,000 |    8  |     5,000
   Spain                   |       |           |       |
   Poland-Prussian         |       |           |   10  |       400
   Poland-Russian          |       |    22,700 |       |
   Finland                 | 1156  |    80,328 | 1127  |    71,266
                           |       |   (18,873)|       |   (16,826)
   Norway                  |  499  |    23,000 |  602  |    27,500
                           |       |    (1,800)|       |    (2,000)
   Sweden                  |       |           |  296  |   112,693
   Denmark                 |       |           |       |
   Holland                 |  167  |     7,471 |  176  |     8,411
   Belgium                 |  803  |   161,239 |       |   183,997
   Switzerland             |       |           |       |
   Servia                  |       |       615 |       |
   Bulgaria                |   71  |     2,658 |   80  |     2,886
   U.S.A.                  | 1900  |    26,784 |       |
                           |        1909
                           |_Local |
         _Country_         |Groups_| _Members_
   Great Britain, L.P.     |  318  | 1,481,368
                           |       |    (4,000)
   Great Britain, J.L.P.   |  900  |    60,000
   Great Britain, S.D.F.   |       |    17,000
   Great Britain, Fabians  |   39  |     2,462
   Germany                 | 3281  |   633,309
                           |       |   (62,259)
   Austria                 |       |   126,000
   Bohemia                 | 2462  |   156,000
                           |       |    (6,000)
   Hungary                 |  769  |    85,266
   France                  | 2500  |    51,692
   Italy                   |       |    30,000
   Russia*                 |    8  |     3,000
   Spain                   |       |
   Poland-Prussian         |   40  |     1,500
   Poland-Russian          |       |     3,500
   Finland                 |       |
                           |       |
   Norway                  |  637  |    26,500
                           |       |    (2,500)
   Sweden                  |  338  |    60,183
   Denmark                 |  360  |    47,000
   Holland                 |  211  |     9,289
   Belgium                 |  906  |   185,318
   Switzerland             |   23  |    21,132
   Servia                  |       |     1,950
   Bulgaria                |  109  |     4,287
   U.S.A.                  | 3200  |    53,375

  * Province of Lettland.

  Figures in parenthesis indicate number of women members.


[Adopted by National Convention May, 1908, and by Membership
Referendum August 8th, 1908. Amended by Referendum September 7th,


Human life depends upon food, clothing, and shelter. Only with these
assured are freedom, culture, and higher human development possible.
To produce food, clothing, or shelter, land and machinery are needed.
Land alone does not satisfy human needs. Human labor creates machinery
and applies it to the land for the production of raw materials and
food. Whoever has control of land and machinery controls human labor,
and with it human life and liberty.

To-day the machinery and the land used for industrial purposes are
owned by a rapidly decreasing minority. So long as machinery is simple
and easily handled by one man, its owner cannot dominate the sources
of life of others. But when machinery becomes more complex and
expensive, and requires for its effective operation the organized
effort of many workers, its influence reaches over wide circles of
life. The owners of such machinery become the dominant class.

In proportion as the number of such machine owners compared to all
other classes decreases, their power in the nation and in the world
increases. They bring ever larger masses of working people under their
control, reducing them to the point where muscle and brain are their
only productive property. Millions of formerly self-employing workers
thus become the helpless wage slaves of the industrial masters.

As the economic power of the ruling class grows it becomes less useful
in the life of the nation. All the useful work of the nation falls
upon the shoulders of the class whose only property is its manual and
mental labor power--the wage worker--or of the class who have but
little land and little effective machinery outside of their labor
power--the small traders and small farmers. The ruling minority is
steadily becoming useless and parasitic.

A bitter struggle over the division of the products of labor is waged
between the exploiting propertied classes on the one hand and the
exploited propertyless class on the other. In this struggle the
wage-working class cannot expect adequate relief from any reform of
the present order at the hands of the dominant class.

