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Title: Socialism and the Social Movement in the 19th Century
Author: Sombart, Werner
Language: English
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Socialism and the Social
Movement in the
19th Century

Professor in the University of Breslau

With a Chronicle of the Social Movement 1750-1896

"_Je ne propose rien, je ne suppose rien; j'expose_"

Pastor of the Park Presbyterian Church New York

Professor of Political Economy
Columbia University

NEW YORK             LONDON
The Knickerbocker Press

Entered at Stationers' Hall, London

The Knickerbocker Press, New York



While rambling through quaint old Nuremberg, last summer, I was driven
for shelter from rain into a bookshop. In a conversation with the
genial proprietor, he called my attention to a book, lately published,
that had already made a deep impression upon the world of German
readers. A reading and re-reading of the little book convinced me that
English readers, as well, will be glad to follow Professor Sombart in
his comprehensive and suggestive review of Socialism.

Thanks are due to the learned German professor, whose name appears on
the title-page, for his courtesy in this matter; also to his German
publisher. I would also express obligation to my friend, Professor
Sigmon M. Stern, with whom I have consulted freely on some difficult
points of translation. The Introduction by Professor John B. Clark, of
Columbia University, will be appreciated, I know, by the reader as
well as by myself.


  APRIL, 1898.


The reader of this work will miss something which he has been
accustomed to find in books on Socialism. Professor Sombart has not
given us synopses of the theories of St. Simon, Proudhon, Marx, Owen,
and others. His work marks the coming of a period in which socialism
is to be studied, rather than the speculations of socialists. Theories
and plans no longer constitute the movement. There are still schools
of socialistic thought; but there is something actually taking place
in the industrial world that is the important part of the socialistic
movement. Reality is the essence of it.

The structure of the world of industry is changing. Great
establishments are exterminating small ones, and are forming
federations with each other. Machinery is producing nearly every kind
of goods, and there is no longer a place in the world for such a
middle class as was represented by the master workman, with his slowly
learned handicraft and his modest shop. These facts construed in a
certain way are the material of socialism. If we see in them the dawn
of an era of state industry that shall sweep competition and
competitors out of the field, we are evolutionary socialists.

We may need a doctrinal basis for our view of the evolution that is
going on; and we may find it in the works of Marx and others; but
already we have ceased to have an absorbing interest in the contrasts
and the resemblances that their several theories present. We have
something to study that is more directly important than doctrinal

In Professor Sombart's study, Owenism, indeed, has an important place,
since the striking element in it is something that the present
movement has completely put away, namely, utopianism. No one now
thinks, as did Owen, that merely perceiving the beauty of the
socialistic ideal is enough to make men fashion society after that
pattern. No one thinks that society can be arbitrarily shaped after
any pattern. Marxism, in practice, means realism and a reliance on
evolution, however little the wilder utterances of Marx himself may
suggest that fact. Internationalism is also a trait of this modern
movement; but it is not of the kind that is represented by the
International Working-Men's Association. It is a natural affiliation
of men of all nations having common ends to gain.

The relation of a thinker to a practical movement cannot lose its
importance. It is this connection that Professor Sombart gives us, and
his work is an early representative of the coming type of books on
Socialism. It treats of realities, and of thought that connects itself
with realities. It treats, indeed, of a purposeful movement to assist
evolution, and to help to put the world into the shape that
socialistic theorists have defined. Here lies the importance of the
study of theory.

Professor Sombart's work contains little that is directly
controversial; but it gives the impression that the purpose of the
socialists is based on a fallacy, that it is not, in reality, in
harmony with evolution, and that it will not prevail. It may be added
that the style of the work is worthy of the thought that it
expresses, and that the English translation is worthy of the
original. The book will take its place among the more valuable of the
works on Socialism that have thus far appeared.

                                              JOHN B. CLARK,
                                   Columbia University, New York.


What is here published was originally delivered in the form of
lectures, in the Fall of 1896, in Zurich, before miscellaneous but in
general appreciative and inspiring audiences. The approval which they
received, and the earnestly expressed wish of many hearers that the
addresses might appear in print, have finally overcome a not
inconsiderable reluctance on my part, felt by all in like position.
The lectures are in many places enlarged; indeed, largely put into new
form--changed from extemporaneous utterance into the more formal style
proper for the written word. But their character remains, especially
the restricted setting into which a great mass of material had to be
compressed. This is done intentionally, since what I would offer to a
larger public through this book is a brief, pointed, well-defined view
of "Socialism and the Social Movement in the Nineteenth Century."




  TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE                                          v

  INTRODUCTORY NOTE by Professor John B. Clark               viii

  AUTHOR'S PREFACE                                             ix


   I. WHENCE AND WHITHER                                        1

     Class struggle--Kant--The meaning of the social
       movement--Essential elements in every social
       movement--Characterisation of the social
       movement--Conditions under which the working class
       lives--Russian peasants--Irish "rack-rent" tenants--
       Uncertainty of existence--The Japanese--The Kurd--
       Hegel--The ground of revolutionary passions in the
       modern proletariat--Time environment of the modern
       social movement--"Revolutionism."

  II. CONCERNING UTOPIAN SOCIALISM                             19

     Social literature, old and new--Adam Smith--David
       Ricardo--"Christian socialism"--Lamennais--Kingsley--
       "Ethical socialism"--Sismondi--Carlyle--"Philanthropic
       socialism"--Pierre Leroux--Grün--Hess--
       Anti-capitalistic literature--Adam Müller--Leopold von
       Haller--Capitalistic methods of production--Utopian
       socialists--St. Simon--Fourier--Owen.


     Beginnings of the social movement carried on by the
       masses--Historic occurrences--Middle-class
       movements--French Revolution--_Loi martiale_--
       "Coalition Law"--Marat--The men of Montaigne--The
       Sans-culottes--Danton--Robespierre--Constitution of
       1793--_Droits de l'Homme_--Insurrection of
       Babeuf--The first proletarian agitation--Elizabethan
       trade law--The Chartist movement--English type of
       working-men's movement--French type--German
       type--Variations of the social movement--English
       social development--Carlyle's teaching.


     Characterisation of the English working-men's
       movement--English industrial monopoly, 1850-1880--
       Alternation of power between Tories and Whigs--Value
       of legislation in favour of the working man--
       Temperament of the English working-man--Practical
       tendency of the old English trade-union--English
       "social peace"--French "revolutionism"--Factionism--
       Clubbism--Putschism--Proudhon--The bourgeoisie--
       Significance of the Reign of Terror--Difference
       between Roman type of the born revolutionist and the
       English working-man--Victor Hehn--French anarchism--
       Bakunin--The peculiarities of social agitation in
       Germany--Ferdinand Lassalle--Schulze-Delitzsch--The
       Lassalle movement.

   V. KARL MARX                                                 90

     Birthplace, 1818--Parentage--Cosmopolitanism of the
       Marx family--At Bonn--Bruno Bauer--Driven from
       Prussia--From Paris--Finds rest in London--Death,
       1883--Marxian theory of social agitation--Communistic
       Manifesto of Karl Marx and Frederic Engels--The
       theory of value--Marx's application of the evolution
       idea to the social movement--Ideal and material
       emancipation of the proletariat--Creation of class
       interest--Marxism as a social-political realism--
       Engels's _Struggle of Classes in France_.

  VI. THE TREND TOWARDS UNITY                                  121

     The proletarian-socialistic character of the revolution
       of 1848--Internationalism--First attempt for
       international combination--The "International"--The
       "Inaugural Address"--_Alliance Internationale de la
       Démocratie Sociale_--Dissolution of the
       "International"--Internal and external unification of
       the proletariat--Lassalle's "Working-Men's
       Union"--Wilhelm Liebknecht--August Bebel--The
       Social-Democratic Working-Men's Party--The
       "Honourables"--The "Social-Democratic Party"--The
       "Gotha" programme--Gradual extension of the Marxian
       system--French trade-union agitation--Approach of the
       English working-men's movement to that of the
       Continental--The "minimum programme" of all social
       agitation--Centripetal and centrifugal tendency of
       the social agitation.

 VII. TENDENCIES OF THE PRESENT                                142

     Contradiction apparent in the great social movement--
       Sources from which contradictions spring--Political
       influence of the social movement--Revolutionism a
       manifestation of unripeness--Meaning of social
       evolution--Theoretical and practical social
       development--Confusion of "ideal" and "programme"--
       Relation of the proletariat to the _demos_--The
       social movement to be the representative of the
       highest form of economic life at every period of
       production upon the largest scale--The "agrarian
       question"--The Marxian theory of development only for
       the sphere of manufactures--Does not apply to
       agricultural development--Anti-religious nature of
       the proletarian movement--The grounds for this enmity
       to religion--The movement anti-ecclesiastical--
       Patriotism--Not the heritage of a particular class--
       Nationalism--Feeling of nationalism not shared by the
       proletariat--No reason in the essence of modern
       socialism for anti-nationalism--Asiatic development--
       Advancement of Japan--Attitude of America towards
       Asiatic development.

VIII. LESSONS                                                 169

     Necessity of the social movement--Lorenz von
       Stein--"Class strife" not identical with civil
       war--Various forms of "class strife"--Struggle the
       solution in social life--Conflict not necessarily the
       beginning of a new culture--Can also betoken the end
       of the old--Social struggle should be determined
       within legal bounds--Must be carried on with proper
       weapons--English social agitation as a model.


     Notable inventions of modern machinery--"Machine
       Riots"--Petitions against machines and
       manufactories--Laws for the protection of
       machines--Adam Smith's "Wealth of Nations"--Robert
       Owen's chief writing's--Fourier's first great
       book--Complete removal of Elizabethan trade
       restrictions--The "Savannah" arrives at
       Liverpool--Chief work of St. Simon--More liberal
       coalition law--Opening of the Manchester-Liverpool
       Railroad--Insurrection of the silk workers in
       Lyons--Beginning of specific legislation for working
       men--Founding of the German Zollverein--Beginnings of
       German national industry--Introduction of Rowland
       Hill's penny postage--Telegraph first applied to
       English railroads--German governmental regulations
       for the repression of the working-men's
       movement--Severe laws of Napoleon III. for the
       repression of all social agitation--First World's
       Exposition in London--Bismarck forces the general,
       equal, secret, and direct ballot--Liberal trade
       regulation for the German Empire--Rapid development
       of capitalism in Germany, especially after the
       war--Trade-union act (English) supplemented in
       1875--Law concerning the socialists in
       Germany--Beginning of governmental working-men's
       association in Germany--Insurance for the sick,
       against accident, for the sick and aged, in
       Germany--Endorsement of a legal establishment of the
       eight-hour work-day by the Trade-Union Congress in
       Liverpool--International Working-Men's Protection
       Conference in Berlin--Third International
       Working-Men's Congress in Zurich, at which English
       trade-unions deliberate officially with the
       Continental socialists--Fourth International
       Working-Men's Congress in London.




    "Da ist's denn wieder, wie die Sterne wollten:
    Bedingung und Gesetz; und aller Wille
    Ist nur ein Wollen, weil wir eben sollten,
    Und vor dem Willen schweigt die Willkür stille."

                                    GOETHE, _Urworte_.

When Karl Marx began a communistic manifesto with the well-known
words, "The history of all society thus far is the history of class
strife," he uttered, in my opinion, one of the greatest truths that
fill our century. But he did not speak the whole truth. For it is not
fully true that all history of society consists exclusively in
struggle between classes. If we would put "world history" into a
single phrase we shall be obliged, I think, to say that there is an
antithesis around which the whole history of society turns, as around
two poles: social and national--using the word national in the widest
meaning. Humanity develops itself into communities, and then these
communities fight and compete with each other; but always within the
community the individual begins to strive for elevation over others,
in order, as Kant once expressed it, to make distinction of rank among
his fellows, whom he does not like, from whom, however, he cannot
escape. So we see on the one side the exertion of the community for
wealth, power, recognition; and on the other side the same exertion,
by the individual, after power, wealth, honour. These, as it seems to
me, are the two matters which in fact fill all history. For history
begins as this antithesis unfolds itself. It is merely a figure of
speech, and you must not be shocked by the harsh expression, as I say
that human history is a fight either for food division, or for
feeding-place, upon our earth. These are both great contradictions
which constantly emerge, which invariably control mankind. We stand
to-day at the conclusion of an historic period of great national
pride, and in the midst of a period of great social contrasts; and
the varying views, world-wide in their differences, which obtain day
by day in different groups of men, all lead back, as it seems to me,
to the alternative, "national or social."

Before I now proceed with my theme, "Socialism and the Social Movement
in the Nineteenth Century,"--that is, to one member of this
antithesis, the social,--I would first suggest the question: "What is
a _social movement_?" I answer: _By a social movement we understand
the aggregate of all those endeavours of a social class which are
directed to a rational overturning of an existing social order to suit
the interests of this class._ The essential elements in every social
movement are these: First, an existing order in which a certain
society lives, and particularly a social order which rests chiefly
upon the manner of production and distribution of material goods as
the necessary basis of human existence. This specific system of
production and distribution is the point of issue for every social
movement. Secondly, a social class which is discontented with the
existing conditions. By a "social class" I understand a number of
similarly interested persons, especially persons who are similarly
interested in economic matters--the distinctive point; that is, of men
who are interested in a specific system of production and
distribution. We must, in understanding any social class, go back to
this economic system; and we should not allow ourselves to be blinded
or confused by the inbred notions of certain classes. These
prepossessions, which frequently control, are only bulwarks of classes
differing economically. And, thirdly, an aim which this class,
discontented with the existing order of things, holds up to reach; an
ideal, which presents compactly all that for which the society will
agitate, and which finds its expression in the postulates, demands,
programmes of this class. In general, where you can speak of a social
movement you find a point of issue, the existing social order; a
supporter of the movement, the social class; an aim, the ideal of the
new society.

In what follows I shall attempt to give some points of view for an
understanding of a specific--the modern--social movement. But what do
we mean by the phrase "to _understand_ a social movement"? This: to
comprehend the social movement in its essential historic limitations,
in its causal connection with historic facts out of which, of
necessity, that is produced which we describe as a social movement.
That is, to comprehend why specific social classes are formed, why
they present these particular points of opposition, why especially a
pushing, aggressive social class has, and must have, that particular
ideal for which it reaches. We mean, above all, to see that the
movement springs not out of the whim, the choice, the malevolence of
individuals; that it is not made, but becomes.

And now to the modern social movement. How is it to be characterised?
If we would hold fast to those elements which constitute every social
movement, we must describe the modern social movement on two sides:
according to its aim, and according to the class that supports the
movement. The modern social movement is, from the standpoint of its
aim, a socialistic agitation, because, as will be shown, it is
uniformly directed to the establishment of communal ownership, at
least of the means of production; that is, to a socialistic, communal
order of society in place of the existing method of private ownership.
It is characterised, on the other side, in accordance with the
adherents of the movement, by the fact that it is a proletarian
agitation, or, as we customarily say, it is a working-men's movement.
The class which supports it, upon which it rests, which gives to it
the initiative, is the proletariat, a class of free wage-workers.

And now we ask the question: Is it possible to distinguish those
circumstances which would make such a movement evidently a necessary
historic development? I said that the social movement has, as its
supporters, the modern proletariat, a class of free, lifelong
wage-workers. The first condition of its existence is the rise of this
class itself. Every social class is the result, the expression, of
some specific form of production; the proletariat, of that form of
production which we are accustomed to call capitalistic. The history
of the rise of the proletariat is also the history of capitalism. This
latter cannot exist, it cannot develop, without producing the
proletariat. It is not now my purpose to give to you a history of
capitalism. Only this much may be presented for the understanding of
its nature: the capitalistic system of production involves the
co-operation of two socially separated classes in the manufacture of
material goods. One class is that which is in possession of the
matter and means of production, as machines, tools, establishments,
raw material, etc.--the capitalistic class; the other class is that of
the personal factors of production, the possessors only of workman's
craft--the free wage-workers. If we realise that all production rests
upon the union of the material and the personal factors of production,
then the capitalistic system of production distinguishes itself from
others in that both the factors of production are represented through
two socially separated classes which must necessarily come together by
free consent, the "free wage compact," so that the processes of
production may take place. The method of production thus formed has
entered into history as a necessity. It arose in that moment when
demand had become so strong that the earlier methods of production
could not longer satisfy the enlarging conditions, in the time when
new and large markets were opened. It appeared originally solely with
the historic task of implanting the mercantile spirit of manufacture
for the maintaining of these new markets. The mercantile talent forces
itself on as leader of production and draws great masses of mere
hand-workers into its service. It then becomes yet more of a
necessity as the development of the technique of production
complicates the whole operation so greatly that the combination of
many kinds of work in one product is unavoidable; especially since the
introduction of steam for the production and transportation of goods.
The supporters of the capitalistic method of production are, as a
class, the _bourgeoisie_, the middle class. How gladly would I speak
of the great historic mission which this class has fulfilled! But
again I must content myself with this mere reference, that we see this
historic mission in the wonderful development which this class has
given to the material forces of production. Under the compulsion of
competition, lashed by the passion of accumulation which enters with
it into modern history, this class has wrought into reality for us
those fairy tales of the Thousand and One Nights, those wonders in
which daily we rejoice, as through the streets or the industrial
expositions of our great cities we stroll, as we talk with the
antipodes, as we sail in floating palaces over the ocean, or bask in
the glory of our luxurious parlours. But our point is this: the
existence of this capitalistic system of production is the necessary
condition for that class which is the supporter of the modern
socialistic movement--the proletariat. I have already said that the
proletariat follows the capitalistic form of production as its shadow.
This scheme of production cannot exist otherwise, cannot develop
itself otherwise, than under the condition that, subject to the
command of individuals, troops of possessionless workers are herded in
great undertakings. It has as a necessary presupposition the rending
of all society into two classes: the owners of the means of
production, and the personal factors in production. Thus the existence
of capitalism is the necessary preliminary condition of the
proletariat, and so of the modern social movement.

But how stands it with the proletariat? What are the conditions under
which the working-class lives? And how has it come to pass that out of
these conditions those particular tendencies and demands have arisen
which, as we shall find, have come out of this proletariat? Usually,
when one is asked concerning the characteristics of the modern
proletariat, the first answer is--the great misery in which the masses
are sunk. That may pass with some qualification; only it must not be
forgotten that misery is not specifically confined to the modern
proletariat. Thus, how miserable is the condition of the peasants in
Russia, of the Irish "rack-rent" tenants! There must be a specific
kind of misery which characterises the proletariat. I refer, here,
particularly to those unhealthy work-places, mines, manufactories with
their noise and dust and heat, that have arisen with the modern method
of production; I think of the conditions produced by these methods of
production which tend to draw into the work certain categories of
workers,--as women and children; I think further of how the
concentration of population in industrial centres and in the great
cities has increased the misery of external life for the individual.
At all events, we may consider the intensification of misery as a
primary cause for the growth and insistence of new thoughts and new
feelings. But that is not the most important point, when we ask after
the essential conditions of existence of the proletariat. It is much
more characteristic that in the moment when great masses sink into
misery, upon the other side, shining like a fairy's creation, the
millionaire arises. It is the contrast between the comfortable villa
and elegant equipage of the rich, the magnificent stores, the
luxurious restaurants which the workman passes as he goes on his way
to his manufactory or workshop in the dreary part of the city; it is
the contrast in condition which develops hate in the masses. And that,
again, is a peculiarity of the modern system, that it develops this
hate and permits hate to become envy. It seems to me that this happens
principally for the reason that those who display this grandeur are no
longer the churches or the princes; but that they are those very
persons on whom the masses feel themselves dependent, in whose direct
economic control they see themselves, in whom they recognise their
so-called "exploiters." This definite modern contrast is that which
principally excites the intensity of this feeling of hate in the
masses. Yet one thing further. It is not merely the miserable
condition, the contrast with the well-to-do; but another terrible whip
is swung over the heads of the proletariat--I mean the uncertainty in
their lives. Also in this we have to do with a peculiarity of modern
social life, if we rightly understand it. Uncertainty of existence is
indeed elsewhere: the Japanese trembles at the thought of the
earthquake that may at any moment overwhelm him and his possessions;
the Kurd is afraid of the sand-storm in summer, of the snow-storm in
winter, which blight the feeding-place for his flocks; a flood or
drought in Russia may rob the peasant of his harvest and expose him to
starvation. But what constitutes the specific uncertainty of the
proletariat, which expresses itself in the loss of wage and work, is
this, that this uncertainty is understood as a result not of the
natural causes of which I have spoken, but of the specific form of
organisation of economic life--that is the chief point. "Against
nature no man can assert a right; but in the constitution of society
lack becomes immediately a form of injustice done to one or another
class"--(Hegel). Further, this uncertainty as to matters of nature
leads to superstition or bigotry; but this social uncertainty, if I
may so express it, develops a sharpening and refinement of judgment.
Man seeks after the causes which lead to this uncertainty. It works
simply an increase of that feeling of resistance which grows up in the
masses; it permits hate and envy to rise threateningly. Here, then, is
the ground on which the revolutionary passions, hate, envy,
insubordination, grow in the modern proletariat: peculiar forms of
misery, the contrast of this wretchedness with the glitter of the
bread-masters, the uncertainty of existence, supposed to arise out of
the forms of organisation of economic life.

In order now to be able to understand how these growths have pressed
forward into the peculiar manifestations which characterise the modern
social movement, we must realise that the masses which we have learned
to know in the position thus described have been developed as if by
magic, have not slowly grown into this condition. It is as if earlier
history had been completely effaced for millions of men. For, as the
presupposition of capitalism is combination in large operations, there
is involved in this also the accumulation of masses of men in cities
and centres of industry. This massing, however, means nothing other
than this, that completely incoherent, amorphous crowds of men out of
the most widely separated regions of the land are thrown together at
one point, and that upon them the demand is made "Live!" This involves
a complete break with the past, a tearing apart of all ties of home,
village, family, custom. It means as well the overthrow of all the
earlier ideals of these homeless, possessionless, and coherentless
masses. This is a matter which is often underestimated. We forget that
it is an entirely new life which the hordes of the modern proletariat
have to begin. But what kind of a life is it? In its characteristics I
find as many points of explanation for the positive construction of
the proletarian world of ideas as for the destruction of all that has
heretofore been dear and precious to man. I mean, the socialistic
ideals of communal life and work must of necessity spring out of the
industrial centres and the resorts of the working-men in the great
cities. In the tenement-houses, the huge manufactories, the public
houses for meetings and for pleasures, the individual proletarian, as
if forsaken by God and man, finds himself with his companions in
misery again together, as members of a new and gigantic organism. Here
are new societies forming, and these new communities bear the
communistic stamp, because of modern methods of work. And they
develop, grow, establish themselves in the mass of men, in proportion
as the charm of separate existence fades from the individual; the more
dreary the attic room in the suburb of the city, the more attractive
is the new social centre in which the outcast finds himself again
treated as a man. The individual disappears, the companion emerges. A
uniform class consciousness matures itself, also the habit of communal
work and pleasure. So much for the psychology of the proletariat.

In order now to gain a full understanding of the modern social
movement, let us look at its general time environment. Also here
merely a remark or two must suffice. Perhaps this phrase will
sufficiently describe the modern period: there is in it conspicuously
an exuberance of life, as I think in no earlier period. A stream of
vigorous life flows through modern society as at no earlier time; and
for this reason a quickness of contact between all the individual
members of a society is made possible now as never heretofore. This
has been accomplished by the modern means of transportation which
capitalism has created for us. The possibility in these days of
informing oneself in a few hours concerning the occurrences throughout
a great country by means of telegraph, telephone, newspaper, and the
possibility of throwing great masses of men from one place to another
by modern means of transportation, have produced a condition of
solidarity throughout great groups of men, a sense of omnipresence,
which was unknown in all earlier times. Particularly is this true in
the large cities of these days. The ease of movement of masses has
grown enormously. And in like manner has that grown which we are
accustomed to call education--knowledge, and with knowledge demands.

With this vigour of life, however, is most closely united that which I
would call the nervosity of modern times, an unsteadiness, haste,
insecurity of existence. Because of the distinctive character of
economic relations, this trace of unrest and haste has forced itself
into all branches not only of economic but as well of social life. The
age of free competition has stamped itself upon all spheres of life.
Every man strives with others, no one feels himself sure, no one is
contented with his condition. The beauty and calm of rest are gone.

