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Title: Woman and Socialism
Author: Bebel, August
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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This e-text is a translation of August Bebel’s “Die Frau und der

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  Jubilee [Decor: 50th] Edition


  15 Spruce Street, New York

  Copyright, 1910
  by the
  New York

  [Printer’s Logo]
  The Co-Operative Press, 15 Spruce St., New York



  Introduction                                                  3


  Chapter I.--_The Position of Woman in Primeval Society_       9
      1. Chief Epochs of Primeval History                       9
      2. Family Forms                                          14
      3. The Matriarchate                                      20

  Chapter II.--_Conflict between Matriarchate and
         Patriarchate_                                         28
      1. Rise of the Patriarchate                              28
      2. Traces of the Matriarchate in Greek Myths and
         Dramas                                                34
      3. Legitimate Wives and Courtesans in Athens             37
      4. Remnants of the Matriarchate in the Customs of
         Various Nations                                       44
      5. Rise of the State--Dissolution of the Gens in Rome    50

  Chapter III.--_Christianity_                                 56

  Chapter IV.--_Woman in the Mediaeval Age_                    63
      1. The Position of Women among the Germans               63
      2. Feudalism and the Right of the First Night            66
      3. The Rise of Cities--Monastic Affairs--Prostitution    69
      4. Knighthood and the Veneration of Women                75

  Chapter V.--_The Reformation_                                78
      1. Luther                                                78
      2. Results of the Reformation--The Thirty Years’ War     83

  Chapter VI.--_The Eighteenth Century_                        88
      1. Court Life in Germany                                 88
      2. Commercialism and the New Marriage Laws               90
      3. The French Revolution and the Rise of Industry        93


  Chapter VII.--_Woman as a Sex Being_                         96
      1. The Sexual Impulse                                    96
      2. Celibacy and the Frequency of Suicide                100

  Chapter VIII.--_Modern Marriage_                            104
      1. Marriage as a Profession                             104
      2. Decline of the Birthrate                             106
      3. Mercenary Marriage and the Matrimonial Market        110

  Chapter IX.--_Disruption of the Family_                     116
      1. Increase of Divorce                                  116
      2. Bourgeois and Proletarian Marriage                   124

  Chapter X.--_Marriage as a Means of Support_                132
      1. Decline of the Marriage Rate                         132
      2. Infanticide and Abortion                             135
      3. Education for Marriage                               140
      4. The Misery of Present Day Marriages                  147

  Chapter XI.--_The Chances of Matrimony_                     153
      1. The Numerical Proportion of the Sexes                153
      2. Obstacles to Marriage--The Excess of Women           164

  Chapter XII.--_Prostitution a Necessary Social Institution
         of Bourgeois Society_                                174
      1. Prostitution and Society                             174
      2. Prostitution and the State                           178
      3. The White Slave Trade                                188
      4. The Increase of Prostitution--Illegitimate
         Motherhood                                           193
      5. Crimes Against Morality and Sexual Diseases          204

  Chapter XIII.--_Woman in Industry_                          209
      1. Development and Extension of Female Labor            209
      2. Factory Work of Married Women--Sweatshop Labor and
         Dangerous Occupations                                222

  Chapter XIV.--_The Struggle of Women for Education_         233
      1. The Revolution in Domestic Life                      233
      2. The Intellectual Abilities of Women                  239
      3. Differences in Physical and Mental Qualities of Man
         and Woman                                            245
      4. Darwinism and the Condition of Society               253
      5. Woman and the Learned Professions                    258

  Chapter XV.--_The Legal Status of Women_                    272
      1. The Struggle for Equality Before the Law             272
      2. The Struggle for Political Equality                  280


  Chapter XVI.--_The Class-State and the Modern Proletariat_  307
      1. Our Public Life                                      307
      2. Aggravation of Social Extremes                       315

  Chapter XVII.--_The Process of Concentration in
         Capitalistic Industry_                               319
      1. The Displacement of Agriculture by Industry          319
      2. Increasing Pauperization--Preponderance of Large
         Industrial Establishments                            323
      3. Concentration of Wealth                              333

  Chapter XVIII.--_Crisis and Competition_                    338
      1. Causes and Effects of the Crises                     338
      2. Intermediate Trade and the Increased Cost of Living  343

  Chapter XIX.--_The Revolution in Agriculture_               347
      1. Transatlantic Competition and Desertion of the
         Country                                              347
      2. Peasants and Great Landowners                        349
      3. The Contrast Between City and Country                358


  Chapter XX.--_The Social Revolution_                        363
      1. The Transformation of Society                        363
      2. Expropriation of the Expropriators                   366

  Chapter XXI.--_Fundamental Laws of Socialistic Society_     370
      1. Duty to Work of All Able-bodied Persons              370
      2. Harmony of Interests                                 375
      3. Organization of Labor                                380
      4. The Growth of the Productivity of Labor              383
      5. Removal of the Contrast between Mental and Manual
         Work                                                 392
      6. Increase of Consumption                              396
      7. Equal Duty to Work for All                           399
      8. Abolition of Trade--Transformation of Traffic        405

  Chapter XXII.--_Socialism and Agriculture_                  407
      1. Abolition of the Private Ownership of Land           407
      2. The Amelioration of Land                             409
      3. Changed Methods of Farming                           414
      4. Agriculture on a Large and Small Scale--Electric
         Appliances                                           415
      5. Vine-Culture of the Future                           424
      6. Measures to Prevent Exhaustion of the Soil           427
      7. Removal of the Contrast between City and Country     431

  Chapter XXIII.--_Abolition of the State_                    434

  Chapter XXIV.--_The Future of Religion_                     437

  Chapter XXV.--_The Socialist System of Education_           440

  Chapter XXVI.--_Literature and Art in Socialistic Society_  451

  Chapter XXVII.--_Free Development of Individuality_         455
      1. Freedom from Care                                    455
      2. Changes in the Methods of Nutrition                  457
      3. The Communistic Kitchen                              461
      4. Transformation of Domestic Life                      463

  Chapter XXVIII.--_Woman in the Future_                      466

  Chapter XXIX.--_Internationality_                           473

  Chapter XXX.--_The Question of Population and Socialism_    478
      1. Fear of Over-Population                              478
      2. Production of Over-Population                        481
      3. Poverty and Fecundity                                484
      4. Lack of Human Beings and Abundance of Food           487
      5. Social Conditions and Reproductive Ability           494

  Conclusion                                                  500


We are living in an age of great social transformations that are
steadily progressing. In all strata of society we perceive an
unsettled state of mind and an increasing restlessness, denoting a
marked tendency toward profound and radical changes. Many questions
have arisen and are being discussed with growing interest in ever
widening circles. One of the most important of these questions and
one that is constantly coming into greater prominence, is the _woman

The woman question deals with the position that woman should hold in
our social organism, and seeks to determine how she can best develop
her powers and her abilities, in order to become a useful member
of human society, endowed with equal rights and serving society
according to her best capacity. From our point of view this question
coincides with that other question: In what manner should society
be organized to abolish oppression, exploitation, misery and need,
and to bring about the physical and mental welfare of individuals
and of society as a whole? To us then, the woman question is only
one phase of the general social question that at present occupies
all intelligent minds; its final solution can only be attained by
removing social extremes and the evils which are a result of such

Nevertheless, the woman question demands our special consideration.
What the position of woman has been in ancient society, what her
position is to-day and what it will be in the coming social order,
are questions that deeply concern at least one half of humanity.
Indeed, in Europe they concern a majority of organized society,
because women constitute a majority of the population. Moreover,
the prevailing conceptions concerning the development of woman’s
social position during successive stages of history are so faulty,
that enlightenment on this subject has become a necessity. Ignorance
concerning the position of woman, chiefly accounts for the prejudice
that the woman’s movement has to contend with among all classes of
people, by no means least among the women themselves. Many even
venture to assert that there is no woman question at all, since
woman’s position has always been the same and will remain the same
in the future, because nature has destined her to be a wife and a
mother and to confine her activities to the home. Everything that is
beyond the four narrow walls of her home and is not closely connected
with her domestic duties, is not supposed to concern her.

In the woman question then we find two contending parties, just as in
the labor question, which relates to the position of the workingman
in human society. Those who wish to maintain everything as it is,
are quick to relegate woman to her so-called “natural profession,”
believing that they have thereby settled the whole matter. They do
not recognize that millions of women are not placed in a position
enabling them to fulfill their natural function of wifehood and
motherhood, owing to reasons that we shall discuss at length later
on. They furthermore do not recognize that to millions of other women
their “natural profession” is a failure, because to them marriage has
become a yoke and a condition of slavery, and they are obliged to
drag on their lives in misery and despair. But these wiseacres are no
more concerned by these facts than by the fact that in various trades
and professions millions of women are exploited far beyond their
strength, and must slave away their lives for a meagre subsistence.
They remain deaf and blind to these disagreeable truths, as they remain
deaf and blind to the misery of the proletariat, consoling themselves
and others by the false assertion that it has always been thus and
will always continue to be so. That woman is entitled, as well as
man, to enjoy all the achievements of civilization, to lighten her
burdens, to improve her condition, and to develop all her physical
and mental qualities, they refuse to admit. When, furthermore, told
that woman--to enjoy full physical and mental freedom--should also
be economically independent, should no longer depend for subsistence
upon the good will and favor of the other sex, the limit of their
patience will be reached. Indignantly they will pour forth a bitter
endictment of the “madness of the age” and its “crazy attempts at
emancipation.” These are the old ladies of both sexes who cannot
overcome the narrow circle of their prejudices. They are the human
owls that dwell wherever darkness prevails, and cry out in terror
whenever a ray of light is cast into their agreeable gloom.

Others do not remain quite as blind to the eloquent facts. They
confess that at no time woman’s position has been so unsatisfactory
in comparison to general social progress, as it is at present. They
recognize that it is necessary to investigate how the condition of
the self-supporting woman can be improved; but in the case of married
women they believe the social problem to be solved. They favor the
admission of unmarried women only into a limited number of trades
and professions. Others again are more advanced and insist that
competition between the sexes should not be limited to the inferior
trades and professions, but should be extended to all higher branches
of learning and the arts and sciences as well. They demand equal
educational opportunities and that women should be admitted to all
institutions of learning, including the universities. They also
favor the appointment of women to government positions, pointing out
the results already achieved by women in such positions, especially
in the United States. A few are even coming forward to demand equal
political rights for women. Woman, they argue, is a human being and
a member of organized society as well as man, and the very fact that
men have until now framed and administered the laws to suit their
own purposes and to hold woman in subjugation, proves the necessity
of woman’s participation in public affairs.

It is noteworthy that all these various endeavors do not go beyond
the scope of the present social order. The question is not propounded
whether any of these proposed reforms will accomplish a decisive and
essential improvement in the condition of women. According to the
conceptions of bourgeois, or capitalistic society, the civic equality
of men and women is deemed an ultimate solution of the woman question.
People are either unconscious of the fact, or deceive themselves in
regard to it, that the admission of women to trades and industries
is already practically accomplished and is being strongly favored
by the ruling classes in their own interest. But under prevailing
conditions woman’s invasion of industry has the detrimental effect
of increasing competition on the labor market, and the result is a
reduction in wages for both male and female workers. It is clear
then, that this cannot be a satisfactory solution.

Men who favor these endeavors of women within the scope of present
society, as well as the bourgeois women who are active in the
movement, consider complete civic equality of women the ultimate
goal. These men and women then differ radically from those who, in
their narrow-mindedness, oppose the movement. They differ radically
from those men who are actuated by petty motives of selfishness
and fear of competition, and therefore try to prevent women from
obtaining higher education and from gaining admission to the better
paid professions. But there is no difference of class between them,
such as exists between the worker and the capitalist.

If the bourgeois suffragists would achieve their aim and would bring
about equal rights for men and women, they would still fail to
abolish that sex slavery which marriage, in its present form, is to
countless numbers of women; they would fail to abolish prostitution;
they would fail to abolish the economic dependence of wives. To the
great majority of women it also remains a matter of indifference
whether a few thousand members of their sex, belonging to the more
favored classes of society, obtain higher learning and enter some
learned profession, or hold a public office. The general condition
of the sex as a whole is not altered thereby.

The female sex as such has a double yoke to bear. Firstly, women
suffer as a result of their social dependence upon men, and the
inferior position alloted to them in society; formal equality before
the law alleviates this condition, but does not remedy it. Secondly,
women suffer as a result of their economic dependence, which is the
lot of women in general, and especially of the proletarian women,
as it is of the proletarian men.

We see, then, that all women, regardless of their social position,
represent that sex which during the evolution of society has been
oppressed and wronged by the other sex, and therefore it is to the
common interest of all women to remove their disabilities by changing
the laws and institutions of the present state and social order.
But a great majority of women is furthermore deeply and personally
concerned in a complete reorganization of the present state and social
order which has for its purpose the abolition of wage-slavery, which
at present weighs most heavily upon the women of the proletariat, as
also the abolition of sex-slavery, which is closely connected with
our industrial conditions and our system of private ownership.

The women who are active in the bourgeois suffrage movement, do not
recognize the necessity of so complete a transformation. Influenced
by their privileged social position, they consider the more radical
aims of the proletarian woman’s movement dangerous doctrines that
must be opposed. The class antagonism that exists between the
capitalist and working class and that is increasing with the growth
of industrial problems, also clearly manifests itself then within the
woman’s movement. Still these sister-women, though antagonistic to
each other on class lines, have a great many more points in common
than the men engaged in the class struggle, and though they march
in separate armies they may strike a united blow. This is true in
regard to all endeavors pertaining to equal rights of woman under
the present social order; that is, her right to enter any trade
or profession adapted to her strength and ability, and her right
to civic and political equality. These are, as we shall see, very
important and very far-reaching aims. Besides striving for these
aims, it is in the particular interest of proletarian women to work
hand in hand with proletarian men for such measures and institutions
that tend to protect the working woman from physical and mental
degeneration, and to preserve her health and strength for a normal
fulfillment of her maternal functions. Furthermore, it is the duty of
the proletarian woman to join the men of her class in the struggle
for a thorough-going transformation of society, to bring about an
order that by its social institutions will enable both sexes to
enjoy complete economic and intellectual independence.

Our goal then is, not only to achieve equality of men and women under
the present social order, which constitutes the sole aim of the
bourgeois woman’s movement, but to go far beyond this, and to remove
all barriers that make one human being dependent upon another, which
includes the dependence of one sex upon the other. _This_ solution
of the woman question is identical with the solution of the social
question. They who seek a complete solution of the woman question
must, therefore, join hands with those who have inscribed upon their
banner the solution of the social question in the interest of all
mankind--the Socialists.

The Socialist Party is the only one that has made the full equality of
women, their liberation from every form of dependence and oppression,
an integral part of its program; not for reasons of propaganda, but
from necessity. _For there can be no liberation of mankind without
social independence and equality of the sexes._

All Socialists will probably agree with the fundamental principles
herein expressed. But the same cannot be said in regard to the
manner in which we picture the realization of our ultimate aims,
that is, in regard to the particular form that institutions should
take to bring about that desired independence and equality for all.
As soon as we forsake the firm foundation of reality, and begin
to depict the future, there is a wide field for speculation. A
difference of opinion immediately arises as to what is probable or
improbable. Whatever, therefore, is stated in this book concerning
future probabilities, must be regarded as the personal opinion
of the author, and eventual attacks must be directed against his
person, because he assumes full responsibility for his statements.
Attacks, that are honestly meant and are objective in character,
will be welcome; those that distort the contents of this book or are
founded upon an untruthful interpretation of their meaning, will be
ignored. It remains to be said, that in the following chapters all
conclusions should be drawn which become necessary for us to draw,
as a result of our investigation of facts. To be unprejudiced is
the first requirement for a recognition of the truth, and only by
expressing without reserve that which is and that which is to be,
can we attain our ends.

Woman in the Past.


The Position of Woman in Primeval Society.

1.--Chief Epochs of Primeval History.

It is the common lot of woman and worker to be oppressed. The forms
of oppression have differed in successive ages and in various
countries, but the oppression itself remained. During the course of
historic development the oppressed ones have frequently recognized
their oppression, and this recognition has led to an amelioration
of their condition; but it remained for our day to recognize the
fundamental causes of this oppression, both in regard to the woman
and in regard to the worker. It was necessary to understand the true
nature of society and the laws governing social evolution, before
an effective movement could develop for the purpose of abolishing
conditions that had come to be regarded as unjust. But the extent
and profoundness of such a movement depend upon the amount of
insight prevailing among those strata of society affected by the
unjust conditions, as also upon the freedom of action possessed by
them. In both respects woman, owing to custom, education and lack of
freedom, is less advanced than the worker. Moreover, conditions that
have prevailed for generations finally become a habit, and heredity
as well as education make them appear “natural” to both parties
concerned. That explains why women accept their inferior position
as a matter of course, and do not recognize that it is an unworthy
one, and that they should strive to obtain equal rights with men,
and to become equally qualified members of society.

But whatever similarities exist between the position of woman and
that of the workingman, woman has one precedence over the workingman.
~She is the first human being which came into servitude.~ Women
were slaves before men.

All social dependence and oppression is rooted in the economic
dependence of the oppressed upon the oppressor. Woman--so we are
taught by the history of human development--has been in this position
since an early stage.

Our understanding of this development is comparatively recent. Just
as the myth of the creation of the world, as taught by the Bible,
could not be maintained in face of innumerable and indisputable
facts founded upon modern, scientific investigation, it also became
impossible to maintain the myth of the creation and development of
man. Not all phases of the history of evolution have as yet been
elucidated. Difference of opinion still exists among scientists in
regard to one or another of the natural phenomena and their relation to
each other; but, on the whole, clearness and a general consension of
opinion prevails. It is certain that man has not made his appearance
upon the earth as a civilized being--as the Bible asserts of the
first human pair--but that in the long course of ages he gradually
evolved from a mere animal condition, and that he passed through
various stages during which his social relations as well as the
relations between man and woman experienced many transformations.

The convenient assertion that is resorted to daily by ignorant or
dishonest people, both in regard to the relation between man and
woman as also in regard to the relation between the rich and the
poor--the assertion that it has always been thus and will always
continue to be so--is utterly false, superficial and contrary to
the truth in every respect.

A cursory description of the relations of the sexes since primeval
days is of special importance for the purpose of this book. For it
seeks to prove that, if in the past progress of human development,
these relations have been transformed as a result of the changing
methods of production and distribution, it is obvious that a further
change in the methods of production and distribution must again
lead to a new transformation in the relation of the sexes. Nothing
is eternal, either in nature or in human life; change is the only
eternal factor.

As far as we can look backward along the line of human evolution,
we see the horde[1] representing the first human community. Only
when the horde increased in numbers to such an extent that it became
difficult to obtain the necessary means of subsistence, which
originally consisted of roots, seeds and fruit, a disbanding of the
members resulted, and new dwelling places were sought for.

We have no written records of this almost animal-like stage, but
studies of the various stages of civilization among extinct and
living savages prove that such a stage has at one time existed. Man
has not stepped into life as a highly civilized being, upon a command
from the Creator, but has passed through a long, infinitely slow
process of evolution, and in the ups and downs of wavering periods
of development, and in a constant process of differentiation, in all
climes and in all quarters of the globe, has passed through many
stages until finally climbing the height of his present civilization.