The wage workers are therefore the most determined and irreconcilable
antagonists of the ruling class. They suffer most from the curse of
class rule. The fact that a few capitalists are permitted to control
all the country's industrial resources and social tools for their
individual profit, and to make the production of the necessaries of
life the object of competitive private enterprise and speculation is
at the bottom of all the social evils of our time.

In spite of the organization of trusts, pools, and combinations, the
capitalists are powerless to regulate production for social ends.
Industries are largely conducted in a planless manner. Through periods
of feverish activity the strength and health of the workers are
mercilessly used up, and during periods of enforced idleness the
workers are frequently reduced to starvation.

The climaxes of this system of production are the regularly recurring
industrial depressions and crises which paralyze the nation every
fifteen or twenty years.

The capitalist class, in its mad race for profits, is bound to exploit
the workers to the very limit of their endurance and to sacrifice
their physical, moral, and mental welfare to its own insatiable greed.
Capitalism keeps the masses of workingmen in poverty, destitution,
physical exhaustion, and ignorance. It drags their wives from their
homes to the mill and factory. It snatches their children from the
playgrounds and schools and grinds their slender bodies and unformed
minds into cold dollars. It disfigures, maims, and kills hundreds of
thousands of workingmen annually in mines, on railroads, and in
factories. It drives millions of workers into the ranks of the
unemployed and forces large numbers of them into beggary, vagrancy,
and all forms of crime and vice.

To maintain their rule over their fellow-men, the capitalists must
keep in their pay all organs of the public powers, public mind, and
public conscience. They control the dominant parties and, through
them, the elected public officials. They select the executives, bribe
the legislatures, and corrupt the courts of justice. They own and
censor the press. They dominate the educational institutions. They own
the nation politically and intellectually just as they own it

The struggle between wage workers and capitalists grows ever fiercer,
and has now become the only vital issue before the American people.
The wage-working class, therefore, has the most direct interest in
abolishing the capitalist system. But in abolishing the present
system, the workingmen will free not only their own class, but also
all other classes of modern society. The small farmer, who is to-day
exploited by large capital more indirectly but not less effectively
than is the wage laborer; the small manufacturer and trader, who is
engaged in a desperate and losing struggle for economic independence
in the face of the all-conquering power of concentrated capital; and
even the capitalist himself, who is the slave of his wealth rather
than its master. The struggle of the working class against the
capitalist class, while it is a class struggle, is thus at the same
time a struggle for the abolition of all classes and class privileges.

The private ownership of the land and means of production used for
exploitation, is the rock upon which class rule is built; political
government is its indispensable instrument. The wage-workers cannot be
freed from exploitation without conquering the political power and
substituting collective for private ownership of the land and means of
production used for exploitation.

The basis for such transformation is rapidly developing within present
capitalist society. The factory system, with its complex machinery and
minute division of labor, is rapidly destroying all vestiges of
individual production in manufacture. Modern production is already
very largely a collective and social process. The great trusts and
monopolies which have sprung up in recent years have organized the
work and management of the principal industries on a national scale,
and have fitted them for collective use and operation.

There can be no absolute private title to land. All private titles,
whether called fee simple or otherwise, are and must be subordinate to
the public title. The Socialist Party strives to prevent land from
being used for the purpose of exploitation and speculation. It demands
the collective possession, control, or management of land to whatever
extent may be necessary to attain that end. It is not opposed to the
occupation and possession of land by those using it in a useful and
bona fide manner without exploitation.

The Socialist Party is primarily an economic and political movement.
It is not concerned with matters of religious belief.

In the struggle for freedom the interests of all modern workers are
identical. The struggle is not only national but international. It
embraces the world and will be carried to ultimate victory by the
united workers of the world.

To unite the workers of the nation and their allies and sympathizers
of all other classes to this end, is the mission of the Socialist
Party. In this battle for freedom the Socialist Party does not strive
to substitute working class rule for capitalist class rule, but by
working class victory, to free all humanity from class rule and to
realize the international brotherhood of man.