One thing more. I will call it "revolutionism," and I mean by that
term the fact that never has there been another time, like ours, of
such entire change in all the conditions of life. All is in
flux--economics, science, art, morals, religion. All ideas on these
matters are in such a process of change that we are impelled to the
delusion that there is nothing now certain. And this is perhaps one of
the most important considerations for the explanation of the real
meaning of modern social agitation. It explains in two ways. In it we
see the reason for that destructive criticism of all that exists,
which allows nothing as good, which throws away all earlier faith as
old iron in order to enter with new material upon the market. Also, it
explains the fanatical belief in the feasibility of the desired future
state. Since so much has already changed, since such wonders, for
which no one has dared to hope, have been realised before our very
eyes, why not more? Why not all that man wishes? Thus the
revolutionism of the present becomes fertile soil for the Utopia of
the future. Edison and Siemens are the spiritual fathers of Bellamy
and Bebel.

These seem to me the essential conditions under which a social
movement has developed itself in this later time: the peculiar
existence of the proletariat; the specific misery, contrast,
uncertainty, springing from the modern economic system; a
reorganisation of all forms of life, through the tearing apart of
earlier relations and the upbuilding of entirely new social forms upon
a communistic basis, and of new consolidations in the great cities and
operations; finally, the peculiar spirit of the time in which the
social movement exhibits itself, intensity of life, nervosity,

Now let us consider this social movement itself, in theory and



    "Rarely do we reach truth except through extremes--we must have
    foolishness ... even to exhaustion, before we arrive at the
    beautiful goal of calm wisdom."

                      SCHILLER, _Philosophical Letters_, Preamble.

It would be strange if such a mighty revolution in economic and social
matters as I have sketched for you should not have found its
reflection in the minds of thinking men. It would be wonderful, I
think, if with this overturning of social institutions a revolution of
social thought, science, and faith should not follow. We find in fact
that parallel with this revolution in life fundamental changes have
taken place in the sphere of social thought. By the side of the old
social literature a new set of writings arises. The former belongs to
the end of the previous and the beginning of the present century; it
is that which we are accustomed to call the classic political economy;
it is that which, after a development of about one hundred and fifty
to two hundred years, found the highest theoretical expression of the
capitalistic economic system through the great political economists
Adam Smith and David Ricardo. By the side of this literature, devoted
to the capitalistic view of economics, now grows a new school of
writings which has this general characteristic, that it is
anti-capitalistic; that is, it places itself in conscious opposition
to the capitalistic school of economics and considers the advocacy of
this opposition as its peculiar task.

In accordance with the undeveloped condition of such economic thought
it is, of course, a medley of explanations and claims as to what is
and what should be, wherein the new literature expresses its
opposition. All undeveloped literature begins in this tumultuous way,
just as all unschooled minds at first slowly learn to distinguish
between what is and what should be. And indeed in the immaturity of
this new literature the practical element predominates greatly, as may
readily be understood; there is a desire to justify theoretically the
agitation, the new postulates, the new ideals.

For this reason, if we would see this literature in its full relations
and distinguish its various _nuances_ (delicate differences), it will
be convenient to choose as distinguishing marks the differing uses of
the new "Thou shalt." Thus we recognise in general two groups in this
new literature, the reformatory and the revolutionary. The latter word
is not used in its ordinary meaning, but in that which I shall
immediately define. The reformatory and the revolutionary literature
divide on this point, that the reformatory recognises in principle the
existing economic system of capitalism, and attempts upon the basis of
this economy to introduce changes and improvements, which are,
however, subordinate, incidental, not essential; also and especially,
that the fundamental features of social order are retained, but that
man desires to see his fellow-man changed in thought and feeling. A
new spirit obtains, repentance is proclaimed, the good qualities of
human nature win the upper hand--brotherly love, charity,

This reformatory agitation that recognises the injury and evil of
social life, but that with essential adhesion to the dominant economic
system desires to mitigate the injury and to overcome or minimise the
evil, has different ways of expression. It is a Christian, or an
ethical, or a philanthropic impulse which calls forth the new
literature and controls the writings that make for social reform.

The Christian thought is that which, in application to the social
world, creates that trend of literature which we are accustomed
incorrectly to designate under the phrase "Christian socialism." Of
this are the writings of Lamennais in France, Kingsley in England,
which, filled with the spirit of the Bible, address to employer and
employe alike the demand--Out with the spirit of mammon from your
souls, fill your hearts with the spirit of the gospel, the "new
spirit," as they constantly call it. And quite similarly sound the
voices of those earlier "ethical" economists, Sismondi, Thomas Carlyle,
who do not become tired of preaching, if not the "Christian," at least
the "social" spirit. Change of heart is their watchword. The third
drift of thought, which I call the philanthropic, directs itself rather
towards the emotions than towards the sense of duty or the religious
element in man. Pierre Leroux in France, Grün and Hess in Germany, are
men who, filled with a great, overpowering love for mankind, desire to
heal the wounds which their sympathetic hearts behold, who would
overwhelm the misery which they see by this universal love of man.
"Love one another as men, as brothers!" is the theme of their
preaching. All these three streams of thought, merely the sources of
which I have specified, continue influential to the present day; and
all of them have this in common, that they hold fast in principle to
the foundations of the existing social order--therefore I call them
reformatory. Opposed to them appears another class of literature, the
"revolutionary"; so called because its great principle is the doing
away with the foundations of capitalistic economy, and the substituting
something different. This it proposes to do in two different ways,--if
I may express my meaning in two words,--backwards and forwards.

At the very time when economic contradictions develop themselves and
new phases of anti-capitalistic literature come to the surface, we
find a revolutionary anti-capitalistic literature strongly asserting
itself, which demands a retrogression from the existing system of
economics. Such are the writings of Adam Müller and Leopold von Haller
in the first third of our century, men who would change the bases on
which the modern capitalistic economy is founded by introducing the
crumbled feudalistic guild system of the middle ages in place of the
middle-class capitalistic system of to-day. These are indeed
manifestations which have not as yet reached their end.

Besides these reactionary manifestations, there is another movement
which does not want this regression to old forms, but in the same way
demands an overthrow of the principles of the existing capitalistic
system. But this change must be under the influence of those modern
advanced ideas which, especially on the technical side, betoken that
which we are accustomed to call "progress." Systems, that is,
theories, they are which hold fast to an historic essence of
capitalistic methods of production--that it is built upon the basis of
modern production in the mass; but which, under the influence of
advanced ideas, call for a new order of production and distribution in
the interests of those classes of the people which under the
capitalistic economy seem to come short--thus essentially in the
interests of the great masses of the proletariat. The theorists who
desire such a development of the capitalistic economy in the interests
of the proletariat, while upholding methods of production on a large
scale, are the ones whom we must call socialists in the true meaning
of the word. And we have now to do with a strange species of these
socialists, with those whom we are accustomed to call utopists or
utopian socialists. The typical representatives of these utopian
socialists are St. Simon and Charles Fourier in France, and Robert
Owen in England. Of these, the most conspicuous are the two Frenchmen;
their systems are most frequently presented. Owen is less known. As I
now attempt to make clear to you, through him, the essence of utopian
socialism, it is because he is less known, but especially because in
my opinion he is the most interesting of the three great utopists. It
is he who on the one side most clearly shows to us the genesis of the
modern proletarian ideal, and on the other side has been of greatest
influence upon other socialistic theorists, especially upon Karl Marx
and Friedrich Engels.

Robert Owen was a manufacturer. We find him at the age of twenty years
already the manager of a great cotton-mill. Soon after he established
a mill at Lanark. Here he learned practical life by personal
experience. We distinguish two periods in his life. In the first he
is what we may call an educationalist, a man who interests himself
especially in the education of youth and expects through it an
essential reformation of human society. The chief work of this epoch
is the book _A New View of Society_. In the second period he is a
socialist; and his most important work is _A Book of the New Moral
World_. Owen really interests us in this second period, as a
socialist. What does he thus teach? And what is the essence of this
first form of utopian socialism?

Robert Owen takes as the starting-point for his theorising the
investigations which he made in his immediate surroundings. He
pictures to us the state of affairs in connection with his own
manufactories; how the workers, especially the women and children,
degenerated, physically, intellectually and morally. He begins also
with a recognition of the evils which distinguish the modern
capitalistic system; his starting-point is proletarian. Upon these
investigations of his own he now builds a social-philosophic system
which is not unknown to one who has studied the social philosophy of
the eighteenth century. Owen's social philosophy is essentially
characterised by this, that he believes in man as good by nature, and
in an order of communal life which would in like manner be naturally
good if only these men were brought into proper relations with each
other--faith in the so-called _ordre naturel_, in a natural order of
things which has possibly existed somewhere, but which in any case
would exist, were it not that artificial hindrances stand in the way,
evils which make it impossible for man to live in this natural way
with others. These evils, these forces, which stand in the way of the
accomplishment of a natural communal life, Robert Owen sees of two
kinds: one in the faulty education of men, the other in the defective
environment in which modern man lives--the evils of a rich _milieu_.
He infers logically, if we would again realise that natural and
beautiful condition of harmonious communal life, that _ordre naturel_,
both these evils must be driven out of the world. He demands,
therefore, better education on the one side, a better environment upon
the other. In these two postulates we find side by side the two
periods of his development as we have heretofore seen them. In the
first he lays stress rather upon education; in the second, rather upon
change of environment. He recognises, further--and this is perhaps
the particular service rendered by Owen to socialistic theory--that
these evil conditions, on the overcoming of which all depends, have
not been provided by nature, but have grown out of a definite system
of social order, which he believes to be the capitalistic. In the
capitalistic economy he sees nothing of that natural law which the
representatives of the classical economies assert; but an order of
society created by man. Even his opponents believed in the _ordre
naturel_, only they thought that it was realised; Owen did not. Much
more, Owen was compelled to demand the overthrow of this economic
system in order that his goal might be reached, that man might be able
to enjoy a better development and a better environment. For this
reason he demanded that the artificial economic system should undergo
essential changes, especially in two points, the main pillars upon
which the economic system is built. Owen repudiated the competition of
the individual and the profit-making of the master.

If this be allowed, the further practical arrangements which Owen
demanded must in like manner be granted: in place of individualism,
socialism must stand. In this way private operation will be replaced
by communal production, and competition will be in fact overthrown;
also, the profit of the employer will flow into the pockets of the
producers, the members of the social organisation. These ideas of
socialistic production grew, for Owen, spontaneously out of the
capitalistic system in which he lived.

Here we come directly to the attitude of spirit in which Robert Owen
has conceived his socialistic system, and it is necessary for the
completion of this sketch to make reference especially to the means
which Owen would use to reach his goal. These means are essentially a
universal understanding and agreement among men; to them the truth and
beauty of this new order should be preached, so that the wish may be
aroused in them to accomplish this new order. But Owen does not think
of the possibility that, when it is once made clear how wonderful this
new order would be and how wonderfully men would live therein, men
would not wish for the new order, and even if they did wish for it,
that they might not be able to accomplish it. Only let the matter be
known, then the wish and the ability will follow. For this reason, it
is possible that the new order may enter at any moment; "as a thief
in the night," Owen expresses it, socialism can come over the world.
Only intellectual perception is necessary, and this can illumine the
mind of man suddenly as a lightning flash. This peculiar conception of
the means and ways that lead to the goal is one of the characteristic
traits which distinguish the system of Owen, and in like manner of all
utopian socialists.

If we look at this system as a whole, we find as the starting-point a
criticism of existing social circumstances in a proletarian community.
We find, further, as the basis upon which the system stands, the
social philosophy of the eighteenth century. We see, as its demands,
the overthrow of the capitalistic economy and the replacing of private
production by communal operation. We find, finally, as the means for
accomplishing this, as the roadway that leads to the object desired,
the enlightenment of mankind. How he then exerted himself to carry out
his plans in detail, how he created a New Lanark, and how his plans
were entirely frustrated--all that interests us now as little as does
the fact that Owen reached large practical results, in the shortening
of the hours of labor and in the limitation of work by women and
children, through improvement and amelioration of work in his
manufactories, in which a new race began to rise in intellectual and
moral freshness. Just so little are we interested in the fact that he
is the father of English trade-union agitation. We would only look at
his significance for the social movement, and this lies especially in
the fact that he first, at least in outline, created that which since
has become the proletarian ideal. For this point must be made clear to
us, that all the germs of later socialism are contained in Owen's

If I now, after having sketched the fundamental ideas of Owen's
system, may attempt to condense the essence of the so-called utopian
socialism into a few sentences, I would specify this as essential:
Owen and the others are primarily socialists because their
starting-point is proletarian criticism. They draw this immediately
out of spheres in which capitalism asserts itself, out of the
manufactory as Owen, out of the counting-house as Fourier. They are,
further, socialists for this reason, not only that their
starting-point is proletarian, but also because their object is
socialistic in the sense that it would put joint enterprise in the
place of private operation; that is, a new economic order which does
not longer provide for private operation and the sharing of the profit
between master and workman, but is based upon communal effort, without
competition and without employer. But why, we ask ourselves, are they
called socialistic utopists? And how are they to be distinguished from
those theorists whom we shall learn to call scientific socialists?
Owen, St. Simon, and Fourier are to be called utopists for the reason
that they do not recognise the real factors of socialism; they are the
true and legitimate children of the naïve and idealistic eighteenth
century, which we, with right, call the century of intellectual

I have already showed to you how this belief in enlightenment, in the
power of the knowledge of good, predominates in Owen's system. In this
lies essentially its utopianism, because those are looked upon as
effective and impelling factors which do not in fact constitute social
life and the real world. Thus this belief mistakes doubly: it contains
a false judgment of present and past, and it deceives itself
concerning the prospects of the future. So far as his followers
assume that the present order of things is nothing other than a
mistake, that only for this reason men find themselves in their
present position, that misery rules in the world only because man has
not known thus far how to make it better--that is false. The utopists
fail to see, in their optimism, that a part of this society looks upon
the _status quo_ as thoroughly satisfactory and desires no change,
that this part also has an interest in sustaining it, and that a
specific condition of society always obtains because those persons who
are interested in it have the power to sustain it. All social order is
nothing other than the temporary expression of a balance of power
between the various classes of society. Now judge for yourselves what
mistaken estimate of the true world, what boundless underestimate of
opposing forces, lie in the belief that those who have power can be
moved to a surrender of their position through preaching and promise.

As the utopists underestimate the power of their opponents, so they
overestimate their own strength, and thus become utopists as to the
future. They are pervaded by the strong conviction that there is
needed only an energetic, hearty resolution in order to bring to
reality the kingdom of the future. They rate too highly the ability
of the men who will constitute the future society. They forget, or
they do not know, that in a long process of reconstruction men and
things must first be created in order to make the new social order

For the practical working of the social movement, the most interesting
conclusion which the utopists draw logically out of this conception is
the kind of tactics which they recommend for reaching the new
condition. From what has been said it follows necessarily that this
strategy must culminate in an appeal to men collectively. It will not
be accomplished by a specific and interested class; but it expects
from all men that, when the matter is rightly explained, they will
wish for the good. Indeed, it is assumed that it is only ignorance on
the part of the opponent that keeps him from accepting openly and
freely this good, from divesting himself of his possessions and
exchanging the old order for the new. The characteristic example of
this childish way of viewing things is the well-known fact that
Charles Fourier daily waited at his home, between the hours of twelve
and one, to receive the millionaire who should bring to him money for
the erection of the first phalanstery. No one came.

In closest connection with this belief in the willingness of the
ruling classes to make concessions stands the disinclination to all
use of force, to all demand and command. Thus we find, as the simple
thought in the tactics of the utopists, the repudiation of class
strife and political effort. For how can this be brought into harmony
with their main idea? How can anything that is to be accomplished by
intellectual illumination, or at most by example, be achieved through
strife? It is unthinkable. So, just as utopian socialism rejects
political exertion, it also stands opposed to all those efforts which
we are accustomed to call the economic agitation of the workman, such
as trade-unions and the like. It is the same thought: how shall the
organisation of working-men for strife tend to the improvement of the
condition of work, when this can come only through the preaching of
the new gospel? Robert Owen indeed organised in England trade-unions.
But their work was really the propagation of his socialistic theories,
not painful struggle against capitalism. Rejection of class strife in
the sphere of politics as of economic agitation, repudiation of this
in speech and writing and example--herein culminate the tactics of the
utopian socialists. This, as I have attempted to show to you, is the
necessary outcome of their system, built upon beautiful but narrow

As we now take leave of utopian socialism we must guard ourselves from
the thought that the spirit of this great historic influence has fully
disappeared from the world. No! no day passes without the
reappearance, in some book or speech, of these fundamental thoughts
which we have recognised as the essence of utopian socialism.
Especially in the circles of the well inclined middle-class social
politicians does this spirit live to-day; but even in the proletariat
itself it is not by any means dead. We shall see how it is revived
later, in connection with revolutionary thought. For this reason a
more than merely historic interest invests this particular line of



    "The great, dumb, deep-buried class lies like an Enceladus, who
    in his pain, if he will complain of it, has to produce
    earthquakes."--THOMAS CARLYLE, "Chartism," ix. (_Essays._
    Edition, Chapman and Hall, vi., 169).

The question which now rests upon the lips of you all, since I have
indicated the lines of thought of the first socialists, is this: When
such noble minds drew the plan of a new and better world for their
suffering brethren, where was the proletariat itself, and what did it
do? What are the beginnings of the social movement which is carried on
by the masses?

The answer must be that long, very long, after much had been thought
and written concerning the condition and future of the proletariat
this element of the population yet remained completely untouched by
these new ideas, knew nothing of them, cared nothing for them; it
permitted itself to be controlled by other forces, other motives. The
systems of St. Simon, Fourier, Owen, have had little or no influence
with the masses.

As we turn to the proletariat itself and ask after its fate,--perhaps
up to the middle of our century,--we find a precursor of the social
movement which everywhere--that is, in all lands controlled by the
capitalistic economy--exhibits the same marks and is uniformly
characterised in the following way: where the movement of the masses
stands out clearly and conscious of its aim, it is not proletarian;
where it is proletarian, it is not clear and conscious of its aim.
That means, in the conscious movement in which the proletariat is
found engaged, middle-class elements direct as to the object sought:
where the proletariat undertakes to be independent, it shows all the
immaturity of the formative stages of a social class, mere instincts,
no clearly defined postulates and aims.

Those historic occurrences in which the proletariat played a role,
although they were not proletarian movements, are the well-known
revolutions which we connect with the years 1789, 1793, 1830, 1832,
1848--for I must go back into the previous century for the inner
connection. We have here movements which are essentially middle-class;
in them political liberties are sought, and, so far as the proletarian
elements are concerned, the masses fight the battles of the middle
classes, like the common soldiers who fought in feudal armies. This
fact, that we here have to do with purely middle-class movements, has
so often been mistaken by many celebrated historians, the terms
"communism" and "socialism" have been so constantly applied to those
agitations, that it is well worth our while to show the incorrectness
of this assumption. For this purpose, we must look separately at those
movements which are connected with the years thus specified, since
each one has its own characteristics.

If we present to ourselves first the real meaning of the movements of
1789 and 1793, the great French Revolution, it is clear even to those
of limited vision that the revolution of 1789 was purely a
middle-class movement, and indeed carried on by the higher part of the
middle-class. It is the struggle of the upper middle-class for the
recognition of its rights, and for relief from the privileges of the
ruling class of society--from the fetters in which it had been held by
feudal powers. It expresses this struggle in demands for equality and
freedom, but it really means from the very start a limited equality
and freedom. Look at the first, trenchant, we may call them social,
laws which were passed by the new regime of France. They are by no
means of a popular character, or partial to the working-man; we see at
the first look that they were not made by the masses for the masses,
but by an aristocratic middle-class, which places itself in sharp
opposition to the rabble. Thus the well-known _Loi martiale_ of
October 20, 1789, a riot act, gives expression to this distinction as
it speaks of the "_bons citoyens_" who must be protected by stern
police regulation against the attacks of the _gens mal intentionés_;
"when the mob does not disperse on warning, then the armed forces
shall fire." They would so control the caprices of the masses that not
a second time should a dagger find its way into the breast of an
honourable baker, when the populace without authority would
appropriate to itself the bread in the bakeries.

I think of a second important law, born out of the doctrinaire
middle-class spirit of these first years; the "Coalitions Law" of June
17, 1791. It punishes every combination of tradesworkers for the
furtherance of their "alleged" common interests, as an attempt upon
the freedom and rights of man, by a fine of five hundred livres and
the loss of citizenship for a year. This applies equally to the
employer and the working-man, we may better say the master and the
journeyman; but we all know what crying injustice this equality has

Then comes the first consolidation of the new society, the
Constitution of November 3, 1791, which, through the introduction, of
limited franchise, brings to sharp and clear expression the separation
between a ruling class of those well-to-do and a ruled class of the
"have-nothings." There are now "full citizens" and citizens of the
second class.

Thus it is clear that the revolution of 1789 was not at all a
proletarian movement. There may seem to be some doubt concerning the
agitation of 1793, for it is this, before all others, which our great
historians, as Sybel, like to specify as "communistic." The men of
Montaigne are, in their eyes, the predecessors of the social
democracy; and, indeed, quite lately in a small book published by the
Berlin Professor H. Delbrueck in the Goettingen library for
working-men, exactly this assertion is presented--that the leaders of
this social movement were true social democrats, and that in fact the
social democracy has developed no new thoughts since Saint Just and
Robespierre. I cannot recognise this assertion as correct. Let us test

I assert that even the movement of 1793 was essentially
non-proletarian. We grant that in it an undercurrent of democracy
breaks forth, which the French Revolution always had; and it is this
which has misled many. This was there from the beginning. It expressed
itself already in 1789, in the elections to the States-General, and
comes finally in 1793 to its full development.

As you read through the _Cahiers_ with their _Doléances_ of the year
1789, those "papers of grievances" which the electors, especially
those of Paris and Lyons, were accustomed to hand to their
representatives, you find therein already a peculiar tone which does
not harmonise with the honeyed expressions of the men of the "tennis
court." These demands were connected with the ruling hard times, for
the winter of 1789 had been severe; and they complained because misery
could not be lessened by a free constitution. "The voice of freedom
means nothing to the heart of a miserable man who is dying of hunger."
Already they demanded bread taxes and employment, the overthrow of
Sunday rest and of feast-days. Everyone knows how this cry arises
again and again in the speeches and writings of Marat. The _Ami du
Peuple_ declaims against the "aristocrats," and desires to serve the
"people." They found out that, for the great masses of the "poor,"
freedom and equality availed nothing; and Marat thus concludes:
"Equality of rights leads to equality of enjoyment, and only upon this
basis can the idea rest quietly." Then come the taxes; the "maximum"
comes. But I ask you, does that make this movement a proletarian and
social one? Can it be that at all? Let us look merely at its
supporters! The chief centres of democratic undercurrent are, as has
been said, Lyons and Paris. In Lyons we find, indeed, a proletariat,
that of the silk industry. We have the statistics of the year 1789; at
that time there were, in the Lyons silk industry, 410 _maîtres
marchands fabricants_, 4402 _maîtres ouvriers_, 1796 _compagnons_, and
about 40,000 other workers of both sexes. We must allow that here,
without doubt, there are indeed strong proletarian interests and
instincts; yet they are veiled by the peculiar character of the Lyons
silk industry. It had at that time, and has even to-day, a strong
hold upon the lower middle-class, and to a degree upon the upper
middle-class, for two reasons. One, due to its peculiar organisation,
the fact that this work was not carried on in large manufactories but
in small workshops under the direction of independent masters, and
that this created a class of independent men, between the capitalist
and the worker, hard to move to concerted action with the proletariat.
A second reason is this, that the Lyons silk industry is a manufacture
of an article of luxury. Such industries are in their very nature,
even in the earlier times, anti-revolutionary; the men of Montaigne
would not use silk stockings. For this reason we find Lyons,
naturally, after the first enthusiasm is over, by the side of the
_Vendée_ at the head of the counter-revolution, even at the beginning
of the year 1790. In general, as Lyons becomes anti-revolutionary the
faubourgs of Paris come to the foreground; out of them new masses
spring forward, the Sans-culottes. But what kind of people are they?
Certainly there are wage-workers among them. But the majority were of
a better class; there are traces of the trades out of which they had
come or to which they yet belonged. The real mass of the
Sans-culottes was not made out of wage-workers. It was rather the
Parisian lower middle-class; it was, first, the guild-excluded master
mechanics who dwelt in the Faubourg St. Antoine and Du Temple;
secondly, the journeymen; thirdly, that element which the French call
_la boutique_, retailers, tavern-keepers, etc., an important category.
These, then, are the great hordes who clustered around Danton,
Robespierre, and Marat. And what of these leaders themselves? Of what
spirit are they children? They are, essentially, of the lower
middle-class by birth. They are extreme radicals, extreme
individualists. They are in their ideals and aims entirely unsocial
and unproletarian according to our ideas to-day. The Constitution of
1793, in Article II., proclaims as _Droits de l'Homme: Egalité,
Liberté, Surété, Propriété_. That is not proletarian and is not
socialistic; thus all the assertions of a communistic movement at that
time are thrown out. I have dwelt thus long on this revolution of 1793
in order to show how premature it is to speak of social democrats and
of a social or proletarian movement wherever there is any outcry and

I can but briefly touch upon other movements of this early history.
The insurrection of Babeuf, 1796, bore certainly the communistic
stamp; but, as we now know, it was without any response from the
masses, who were finally tired of revolution.