And while in some parts of the globe great nations represent the most
advanced stage of civilization, we find other peoples in various
places representing varied stages of development. These present to us
a vivid picture of our own past, and point out to us along which roads
humanity has traveled in its long course of evolution. If we shall
at some time succeed in establishing general and definite aspects
according to which sociological investigations shall be conducted,
an abundance of facts will result, destined to cast a new light upon
the relations of men in the past and the present. Events will then
seem comprehensible and natural, that at present are quite beyond
our comprehension, and that superficial critics frequently condemn
as irrational, sometimes even as immoral. Scientific researches,
commenced by Backofen, and since continued by a considerable number
of learned men as Taylor, MacLennon, Lubbock and others, have
gradually lifted the veil from the earliest history of our race.
These investigations were elaborated by Morgan’s able book, and to
this again Frederick Engels has added a number of historic facts,
economic and political in character. Recently these researches have
been partly confirmed and partly corrected by Cunow.[2]

The clear and vivid descriptions given by Frederick Engels in his
splendid work, that is founded upon Morgan’s investigations, have
cast a flood of light upon many factors in the histories of peoples
representing various stages of development; factors that until that
time had seemed irrational and incomprehensible. They have enabled
us to obtain an insight into the gradual upbuilding of the social
structure. As a result of such insight we perceive that our former
conceptions in regard to marriage, family and state, have been
founded upon utterly false premises. But whatever has been proven
concerning marriage, family and state, is equally true in regard
to the position of woman, which, in the various stages of social
development, has differed radically from what is supposed to be
woman’s “eternal” position.

Morgan divides the history of mankind--and this division is also
adopted by Engels--into three chief epochs: savagery, barbarism and
civilization. Each of the two earlier periods he subdivides into a
lower, a medium and a higher stage, because these stages differ in
regard to fundamental improvements in the method of obtaining the
means of subsistence. Those changes which occur from time to time
in the social systems of nations as a result of improved methods of
production, Morgan considers one of the chief characteristics in
the progress of civilization, which is quite in keeping with the
materialistic conception of history as laid down by Karl Marx and
Frederick Engels. Thus the lowest stage in the period of savagery
represents the childhood of mankind. During this stage men still
were tree-dwellers, and fruit and roots constituted their chief
nourishment; but even then articulated language began to take form.
The medium stage of savagery begins with the consumption of small
animals such as fish, crabs, etc., for food, and with the discovery
of fire. Men begin to manufacture weapons, clubs and spears made of
wood and stone, and this means the inception of the hunt and probably
also of war among neighboring hordes, who contended with one another
for the sources of nourishment and the most desirable dwelling places
and hunting grounds. At this stage also cannibalism appears, which is
still met with among some tribes in Africa, Australia and Polynesia.
The higher stage of savagery is characterized by the invention of
the bow and arrow; the invention of the art of weaving; the making
of mats and baskets from bast and reeds, and the manufacture of
stone implements.

As the beginning of the lowest stage of barbarism, Morgan denotes the
invention of pottery. Man learns the domestication of wild animals
with the resultant production of meat and milk, and thereby obtains
the use of hides, horns and furs for the most varied purposes. Hand
in hand with the domestication of animals, agriculture begins to
develop. In the western part of the world corn is cultivated; in the
eastern part, almost all kinds of grain, with the exception of corn,
is grown. During the medium stage of barbarism we find an increasing
domestication of useful animals in the East, and in the West we
find an improved cultivation of nourishing plants with the aid of
artificial irrigation. The use of stones and sun-dried bricks for
building purposes is also originated at this time. Domestication
and breeding favor the formation of herds and flocks and lead to a
pastoral life, and the necessity of producing larger quantities of
nourishment for both men and animals leads to increased agriculture.
The result is a more sedentary mode of life with an accompanying
increase in provisions and greater diversity of same, and gradually
cannibalism disappears.

The higher stage of barbarism has been reached with the smelting of
iron ore and the invention of alphabetical writing. The invention of
the iron plough gives a new impetus to agriculture; the iron axe and
spade and hoe make it easier to clear the forest and to cultivate the
soil. With the forging of iron a number of new activities set in,
giving life a different shape. Iron tools simplify the building of
houses, ships and wagons. The malleation of metals furthermore leads
to mechanical art, to an improvement in the manufacture of arms,
and to the building of walled cities. Architecture is developed,
and mythology, poetry and history are conserved and disseminated by
means of alphabetical writing.

The Oriental countries and those situated about the Mediterranean
Sea--Egypt, Greece and Italy--are the ones in which this mode of
life was especially developed, and here the foundation was laid to
later social transformations that have had a decisive influence upon
the development of civilization in Europe and, in fact, in all the
countries of the globe.

[1] “The theory of natural rights and the doctrine of the social
contract, which places an isolated human being at the beginnings of
human development, is an invention utterly foreign to reality, and is
therefore worthless for the theoretical analysis of human institutions
as it is for a knowledge of history. Man should, on the contrary,
be classed with gregarious animals; that is, with those species
whose individuals are combined into permanent groups.”--(Edw. Meyer:
“The Origin of the State, in Its Relation to Tribal and National
Association.” 1907.)

[2] Backofen’s book was published in 1861. It was entitled, “The
Matriarchate; Studies of the Gynocratic Customs of the Old World in
Their Religious and Legal Aspects.” Publishers, Krais & Hoffmann,
Stuttgart. Morgan’s fundamental work, “Ancient Society, or Researches
in the Lines of Human Progress from Savagery Through Barbarism
to Civilization,” was published in 1877 by Henry Holt & Co. “The
Origin of the Family,” by Frederick Engels, founded upon Morgan’s
investigations, was published by J. H. W. Dietz, Stuttgart, as
was also “Relationship Organizations of the Australian Negro; a
Contribution to the History of the Family,” by Henry Cunow, which
appeared in 1894.

2.--Family Forms.

The periods of savagery and barbarism were characterized by singular
social and sex relations, that differ considerably from those of
later times.

Backofen and Morgan have thoroughly investigated these relations.
Backofen carried on his investigations by a profound study of ancient
writings, with the purpose of gaining an understanding of various
phenomena presented in mythology and ancient history, that impress
us strangely and yet show similarity with facts and occurrences of
later days, even down to the present time. Morgan carried on his
investigations by spending decades of his life among the Iroquois
Indians in the State of New York, whereby he made new and unexpected
observations of the modes of family life and system of relationship
prevailing among them, and these observations served as a basis to
place similar observations, made elsewhere, in the proper light.

Backofen and Morgan discovered, independently from one another, that
in primeval society the relations of the sexes differed vastly from
those prevalent during historic times and among modern, civilized
nations. Morgan discovered, furthermore, as a result of his long
sojourn among the Iroquois of North America, and his comparative
studies to which these observations led him, that all existing
primitive peoples have family relations and systems of relationship
that differ markedly from our own, but which must have prevailed
generally among all peoples at a remote period of civilization.

At the time when Morgan lived among the Iroquois, he found that among
them existed a monogamous marriage, easily dissolved by either side,
termed by him the “pairing family.” But he also found that the terms
of relationship as father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister,
although there could be no doubt in our minds as to whom such terms
should apply, were not used in their ordinary sense. The Iroquois
addresses as sons and daughters not only his own children, but also
those of all his brothers, and these--his brothers’ children--call
him father. On the other hand, the Iroquois woman does not only
call her own children sons and daughters, but also those of all
her sisters, and again all her sisters’ children call her mother.
But the children of her brothers she calls nephews and nieces, and
these call her aunt. Children of brothers call one another brothers
and sisters, and so do children of sisters. But the children of a
woman and her brother call each other cousins. The curious fact then
presents itself that the terms of relationship are not determined
by the actual degrees of relationship, but the sex of the relative.

This system of kinship is not only fully accepted by all American
Indians as well as by the aborigines of India, the Dravidian tribes
of Deckan and the Gaura tribes of Hindostan, but similar systems must
have existed everywhere primarily, as has been proven by investigations
that were undertaken since those of Backofen. When these established
facts shall be taken as a basis for further investigations among
living savage or barbaric tribes, similar to the investigations made
by Backofen among various peoples of the ancient world, by Morgan
among the Iroquois and by Cunow among the Australian Negroes, it will
be shown that social and sex relations constituted the foundation
for the development of all nations of the world.

Morgan’s investigations have revealed still other interesting facts.
While the “pairing family” of the Iroquois is in contradiction to
the terms of relationship employed by them, it was shown that in the
Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) there existed up to the first half of the
nineteenth century a family form which actually corresponded to that
system of kinship that among the Iroquois existed only in name. But
the Hawaiian system of kinship again did not agree with the family
form prevailing there at the time, but pointed to another form of the
family, still more remote, and no longer in existence. There all the
children of brothers and sisters, without exception, were regarded
as brothers and sisters, and were considered the common children,
not only of their mother’s and her sisters’ or their father’s and
his brothers’, but of all the brothers and sisters of both their

The Hawaiian system of kinship then corresponded to a degree of
development that was still lower than the prevailing family form. We
are thus confronted by the peculiar fact, that in Hawaii as among
the North American Indians, two different systems of kinship were
employed that no longer corresponded to existing conditions, but
had been superseded by a higher form. Morgan expresses himself on
this phenomenon in the following manner: “The family is the active
element; it is never stationary, but progresses from a lower to a
higher form in the same measure in which society develops from a
lower to a higher stage. But the systems of kinship are passive. Only
in long intervals they register the progress made by the family in
course of time, and only then are they radically changed when the
family has done so.”

The prevalent conception that the present family form has existed
since times immemorial and must continue to exist lest our entire
civilization be endangered--a conception that is vehemently defended
by the upholders of things as they are--has been proven faulty and
untenable by the researches of these scientists. The study of primeval
history leaves no doubt as to the entirely different relation of the
sexes at an early period of human development from their present
relation, and when viewed in the light of our present-day conceptions,
they seem a monstrosity, a mire of immorality. But as each stage
in social development has its own methods of production, thus each
stage also has its own code of morals, ~which is only a reflection
of its social conditions~. Morals are determined by custom, and
customs correspond to the innermost nature, that is, to the social
necessities of any given period.

Morgan arrives at the conclusion that in the lowest stage of savagery
unrestricted sexual intercourse existed within the tribe, so that
all the women belonged to all the men and all the men belonged to
all the women; that is, a condition of promiscuity. All men practice
polygamy, and all women practice polyandry; there is a common ownership
of wives and husbands as also a common ownership of the children.
Strabo relates (66 B. C.) that among the Arabs brothers have sexual
intercourse with their sisters and sons with their mothers. Incest
was originally a requirement to make it possible for human beings
to multiply. This explanation must especially be resorted to if we
accept the biblical story of the origin of man. The Bible contains
a contradiction in regard to this delicate subject. It relates that
Cain, having killed his brother Abel, fled from the presence of the
Lord and lived in the land of Nod. There Cain knew his wife and she
conceived and bore a son unto him.

But whence came his wife? Cain’s parents were the first man and woman.
According to the Hebrew tradition, two sisters were born to Cain
and Abel, with whom they begot children. The Christian translators
of the Bible appear to have suppressed this unpleasant fact. That
promiscuity prevailed in a prehistoric stage, that the primeval horde
was characterized by unrestricted sexual intercourse, is also shown
in the Indian myth that Brama wedded his own daughter Saravasti. The
same myth is met with among the Egyptians and in the Norse “Edda.”
The Egyptian god Ammon was the husband of his mother and boasted of
the fact, and Odin, according to the “Edda” was the husband of his
own daughter Frigga.[3] Dr. Adolf Bastian relates: “In Swaganwara
the daughters of the Rajah enjoyed the privilege of freely choosing
their husbands. Four brothers who settled in Kapilapur made Priya,
the eldest of their five sisters, queen mother and ~married the

Morgan assumes that from the state of general promiscuity, a higher
form of sexual relation gradually developed, the consanguine family.
Here the marriage groups are arranged by generations; all the
grandfathers and grandmothers within a certain family are mutually
husbands and wives; their children constitute another cycle of
husbands and wives, and again the children of these when they have
attained the proper age. In differentiation then from the promiscuity
prevailing at the lowest stage, we here find one generation excluded
from sexual intercourse with another generation. But brothers and
sisters and cousins of the first, second and more remote grades are
all brothers and sisters and also husbands and wives. This family
form corresponds to the system of kinship that during the first half
of the last century still existed in Hawaii in name but no longer in
fact. According to the American and Indian system of kinship, brother
and sister can never be father and mother to the same child, but
according to the Hawaiian system they may. The consanguine family
also prevailed at the time of Herodotus among the Massagetes. Of
these he wrote: “Every man marries a woman but all are permitted to
have intercourse with her.”[5] Similar conditions Backofen proves
to have existed among the Lycians, Etruscans, Cretans, Athenians,
Lesbians and Egyptians.

According to Morgan, the consanguine family is succeeded by a third,
higher form of family relations, which he calls the “Punaluan
family”--“punaluan” meaning “dear companion.”

Morgan’s conception that the consanguine family, founded upon the
formation of marriage classes according to generations, which preceded
the Punaluan family, was the original form of family life, is opposed
by Cunow in his book referred to above. Cunow does not consider the
consanguine family the most primitive form of sexual intercourse
discovered, but deems it an intermediary stage leading to the true
gentile organization, in which stage the generic classification in
strata of different ages belonging to the so-called consanguine
family, runs parallel for a while with the gentile order.[6] Cunow
says, furthermore: The class division--every man and every woman
bearing the name of their class and their totem--does not prevent
sexual intercourse among relations on collateral lines, but it does
prevent it among relations of preceding and succeeding lines, parents
and children, aunts and nephews, uncles and nieces. Terms as uncle,
aunt, etc., denote entire groups.

Cunow furnishes proof in regard to the points in which he differs
from Morgan. But though he differs from Morgan in many respects, he
clearly defends him against the attacks of Westermarck and others.
He says: “Although some of Morgan’s theories may be proven to be
incorrect, and others partly so, to him still is due the credit of
having been the first to discover the identity existing between
the totem-groups of the North American Indians and the gentile
organizations of the Romans. He, furthermore, was the first to show
that our present family form and system of relationship is the outcome
of a lengthy process of evolution. We, therefore, are indebted to
him for having made further research possible, for having laid the
foundation upon which we may continue to build.” In the introduction
to his book he also states explicitly that his work is partly a
supplement to Morgan’s book on ancient society.

Westermarck and Starcke, to whom Dr. Ziegler especially refers,
will have to accept the fact that the origin and evolution of the
family are not in keeping with their bourgeois prejudices. Cunow’s
refutations should enlighten the most fanatical opponents of Morgan
as to the value of their opposition.

[3] Dr. Ziegler, professor of zoology at the university of Freiburg,
ridicules the idea of attaching any historical importance to myths.
This conception only proves the biased judgment of the scientist. The
myths contain a profound meaning, for they have sprung from the soul
of the people and are founded upon ancient customs and traditions
that have gradually disappeared but continue to survive in the myths
glorified by the halo of religion. If facts are met with that explain
the myth, there is good ground for attaching historical importance
to the same.

[4] Dr. Adolf Bastian, “Travels in Singapore, Batavia, Manila and

[5] Backofen: “The Matriarchate.”

[6] In the gentile order each gens has its totem, as lizard, opossum,
emu, wolf, bear, etc., from which the gens derives its name. The
totem animal is held sacred, and members of the gens may not kill
it or eat its flesh. The significance of the totem was similar to
that of the patron saint among the medieval guilds.

3.--The Matriarchate.

According to Morgan, the Punaluan family begins with the exclusion
of brothers and sisters on the mother’s side. Wherever a woman has
several husbands, it becomes impossible to determine paternity.
Paternity becomes a mere fiction. Even at present, with the
institution of monogamous marriage, paternity--as Goethe said in
his “Apprenticeship,” “depends upon good faith.” But if paternity
is dubious in monogamous marriage even, it is surely beyond the
possibility of determination where polyandry prevails. Only descent
from the mother can be shown clearly and undeniably; therefore,
children, during the term of the matriarchate, were termed “spurii,”
seed. As all social transformations are consummated infinitely slow
upon a low stage of development, thus also the transition from the
consanguine family to the Punaluan family must have extended through
a great length of time, and many retrogressions must undoubtedly
have occurred that could still be perceived in later days. The
immediate, external cause for the development of the Punaluan family
may have the necessity of dividing the greatly increased group for
the purpose of finding new soil for agricultural purposes and for
the grazing of herds. But it is also probable that with increasing
development, people gradually came to understand the harmfulness and
the impropriety of sexual intercourse between brother and sister
and close relatives, and that this recognition led to a different
arrangement of marriage relations. That this was the case is shown by
a pretty legend that, as Cunow tells us, was related to Gason among
the Dieyeris, a tribe of Southern Australia. This legend describes
the origin of the “Murdu,” the gentile organization, in the following

“After the creation fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and other
closely related persons married indiscriminately among themselves,
until the evil consequences of such marriages were clearly seen.
Thereupon the leaders held a council to consider what could be done,
and finally they begged Muramura, the great spirit, to bid them what
to do. Muramura bade them divide the tribe into many branches and
to name these after animals and inanimate objects to distinguish
them from one another; for instance, Mouse, Emu, Lizzard, Rain, etc.
The members of each group should not be permitted to marry among
themselves, but should choose their mates from another group. Thus
the son of an Emu should not marry the daughter of an Emu, but he
might marry the daughter of a Mouse, a Lizard, a Rain, or any other
family.” This tradition is more plausible than the biblical one, and
shows the origin of gentile organization in the simplest manner.

Paul Lafargue showed in an article published in the German periodical,
“Neue Zeit,” that names like Adam and Eva did not originally denote
individual persons, but were the names of gentes in which the Jews
were constituted in prehistoric days. By his argumentation Lafargue
elucidates a number of otherwise obscure and contradictory points
in the first book of Moses. In the same periodical M. Beer calls
attention to the fact that among the Jews a superstition still prevails
according to which a man’s mother and his fiancee must not have the
same name, lest misfortune, disease and death be brought upon the
family. This is a further proof of the correctness of Lafargue’s
conception. Gentile organization prohibited marriage between persons
belonging to the same gens. According to the gentile conception,
then, the fact that a man’s mother and his fiancee had the same name,
proved their belonging to the same gens. Of course, present-day Jews
are ignorant of the connection existing between their superstition
and the ancient gentile organization which prohibited such marriages.
These prohibitory laws had the purpose of avoiding the evils resulting
from close intermarriage, and though gentile organization among the
Jews has gone out of existence thousands of years ago, we still see
traces of the ancient tradition preserved. Early experiences in the
breeding of animals may have led to a recognition of the dangers of

How far such experiences had been developed may be seen from the
first book of Moses, chapter 30, 32 stanza, where it is told how
Jacob cheated his father-in-law Laban by providing for the birth of
spotted lambs and goats that were to be his, according to Laban’s
promise. Thus ancient Israelites were applying Darwin’s theories in
practice long before Darwin’s time.

Since we are discussing conditions that existed among the ancient
Jews, it will be well to quote a few further facts which prove that
in antiquity maternal law actually prevailed among them. Although in
the first book of Moses, 3, 16, is written in regard to woman: “And
thy desire shall be to thy husband and he shall rule over thee,”
in the first book of Moses, 2, 24, we find the lines: “Therefore
shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave
unto his wife and they shall be one flesh.” The same wording is
repeated in Matthew, 19, 5; Mark, 10, 7, and in the epistle to the
Ephesians, 5, 31. This command then is rooted in maternal law, for
which interpreters of the Bible had no explanation and, therefore,
presented it incorrectly.

Maternal law is likewise shown to have existed in the fourth book
of Moses, 32, 41. There it is said that Jair had a father of the
tribe of Juda, but his mother came from the tribe of Manasseh, and
Jair is explicitly called the son of Manasseh and became heir to
that tribe. In Nehemiah, 7, 63, we find still another example of
maternal law among the ancient Jews. There the children of a priest
who married one of the daughters of Barzillai, a Jewish clan, are
called the children of Barzillai. They are, accordingly, not called
by their father’s but by their mother’s name.

In the Punaluan family, according to Morgan, one or more series of
sisters of one family group married one or more series of brothers of
another family group. A number of sisters or cousins of the first,
second and more remote degrees were the common wives of their common
husbands, who were not permitted to be their brothers. A number of
brothers or cousins of various degrees were the common husbands of
their common wives, who were not permitted to be their sisters.
As inbreeding was thereby prohibited, this new form of marriage
was favorable to higher and more rapid development, and gave those
tribes that had adopted this family form an advantage over those
who maintained the old form of sex relations.