As measures calculated to strengthen the working class in its fight
for the realization of this ultimate aim, and to increase its power of
resistance against capitalist oppression, we advocate and pledge
ourselves and our elected officers to the following program:

_General Demands_

1. The immediate government relief for the unemployed workers by
building schools, by reforesting of cut-over and waste lands, by
reclamation of arid tracts, and the building of canals, and by
extending all other useful public works. All persons employed on such
works shall be employed directly by the government under an eight-hour
work-day and at the prevailing union wages. The government shall also
loan money to states and municipalities without interest for the
purpose of carrying on public works. It shall contribute to the funds
of labor organizations for the purpose of assisting their unemployed
members, and shall take such other measures within its power as will
lessen the widespread misery of the workers caused by the misrule of
the capitalist class.

2. The collective ownership of railroads, telegraphs, telephones,
steamboat lines, and all other means of social transportation and

3. The collective ownership of all industries which are organized on a
national scale and in which competition has virtually ceased to exist.

4. The extension of the public domain to include mines, quarries, oil
wells, forests, and water power.

5. The scientific reforestation of timber lands, and the reclamation
of swamp lands. The land so reforested or reclaimed to be permanently
retained as a part of the public domain.

6. The absolute freedom of press, speech, and assemblage.

_Industrial Demands_

7. The improvement of the industrial condition of the workers.

(_a_) By shortening the workday in keeping with the increased
productiveness of machinery.

(_b_) By securing to every worker a rest period of not less than a day
and a half in each week.

(_c_) By securing a more effective inspection of workshops and

(_d_) By forbidding the employment of children under sixteen years of

(_e_) By forbidding the interstate transportation of the products of
child labor, of convict labor, and of all uninspected factories.

(_f_) By abolishing official charity and substituting in its place
compulsory insurance against unemployment, illness, accidents,
invalidism, old age, and death.

_Political Demands_

8. The extension of inheritance taxes, graduated in proportion to the
amount of the bequests and to the nearness of kin.

9. A graduated income tax.

10. Unrestricted and equal suffrage for men and women, and we pledge
ourselves to engage in an active campaign in that direction.

11. The initiative and referendum, proportional representation, and
the right of recall.

12. The abolition of the senate.

13. The abolition of the power usurped by the supreme court of the
United States to pass upon the constitutionality of legislation
enacted by Congress. National laws to be repealed or abrogated only
by act of Congress or by a referendum of the whole people.

14. That the Constitution be made amendable by majority vote.

15. The enactment of further measures for general education and for
the conservation of health. The bureau of education to be made a
department. The creation of a department of public health.

16. The separation of the present bureau of labor from the department
of commerce and labor, and the establishment of a department of labor.

17. That all judges be elected by the people for short terms, and that
the power to issue injunctions shall be curbed by immediate

18. The free administration of justice.

Such measures of relief as we may be able to force from capitalism 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.


[1] GEORGES WEIL, _Histoire du Mouvement Social en France_, p. 208.


Allemane, 77

American Socialist Party platform, 341

Amsterdam Congress, 228

Anarchy, 29, 65, 127

Anselee, 122

Anti-militarism, in France, 110-112;
  in Belgium, 129;
  in Germany, 201-202

Anti-Socialist Law (German), 160-167

Asquith, Premier, and the Parliament Bill, 238-240

Austria, revolution in, 47

Bakunin, 65, 71

Barthou, on French post-office strike, 97;
  on railway strike, 101

Bebel, August, 155, 158;
  on Anti-Socialist Law, 161, 162, 163, 165, 166;
  arrest of, 167;
  candidate for President of Reichstag, 190;
  on defeat of Socialism, 1907, 194;
  on inheritance tax, 188;
  as a party leader, 264;
  on new Alsatian Constitution, 198;
  on militarism, 202-203;
  on participation in legislation, 188, 189;
  on party discipline, 177, 193, 195, 196;
  on Socialism in United States, 268