Conspicuously of the upper middle-class were the July revolution of
1830 in France and the agitation of 1848 in Germany. In both cases we
see citizenship in strife with feudal forces. Less clearly appears the
civic character of the revolution of 1832 in England, and of the
February revolution of 1848 in France, because these agitations were
directed against forms of government sustained by citizens themselves.
Yet even these movements, of 1832 in England and the February
revolution in France, are not proletarian; they are rather the
struggle of a part of the middle-class, the radicals, against another
part, the _Haute finance_. This very opposition is now to be found
again in Italy in the struggle of the North Italian industries against
the rotten, half-feudal _Haute finance_ which Crispi represents.

These are the agitations of our century which have been definite and
conscious of their aim. In all of them the proletariat has been
involved, behind all the barricades from 1789 to 1848 lie proletarian
bodies; but of all those movements of which I have thus told you, not
a single one is proletarian, or in our sense a social movement.

Where now the proletariat fights for itself and represents its own
interests we discern at first mere muttered, inarticulate sounds; and
it takes long for these tones to rise to cries, for these cries to
grow to general demands, and to become crystallised into programmes.
The first proletarian agitations--movements of the unhappy, deeply
buried mass--are, according to Carlyle's word, like the movements of
Enceladus, who as he quivers in his pain causes an earthquake. These
are movements of an entirely instinctive kind, claiming that which
lies next, and attacking that which seems to them evidently to stand
in the way. These are deeds which originally and largely assume the
form of robbery and plunder. They have as their object to injure in
some way the enemy in his power of possession. In England towards the
close of the preceding and the beginning of the present century there
was much destruction and plundering of manufactories. In the year 1812
the demolition of factories was punished in England with death, the
best proof of the frequency of the fact. In other lands we have
similar occurrences. I think of the factory-burning in Uster in
Switzerland in the year 1832, of the weavers' riots in Germany in
1840, of the Lyons silk-weavers' insurrection in France in 1831. This
last distinguishes itself from previous events of a similar character
by the fact that it assumes as its great motive the motto which indeed
we can think of as written over the portal of the proletarian
movement: _Vivre en travaillant, ou mourir en combattant!_ That is the
first timid formulation of proletarian struggle, because the
battle-cry is negatively and positively an expression of true
proletarian-socialistic effort: negatively--no one shall live who does
not work; positively--those who work shall be able to live. Thus this
is the first development of proletarian agitation: attack upon the
external and visible forms in which the opponent is incorporated--upon
the manufactories and machines because in their coming lies
competition with hand-work, upon the dwellings of the employers which
appear as the citadels of the new dictators.

It is a step in advance when, in place of the immediate and visible
object, there come into view the principles which lie behind these
things, upon which the capitalistic system of economy rests--free
competition in production. It is therefore advance in proletarian
agitation as this begins to direct itself to the abolition of modern
institutions. Thus the proletariat in England, towards the end of the
previous and the beginning of the present century, struggled long for
a revival of the Elizabethan trade law. This had specified that every
master should have only one apprentice for three workmen. The time of
apprenticeship should also be limited to seven years, the wages should
be settled by a justice of the peace. This is an instinctive clutching
after a protective barrier which seems to be disappearing. Even this
is not at first clear; but essentially we find this trait common to
all the antecedents of proletarianism, that the movements hold fast to
what was in the good old times. Thus, for example, in Germany, the
working-man's agitation of 1848 was largely an attempt to reintroduce
the old guild system. But it all belongs to the antecedent history of
the social movement, because there was no definite aim before the

Also to this antecedent history belongs that great and well known
movement, frequently specified as the first typical,
socialistic-proletarian agitation; I mean the Chartist movement in
England in 1837-1848. This differs from the brief outbreakings of the
masses which we have just now specified in that it was carried on
systematically for more than a decade, and it seems to us like a well
organised movement. Without doubt it is a true proletarian agitation:
if you wish so to call it, the first organised proletarian movement. It
is proletarian because the great masses of the Chartists were of the
labouring class; also, because its demands grew immediately out of the
condition of the proletariat, and it exerted itself immediately for a
material betterment of the oppressed factory-hands. Thus at that time
the maximum day's work was presented as a demand; also, let me remind
you of the celebrated phrase of the Rev. Mr. Stephens, who cried out to
the masses: "The question which concerns us here is only one of knife
and fork!" The Chartist movement is also proletarian because in it the
antagonism between labour and capital arises often and sharply. The
"government," the "ruling class," is identified with the capitalist.
This finds expression in a genuine hate against employers which at
that time possessed the masses and became a battle-cry. O'Connor's
word, "Down with the wretches who drink the blood of our children, take
pleasure in the misery of our wives, and become satiated by our sweat!"
reminds us of the phraseology of the proletarian assemblages of the
present day. Further, the demand for the right to work is thoroughly
proletarian; so also the right to a full profit from the work, to the
"increase" which flows into the pockets of the employer. A symptom of
the proletarian character of the Chartist movement is seen in its
growing indifference to political questions that do not immediately
concern it; as, for example, concerning the abolition of the corn tax.
It is interesting to see how gradually the Chartist movement became
indifferent towards the most pressing interests of the middle-class;
these, though originally included, were finally and completely thrown
overboard. Also, in the form of the struggle we find the proletarian
character. Thus, at that time the general strike appears as a means of
warfare, an idea that can rise only in a true proletarian movement. So
without doubt, for these and other reasons, we have in Chartism a
proletarian agitation. But I place it in the antecedent history,
because I miss in it the clear programme of the proletarian-social
movement, a clearly defined aim towards which it works. The only
programme of the Chartist movement is the charter, which contains no
true socialistic postulates, but only a collection of parliamentary
reforms. It is nothing other than a platform upon which a man stands
because he knows nothing better; a programme that had been taken up by
the radical middle-class democracy. It is O'Connell who transferred it
to the proletariat: "universal suffrage, secret ballot, equal
representation, payment for members of parliaments, no property
qualifications for representatives, annual parliaments." Therefore,
though the kernel of the Chartist movement seems to be proletarian and
though the spirit which rules it is proletarian, it must be
distinguished from later definite proletarian socialistic movements on
account of the uncertainty of its platform. I speak thus emphatically,
because frequently, even by such a distinguished student of English
history as Brentano, the Chartist is classed with the German social
democrat. This conception holds too largely to the external form,
which has similarity in both cases so far as these movements aspire
after political power; but it is the inner character which is the
determining feature of a social movement.

What characterises the antecedent history of the social movement
everywhere is, as I have already said, its invariable similarity.
Those agitations and exertions which I have specified as
characteristic of the earlier history are invariably similar in every
land, wherever we can speak of a social movement. But on the very
threshold, in the passage from antecedent to present history, the
differences in the social movements begin to become apparent. Unity at
the beginning; diversity as the movement develops.

I distinguish three types; and for greater simplicity I call them the
English, the French, and the German type. Under the English type of
the working-man's movement I understand that agitation which has
essentially an un-political, purely trade character. As the type of
the French movement let me specify that which I call "revolutionism"
or "Putschism," a kind of conspiracy coupled with street fights. And
as the German type I would specify the lawful parliamentary-political
working-man's agitation.

These are the three different forms in which the social movement now
grows. In them all the living germs, which in general the social
movement contains, unfold themselves to independent life, develop the
peculiar and differing principles of this agitation. We shall see
later that, after the different nations have developed their
peculiarities, the social movement has a tendency again to greater

       *       *       *       *       *

Before we attempt to make clear these differences of national
characteristics, it is perhaps well to settle a point which is
decisive for a right understanding of the matter in general. I mean
the main position which we as scientific observers should assume
concerning this diversity of social movement. It is usual, as the
variations of the movement are presented, to make a distinction
between that which is called the healthy and normal on the one side,
and the morbid movement on the other. Further, this distinction is
usually identified with the difference between the movement in England
and that upon the Continent. The English agitation, which is
essentially a trade-union movement, they like to speak of as normal
and proper; the Continental, which is rather political, as abnormal
and improper. How shall we stand on this question? I believe that, in
this discrimination and judgment, there is a twofold error, one of
method and one of fact. When science pronounces any such judgment,
entering into the realm of human history, that is in my opinion an
overstepping of the bounds which a scientific man should place about
himself. There is presented as objective knowledge a something that is
purely subjective and merely the strong private opinion of an
interested person--quite regardless of the fact that, as Hegel once
expressed it, science always comes too late to teach a man how the
world should be. So there lies here what I call a mistake of method.
But this manner of looking at the matter involves also a mistake of
fact, in that what it specifies as the normal tendency is the most
abnormal that has ever existed, because the English social agitation
could have become what it is only through a succession of unusual
circumstances. For if we take the normal progress of modern
capitalistic development as the objective standard of measurement,
and in fact that is the only one which is of avail, then we would have
much more right to say that the Continental movement is the normal,
and the English the abnormal. I think, however, that it is more
scientific to put aside the distinction between the normal and the
abnormal, and to attempt rather to trace the causes for the different
phases of the social movement in different lands. That at least shall
be my attempt in what follows--to call attention to the variations of
social movement, and to explain the reason for these variations in
certain lands.

But what does it mean to "explain" these matters? Here also there is
needed a word of definition, because in this, alas how often, we fail.
Of course at this point we can say but little. To "explain" social
occurrences means, naturally, to uncover the sources out of which they
have sprung. It becomes necessary to trace these sources. And here we
must not allow ourselves to become unrealistic, as is too often the
case. I call any explanation of a social phenomenon unrealistic, which
derives the fact superficially from the idealistic and altruistic
motives of the persons involved, and which underestimates as
impelling forces the preponderant interests of economic life, and
which believes in miracles in the social world.

Thus, to make my point clear by an illustration, I hold that the usual
explanation of the social development in England is unrealistic, that
it cannot claim reality. According to this outline, matters in England
have developed somewhat as follows: after the proletariat for some
decades, and finally in the Chartist movement, had conducted itself in
an unruly way in struggling for its interests, about the middle of
this century it suddenly became polite, reconciled itself to the
dominant economic order, and made peace with employers, who at the
same time had become better men. All this occurred because a new
spirit had come into man, a revolution of thought had occurred, a
change from the individualistic and utilitarian view of things to a
social conception of society and of the position and obligation of the
individuals in it. The promoters and teachers of this new spirit are
supposed to be, before all, Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) and the
Christian socialists Maurice, Kingsley, Ludlow, and others. Carlyle's
teaching culminates in sentences like these: The evils which have
broken out over Europe--the French Revolution!--Chartism!--rest upon
this, that the spirit of evil rules; mammonism, selfishness,
forgetfulness of obligation. This spirit must be reformed; faith
instead of scepticism, idealism instead of mammonism, self-sacrifice
instead of selfishness, and social spirit instead of individualism
must again come into the heart of man. The individual must not be the
central point, as is the case in the eudemonistic-utilitarian
philosophy; but social aims, objective work, ideals, shall direct the
activity of man. From this conception of the fulfilment of social
obligation the relation between the proletariat and the capitalist
becomes ennobled and its harshness is relieved; the employer must
become humanised, learn to rule truly; the workman must become
manageable, learn to serve truly. Quite similarly reason the so-called
Christian socialists, save that they would derive the "new social
spirit" from the teachings of Christianity.

These teachings are said to bring forth fruit. That social spirit--who
would have thought it!--does in fact, they say, enter into the hearts
of men; the social conflict is hereby removed from the world; in place
of hate and mistrust enter love and confidence. The "social question"
is solved; at least we are upon the way to "social peace," capitalism
is saved, socialism is sloughed off.

I shall investigate later the extent to which the social facts, here
asserted, can claim reality; but assuming this--that pure harmony
rules in Albion--can such a hyper-idealistic explanation satisfy us?
Must we not introduce some more substantial causes than merely the
results of Carlyle's sermons?

Absolute proof of the one or the other conception, naturally, cannot
be had, because it is the critic's philosophy, his estimate of man,
that finally decides; Wallenstein the realist and Max the idealist can
never fully convince one another. Anyone can, through a massing of
reasons and proofs, make the truth of his assertion concerning certain
evident facts at least plausible.

I, for my part, am sceptical concerning all optimistic explanations of
history, and believe rather with Wallenstein than with Max. And as
now, forced by this ill-favoured mistrust, I look more closely at the
development in England of the matter that lies before us, I get a
picture essentially different from that which I have sketched for you
as the prevailing conception. Before all, I find but little of that
renowned "social spirit," which is said to have accomplished such
wonders. In the institutions which are characteristic of proletarian
development in England, trade-unions and brotherhoods, rules, so far
as I can see, a healthy spirit of selfishness. Perhaps there is no
social creation which is built more brutally upon selfishness than the
trade-union--necessarily so. And as I read the troubled outpourings of
the Christian socialists over the complete failure of their exertions,
I can bring them easily into harmony with other observations. But even
allowing that there is a certain effectiveness of the "social spirit,"
that it does exist, shall I believe that it is able to remove
mountains? Or shall I not venture to assume that the economic and
political development, controlled by selfishness, has strongly helped,
has created the conditions in which the social spirit could work?

All this I present in a kindly spirit. My conclusion is that I cannot
possibly be satisfied with Carlyle and his "social spirit," but must
seek a realistic explanation, for England as for other lands. And this
is indeed not difficult. Let us see how the national peculiarities of
the social movement, considering the actual facts of history, can be
understood as the necessary results of specific lines of development.



    "Die Staaten (und) Voelker ... in diesem Geschaefte des
    Weltgeistes stehen in ihrem besonderen bestimmten Principe auf,
    das an ihrer Verfassung und der ganzen Breite ihres Zustandes
    seine Auslegung und Wirklichkeit hat, deren sie sich bewusst und
    in deren Interesse vertieft, sie zugleich bewustlose Werkzeuge
    und Glieder jenes inneren Geschaefts sind, worin diese Gestalten
    vergehen, der Geist an und fuer sich aber sich den Uebergang in
    seine naechste hoehere Stufe vorbereitet und
    erarbeitet."--HEGEL, _Rechtsphilosophie_, § 344.

How shall we now, in a word, characterise the English working-men's
movement? I think thus: since 1850 the definitely "revolutionary"
agitation has ceased--that is, the working-men's movement accepts the
bases of the capitalistic order of society, and endeavours through the
establishment of benevolent funds, brotherhoods, and trade-unions,
within the existing economy, to improve the condition of the working
man. The opposition of classes is lessened; the worker is recognised
as a man both by society and by his employer. Doubtless an elevation
of the English working-class is accomplished. Effective legislation
for the protection of the working man is secured; concerning which I
would remark incidentally that this "elevation" tends in fact only to
an aristocracy of working men such that, for example, in London
immeasurable misery results--over 100,000 persons in that city are
supported by the poor-rates, $25,000,000 are yearly disbursed in
charity, one-fifth of the deaths occur in almshouses, public
hospitals, etc. But not to dwell on this; other strata of the English
proletariat have without doubt considerably improved their condition.

And now to the point;--all this is without part taken by the working
man in politics, without the assumption of a political character by
the working-men's movement, without constituting an independent
working-men's party.

As we seek for the causes of such development, immediately we notice
that, whether or not the "social spirit" has helped, we cannot think
of this trait without considering a most peculiar combination of
political and economic circumstances in England from 1850 to about

Without doubt the position of industrial monopoly which England
reached, and which gave a tremendous economic impulse to the nation,
was the solid basis of all social development. A few figures in

The railroads of the United Kingdom covered

      in 1842--1,857 English miles,
      in 1883--18,668 English miles.

The ships entering all British harbours amounted

      in 1842 to    935,000 tons,
      in 1883 to 65,000,000 tons.

The import and export business was valued

      in 1843 at about £103,000,000,
      in 1883 at about £732,000,000.

This means that the other nations could not rival England in extending
the market for an increasing productiveness. It betokens a remarkable
infrequence of disturbance through financial crises and market

From this come important consequences for the working man: a generally
favourable condition of the labour market, constantly growing need of
labour, less lack of work, on the one side; on the other, satisfaction
of the employer, and his inclination and ability to remunerate better
the workman, to give him some share in the golden stream of profit.

Besides this peculiar combination of circumstances of an economic
nature, which can never again come to any land because the competing
and strengthened nations now struggle for supremacy in the markets of
the world, consider the most remarkable condition of political party
life in England.

It is well known that this rests, at least since the beginning of this
century, upon an alternation of power between the two great parties,
the Tories and the Whigs. They both strive after control, and they
reach this from time to time by shrewd concession, to the spirit of
progress, by a happy use of the situation at the moment. Now one, now
the other, quickly seizes and masters it. The _tertius gaudens_ in
this struggle for mastery is the working men as a class. It does not
require much penetration to see that, for example, the radical English
legislation in favour of the working man has come to pass only through
the spite of the Tories, agrarian in their interests, against the
liberal manufacturers. But if you wish to suppose noble motives for
parliamentary majorities, the resolution of the Tories to provide
protection for the industrial proletariat must at least have been made
easy through the consideration that the land proletariat would never
get such laws. Later, especially since extension of the franchise, the
policy of the Whigs was directed to reaching rule, or to sustaining
themselves therein, with the help of the working man. That involved,
naturally, concessions and a spirit of friendliness to the working
class, even if hard to yield, even if the employers had not personal
interest in these concessions.

But the employers--thanks again to the happy combination of
circumstances at that time in England--had without doubt to some
degree a direct and personal interest, if not in advancing, at least
in not opposing, the exertions of the working class for an improvement
of their situation within the limits of the existing economic order.

Thus gradually the trade unions and their regulations were recognised
by the employers: the latter declared themselves ready to deal
conclusively with the representatives of the workmen, and took part in
arbitrations, conciliations, etc. Was this only out of consideration
for the workman? Was it really because Carlyle had so advised? Was it
not rather merely out of purely selfish motives? Was it not that the
conservative, aristocratic trade-unions were a bulwark against all
tendency to revolution, sure and strong as no police regulation could
erect? And because methods of agreement offered a useful means of
avoiding strikes and the consequent disturbances of trade, which were
extremely feared because business was always favourable, and because
every day they could make money, and because every day in which the
manufactory stood still a considerable _lucrum cessans_ was involved?

And, finally, why should not legislation in favour of the working man
be recommended? Even if the cost of production is somewhat increased,
we are easily in position to recover the charge from the consumer. But
production is not necessarily made more costly; the shortening of the
hours of labour can be made good through an increased intensity of
work, and thereby arises an advantage in having capable workmen, who
are gradually paid at higher rates. Or this drawback may be
counterbalanced by improvement of machinery; this they were the more
willing to do, for capital was abundant, and no bounds would be placed
to increase of production and sale by the possibilities of the market.
Lastly, they would remember that shrewd legislation in favour of the
working-man is an excellent weapon for the large concerns to use
against the small, in order to do away with the disagreeable
competition of petty manufacturers. But all this is with the assurance
that an expansion of production will not be hindered, but rather be
demanded, by the condition of the market.

But now, granting that all could be accomplished in so easy and
business-like a way, as the social evolution in England has, in fact,
been accomplished under the said conditions, we must consider, in
addition, the peculiar temperament of the English working-man. Because
he is such a moderate and practical fellow, he is fitted for any
policy that does not oblige him to see beyond his nose; and he is
satisfied with it. "Always something practical," is his motto; his
social-political "business," as his yarn and iron business, has
nothing of the _elan_ of the French, of the subtle thought of the
German, of the fire of the Italian workman.

This practical tendency finds its true incorporation in the old
English trade-union, which, as I have already said, is the shrewdest
scheme for the protection of personal interests that has ever been
conceived; diplomatic, adroit, smooth towards that which is
above--towards the employer; exclusive, narrow, brutal towards that
which is underneath--towards four-fifths of the "outsiders," the
poorer classes of workmen. The trade unions are capitalistic and
business-like organisations, which the calculating practical sense of
the English working-man has infused with his spirit. Hence, surely in
great part, their large results.

Such causes as these seem to me at the bottom of the social
development of England from 1850 to 1880. It was the coincidence of a
number of circumstances favourable to capital that produced this
business-like organisation of the working man--that specific type
which we call English.

Thus there is no socialism, no social movement in the strict sense of
the term, no struggle of classes; but there is a "social peace," or at
least an approach towards such, upon the basis of the capitalistic

Is it truly "social peace"? Perhaps it is only a postponement of the
struggle. It seems almost so; unless all signs fail, this "social
peace" will not last much longer in England. Since the passing of
English supremacy from the markets of the world, since the rise of
lower strata of working men, the "social movement" is again on. The
sense of solidarity throughout the proletariat awakens anew. With it
comes the strife of classes. The question of independent political
action on the part of the working man now stands as a matter of
discussion before the working-men's congresses. Already have
socialistic theories and demands made impression upon the orthodox
membership of the trade unions. But of this we must not here speak. I
would merely refer to the fact that the time from 1850 to 1880 is
rightly called the period of social truce; it was the time in which
the specific English type of the working-man's movement was developed.

There is no doubt that, even if this in its peculiar form gradually
disappears, it will be of continued influence upon the further
development of the social movement. What the English working-man has
left as a lasting inheritance to the agitation of the proletariat
consists of rich experiences in the sphere of trade-unionism, and a
steadiness, a calm, a business-like clearness of procedure on the part
of organised labour. It is, in a word, the method of agitation that
comes over from the English type and will remain in the proletariat,
even if the direction of agitation becomes essentially different.

And now we leave British ground. Now we step over the Channel, and go
into France. What a change of scene! Out of foggy, smoky England, with
its earnest, capable, dull populace, into the charming, sunny, warm
land of France, with its passionate, impulsive, hasty population.

What kind of a social movement is this in France? I have already given
some indications. All ferments and boils there, all bubbles and breaks
out uninterruptedly since the "glorious" revolution of the previous
century. Parties are in a state of constant flux; a movement divides
itself into countless factions. With haste and pressure single acts
fall over one another. Parliamentary struggle is set aside, now by
bloody street fights, now by conspiracy, now by assassination. To
understand clearly this general characteristic, which runs to-day in
the very blood of the French proletariat, but which is becoming
modified, we must go back to the earlier decades. We must think of the
activity of the clubs and companies of conspirators in the third and
fourth decades of this century; we must recall the awful street fights
which the Parisian proletariat waged with heroism in the June days of
the year 1848, and, later, in the May days of the year 1871. There is,
as it were, a smouldering, inner fire that glows constantly in the
masses and their leaders, and that, when any nourishment comes to it,
breaks out violently and devastates all around. The social movement in
France has always had in it something morbid, excited, convulsive.
Mighty, magnificent, in sudden outbreaks; again faint and flagging
after the first repulse. Always looking forward, always with
inspiration; but often fantastic, dreamy, uncertain in its choice of
ways and means. But always filled with a faith in quick
accomplishment, in sudden action, whether with the ballot or with the
dagger; always filled with faith in the miracle of revolution. In this
I present its motto: the characteristic of the French type lies in the
word "revolutionism"--by which I mean belief in revolution-making.
Involved in this revolutionism lie all the other peculiarities, as
seed-corn in the sheath. Let me specify them--pardon some of the harsh
word-making! Factionism, clubbism, and Putschism. Factionism is the
tendency to separate into innumerable small parties; clubbism is the
desire of conspiracy in secret companies and conventicles; Putschism,
finally, is the fanatical tendency towards street struggle, faith in
the barricade.

Whence all this? One thing springs immediately to the attention of the
student of French history: what we here have learned to recognise as a
characteristic trait of the movement of the French proletariat is to
be found almost without change in all the actions of the French
middle-classes. Indeed, it is evidently an inheritance that the
proletariat has assumed. Unnoticeably the one movement passes into the
other. The French proletariat is led into history by the hand of the
bourgeoisie. Long after the proletariat in France had begun an
independent agitation, the influence of this former movement was
conspicuous. Not only in the method of strife; as well in the
programmes and ideals of the French proletariat, this middle-class
spirit stands even to our latest time, so that we can understand why
Proudhon, the greatest theorist of the revolutionary movement, as late
as after 1848 had influence in the circles of the French proletariat.
That Proudhon was really a bourgeois theorist is often denied, but is
none the less true; however revolutionary his phraseology may be, all
his proposals for reform--whether the exchange and credit banks, or
the wage theory, or the "establishment of value,"--point to an
upholding, a strengthening, an ethicizing of individualistic
production and the exchange of individual service.