The following system of kinship resulted from the Punaluan family:
The children of my mother’s sisters are her children, and the
children of my father’s brothers are his children, and all are my
brothers and sisters. But the children of my mother’s brothers are
her nephews and nieces and the children of my father’s sisters are
his nephews and nieces, and all are my cousins. The husbands of my
mother’s sisters are still her husbands and the wives of my father’s
brothers are still his wives, but the sisters of my father and the
brothers of my mother are excluded from the family group, and their
children are my cousins.[7]

With increasing civilization sexual intercourse among brothers and
sisters is put under the ban, and this is gradually extended to all
collateral relatives on the mother’s side. A new consanguine family,
the gens, is evolved that originally consists of natural and remote
sisters and their children, together with their natural or remote
brothers on the mother’s side. The gens has a common ancestress to
whom the groups of female generations trace their descent. The men
do not belong to the gens of their wives, but to the gens of their
sisters. But the children of these men belong to the gens of their
mothers, because descent is traced from the mother. The mother is
considered the head of the family. Thus the matriarchate was evolved
that for a long time constituted the foundation of family relations
and inheritance. While the maternal law prevailed, women had a
voice and vote in the councils of the gens, they helped to elect
the sachems and leaders and to depose them. When Hannibal formed
an alliance with the Gauls against the Romans, he decided that in
case disputes should arise among the allies, the Gallic matrons
should be intrusted with the mission of arbitrating; so great was
his confidence in their impartiality.

Of the Lycians who recognized maternal law Herodotus tells us: “Their
customs are partly Cretan and partly Carian. But they have one custom
that distinguishes them from all other nations in the world. If you
ask a Lycian who he is, he will tell you his name, his mother’s
name, and so on in the line of female descent. Moreover, when a free
woman marries a slave, her children remain free citizens. But if a
man marries a foreign woman or takes unto himself a concubine, his
children are deprived of all civic rights, even though he be the
most eminent man in the state.”

At that time “matrimonium” was spoken of instead of “patrimonium,”
“mater familias” was said instead of “pater familias,” and one’s
native country was referred to as the motherland. Just as the earlier
family forms, the gens was founded on the common ownership of
property, that is, it was a communistic form of society. Woman was
the leader and ruler in this kinship organization and was highly
respected, her opinion counting for much in the household as well
as in the affairs of the tribe. She is peacemaker and judge, and
discharges the duties of religious worship as priestess.

The frequent appearance of queens and women rulers in antiquity,
and the power wielded by them even when their sons were the actual
rulers, which was the case in Egypt, for instance, was an outcome
of the matriarchate. During that period mythological characters
are chiefly feminine, as seen from the goddesses Astarte, Demeter,
Ceres, Latona, Isis, Frigga, Freya, Gerda, and many others. Woman is
invulnerable; matricide is deemed the most dreadful crime that calls
upon all men for vengeance. It is the common duty of all the men of
the tribe, to avenge an injury inflicted upon any member of their
kinship by a member of any other tribe. Defense of the women incites
the men to highest bravery. Thus the influence of the matriarchate
was perceived in all social relations of the ancient peoples, among
the Babylonians, the Egyptians, the Assyrians, the Greeks before
the heroic age, the Italic tribes before the founding of Rome, the
Scythians, the Gauls, the Iberians, the Cantabrians, the Germans,
and others. At that time woman held a position in society as she
has never held since. Tacitus says in his “Germania”: “The Germans
believe that within every woman dwells something holy and prophetic;
therefore they honor woman’s opinion and follow her advice.” Diodorus,
who lived at the time of Cæsar, was quite indignant over the position
of women in Egypt. He had heard that in Egypt not sons but daughters
supported their aged parents. He therefore spoke disparagingly of
the hen-pecked men at the Nile, who granted rights and privileges
to the weaker sex that seemed outrageous to a Greek or a Roman.

Under maternal law comparatively peaceful conditions prevailed.
Social relations were simple and narrow and the mode of life was a
primitive one. The various tribes kept aloof from one another and
respected each other’s domain. If one tribe was attacked by another
the men took up arms for defense and were ably supported by the
women. According to Herodotus, the women of the Scythians took part
in battles; virgins--so he claims--were not permitted to marry until
they had slain an enemy. Taken all in all, the physical and mental
differences between man and woman were not nearly as great in primeval
days as they are at present. Among almost all savage and barbarian
tribes, the differences in the size and weight of brains taken
from male and female individuals, are smaller than among civilized
nations. Also the women of these tribes are not inferior to the men in
physical strength and skill. Proof of this is furnished not only by
the writers of antiquity in regard to peoples living under maternal
law, but also by the Amazon regiments of the Ashantis and the King of
Dahome in Western Africa, that excel in ferocity and courage. What
Tacitus relates in regard to the women of the ancient Germans, and
Cæsar’s opinion of the women of the Iberians and the Scots, furnish
additional proof. Columbus was attacked near Santa Cruz by a troop
of Indians in a small sloop in which the women fought as bravely as
the men. This conception is furthermore confirmed by Havelock Ellis:
“Among the Andombies on the Congo, according to Mr. H. H. Johnstone,
the women, though working very hard as carriers and as laborers in
general, lead an entirely happy existence; they are often stronger
than the men and more finely developed, some of them, he tells us,
having really splendid figures. And Parke, speaking of the Manyuema
of the Arruwimi in the same region, says that they are fine animals
and the women very handsome; they carry loads as heavy as those of
the men and do it quite as well. In North America again an Indian
chief said to Hearne: Women were made for labor; one of them can
carry or haul as much as two men can do. Schellong, who has carefully
studied the Papuans in the German protectorate of New Guinea from
the anthropological point of view, considers that the women are more
strongly built than the men. In Central Australia again, the men
occasionally beat the women through jealousy, but on such occasions
it is by no means rare for the woman, single-handed, to beat the
man severely. At Cuba, the women fought beside the men and enjoyed
great independence. Among some races of India, the Pueblos of
North America, the Patagonians, the women are as large as the men.
So among the Afghans, with whom the women in certain tribes enjoy
a considerable amount of power. Even among the Arabs and Druses it
has been noted that the women are nearly as large as the men. And
among Russians the sexes are more alike than among the English or

In the gens women sometimes ruled with severity, and woe to the man
who was too lazy or too clumsy to contribute his share to the common
sustenance. He was cast out and was obliged either to return to his
own gens, where he was not likely to be received kindly, or to gain
admission into another gens where he was judged less harshly.

That this form of matrimony has been maintained by the natives of
Central Africa to this very day was experienced by Livingstone, to his
great surprise, as related by him in his book, “Missionary Travels
and Researches in Southern Africa.” At the Zambesi he encountered the
Balonda, a strong and handsome Negro tribe, engaged in agricultural
pursuits, and was soon able to confirm the reports made to him by
Portugiese, which he had at first declined to believe, that the
women held a superior position among them. They are members of the
tribal council. When a young man marries, he must migrate from his
village into the one in which his wife resides. He must at the same
time pledge himself to provide his mother-in-law with kindling wood
for lifetime. The woman, in turn, must provide her husband’s food.
Although minor quarrels between man and wife occasionally occurred,
Livingstone found that the men did not rebel against female supremacy.
But he found, on the other hand, that when men had insulted their
wives, they were severely punished--by their stomachs. The man--so
Livingstone relates--comes home to eat, but is sent from one woman
to another and is not given anything. Tired and hungry, he finally
climbs upon a tree in the most populous part of the village and
exclaims, with a woe-begone voice: “Hark, hark! I thought I had
married women, but they are witches! I am a bachelor; I have not a
single wife! Is that just and fair to a lord like myself?!”

[7] Frederick Engels: “Origin of the Family.”

[8] Havelock Ellis: “Man and Woman.”


Conflict between Matriarchate and Patriarchate.

1.--Rise of the Patriarchate.

With the increase in population a number of sister gentes arose
that again brought forth several daughter gentes. The mother gens
was distinguished from these as the phratry. A number of phratries
constituted the tribe. So strong was this social organization that
it still constituted the unit of military organization in the states
of antiquity, when the old gentile constitution had already been
abandoned. The tribe was subdivided into several branches, all having
a common constitution and in each of which the old gens could be
recognized. But as the gentile constitution prohibited intermarriage
among remote relatives even on the mother’s side, it undermined its
own existence. A social and economic development made the relation
of the various gentes to one another more and more complicated, the
interdict of marriage between certain groups became untenable and
ceased to be observed. While production of the necessities of life was
at its lowest stage of development, and destined to satisfy only the
simplest demands, the activities of men and women were essentially
the same. But with increasing division of labor there resulted not
only a diversity of occupations, but a diversity of possessions as
well. Fishing, hunting, cattle-breeding and agriculture, and the
manufacture of tools and implements, necessitated special knowledge,
and these became the special province of the men. Man took the lead
along these lines of development and accordingly became master and
owner of these new sources of wealth.

Increasing population and the desire for an extensive ownership of
land for agricultural and pastoral purposes, led to struggles and
battles over the possession of such land; it also led to a demand
for labor-power. An increase in labor-power meant greater wealth in
produce and flock. To procure such labor-power the rape of women was
at first resorted to, and then the enslavement of vanquished men,
who had formerly been killed. Thus two new elements were introduced
into the old gentile constitution that were incompatible with its
very nature.

Still another factor came into play. The division of labor and
the growing demand for tools, implements, weapons, etc., led to a
development of handicraft along distinct lines apart from agriculture.
A special class of craftsmen arose, whose interests in regard to the
ownership and inheritance of property diverged considerably from
those of the agricultural class.

As long as descent was traced from female lineage, members of the gens
became heirs to their deceased relatives on the mother’s side. All
property remained within the gens. Under the changed conditions the
father had become owner of flocks and slaves, weapons and produce, but
being a member of his mother’s gens he could not will his property
to his children, but had to leave same to his brothers and sisters
or to his sisters’ children. His own children were disinherited. A
strong desire for changing this state of affairs therefore began
to manifest itself, and it was changed accordingly. Polygamy and
polyandry gave way to the pairing family. A certain man lived with
a certain woman, and the children born from this relation were
their children. These pairing families developed gradually, being
hampered by the marriage interdicts of the gentile constitution, but
favored by the above enumerated economic causes. The old household
communities were not in keeping with the idea of private property.
Class and occupation became determining factors in the choice of a
place of residence. An increased production of commodities gave rise
to commerce among neighboring and more widely separated nations and
necessitated the development of finance. Man was the one to conduct
and control this development. His private interests, therefore,
were no longer harmonious to the old gentile organization; on the
contrary, they were frequently diametrically opposed to it. Therefore
this organization became of less and less importance, and finally
all that remained of the gens was the conducting of a number of
religious rites within the family group. The economic significance
was lost and the final dissolution of the gentile constitution only
remained a question of time.

With the breaking up of the old gentile organization the power and
influence of woman rapidly declined. The matriarchate disappeared
and the patriarchate took its place. Man, being an owner of private
property, had an interest in having legitimate children to whom he
could will his property, and ~he, therefore, forced upon woman the
prohibition of intercourse with other men~.

But for himself he reserved the right of maintaining as many concubines
as his means would permit beside his legitimate wife or wives, and
their offspring were regarded as legitimate children. The Bible
furnishes important evidence on this subject in two instances. In
the first book of Moses, 16, 1 and 2, it says: “Sarai, Abram’s wife,
bore him no children; and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose
name was Hagar. And Sarai said unto Abram: Behold now, the Lord
hath restrained me from bearing; I pray thee, go in unto my maid;
it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to
the voice of Sarai.” The second noteworthy evidence is found in the
first book of Moses, 30, 1; it reads as follows: “And when Rachel
saw that she bore Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister, and
said unto Jacob: Give me children or else I die. And Jacob’s anger
was kindled against Rachel and he said: Am I in God’s stead who
has withheld from thee the fruit of the womb? And she said: Behold
my maid, Billah, go in unto her; and she shall bear upon my knees
that I may also have children by her. And she gave him Billah, her
handmaid, to wife, and Jacob went in unto her.”

Thus Jacob was not only married to two sisters, the daughters of
Laban, but both also gave him their handmaids to wives, a custom
that was not immoral according to the moral conceptions of the time.
His two chief wives he had married by purchase, having served their
father Laban seven years for each of them. At that time it was the
general custom among the Jews to purchase wives, but besides they
carried on a widespread robbery of women from nations conquered by
them. Thus, for instance, the Benjamites robbed the daughters of
Shiloh. The captured woman became a slave, a concubine. But she could
be raised to the position of a legitimate wife, upon fulfillment of
the following command: She had to cut her hair and nails and exchange
the garments in which she was captured with others given to her by
her captors. Thereupon she had to mourn for her father and mother
during an entire month, her mourning being destined to signify that
her people were dead to her. These regulations having been complied
with, she could enter into wedlock. The greatest number of women were
owned by King Solomon, who, according to the first book of Kings,
chapter 11, had no less than 700 wives and 300 concubines.

As soon as the patriarchate, that is, paternal descent, was established
in the gentile organization of the Jews, the daughters were excluded
from inheritance. Later this rule was modified in cases when a father
left no sons. This is shown in the fourth book of Moses, 27, 2–8.
There it is told that when Zelophehad died without leaving sons,
his daughters complained bitterly that they should be excluded from
their father’s inheritance that was to pass to the tribe of Joseph.
Moses decides that in this case the daughters should be heirs to
their father. But when, according to an old custom, they decide to
choose husbands from another tribe, the tribe of Joseph complain that
thereby they are losing an heritage. Thereupon Moses decides that the
heiresses may choose freely, but that they must make their choice
from among the men in their father’s tribe. So it was in behalf of
property that the old marriage laws were annulled. As a matter of
fact, in the days of the old Testament, i. e., in historical times,
the patriarchal system was prevalent among the Jews, and the clan
and tribal organization were founded on descent in the male line, as
was the case with the Romans. According to this system the daughters
were excluded from inheritance. Thus we read in the first book of
Moses, 31, 14 and 15, the complaint of Lea and Rachel, daughters
of Laban: “Is there yet any portion or inheritance for us in our
father’s house? Are we not counted of him strangers? For he hath
sold us and hath quite devoured also our money.”

Among the ancient Jews, as among all other nations where the
matriarchate was succeeded by the patriarchate, women were utterly
devoid of rights. Marriage was a purchase of the woman. Absolute
chastity was demanded of her; but not so of the man, who moreover
was entitled to have several wives. If the man had cause to believe
that the woman had lost her virginity prior to marriage, he was not
only entitled to cast her off, she might also be stoned to death.
The same punishment was meted out to the adulteress; but the man was
subjected to the same punishment only then when he committed adultery
with a Jewish matron. According to the first book of Moses, 24,
1–4, a man was entitled to cast off a woman he had just married
if she found no favor in his eyes, even though his displeasure be
only a whim. Then he might write her a bill of divorcement, give it
in her hand and send her out of his house. A further proof of the
degraded position of woman among the Jews may be gathered from the
fact that to this day women attend services in the synagogue in a
space separated from the men, and are not included in the prayer.[9]
According to the Jewish conception, woman is not a member of the
congregation; in religion and politics she is a mere cipher. When
ten men are assembled they may hold services, but women are not
permitted to do so, no matter how many of them are assembled.

In Athens, Solon decreed that a widow should marry her nearest
relation on her father’s side, even if both belong to the same gens,
although such marriages were forbidden by an earlier law. Solon
likewise decreed that a person holding property need not will it to
his gens but might, in case he were childless, will it to whomsoever
he pleased. We see, then, that man, instead of ruling his property,
is being ruled by it.

With the established rule of private property the subjugation of
woman by man was accomplished. As a result of this subjugation, woman
came to be regarded as an inferior being and to be despised. ~The
matriarchate implied communism and equality of all. The rise of the
patriarchate implied the rule of private property and the subjugation
and enslavement of woman.~ The conservative Aristophanes recognized
this truth in his comedy, “The Popular Assembly of Women,” for he has
the women introduce communism as soon as they have gained control
of the state, and then proceeds to caricature communism grossly in
order to discredit the women.

It is difficult to show how the details of this great transformation
were accomplished. This ~first great revolution~ that took place
in human society was not accomplished simultaneously among all the
civilized nations of antiquity, and has probably not developed
everywhere along the same lines. Among the tribes of Greece, the
new order of things attained validity primarily in Athens.

Frederick Engels holds the opinion that this great transformation
was brought about peaceably, and that, all preliminary conditions
making such a change desirable being given, a mere vote on the matter
in the gentes sufficed to put the patriarchal system in place of
the matriarchal system. Backofen, on the other hand, believes--his
opinion founded on ancient writers--that the women vehemently opposed
this social transformation. He considers many myths of the Amazon
kingdoms that are met with in the histories of Oriental countries,
in South America and China, proofs of the struggle and opposition
of women against the new order.

With the rise of male supremacy the women were deprived of their
former position in the community. They were excluded from the council
and lost their determining influence. Men compelled women to be
faithful in marriage without recognizing a similar duty on their
part. When a woman is faithless, she commits the worst deception
to which a citizen of the new order can fall a victim; she brings
another man’s children into his house to become the heirs of his
property. That is why among all the ancient peoples adultery, when
committed by a woman, was punishable by death or slavery.

[9] In the oldest quarter of Prague is an old synagogue, built during
the sixth century, the oldest synagogue in Germany. Upon descending
about seven steps into the dusky chamber, the visitor beholds a row
of small loop-holes on the opposite wall leading into an utterly dark
room. Upon inquiry we are told by the guide that this is the woman’s
room, where the women attended services. Modern synagogues are less
gloomy, but the separation of men and women is still maintained.

2.--Traces of the Matriarchate in Greek Myths and Dramas.

Although the women were thus deprived of their former influential
position, the customs connected with the ancient cults continued
to dominate the minds for centuries; only their deeper meaning was
gradually lost, and it remained for the present time to investigate
them. Thus it was customary in Greece that women appealed for
advice and help to the goddesses only. The annual celebration of
the Thesmophoria clearly derived its origin from matriarchal times.
Even in later days Greek women still celebrated this festival in
honor of Demeter, which lasted for five days, and in which no man
was allowed to participate. A festival of the same character was
held annually in Rome in honor of Ceres. Demeter and Ceres were the
goddesses of fecundity. In Germany, similar festivals were observed
up to the Christian middle ages. These were consecrated to Frigga,
the ancient German goddess of fecundity, and here also men were
excluded from participation.

In Athens, the matriarchate had to make way to the patriarchate at
an early period, but apparently not without strong opposition on the
part of the women. The tragedy of the transformation is pathetically
presented in the “Eumenides” by Aeschylus. The following is a synopsis
of the story: Agamemnon, King of Mycenae, husband of Klytaemnestra,
on his expedition to Troy, sacrifices his daughter Iphigeneia, in
obedience to a command of the oracle. The mother is enraged over the
sacrifice of her child that, in accordance with natural law, does not
belong to her husband, and during Agamemnon’s absence she accepts
Aeghistus as her husband, thereby not committing any objectionable act
according to the ancient laws. When Agamemnon returns to Mycenae,
after an absence of many years, he is murdered by Aeghistus, whom
Klytaemnestra has incited to this deed. Orestes, son of Agamemnon and
Klytaemnestra, upon a command from Apollo and Minerva, avenges his
father’s death by killing his mother and Aeghistus. The Eumenides,
representing the old maternal law, prosecute Orestes for the murder
of his mother. Apollo and Minerva--the latter, according to the
myth, not having been born by a mother, since she sprang from the
head of Zeus in full armor--defend Orestes, for they represent the
new paternal law. The case is brought before the areopagus and the
following dialogue ensues in which the two conflicting views are

  Eumenides: The prophet (Apollo) bade thee then become a matricide?

  Orestes: Aye; and I never yet my destiny regretted.

  Eumenides: When judgment will be given thou wilt not speak thus.

  Orestes: Perhaps. But from his grave my father will send aid.

  Eumenides: What hopest from the dead thou, who hast killed thy

  Orestes: She had been guilty of a double, bloody crime.

  Eumenides: How so? Explain unto the judges what you mean.

  Orestes: She killed her husband and she thereby killed my father.

  Eumenides: Her crime she expiated now, but you still live.

  Orestes: Why did you fail to prosecute her while she lived?

  Eumenides: _She was no blood relation to the man she killed._

  Orestes: But I, so you assert, am of my mother’s blood.