Belgium, 118-145;
  government of, 121-122;
  co-operative movement in, 140-145;
  agrarian movement in, 142;
  nature of Belgian Socialism, 143-144;
  labor organizations in, 122-125;
  Labor Party in Parliament, 133-135;
  political parties in, 121;
  poverty and illiteracy in, 118-120, 125, 128

Bernstein, Ed., 192

Bibliography, 273-279

Bismarck and Lassalle, 154;
  and Reichstag suffrage, 158;
  and repression of Socialism, 159-161;
  Anti-Socialist Law, 160-168;
  and State Insurance, 168-169

Blanc, Louis, 13, 26-28, 62;
  Lassalle adopts plan of, 152

Bourgeoisie, defined, 2

Bourse du Travail, 77, 80;
  federation of, 77;
  organization of, 105-106

Brentano, Prof., on Socialism in U.S., 269

Briand, Aristide, 78, 81, 91, 97;
  became Prime Minister, 97;
  program of legislation, 98;
  and the railway strike, 99-104

Brousse, 76, 105

Brussels, city of refuge, 122;
  demonstrations in, 127, 128, 139-140;
  Maison du Peuple of, 144

Burns, John, 215;
  in cabinet, 228, 234;
  on right to work, 244;
  on Socialism in U.S., 268

Cabet, 23

Carlyle, on Chartist movement, 52

"C.G.T." _See_ Syndicalists and Syndicalism

Chartist movement, 51-54, 208

Christian Socialism, 9, 221-222

Christian Social Union, 221

Church Socialist League, 222

Class basis of Socialism, 1-6, 15, 35.
  _See also_ Marx

Class interests, illusion of, 253-254

Class War, Guesdists on the, 85

Class War and Syndicalists, 106-107

Clémenceau, debate with Jaurès, 92, 94;
  on post-office strike, 96-97

Clerical Party in Belgium, 129, 134, 135, 136, 308;
  in Germany, 200.
  _See also_ political parties

Colin, co-operative movement started by, 122

"Collectivism," origin of word, 339

Communal Program of Bavarian Socialists, 301;
  of Belgian Socialists, 314

Communist League, the, 56

Communist Manifesto, 13, 56-61

Compère-Morel, 115-116

Competition and the Socialist theory, 11, 35

Co-operation, 11;
  in Belgium, _see_ Belgium;
  in England, 217-218;
    _see also_ England;
  statistics of, 308, 309

Davidson, Thomas, 220

Democracy and Socialism, 42, 43;
  spread of, by Socialists, 257

Democratic revolutions, 26-55;
  in Germany, 146-148

Dennis, Prof. Hector, 142

Development Act (Eng.), 233

Dicey, Prof., on the Liberal and Socialist parties, 230

Dockers' strike, 215

Dreyfus affair, 84-90

Eisenach Program, 157-158

Election laws, German, 293-294

Electoral reform. _See_ Saxony, Prussia, "Free Cities," Chartist Movement

Ely, Prof. R.T., conservation in U.S., 269

Emperor William's life attempted, 159-160

Engels, Frederick, 50, 52, 56-61;
  on English police, 245;
  on changes in revolutionary ideals, 255

England, growth of Socialism in, 315;
  thrift institutions in, 318;
  Socialism in, 207-249;
  character of Socialism in, 211-212.
  _See also_ Chartist movement; Engels; Industrial Revolution;
    Insurance Bill; Labor Party; Labor Exchange Act; Land System;
    Liberal Party; Lords, House of

English, characteristics of the, 209-211;
  income of the, 213-214

Erfurt Program, 191;
  dissatisfaction with, 192-194

Fabian Society, origin, 220-221;
  famous members, 220-221;
  attitude toward constitutionalism, 248;
  basis of, 327;
  an election address of, 335;
  an election dodger of, 337