But no one who looks at the matter will wonder at the long
predominance of middle-class influence in the French proletarian
movement. What prestige the French, especially the Parisian,
middle-class has won in the eyes of the populace, in the course of
later French history! How many chaplets of fame have been laid upon
its brow since the days of 1793! In no other land, Italy perhaps
excepted, has it proved itself so valiant, daring, successful. If the
French bourgeoisie, as no other in the world, has made a free path for
itself in so short a time through the overcoming of feudal
institutions, truly the iron broom of Napoleon has done a great share
of this work. But we must not forget that it is the revolution of
1793--the uprising of the middle class--which has levelled the
ground; that is the historic significance of the Reign of Terror, and
with it of the middle-class that since those days has borne an aureole
upon its head.

But it is not only this rather ideal element that is responsible for
the preponderance of the middle-class influence in France; we must add
the weighty fact that a great part of the specifically French
industries, owing to the peculiar organisation in _ateliers_, bears a
half-individualistic character, and that these are largely industries
of the arts. Thus the Lyons silk industry and many of the Parisian
manufactures of luxury. These are in sharp contrast, for example, to
the great English staple industries of coal, iron, and cotton. The
French _ouvrier_, in Lyons directly called _maître ouvrier_, assumes,
through the tendency and organisation of many French industries, a
more individualistic, and so middle-class, appearance than the
proletariat in other lands.

But to understand the characteristics which are stamped upon the
social movement in France as an inheritance from the middle-class, to
explain that enthusiasm for revolution of which I have spoken to you,
we must look at the whole history of France. That people!--a
sanguine, enthusiastic race, with a volatile temperament, with a dash
which is not to be found in those of northern lands. Perhaps the
French type of the social movement, somewhat modified by German
influence, is again to be found in Italy; there we must learn to see
its peculiar characteristics, the quick response of large masses, the
straw fire of momentary enthusiasm--in short, we must understand
clearly an entirely different mode of thought and feeling in order to
comprehend this French, or, if you will, Roman, type of the born
revolutionist, in its heaven-wide difference from the English workman.
Victor Hehn says somewhere, in his striking way, concerning the
Italians, but it can be applied to all of the Latin races:

    "Completely strange to him is the German, and even more so the
    English!--Philistine, quite unthinkable, is the temperament of
    those unimaginative and well-meaning sons of habit who, arrayed
    with all the virtues of the commonplace, are respectable through
    the moderation of their claims, are slow in comprehension, ...
    and who drag after them throughout their lives, with pathetic
    patience, a burden of social prejudices received from their

Thus one of Latin race strives after a far-off object, and does not
shrink from forceful means of reaching it. This heaven-storming
temperament has been given to him by nature for his mission in
history. Further, in order to understand the character of the social
movement in France, think of the preponderance in this land of the
capital city, Paris! If Paris is not exactly France, as is often
asserted, yet it is strong enough to dictate on occasion the laws of
the people. Paris, this nerve ganglion! This rumbling volcano!

Further, I have always the impression that the French people stand
even to-day under the influence, perhaps we may say the ban, of their
"glorious" revolution. The influence of such an event--the most
tremendous drama of history--cannot in one hundred years disappear
from a people. So I think that this nervosity, if I may so express it,
which clings to all public life in France, may be, in large part, a
heritage from those terrible years of general overthrow, an
inheritance that has been most carefully fostered in less glorious
revolutions since then--ah, how many! And out of that time springs
something else: an overmastering faith in force, in the availability
of the political riot. The history of France has developed itself
since the July days of 1789 rather from without to within, than from
within to without; the change of régime has played a mighty rôle, has
often worked decisively upon the progress of social life. It is not
strange that always they rest their hope upon it, and seek to use
further, as a means of development, the political revolution which has
often wrought so mightily. This belief in revolution stands, however,
in close connection, I think, with the specifically French,
optimistic, ideal-socialistic philosophy of the eighteenth century, of
which I have heretofore spoken. In France is the classic ground of
that belief in the _ordre naturel_, which can come over the world "as
a thief in the night," because it is already here and needs only to be

If, now, we would see all of the innumerable influences that work
together in order to produce the peculiar type of French agitation, we
must notice that in this land a strange growth of modern times has
struck deep root--anarchism. For centuries past preparations had been
made for its easy entrance. For what is anarchism fundamentally other
than a new form of pure revolutionism in method, of middle-class
ideals as object? Are not Ravachol and Caserio the true sons of those
conspirators who inspired the France of 1830 and 1840? Is there any
more legitimate father of anarchy than Blanqui? Anarchy, we may say,
is born of the marriage of the social philosophy of the eighteenth
century with the revolutionism of the nineteenth; it is a bloody
renaissance of social utopism.

Here mention must be made of a matter which I have carefully avoided
thus far, because it is an hypothesis which I must lay before you with
a question-mark. Has the fact that the land is divided among so many
small owners had any effect upon the peculiar development of the
modern anarchistic movement? I mean, there must be a connection
between both these phenomena. Indeed, it is a question as to how far
anarchism has ever obtained in the masses. But, so far as I can see,
wherever the anarchistic propaganda seems to spread it is always in
agrarian districts; I recall the work of Bakunin in Italy and Spain,
and, as well, the nestling of anarchism now again in France. And
wherever the country people have been aroused to independent
agitation, this movement has always shown at least a trace of
anarchism. For examples, Italy and Spain and Ireland.

It is an interesting problem:--Is, and if so, why is, anarchy the
theoretical expression of agrarian revolution? The investigation of
this would lead away from my present purpose, which is to speak of the
proletarian-socialistic agitation. But I would at least present it.

If you ask me, finally, what lasting effect the peculiarity of the
French agitation has had upon the great international movement of the
proletariat, I answer--perhaps the least of all the nations, since it
bears unmistakable marks of unripeness. But I believe that it will be
the model for all other races, because of the idealism, the _élan_,
the energy, which distinguish it from the movements of other nations.
I wonder if the proletariat in Paris may not again be filled with an
inspiration for some ideal, while we middle-class citizens of other
nations are in danger of decadence!

You all know what wonderful progress the proletarian movement has made
in Germany. For as we look back to the inconsiderable beginnings about
the year 1840--they were rather agitation by hand-workers than true
proletarian disturbances--suddenly, in the year 1863, as if shot out
of a pistol, appears an independent political working-men's party, not
again to disappear, but to grow to mighty proportions.

Whence comes this strange apparition of such a social agitation in
Germany? How can we explain the suddenness of its entrance, and
especially the fundamental traits of its character--its
legal-parliamentary tendency, and its self-reliance from the beginning
even until now?

At first we may incline to the thought that the causes for the
peculiarities of agitation in Germany should be sought in the
personality of its founder, Ferdinand Lassalle. Without doubt we owe
much to the individuality of this extraordinary man. We know what kind
of a fire it was that burnt consumingly within him--a demoniacal
ambition, a Titanic eagerness for fame. And as this ambition, after
many years of scientific renown, finally led him into the sphere of
politics, wherein all ambitious men who cannot be generals and artists
in our time must necessarily go, it was only natural that the
masterful Lassalle should become leader, chief, prince. Where Bismarck
stood, another could stand only in the shadow; but the opposition
would not have Lassalle--apparently about 1855-1865 he desired to ally
himself with them, but they feared this man to whom they would not
yield themselves. There remained only one thing, to become the leader
of a new and distinct party, the working-men's party. This was
Lassalle's party in the strictest sense, his hammer, his sword, with
which he would win for himself a position in political life.

But these personal elements must be aided by circumstances, the
specific conditions of political and social life in Germany, in order
to crown Lassalle's efforts with success and to establish thoroughly
the movement during the short year of his leadership.

I will not here dwell much upon the German national characteristics.
Concerning the peculiarities of the English and the French types of
the social movement this was necessary; but the German type owes
little to racial character. We dwell rather upon the external,
incidental circumstances in order to explain the peculiarities of the
social movement in Germany; and it is not hard to trace the chain of

In Germany a real revolutionary movement, like that in France, was
not at this time possible--even if we assume that German character
would thus incline. The opportunity came too late. Revolutionism in
the French sense bears, as I have already said, the mark of
unripeness. Revolutionism may influence a nation long, but it cannot
be made the ruling motive of a social movement at so late a point of
time as that at which the German agitation began because the stage of
unripeness has passed. Take for example Italy, whose people certainly
by nature tend towards revolutionism; yet they must conform to the
experiences of older lands even if the inner nature always urges to

On the other hand, Germany, as its social agitation began, was yet so
immature economically--like England at the end of the last
century--that the subordination of economic to political agitation is
easily understood.

But would it not have been perhaps more natural if the proletariat,
when it desired to enter into a legal-parliamentary course of action,
had sought alliance with the existing party of opposition--as has
happened in other lands? We must lay stress on the fact that it was
hindered in this through the incapacity of the middle-class party of
that time in radical politics; for this reason it could not at the
time absorb the proletariat.

It is a part of the inheritance which German liberalism has received
from the year 1848 that one of its chief characteristics is the fear of
the red spectre--revolution. Indeed the proletariat has itself helped
towards this by its behaviour. We all know how the middle-class
agitation of the year 1848 in Germany failed, and sought the protection
of the Prussian bayonet from the "gens mal intentionnés"--the
well-known undercurrent of democracy present in every civil revolution.
Civic pride and defiance fell at that moment, as always, when the
spectre of social revolution appeared on the horizon--witness the law
against the socialists. Thus was the bridge between the proletarian
agitation and civic opposition even at that early time broken, soon to
be entirely destroyed.

As in the strictly political sphere this fear and hesitation did not
permit the liberal party to come to decided radicalism, which probably
would have contented the proletariat for a long time, so in the
economic sphere earlier German liberalism was characterised by what we
to-day would call an incomprehensible doctrinairism, an inane
obsession derived from the dreary Manchester school of thought. The
exertions of Schulze-Delitzsch, who was indeed in his sphere a
serviceable man, could not nearly make good the shortcomings of the
liberal party in all questions of social politics. The liberal
political economists of that time had no understanding of the demands
and movements of the proletariat. Such pitiful writings on the
so-called "working-man's question" as those by Prince-Smith are not
produced by writers of reputation in other lands, so far as I know.
Possibly this or that great man _de l'Institut_ has rivalled them.

The inability of the liberal party to draw the gushing water of
proletarian agitation to its own mill finds striking example in the
answer which, in the year 1862, a deputation of working-men from
Leipsic received from the leaders of the "National Union." The working
men had applied for the privilege of taking part in political life.
They wanted some recognition for their leaders. And what was given as
answer? That the working men were by birth already honorary members of
the union!

And now Bismarck, in spite of the fact that the liberal party was
refusing the franchise to the proletariat, forced upon the country in
the year 1867 a universal, direct, and secret ballot, a bequest of
Lassalle's. We are tempted to assume diabolical revenge against the
liberals as a motive for this. For the moulding of the social movement
in Germany this had two consequences of fundamental importance. First,
it weakened yet more the middle class, which, now between the
aristocracy and the proletariat, was sinking into an ever-increasing
insignificance and, through fear of the growing working-men's party,
lost more and more of its self-confidence. Hence a further
estrangement between the liberal party and the proletarian movement

Secondly, this franchise that had fallen into the lap of the working
man inclined the leaders of the proletariat to purely parliamentary
agitation, and for a long time hindered them from a right
understanding of the non-political aims of the proletariat.

We may look upon all this with sorrow or with joy--and everyone who
sympathises with the fate of his people will feel in one way or the
other; now we must accept it as a fact, the existence of which cannot
be changed, even if for the future we alter the particular objects of
political effort. But the purpose of science is only to explain how
things have unfolded themselves; and only that is the idea which has
ruled throughout this my work. Hut of course there are always people
unable to separate science and politics.

One remark in conclusion! This Lassalle movement, and with it also the
German type of social agitation, bears the stamp not only of
historic-national interest, as I have attempted to show to you, but
also much of purely personal characteristics; as is proved by the
mysticism, the cult of a person and the creation of a sect, to which
the movement has deteriorated. Has it never occurred to you how
remarkable it is that this movement, perhaps more than any other, has
developed, in spite of its German and personal characteristics, into a
world-wide and enduring "school," if I may so express it? Of this
there can be no doubt.

One ground for this may be found in the personality of its creator, in
the passionate force of his oratory, in the power of his agitation.
Treitschke thinks that Germany has possessed three great agitators,
List, Blum, and Lassalle. Surely Lassalle is the greatest leader of
the proletariat thus far; the only agitator of real greatness which
the proletariat has thus far had. For this reason his personality
continues in force even until now.

    "In Breslau a churchyard--a dead man in grave:
    There slumbers the one who to us the sword gave."

But here again we are not satisfied with the purely personal element;
we must rather seek after the real grounds for the explanation of the

To me it seems that the triumph of the German type in the
international movement, as it was begun through Lassalle, lies
essentially in the circumstance that Lassalle's agitation, and then
the later German movement, is filled by the spirit of that man who was
called to formulate the theories which should bring to a sharp point
all the general objects of proletarian effort. You know that I mean
Karl Marx.

The name of this man expresses all the centripetal force which the
modern social movement contains. From him comes all that which tends
to remove national peculiarities and to make an international
movement. "Marxism" is the tendency to make the social movement
international, to unify it. But of this we must not here speak; only
of its peculiar features. The one great social movement runs first
into separate streams of national effort; later these unite again.
There is throughout a tendency to return to unity. But the movement
develops itself in national lines and is determined by contingencies
which make history. The general law of these incidental circumstances
I have tried to show to you to-day.

And now at last let us pass to the theorist of the social movement,
Karl Marx.



      "κτῆμα ἐς ἀεί"
      THUC., i., 22.

Karl Marx was born in Treves in the year 1818, the son of a Jewish
lawyer, who was later baptised into the Christian faith. Intelligence
and general culture were at home in the house of his parents. The
favourite authors of the family were Rousseau and Shakespeare, the
latter of whom was the favourite poet of Karl Marx throughout life. An
element of cosmopolitanism was conspicuous in the household life of
the Marx family. Their closest intercourse was with the family von
Westphalen, the parents of the later Prussian minister--the
half-Scottish, highly cultured Baron Edgar. To this man the young Karl
owed his first introduction to literature, and later to his wife

Karl studied philosophy and history in Bonn, purposing to become a
Prussian professor. By the year 1842 he came to the point of formal
admission as lecturer. But difficulties soon presented themselves; the
young Marx, then allied with Bruno Bauer, was carried away by the
reactionary tendency which at that time swept again over the Prussian
universities, especially over heretical Bonn. As customarily happens
in such cases of aborted career, the young Marx became a journalist.
Soon he emigrated, because in 1844 the Prussian police drove him out
of the land; he fled to Paris, was thrown out again by Guizot on
demand, we suppose, of Prussia; in 1845 he went to Brussels, returning
to Germany during the year 1848; finally after the year 1849 he found
rest in London from the pressure of the police. Here he lived until
his death in the year 1883.

His personality, the characteristics of which were strikingly
developed through the external circumstances of his life, was marked
by extraordinary intellectual activity. He was a pitiless and positive
critic in his very nature. He had an abnormally sharp vision for
psychological and historical continuity, especially where these are
based upon the less noble impulses of mankind. A word of Pierre
Leroux's seems to me as if coined for Marx: "il etait ... fort
pénétrant sur le mauvais côté de la nature humaine." So it was by
nature easy for him to believe in Hegel's teaching that "evil" has
accomplished all the development of mankind. His conception of the
world is expressed in Wallenstein's magnificent words:

    "To the bad spirit belongs the earth, not to the good; the good
    things that the gods send to us from above are to be held only
    in communal possession. Their light gives us joy, yet makes no
    man rich; in their kingdom there is no private possession."

What qualified Karl Marx to reach the first rank among the social
philosophers of the nineteenth century, and to obtain next to Hegel
and Darwin the greatest influence upon modern ideas, was the fact that
he united a knowledge of the highest form of the historic philosophy
of his time--Hegel--with a knowledge of the highest form of social
life--that of Western Europe, of France, and especially of England. It
was because he knew how to concentrate, as by a lens, all the rays of
light which had been shed by other thinkers, and because he was able
through his cosmopolitan experience to withdraw attention from the
incidental features of national development, and to concentrate it
upon what is typical in modern social life.

Marx, in common with his friend Friedrich Engels, in a large number of
monographs, the best known of which is _Capital_, has laid the
ground-lines of an amazing system of social philosophy; but this is
not the place for a study of its particular features. What interests
us much more at this time is the Marxian theory of social agitation,
because this is especially what has enabled him to influence
decisively the progress of social development. In no single book of
his is this theory comprehensively presented. Yet we find all the
essential elements of it in the celebrated "Communistic Manifesto" of
Marx and Engels in the year 1847, which was presented as a programme
to the "League of the Righteous" in Brussels; they accepted it and
thus changed themselves into a "League of Communists." The
"Communistic Manifesto" contained the principles of a philosophy of
history, upon which the programme of a party is based. Its leading
thoughts are these:

All history is the story of a struggle between classes; the history
of the present is the story of the struggle between the middle class
and the proletariat. The making of classes results from certain
economic conditions of production and distribution, through which also
social control is determined. "Immanent" forces (the expression does
not occur in the "Communistic Manifesto," but becomes later a
technical term) constantly revolutionise the conditions of production,
and thus of all economic matters. In our time this organic change is
accomplished with especial quickness, because the tremendous forces of
production created by the middle class grow too fast. Thus on the one
side the conditions of existence under the present capitalistic
economy quickly deteriorate; upon the other side the conditions of
existence tend to a social organisation without classes upon a basis
of common production and communal ownership of the means of production
(this formula, also, is not found in the "Communistic Manifesto," in
which merely the abolition of private property is presented; but our
phrase first occurs two years later, in the history of class struggle
in France). This deterioration appears in the crises in which society
feels itself "suddenly thrown back into a condition of momentary
barbarism," and in the emergence of pauperism in which it plainly
appears now

    "that the middle class is unfit longer to remain the ruling
    class of society and to enforce the life condition of itself as
    the ruling law; it is unfit to rule because it is incapable of
    securing subsistence to its slave within the terms of his
    slavery, because it is compelled to let him sink into a position
    in which it must support him instead of being supported by him."

But the conditions of the new social order (this thought also is
merely suggested in the "Communistic Manifesto" and only later,
especially by Engels, is it developed) are created by an enormous
increase of the forces of production and by the "communisation of the
processes of production" which goes hand in hand with this
increase--that is, the interweaving and combination of the individual
acts of production, and transition to co-operative methods, etc.

The most important consequence now for our question is this: the
economic revolution finds its spontaneous expression in opposition and
struggle of classes, the "modern social movement"--that is, the
movement of the proletariat is nothing but the organisation of those
elements of society which are called to break the rule of the middle
class and "to conquer the new social forces of production." This they
can accomplish only by "abolishing their own private appropriation as
it has thus far existed and with it the whole idea of private
property"; that is, in place of private possession and private
production to establish communism.

The "communists"--that is, the political party for which the
"Communistic Manifesto" serves as a confession of faith--are only a
part of the warring proletariat; they form that part which is
conscious of the process of development. This party

    "distinguishes itself from the other proletarian elements only
    in that on the one side it emphasises and enforces in the
    different national campaigns of the proletariat the interests of
    the proletariat as a whole, and on the other hand in that in the
    different stages of development through which the struggle
    between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie passes, invariably
    it represents the interests of the general proletarian

    "The theories of the communists rest in no way upon ideas or
    principles which have been discovered by this or that reformer.
    They are only general expressions of the actual conditions in an
    existing struggle of classes, an agitation which is happening
    historically before our very eyes."

The thoughts here expressed, as I have already indicated in several
places in this review, have been later to some extent more precisely
worded, have been to some decree enlarged and developed, have been in
part modified; but the ground-lines of Marx's theory of the social
movement are already revealed in them all. In what now lies their
historic importance? How shall we explain their tremendous power of
conquest? Whence comes their continuance already through a
half-century?--and all this, in spite of the fact that, as I believe,
this theory errs in essential points, and that it can scarcely indeed
sustain itself as a whole!

Before I now attempt to give the answer I must make one thing clear.
What Marx and Engels have left to us as an intellectual inheritance,
whether we consider their writings from 1842, or even only those after
1847, seems at first as if it were a confused mass of varied
thought-material. Only he who looks closely and who takes the trouble
to enter into the spirit of the men can bring the separated lines of
thought into order. Such an one finds that some fundamental ideas run
through the writings of Marx and Engels during the whole period of
their literary activity; also that at different times quite different
lines of thought run across and confuse the system which, as a whole,
is built up upon these great ideas. Most exponents of the Marxian
teaching, especially those representing the middle class, have made
the mistake of not separating the essential from the accidental, and
have as a result not been able to do justice to the historic
significance of these theories. Naturally it is easier to start with
the contradictions and inconsistencies of an author, rather than to
make tedious tracing of what is of lasting worth; it is easy, but not
right, to content oneself with detached and apparent blunders and
mistakes in the teaching of an important thinker, in order to reject
this teaching _in toto_. Marxism, as no other teaching, offers itself
for such treatment; partly because many of his theories awake the
passions of the critic and hence must in advance prevent calm
judgment, partly because in fact, as already said, it presents a most
clumsy confusion of contradictory teachings. This is shown in the fact
that even now, after his thoughts have lived through a half-century,
we must still exert ourselves to get at the real meaning and the deep
importance of his teaching. This is due especially to the
"middle-class" critics of Marx; but it is also because of the members
of his own party. I recall the fact that the fundamental principle of
Marx's economic system--the theory of value--has become an object of
fruitful discussion as lately as two years ago. At that time I
attempted to bring into use this method which I have just specified as
the only true one for such a peculiar formation as the Marxian
teaching; I asked how the parts of Marx's theory which stand in such
opposition to each other could be reconciled, in order to bring out
the sense which so earnest a thinker must surely have laid underneath.
At that time the aged Engels could bear witness that I had about "hit
the right mark," but that he could not endorse all that I had
"introduced" into the Marxian teaching. Other critics thought at the
time that nothing more would be heard of Marx's teaching concerning
value. Perhaps they are right; but if Marx's _Theory of Value_ is a
scientific work, it can be such only in my interpretation.

I have thus spoken in order to show you how I stand concerning Marx's
theory of the social movement. I make most earnest effort to separate
it from all extraneous matter, to comprehend it in its essential
points, and so to present these essentials in such way that they shall
be consistent with reality. At the same time I emphasise the spirit of
Marx's theories, and only hope that it is truly the soul of Marx, and
not of myself, "in which the times reflect themselves."

I shall attempt to speak later concerning what I look upon as
confusing "non-essentials" of the theory; I speak now of what I think
to be the historically important essence--the κτῆμα ἐς ἀεί--of Marx's
theory of the social movement.

First and before all, it is a scientific accomplishment of the first
order to give prominence to the historic conception of the social
movement and the inner relationship of the "economic," "social," and
"political" manifestations and precedents. Marx applies the evolution
idea to the social movement. Other conspicuous men have tried to
consider socialism and the social movement as in the flow of historic
life--I think, for example, of Lorenz von Stein, that writer who,
perhaps, has most influenced Marx. But no one has so clearly,
illuminatively, effectively shown these historical relations. That
political revolutions and agitations are fundamentally great
displacements of social classes is a truth enunciated before the time
of Marx; but no one has ever presented it in so impressive a way. He
takes economic revolutions as his starting-point, in order to explain
the creation and the conflict of social classes; and in _Misère_
(175), before the "Communistic Manifesto," he had already said: "il
n'y a jamais de mouvement politique qui ne soit social en même temps."
But therewith--and it is this that is of importance to us--is the
proletariat brought to full self-consciousness and taught to know
itself in its historic relations. Out of this historic conception
arises, for Marx and for the proletariat, with certainty the main
points of the programme and the tactics of the social movement. They
are only "a general expression of actual relations in an existing
struggle of classes," as the "Communistic Manifesto" has expressed it
somewhat vaguely. To state it more exactly, the theory of Marx affirms
the identification of that which unconsciously and instinctively had
arisen as a proletarian idea with that which is actually observable as
the result of economic development. As to tactical management,
however, the idea was decisive that revolutions could not be forced,
but were the outgrowth of specific economic antecedents; while class
strife in both its forms--the political, of which the "Communistic
Manifesto" speaks chiefly, and the economic, for which in _Misère_
Marx breaks a lance--is recognised as the instrument which the
proletariat must use in order to protect its interests during the
process of economic transformation. Thus he formulates that which
every intelligent proletarian movement must recognise as its
fundamental principles. Socialism as a goal, struggle between classes
as the way towards it, cease to be merely personal opinions, and are
understood as necessary.