  Eumenides: Did she, thou bloody one, not bear thee ’neath her
  heart? Wouldst thou thy mother’s sacred blood deny?

The Eumenides accordingly do not recognize the right of the father
and husband. They proclaim maternal law. That Klytaemnestra caused
the murder of her husband seems unimportant to them, for he was a
stranger to her. But they demand punishment of the matricide, for by
killing his mother, Orestes committed the most unpardonable crime that
could be committed under the dominance of the gentile organization.
Apollo, on the other hand, holds the opposite point of view. Upon a
command from Zeus he has induced Orestes to murder his own mother
to avenge the patricide, and before the judges he thus defends the

  Then say I, listen ye unto my word of justice:
  The mother is not procreatrix to her child;
  She only the awakened life doth keep and bear.
  The father is the procreator; she but keeps
  The forfeit for her friend, unless a god destroy it
  I will submit a proof that cannot be denied.
  For one can have a father, yet no mother have.
  Minerva, daughter of the great Olympian Zeus,
  Within the darkness of a mother’s womb ne’er rested,
  And yet no goddess e’er gave birth to fairer offspring.

According to Apollo, then, procreation gives the father a superior
right, while the view that had prevailed until then proclaimed the
mother, who gives life to the child by her own blood, the child’s
sole possessor, and deemed the child’s father a mere stranger to
her. Therefore, the Eumenides reply to the views of Apollo:

  Thou overthrowest forces of remotest days....
  Thou, the young god, wouldst us, the ancient ones, dethrone.

The judges prepare to pronounce their verdict; half of them favor
the old law and the other half favor the new, giving an equal number
of votes to both sides. There Minerva seizes a ballot from the altar
and casting it into the urn she exclaims:

  Mine is the right to utter final judgment here,
  And for Orestes I cast in the urn this stone;
  For unto me no mother was who gave me birth,
  Therefore with all my heart all manly things I praise
  Excepting marriage. For I am my father’s quite.
  Less criminal I deem the murder of this woman,
  Because her husband she has killed, the home’s maintainer.
  Though even be the vote, Orestes is victorious.

Another myth depicts the fall of the matriarchate in the following
manner: During the rule of Cecrops, a double miracle occurred.
Simultaneously an olive-tree sprang from the earth at one place, and
a well at another. The frightened king sent a messenger to Delphi to
question the oracle concerning the meaning of these miracles. The reply
was: The olive-tree represents Minerva, the water represents Neptune,
and the citizens may decide after whom of the two deities they choose
to name their city. Cecrops summoned the popular assembly, in which
both men and women were entitled to vote. The men voted for Neptune,
and the women for Minerva, and since the women had a majority of one
vote, Minerva was victorious. Thereupon Neptune became infuriated
and let the sea flood the lands of the Athenians. To appease the
fury of the god, the Athenians then inflicted threefold punishment
upon their women. They were to be disfranchised, their children were
no longer to bear their mother’s name, and they themselves should
no longer be called Athenians.[10]

Thus the new order was established. The father became the head of
the family. The patriarchate conquered the matriarchate.

[10] Backofen: “The Matriarchate.”

3.--Legitimate Wives and Courtesans in Athens.

Just as the transition from the matriarchate to the patriarchate was
accomplished in Athens, it was accomplished elsewhere as soon as a
similar degree of development had been attained. Woman was restricted
to her home and isolated in special rooms, known as “gynacontis,” in
which she dwelt. She even was excluded from social intercourse with
the men who visited the house; in fact, this was the special object
of her isolation. In the Odyssee we find this change in customs
expressed. Thus Telemachus forbids his mother to be present among
her suitors, and utters this command:

  But go now to the home, and attend to thy household affairs;
  To the spinning wheel and the loom, and bid thy maids be assiduous
  At the task that to them were allotted. To speak is the privilege of men,
  And mine is especially this privilege, for I am the lord of the

This was the prevailing conception in Greece at the time. Even widows
were subjected to the rulership of their nearest male relatives, and
were not even free to choose a husband. Weary of the long waiting
imposed upon them by the clever Penelope, the suitors send to
Telemachus their spokesman, Antonioos, who thus voices their demand:

  See now, the suitors inform thee that thou in thy heart mayest know it
  And that all the Achæans may of the fact be informed.
  Send thy mother hence, and command her to take as her husband
  Whom she chooses to take, and whom her father selects.[12]

At this period woman’s freedom has come to an end. When she leaves
the house she must veil her face--not to waken the desires of some
other man. In the Oriental countries where sexual passions are
stronger, as a result of the hot climate, this method of isolation
is still carried to the extreme. Among the ancients, Athens served
as a pattern of the new order. The woman shares the man’s bed, but
not his table. She does not address him by his name, but calls him
master; she is his servant. She was not allowed to appear in public
anywhere, and when walking upon the streets was always veiled and
plainly dressed. When she committed adultery she was, according to
Solon’s law, condemned to pay for her sin either with her life, or
with her liberty. Her husband was entitled to sell her as a slave.

The position of Greek women of those days is powerfully expressed
in Medea’s lamentation:

  “Of all creatures that have soul and life
   _We women are indeed the very poorest_.
   By our dowery we’re obliged to purchase
   A husband--and what then is far worse still,
   _Henceforward our body is his own_.
   Great is the danger; will his nature be
   Evil or good? Divorce is to the woman
   A deep disgrace. _Yet she may not say nay_
   Unto the man who was betrothed to her.
   And when she comes to lands with unknown customs,
   She has to learn--for no one teaches her--
   To understand the nature of her husband.
   And when we have succeeded in all this,
   And our loved one gladly with us dwells,
   Then our lot is fair. But otherwise
   I’d rather far be dead.--Not so the man.
   If in his home he is not satisfied,
   He finds _outside the home_ what pleases him,
   With friends and with companions of his age;
   But we must always seek to please but _one_.
   They say that we in peace and safety dwell,
   While they must go forth to the battlefield.
   Mistaken thought! _I rather thrice would fight,
   Than only once give birth unto a child!_”

Very different was the man’s lot. While the man compelled the woman
to abstain absolutely from relations with other men, for the purpose
of insuring the legitimacy of his heirs, he was not inclined to
abstain from relations with other women. Courtesanship developed.
Women noted for their beauty and intellect, usually foreigners,
preferred a free life in the most intimate association with men to
the slavery of marriage. Nor was their life deemed a loathsome one.
The name and the fame of these courtesans who associated with the
foremost men of Greece and took part in their intellectual discussions
and in their banquets, have come down to us through history, while
the names of the legitimate wives are lost and forgotten. One of
these was Aspasia, the friend of the famous Pericles, who later
made her his wife. Phryne had intimate relations with Hyperides,
and served Praxiteles, one of the foremost sculptors of Greece, as
a model for his statue of Venus. Danae was the mistress of Epicure,
Archæanassa was Plato’s. Lais of Corynth, Gnethanea and others
were equally famous courtesans. Every one of the famous Greeks had
intercourse with these courtesans. It was part and parcel of their
life. The great orator Demosthenes in his oration against Neaera thus
characterized the sexual relations of Athenian men: “We marry women
to have legitimate children and to have faithful guardians of our
homes, we maintain concubines for our daily service and comfort, and
courtesans for the enjoyment of love.” The wife was only destined
to bear offspring and, like a faithful dog, to guard her master’s
house. But the master himself lived to suit his pleasure. In many
cases it is so still.

To satisfy the demand for mercenary women, especially among the younger
men, prostitution developed, an institution that had not been known
during the dominance of the matriarchate. Prostitution differs from
free sexual intercourse by the fact that the woman yields her body
in return for material gain, be it to one man or to a number of men.
Prostitution exists wherever a woman makes the selling of her charms
a trade. Solon, who formulated the new laws for Athens and is famed
as the founder of these laws, introduced the public brothel, the
“deikterion.” He decreed that the price should be the same to all
visitors. According to Philemon this was one obolus, about 6 cents
in American money. The “deikterion” was a place of absolute safety,
like the temples in Greece and Rome and the Christian churches in
the middle ages. It was under the immediate protection of the public
authorities. Until about 150 B. C. the temple in Jerusalem was the
general rallying-point of the prostitutes.

For the boon bestowed upon Athenian men by his founding of the
“deikterion,” one of Solon’s contemporaries thus sings his praise:
“Solon, be praised! For thou didst purchase public women for the
welfare of the city, to preserve the morals of the city that is
full of strong, young men, who, without thy wise institution, would
indulge in the annoying pursuit of the better class women.” We will
see that in our own day exactly the same arguments are being advanced
to justify the existence of prostitution and its maintenance as an
institution sanctioned by the state. Thus the state laws approved
of deeds committed by men as being their natural right, while the
same deeds were branded as criminal and despicable when committed by
women. It is a well-known fact that even to-day there are a great
many men who prefer the company of a pretty offendress to the company
of their wife and who, nevertheless, enjoy the reputation of being
“pillars of society” and guardians of those sacred institutions, the
family and the home. To be sure, the Greek women frequently seem to
have taken vengeance upon their husbands for their oppression. If
prostitution is the complement of monogamic marriage on the one hand,
adultery of wives and cuckoldom of husbands are its complements on
the other. Among the Greek dramatists, Euripides seems to have been
the most pronounced woman-hater, since in his dramas he preferably
holds up the women to ridicule and scorn. What accusations he hurls
at them can best be seen from a passage in “The Thesmophoria” by
Aristophanes,[13] where a Greek woman assails him in the following

  With what calumny doth he (Euripides) not vilify us women?
  When e’er hath silent been the slanderer’s tongue?
  Where there’s an audience, tragedy and chorus,
  We are described as man-mad traitoresses,
  Fond of the cup, deceitful, talkative.
  We’re wholly bad, to men a tribulation.
  Therefore, when from the play our husbands come,[14]
  They look distrustfully at us and search about
  If somewhere not a lover is concealed,
  And henceforth we no longer are permitted
  To do what harmlessly we did before.
  Such wicked things he tells the men about us,
  That when a woman only makes a garland,
  They think she is in love; or when at home
  She works about and dropping something, breaks it,
  The husband promptly asks: “For whom this broken glass?
  Quite evidently for the guest from Corinth.”

It is not surprising that the eloquent Greek woman thus serves
the defamer of her sex. But Euripides could hardly have made such
accusations nor would they have found belief among the men, had it
not been well known that they were justified. Judging by the final
sentences of the above quoted harangue it seems that the custom,
well known in Germany and other countries, whereby the master of
the house honors his guest by placing his own wife or daughter at
the guest’s disposal, did not prevail in Greece. Of this custom,
that was still observed in Holland in the fifteenth century, Murner
says: “It is the custom in the Netherlands that whosoever hath a
dear guest, unto him he giveth his wife in good faith.”[15]

The increasing class struggle in the Greek states and the deplorable
conditions that existed in many of these small communities led Plato
to an investigation of the best constitution of the state and its
institutions. In his “State,” that he conceives as an ideal one, he
demands that among the highest class of citizens, the guardians,
women should hold a position of absolute equality. Like the men,
they should take part in military exercises and should perform all
civic duties, only should the lighter tasks be alloted to them on
account of the weakness of their sex. He holds that the natural
abilities are the same with both sexes, that woman is only weaker
than man. He further demands that the women should belong to all the
men in common as should also the children, so that no father might
know his child nor a child its father.[16]

The views of Aristoteles are more in keeping with the bourgeois
conceptions. According to his “Politics,” every woman should have
the right of freely choosing her husband. She should be subservient
to him, yet she should have the privilege of giving him good advice.
Thucydides expresses a view that meets with the approval of all
Philistines. He says: “To that wife is due the highest praise of
whom one speaks neither well nor ill outside of her home.”

While such views prevailed women were bound to sink lower and lower
in the esteem of men. A fear of excess of population even led men
to avoid intimate intercourse with women. An unnatural satisfaction
of sexual desires was the result. The Greek states consisted mainly
of cities having very limited landed property, and it therefore was
impossible to maintain the population at their accustomed nourishment
beyond a given number. This fear of excess of population caused
Aristotle to advice the men to shun their wives and to indulge in
sodomy instead. Before him Socrates had already extolled sodomy
as a mark of superior culture. Finally the foremost men of Greece
indulged in this unnatural passion. The esteem of woman sank to
its lowest level. Bawdy houses containing male prostitutes were
maintained, beside those containing female prostitutes. It was in
such a social atmosphere that Thucydides could say of woman that
she was worse than the sea raging in storm, worse than the fire’s
fierce glow and the mountain torrent’s rushing stream. “If it is a
god who invented woman, whoever he be, let him know that he is the
nefarious originator of the greatest evil.”

While the men of Greece practiced sodomy, the women drifted into the
opposite extreme, indulging in the love of their own sex. This was
especially the case among the inhabitants of the island of Lesbos,
wherefore this aberration was called Lesbian love and is still called
so, since it is by no means extinct but continues to exist among us.
The chief representative of this “love” was the celebrated poetess
Sapho, “the Lesbian nightinggale,” who lived about 600 B. C. Her
passion is fervently expressed in her Ode to Venus:

  “Thou who rulest all, upon flowers enthroned,
   Daughter of Zeus born of foam, o thou artful one,
   Hark to my call!
   Not in anguish and bitter suffering, O goddess,
   Let me perish!--”

Still more passionate is the sensuality expressed in the ode to the
beautiful Athis.

While in Athens and other Greek states the patriarchal system
prevailed, in Sparta, Athens’ greatest rival, we still find the
matriarchate, a condition which had become entirely foreign to most
Greeks. Tradition has it that one day a Greek asked a Spartan how
the crime of adultery was punished in Sparta; whereupon the Spartan
replied: “Stranger, there are no adulterers in our midst.” “But if
there should be one?” quoth the stranger. “Then,” said the Spartan
mockingly, “his penalty would be to give an ox, so tall that he could
stretch his neck across the Taygetus and drink from the Eurotas.”
Upon the astonished query of the stranger how an ox could be so
tall, the Spartan laughingly replied: “How can there be an adulterer
in Sparta?!” The dignified self-consciousness of the Spartan women
finds expression in the reply given to a stranger by the wife of
Leonidas. The stranger said to her: “You Lacedemonian women are the
only ones who rule over men.” To this she replied: “And we are the
only women who bring forth men.”

The freedom enjoyed by women during the matriarchate heightened
their beauty and increased their pride, their dignity and their
self-reliance. There is a uniformity of opinion among ancient
writers that these attributes were highly developed in women during
the matriarchal period. The condition of servitude that followed
naturally had a deteriorating influence. The change is manifested
even in the difference of dress that marks the two periods. The dress
of the Doric woman hung loosely from her shoulders, leaving her arms
and the lower part of her legs uncovered. It is the dress worn by
Diana as she is represented in our museums, a free and daring figure.
But the Ionic dress covers the figure completely and restrains the
motions. The manner in which women dress was and is to this day a
proof of their dependence and a cause of their helplessness to a far
greater extent than is generally assumed. The style of dress worn
by women to this day makes them clumsy and gives them a feeling of
weakness that is expressed in their carriage and their character.
The Spartan custom of permitting girls to go about naked until
maturity--a custom that was made possible by the climate of the
country--had the effect, so an ancient writer tells us, of teaching
them simplicity of taste and regard for the care of their bodies.
According to the views of the time, this custom did not shock the
sense of decency or arouse physical passions. The girls also took
part in all physical exercises just like the boys. Thus a strong,
self-respecting race was reared, conscious of their worth, as is
shown in the reply given to the stranger by the wife of Leonidas.

[11] Homer’s “Odyssee.”

[12] Homer’s “Odyssee.”

[13] “Comedies by Aristophanes.”

[14] The theatre, to which Greek women were not admitted.

[15] “German History of Manners and Civilization,” by Johann Scherr.
Sudermann deals with the same subject in his drama, “Honor.”

[16] Plato: “The State.”

4.--Remnants of the Matriarchate in the Customs of Various Nations.

Certain customs are closely linked with the vanished matriarchate
that modern writers have erroneously termed “prostitution.” In
Babylon, for instance, it was a religious duty for young girls
upon reaching maturity to go to the temple of Mylitta and there
yield to some man, making a sacrifice of their virginity. Similar
customs were observed in the Serapis of Memphis, in honor of the
goddess Anaitis in Armenia, in Tyrus and Sydon in honor of Astarte
or Venus. The Egyptian festivals of Isis were accompanied by the
same religious rites. This sacrifice of virginity was deemed an
atonement to the goddess for the exclusiveness of surrender to one
man in marriage. “For woman is not endowed with all the beauties
nature has bestowed upon her, to fade in the arms of a single man.
The law of substance condemns all restrictions, hates all fetters,
and considers exclusiveness a crime against its divinity.”[17] The
continued good will of the goddess must be purchased by this sacrifice
of virginity to a stranger. In conformity with this conception the
Libyan maidens earned their dowery by their surrender. According
to the matriarchate they enjoyed sexual liberty before marriage,
and the men, far from taking offense at this pursuit, in choosing
a wife gave preference to the girl who had been most desired. The
same condition existed among the Thracians at the time of Herodotus.
“They do not guard the maidens, but give them complete freedom to
have relations with whomever they choose. But the married women
are closely guarded. They buy them from their parents for a large
portion.” The Hierodules in the temple of Venus in Corynth were far
famed. There more than a thousand girls were assembled, constituting
the chief attraction for Greek men. Of the daughter of King Cheops
of Egypt the legend relates, that she had a pyramid built from the
proceeds obtained by the abandonment of her charms.

We still find similar conditions in existence in the Marquesas
Islands, in the Philippines and Polynesia, and, according to Waitz,
among various African tribes. Another custom, which was maintained
on the Balearic Islands up to recent times and that expressed the
right of all men to every woman, was that in the bridal night all
the men related to the bride, were admitted to her successively in
accordance with their ages. The groom came last. Among other peoples
this custom has been changed to that effect, that one man representing
the others, the high priest or chieftain of the tribe, exercises this
privilege with the bride. The Claimars in Malabar engage putamares
(priests) to deflour their wives. It is the duty of the chief priest
(namburi) to render this service to the king (zamorin) upon his
marriage, and the king pays for it with fifty pieces of gold.[18]
In India and on various islands of the Pacific either the priests or
the tribal chiefs (kings) perform this office.[19] It is the same
in Senegambia, where the tribal chief practices the defloration
of virgins as one of his official duties and receives presents in
return. Among other peoples the defloration of the virgin--sometimes
even of female babies--is accomplished by idols constructed for
this purpose. We may assume that the “jus primae noctis” (right of
the first night), which was in practice in Europe until far into
the middle ages, derived its origin from the same tradition. The
landlord, considering himself master over his serfs, practiced the
right of the tribal chief that had come down to him. We will return
to this subject later on.

Remnants of the matriarchate are also seen in a peculiar custom
of South American tribes, that has likewise been met with among
the Basques, a people that have preserved many ancient customs and
practices. Here the father takes to his bed, instead of the mother,
after the birth of a child, feigns being in labor-pain, and lets the
woman care for him. The custom designates that the father recognizes
the newly born child as his own. The same custom is said to exist
among several tribes of mountaineers in China, and it existed until
a recent date in Corsica.

In the records of German colonies submitted to parliament (during
its session 1904–05) there is a report of the South-West-African
region that contains the following passage: “The tribal chief in a
Herero village cannot decide upon the slightest matter without the
advice of his council, and not only the men but generally ~the women
also~ give their advice.” In the report of the Marshall Islands it
says: “Rulership over all the islands of the Marshall groups was
never concentrated upon a single chief.... ~but as there is no female
member of this class (The Irody) living, and the child inherits
nobility and station from the mother only, The Irodies will become
extinct with the death of their chiefs~.” The manner of expression
and description used by the informants shows how utterly foreign the
conditions they describe are to them and that they fail to understand

Dr. Henry Weislocky, who for many years lived among the Gypsies
of Transylvania and finally was adopted into one of their tribes,
reports,[21] that two of the four tribes in whose midst he lived,
the Ashani and the Ishale, observed maternal law. If the migratory
Gipsy marries, he enters the clan of his wife, and to her belong
all the furnishings of the Gipsy household. Whatever wealth she has
belongs to her and to her clan, the man is a stranger. In accordance
with maternal law the children also remain in their mother’s clan.
Even in modern Germany remnants of the matriarchate survive. The
“Westdeutsche Rundschau” (published in Westphalia) reports in the
issue of June 10, 1902, that in the parish of Haltern the laws of
inheritance were still subject to the old maternal law of the gentes.
The children inherit from their mother. Until now all attempts at
reforming this antiquated custom had failed.