Feudalism, class ideals of, 43, 44, 45;
  in Germany, 147

Feuerbach, 31-32

Fourier, 19-22, 24

France, Revolution of 1848, 47;
  commune of 1871, 49, 61;
  Socialist Party of, 75-117;
  factions in Socialist Party, 76-78;
  "United Socialists," 77, 78;
  Socialist Radicals, 78;
  the "Bloc," 84, 85;
  labor unions in, 77;
  post-office strike in, 94-97;
  railway strike in, 98-99;
  local Socialism in, 112-113;
  government of, 280-281

France, Anatole, 117

Frank, Dr., on the Baden budget, 196-198;
  on the intellectual classes and Socialism, 254

"Free Cities," election laws in, 183

French Revolution, 42

Gambetta, 79

General strike, 256;
  in Belgium, 126, 131, 138, 143

George, Henry, 220

George, Lloyd, 232;
  budget of, 236-238;
  Insurance Bill of, 240-241;
  flays Keir Hardie, 245

Germany, Social Democracy in, 146-170;
  revolution in, 46;
  character of government in, 147;
  the new Empire, 158;
  most "socialized" country, 169-190;
  labor unions in, 171-175;
  party representation in Reichstag, 297;
  vote of all parties in, 296;
  political parties in, 292-293.
  _See also_ "Free Cities;" Suffrage; Progressists; Labor
    Organizations; Liberal Party

Gneist, Prof., and Anti-Socialist law, 162

Godin, J., 21

Godwin, 24

Guesde, Jules, 75, 76, 81, 85, 87, 105, 106

Guise, community at, 21

Hardie, Keir, 222,
  and Development Act, 234, 243;
  on using military during strike, 245;
  on goal of Socialism, 247

Hasselman, 158;
  expelled from Social Democratic Party, 166

Hegel, 23, 31

Hegelians, Young, 31, 50

Hervé, Gustave, 110, 112

Hobhouse, Prof., 247

Hyndman, H.M., 219

I.L.P., organization of, 222, 243;
  on Liberal coalition, 243-244;
  attitude on Insurance Bill, 244;
  constitution and by-laws, 322

Industrial revolution, 43;
  change in social ideals, 44, 45;
  violence of first days, 45;
  in England, 207-209

Insurance Bill (Eng.), 240-241

International, the, 56;
  "Old International," 56-69;
  "New International," 69-74;
  Amsterdam Congress of, 228

International Socialist Bureau, 72, 74

International Socialist Statistics, 339, 340

International Workingmen's Association, 71

Jaurès, Jean, 80, 81, 82, 84, 85, 87, 100;
  leader of "Bloc," 90-91;
  debate with Clémenceau, 92-93;
  in Amsterdam Congress, 228;
  on difference between Socialism and Democracy, 265;
  on Socialism in U.S., 268

Kaiser, the, and German Social Democrats, 180, 181

Kautsky, K., 50, 85;
  on Revisionism, 192-193;
  on Amsterdam Congress, 228

Kingsley, 212

Labor Exchange Act (England), 233

Labor Organization in France, 104;
  in Germany, 150-151, 171-175

Labor Party, English, 74, 274, 223-225, 226, 227-232, 228, 231, 241, 242;
  Program of, 318, 334

Labor Party, the first, 75;
  in Belgium, _see_ Belgium;
  Program of, 309

Labor Questions and Socialism, 258

Labor unions in Belgium, political activity of, 308.
  _See also_ Belgium

Labor unions in England. _See_ Trades Unions

Labor unions in France. _See_ Bourse du Travail, and Syndicats

Labor unions in Germany, 295.
  _See also_ Germany

Land system of England, 236-237

Lassalle, 147-155, 185;
  Leipzig address, 152;
  General Workingman's Association, 152-154;
  influence on German Social Democracy, 154