This elementary conception, that these two main pillars of the modern
social movement are not merely arbitrary creations, but are
unavoidable products of the historic development, is even to-day so
little accepted that it is worth our while to spend a little time upon

First, it must be noticed that in all the writing's of Marx and
Engels, whose "Anti-Duehring" always constitutes a necessary
complement to all the theories of Marx, there is no proof of the
asserted "necessity" of the social movement which fully satisfies the
demands of our day as to scientific method. It is known that Marx
stands upon the Hegelian dialectic, out of date now. What we demand is
a psychological founding of social happening, and for this Marx cares

Now it seems to me easy to fill this gap. I shall attempt it so far as
the limitations of time allow.

Why must the ideal of every proletarian movement be necessarily a
democratic collectivism--that is, the communisation of the means of
production? It seems to me that the following considerations contain
the answer to the question.

The modern social movement strives after that which is represented by
the battle-cry, "The emancipation of the proletariat." But this has
two phases, an ideal and a material. Ideally a social class can
consider itself as "emancipated" only when it as a class is
economically and politically dominant or at least independent; the
proletariat, that now finds itself in economic dependence upon
capital, can only become "emancipated" by throwing off this
connection. Perhaps we can conceive of the proletariat as using
employers as agents to carry on the work of production. But even then
the management will be no longer in the hands of the employers as
to-day, but of the proletariat as master of the situation. So long as
this supremacy is not reached in any such form, there can be no
thought of an "emancipation" of a class. Nor can we speak of this
"emancipation" in a material sense, so long as those conditions obtain
which to-day, from a class standpoint, are looked upon as marking a
social inferiority and are derived from the capitalistic social
system. If the proletariat sets an aim clearly before itself, this
goal can only be, from the class standpoint, the overthrow of this
capitalistic order. Now this overthrow is possible in either of two
ways. Either operations on a large scale, which have replaced the
earlier and smaller methods of production, can be so reconstituted as
that large interlocal and international production shall be again
narrowed and localised--in which case the overthrow of the
capitalistic order will be simply a retrogression to the
"middle-class" system. Or this present order can be conquered in such
a way that the existing forms of production on a large scale shall be
retained--then the results will be socialism. There is no third
possibility. If the proletariat does not vanquish capitalism by a
return to the smaller forms of operation, it can accomplish this only
by putting a socialistic organisation in place of the capitalistic.
And further: the proletariat can attach itself only to the latter
method, because its whole existence is interwoven with the system of
production on a large scale; it is indeed only the shadow of the
system, it exists only where this system rules. Therefore we can say
that socialism as the aim of the social movement arises fundamentally
and necessarily out of the economic situation of the proletariat. The
whole demonstration falls to the ground in a moment, wherever a
tendency to the development of proletarian production on a large scale
does not exist in economic life.

What I would here show, let me say again, is the necessity of the
ideal; but this must not be confused with the certainty of its
realisation. In order to prove this, it would be necessary to present
other considerations, which lie far from our subject. Thus, whether
any such realisation of the ideal is scientifically possible seems to
be doubtful. For this would not be proved even if it should be
demonstrated that what the proletariat desires and strives for has
been provided in the course of social development. I shall have
opportunity later to draw attention to this, that the conception of
socialism as a need of nature, and thus "necessarily" to be realised,
does not rest upon clear thought.

What we must now hold fast as the result of our investigation is this,
and it is a true Marxian thought, that social ideals are only
utopianism so long as they are merely evolved in the head of the
theorist. They obtain reality only when they are united to actual
economic conditions, when they arise out of these conditions. The
possibility of realising the good and beautiful is enclosed within the
sheath of economic necessity. This covering, created out of
capitalistic and proletarian conditions and historic economic
circumstances, is of such a nature that the ideal of proletarian
exertion can only lie in the direction of a socialistic order of

But why must the way towards the realisation of this aim lie through
class strife? To this we answer in brief: modern society presents
itself to us as an artificial medley of numerous social classes--that
is, of certain groups of persons whose homogeneity arises out of
their attachment to specific forms or spheres of economic life. We
distinguish the "junker," as representative of feudal agrarianism,
from the bourgeoisie, the representatives of capital; we distinguish
the "middle class," the representatives of local production and
distribution, from the modern wage-worker or the proletariat, etc.
Each one of these groups of economic interests has its special
adherents in the professional classes of society among the officials,
scholars, artists, who stand outside the economic life, but who unite
themselves by birth or position to one or another of the social

This attachment to a social class works decisively in two directions.
It implants in the mind of each individual member of a class the
conception of the world and life characteristic of that group of men
whose thoughts and feelings tend to become identical through the
uniformity of the external circumstances that control them; similarity
of aspiration and ideal is created. Further, this attachment
accomplishes a positive control over the individual in the maintenance
of that which is represented by the class--its social position as
truly as its material interests; it creates what we may call class

Everywhere and spontaneously there is developed a distinction between
classes, and class interest is involved in this. The upholding of this
class interest leads throughout to class opposition. Not always does
the upholding of a class standard involve necessarily collision with
the interests of other classes; at times an identity of interests
arises; but this harmony never lasts. The interest of the "junker"
must at a certain point come into conflict with that of the burgher,
that of the capitalist with that of the proletariat, that of the
hand-worker and tradesman with that of the large capitalist; for each
class strives naturally for itself, and by that very fact excludes
other interests. Then comes to pass the saying:

    "Where one goes ahead, others go back;
    Who would not be driven must drive;
    So strife ensues and the strongest wins."

It is here that differences of opinion may emerge: but must this
really come to "strife" and "warfare"? May we not hope that, through
love of mankind, or sympathy, or interest in the welfare of the whole,
or some such noble motive, each class will freely divest itself of
such of its privileges as stand in the way of others? I have already
had occasion in another place to express my opinion on this
point--that I look upon such well-intentioned judgment of average
human nature as in contradiction with actual life. I have referred to
the fact that conclusive proof for or against such a conception cannot
be presented; that the final ground of decision rests in the depths of
personal conviction on the part of the individual. But what offers
some proof for the justification of the realistic opinion presented by
me is the circumstance that history has as yet given no example of a
free divestment of class privilege; at least I will say that every
instance claimed as such may easily be invalidated. On the other side
we have innumerable instances in history where such reform has been
begun by well-meaning friends of humanity, theorists, only to be
shattered soon on the _rocher de bronze_ of the strong self-interest
of the threatened dominant class. They eagerly hold up before us
unbelievers the night of the 4th of August, 1789, and they forget the
hundred burning castles in France. They remind us of the Prussian
agrarian reforms, and forget not only the French Revolution but also
the Declaration of 1816. They remind us--but why add illustrations?
Let such men prove authentically a single case in history in which a
social class has against its own interests and out of altruistic
motives made an essential concession. Certainly there have been
conspicuous individuals who have done this; why not? We see this
daily. But a whole class--never! If this is so, then the word of the
great realist must be true, that "only strength conquers." So we find
as the conclusion of our thought, first a difference of classes, then
class interests, then class opposition, finally class strife. It is
thus that Marx would have developed his theory of class strife, and
easily, if he had chosen to proceed upon a psychological foundation.

As we now turn to this theory itself and its significance for the
social movement we are obliged, I think, to concede that the entrance
of Karl Marx was a decisive turning-point in this agitation, because
through him it was based upon a fundamentally changed conception of
history and humanity. This change is occasioned by the fact that, in
place of an idealistic, or rather partisan, way of looking at things,
a realistic vision obtains, and thus for the social movement the idea
of "revolution" passes into the thought of "evolution." The spirit of
the nineteenth century supplants the spirit of the preceding
centuries. You remember how I sought to make clear to you the essence
of this spirit in connection with the teachings of the utopists; if I
may be allowed to refer to it again, it is that idealistic conception
of man and life,[1] cherished now only by the scholars, that faith in
humanity as good by nature, that belief that men so long as they are
not led astray by the mistake or malice of individual bad men will
live in the most affectionate peace with their brethren; it is that
belief in a "natural order" of the past and future--that rock-fast
confidence that only explanation and exhortation are needed in order
to bring men out of this vale of tears to the happy islands of the
blest. This is that faith in the power of eternal love which through
its own force shall overcome the bad, and help the good to victory.
This it was that, though the leaders were not conscious of it, really
lay at the bottom of all political and social agitation until the
middle of our century; this it is that, in my opinion, as I have
already said, still slumbers in the lap of anarchism, even to-day as
an instinct. This fundamental tendency is now directly reversed; the
belief in a humanity good by nature gives place to the conviction that
man is of himself ruled by no noble motives, that he carries within
himself the _bête humaine_ even in all culture and in spite of all
"advance." Hence the conclusion: that a man, in order to accomplish
anything in the world, must before all call upon "interest"--a normal
and material instinct. For it is the most important conclusion for the
fate of the social movement, that now "interest" rules in the world;
that where anything is to be done, or a class, like the proletariat,
is to be emancipated, a man needs some weapon stronger than the theory
of "eternal love" against the interest of the capitalist class, and
must present force against force, might armed by "interest." At the
end of all thought upon this matter lies this consideration, which
leads not only to the theory, but as well to the practice, of class
strife. Combat is the solution of the difficulty for this hard and
unlovely proletarian generation which has grown up since the middle of
our century; not peace, not reconciliation, not a general
brotherhood--but battle. That this strife is no longer open warfare,
like street riot, does not alter the fact that it is really strife.
Out of this is to come a generation of men qualified to live and work
in an order of society higher than the present capitalistic order.

It is this that I call the realistic conception of the social
movement; and there is no doubt that it is the outcome of that Marxian
theory of the world and society which I have just attempted to sketch.
Only thus could the social-political realism, which heretofore has
been proclaimed in a limited way, now arise as the principle of the
whole social movement.

It is this social-political realism which gives the finishing stroke
to all utopism and revolutionism. The insurrectionists in Lyons and
the Chartist revolutionaries were both utopists--for they shed their
blood and yet only strengthened the reaction. The Putschists,
Clubists, and Blanquists were utopists, who through conspiracies and
street riots would through all time control economic development. Not
less utopian were those "geniuses" who offered exchange banks or the
_Organisation du travail_ or such remedies. Utopists also were those
who believed in the power of all kinds of schemes. Finally, utopists
were all those kindly souls who hoped to allay and overcome the
sufferings of the proletariat by an appeal to the good hearts of the
friends of humanity. Karl Marx has succeeded in freeing us from the
use of empty phrases in the sphere of social politics.

Let us now in closing recapitulate the points wherein I see the
historic significance of Marx's teaching for the social movement. Marx
points out as its _object_ the communisation of the means of
production, as its _way_ the struggle between classes; he erects these
two as the main pillars upon which the whole structure must be built.
He secured for these principles general acceptance; and he succeeded
in this without preventing the development of national and other
peculiarities. In placing the social movement in the flow of historic
development he brings it theoretically into harmony with the objective
and subjective factors of history, he bases it upon actual conditions
of economic life and of human endowment, he shows its economic and
psychological features.

Thus I look at Marx, when I attempt to fathom the spirit of his
teaching; this is the deep meaning of Marxism.

There is no doubt that, according to the common idea, Marx and Engels,
who must always be named with him, appear in a light essentially
different from that which I have attempted to show to you. In general
these men have been looked upon, not only as different from what I
have stated, but as in a bad sense the very opposite of social
realists; namely, as the father and the guardian of the worst kind of
revolutionary thought. And who would not apparently be justified in
this belief, reading the writings of both these men? He reads of
clanking chains which must be broken, of revolutions towards which man
tends, of bloody battle and death and assassination. How does the
matter really lie?

Marx himself once said, _Moi je ne suis pas Marxiste_, but he gave to
these words a meaning different from the ordinary one, as I also do
when I say that Marx and Engels have not always shown themselves
consistent Marxists either in theory or in practice.

Doubtless there are inconsistencies in theory, contradictions of the
fundamental thoughts, discrepancies which can have only one
source--that is, an overwhelming revolutionary passion which obscures
a vision otherwise so clear.

For example, I think of their unreasonable belief in what they call
the "fall" of humanity through the introduction of the principle of
private property, from which as they say history, and as well the
forces of history, take their start; the astonished hearer asks
himself, What impelled man to the introduction of this principle? I
think, also, of the hypothesis of a strifeless condition of humanity
after the introduction of socialism--and the like. Here, and
throughout, the old dreams of a Paradise lost and regained, of a happy
condition of humanity originally, come as a disturbing element into
their new world of thought.

With both these men it was in life as in theory. Here also appears the
old revolutionary Adam every moment and plays tricks with them. Since
the year 1845 they have not ceased to dream of revolution, and indeed
fierce revolution; repeatedly have they announced the outbreak as
near. This could be only the outcome of an unrealistic judgment of the
situation, of a mistaken conception of the political, economic, and
social conditions; thus it was an error of judgment as to the time,
if not a contradiction of their supreme principle that "revolutions
are not made." Psychologically these contradictory phenomena are
easily to be explained. Both Marx and Engels have never ceased with
intelligence and calm judgment to present that realism which we have
seen as the essence of their view of life. But you must not forget
that they have conceived their teachings under the roar of
revolutionary battles; that they were themselves of those fitful and
fiery souls who, like the "world squirrel,"[2] go assiduously from
place to place in order to set Europe on fire. Think of the mass of
malice and hatred that must have accumulated within these exiles, who
experienced through life nothing but derision, scorn, suspicion, and
persecution from their powerful opponents! Imagine what a superhuman
self-discipline and control was needed to prevent them from petty and
vindictive attacks upon the hated opponents at every opportunity. As
this deeply rooted passion arose in these revolutionary heroes, as
rage almost strangled them, their logic flew out of the window and old
revolutionary fury broke out and overwhelmed them. But that I am right
in characterising Marxism as a social-political realism you see
clearly from the many and fundamental declarations and acknowledgments
of its founders, which come to us out of all periods of their lives.
And indeed there is always a declared opposition to general
revolutionism, to "Putschism," as they assert their standpoint. The
strife with the party of Willich-Schapper in the year 1850, the battle
with Bakunin in the "International,"--concerning which I have yet to
speak,--the declarations against the anarchists, the discussion with
Duehring, the disowning of the "Jungen,"--all tends in the end to help
to victory the evolutionary principle in the social movement. It is
easy to explain how the true conviction came to expression on these

The last word of Marxism, which also contains a _résumé_ of its
teaching; is a writing by Engels, published shortly before his death;
the introduction to the _Struggle of Classes in France_. It is an
epilogue to his own life's drama, a confession, the last words of
warning which the dying man cries to the contesting proletariat. Here
the clear, logical position, as I think it is demanded by the
conception of history held by that school, finally comes to distinct
expression. This introduction shows perhaps best and most quickly how
at the end Engels and Marx understood the social movement. Some of the
most significant passages may here find place:

    "History has proved wrong us and all who thought similarly (sc.
    expecting the victory of the proletariat in the near future of
    the year 1843). It has made clear that the condition of economic
    development upon the Continent at that time was far from ripe
    for an abolishment of capitalistic production; it has proved
    this through the economic development which since 1848 has
    seized upon the whole continent and has made a home for the
    great industries in France, Austria, Hungary, Poland, and lately
    Russia, has made out of Germany an industrial country of the
    first rank--all upon a capitalistic basis, which in the year
    1848 was but little developed. To-day the great international
    army of socialists is resistlessly stepping forward, is daily
    growing in number, discipline, intelligence, and assurance of
    victory. As to-day this mighty army of the proletariat has not
    as yet reached the goal, as it is far from accomplishing the
    victory by one great stroke, but must slowly press forward in
    hard persistent struggle from position to position, this proves
    once for all how impossible it was in the year 1848 to
    accomplish the social overturning through a simple unexpected
    attack.... The time of surprise, of carrying through a
    revolution by a small minority at the head of ignorant masses,
    is passed. For a complete overthrow of the social organisation
    the masses themselves must be concerned, they must understand
    what they do, why they take part. The history of the last fifty
    years has taught this to us. But through this teaching the
    masses are learning what is to be done, and that long and
    patient work is needed, and that it is just this work which we
    now urge forward with such success that our opponents are
    brought to confusion. The irony of history turns everything
    upside down. We, 'revolutionaries,' succeed far better by means
    legal than illegal and destructive. The party of order, as it
    calls itself, goes to pieces through the very conditions created
    by itself. It cries out confusedly with Odelon Barrot--_la
    légalité nous tue_ (conformity to the law kills us); while we,
    with this legality, develop round muscles and red cheeks and
    seem destined for eternal life."

What comes to expression in these words is merely a confession

       *       *       *       *       *


[1] In what follows I reproduce some passages out of my book
concerning Friedrich Engels (Berlin, 1895).

[2] In German mythology the world is represented as a great tree, with
its roots in Niefelheim, and its branches in Asgard. Wotan
communicates with the world by a "welten eichhoernchen," a "world
squirrel," which runs up and down the tree. (Translator.)



    "Schon laengst verbreit etsich's in ganze Scharen Das Eigenste,
    was im allein gehoert."

                              SCHILLER's _Wallenstein_.

    Now, after long, that diffuses itself through large masses of
    men Which once was most private, which belonged to him alone.

Karl Marx closed his manifesto with the celebrated words,
"Proletarians of all lands, unite yourselves!" He uttered this cry on
the eve of the revolution of 1848, which was admittedly
proletarian-socialistic in its character, in various places, but which
exhausted itself in those separate spots where it had broken out. In
Germany, where Marx himself stood in the battle, it reached no
importance. In England, it seemed for a moment as if the February
revolution would infuse new life into the old Chartism; but this had
already been buried. The French movement is the only one left; how it
ended is well known. And then the deep night of the reaction of the
'fifties settled upon Europe. All the seeds of an independent
working-men's movement were suppressed. Only in England the
trade-union movement was developed.

Since the beginning of the year 1860 signs of life among the working
people have appeared in different places. They recover here and there
from the blows and repression which they experienced during and after
the agitation of 1848, and an interest and participation in public
life begin again to awake. The characteristic trait is this: the
activity of the new and independent life receives an international
stamp. Naturally this is no mere chance. It was not by chance that, at
the World's Exposition, the working men of different lands first
reached the hand one to another; it was a development of capitalism
itself, stepping upon a stage of international largeness. The
Continental powers of Europe began to rival England. Commercial
politics were first of all robbed of their exclusive character through
a series of treaties, and were directed towards the unifying of
business life throughout Europe.

Since those first beginnings, at about the year 1860, the idea of
internationalism has never quite disappeared from proletarian
agitation, even though it may have experienced in the course of the
years essential changes in the form of its development.

It will be my duty in what follows to show to you how this tendency
towards internationalism, after many abortive attempts, has been
really carried out, and how, in close connection with it as concerns
goal and progress, the social agitations of individual lands more and
more press towards a unity upon the principles of the Marxian

The first form in which an attempt was made for international
combination of the proletariat is the celebrated "International."
Allow me to dwell somewhat at length upon this. It is essentially of
importance and interest for two reasons. One is that through it, and
its speedy end, a specific form of the internationalising of the
social agitation has been brought _ad absurdum_. The other is because
in it with striking clearness contradictions are presented, which
pervade all social agitation.

It was in the year 1862, when the French working-men, at the World's
Exposition in London, agreed with the English workers to counsel
together concerning united agitation. Further conferences ensued, and
in 1864 a union was founded which had as its object the uniting of the
representatives of workmen of different lands for common action and
advance. This was the International Association. What were the duties,
what was the thought, of such a brotherhood? Apparently twofold. We
can suppose that they meant to create merely a kind of correspondence
bureau--a place where the working men of different lands might unite
in a general international secretariate, to which they might turn for
information concerning any question pertaining to the social
movement--that is, an institution far from exerting an influence upon
the agitations of the working men in the various lands. The majority
of the men who, at that time, in the beginning of the 'sixties, strove
to carry out the idea of an international union thought of it surely
in this vague form.

The other conception goes further; a central spot should be created
for the working-men's movement, a place from which the working-men's
agitations in turn might receive assistance and inspiration, from
which influence could be exerted upon the separate national efforts.
The most important representative of the latter and larger meaning
was Karl Marx, who was called upon to play a decisive rôle in the
founding of the International Working-Men's Association. For him this
organisation was the first answer to his cry to the world,
"Proletarians of all lands, unite yourselves!" It is not to be doubted
that if a central organisation was to be created, to reveal a spirit
of unity and to ensure a unification of national proletarian
agitation, the Marxian spirit should control. Although he viewed the
situation clearly enough to see that extremest caution was needed, he
aimed to unite the many streams into one great river.

The "International" was founded upon the basis of the so-called
"Inaugural Address" and the "Statutes," both of which were evolved by
Karl Marx and accepted as he presented them. In them great diplomatic
skill is revealed. The "Inaugural Address" is a masterpiece of
diplomatic finesse. It is indefinite throughout its whole structure,
rendered purposely so by Karl Marx. He aimed, by it, to cover various
parties of the time, the Proudhonists, the working-men's associations
of France, the trade unions in England, the followers of Mazzini in
Italy, the supporters of the Lassalle agitation in Germany; and it
actually accomplished this in a masterly way. It commended itself to
each and every one of them. It pictures in effective way the misery
into which the working people are plunged by capitalism; it finds
words of recognition for the results of the English trade unions. It
praises the characteristics and services of the "free-coöperative
movement"--Proudhon, Duchez; but it has also a friendly word for the
organisations which receive aid from the state--Lassalle, Blanc.

Out of it all is drawn only this conclusion, with which all
sympathise--that the proletariat of all lands should be conscious of
an international solidarity. In some general and sentimental phrases,
which surely were traced by Marx with reluctance, national differences
find their adjustment, and their representatives find a uniting bond.
The "Statutes" were prefaced by some considerations which contained
_in nuce_ the principles of Marxism--with various concessions, as, for
example, the appeal to _vérité_, _justice et morale_. But even here is
all pressure avoided. A man could, on any point of uncertainty, always
think that something else was meant, and could at least feel himself
free concerning it. Very little reference was made to the objects of
the International Working-Men's Association. Its activity during the
first years consisted essentially in the support of strikes, for which
reason it enjoyed at the beginning the lively sympathy of many outside
of the circles of working men.

But now Marx began to develop his plan systematically; that is, slowly
to fill the International Working-Men's Association with his spirit,
and through it to support the proletarian agitation of different
lands. As we look at the congresses of this organisation, in Geneva,
1866; Lausanne, 1867; Brussels, 1868; Basle, 1869, we find that in
fact, step by step, from congress to congress, the International
Working-Men's Association supports more and more the Marxian ideas,
noticeably, and without any appearance of the moving spirit on the
scene. But now it is interesting to observe, and it shows the degree
of development which at that time the social movement had reached,
that the time for the inspiration of the whole European world of
working men with the Marxian ideas evidently had not yet come. In
proportion as the "International" began to display the spirit of Marx,
opposition raged in every quarter. The Proudhonists began to oppose
it; then the trade unions, especially after that moment when Marx
declared himself in sympathy with the Commune in Paris; the followers
of Lassalle began to grumble at it. A great part of the opposition
crystallised itself, towards the end of the 'sixties, in one man,
Michael Bakunin. As to the part which personal anger and envy played
in this opposition, we are not interested. It is possible that this
personal friction was essentially the reason for the destruction of
the "International." It seems to me, however, that at the bottom of
the antagonism of Bakunin against Marx lay a much more essential and
considerable opposition. For in 1868 Bakunin founded the _Alliance
Internationale de la Démocratie Sociale_, in which he united chiefly
Italian and Spanish associations, and as well the French; and it is in
this _alliance_ that the opposition on principle to Marx's efforts
comes to clear and sharp expression. But the real point of difference
lies in the distinction which you already know between revolutionism
on the one side and the evolution idea on the other, between the
idealistic and the realistic conception of history. Bakunin based his
whole activity upon the idea of revolution by force, upon the belief
that revolutions must be made because they can be made. In opposition
to him, Marx defended the fundamental thought that a revolution is at
most the last feature of a process of development, the breaking of the
husk through the ripening of the fruit.

The opposition of Bakunin led finally, as is well known, to the
dissolution of the International Working-Men's Association. In 1872
its general office was transferred to New York, apparently in order to
avoid a formal burial of the organisation.