How little the present family form and monogamic marriage can be
regarded as eternal or exceedingly ancient, can furthermore be gathered
from the wide-spread existence of marriage by purchase, marriage by
rape, polygamy and polyandry. In Greece, too, woman became an article
of purchase. As soon as she entered the house of her lord and master
she ceased to exist for her family. This was symbolically expressed
by burning before her husband’s house the gaily decorated carriage
that had brought her there. Among the Ostiaks in Siberia the father
still sells his daughter and bargains with the envoys of the groom
over the sum that is to be paid. Among several African tribes the
custom still exists--as in Jacob’s day--that a man wooing a maiden
enters the service of his prospective mother-in-law. Marriage by
purchase still exists in our very midst, in fact, in bourgeois society
it is more generally established than at any other time. The money
marriages, so prevalent among our propertied classes, are nothing
more than marriage by purchase. As a symbol of the purchase whereby
the woman becomes the man’s property, the bridal gift, which it is
customary for the man to give his fiancee, may also be regarded.

Beside marriage by purchase we find marriage by rape. Robbery of
women was practiced not only by the ancient Jews, but practically
by all nations of antiquity. The best-known historical example is
the rape of the Sabines, by the Romans. Robbery of women became the
custom quite naturally wherever women were scarce or where polygamy
existed, as everywhere in the Orient. There especially this custom
was wide-spread during the duration of the Arabian realm from the
seventh to the twelfth century before Christ.

In a symbolical way marriage by rape is still practised among the
Araucanians in the southern part of Chile. While the would-be
bridegroom’s friends bargain with the girl’s father, the man himself
slinks about the house and tries to catch the girl. As soon as he has
grasped her he lifts her on his horse and carries her away toward
the forest. Thereupon men, women and children set up a loud clamor
and try to prevent the flight. But as soon as the man has succeeded
in reaching the shelter of the forest the woman is considered his
wife. This is the case even if the robbery was perpetrated against
the parents’ will. Similar customs are met with among Australian

Among civilized nations the custom of wedding journeys still serves
as a reminder of the ancient rape of women; the bride is abducted
from her paternal hearth. In the same way the exchange of wedding
rings is a symbol of the old submissiveness of woman and her being
chained to the man. This custom originated in Rome. The bride received
an iron ring from her husband to signify that she was chained to
him. Later on this ring was made of gold, and much later still the
exchange of rings was introduced to signify the mutual bond.

Polygamy has existed and still exists among the Orientals; but owing
to the limited number of women that are at a man’s disposal, and
owing to the expense of their maintenance, it is at present practised
only by the privileged and propertied classes. The counter-part of
polygamy is polyandry. This is found especially among the mountaineers
of Thibet, the Garras living at the boundary of India and China,
the Baigas in Godwana, the Nairs in the southernmost part of India,
and also among the Eskimos and Aleuts. Descent is determined on the
mother’s side--as must needs be the case--and the children belong to
her. The woman’s husbands usually are brothers. If an oldest brother
marries, the other brothers thereby become husbands to his wife. But
she has the right to take other husbands beside these. The men also
are entitled to several wives. From what conditions polyandry sprang
is as yet unexplained. As the tribes practising polyandry without
exception live either in mountainous regions of a high altitude or in
the frigid zone, polyandry may perhaps be explained by a phenomenon
that Tarnowsky has pointed out.[22] Tarnowsky was told by reliable
travelers that a lengthy sojourn on high altitudes greatly diminishes
sexual desire, which reawakens with renewed vigor upon descending.
This diminution of sexual desire, so Tarnowsky believes, might
explain the slow increase in population in mountainous regions, and
by becoming hereditary might be one of the symptoms of degeneration
leading to perversity.

Continuous living in high altitudes or in frigid zones might in the
same manner signify that polyandry did not make extraordinary demands
on women. Women themselves are influenced accordingly by their
nature, since among Eskimo girls menstruation, as a rule, does not
set in until the nineteenth year, while in the torrid zone it sets
in with the ninth or tenth year, and in the temperate zone between
the fourteenth and sixteenth year. It is generally known that hot
countries have a stimulating effect upon sexual desire; that is why
polygamy is especially prevalent in hot countries. In the same way
cold lands, and high altitudes having a similar climate, may have
a restrictive influence. It is also a matter of experience that
conception is less frequent when a woman has cohabitation with several
men. The increase in population is, therefore, weak where polyandry
exists, and is adapted to the difficulty of obtaining food in cold
climes and high altitudes. This goes to show that even in regard to
this strange custom of polyandry, the relations of the sexes are in
the last instance determined by the methods of production. It still
remains to be investigated whether the frequent killing of female
infants is practised among the tribes living in mountainous regions
or in the frigid zone, as has been reported of Mongolian tribes
living in the mountainous regions of China.

[17] Backofen: “The Matriarchate.”

[18] K. Kautsky: “Origin of Marriage and the Family.” Kosmos, 1883.

[19] Mantagazza: “Love in Human Society.”

[20] Similar conditions are still met with in Camerun and in other
parts of Western Africa. A German naval surgeon who studied the
land and people from his own observations sends us the following
information: “Among a great many tribes the right of inheritance is
founded on maternity. Paternity is a matter of indifference, only
children of the same mother consider one another brothers and sisters.
A man does not will his property to his own children, but to his
sisters’ children, his nephews and nieces, who can be shown to be
his nearest blood relations. A chief of the Way tribe explained to
me in broken English: ‘My sister and I surely are blood relations,
for we are children of the same mother. My sister again surely is
the blood relation of her son. So her son is my heir, and when I
die he will be king of my town.’ ‘And your father?’ I asked. ‘I do
not know what that is, my father,’ he replied. When I then went on
to ask him whether he had no children of his own, he was convulsed
with laughter and replied that with them not men but only women had
children. I can assure you,” our informant goes on to say, “that even
the heir of King Bell in Camerun is not his son, but his nephew. The
children of Bell, many of whom are being trained in German cities,
are but the children of his wives, while their fathers are unknown.
One of them I might lay claim to myself.”--How are the people who
deny the existence of maternal law impressed by this description of
present-day conditions?! Our informant is a keen observer who goes
to the bottom of things. But few who live among these savages do
so. Therefore we are given such false descriptions of the alleged
“immorality” of the natives.

[21] H. v. Weislocky: “Sketches of the Life of the Transylvanian

[22] Tarnowsky: “Pathological Phenomena of Sexual Desire.”

5.--Rise of the State.--Dissolution of the Gens in Rome.

After the dissolution of the matriarchal gens, the patriarchal gens
took its place with considerably diminished functions. The chief
function of the patriarchal gens was the strict observation of
common religious and funeral rites and mutual aid and protection.
It entailed the right, and sometimes the duty, to marry within
the gens; the latter being the case especially in regard to rich
heiresses and orphans. The gens also controlled all the remaining
common property.

With the rise of private property and the right of inheritance
connected with it, class distinctions and class antagonism came
into existence. In the course of time the propertied members made
common cause against the propertyless ones. The former sought to
gain control of the administrative positions and to make them
hereditary. Finance had become a necessity and entailed conditions
of indebtedness that had previously been unknown. Struggles against
external enemies, internal conflicts of interest, and the varied
interests and relations created by agriculture, industry and trade,
necessitated a complicated system of laws and the formation of public
bodies destined to keep the social machine in orderly motion and
to settle disputes. The same was true concerning the relations of
masters and slaves, debtors and creditors. Thus a power was needed
to control all these relations, to conduct, regulate, arbitrate,
protect and punish. ~The state came into existence as a necessary
product of the new social order based on conflicting interests.~
Its direction naturally was assumed by those who had the greatest
interest in its founding and who, thanks to their social power,
were most influential: ~the propertied classes~. Thus aristocracy
of wealth and democracy opposed one another, even where complete
equality of political rights was maintained.

During the old matriarchal system no written law existed. Conditions
were simple and custom was hallowed. In the new, far more complicated
order, written law became one of the urgent necessities and special
officials were needed for its administration. But as the legal
relations became more and more complicated, a special class of
persons arose, devoted exclusively to the study of law and having a
special interest in still further complicating them. The jurists,
the lawyers, came into existence, and owing to the importance of the
law to the body social, they soon became one of the most influential
estates. The new civic jurisprudence in the course of time found
its most classic expression in the Roman state, that explains the
influence exerted by Roman law down to the present time.

We see then that the state organization is the natural outcome of a
society divided into a great variety of occupations and having varied,
frequently opposing and contending, interests. An inevitable result
was oppression of the weaker members. This truth was recognized by
the Nabataeans, an Arabian tribe, who, according to Diodorus, issued
the command neither to sow nor to plant, to drink no wine, and to
build no houses, but to live in tents, for if they did all these
things they might be ~compelled to obey by a superior power~ (the
state). Among the Rechabites, the descendants of the father-in-law
of Moses, we find similar decrees.[23] In fact, Mosaic law is framed
in a manner destined to prevent ~the Jews from developing beyond
the stage of an agricultural society, because their lawmakers
feared that it might bring about the downfall of their democratic,
communistic organization~. For the same reasons the “holy land”
was selected in a territory that was bounded on the one side by a
mountain range which was difficult of access, the Libanon, and on
the other, especially in the East and South, by barren lands and a
desert, making isolation possible. For the same reasons, moreover,
the Jews were kept at a distance from the sea, which is favorable to
commerce, colonization and the acquirement of wealth. For the same
reasons there were strict laws forbidding mingling and intermarriage
with other nations; and the poor laws, the agrarian laws, the year of
jubilee, all were institutions destined to prevent the acquirement
of great fortunes by individuals. The Jews were to be prevented
from becoming a state-forming nation. That is why the old gentile
constitution founded on tribal organization was maintained by them
until their dissolution, and has left its traces among them even

Apparently the Latin tribes who participated in the foundation of Rome
had already superseded the matriarchal development. As previously
stated, they robbed the women who were wanting among them from the
tribe of the Sabines and called themselves Quirites after these. At a
much later date the Roman citizens in the popular assembly were still
addressed as Quirites. “Populus Romanus” designated the free population
of Rome generally; but “populus Romanus quiritium” designated Roman
citizenship by descent. The Roman gens was patriarchal; the children
inherited from their natural parent. In case there were no children
the property fell to relatives on the man’s side, and if these were
wanting, it fell to the gens. By marriage the woman lost all rights
of inheritance to her father’s property and that of her father’s
brothers. She withdrew from her gens, and thus neither she nor her
children could inherit from her father or his brothers. Otherwise
the hereditary portion would have been lost to the paternal gens.
The division into gentes and phratries for centuries remained the
foundation of military organization and the enactment of civic
rights. But with the decay of the patriarchal gentes and the decline
of their significance, conditions became more favorable to Roman
women. They not only obtained the right of inheritance, they also
obtained the right to control their own fortunes; they accordingly
held a far more favorable position than their Greek sisters. This
freer position gradually won by them, gave the elder Cato--born
234 B. C.--cause for the following complaint: “If the head of each
family, following the example of his ancestors, would seek to
maintain his wife in proper submissiveness, the entire sex would
not give so much trouble publicly.” When a few tribunes in the year
195 B. C., moved to repeal a law enacted previously, for the purpose
of restricting the luxury of women in dress and personal adornment,
he stormed: “If each of us had maintained his manly authority with
his own wife, we would have less bother here with all the women.
Our power that has been shattered in the home, now is being broken
and trampled upon in the forum too by the unruliness of women, and
because we are incapable of resisting them individually, we fear
them all together. Our ancestors decided that women should not even
attend to their private affairs without the control of a guardian,
that they should be subject to their fathers, brothers, husbands.
But we submit to it that they take possession of the republic and
interfere with the popular assembly. If you give free reign to the
imperious natures of these unruly creatures, do not imagine that
they will recognize any limits of their tyranny. The truth is that
they desire freedom, nay, dissoluteness, in all things, and when
they have begun to be our equals, they will soon be our superiors.”

At the time Cato delivered this speech the father was guardian to
his daughter during his lifetime, even when she was married, unless
he appointed another guardian. When the father died the nearest
male relative assumed the guardianship. The guardian had the right
to transfer this guardianship to whomever and whenever he pleased.
Originally then the Roman woman had no will of her own before the law.

The forms of marriage ceremonies were varied and underwent many
changes in the course of the centuries. The most ceremonious marriage
ceremony was performed by the high priest in the presence of at
least ten witnesses, whereupon the bridal pair ate a cake made of
flour, salt and water as a symbol of their union. This ceremony has
a strong resemblance to the eating of the sacramental wafer at the
celebration of the Lord’s Supper. A second form of marriage was
merely by taking possession. If a woman had lived with her chosen
husband under the same roof for one year, with the consent of her
father or guardian, the marriage was legalized. A third form was
a sort of mutual purchase. The man and woman exchanged some coins
and promised to be husband and wife. At the time of Cicero[24]
free divorce to both partners in the marriage contract was already
established, and it was even denied that an announcement of the
divorce was necessary. But the “lex Julia de adulteriis” prescribed
that a divorce must be solemnly announced. This law was caused by
the frequent occurrence that women, having committed adultery and
then having been called to account, claimed to have divorced their
husbands. Justinian (The Christian)[25] prohibited divorce, except
when both parties wished to enter a monastery. But his successor,
Justinian II., found it necessary to introduce it again.

As Rome grew in wealth and power, vice and licentiousness of the
worst kind replaced the moral austerity of its early days. Rome
became the center from which lewdness, debauchery and sensual finesse
spread over the entire civilized world of that period. Especially
during the time of the emperors, and frequently encouraged by the
emperors themselves, the debauchery assumed forms that could only
have been inspired by insanity. Men and women vied with each other
in immorality. The number of public brothels increased rapidly, and
besides the “Greek love” (sodomy) was practised more and more by the
men. At one time the number of male prostitutes in Rome was greater
than the number of female prostitutes.

The courtesans appeared in great pomp, surrounded by their admirers,
on the streets and the promenade, in the circus and theater, sometimes
reclining on couches carried by Negroes, holding a mirror in their
hand, decked with jewels, partly nude, fanned by slaves, surrounded
by a swarm of boys, eunuchs and flute-players, with grotesque dwarfs
bringing up the rear.

These debaucheries assumed such dimensions in the Roman empire, that
they threatened its very existence. The bad example set by men, was
followed by women. There were women, so Seneca[26] reports, who did
not count years by the consuls, as was customary, but by the number
of their husbands. Adultery was general, and in order to escape the
severe penalties attached to it, women had themselves registered as
prostitutes. Even some of the most aristocratic ladies of Rome were
among these.

Besides these debaucheries, civil wars and the system of the latifundia
caused such a marked decline of the marriage and birth-rate, that
the number of Roman citizens and patricians was greatly diminished.
In the year 16 B. C. Augustus enacted the so-called Julian law;[27]
that placed a penalty upon the unmarried state of Roman citizens
and patricians, and rewarded them for having children. Whoever had
children was deemed of higher station than childless or unmarried
persons. Unmarried persons could not inherit property from anyone
except their nearest relatives. People who had no children could
only claim half of an inheritance, the other half was turned over to
the state. Women who had been convicted of adultery, were compelled
to give a part of their dowery to their deceived husbands. This
provision caused some men to marry with a desire for adultery on the
part of their wives. That caused Plutarch to remark: “Romans do not
marry to have heirs, but to become heirs.” Later on the Julian law
was still increased in severity. Tiberius issued an edict that no
woman whose grandfather, father or husband had been or was a Roman
knight, might prostitute herself. Married women, who had their names
entered in the lists of prostitutes, should be banished from Italy.
For the men, of course, no such punishments existed. As Juvenal
reports, husband-murder by poison was a frequent occurrence in Rome
of his day.

[23] “Mosaic Law,” by John David Michaelis.

[24] Born 106 B. C.

[25] From 527 to 565 A. D.

[26] Seneca lived from 2 to 65 A. D.

[27] Augustus, the adopted son of Caesar, was by adoption a member
of the Gens Julia, from which the Julian law derived its name.



While in the Roman empire the marriage and birthrate were permitted
to decline more and more, the Jews maintained far different customs.
The Jewess was not entitled to choose her own husband; he was chosen
for her by her father. But she regarded marriage as a duty which she
faithfully performed. The Talmud advises: “When thy daughter has
attained maturity, set one of thy slaves free and betroth her to
him.” The Jews likewise faithfully obeyed the commandment of their
God: “Be fruitful and multiply.” Accordingly the Jews have steadily
increased in spite of persecution and oppression; they are staunch
opponents of Malthusianism. Tacitus said of them: “They firmly hold
together and readily assist one another, but are hostile and full
of hatred against all others. They never eat or sleep with enemies,
and though very much inclined to sensual passion, they refrain from
pairing with foreign women. Yet they are eager to increase their
tribe. To destroy their offspring is a sin to them; and the souls
of those who have been killed in battle or executed, they consider
immortal. Therefore they combine love for propagation with a contempt
for death.” But Tacitus hated and despised the Jews because they,
regardless of their paternal creed, eagerly accumulated wealth. He
calls them “the meanest people,” “an ugly nation.”

Under Roman rule, the Jews became more and more closely linked with
one another, and during the long time of suffering they were doomed
to endure from this time on through the entire middle ages, that
intimate family life developed among them, which still is regarded
as a sort of model by bourgeois society. In Roman society meanwhile,
that process of decay and dissolution took place that brought the
empire to an end. The debauchery bordering on madness was opposed
by the opposite extreme, rigorous self-denial. Asceticism now
assumed religious forms, as the debaucheries had previously done.
Eccentric fanaticism made propaganda for it. The boundless luxury
and extravagance of the ruling classes was in striking contrast with
the want and misery of the millions and millions of people who were
brought to Italy into servitude by the conquering Romans from all
the countries of the world known at that time. Among these there
also were ever so many women, torn from their homes, their parents,
their husbands and children, who were most deeply afflicted by their
misfortune and longed for liberation. Many Roman women who were
thoroughly disgusted by what was going on about them, were in a
similar mental state. Any change in their position seemed desirable.
A profound longing for change, for redemption, manifested itself in
wide circles, and the Redeemer seemed to approach. The conquest
of the Jewish realm and Jerusalem by the Romans, resulted in the
destruction of national independence, and brought forth idealists
among the ascetics of that country who predicted the coming of a
new kingdom with freedom and happiness for all.

Christ came and Christianity developed. It personified opposition
against the beastly materialism that prevailed among the rich and
mighty ones in the Roman empire; it represented rebellion against
the oppression and disdain of the masses. But since it sprang from
Judaism that knew woman only as an oppressed being, and since it
was biased by the biblical conception that she is the source of all
evil, it preached the disdain of woman; it preached abstinence and
destruction of the flesh, that was sinning so much at the time, and
with ambiguous expressions pointed to a coming kingdom--conceived
by some as a celestial, by others as an earthly kingdom--that would
bring universal peace and justice. In the mire of the Roman realm,
the seeds of these doctrines were planted in fertile soil. Woman,
hoping for liberation and redemption from her position like all the
other unfortunates, gladly and eagerly embraced the new faith. Until
this day no great and important movement has taken place in all the
world in which women did not figure as heroines and martyrs. They
who praise Christianity as a great achievement of civilization,
should not forget that to woman it owed many of its victories. Her
eagerness to make converts played an important part both in the
Roman empire and among the barbarian peoples of the middle ages.
Through her efforts those in power often were converted. Thus, for
instance, it was Chlotilde who induced Chlodwig, King of the Franks,
to embrace Christianity. It was Bertha, Queen of Kent, and Gisela,
Queen of Hungary, who introduced Christianity in their countries. The
conversion of many prominent men was due to the influence of women.
But Christianity rewarded woman poorly. Its doctrines contain the
same disdain of woman that is met with in all the religions of the
Orient. It commands her to be an obedient servant to man, and even
to-day women must promise obedience to their husbands before the
marriage altar. Let us hear how the Bible and Christianity speak
of woman and marriage.