League of the Just, 56-57, 69

Ledebour, on ministerial responsibility, 189

Legislation, advocated by Socialists, in Germany, _see_ Social
    Democratic Party;
  in England, 231-241

Liberal Party, in Germany, 146-148, 150, 151;
  in England, 226, 227, 228, 230-231, 242-245

Liebknecht, 70, 155, 156, 157, 158, 163;
  in Reichstag, 166;
  arrested, 167;
  on party tactics, 186;
  on Erfurt Program, 191

London, progress in, 235

Lords, House of, an issue, 237-239, 240

MacDonald, J. Ramsay, on I.L.P., 245-247;
  on Democracy, 254-255

Mazzini, 54, 61, 62

McCarthy, Justin, on Chartism, 52

Marx, Karl, 9, 32, 38, 39;
  theories of 32-36;
  formulæ of, "capital," 37-38;
  influence on Socialist movement, 39-40;
  criticism of, 40, 41;
  theory of Revolution, 43;
  on German revolution, 47, 48, 49;
  on the Commune, 49, 69;
  the Communist Manifesto, 56-61;
  "address" and "statutes" of the "Old International," 62, 63, 67, 68;
  at The Hague, 64;
  present influence in Germany, 194

Marxian influence in the International, 69-71

Marxians and the Possibilists, 85, 91

Marxians in England, 219, 317

Maurice, 212

Menger, Adolph, critique of Marxianism, 40-41

Mill, John Stuart, 10

Millerand, 77, 78, 80, 81, 82, 84, 85, 86, 91;
  at St. Mandé, 82;
  Program of, 88-90;
  expelled from Socialist Party, 87;
  on railway strike, 101, 102;
  on ideals of Socialism, 6.

Militarism, and the International, 72-74;
  and the Syndicalists, 108-109

Money, Chiozza, 213, 214, 215, 236

Morley, Lord, on new Liberalism, 230

Morris, Wm., 9, 219;
  on Whigs, 229

Most, Herr, in Reichstag, 158;
  expelled from Socialist Party, 166

Munich, Socialist activity in, 204-206

Municipal Socialism in France, 112-115;
  in Germany, 204-206

Old Age Pensions, 101

Osborne Judgment, the, 217

Owen, Robert, 6, 8, 21-23, 25;
  Rochdale, 27

Paepe, Cæsar de, 122

Paris, Commune. _See_ Commune. First meeting of "New International," 69-71

Parliament Bill, 238-240

Peasantry, French, 115-116;
  Belgian, 142-143

Possibilists, 70

Poverty and Socialism, 10-11;
  in England, 213-215;
  in Belgium, _see_ Belgium

Progressists, in Belgium, 128, 129;
  in Germany, 151, 162, 190

Proudhon, 28-31, 62

Proudhonism in England, 106

Prussia, election laws, 183

Réformistes, in France, _see_ Millerand, Briand;
  in Germany, 192-193

Revisionist controversy in Germany, 192-193

Revolution, social, 12, 13, 255, 256;
  modern idea, 53

Revolutionary era, 26-55

Rodbertus, 150, 153, 155

Rosebery, Lord, 229

Rousseau, 42

Ruskin, 212

Sabotage, 96, 100, 101, 102, 104, 108

Sachsen-Altenburg, election law, 294

Saint-Simon, 17-19, 23

Saxe-Weimar, election law, 294

Saxony, new election law, 182, 293

Schultze-Delitsch, 150

Shaw, G.B., 220, 240, 247

Simiyan, on French post-office strike, 95

Small Holdings Act, 234, 235

Social Democratic Federation, (English), 219, 220, 317, 330

Social Democratic Party (German), 175-190;
  discipline, 177-179;
  attitude of government towards, 179-181;
  change in temper, 186-204;
  attitude towards legislation, 186-191;
  first bill in Reichstag, 187;
  attitude on state insurance, 188;
  present temper, 191;
  program of, 191, 198, 199, 297;
  attitude towards other parties, 194, 199;
  election address of, 303