Thus it came to pass that the Bakunists were shut out, and with them
were a number of "exclusions" from the circles of the orthodox; the
process of excommunication began, which to-day, as you know, is not
ended. Exactly the same thought lies at the bottom of the exclusion of
the Bakunists from the "International" as, this very year, in the
driving of the anarchists out of the London congress. Always again the
contradiction presents itself, socialism and anarchism; or, as deeply
understood, evolutionism and revolutionism.

Thus was shattered that first attempt to make a union of the
proletariat of all lands, and it will be many years before the thought
of international solidarity can again rule the working man. In spite
of its speedy ruin, the "International" has large historic
significance, and this lies in the fact that for the first time it
brought the internationalism of the movement and the international
community of interest of the proletariat in some measure to clear
expression; further, in that for the first time the social movement of
different lands was made familiar with the Marxian scheme of thought,
and at the same time affected with the Marxian spirit.

The compromises of the Marxian scheme gave the first impulse to the
general linking of international social agitation. But finally this
unification would be accomplished in a way quite other than that which
the founder of the International Working-Men's Association had
imagined. A mistake as to way was made; for this reason the
"International" went down. It had placed before itself the task of
forcing solidarity into the social movement from without, inwards.
This is a thought which is essentially un-Marxian; again, one of the
cases in which Marx was not Marxian. The way to unity should have been
reversed; from within, outwardly. First must the agitations in
individual lands be divested to some degree of their national and
contingent features, first must the general economic development be
further advanced, before the proletariat could by internal development
become conscious of its international solidarity and come to a
recognition of this unity in the chief points of its programme.

This internal and external unification, which is the product of the
last decade, I might specify as the third stage in the development of
the social movement; and then the second stage would be the complete
saturation of the German social democracy with the Marxian spirit.
This political party becomes thereby the organ through which those
ideas spread into other lands.

In Germany there has grown into recognition a social movement which,
at the beginning, was conducted in the spirit of both Marx and
Lassalle, but which soon came under the control of pure Marxism. I
recall the following stages of development. When thirty-two years ago
the deadly bullet struck Lassalle in Geneva, that man was removed who
alone had represented the German working-men's movement; and what he
left behind was next to nothing. His "Working-Men's Union" numbered
only four thousand six hundred and ten members at the moment when he
closed his eyes. So also immediately after Lassalle's death the
agitation was nothing more than a useless and petty strife. It was a
coterie rather than a social party. Thus the field in Germany was open
for the development of a new social-democratic movement from another
source. This was started in 1864 by Wilhelm Liebknecht, who came to
Germany as the direct envoy of Karl Marx, and with strong belief in
his ideas; the purpose was to establish the working-men's movement
upon a basis other than that of Lassalle. He won to this cause the
youthful energy of the master-turner August Bebel, who, at the age of
twenty-four, was already the leader of a number of working-men's
unions which had been until that time in advanced radicalism. These
are the organisations, you know, which in the year 1868, in Nuremberg,
seceded from Schulze to Marx. Fourteen thousand working men were
represented. The resolution through which this transfer was
accomplished was drawn by Liebknecht and was inspired by the Marxian
spirit. Thus in 1868 a new social party was formed in Germany which
took the name of the Social-Democratic Working-Men's Party, and which,
after the congress in Eisenach, stood for a time alone as the
so-called "Honorables," until in the year 1875 the union of the
Lassalle and the Bebel faction was accomplished in Gotha. Since that
time, as you know, the one "Social-Democratic Party" exists. It is
significant that the present union rests upon a compromise between
Lassalle and Marx, but is really directed by the Marxists, who step by
step have won control in the party. The "Gotha" programme remained as
the platform of the movement in Germany for sixteen years; and not
until the year 1891 was it replaced by a new platform, the "Erfurt"
programme, which now constitutes the confession of faith of the
Social-Democratic movement in Germany. It is pervaded by a strongly
Marxian spirit and contains essentially only a statement of Marxian
doctrines in accordance with the spirit of the age. Let me in a few
words present merely the lines of thought in this programme. It begins
with the phrases:

    "The economic development of middle-class society leads by a
    necessity of nature to the extinction of that economic order,
    production on a small scale, which rests upon the private
    ownership of the workman in his means of production. It
    separates the workman from his means of production, and changes
    him into a possessionless proletarian; while the instruments of
    production become the monopoly of a small number of capitalists
    and landowners, etc."

As you see, this programme proceeds from the fundamental thought that
economic development completes itself in a specific way; hence follow
all the other matters with which the programme deals. This special
Marxian thought, that an economic evolution is involved, has become
the central point of the Erfurt programme. It shows, further, how out
of the economic development a conflict emerges in the form of class
strife; and then it concludes that only a change to communal ownership
of the means of production can quiet this conflict. The party for
which the platform was created takes hold of the communistic thought
of the Erfurt programme in this sense, that the duty of a political
party can only be to bring to the consciousness of the workman the
existing economic revolution.

These are the words: "To bring this warfare of the working classes to
consciousness and unity, to show the natural and necessary goal--that
is the duty of the Social-Democratic Party." This is the point that is
especially important for us--the German agitation becomes completely
saturated, rapidly and uninterruptedly, with Marxian ideas, and thus
this spirit spreads gradually into other lands.

If you now ask me how this gradual extension of the Marxian system and
in connection with it the unification of the Marxian movement are
shown, the following, points seem to me of especial importance. In
1873 the "International" came to an end. It seemed as if, with it, the
internationalisation of the social movement in like manner had ceased.
But for about a decade past we have had again general and formal
"International Working-Men's Congresses." The year 1889 opened the
series with a working-men's congress in Paris, again at a world's
exposition. Here again, in a new and freer form, this idea of the old
"International" arises, and in a much larger form than the old
international working-men's associations had ever realised it. For
these former international working-men's associations had been really
only a combination of a number of representatives and secretaries.
The masses scarcely stood upon paper. The congresses which now again
the world of working men have created rest upon a much broader basis,
in my opinion, since, in spite of all "exclusions" and factional
strife, these international meetings represent a real combination of
working men conscious of their aim and organised for it--a fact which
we can no longer hide from ourselves, since the old English
trade-unions have become represented at the congresses. Thus the
international congresses now include the so-called "socialists" and
the trade unions as well. In spite of all differences of opinion on
certain points, at these congresses there is such expression of
internationality and solidarity on the part of the proletariat as was
never approached by any of the meetings of the old "International."
And it is certainly not by chance that the pictures of Marx and Engels
look down upon these new unions of the international proletariat.

But let us now look at a number of evidences, which make clear to us
that the movements of different lands approach more and more to a
unanimity resting upon the leading thoughts of the Marxian programme.
There is first the important fact to remember that the French,
originally uneconomic in temperament, have now begun effectively the
trade-union agitation. The creation of _Bourses du Travail_ prove how
earnestly this part of the social movement is cultivated by the
French. Through the agitation of class strife, the general movement
towards such associations receives a new impulse. And as the French,
inclined to revolutionary and political agitation, begin to become
economic, we see on the other side the very important fact that the
English working-man recedes step by step from his purely trade-union
"Manchester" platform.

I have never believed what some years ago was announced to the world,
in connection with a snap resolution of a working-men's congress, that
the English trade-unions would go over to the socialistic camp with
torch and trumpet. Such decisive changes in social life are not
accomplished in that way; there is needed a slow ripening. And the
proceedings of the London congress in this year (1896) prove how much
antipathy yet exists between the English trade-unions and certain
elements of Continental socialism. But in spite of all these
tendencies the fact remains that the English working-men's movement
approaches the Continental on important points; that is, it has at
least begun to be socialistic in aim and political in the means used.
That an "Independent Working-Men's Party" as yet plays no rôle in
England proves for the present nothing. The peculiar conditions of
English party life make a representation of the working men in
Parliament unnecessary under the circumstances. But who can doubt, in
view of the proceedings of the last decade, that the English
trade-unions, even the older ones, stretch out the hand more than
formerly towards the door-latch of legislation? Let me remind you of
the fact that with small, though deeply interested, minorities the
trade unions have written upon their programme a legal work-day of
eight hours. Also, in spite of much limitation and qualification, the
resolution of the English working-men in the year 1894 remains--the
communisation of the English means of production, at least the most
important of them, as the object of their agitation. Is that anything
other than a conversion of the English working-men's association?

In Germany we find that the normal line, upon which the social
movement in all nations begins to arrange itself, was nearly reached
at the start. It was only necessary to throw off some of Lassalle's
peculiar ideas, those revolutionary notions which arose here and there
about the year 1870, and especially to give broader play to the
trade-union movement, in order to reach the "minimum programme" of all
social agitation. This programme is, to repeat concisely:--the object
of the social movement is the communisation of the means of production
in its largest technical development upon a democratic basis; the
means of reaching this aim is the struggle of classes; this has two
equally justifiable forms, the economic--which finds its expression in
the trade-union movement, the political--which finds its expression in
representation in Parliament. The formulation of this proposition is
the specific service of Karl Marx, as we have seen; and for this
reason I think I am warranted in speaking of the whole social movement
of our time as infused with the Marxian spirit. For it is not unknown
to you that the social agitation in lands of later capitalistic
development--Italy, Austria, and Russia--has been from the beginning
in accordance with the thought of that platform.

If in any such way I think that I see a unification of the social
movement, that does not mean that I see a machine-like uniformity of
this movement in the different lands. I am not blind to the
innumerable diversities which are developed by the various nations,
and which are revealed every moment. I have attempted to show to you
how absolutely necessary these national peculiarities are, and to a
certain degree always will be--because of historic tradition and
difference of national character. So when I speak of a unity, I only
mean, as I have already often said, a tendency to this which struggles
to assert itself in spite of national disposition. The social
agitation will always retain a double tendency, a centripetal and a
centrifugal. The former, arising from the uniformity of capitalistic
development and from the similarity of original causes, tends towards
conformity; the latter, the product of national differences and of
manifold causes, tends to divergence.

I have to-day attempted to show to you how the centripetal tendency
reveals itself. The object of my next lecture will be to present to
you a systematic review of the manifold points of difference which
have already often been referred to in the course of these lectures.
Thus will be completed the picture of the essentials of the modern
social movement, which I am attempting to sketch for you.



    "Usually a man refuses to dismiss the fool that he carries
    within, and to admit any great mistake, or to acknowledge any
    truth that brings him to despair."

                     GOETHE, _Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship_.

Who, caring at all about what is going on in these days, has not
noticed the many contradictions which are now apparent in the great
social movement? Even the inexperienced observer, or he who stands too
near to real life to have free and wide outlook, will easily see
behind these contradictions a tendency towards a unity of effort. Now
that we have obtained a right understanding of this we shall, I hope,
do justice to these differences, these contradictions--we shall be
able to comprehend them in their essence and necessity.

The sources out of which they spring are as numerous as the
contradictions themselves. How often a personal motive can, under
certain circumstances, appear as an essential difference! Morbid
self-conceit, desire for power, quarrelsomeness, caprice,
malevolence, lack of honour--innumerable traits of character give
occasion for friction and contention.

But for these the social theorist cares nothing. Only that is of
importance to him which rests upon an essential difference. And of
these also there are enough, because the causes of them are numerous.
What is here decisive is the variation in the view of world and life,
is the difference of national character, is the varying degree of
vision into the essence of social development or of understanding
concerning accepted principles, is the varying measure of ripeness and
education of the masses, is the difference in economic development in
the various lands, etc.

But I cannot possibly exhaust the points of contradiction and strife
which arise out of these manifold and effective causes. I shall here
simply present certain matters which seem to me especially important
because essentially significant. My duty as to this problem can be,
again, only that of a theorist who tries to make a clear explanation,
who desires not to work upon your will but upon your intelligence, who
does not carry in his hand the brand of agitation but the lamp of

If I do not pay attention to some points of difference which may seem
to you of supreme importance, it is not because I do not myself
recognise this importance, but because I suppose the contradiction
that comes to expression in them to be either out of date or only
imaginary, or because I go back of them to the deeper, essential
differences. Thus, for example, the alternative, _trade unions_ or _a
working-men's party_, is either the expression of a deeper opposition
concerning which I shall later speak, or it is a question that does
not concern us in these days. Thus concerning all those
representatives of the working-men's movement who place themselves
upon the platform of legal struggle. These men know that politics and
trade unions are like the right and left legs upon which the
proletariat marches; that political part-taking is needed in order to
obtain influence upon legislation; that economic organisation is
needed in order to discipline and educate the masses. The only
question can be now as to the degree, the more or less, of the one or
the other form of social agitation;--always within the limits of legal
agitation on the part of the working men. Any such question cannot be
general; it must be decided separately in each place and case. The
economic ripeness of the masses, the degree of political freedom, and
much else, must decide.

In a similar way is another point of difference to be judged; shall
there be an independent working-men's party or not? You know, I have
already spoken to you a number of times concerning this, saying that
in England thus far there has been practically no independent
working-men's party; I have given to you the reasons why, as it seems
to me, any such party has been until now at least unnecessary, even if
the working men desired to busy themselves in political matters. The
political influence of the social movement is not dependent upon the
existence of an independent party of working men. Even that question
is not a general one; it must be decided according to local

If we ask now for antitheses of real importance, we are met first and
especially, to-day, by that sufficiently explained opposition which is
contained in the words _revolution_ or _evolution_, the old point of
discussion which was, is, and I believe will be, a constant feature of
social agitation; that point of separation which we traced first in
the "International," and which to-day we see revived in the opposition
of the so-called "Junger" and the anarchists against the majority of
organised labour. The reasons on account of which I think that also in
the future this discussion will not cease are as follows.
Revolutionism is, as I have shown you, a manifestation of unripeness.
A man can, in a certain sense, assert that the social movement begins
anew every moment; for every day new masses arise out of the lower
strata of the proletariat yet living in stupid unconsciousness, and
they attach themselves to the social movement. These unschooled
elements, of course, in their part-taking show the characteristics of
the social movement itself in its beginnings. They find their natural
leaders in the disinherited citizens of the day, like Catiline of old,
mostly young men who have nothing to lose and who try to substitute a
fiery enthusiasm for theoretic insight and practical judgment. The
process which we have watched for a decade is one which must ever
again be repeated; the maturer elements are absorbed and disappear,
new hordes of revolutionists arise, and the process of absorption by
the riper, evolutionary, elements begins anew. Thus we see two
opposing phases of the development of social agitation that play their
part at the same time in different spheres of the proletariat. So far
as can be seen, there has been thus far an uninterrupted progress in
the absorption of the unripe revolutionary elements by the

But even here, where the idea of evolution, consciously or
unconsciously, obtains recognition as the basis of the social
movement, we meet questions, many of which, as it seems to me, arise
because of a false conception of the essence of social evolution.

Although I have had opportunity at different times to show what social
evolution is, at least in a general way, let me here repeat concisely
what I understand by this idea; for a right comprehension of this
point is all-important. Social evolution, and the conception of the
social movement as such an evolution, rest upon the thought that we
find ourselves in a continued condition of economic and thus social
change, and that specific social interests and the necessary relations
of mastery are connected with each change; thus in proportion as the
evolution proceeds and as the activities of the interested groups
develop, the balance of power becomes displaced, with the result that
the ruling classes are slowly replaced by other classes that reach
control. Here also lies at bottom the thought that the division of
power at any given time is truly the expression of economic relations,
and is no merely accidental and artificial work; that this power can
only be displaced gradually, and only as the economic relations are
changed, and as at the same time the personal and subjective
conditions and the characteristics of the aspiring classes are
developed. In a word, social evolution is a gradual achievement of
power, the creation of a new condition of society, corresponding to
the overthrow of economic relations and the transformation and
schooling of character.

Among the evolutionists differences have emerged owing to a confusion
of the terms "quietism" and "evolution." Especially among the Marxists
has the thought spread, that evolution is so entirely a process of
nature, independent of human activity, that the individual must let
his hands rest in his lap and must wait until the ripened fruit drops.
This quietist and, as I believe, pseudo-Marxist idea has no real
connection with the inner thought of evolution. Its fundamental
mistake lies in the fact that all the occurrences in social life are
carried out by living men, and that men complete the process of
development by placing aims before themselves and by striving to
realise these aims.

The standpoints of the social theorist and of him who deals
practically in social life are entirely different; but men constantly
interchange the two. For the theorist, social development is a
necessary sequence of cause and effect, as he sees it in the shaping
of life compulsorily by the motives of the persons involved; and these
motives themselves he tries to understand in their limitations. For
him social life is a process rather of the past. But for the man who
deals practically in social life, it lies in the future. What the
theorist understands as the working of specified causes is, to the
practical man, an object lying in the future which his will should
help to accomplish. This very will is a necessary element in the
causation of social happening. And this will, conditioned as it may
be, is the highest personal possession of man in action. As the social
theorist seeks to show as necessary specific tendencies of the will,
and with them specific developments of the social life, he can do
this with the self-evident limitation that the energy of the
practical man in creating and accomplishing these efforts of the will
does not fail. If for any reason, for example through the pressure of
quietistic sentiment, this energy should be lessened, the most
important link in the assumed chain of causes would drop out, and the
development would take an entirely different course. It is a great
mistake to apply unqualifiedly to social life the idea of a process in
accordance with natural law; for example, to say that socialism must
come by a "necessity of nature." Socialism has nothing to do with any
such necessity. Thus, for example, we cannot see why the development
of capitalism should not lead just as well to the overthrow of modern
culture. And it must surely take this course if the leaders of advance
do not develop during the transformation of the social life the
necessary qualities for a new order of society, if they allow
themselves to sink into a marasmus or quietism. For them, all social
happening is only a condition to be created: and in order to
accomplish this in the future they need an energy of resolution.

In close connection with the point of which we have just spoken
stands another matter, which also in the last analysis depends upon a
right understanding of the essence of social evolution. I refer to the
confusion of "ideal" and "programme"--the substitution of politics for
idealism. I mean this: superficial evolutionists, especially in the
ranks of the Marxists, are inclined to look with supreme contempt upon
idealists and enthusiasts, and to rest only upon practical politics;
they emphasise the rational to the exclusion of the ideal. That is a
conception which does not at all harmonise with the real meaning of
evolution. For evolution wants its highest social ideals to be
realised, but these are founded only upon postulates essentially
ethical. To realise these ideals it is necessary to become inspired,
to kindle a heart's glow, to develop a fire of enthusiasm. The warming
sun must shed its beams, if all is not to go under and become
darkened--with danger of the annihilation of all life. The word of the
dying St. Simon, with which he took departure from his favourite
scholar Rodriguez, is eternally true: "Never forget, my friend, that a
man must have enthusiasm in order to accomplish great things." When
this idealism and enthusiasm disappear from a movement, when its
impetus is lost, when it passes into a littleness of opportunism, into
an emptiness of small politics, it dies like a body without life. And
it is certainly one of the most unpleasant traits of many of the
modern representatives of the proletarian movement, that in the dusty
atmosphere of common politics they have lost their enthusiasm and have
sunk to the level of political malcontents.

But on the other side, we must not confuse idealism with fantasy or
utopism. Enthusiasm for an object should be combined with common
sense. In the one is warmth, in the other clearness; in the one lies
the ideal, in the other the programme, that will offer ways and means
for reaching the end.

Only when we learn to distinguish between these two fundamental
thoughts shall we be able to unite ideal enthusiasm with practical
common sense. For as the confusion of programme with ideal tends on
the one side to a decline into useless commonplace, so on the other
side it leads to a crippling of practical activity. But he who learns
to distinguish the road from the goal will see that tireless exertion
is needed in order to press towards the mark. An understanding of the
importance and necessity of gradual reform is only awakened as a
deeper insight into the worth and essence of the ideal is obtained.

It must be allowed that a certain contradiction will remain in any
full understanding of the evolution idea in a social movement. We
cannot avoid the fact that the sceptical pessimist stands by the side
of the light-hearted optimist; that there will always be some who hope
for a speedy entrance into the promised land, while others are of the
opinion that the march thereto lies through the wilderness and will
last long. Hence the differences of position that men take regarding
what we call practical reforms. Men who believe that we are about to
move into a new building will not be willing to try to improve the old
structure; but those who think that the new edifice may be long in
rising will be contented to live for a while longer as comfortably as
possible in the old structure. This contradiction is in the nature of
man. It will continue ineradicable. It is enough for a man to be
conscious of its existence.

What we have learned to recognise thus far of antithesis rests upon
essentially different conceptions of the essence of social
development or upon different interpretations of one of these
conceptions--the evolutionary. Let me now, in a few words, speak of a
matter which rests upon the different interpretations--at least when
they arise to consciousness--which men place upon the progress and the
direction of social development. This contradiction rests upon a
variation of ideal, and consequently of programme; and it may be
expressed in the antithesis _democratic or socialistic_. In order to
understand properly this most important contradiction, which to-day
stands as the central point of discussion and which finds its acutest
expression in the exciting "agrarian question," I must remind you of
something said heretofore--at that hour when I spoke to you concerning
the necessary limitation of the proletarian-socialistic ideal. You
remember that there I specified as a necessary condition for the
development of socialism as the object of the modern social movement,
the previous development of capitalism and with it the impoverishment
of the masses. There must be a thorough proletarian condition.

But now consider the following. When the proletariat sets up this
object upon the basis of its economic conditions of existence, how
will the proletariat conduct itself with all those strata of society
who have not this same basis of economic existence? What will be the
relation of the proletariat to those masses who are not yet made
proletarian in character--as, for example, the lower middle-classes?
And there is a question yet more important--What will be the relation
of the proletariat to that part of the people, the _demos_, who cannot
possibly ever have a tendency towards becoming proletarian? Here
arises the great dilemma, and this is the deep contradiction which
comes here to expression: Shall the aim of the proletariat remain
essentially and preponderantly proletarian, or shall it become on the
whole democratic? And further, if the working-men's party will
interest itself in all these component parts of the _demos_, how shall
the proletariat conduct itself with them? If there is to be a general
democratic "people's party," what then becomes of the proletarian
programme? For this is clear: the whole reason for the existence of
socialistic agitation, as it is to-day attempted, with the cry of a
"need of nature" in the economic development, falls to the ground in
the moment when this economic development does not lead to the
proletarianisation of the masses and to the communisation of the
processes of production--to mercantile operations on a large scale. If
socialism is postulated upon any other grounds of ethics or
expediency, it cannot be "scientific" in the thought of the day. Here,
as I believe, lies the justification for the antithesis "socialistic
or democratic." And in the opposition of these two general thoughts,
each of which is represented within the social movement, is expressed
that deeply lying conflict of which we speak.

How these tendencies will settle themselves we cannot yet clearly see.

I believe that the following considerations may tend towards a
clearing of the situation.

The whole strength of the social movement, all chances for the final
victory of its ideas, so far as I see, rest upon the fact that it
proposes to be the representative of the highest form of economic life
at every period of production upon the largest scale. It tries to
climb upon the shoulders of the bourgeoisie, who are now the
representatives of the most highly developed forms of economy; and it
thinks that it will be able to overtop. History teaches us that what
we call advance has always been only change to a higher system of
economy, and that those classes thrive who represent this higher
system. Behind capitalism there is no "development"; possibly there
may be ahead. The degree of production which has been reached by it
must in any case be rivalled by any party that will secure the future
for itself. In that is shown, I think, the standard of any advance

If the social democracy is to maintain its historic mission, if it is
to be a party of advance, it must avoid compromise with the
notoriously declining classes, as the hand-workers and other
economically low organisations. Even a temporary compact with them is
dangerous. It will not be admissible, also, to change the programme
and goal of the social movement to suit the middle-class elements that
have crept in, if that great aim of production upon the largest scale
shall be held fast--because we know positively that their hand-work
represents in general a low form of economy. But now the other side of
the question. If there are spheres in economic life which are not to
be subjected to this process of communisation, because the smaller
method of business is under the conditions more profitable than the
larger,--how about the farmer? That is the whole problem which to-day
stands before the social democracy as the "agrarian question." Must
the communistic ideal of production on a large scale, and the
developed programme connected with it, undergo any essential change as
applied to the peasantry? And if a man reaches the conclusion that in
agrarian development no tendency to production on a large scale
exists, but that here operation on a large scale is not at all the
highest form of management, then we see before us the decisive
question--Shall we now be democratic in the sense of allowing
production on a small scale in this sphere and thus change our
programme and desert the communistic ideal; or shall we remain
proletarian, hold fast to the communistic ideal and exclude this class
from our movement? In this case the former decision would not be
reactionary, because, in spite of the acceptance of that lower
middle-class element into the movement, it is not necessary to come
down from the level of production that has been reached in the spheres
of industry that have been communised.