The ten commandments of the old testament are addressed exclusively to
the man. In the ninth commandment the woman is mentioned together with
the domestic servants and domestic animals. The man is warned not to
covet his neighbor’s wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant,
nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is his neighbor’s. Woman
then is an object, a piece of property, that man should not desire
if in someone else’s possession. Jesus, who belonged to a sect that
maintained rigorous asceticism and practised voluntary emasculation,
when asked by his disciples whether it were well to marry, replied:
All men cannot receive this saying save they to whom it is given.
For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s
womb; and there are some eunuchs which were made eunuchs of men; and
there be eunuchs which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom
of heaven’s sake.

According to this, then, emasculation is agreeable to God, and
renunciation of love and marriage is a worthy deed. St. Paul, who
may be called the founder of Christianity even more so than Jesus
himself, St. Paul, who removed this creed from the narrow Jewish
sectarianism and gave it its international character, writes to the
Corynthians: Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me:
it is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid
fornication, let every man have his own wife and let every woman
have her own husband.

“Matrimony is a degraded station; to marry is good, not to marry is
better.” “Walk in the spirit and resist the temptations of the flesh.”
“The flesh conspires against the spirit and the spirit conspires
against the flesh.” They, whom Christ has won, have crucified their
flesh with all its passions and desires.------

He was true to his own views and refrained from marriage. This hatred
of flesh is ~the hatred of woman, but also the fear of woman~, who
is represented as man’s seducer. In this spirit the apostles and
fathers of the church preached; in this same spirit the church
used its influence during the entire middle ages, by establishing
monasteries and introducing celibacy of priests, and it is still
using its influence in the same direction.

According to Christianity woman is ~impure~. She is the seducer who
brought sin into the world and wrought man’s destruction. Therefore
the apostles and fathers of the church regarded marriage as a
necessary evil, as prostitution is regarded at present. Tertullian
exclaims: “Woman, you ought to go about clad in mourning and rags,
your eyes filled with tears of remorse, to make us forget that you
have been mankind’s destruction. Woman, you are the gate to hell!”
And: “Celibacy must be chose, even though the human race should
perish.” Hieronymus says: “Matrimony is always a vice, all that can
be done is to excuse it and to sanctify it; therefore it was made
a religious sacrament.” Origines declares: “Matrimony is impure
and unholy; a means of sensual passion.” To escape the temptation
he emasculated himself. Augustin teaches: “The married people will
shine in heaven like radiant stars, while their parents (their
procreators) will be like dark stars.” Eusebius and Hieronymus are
agreed that the teaching of the Bible: “Be fruitful and multiply,”
is no longer suited to the times, and does not concern Christians.
Hundreds of similar sayings by the most influential teachers of
the church might be quoted, to prove that they all taught in the
same spirit. By their continuous teaching and preaching they have
disseminated those unnatural views about everything pertaining to
sex and the sex relation, which after all is a ~law of nature, and
the fulfillment of which is one of the most important duties in the
plan of life~. Modern society is still suffering from the effects
of these doctrines, and is but slowly recovering from them.

St. Peter exclaims with energy: “Wives, obey your husbands!” St. Paul
writes to the Ephesians: “The husband is the head of the wife, as
Christ also is the head of the church.” And to the Corinthians:
“The man is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of
the man.”

According to this any fool of a man may deem himself better than
the most excellent woman, and as a matter of fact it has been so
in practice until this day. Against the higher education of women
St. Paul also raises his voice. In the first Epistle to Timothy 2, 11,
etc., he says: “Let a woman learn in quietness with all subjection.
But I permit not a woman to teach, nor to have dominion over a man,
but to be in quietness”; and in the Epistle to the Corinthians, 14,
34 and 35: “Let the women keep silence in the churches; for it is
not permitted unto them to speak. But let them be in subjection as
also saith the law. And if they would learn anything let them ask
their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for a woman to speak
in the church.” St. Thomas of Aquino (1227 to 1274) says: “Woman
is a rapidly growing weed, an imperfect being. Her body attains
maturity more rapidly only because it is of less value, and nature is
engaged less in her making. Women are born to be eternally maintained
under the yoke of their lords and masters, endowed by nature with
superiority in every respect, and therefore destined to rule.”

Such doctrines are not characteristic of Christianity only. As
Christianity is a mixture of Judaism and Greek philosophy, and as
both are rooted in the more ancient civilizations of India, Babylon
and Egypt, the inferior position alloted to woman by Christianity was
common to all the civilized nations of antiquity after the passing
of the matriarchate. In the Indian book of laws of Manu we find the
following: “The cause of dishonor is woman; the cause of hostility is
woman; the cause of worldly things is woman; therefore woman should
be shunned.” Beside the degradation of woman, the fear of woman is
repeatedly naively expressed. Thus it is further stated in Manu:
“Women are ever inclined by nature to seduce men; therefore a man
should never, even in the company of his closest female relative,
sit in a lonely spot.” The Indian conception, the old testament,
and the Christian conception, all unite in declaring woman the
seducer. Every condition of oppression entails the degradation of
the oppressed. The oppression of woman has been maintained until
this day; but among the Oriental peoples, whose social development
has been retarded, it has been maintained more rigorously than among
the Christian nations. Yet the factor that made for improvement in
the position of women among Christian nations was not Christianity
itself, but ~the civilization of the Western countries attained in
the struggles against the Christian conception~.

Christianity is not the cause that woman’s position is superior
to-day to what it had been at the time of the origin of Christianity.
Only reluctantly has it been compelled to abandon its true attitude
toward woman. They who are enthusiastic over the “redeeming mission
of Christianity,” of course, hold a different view. They claim that
Christianity has liberated woman from her former degraded position,
and they base this claim especially upon the cult of the Holy Virgin,
which they consider a token of respect for woman. The Catholic
Church which maintains this cult, might hardly share this opinion.
The above-quoted sayings of the saints and the fathers of the church
which could easily be multiplied, all express hostility to woman
and marriage. The Council at Macon during the sixth century, which
indulged in serious discussion as to whether woman had a soul, and
finally decided in her favor by a majority of one, also disproves the
claim that Christianity was favorable to women. The introduction of
celibacy of priests by Gregory VII,[28] the purpose of which was to
create a power by having an unmarried priesthood that would not be
withdrawn from the service of the church by any family interests, was
made possible only by that fundamental view of the church, that all
desires of the flesh are sinful. Many reformers, especially Calvin
and the Scotch ministers, have raved so vehemently against the “lust
of the flesh,” that they left no doubt in regard to the hostile
attitude of Christianity toward women.[29] By introducing the cult of
the Virgin Mary, the Catholic Church, with wise calculation, merely
put this cult in place of the cult of the ancient goddesses, that
existed among all the peoples who were converted to Christianity at
that time. Mary replaced Cybel, Mylitta, Aphrodite and Venus among
the Southern nations, and Freia, Frigga and others among the German
tribes. She was only endowed with a Christian, spiritual idealism.

[28] Among others the parish priests of the Diocese of Mayence thus
protested against this ordinance: “You bishops and abbots possess
great riches, elegant hunting outfits and enjoy royal banquets; we
poor, simple priests have but a wife for our comfort. Abstinence
may be a virtue, but it is forsooth severe and hard.”--Yves Guyot,
“Les Théories sociales du Christianisme.”

[29] A great many instances in evidence of this are furnished by
Buckle in his “History of Civilization in England.”


Woman in the Mediaeval Age.

1.--The Position of Women among the Germans.

The robust, physically healthy, coarse but unsophisticated peoples
that during the first centuries after Christ came from the North and
East, flooding like mighty ocean waves the enervated Roman empire in
which Christianity had gradually come into power, vehemently resisted
the ascetic teachings of the Christian preachers, who were obliged to
make allowances for these healthy natures. The Romans were surprised
to find that the customs of these peoples differed considerably from
their own. Tacitus takes note of this fact in regard to the Germans,
of whom he thus expresses his approval: “Their marriage laws are
severe and none of their customs are more laudable than this one, for
they are practically the only barbarians who content themselves with
one wife. Among this numerous people one rarely hears of adultery,
and when it does occur, it is promptly punished, the men themselves
being permitted to inflict the punishment. Naked, her hair clipped,
thus the man drives the adulteress out of the village before the
eyes of her relatives, for a sin against virtue is not condoned.
There nobody laughs over vice and to seduce and being seduced are
not considered a sign of good breeding. The youths marry late;
therefore they maintain their strength. The maidens, too, are not
married off hastily, and they are of the same stature as the men,
and present the same healthful glow of youth. Of equal age, equally
strong, they wed, and the strength of the parents is transmitted to
the children.”

Evidently Tacitus depicted the matrimonial relations of the ancient
Germans in a somewhat too rosy hue, to set them before the Romans as
an example. They indeed severely punished the woman who committed
adultery, but the punishment was not inflicted upon the man who
committed adultery. At the time of Tacitus, the gens still flourished
among the Germans. Tacitus, being accustomed to the more advanced
Roman conditions that made the old gentile organization and its
foundations seem strange and incomprehensible to him, wonderingly
relates that among the Germans a mother’s brother regards his nephew
as a son, and that some considered the bond of blood relation between
an uncle on the mother’s side and his nephew as being even more
sacred than the bond between father and son. For this reason, so he
furthermore relates, when hostages were asked for, it was considered
a stronger security when a man gave his sister’s son instead of his
own. Upon this subject Engels remarks: “When the member of a gens
gave his own son as a hostage and he was sacrificed by a breach of
the agreement, it was the father’s own concern. But if his sister’s
son had been sacrificed a sacred gentile right had been violated.
The nearest gentile relation by duty bound to protect the boy or
youth, had caused his death. He should either not have pledged him,
or should have kept his agreement.”[30] Engels shows that in other
respects among the Germans at the time of Tacitus, the matriarchate
had already been replaced by the patriarchate. The children inherited
from their father. In the absence of children, brothers and uncles on
both the father’s and mother’s side were the lawful heirs. That the
mother’s brother was admitted to a share in the inheritance, although
inheritance was determined by descent on the father’s side, can be
explained by the fact that the old law had but recently disappeared.
Memories of the old law also caused that profound respect of the
German for the female sex, which so greatly surprised Tacitus. He
also observed that the courage of the men was kindled to the utmost
by the women. The thought of seeing their women led into captivity
and servitude was most terrible to the ancient Germans and impelled
them to the utmost resistance. But the women also were animated by
a spirit that greatly impressed the Romans. When Marius would not
permit the captured Teuton women to become priestesses of Vesta (the
goddess of virgin chastity) they committed suicide.

At the time of Tacitus the Germans possessed fixed abodes. There was
an annual division of the soil, which was determined by lot, and
the wood, the streams and the pasture-ground were considered common
property. Their mode of life was extremely simple; their wealth
consisted mainly of cattle; coarse woolen cloaks or the hides of
animals constituted their clothing. Women and some men of rank wore
linen under-garments. Metal tools and weapons were manufactured only
by those tribes who lived in too remote parts for the importation of
Roman products of industry. In minor matters decisions were rendered
by the council of chiefs; in more important matters by the popular
assembly. Originally the chiefs were elected, though usually from
one particular family. But the transition to the patriarchal system
favored the heredity of the position, and finally led to the formation
of a hereditary nobility that later on developed into kingship. As
in Greece and Rome, the German gens perished by the rise of private
property, the development of industry and commerce, and intermarriage
with members of foreign tribes and nations. The gens was replaced
by the mark community, a democratic organization of free peasants
that constituted a firm bulwark against the encroachments of church
and nobility for many centuries, and did not quite disappear even
then when the feudal state had come into power and the free peasants
had been forced into a condition of servitude. The mark community
was represented by the heads of the families. Wives, daughters and
daughters-in-law were excluded from the council. The times had passed
in which women conducted the affairs of the tribe--an incident
which greatly amazed Tacitus, and which he describes with remarks
of scorn. In the fifth century the Salic law repealed the right of
inheritance of women to patrimonial estates.

Every male member of the mark community was entitled, upon marriage,
to share in the common soil. Usually grandparents, parents and
children lived under one roof in a household community, and so it
frequently occurred that for the purpose of obtaining an additional
share, a son who had not yet attained the marriageable age was joined
in wedlock with some maiden of marriageable age by proxy, the father
acting as husband in place of the son.[31] Newly married couples
were given a cartload of beachwood and wood to build a log cabin.
Upon the birth of a daughter, parents also received one cartload
of wood; upon the birth of a son they received two. The female sex
accordingly was considered worth only half as much as the male sex.

The marriage ceremony was simple. Religious rites were unknown. A
mutual agreement was sufficient, and as soon as the couple had entered
the nuptial bed, the marriage was contracted. Only in the ninth
century that custom arose according to which a religious ceremony
was necessary to legalize a marriage, and as late as the sixteenth
century, marriage was made a sacrament of the Catholic Church by a
decision of the council of Trent.

[30] Engels: “Origin of the Family.”

[31] The same custom was met with in Russia during the rule of Mir.

2.--Feudalism and the Right of the First Night.

With the rise of the feudal state the position of a great many
commoners became considerably worse. The victorious leaders of the
army abused their power by taking possession of large tracts of land.
They considered themselves entitled to the common property, and did
not hesitate to distribute it among their followers, slaves, serfs or
freed men, either for temporary use or with the right of inheritance.
Thereby they created for themselves a court and military nobility,
devoted to them in all things. The establishment of a large realm
of the Franks destroyed the last traces of gentile organization.
The council of the chiefs was replaced by the leaders of the army
and the newly created nobility.

Gradually the great mass of the commoners were driven into a condition
of exhaustion and pauperism, as a result of the continuous wars of
conquest and the disputes of their rulers, for which they had to bear
the heaviest burdens. They could no longer serve in the militia.
In their place the lords and noblemen recruited vassals, and the
peasants placed themselves and their possessions under the protection
of a worldly or spiritual lord--for the church had succeeded in
becoming a great power within a few centuries--in return for which
they paid rent and taxes. Thus the free farms were transformed into
leased property, and as time went by new duties were constantly
imposed. Having once come into this dependent position, it was not
long before the peasants were deprived of their personal liberty as
well. Bondage and serfdom expanded more and more. The feudal lord
held almost unrestricted sway over his serfs. His was the right to
compel any man who had attained the eighteenth and any girl who had
attained the fourteenth year, to become married. He could prescribe
to both men and women whom they were to marry, even in the case of
widows and widowers. As lord of his subjects, he considered himself
entitled to sexual intercourse with his female serfs, and his power
was expressed in the “jus primae noctis” (the right of the first
night). This right might also be practiced by his representative
(major domo) unless the right were waived upon payment of a tax. The
terms “bed-tribute,” “virgin’s tribute,” etc., betray the nature of
these taxes.

It has frequently been denied that this right of the first night
existed. The knowledge of its existence is uncomfortable to some
people, because it was still practiced at a time that they like to
represent as a model for virtuousness and piety. We have already shown
that this right of the first night was a custom which had its origin
in the time of the matriarchate. When the old gentile organization
disappeared, the custom of surrendering the bride in the bridal
night to the members of her kinship was still maintained. But in the
course of time the right was restricted and finally practiced only
by the chief or priest. It was transferred upon the feudal lord as
a result of his power over the people who lived upon the land owned
by him, and he might practice this right if he so chose, or waive
it in return for a payment in kind or in money. How real was this
right of the first night may be seen by the following passage from
a tale by Jacob Grimm: “The groom shall invite the manager of the
estate to the wedding and he shall also invite the manager’s wife.
The manager shall bring a cartload of wood to the wedding, and his
wife shall bring a quarter of a roasted pig. When the wedding is
over, the groom shall let the manager lie with his wife for the first
night, or he shall redeem her with five shillings and six pence.”

Sugenheim[32] holds the opinion that the right of the first night
was given to the feudal lord because his serfs, in order to marry,
needed his consent. In Béarn this practice led to the custom that all
first-born children of marriages in which the “jus primae noctis”
had been practiced, were regarded as of free estate. Later on this
right was generally redeemable by the payment of a tax. According
to Sugenheim, the bishops of Amiens stubbornly maintained this tax
until the beginning of the fifteenth century. In Scotland the right
of the first night was declared redeemable by payment of a tax by
King Malcolm III at the close of the eleventh century. In Germany it
existed much longer. According to the records of the Swabian monastery
Adelberg of the year 1496, the serfs living in the community of
Boertlingen, could redeem the right if the groom gave a bag of salt
and the bride gave 1 lb 7 shillings in a dish “large enough that she
might sit in it.” In other localities the brides might redeem it by
giving the feudal lord so much butter or cheese “as was the size of
their seat.” Elsewhere they had to give a dainty leather chair “in
which they just fitted.” According to a description of the Bavarian
judge of the court of appeals, Mr. Welsh, a tax for redeeming the jus
primae noctis still existed in Bavaria in the eighteenth century.
Engels furthermore reports that among the Scots and Welsh the jus
primae noctis was maintained thruout the middle age, but since here
the gentile organization continued to exist, it was not the feudal
lord or his representative who practiced this right, but the chieftain
of the clan, and by him it was practiced as representative of all
the husbands unless a tribute was paid.

So there can be no doubt as to the existence of the right of the
first night, not only in medieval days, but even down to modern
times, and that it held a place in the feudal code of laws. In Poland
noblemen arrogated the right to deflour any maiden who chanced to
please them, and if someone protested against this usage, they
condemned him to receive one hundred blows with a cane. Land-lords
and their employees still consider the sacrifice of virginal honor
to their lust a matter of course, not only in Germany, but in the
entire southern and south eastern portion of Europe, as is asserted
by those who are acquainted with the land and the people.

During feudalism it was in the interest of the feudal lord that
his serfs should become married, for the children became his serfs
also, adding to the number of his workers and increasing his income.
Therefore both worldly and spiritual masters encouraged marriage
among their subjects. The question assumed a different aspect tho
as far as the church was concerned, when an unmarried person was
likely to will his property to the church. But this only applied to
free men of low estate, whose conditions grew steadily worse as a
result of the conditions described herein, and who gave over their
possessions to the church to seek protection and peace within the
walls of the monasteries. Others again placed themselves under the
protection of the church by paying a tax or by rendering services.
But in this way the fate they had sought to escape frequently befell
their descendants; they gradually came into bondage or were made
novices for the monasteries.

[32] History of the abolition of serfdom in Europe until the middle
of the nineteenth century.

3.--The Rise of Cities.--Monastic Affairs.--Prostitution.

The cities which had begun to flourish with the eleventh century,
favored the increase of population in their own interest by
facilitating residence and marriage. They became places of refuge
to the rural population seeking to escape unbearable oppression,
and to fugitive serfs. But at a later day these conditions changed
again. As soon as the cities had obtained power, and a class of
mechanics in comfortable circumstances had come into existence,
a feeling of hostility manifested itself against new-comers who
tried to settle down as mechanics, since they were regarded as
undesirable competitors. Barriers were erected against the new-comers;
heavy taxes were levied upon them if they would obtain the right
of residence and become qualified as master-workmen. Trades were
limited to a certain number of master-workmen and their journeymen,
thereby forcing thousands into a condition of servitude, celibacy
and vagabondage. When during the sixteenth century the cities began
to decline,--owing to conditions that will be discussed later
on,--it was quite in keeping with the narrow views of the time that
residence and the right to independently practice a trade were made
still more difficult. The tyranny of the feudal lords constantly
increased, until many of their subjects preferred to abandon their
miserable lives for the freer life of beggar, tramp or robber, the
latter being favored by the large forests and the poor condition of
the highways, or, making the most of the numerous warfares of the
time, they became mercenary soldiers, selling their services wherever
the pay was highest and the booty most promising. Male and female
rabble flooded the country, becoming a public nuisance. The church
helped to increase the general depravity. The forced celibacy of the
clergy alone led to sexual debauchery, and this was still heightened
by the constant association with Italy and Rome.