Socialism, ideals of, 6-10;
  theories, 11;
  development of, 17;
  political awakening of, 42;
  modern conception of revolution, 51;
  what is, 62, 63;
  changes in, 250;
  illusions of, 253;
  in different countries, 257;
  limits of, 262;
  characteristics of present, 262-266;
  in Parliaments, 251;
  what it has accomplished, 257-260;
  nature of its demands, 261-262;
  difference between Socialism and Democracy, 265-266;
  when the word was first used, 23

Socialist officers, list of, 340

Socialist Party, membership of, 340

Socialist vote in leading countries, 339

Sorel, Georges, 107

South Germany budget controversy, 159-199

State, increased functions of, 259-260

State Insurance, opposed by Socialists, 167;
  attitude of present-day Socialists, 188;
  in Germany, 169, 170;
  statistics, 295;
  _see also_ Bismarck

Südekum, Dr., on nature of Social Democratic Party, 199

Suffrage, struggle for, in Belgium, 124-133;
  electoral laws of Belgium, 132-136;
  struggle for, in Germany, 146, 182-185

Syndicalism, 94, 107-110, 96-98, 99-102, 105-106, 256

Taff Vale decision, 216-217, 232

Thiers, President, 75

Town Planning Act, 234, 235

Trades Disputes Act, 232

Trades Unions, English, and the International, 62, 67, 69;
  characteristics, 215, 216, 217, 218;
  and Socialism, 69, 72;
  and Syndicalism, 108

Transportation strike, England, 244, 245

United Socialist Party of France, Basis of Union, 289;
  U.S., Socialism in, 266-270;
  Socialist vote in, 268;
  platform of Socialists in U.S., 341

Vaillant, 81, 82, 100

Vandervelde, 118, 134, 137, 138, 142, 143

Villiers, Brougham, 247-248

Viviani, 78, 91, 101

Von Kettler, Baron, Bishop of Mayence, 153, 172

Von Vollmar, 181, 193, 195, 200, 203, 204

Waldeck-Rousseau, 79, 84, 85

Webb, Sidney, 220, 221, 234, 242

Weitling, Wm., 7

Wells, H.C., 10

Wescott, Dr., Bishop of Durham, 221

Workingmen's Association of Lassalle, 154, 156, 157, 158

Workingmen's Compensation Act (England), 233

Yvetot on Syndicalism, 108, 109


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       *       *       *       *       *

    | Typographical errors corrected in text:                   |
    |                                                           |
    | Page  32: (FN 14) Deutscher replaced with Deutschen       |
    | Page  32: (FN 16) Dürung replaced with Dühring            |
    | Page 103: "will within the next few decades he compelled" |
    |           replaced with                                   |
    |           "will within the next few decades be compelled" |
    | Page 147: beaureaucratic replaced with bureaucratic       |
    | Page 171: (FN 1) "Die Sozial-Demokratische Gewerkschaften |
    |           in Deutschland, seit dem Erlasse des            |
    |           Sozialistischen Gesets" replaced with           |
    |           "Die Sozial-Demokratische Gewerkschaften        |
    |           in Deutschland, seit dem Erlasse des            |
    |           Sozialistischen Gesetzes"                       |
    | Page 194: compaigning replaced with campaigning           |
    | Page 255: (FN 3) Classenkampf replaced with Klassenkampf  |
    | Page 267: fullfilled replaced with fulfilled              |
    | Page 274: Schæffle replaced with Schaeffle                |
    | Page 276: Jaegèr replaced with Jaeger                     |
    | Page 295: (table note) sevice replaced with service       |
    | Page 347: Broussé replaced with Brousse                   |
    |                                                           |
    | The reader should note that on page 216, in referring to  |
    | damages assessed (in England) at $100,000, one assumes    |
    | £ is meant rather than $, yet the image does have $.      |
    |                                                           |

       *       *       *       *       *

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