I have here been obliged to speak doubtfully because thus far, so far
as I know, there is no certainty either as to the tendency of
development among the agriculturalists or as to the form of
management, nor are we certain as to whether any specific form of
agrarian production is the superior. But, so far as I see, the Marxian
system breaks down on this point; the deductions of Marx are not
applicable to the sphere of agriculture without change. He has said
much of importance concerning agrarian matters; but his theory of
development, which rests upon an assumption of business upon a large
scale and upon the proletarianising of the masses, and which
necessarily leads to socialism in its development, is only for the
sphere of manufactures. It does not apply to agricultural development;
and to me it seems that only a scientific investigation will be able
to fill the gap which now exists.

Of far-reaching importance, and at this moment of pressing interest,
are two points which I would present in conclusion. I mean the
attitude of the social movement towards religion and towards
nationality. Because here personal feeling and temperament may easily
interfere with the clear vision of the observer, it is doubly
necessary to divest oneself of all passion and to deal with these
problems objectively. Let us make the attempt. Leaving out of
consideration the English working-man, who to-day, as a generation
ago, seems to oscillate between pietism and positivism, and who on
this point cannot be considered typical because of the well-known
peculiar conditions of his development, the proletarian movement
doubtless is strongly anti-religious. How comes this?

So far as I see, the opposition to religion comes from two different
sources: it has a "theoretical" and a "practical" origin.
Theoretically the proletariat and its leaders have become heirs of the
liberal "age of illumination." Out of a superficial study of natural
sciences have sprung all these anti-religious writings of the years
1860-1880 which in an intoxication of joy announced the first
recognition of the atheistic dogma to the world. These writers never
rose above the level of "itinerant preachers of materialism," and they
have never reached to the level of the Marx-Engels conception of life.
The platform of this dogmatic atheism may be considered to-day as
entirely something of the past. There is no earnest representative of
science anywhere who to-day dares to assert that science means atheism
and excludes religion. Thus the attitude of the proletariat towards
religion would be entirely free and independent if the ground of its
irreligion were merely a theoretic and misleading incursion into the
dogmatism of natural science. But the enmity to religion has much
deeper grounds. Not only has an enthusiasm for scientific materialism
taken hold of the proletariat with special force; but also the
enthusiasm for unbelief has been helped greatly in its development by
the instinctive feeling, or the clear consciousness, that in the
materialistic conception of the world lies the germ of a mighty
revolutionary force, well suited to drive authority from all spheres
of life. What wonder that the proletariat took hold of it as a useful
weapon for the strife; for, as we know, one of the conditions of the
very existence of the proletariat lies in a tearing asunder of all the
old points of faith. Thus the predilection for materialism and atheism
is well explained.

And now consider that the acceptance of this dogma betokens a protest
against the Christian system of thought, which the working man must
look upon as inimical because represented by the ruling classes and
used in their interests. For there can be no doubt that, in an
overwhelming majority of cases, official Christianity has been used by
the ruling classes against the movement for the emancipation of the
proletariat. The fate that falls upon heretical Christians is the best
proof of this. So long as men try to support monarchy and capitalism
as a necessary and Divine institution, using the Christian Church for
this purpose, the social movement must become anti-ecclesiastical and
thus anti-religious. Thus a mistrust as to the position, in the social
struggle, of the official representatives of the Church estranges the
proletariat from this Church and thus from religion. In the moment
that this mistrust is removed--and you all know that the new
Christian-socialists, especially in Germany, have taken this as their
task,--in the moment when Christianity is presented either as
unpartisan in its social influence, as Goehre preaches it, or as
directly social-democratic, as Naumann presents it,--in that moment,
so far as I see, there will be no reason why the proletariat should
maintain an anti-religious character.

In saying this, of course, I assume that religion is adapted to the
needs of the proletariat. Whether or not Christianity possesses this
adaptability, I do not dare to say. But that it is thus adapted would
seem to be indicated by the fact that it became the religion of Rome
in its decadence and of the German tribes in the youthful freshness of
their civilisation, of feudalism as well as of those stages of
civilisation in which the free cities and later the bourgeoisie have
had predominance. Then why may it not also be the religion of the
proletariat? But it must be presented to the lower classes with all of
the joy of life of which Christianity is capable. For the element of
asceticism in Christianity pleases little these classes, which press
towards air and light and which do not show any inclination to allow
the good things of life to be taken from them.

As if overhung with thick clouds of passion, appears now the question
as to the attitude of the social movement towards nationality. A great
part of the heated discussion on this point, as it seems to me, is due
to lack of clearness in thought. It is not so much our German
language, as it is our German instinct, that distinguishes between two
ideas, rightly but not always sharply separated; we are accustomed to
specify them as _patriotism_ and _nationalism_.

Patriotism, the love of the Fatherland, is indeed a feeling that
unconsciously and without effort is held fast in our hearts, and
exists therein like love of home and of family. It is an aggregation
of impressions, of memories, over which we have no control. It is that
indefinable power exercised upon our souls by the sound of the mother
tongue, by the harmony of the national song, by many peculiar customs
and usages, by the whole history and poetry of the home land. It is
that feeling which comes to its fulness only in a strange land, and
presses as truly upon the soul of the exiled revolutionist as upon
that of the peaceful citizen. I cannot see why this should be the
heritage of a particular class. It is a foolish idea that such a
feeling may, or can, die out in the great masses of men, so long as
there are lands and peoples with their own languages and songs.

Quite different is nationalism--the intelligent presentation, if I may
so express it, of national opinion, especially in opposition and
enmity to other nations. The modern proletariat does not simply refuse
to share this feeling; it actually fights against it.

Here again we meet the same fact that we observed before in
connection with the attitude of the proletariat towards religion; they
identify the idea of "nationalism" with the ruling classes, and as
enemies of the representatives of the idea they turn their hatred
against the idea itself. Especially is this so because, in many lands,
it is not made easy for the rising working-men's movement to identify
itself with the official representatives of the nation; hate,
persecution, repression, are not suitable means to arouse pride in
that national structure in which the working men must live together
with those from whom all this evil proceeds. At the same time a
friendly hand is reached over the national boundary-line by the
proletariat of a strange and unfriendly land, by companions in
suffering, with similar interests and efforts. Truly it is no wonder
that the modern proletariat generally becomes imbued with an
anti-national, an international, tendency.

But I hold it to be quite wrong to justify an anti-national theory by
this impulsive anti-nationalism. I see in the essence of modern
socialism no reason for such an idea. I have explicitly pointed out to
you the tendency towards an international understanding and unity on
the part of the proletariat. But that is only an artificial abolition
of national barriers. Only one who chases after the phantom of a world
republic will be able to imagine a social development outside of
national limitations. A man will hardly venture to prophesy with
certainty, even for only a short time, as to when the social
contradictions within a nation shall rival those points of difference
at present existing between nations. But it must be clear even to the
short-sighted that, so far as we can see, an energetic upholding of
national interests can never be entirely unnecessary.

Even if in Western Europe the differences between nations should be so
far obviated that only social questions remain in the field, I believe
that we could never assume that this Western European civilisation can
pursue its course undisturbed and without the admixture of other
elements. We must never forget that, as a result of modern means of
communication, not only Russian civilisation threatens that of Western
Europe, but even the Asiatic more and more strongly presses upon us.
The development in Asia which we have seen in the course of the last
decade, the rapid advancement of Japan, and now the attempt of China
to enter civilisation in order to nibble at the fruits of commerce and
to grow out of its narrow circle--this development will doubtless take
a course which must of necessity lead to new international
complications. I believe that the moment will come when European
society as a whole will say to itself: All our mutual differences are
of no importance as compared with that which threatens us from this
enemy. As an indication of this see the attitude of America towards
Asiatic development. There is a case in which the "internationalism"
of the proletariat is simply thrown aside; and this would be the case
also among the proletariat of Western Europe, if the coolies should
begin to swarm over us like rats. An artificial sympathy with the most
downtrodden people would prove too weak to restrain a sound national
self-interest. So soon as a common enemy threatens the existence of a
society it becomes again conscious of its economic interests and
rallies to their support; and in the meantime its internal differences
are forgotten.

Thus there can be no talk of an essential repudiation of nationalism
on the part of the proletariat throughout the world. Discussion of
the question concerns only a circle of kindred nations to which one
does not want to see the principle of anti-nationalism applied. How
such national groups are constituted is a question which it is not
necessary for us here to determine, as I desire only to present the
essential point in the national problem. You see that, with this
discussion, I complete the circle of my thought, and return to that
with which I began--the idea that there is, and apparently always will
be, an antithesis around which, as around poles, human history
circles, the social and the national. That is something which the
proletariat should never forget.



"Πόλεμος πατὴρ πάντων"

War is the father of all things.

Can we draw lessons from this historical review of the social
movement? I think we can, on many points; to show you what these
lessons are will be my effort in this last lecture. Perhaps I may
exert some influence upon the judgment of those who personally stand
outside of the present social strife and desire to be merely
passionless observers. And I shall be glad if, here and there among
those actively engaged in the struggle, some shall be found who will
recognise the justice of what I may say.

It seems to me that the first impression to be made upon anyone by
quiet observation of the social movement must be that it is necessary
and unavoidable. As a mountain torrent, after a thunder-storm, must
dash down into the valley according to "iron, unchangeable law," so
must the stream of social agitation pour itself onward. This is the
first thing for us to understand, that something of great and historic
importance is developing before our eyes; to recognise "that in all
that happens and is accomplished in connection with this movement we
are in the midst of a great process of world history which with
elementary force takes hold of individuals and even nations, and
concerning which it is as wrong short-sightedly to deny the fact as
inadequately to struggle against it." (Lorenz von Stein.) Probably
there are some who believe that the social movement is merely the
malicious work of a few agitators, or that the social democracy has
been "brought up by Bismarck," and the like; probably there are some
who naturally are forced to the false idea that some medicine or charm
can drive away this fatal poison out of the social body. What a
delusion! What a lack of intelligence and insight as to the nature of
all social history! If anything has resulted from my investigation I
hope it is this--a recognition of the historic necessity of the social

But we must advance to a further admission--that the modern social
movement, at least in its main features, exists necessarily as it is.
Among these main features I include the object that it sets before
itself, the socialistic ideal; also the means which it chooses for the
accomplishment of this ideal,--class strife. I have already attempted
to show you why these points must be allowed as the necessary result
of existing conditions.

Now shall we who do not stand in the ranks of those who struggle for
the new social order, shall we who only tremble for the permanence of
that which seems to us necessary for the upholding of our
civilisation--shall we be greatly pained and troubled at the present
condition of things as thus shown?

I think it hardly necessary to excite ourselves over the "dangers" of
any socialistic order of society in the future. We who know that all
social order is only the expression of specific economic relations can
face what comes with indifference; so long as these arrangements of
economic life are not given up, especially so long as the character of
the persons involved, is not completely changed, no power on earth, no
party--be it ever so revolutionary--can succeed in establishing a new
social order for humanity. And if these conditions are at any time
fulfilled--then will be the time to look further.

But it is not this socialistic ideal of the future that principally
causes anxiety to so many men. It is rather the form in which this
ideal is striven for; it is that word of terror, uttered by
Philistines both male and female--class strife.

I must acknowledge that for me this idea has in it nothing at all
terrible, rather the opposite. Is it really true that, even if strife
rules throughout society, man must give up entirely the hope of a
further and successful development of humanity? Is it really true that
all culture, all the noblest acquirements of the race, are endangered
by that strife?

First let me dispel the delusion that "class strife" is identical with
civil war, with petroleum, dynamite, the stiletto, and the barricades.
The forms of class strife are many. Every trade union, every
social-democratic election, every strike, is a manifestation of this
strife. And it seems to me that such internal struggle, such conflict
of different interests and ideas, is not only without danger to our
civilisation, but on the contrary will be the source of much that is
desirable. I think that the old proverb is true as applied even to
social strife, "Πόλεμος πατὴρ πάντων" It is only through struggle
that the most beautiful flowers of human existence bloom. It is only
struggle that raises the great masses of the common people to a higher
level of humanity. Whatever of culture is now forced upon the masses
comes to them through struggle; the only warrant for the hope that
they can be developed into new and higher forms of culture lies in the
fact that they must rise through their efforts, that step by step they
must fight for their rights. It is struggle alone that builds
character and arouses enthusiasm, for nations as for classes. Let me
remind you of a beautiful saying of Kant's, that expresses the same
thought: "Thanks to nature for intolerance, for envious and emulous
self-seeking, for the insatiable desire to have and to rule! Without
this, all the desirable qualities of humanity would lie eternally
undeveloped. Man wants peace, but Nature knows better what is
necessary for him; she wants strife."

And why lose courage, as we see that even in social life struggle is
the solution? To me this seems no reason for despair. I rejoice in
this law of the history of the world; that is a happy view of life
which makes struggle as the central point of existence.

But we should never forget that as conflict is the developer of what
is good, so it may also be the disturber and destroyer of all
civilisation. It does not lead only and by necessity to a higher life,
it is not necessarily the beginning of a new culture: it can also
betoken the end of the old, and of all, human existence.

For this reason I think that we should never lose sight of two great
ideas in this strife.

First, all social struggle should be determinedly within legal bounds.
Thus only can the sanctity of the idea of right remain uninjured.
Without this we plunge into chaos. Man must struggle in the name of
right against that which he considers wrong, upon the basis of
existing right. Man must respect this right because it has become
right, and passes for such; and he must not forget that our fathers
struggled not less intensely for that right which to-day we hold, and
have had in heart not less enthusiasm than their sons for the right of
the future. Only thus can a man awaken and sustain faith in that which
at some future time shall be right.

This exhortation addresses itself in like manner to both parties in
the struggle; to those who are now in power, not less than to those
who are carrying on the social agitation. _Intra muros peccatur et
extra!_ There is sin within, as without, the walls.

The same is true of a second demand, which must be developed in the
name of culture and humanity within these struggling parties, if the
social strife is not to be a war of extermination. It must be carried
on with proper weapons, not with poisoned arrows. How greatly have
both sides been to blame in this respect! How difficult it is to keep
out of the battle on the one side bitterness, mendacity, malice; on
the other side brutality, derision, violence! How readily does the one
opponent charge dishonour or bad motive against the other! How
repellent, how offensive, too often, is the tone in which opinion is
expressed! Must that be? Is that necessary for energetic assertion of
one's standpoint? Does a man think that he loses anything by conceding
that his opponent is an honourable man and by assuming that truth and
honour will control in the dealings of his adversary? I do not think
so. The man who places himself really in the struggle, who sees that
in all historic strife is the germ of whatever occurs, should be able
easily to conduct this strife in a noble way, to respect his opponent
as a man, and to attribute to him motives no less pure than his own.

Then is not the social struggle, according to this idea of it, as
necessary as a thunder-storm in a heavy atmosphere? He who sees in the
struggle something artificial, produced by bad men, may perhaps
attribute to the creator of the disturbance bad motives for this
knavery, for this frivolous and malicious upsetting of social rest.
But he who understands that the struggle arises necessarily out of the
constitution of social life, and that it is only a warfare between two
great principles, each of which has been, and must be, constituted by
a combination of objective circumstances--he who looks at differences
of idea as to the world and life which arise from the fact of
different standpoints and which are the necessary occasion of
differences in conditions of life--this one will come to the
conviction that even his opponent stands on much the same grounds as
he himself; that not personal baseness, but the compelling force of
fate, has placed him in a position such that he must be an opponent.
Then will it be easy, I think, to respect the other man, to refrain
from suspicion and contempt, to battle with him openly and honourably.
Shall we extol the Geneva Convention, which humanised warfare, as a
fruit of advanced culture; and yet within our kingdom, like
barbarians, without any consideration for the opponent, fly one upon
another with dishonourable weapons?

In this the development of English social agitation can serve as a
model. It points out to us how men may conduct in social life a moral
and civilised warfare. Even upon the Continent, I hope, will the more
humane form of struggle reach acceptance, if only because it springs
of necessity from a deeper conception of what class strife really is.
So long as the battle rages legally and honourably, we need not worry
about the future of our civilisation.

Schiller's lines show how undisturbed we may be at the social

    "A full life is what I want,
    And swinging and swaying, to and fro,
    Upon the rising and falling waves of fortune.
    For a man becomes stunted in quietness of life;
    Idleness and rest are the grave of energy.

      *       *       *       *       *

    But war develops strength.
    It raises all to a level above what is ordinary,
    It even gives courage to the cowardly."


These tables contain the first attempt to make a synchronistic
presentation of the most important dates in the modern social, that
is, the proletarian, movement. We here specify these dates for the
chief countries, England, France, Germany; and as well for the
international activity of the working-men's movement. In addition, the
most important occurrences in the development of capitalism and of
social legislation, so far as they have relation of cause or effect
with the social movement, are indicated in heavy type.