Rome was not only the capital of Christianity, being the residence
of the popes, it was also, true to its traditions under the heathen
emperors, a new Babel, the European high-school of immorality, and
the papal court was its most distinguished center. The Roman empire
at its dissolution had left to Christian Europe all its vices. These
were cultivated in Rome and from there penetrated into Germany,
favored by association of the clergy with Rome. The numerous
clergy, consisting to a great extent of men whose sexual desires
were increased to the utmost by a lazy and luxurious life, and whom
enforced celibacy drove to illegitimate or unnatural satisfaction
of their desires, transmitted this immorality to all strata of
society. The clergy became a pestilential danger to the virtue of
women in cities and villages. Monasteries and nunneries,--and there
were countless numbers of them,--frequently differed from public
brothels only inasmuch as life within them was still more licentious
and dissolute. Crimes, especially infanticide, were frequently
committed there with impunity, because only those were permitted to
pass judgment who were more often than not connected with the crimes.
Sometimes peasants tried to protect their wives and daughters from
being seduced by clergymen, by refusing to accept as pastor any one
who would not consent to keeping a concubine. This circumstance led
a bishop of Constance to impose a concubine tax upon the clergy of
his diocese. Such conditions explain the historically authenticated
fact, that during the mediæval age described by one writer of romance
as a pious and virtuous age, for instance in 1414, at the council
of Constance, no less than 1500 prostitutes were present.

But these conditions by no means made their appearance only at the
decline of the middle age. They appeared at an early date and gave
cause for constant complaints and ordinances. Thus Charlemagne issued
an ordinance in the year 802, in which it says: “the nunneries shall
be closely guarded. The nuns shall not roam about but shall be
carefully watched, neither shall they live in discord and quarrels
with one another, and under no circumstances shall they disobey
their mothers superior. Where they have monastic rules they shall
absolutely abide by them. They shall not be given to covetousness,
drunkenness and prostitution, but shall lead a just and temperate
life. Neither shall any man enter their convent except to attend
mass, and then he shall immediately depart again.” Another ordinance
of the year 869 declared: “if priests keep ~several~ wives or shed
the blood of Christians or heathens, or break the canonical law, they
shall be divested of their priesthood because they are worse than
the laity.” The fact that in those days the priests were forbidden
to have several wives, shows that in the ninth century polygamy
was not rare. Indeed there were no laws forbidding it. Even later,
at the time of the minnesingers, during the twelfth and thirteenth
centuries, it was not considered objectionable to have several wives.
In a poem by Albrecht of Johansdorf in the collection “Love-songs’
Springtime,” we find the following stanza:[33]

Particularly detrimental to the moral condition of the age were the
crusades, that kept tens of thousands of men away from their homes
for years, and led them to become acquainted with customs in the
Eastern Roman empire that had until then been unknown in Western
Europe. The position of women became especially unfavorable, not
only as a result of the many hindrances to marriage and permanent
residence, but also because their numbers by far exceeded the male
population. The chief cause of this was the numerous wars and the fact
that commercial traveling in those days was a dangerous undertaking.
Moreover the death rate among men was higher than among women, as a
result of their intemperate living, which was especially manifested
during the plague that frequently ravaged the population in the
middle age. Thus there were 32 plague years in the period from 1326
to 1400; 41 from 1400 to 1500, and 30 from 1500 to 1600.[34]

Hosts of women roamed about on the highways as musicians, dancers,
magicians, in the company of wandering scholastics and priests, and
flooded the markets and fairs. They formed special divisions in the
troops of foot-soldiers where they were organized in guilds according
to the spirit of the age, and were assigned to the different ranks
according to age and beauty. By severe penalty they were forbidden
to yield to any man outside of the prescribed circle. In the camp
they had to help the baggage-carriers to gather in hay, straw and
wood, to fill up holes and ditches and to clean the camp. During
sieges it was their task to fill up the ditches with brushwood,
branches and tufts of grass to facilitate the attack; they helped to
place the guns in position and to drag them along when they became
stuck in the muddy roads.[35] To give some relief to these numerous
helpless women, so called beguinages, that were maintained by the
municipality, were erected in many cities from the middle of the
thirteenth century on. Here the women were given homes and were
encouraged to lead decent lives. But neither their institutions nor
the nunneries could shelter all those who sought help and protection.

The hindrances to marriage, the journeys of noblemen and other worldly
and spiritual lords who came into the cities with their hosts of
knights and attendants, the young men within the cities and, last
but not least, the married men who were not troubled much by moral
scruples but believed that variety was the spice of life,--all these
created a demand for prostitutes in the medieval towns. As every trade
in those days was organized into guilds and submitted to definite
regulations, so also was prostitution. In all the larger cities
brothels were maintained that were municipal, state or church property
and whose profits went to fill these respective treasuries. The women
in these houses had a senior-mistress elected by themselves, whose
duty it was to maintain order and who was especially charged with the
task of seeing to it that no competitors outside of the guild harmed
the legitimate trade. If such competitors were caught, they had to
pay a legal fine. Thus the inhabitants of a brothel in Nuremberg
complained to the magistrate about the competition of women who were
not members of their guild: “that other keepers also maintain women
who go upon the streets at night and harbour married men and others,
and who ply their trade in a much coarser way, and that such were a
disgrace and should not be permitted in this praiseworthy town.”[36]
The brothels enjoyed special protection; breach of the peace in their
vicinity was punished more severely than elsewhere. This female guild
was also entitled to appear at festivals and in processions in which
it was customary for all the guilds to participate. They were even
sometimes invited as guests to princely and official banquets. The
brothels were considered desirable “for the protection of married
women and the honor of virgins.” This was the same argument which
was resorted to in order to justify the maintenance of brothels by
the state in Athens. Nevertheless barbarous persecutions of the
prostitutes were met with, that came from the same men whose demand
and whose money maintained the prostitutes. Thus Charlemagne decreed
that a prostitute should be brought nude upon the market place and
be flogged there. He himself, the “most Christian” king and emperor
had no less than six wives simultaneously. His daughters, evidently
following their father’s example, were not models of virtue either.
Their mode of life gave him many unpleasant hours, and they brought
several illegitimate children into his house. Alkuin, a friend and
advisor to Charlemagne, warned his pupils of “the crowned doves who
fly thru the Palatinate at night,” meaning the emperor’s daughters.

The same communities that officially organized and protected the
brothels and granted all sorts of privileges to the prostitutes
inflicted the hardest and most cruel punishments upon a poor forsaken
girl who had gone wrong. The infanticide who, driven to despair, had
killed her own offspring was subjected to cruel death, while no one
bothered about the unscrupulous seducer. Perhaps he sat among the
judges who pronounced the death sentence on the unfortunate victim.
The same is possible still.[37] Adultery of wives was also severely
punished; to be put in the pillory was the least she might expect.
But adultery of husbands was concealed by the cloak of Christian

In Wuerzburg it was customary for the brothel-keeper to take an oath
before the magistrate, pledging faith and allegiance to the city and
that he would diligently enlist women. Similar oaths were taken in
Nuremberg, Ulm, Leipsic, Cologne, Frankfort, and others. In Ulm the
brothels were abolished in 1537; but in 1551, the guilds moved to
reinstate them “to avoid a worse state of affairs.” When strangers
of note visited a city, prostitutes were placed at their disposal
at the city’s expense. When King Ladislaus entered Vienna in 1452,
the magistrate sent a committee of public prostitutes to meet him,
clad in transparant gauze that disclosed their beautiful shapes.
Emperor Charles V, upon entering Antwerp, was also received by a
committee of nude girls, a historic scene that Hans Makart depicted
in a large painting which is now on exhibition in the museum at
Hamburg. Such occurrences created no scandal in those days.


  Would he not be fickle
  Who would choose to have a second wife
  Beside his virtuous one? Speak, Sir, would you?--
  Let it to men be granted but to women not!

[34] Dr. Charles Buecher: “The Woman Question in Mediæval Times.”

[35] Dr. Charles Buecher: “The Woman Question in Medieval Times.”

[36] Joh. Scherr, History of the German Woman, 4th ed. Leipsic, 1879.

[37] Leon Richter in “La femme libre” reports a case where a servant
girl was convicted of infanticide by the father of her child, a pious
lawyer, who was a member of the court. After the girl’s conviction
it became known that the lawyer himself was the murderer and that
she was innocent.

4.--Knighthood and the Veneration of Women.

Phantastic writers of romance and scheming persons have endeavored
to depict the mediæval age as an especially virtuous one, and as
one imbued with a profound veneration of women. The time of the
minnesingers, from the twelfth to the fourteenth century, is dwelt
upon to furnish proof to this assertion. The poetic courtship of
the knights, that was first introduced by the Moriscos in Spain, is
supposed to prove that women were highly honored at that time. But
let a few facts be remembered. Firstly, the knights only constituted
a very small portion of the population, and in the same way their
ladies constituted a small portion of the women. Secondly, only a
very limited number of the knights practiced this knightly courtship;
and thirdly, the true nature of this custom has been considerably
misunderstood or distorted. The time when knighthood was in flower,
was the age of the rule of brute force in Germany; it was the age
in which all bonds of law and order were broken, and the knights
practiced extortion, plundering and highway-robbery without restraint.
Such an age of brute force is not one in which mild and poetic
sentiments predominate. On the contrary. This age was destined
to shatter the respect for the female sex that might still have
remained. The knights, in the country as well as in the towns, were
mostly coarse, brutal fellows, whose chief passion, besides warfare
and excessive drinking, was the unrestricted satisfaction of their
sexual desires. The chroniclers of that time tell of incessant acts
of violence and ravishment committed by the nobility of town and
country, who controlled the municipal governments throughout the
thirteenth, fourteenth and into the fifteenth centuries. Because
the knights conducted the courts in the towns, and the feudal lords
passed judgment in the rural districts, the injured persons rarely
obtained redress of their grievances. It is a great exaggeration
then to assume that their customs of courtship caused the ancient
nobility to treat women with special respect and to regard them as
superior beings.

A small minority of the knights seem to have been enthusiastic over
feminine beauty, but their enthusiasm was by no means platonic but
pursued very material aims. Even that clown among the romantic
admirers “of lovely women,” Ulrick of Lichtenstein of ridiculous
memory, was a platonic lover only so long as he was compelled to
be. In the main, this romantic worship of woman was nothing but
deification of the mistress at the expense of the legitimate wife;
it was nothing but courtesanship, as it has existed in Greece at the
time of Pericles, transplanted into medieval Christianity. The mutual
seduction of wives was frequently practiced among the knights also,
as it is still practiced in certain circles of our bourgeoisie.

The open manifestation of sensuality, characteristic of that age,
constituted a frank recognition of the fact that the natural desires
implanted in every healthy, adult human being rightfully seek
satisfaction. In that respect it expressed a victory of healthy
nature over the ascetic teachings of Christianity. But on the other
hand it must again be emphasized, that this recognition came into
consideration for the one sex only, while the other sex was treated
on the assumption that it could not and dare not have the same
impulses. The slightest transgression by women of the moral laws
laid down for them by men, was punished with unmerciful severity.
Women, as a result of constant oppression and a singular education,
have become so accustomed to the conception of their rulers, that
they still consider this condition quite natural. Were there not
also millions of slaves who considered slavery a natural condition
and who would never have liberated themselves had not the liberators
sprung from the slave owning class? When Prussian peasants were to
be emancipated from serfdom, they petitioned the government not to
emancipate them, “for who should provide for them when they were aged
or ill?” And do we not meet with the same situation in the modern
labor movement? How many workingmen still permit their exploiters
to influence them and lead them at will!

The oppressed needs some one to animate and inspire him, because he
lacks the initiative for independence. It was thus in the present
day movement of the proletariat, and it is the same in the struggle
for the emancipation of women. Even the bourgeoisie, that enjoyed a
relatively more favorable position in its struggle for independence,
found its leaders and spokesmen among the nobility and clergy.

Whatever the shortcomings of the middle ages may have been, it
possessed a healthy sensuality which sprang from the strong, buoyant
nature of the people, and which Christianity could not suppress.
The hypocritical prudery and concealed lasciviousness of our day,
that fears to call a spade a spade and to speak of natural things
in a natural way, was foreign to that age. Neither was it familiar
with that piquant ambiguity to which we resort in speaking of what
we dare not name, because to be prudish and unnatural has become
customary with us, and which is all the more dangerous because such
language allures, but does not satisfy, allows us to surmise but does
not express clearly. Our social conversations, our novels and our
theaters abound with these piquant ambiguities, and their effect is
manifested. This spiritualism of the roué, concealed by religious
spiritualism, has a powerful influence.


The Reformation.


The healthy sensuality of the middle ages found its classic exponent
in Luther. We are here not so much concerned with the religious
reformer, but with Luther, the man. In regard to all human relations,
Luther’s strong, unsophisticated nature clearly manifested itself,
and caused him to express freely and without reserve his desire for
love and enjoyment. His position as a former Roman clergyman had
opened his eyes and had taught him from experience how contrary to
all the laws of nature were the lives of monks and nuns. Therefore
he roundly condemned the celibacy of priests and monks. Luther
says: “Unless specially endowed by a rare, divine grace, a woman
can no more dispense with a man, than she can dispense with food,
drink, sleep and other natural needs. In the same way a man cannot
do without a woman. The cause is that the desire to propagate the
race is as deeply implanted by nature as the desire for food and
drink. Therefore God has given unto the human body limbs, veins,
circulation and all that serves this end. He who opposes this, and
will not let nature take her course, what does he do but seek to
prevent nature from being nature, fire from burning, water from
moistening, human beings from eating, drinking and sleeping?” In his
sermon on marriage, he says: “Just as it is not within my power not
to be a man, so it is not in thy power to do without a man, for it
is not free will or advice but a natural necessity that every man
must have a woman and that every woman must have a man.” But Luther
does not only express himself so strongly in favor of marriage and
the necessity of sexual relations, he also expresses himself as
opposed to it that the church and marriage should have anything in
common. He says in regard to this: “Know that marriage is something
extrinsic as any other worldly action. As I may eat, drink, sleep,
walk, ride and deal with any heathen, Jew, Turk or heretic, ~so to
one of these I may also become and remain married. Do not observe
the laws of fools that forbid such marriages.~... Heathens are men
and women, well and wisely created by God, just as well as St. Peter
and St. Paul and St. Luke, not to speak of any false and wanton
Christian.” Luther furthermore, like other reformers, opposed all
restrictions to marriage, and favored permitting divorcees to marry,
which was opposed by the church. He says: “in regard to matters of
marriage and divorce among us I say, ~let the jurists dispose of
them, and let them be subject to worldly rule, since matrimony is a
worldly, extrinsic thing~.” In accordance with this view, it was not
until the end of the seventeenth century that a religious ceremony
was considered essential to a legal marriage among Protestants. Until
then the so called conscience marriage sufficed, that is, a marriage
founded upon the mutual agreement to regard one another as husband and
wife and to live in matrimonial relations with one another. According
to German law such marriages were legal. Luther even went so far as
to adjudge to the unsatisfied party in a marriage contract--even if
the party were the woman--the right to seek satisfaction outside
of marriage, “in order to do justice to nature that can not be
resisted.”[38] In this matter Luther sets forth opinions that would
rouse many of our present day respectable men and women, who always
point to Luther in their pious zeal, to vehement indignation. In
his treatise “on married life,” II, 146, Jena 1522, he says: “if a
healthy woman is joined in wedlock to an impotent man and could not
nor would for her honor’s sake openly choose another, she should
speak to her husband thus: See, my dear husband, thou hast deceived
me and my young body and endangered my honor and salvation, before
God there is no honor between us. Suffer that I maintain a secret
marriage with thy brother or closest friend while thou remainest my
husband in name. That thy property may not fall heir to strangers;
willingly be deceived by me as you have unwillingly deceived me.” It
should be the husband’s duty, Luther goes on to say, to consent to
such arrangement. “If he will not she has the right to abandon him
and go into another country and marry another man. In the same way
if a woman will not perform her conjugal duty, the man has the right
to seek another woman; only he should first tell his wife.”[39] We
see, the opinions set forth by the great reformer are very radical
and even immoral, when viewed in the light of our age, abounding
with prudery and hypocrisy. But Luther only expressed the popular
conceptions of his age. The following is told by Jacob Grimm: “If
a man cannot satisfy his wedded wife, let him take her gently upon
his back and carry her to his neighbors. There let him set her down
softly, without anger or rudeness but upon mutual agreement, and
let him appeal to his neighbors to help his wife in her need. If
they will not or can not, then let him send her to the nearest fair.
There shall she appear, becomingly dressed and adorned, wearing a
gold embroidered veil as a token that she may be wooed. If after
all she returns from the fair still unsatisfied, then may the devil
help her!”

The peasant of the middle age primarily sought marriage for the
purpose of having heirs, and if he was unable to beget them himself,
being a practical man, he left this pleasure to another without
having particular moral scruples about it. The main object was to
attain his purpose. We repeat: Man does not control his property,
he is controlled by it.

The above quotations from the writings and sermons of Luther are of
special importance because the views in regard to marriage expressed
in them are diametrically opposed to those maintained by the church
to-day. Luther and the other reformers went still further in matters
pertaining to marriage but, it must be admitted, for opportunistic
reasons, in order to please such sovereigns whose lasting support
and good will they sought to win and to maintain. The landgrave of
Hessia, Philip I, who was in sympathy with the reformation, had a
legal wife, but fell in love with another woman who refused to yield
to his entreaties unless he would marry her. It was a delicate
case. To become divorced from his wife without good and sufficient
reason would imply a great scandal; to be married to two women
simultaneously was a shocking occurrence with a Christian sovereign of
the newer era, bound to create a still greater scandal. Nevertheless
amorous Philip chose the latter alternative. It only was necessary
to determine that this step was not in opposition to the teachings
of the Bible, and to obtain the consent of the reformers, especially
Luther and Melanchton. The landgrave then opened negotiations with
Butzer, who consented to the plan and promised to win Luther and
Melanchton. Butzer explained his view by pointing out that to have
several wives simultaneously was not in conflict with the gospel,
since Paul, who had mentioned many who shall not inherit the kingdom
of God, had said nothing about those who have two wives. Paul had
decreed that a bishop and his servants should not have more than one
wife. If it had been necessary that no man should have more than one
wife, he would have stated this and would have forbidden polygamy.
Luther and Melanchton declared themselves in accordance with these
views and consented to the double marriage, after the landgrave’s
wife had also given her consent under the condition “that he should
perform his conjugal duty toward her even more than heretofore.”[40]
Luther had been previously troubled by the question whether bigamy
was permissible when asked to give his consent to the double marriage
of Henry VIII of England. That can be seen from a letter which he
wrote to the Saxon chancellor Brink in January 1524. In this letter
he wrote that on principle he, Luther, could not object to bigamy
since it was not in conflict with the Holy Scripture,[41] but that
he considered it offensive when occurring among Christians, for
there were some things from which Christians should refrain even
if they were not forbidden. After the marriage of the landgrave,
which actually took place during March 1540, he wrote (April 10) in
reply to a letter of appreciation from him: “I am glad that Your
Grace is pleased by the advice we have given; but we should prefer
to have secrecy maintained. Otherwise the coarse peasants, seeking
to follow the example set by the landgrave, might present the same
or even better causes, which would give us no end of trouble.”

Melanchton probably had fewer scruples in giving his consent to the
double marriage of the landgrave, for he had previously written to
Henry VIII, that every sovereign was entitled to introduce polygamy
in his realm. But the double marriage of the landgrave caused so much
unpleasant notoriety in his country, that in 1541 he had a pamphlet
distributed in which polygamy was defended on the ground that it was
not in opposition to the Holy Scripture. But conceptions had been
greatly modified since the ninth or twelfth century when polygamy
was accepted without averse criticism. The double marriage of the
landgrave of Hessia was however not the only one that gave offense
to wide circles. Such princely double marriages were repeated both
in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries as will be shown.