   YEAR.|   ENGLAND.      |   FRANCE.       |   GERMANY.      | INTERNATIONAL.
   1750-|Notable          |                 |                 |
   1800 |inventions of    |                 |                 |
        |modern           |                 |                 |
        |machinery:       |                 |                 |
        |(1764-75.        |                 |                 |
        |Spinning machine.|                 |                 |
        |1780.            |                 |                 |
        |The puddling     |                 |                 |
        |process.         |                 |                 |
        |1785-90.         |                 |                 |
        |The machine loom.|                 |                 |
        |1790.            |                 |                 |
        |Steam engine.    |                 |                 |
        |1799.            |                 |                 |
        |Paper machine.)  |                 |                 |
        |Rapid development|                 |                 |
        |of the great     |                 |                 |
        |centres of       |                 |                 |
        |industry.        |                 |                 |
        |"Machine Riots." |                 |                 |
        |Petitions to     |                 |                 |
        |forbid legally   |                 |                 |
        |machines and     |                 |                 |
        |manufactories,   |                 |                 |
        |and to           |                 |                 |
        |reintroduce the  |                 |                 |
        |Elizabethan trade|                 |                 |
        |ordinances.      |                 |                 |
        |Laws for the     |                 |                 |
        |protection of    |                 |                 |
        |machines.        |                 |                 |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1776 |Adam Smith       |                 |                 |
        |(1723-90).       |                 |                 |
        |"Wealth of       |                 |                 |
        |Nations."        |                 |                 |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1796 |                 |Babeuf's         |                 |
        |                 |conspiracy, or   |                 |
        |                 |"The Equals."    |                 |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1800 |Robert Owen      |                 |                 |
        |(1771-1858; chief|                 |                 |
        |writings: "A New |                 |                 |
        |View of Society,"|                 |                 |
        |"Book of the New |                 |                 |
        |Moral World").   |                 |                 |
        |Enters the Dale  |                 |                 |
        |manufactory at   |                 |                 |
        |Lanark.          |                 |                 |
        |                 |                 |                 |
        |Rigorous         |                 |                 |
        |prohibition of   |                 |                 |
        |combination.     |                 |                 |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1808 |                 |Charles Fourier's|                 |
        |                 |(1772-1837) first|                 |
        |                 |great book       |                 |
        |                 |appears: "Théorie|                 |
        |                 |de quatre        |                 |
        |                 |mouvements"      |                 |
        |                 |(1822: "Théorie  |                 |
        |                 |de l'unité       |                 |
        |                 |universelle,"    |                 |
        |                 |1824: "Le nouveau|                 |
        |                 |monde industriel |                 |
        |                 |et sociétaire"). |                 |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1813-|Complete removal |                 |                 |
   1814 |of the           |                 |                 |
        |Elizabethan trade|                 |                 |
        |restrictions.    |                 |                 |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1815-|Struggle of the  |                 |                 |
   1832 |proletariat for  |                 |                 |
        |political rights.|                 |                 |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1819 |The "Savannah"   |                 |                 |
        |arrives at       |                 |                 |
        |Liverpool.       |                 |                 |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1821 |                 |Saint Simon's    |                 |
        |                 |(1760-1825) chief|                 |
        |                 |work, "Du Système|                 |
        |                 |Industriel,"     |                 |
        |                 |appears (1825:   |                 |
        |                 |"Nouveau         |                 |
        |                 |Christianisme"). |                 |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1825 |More liberal     |                 |                 |
        |coalition law.   |                 |                 |
        |                 |                 |                 |
        |Rise of the Trade|                 |                 |
        |Unions.          |                 |                 |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1830 |Opening of the   |                 |                 |
        |Manchester-      |                 |                 |
        |Liverpool        |                 |                 |
        |Railroad.        |                 |                 |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1830-|                 |July Kingdom.    |                 |
   1848 |                 |Rapid economic   |                 |
        |                 |development;     |                 |
        |                 |"Enrichissez-    |                 |
        |                 |vous, messieurs."|                 |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1830-|                 |The movement of  |                 |
   1832 |                 |Bazard and       |                 |
        |                 |Enfantin, the    |                 |
        |                 |disciples of     |                 |
        |                 |Saint Simon.     |                 |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1831 |                 |Insurrection of  |                 |
        |                 |the silk workers |                 |
        |                 |in Lyons: "Vivre |                 |
        |                 |en travaillant ou|                 |
        |                 |mourir en        |                 |
        |                 |combattant."     |                 |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1833 |Beginnings of    |                 |                 |
        |specific         |                 |                 |
        |legislation for  |                 |                 |
        |working-men.     |                 |                 |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1834 |Grand national   |                 |Founding of the  |
        |consolidated     |                 |German           |
        |trade union, in  |                 |Zollverein.      |
        |the spirit of    |                 |Beginnings of    |
        |Robert Owen.     |                 |national         |
        |                 |                 |industry.        |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1836 |                 |Beginning of the |                 |The "Junger
        |                 |"Journalistic"   |                 |Deutschland" in
        |                 |period of        |                 |Switzerland.
        |                 |Fourierism under |                 |"Bund der
        |                 |Victor           |                 |Gerechten";
        |                 |Considerant.     |                 |with its
        |                 |Appearance of the|                 |central office
        |                 |Christian        |                 |in London after
        |                 |socialists (De La|                 |1840.
        |                 |Mennais); the    |                 |
        |                 |"Icarian         |                 |
        |                 |Communism" of    |                 |
        |                 |Cabet (Voyage en |                 |
        |                 |Icarie, 1840).   |                 |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1836 |                 |Beginning of the |                 |
        |                 |economic unions  |                 |
        |                 |(Buchez, born    |                 |
        |                 |1796).           |                 |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1837-|The Chartist     |                 |                 |
   1848 |movement. Six    |                 |                 |
        |points. Lovett.  |                 |                 |
        |Feargus O'Connor.|                 |                 |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1839-|Activity of      |                 |                 |
   1854 |Thomas Carlyle   |                 |                 |
        |("Past and       |                 |                 |
        |Present," 1843), |                 |                 |
        |and the Christian|                 |                 |
        |socialists       |                 |                 |
        |(Charles         |                 |                 |
        |Kingsley, Thomas |                 |                 |
        |Hughes, J.D.     |                 |                 |
        |Maurice).        |                 |                 |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1839 |                 |Louis Blanc      |                 |
        |                 |(1813-1882):     |                 |
        |                 |"Organisation du |                 |
        |                 |travail."        |                 |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1840 |Rowland Hill's   |Fullest          |                 |
        |penny postage is |development of   |                 |
        |introduced. The  |anarchistic-     |                 |
        |telegraph is     |communistic      |                 |
        |first applied to |clubbism and     |                 |
        |English          |conspiracy in    |                 |
        |railroads.       |"Société des     |                 |
        |                 |Travailleurs     |                 |
        |                 |egalitaires."    |                 |
        |                 |                 |                 |
        |                 |P.J. Proudhon    |                 |
        |                 |(1809-1865).     |                 |
        |                 |"Qu'est-ce que la|                 |
        |                 |propriété?"      |                 |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1844 |The Pioneers of  |                 |Loom riots in    |
        |Rochdale.        |                 |Langenbielau u.  |
        |                 |                 |Peterswaldau;    |
        |                 |                 |tumults of       |
        |                 |                 |working-men in   |
        |                 |                 |Breslau,         |
        |                 |                 |Warmbrunn, and   |
        |                 |                 |other places.    |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1847 |                 |                 |                 |The "Bund der
        |                 |                 |                 |Gerechten"
        |                 |                 |                 |changes itself
        |                 |                 |                 |into the "Bund
        |                 |                 |                 |der
        |                 |                 |                 |Kommunisten"
        |                 |                 |                 |and takes as
        |                 |                 |                 |its platform
        |                 |                 |                 |the
        |                 |                 |                 |"Communistic
        |                 |                 |                 |Manifesto,"
        |                 |                 |                 |written by Karl
        |                 |                 |                 |Marx (1818-
        |                 |                 |                 |1883) and
        |                 |                 |                 |Frederick
        |                 |                 |                 |Engels
        |                 |                 |                 |(1820-1895).
        |                 |                 |                 |"Proletarians
        |                 |                 |                 |of all lands,
        |                 |                 |                 |unite
        |                 |                 |                 |yourselves."
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1848 |                 |The Paris        |Communistic      |
        |                 |"February        |agitation on the |
        |                 |Revolution."     |Rhine, started by|
        |                 |                 |Karl Marx and    |
        |                 |Proletarian      |associates.      |
        |                 |representatives  |("Neue Rheinische|
        |                 |in the           |Zeitung," 1. VI. |
        |                 |provisional      |48-19. V. 49).   |
        |                 |government;      |The German       |
        |                 |Louis Blanc and  |working-men's    |
        |                 |Albert. 23. u.   |movement captured|
        |                 |24. VI., "June   |by the           |
        |                 |insurrection."   |hand-workers.    |
        |                 |The proletariat  |Stefan Born. W.  |
        |                 |defeated in      |Weitling.        |
        |                 |street fights.   |                 |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1850-|England's        |                 |                 |
   1880 |position of      |                 |                 |
        |industrial       |                 |                 |
        |monopoly in the  |                 |                 |
        |markets of the   |                 |                 |
        |world. Rapid     |                 |                 |
        |development of   |                 |                 |
        |the trade unions.|                 |                 |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1850-|                 |                 |Stern regulations|
   1856 |                 |                 |of the various   |
        |                 |                 |German           |
        |                 |                 |governments and  |
        |                 |                 |of the           |
        |                 |                 |Confederation for|
        |                 |                 |the complete     |
        |                 |                 |repression of the|
        |                 |                 |working-men's    |
        |                 |                 |movement.        |
        |                 |                 |                 |
        |                 |                 |Gradual founding |
        |                 |                 |of working-men's |
        |                 |                 |associations and |
        |                 |                 |"culture unions" |
        |                 |                 |(Schulze-        |
        |                 |                 |Delitzsch).      |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1851-|                 |Severe laws of   |                 |
   1854 |                 |Napoleon III. for|                 |
        |                 |the repression of|                 |
        |                 |all social       |                 |
        |                 |agitation.       |                 |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1851 |Founding of the  |                 |                 |First World's
        |United Society of|                 |                 |Exposition in
        |Machinists.      |                 |                 |London.
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1852 |                 |                 |                 |The "League of
        |                 |                 |                 |Communists"
        |                 |                 |                 |dissolves.
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1862 |                 |                 |Deputation of    |
        |                 |                 |working-men from |
        |                 |                 |Leipzig to the   |
        |                 |                 |leaders of the   |
        |                 |                 |national union in|
        |                 |                 |Berlin; "Honorary|
        |                 |                 |members!"        |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1863 |                 |                 |Ferdinand        |
        |                 |                 |Lassalle         |
        |                 |                 |(1825-1864; 1858,|
        |                 |                 |"Heraklit, der   |
        |                 |                 |Dunkle"; 1861,   |
        |                 |                 |"System der      |
        |                 |                 |erworbenen       |
        |                 |                 |Rechte"); 1.     |
        |                 |                 |III.: "Offenes   |
        |                 |                 |Antwortschreiben |
        |                 |                 |an das Central   |
        |                 |                 |Kommittee zur    |
        |                 |                 |Berufung eines   |
        |                 |                 |allgemeinen      |
        |                 |                 |deutscher        |
        |                 |                 |Arbeiter-        |
        |                 |                 |Kongresses       |
        |                 |                 |zu Leipzig."     |
        |                 |                 |                 |
        |                 |                 |23. V.: Founding |
        |                 |                 |of the general   |
        |                 |                 |German           |
        |                 |                 |working-men's    |
        |                 |                 |movement by      |
        |                 |                 |Lassalle.        |
        |                 |                 |Disruption after |
        |                 |                 |Lassalle's death |
        |                 |                 |in the male line |
        |                 |                 |(Becker, J.B. von|
        |                 |                 |Schweitzer) and  |
        |                 |                 |in the female    |
        |                 |                 |line (Countess   |
        |                 |                 |Hatzfeld).       |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1864 |                 |                 |                 |Founding of the
        |                 |                 |                 |International
        |                 |                 |                 |Working-Men's
        |                 |                 |                 |Association by
        |                 |                 |                 |the delegates
        |                 |                 |                 |of different
        |                 |                 |                 |nations at the
        |                 |                 |                 |World's
        |                 |                 |                 |Exposition in
        |                 |                 |                 |London.
        |                 |                 |                 |Inaugural
        |                 |                 |                 |address and a
        |                 |                 |                 |constitution by
        |                 |                 |                 |Karl Marx. He
        |                 |                 |                 |remains the
        |                 |                 |                 |veiled leader
        |                 |                 |                 |of the
        |                 |                 |                 |"International."
        |                 |                 |                 |The general
        |                 |                 |                 |office of the
        |                 |                 |                 |Society is in
        |                 |                 |                 |London.
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1865 |                 |                 |Beginnings of    |
        |                 |                 |trade agitation; |
        |                 |                 |the tobacco      |
        |                 |                 |workers; (1866   |
        |                 |                 |the printers).   |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1867 |                 |                 |Bismarck forces  |Appearance of
        |                 |                 |the general,     |the first
        |                 |                 |equal, secret,   |volume of
        |                 |                 |and direct       |"Capital" by
        |                 |                 |ballot.          |Karl Marx.
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1868 |                 |                 |                 |Founding of the
        |                 |                 |                 |"Alliance
        |                 |                 |                 |international
        |                 |                 |                 |de la
        |                 |                 |                 |démocratic
        |                 |                 |                 |sociale" by
        |                 |                 |                 |Michael Bakunin
        |                 |                 |                 |(1814-1876),
        |                 |                 |                 |with
        |                 |                 |                 |anarchistic
        |                 |                 |                 |tendencies in
        |                 |                 |                 |clear
        |                 |                 |                 |opposition to
        |                 |                 |                 |the Marxist
        |                 |                 |                 |ideas.
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1869 |                 |                 |Liberal trade    |
        |                 |                 |regulation for   |
        |                 |                 |the German       |
        |                 |                 |Empire. Rapid    |
        |                 |                 |development of   |
        |                 |                 |capitalism,      |
        |                 |                 |especially after |
        |                 |                 |the war.         |
        |                 |                 |                 |
        |                 |                 |The founding of  |
        |                 |                 |the "Social-     |
        |                 |                 |Democratic       |
        |                 |                 |Working-men's    |
        |                 |                 |Party" at the    |
        |                 |                 |Congress at      |
        |                 |                 |Eisenach: the    |
        |                 |                 |so-called        |
        |                 |                 |"Ehrlichen."     |
        |                 |                 |August Bebel     |
        |                 |                 |(born 1840);     |
        |                 |                 |Wilhelm          |
        |                 |                 |Liebknecht (born |
        |                 |                 |1826). Founding  |
        |                 |                 |of the           |
        |                 |                 |"Hirsch-Duncker" |
        |                 |                 |trade unions.    |
        |                 |                 |                 |
        |                 |                 |The General      |
        |                 |                 |Assembly of the  |
        |                 |                 |German Catholic  |
        |                 |                 |unions decides   |
        |                 |                 |upon             |
        |                 |                 |participation in |
        |                 |                 |the social       |
        |                 |                 |movement from the|
        |                 |                 |Catholic         |
        |                 |                 |standpoint.      |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1871 |Trade-union act, |The Paris        |                 |
        |supplemented in  |Commune.         |                 |
        |1875, sanctions  |                 |                 |
        |the trade-union  |                 |                 |
        |agitation.       |                 |                 |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1872 |                 |                 |                 |Congress of the
        |                 |                 |                 |"I.A.A." at
        |                 |                 |                 |Hague.
        |                 |                 |                 |Exclusion of
        |                 |                 |                 |Bakunin and his
        |                 |                 |                 |faction, who
        |                 |                 |                 |yet for a time
        |                 |                 |                 |find a
        |                 |                 |                 |standing-place
        |                 |                 |                 |in the
        |                 |                 |                 |"Fédération
        |                 |                 |                 |juraissienne."
        |                 |                 |                 |Removal of the
        |                 |                 |                 |general office
        |                 |                 |                 |of the "I.A.A."
        |                 |                 |                 |to New York.
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1875 |                 |                 |Fusion of the    |
        |                 |                 |followers of     |
        |                 |                 |Lassalle with the|
        |                 |                 |Eisenachers at   |
        |                 |                 |the congress in  |
        |                 |                 |Gotha. The       |
        |                 |                 |"compromise      |
        |                 |                 |platform" of     |
        |                 |                 |Gotha.           |
        |                 |                 |Gotha.           |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1876 |                 |First general    |                 |The "I.A.A."
        |                 |French           |                 |formally
        |                 |Working-Men's    |                 | dissolves.
        |                 |Congress at      |                 |
        |                 |Paris.           |                 |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1877 |                 |                 |                 |The Ghent
        |                 |                 |                 |"World's
        |                 |                 |                 |Congress."
        |                 |                 |                 |Attempt for the
        |                 |                 |                 |reconciliation
        |                 |                 |                 |of the
        |                 |                 |                 |Bakunists and
        |                 |                 |                 |the Marxists
        |                 |                 |                 |miscarries. A
        |                 |                 |                 |general union
        |                 |                 |                 |of
        |                 |                 |                 |"International
        |                 |                 |                 |Socialism" is
        |                 |                 |                 |resolved upon
        |                 |                 |                 |by the
        |                 |                 |                 |Marxists, but
        |                 |                 |                 |does not come
        |                 |                 |                 |to importance.
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1879-|                 |                 |                 |
   1890 |                 |                 |Law concerning   |
        |                 |                 |the socialists.  |
        |                 |                 |                 |
        |                 |                 |Destruction of   |
        |                 |                 |working-men's    |
        |                 |                 |organizations.   |
        |                 |                 |Removal of the   |
        |                 |                 |strength of the  |
        |                 |                 |agitation to     |
        |                 |                 |other lands.     |
        |                 |                 |("Social-        |
        |                 |                 |demokrat" in     |
        |                 |                 |Zurich and       |
        |                 |                 |London.)         |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1878 |                 |                 |Founding of a    |
        |                 |                 |conservative     |
        |                 |                 |Christian        |
        |                 |                 |Socialism by     |
        |                 |                 |Stöcker.         |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1879 |                 |Working-Men's    |                 |
        |                 |Congress in      |                 |
        |                 |Marseilles for   |                 |
        |                 |the first time   |                 |
        |                 |gives power to   |                 |
        |                 |the              |                 |
        |                 |Collectivists.   |                 |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1880 |                 |Working-Men's    |                 |
        |                 |Congress in      |                 |
        |                 |Havre; rupture   |                 |
        |                 |between the      |                 |
        |                 |moderates and the|                 |
        |                 |radicals. The    |                 |
        |                 |latter constitute|                 |
        |                 |themselves as a  |                 |
        |                 |"Parti ouvrier   |                 |
        |                 |révolutionnaire  |                 |
        |                 |socialiste       |                 |
        |                 |français."       |                 |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1881 |Founding of the  |                 |                 |
        |Social-Democratic|                 |                 |
        |Federation under |                 |                 |
        |the control of   |                 |                 |
        |Marxian          |                 |                 |
        |influence.       |                 |                 |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1882 |                 |Working-Men's    |                 |
        |                 |Congress at St.  |                 |
        |                 |Etienne. Division|                 |
        |                 |between the      |                 |
        |                 |Possibilists and |                 |
        |                 |the "Guesdists." |                 |
        |                 |The former split,|                 |
        |                 |at a later time, |                 |
        |                 |into "Bronssists"|                 |
        |                 |("Fédération des |                 |
        |                 |travailleurs     |                 |
        |                 |socialiste de    |                 |
        |                 |France"),        |                 |
        |                 |Marxists, and    |                 |
        |                 |"Allemanists"    |                 |
        |                 |(Parti ouvrier   |                 |
        |                 |socialiste       |                 |
        |                 |révolutionnaire  |                 |
        |                 |français).       |                 |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1883 |Founding of the  |                 |Beginning of     |
        |Fabian Society.  |                 |governmental     |
        |                 |                 |working-man's    |
        |                 |                 |assurance;       |
        |                 |                 |Insurance for the|
        |                 |                 |sick; 1884       |
        |                 |                 |Insurance against|
        |                 |                 |accident; 1890,  |
        |                 |                 |Insurance for the|
        |                 |                 |sick and aged.   |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1884 |                 |A new "Syndicate"|                 |
        |                 |law favors the   |                 |
        |                 |development of   |                 |
        |                 |the trade-union  |                 |
        |                 |movement.        |                 |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1885 |                 |Founding of the  |                 |
        |                 |"Société         |                 |
        |                 |d'économie       |                 |
        |                 |sociale" by      |                 |
        |                 |Benoit Malon, the|                 |
        |                 |center of the    |                 |
        |                 |"independent"    |                 |
        |                 |socialists       |                 |
        |                 |("Parti          |                 |
        |                 |socialiste       |                 |
        |                 |independant").   |                 |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1886 |                 |Founding of the  |                 |
        |                 |"Fédération des  |                 |
        |                 |syndicate" at the|                 |
        |                 |Congress at      |                 |
        |                 |Lyons.           |                 |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1887 |Beginning of the |                 |                 |
        |"new Unionism;"  |                 |                 |
        |the trade-union  |                 |                 |
        |movement reaches |                 |                 |
        |lower strata of  |                 |                 |
        |the working men  |                 |                 |
        |with socialistic |                 |                 |
        |tendencies (John |                 |                 |
        |Burns, Tom Mann, |                 |                 |
        |Keir Hardie).    |                 |                 |
        |                 |                 |                 |
        |Independent labor|                 |                 |
        |party.           |                 |                 |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1889 |                 |                 |                 |Two
        |                 |                 |                 |International
        |                 |                 |                 |Congresses of
        |                 |                 |                 |Working-men at
        |                 |                 |                 |Paris
        |                 |                 |                 |constituted by
        |                 |                 |                 |the
        |                 |                 |                 |"Possibilists"
        |                 |                 |                 |and the
        |                 |                 |                 |"Guesdists,"
        |                 |                 |                 |proclaim as the
        |                 |                 |                 |salvation of
        |                 |                 |                 |the proletariat
        |                 |                 |                 |in general the
        |                 |                 |                 |legal enactment
        |                 |                 |                 |of an
        |                 |                 |                 |eight-hour day
        |                 |                 |                 |of work, and
        |                 |                 |                 |the celebration
        |                 |                 |                 |of May 1st as
        |                 |                 |                 |the
        |                 |                 |                 |working-men's
        |                 |                 |                 |holiday. (The
        |                 |                 |                 |first
        |                 |                 |                 |International
        |                 |                 |                 |Association
        |                 |                 |                 |Congress under
        |                 |                 |                 |the new
        |                 |                 |                 |enumeration.)
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1890 |The Trade-Union  |                 |                 |The first May
        |Congress in      |                 |                 |festival of the
        |Liverpool        |                 |                 |proletariat in
        |endorses a legal |                 |                 |all civilized
        |establishment of |                 |                 |lands.
        |the eight-hour   |                 |                 |
        |work-day by a    |                 |                 |The first
        |vote of 193 to   |                 |                 |International
        |155.             |                 |                 |Miners'
        |                 |                 |                 |Congress at
        |                 |                 |                 |Jolimont.
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1890 |                 |                 |                 |International
        |                 |                 |                 |Working-Men's
        |                 |                 |                 |Protection
        |                 |                 |                 |Conference in
        |                 |                 |                 |Berlin called
        |                 |                 |                 |by Kaiser
        |                 |                 |                 |Wilhelm II.,
        |                 |                 |                 |attended by
        |                 |                 |                 |delegates from
        |                 |                 |                 |13 nations.
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1891 |                 |                 |A new party      |Second
        |                 |                 |programme for the|International
        |                 |                 |Social-Democracy |Working-Men's
        |                 |                 |founded          |Congress at
        |                 |                 |definitely upon  |Brussels.
        |                 |                 |Marxian          |
        |                 |                 |principles: the  |Exclusion of
        |                 |                 |so-called "Erfurt|the Anarchists.
        |                 |                 |programme."      |
        |                 |                 |                 |Encyclical of
        |                 |                 |Separation of the|Leo XIII.,
        |                 |                 |"independent"    |"_Rerum
        |                 |                 |socialists of    |novarum_,"
        |                 |                 |anarchistic      |defines the
        |                 |                 |tendency from the|programme of
        |                 |                 |Social-Democracy.|all
        |                 |                 |                 |Catholic-social
        |                 |                 |                 |agitation.
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1892 |                 |Congress of      |First general    |
        |                 |socialists at    |trade-union      |
        |                 |Marseilles       |Congress at      |
        |                 |resolves upon an |Halberstadt.     |
        |                 |agrarian         |                 |
        |                 |programme with   |                 |
        |                 |recognition of   |                 |
        |                 |small peasantry  |                 |
        |                 |holdings.        |                 |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1893 |                 |First Congress of|The Social-      |Third
        |                 |the "Fédération  |Democracy comes  |International
        |                 |de Bourses du    |out of the       |Working-Men's
        |                 |Travail."        |parliamentary    |Congress in
        |                 |                 |elections as the |Zurich; the
        |                 |                 |strongest party  |English
        |                 |                 |in Germany--with |trade-unions
        |                 |                 |1,786,738 votes. |deliberate
        |                 |                 |                 |officially in
        |                 |                 |                 |union with the
        |                 |                 |                 |continental
        |                 |                 |                 |socialists.
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1894 |The Trade-Union  |                 |Beginning of a   |First
        |Congress at      |                 |Democratic-      |International
        |Norwich declares |                 |Christian-Social |Weaver's
        |itself by a      |                 |agitation by     |Congress at
        |majority vote for|                 |Pastor Naumann   |Manchester.
        |a communization  |                 |(Die Hilfe).     |
        |of the means of  |                 |                 |
        |production.      |                 |                 |
        |                 |                 |                 |
   1896 |                 |                 |                 |Fourth
        |                 |                 |                 |International
        |                 |                 |                 |Working-Men's
        |                 |                 |                 |Congress in
        |                 |                 |                 |London.


"Agrarian question," The, 158

Agricultural development, The Marxian theory of development not
  applicable to, 159

_Alliance Internationale de la Démocratic Sociale_, The, 128

Anarchism, French, 79

Anti-capitalistic literature, 23

Anti-ecclesiastical nature of the proletarian movement, 162

Anti-national tendency of the proletariat, 165

Anti-religious nature of the proletarian movement, 162

Asiatic development, 166

Assurance, Beginning of the German governmental working-men's, 191

Attitude of America towards Asiatic development, 167

Babeuf, The insurrection of, 46

Bakunin, Work in Spain and Italy of, 79

Ballot, Bismarck's general, equal, secret, and direct, 186

Bebel, August, 132

Bourgeoisie, The, 74

Capitalism, Rapid development in Germany of, 187

Capitalistic methods of production, 24

Carlyle, Thomas, 22

Characterisation of the social movement, 5

Chartist movement, The, 50

Christian socialism, 22

Class interest, Creation of, 108

Class strife, Various forms of, 172

Class struggle, 1

Clubbism, 73

Coalition law, More liberal, 180

"Coalition Law," The, 40

Combination, Rigorous prohibition of, 179

Communistic Manifesto of Marx and Engels, 93

Conditions under which the working class lives, 6

Constitution of 1793, The, 45

Danton, 45

_Droits de l'Homme_, 45

Eight-hour work-day, Endorsement by the Liverpool Trade-Union Congress
  of an, 192

Elizabethan trade law, 49

Elizabethan trade restriction, Complete removal of, 180

Engels's _Struggle of Classes in France_, 119

English industrial monopoly, 1850-1880, 64

English social development, 57

English "social peace", 69

English type of working-men's movement, 53

English working-men's movement, Characterisation of, 62

English working-men, The temperament of, 68

"Erfurt" programme, The, 134

Essential elements in every social movement, 3

Ethical socialism, 22

Evolution idea, Marx's application of, to the social movement, 100

Factionism, 73

Fourier, 32

Fourier, First great book of, 179

French "revolutionism", 53

French Revolution of 1789, The, 39

French trade-union agitation, 137

French type of working-men's movement, 53

German social agitation, Peculiarities of, 81

German type of working-men's movement, 53

"Gotha" programme, The, 133

Grün, 22

Hegel, 12

Hess, 22

"Honourables," The, 133

"Ideal" and "programme," Confusion of, 151

"Inaugural Address," The, 125

Insurance for the sick, against accident, for the aged, in Germany, 191

International combination, First attempt for, 123

Internationalism, 122

"International," The, 123

International Working-Men's Congress in London, Fourth, 194

International Working-Men's Congress in Zurich, Third, 193

International Working-Men's Protection Conference in Berlin, 193

Inventions of modern machinery, 178

Japanese, The, 11

Kant, 2

Kingsley, 22

Kurd, The, 11

Lamennais, 22

Lassalle, Ferdinand, 81

Lassalle movement, The, 87

Legislation for working men, Beginning of specific, 181

Legislation in favour of the working man, Value of, 68

Leroux, Pierre, 22

Liebknecht, Wilhelm, 132

_Loi martiale_, The, 40

Lyons, Insurrection of the silk weavers in, 180

"Machine Riots", 178

Machines and manufactories, Petitions against, 178

Machines, Laws for the protection of, 178

Manchester-Liverpool Railroad, Opening of the, 180

Manufactures, Marxian theory of development applies only to the sphere
  of, 159

Marat, 43

Marxian system, Extension of the, 135

Marxian theory of social agitation, 93

Marxism, a social-political realism, 118

Marx, Karl, 91

Men of Montaigne, The, 44

Middle-class movements, 37

"Minimum programme" of all social agitation, The, 139

Müller, Adam, 23

Nationalism, 164

Owen, Robert, 25

Owen, Robert, Chief writings of, 179

Patriotism, 164

Penny postage, Institution of Rowland Hill's, 182

Philanthropic socialism, 22

Practical tendency of the old English trade-union, 68

Proletarian agitation, The first, 47

Proletarian movement, Anti-ecclesiastical nature of the, 162

Proletarian movement, Anti-religious nature of the, 160

Proletariat, Ideal and material emancipation of the, 103

Proletariat, The relation of the, to the _demos_, 155

Proudhon, 74

Putschism, 73

"Rack-rent" (Irish) tenants, 10

Reign of Terror, The significance of the, 75

Revolutionary passions in the modern proletariat, The ground of, 12

"Revolutionism", 16

Revolutionism, a manifestation of unripeness, 146

Revolutionist, English working-men contrasted with Roman type of, 76

Revolution of 1848, The proletarian-socialistic character of the, 121

Ricardo, David, 20

Robespierre, 45

Russian peasants, 10

Sans-culottes, The, 44

"Savannah," Arrival at Liverpool of the, 180

Schulze-Delitzsch, 85

Sismondi, 22

Smith, Adam, 32

Smith, Adam, "Wealth of Nations", 179

Social agitation, Centripetal and centrifugal tendency of the, 140

Social agitation, Severe laws of Napoleon III. for the repression of, 184

"Social-Democratic Party", 133

Social-Democratic Working-Men's Party, 133

Social development, Theoretical and practical, 149

Social evolution, The meaning of, 147

Socialists, German law concerning the, 189

Social literature, Old and new, 19

Social movement of the masses, Beginnings of the, 37

Social movement, Characterisation of the, 75

Social movement, Contradictions apparent in the, 142

Social movement, Meaning of the, 3

Social movement, The political influence of the, 145

Social struggle, Legal bounds of, 174

Social struggle, Proper weapons of, 175

St. Simon, 32

St. Simon, Chief work of, 180

Telegraph applied to English railroads, The, 182

Time environment of the modern social movement, 15

Tories and Whigs, Alternation of power between, 65

Trade regulation for the German Empire, Liberal, 187

Trade-union act (English) supplemented in 1875, 188

Unification of the proletariat, Internal and external, 131

Utopian socialists, 25

Value, Marx's theory of, 99

Variations of the social movement, 56

von Haller, Leopold, 23

Working class, Condition of life of the, 6

Working-men's assurance, Beginning of the German governmental, 191

Working-men's movement, German governmental regulations for the
  repression of the, 184

"Working-Men's Union," The, 132

World's Exposition in London, Fourth, 185

Zollverein, Founding of the German, 181


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          Introduction by JOHN B. CLARK, Professor of
          Political Economy in Columbia University. 12o, $

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        An Account of the Relations between Private
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          University. 8o, $2.50 _net_.

          The work is now used in classes in Yale,
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       *       *       *       *       *

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