When Luther declared the satisfaction of sensual desire to be a law
of nature, he only expressed what his contemporaries thought and what
the men claimed as their privilege. By the reformation, which did
away with the celibacy of the clergy and abolished the monasteries
in the Protestant countries, he gave to hundreds of thousands of
men and women the possibility to seek legitimate satisfaction of
their natural desires. Hundreds of thousands of others, of course,
remained excluded from this possibility by the existing forms of
property and the laws founded upon them.

The reformation was the protest of the rising bourgeoisie against
the constraint of feudal conditions in church, state and society.
This rising bourgeoisie struggled for liberation from the narrow
bonds of the guild, the court and the papal anathema; it strove for
centralization of the powers of the state, simplification of the
extravagant church affairs, and the abolition of the numerous abodes
of idle persons, the monasteries.

Luther represented these endeavors of the bourgeoisie upon the
religious field. When he stood for the freedom of marriage, it was
the bourgeois marriage that was realized only in our day by the civil
marriage laws, and the freedom of migration and freedom of choice
in trade and domicile. We will see to what extent the position of
woman was modified by these changes. During the reformation this
change of development had not yet been reached. While on the one
hand the reformation made marriage possible for many people, on the
other hand free sexual intercourse was subjected to the most bitter
persecution. While the Catholic clergy had maintained a certain
tolerance toward sexual excess, the Protestant clergy, having been
provided for itself, declaimed against it with redoubled zeal.
War was waged against the public brothels that were declared to
be the devil’s dens. Prostitutes were persecuted as daughters of
Satan, and every woman who had “fallen” was considered a paragon of
wickedness and was subjected to relentless persecution. The merry,
life loving townsman of the middle ages became a bigoted, austere,
sombre philistine, who lived miserly that his later day bourgeois
descendants might live all the more extravagantly. The honorable
citizen with his stiff cravat, his narrow intellectual horizon, his
severe but hypocritical morality, became the prototype of society.
Legitimate wives who had not favored the sensuality tolerated by
the Catholicism of the middle ages, were generally better pleased
by the Puritan spirit of Protestantism. But other causes that had
an unfavorable influence on conditions in Germany generally, also
influenced the position of women unfavorably.

[38] Dr. Carl Hagen--Germany’s Literary and Religious Conditions
during the Reformation.

[39] Dr. Carl Hagen.

[40] John Janssen--History of the German People.

[41] This is true and can be explained from the fact that the Bible had
its origin at a time when polygamy prevailed both among the Eastern
and Western people; but in the sixteenth century it nevertheless
was in direct opposition to custom.

2.--Results of the Reformation.--The Thirty Years’ War.

Transformations in the conditions of production, exchange and finance,
that were brought about especially by the discovery of America, and
the discovery of the passage to India, resulted in a great social
reaction for Germany. Germany ceased to be the center of European
commerce. The German trades and manufactures declined. At the same
time the religious reformation had destroyed the political unity of
the nation. Under the cloak of the reformation, the German princes
sought to emancipate themselves from imperial rule. On the other
hand, these princes oppressed the nobility and favored the cities
to serve their own ends. Some of the cities voluntarily placed
themselves under the rule of the princes, driven to this step by
conditions that were steadily growing worse. The bourgeoisie upon
seeing their income threatened, tried to make the restrictions that
were intended to guard them against undesirable competition more and
more rigorous, and the princes willingly conceded their demands. The
ossification of conditions increased, but the general impoverishment
increased likewise.

Another result of the reformation were the religious struggles and
persecutions--used by the princes to serve their own political and
economic ends--that raged in Germany with some interruptions for
over a century, and finally ended with its complete exhaustion at
the end of the Thirty Years’ War. Germany had become a vast field of
corpses and ruins. Entire countries and provinces had been devastated,
hundreds of cities and thousands of villages partly or completely
destroyed, and many of them had been wiped from the surface of the
earth forever. In many places the population had been reduced to a
third, a fourth, a fifth, even an eighth or a tenth of its original
number. Such was the case in Nuremberg, and in the entire Franconian
province. In this utmost need, in order to increase the population
in the depopulated towns and villages, the unusual measure was
occasionally resorted to of permitting one man to have two wives. Men
had been decimated by the wars, but there was a superabundance of
women. On the 14th of February 1650, the Franconian district council
at Nuremberg decreed that “men under 60 should not be admitted into
monasteries”; it furthermore decreed that “those clergymen who were
not members of an order should become married.” Moreover, “every
man should be permitted to wed two wives, but the men should be
frequently reminded and exhorted from the pulpits to employ good
judgment and discretion, that a married man who ventured to maintain
two wives should not only provide well for both of them, but should
also endeavor to avoid ill feeling between them.” So even the pulpits
were employed to make propaganda for the double marriage and to lay
down rules of conduct for the men.

Commerce and industry almost came to a standstill during this long
period; in many instances they were almost completely destroyed and
picked up but very gradually. A large portion of the population had
become demoralized and brutalized and disaccustomed to all regular
work. During the wars, troops of mercenary soldiers had crossed
Germany from one end to the other, plundering, destroying, ravishing
and murdering, a terror alike to friend and foe. After the wars
countless numbers of beggars, robbers and vagabonds maintained the
population in constant terror and made commerce and all traffic
difficult or impossible. To the female sex especially it was a time
of great suffering. In this period of dissoluteness the contempt
of woman had increased to the utmost, and the general condition of
unemployment weighed most heavily upon her shoulders. Like the male
vagabonds, thousands of women populated the highways and forests
and filled the alms-houses and prisons. All these sufferings were
still increased by the forcible expulsion of numerous peasant
families by the greedy nobility. Since the reformation the nobility
had become more and more subjected to princely rule, and by holding
court and military positions their dependence on the princes had
constantly increased. Now they tried to reimburse themselves for
the losses sustained through the princes by robbing the peasants.
To the princes, on the other hand, the reformation offered the
desired excuse to acquire the property of the church, which they
proceeded to do on a large scale. Prince August of Saxony, for
instance, had, at the end of the sixteenth century, acquired no
less than 300 ecclesiastical estates.[42] His brothers and cousins,
the other Protestant sovereigns, above all those of the House of
Hohenzollern, did likewise. The nobility followed their example by
appropriating the remaining communal property, and by driving both
free peasants and serfs from hearth and home and taking possession of
their estates. The unsuccessful peasant revolts during the sixteenth
century gave them the desired pretext for such action, and after the
attempt had once succeeded, new pretexts were constantly found to
continue this forcible method. Various schemes and distortions of
justice were resorted to, made easy by the Roman law which had been
established in Germany in the meantime, to increase the property of
the nobility by forcing the peasants to sell theirs at lowest prices,
or by simply expropriating them. Entire villages and the farms of
entire districts were usurped in this manner. To quote just a few
examples: Of 12,543 knightly peasant estates which still existed
in the province of Mecklenburg during the Thirty Years’ War, only
1,213 remained in the year 1848. In the province of Pomerania 12,000
farms were abandoned since 1628. The transformations in the methods
of farming that took place during the seventeenth century gave a
further impulse to the nobility to expropriate the peasants and to
transform the last remnants of communal property into their private
estates. The rotation of crops had been introduced, which provided
for changes in the cultivation of the soil in definite periods of
time. Tilled land was occasionally transformed into pasture which
favored cattle-breeding and made it possible to diminish the number
of workers.

In the cities conditions were not much better than in the country.
Formerly women had been permitted to acquire the title of
master-workman and to employ journeymen and apprentices without any
opposition from the male craftsmen. They were even compelled to join
the guilds to force them to meet the same conditions of competition.
So there were independent women workers among the linen-weavers, the
cloth-weavers, the carpet-weavers and tailors. There were female
gold-smiths, girdle-makers, harness-makers, etc. We find women employed
as furriers in Frankfort and the Silesian cities; as bakers in the
cities along the Rhine; as girdle-makers and embroiders of coats
of arms in Cologne and Strassburg; as harness-makers in Bremen; as
cloth-shearers in Frankfort as tanners in Nuremberg; as gold-smiths
in Cologne.[43] But as the circumstances of the craftsmen grew more
and more unfavorable, a sentiment of ill will against the female
competitors arose. In France, women were excluded from the trades
at the close of the fourteenth century; in Germany, not until the
close of the seventeenth century. At first they were forbidden to
become master-workmen--with the exception of widows--later on they
were also excluded from becoming assistants. Protestantism, by
abolishing the ostentatious Catholic cult, had seriously injured or
entirely destroyed a number of artistic crafts, and these were the
very crafts in which many women had been employed. The confiscation
and secularization of church property resulted in a decline of
charitable work, and widows and orphans were the main sufferers.

The general economic decline that manifested itself during the
sixteenth century, as a result of all the enumerated causes, and
lasted through the seventeenth century, caused the marriage laws
to become more and more severe. Journeymen and people employed in
menial service (men and maid servants) were prohibited entirely
from marrying, unless they could prove that there was no danger of
their future families becoming a burden to the community in which
they lived. Marriages contracted in opposition to the legal premises
were punished frequently severely, sometimes barbarously. According
to Bavarian law, for instance, the penalties were imprisonment and
public flogging. Illegal marriages, that became more frequent as
the marriage laws became more severe, were subjected to especially
violent persecution. All minds were ruled by the prevailing fear of
over-population, and to diminish the numbers of beggars and vagabonds,
the various rulers enacted one law upon another, and each was more
severe than the preceding one.

[42] John Janssen--History of the German People.

[43] Dr. Carl Buecher--The Woman Question in the Middle Age.


The Eighteenth Century.

1.--Court Life in Germany.

Following the example set by Louis XIV. of France, most of the
princely courts, that were very numerous in Germany in those days,
indulged in an extravagance of outward display, especially in the
maintenance of concubines, that were in no relation to the size and
productiveness of their small domains. The history of the courts of
the eighteenth century constitutes one of the ugliest chapters of
history. One ruler tried to excel the other in hollow conceit, mad
extravagance and costly military sport. But it was especially in the
affairs with their courtesans that the wildest excesses were indulged
in. It is hard to tell which of the many German courts excelled in
this extravagant mode of living that had a corrupting influence on
public life. It was one to-day and another to-morrow. None of the
German states were spared this disgrace. The nobility imitated the
sovereigns and in the capitals the bourgeoisie imitated the nobility.
If the daughter of a bourgeois family was fortunate enough to please
one of the gentlemen of the court or His Serene Highness himself, in
nineteen cases out of twenty she considered herself highly favored,
and the family willingly consented to her becoming a princely or royal
concubine. Among the families of the nobility the same was the case if
one of their daughters found favor with the sovereign. Wide circles
were dominated by an utter lack of character and modesty. It was
worst of all in the two chief cities of Germany, Vienna and Berlin.
Although during a great part of the century Vienna was ruled by Maria
Theresa, known for her moral austerity, she was powerless against
the doings of the rich, profligate nobility and an eagerly imitative
bourgeoisie. By establishing purity commissions, that resulted in an
extensive system of espionage, she caused much bitterness and made
herself ridiculous. The results amounted to nothing. In frivolous
Vienna during the second half of the eighteenth century, proverbs
were circulated like the following: “one should love one’s neighbor
like meself; that means, one should love one’s neighbor’s wife like
one’s own”; or, “If the wife turns to the right the husband may turn
to the left; if she takes to herself a man servant, let him take a
lady friend.” How frivolously marriage and adultery were viewed at
that time, may be seen from a letter written by the poet Christian
von Kleist to his friend Gleim in 1751. It contains the following
passage: “I suppose you heard of the adventure of the landgrave
Henry. He has sent his wife to his country seat and intends to get a
separation from her because he found her with the Prince of Holstein.
The margrave would have acted more wisely if he had kept the affair
secret instead of causing all Berlin and half of the world to speak
of him. Besides, ~one should not judge a natural occurrence so
severely~, especially one who is not over virtuous himself. Disgust
is bound to result in matrimony, and by their acquaintance with other
amiable persons ~all men and women are induced to be faithless. How
can we be punished for something we have been forced to do?~” In
1772 the British ambassador, Lord Malmesbury, wrote the following
in regard to conditions in Berlin: “moral depravity prevails among
both sexes of all classes. To this is added a general insufficiency
of means, due partly to the heavy taxes imposed by the king, and
partly to the love of luxury introduced by his grandfather. The men
lead a dissolute life notwithstanding their limited means, and the
women are shameless harlots. They deliver themselves up to the one
able to pay the highest price; modesty and true love are foreign to

The worst conditions existed in Berlin during the rule of Frederick
William II. from 1786 to 1797. He set his people the worst possible
example. His court chaplain, Zoellner, even degraded himself by
marrying the king to his courtesan, Julie von Voss, although he had
another wife; and when she died soon after in childbirth, Zoellner
again consented to marry the king to another one of his courtesans,
the Countess Sophie von Doenhoff. Other rulers had set an equally bad
example at the beginning of the century. In July, 1706, Duke Louis of
Wurtemberg married, as an additional wife, his courtesan, Gravenitz,
the “corrupter of the country,” as she is still called in Wurtemberg.
His cousin, Duke Leopold, still excelled him in profligacy, for he
had three wives simultaneously, two of which were sisters. Of his
thirteen children he joined two in marriage. The doings of these
sovereigns caused much comment among their subjects, but that was all.
The marriage of the Duke of Wurtemberg with Graevenitz was annulled
by imperial intervention. But she entered into a mock marriage with
a profligate count, and thereupon remained for twenty years more
the duke’s concubine and the “corrupter of the country.”

2.--Commercialism and the New Marriage Laws.

The increasing power of sovereigns and the formation of larger states
had led to the institution of standing armies. These standing armies
and the extravagant mode of life indulged in at most of the courts,
could not be maintained without heavy taxation, and to make such
taxation possible a large, taxable population was required. Therefore
governments from the eighteenth century on, especially those of the
larger states, adopted measures for increasing the population and
for heightening the taxability of the inhabitants. The foundation
for such measures had been established by the social and economic
transformations referred to above, i. e., the discovery of America,
the discovery of the passage to India, and the circumnavigation
of Africa. This transformation first manifested itself in Western
Europe, but later in Germany also. The newly opened thoroughfare
had created new commercial relations of an extent undreamt of until
then. Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands and England were the first
to profit by the transformation; but France and eventually Germany
also were benefited by it. Of all these countries Germany was most
retarded in development, as a result of the numerous religious wars
and its political disunity. The establishment of a world market and
the constant opening of new markets for the products of European
industry, not only revolutionized the methods of production, but
also revolutionized the views, sentiments and conceptions of the
European nations and their governments. The former mode of production,
destined to supply only the daily needs of a given center and its
immediate vicinity, was superseded by manufacture on a large scale,
which implies the employment of a large number of workers and an
increased division of labor. The merchants possessing large financial
resources and broadness of perception, became the leaders along these
new lines of industry that partly replaced and partly abolished the
old handicrafts and put an end to their guild organization. Thereby a
period had been ushered in which made it possible for woman to resume
her industrial activity. The textile industries; cloth manufactury
and the manufacture of laces opened up to her new fields of activity.
At the close of the eighteenth century we already find 100,000 women
and 80,000 children employed in the textile and printing trades of
England and Scotland, unfortunately under conditions, both in regard
to wages and hours of work, that were simply appalling. Similar
conditions prevailed in France at the same time, where also tens of
thousands of women were employed in various manufactures.

This economic development demanded more people, and as the population
had been greatly diminished by the wars of conquest in Europe
during the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and by
the expeditions of discovery beyond the seas, the more advanced
governments found it necessary to facilitate marriage and the right
of settling. Spain, that by its imperialistic policy had become
greatly depopulated, was obliged as early as 1623 to pass a law
exempting from taxes for a number of years all persons who became
married between the ages of 18 and 25. Poor persons were even given
a dowry from public funds. Parents who had six or more male children
were entirely exempt from taxes. Spain also encouraged immigration
and colonization.

King Louis XIV. of France, who had decimated his people by his
numerous wars, found it necessary to counteract this devastation
by exempting from taxes for from four to five years all taxpayers,
who constituted a great majority of the population, if they became
married before the twentieth or twenty-first year of age. Complete
exemption from taxes was, furthermore, guaranteed to all who had ten
living children, provided that none of these had become a priest, a
monk or a nun. Noblemen having the same number of children, provided
that none of them had become priests, monks or nuns, received an
annual pension of from 1,000 to 2,000 livres. Citizens not subject
to taxation under the same conditions received one-half of this
amount. Marshal Maurice of Saxony even advised Louis XV. not to permit
marriages to be contracted for a longer period than five years.

In Prussia, by laws enacted in the years 1688, 1721, 1726 and
1736, and by various government measures, endeavors were made to
encourage immigration; especially were the immigrants welcomed who
had been subjected to religious persecution in France and Austria.
The theories in regard to population maintained by Frederick the
Great were expressed with brutal frankness in a letter written by
him to Voltaire on the 26th of August 1741. He wrote: “I consider
men as a herd of deer in the deer park of some great lord, having
no other task but to populate the park.” By his wars he certainly
made it necessary to have his deer park repopulated. In Austria,
Wurtemberg and Brunswick immigration was also encouraged and there,
as in Prussia, emigration was forbidden. Furthermore, in the course
of the eighteenth century, England and France removed all obstacles
to marriage and settlement, and other nations followed their example.
During three-fourths of the eighteenth century political economists
as well as the governments considered a large population the greatest
good fortune to the state. Only at the close of the eighteenth and
the beginning of the nineteenth century a reversion of opinion took
place. This was due to economic crises and to warlike and revolutionary
events, that continued during the first half of the nineteenth century,
especially in Germany and Austria. The age at which marriage was
permitted was raised again, and proofs were required showing that the
contracting parties were assured of a certain amount of wealth or a
secure income, and could maintain a given standard of living. To
the destitute, marriage was made impossible, and the municipalities
were given a great influence in determining under what conditions
marriages might be contracted. Occasionally peasants were even
forbidden to build their little homes, or compelled to tear them
down when they had been built without princely permission. Only in
Prussia and Saxony the marriage laws remained comparatively liberal.
Since human nature will not be suppressed, the result of all these
hindrances to marriage was, that in spite of all the harassing and
persecution, illicit relations greatly increased, and that in some
German states the number of illegal children was almost as great as
that of the legal ones. Such was the fruit of a paternal government
that prided itself on its Christian morality.

3.--The French Revolution and the Rise of Industry.

In those days the married woman of the middle class lived in severe
domestic retirement. The number of her domestic duties was so large,
that it was necessary for the conscientious housewife to be at her
post from morning till night, and frequently she could accomplish
all her tasks only with the aid of her daughters. It was necessary
to perform not only those daily domestic tasks that are still
performed by the present-day housekeeper, but also many others from
which modern woman has been freed by the industrial development.
She had to spin, weave and bleach, cut and sew all the garments,
manufacture tallow-candles and soap, and brew the beer. She was
indeed a perfect Cinderella and her only relaxation was going to
church on Sunday. Marriages were contracted only within the same
social circle. A severe and ridiculous caste feeling dominated all
social relations. The daughters were educated in the same spirit
and were maintained in close domestic confinement. Their education
was insignificant, and their intellectual horizon did not extend
beyond the commonplace domestic relations. To this was added an empty
superficial formality, that was supposed to make up for the lack of
intellect and education, making woman’s life a sheer treadmill. The
spirit of the reformation had degenerated into the worst kind of
pedantry; the most natural human desires and the joy of life were
crushed beneath a mass of apparently dignified, but soul-killing
rules of behavior. Emptiness and narrow-mindedness dominated the
middle class, and the lower classes lived under a leaden pressure
and in wretched conditions.

Then came the French revolution. It swept away the old political and
social order in France, and also wafted a breath of its spirit to
Germany, that could not long be resisted. French rule especially had
a revolutionizing effect upon Germany; it swept away what was old
and decrepit or, at least hastened its destruction. Though strenuous
efforts were made during the reactionary period after 1815 to turn
the course of development backward, the new conceptions had become
too powerful and were victorious in the end.

Guild privileges, lack of personal freedom, market privileges and
proscription were gradually laid on the shelf in the more advanced
states. New mechanical inventions and improvements, especially the
invention of the steam engine, and the resultant cheapening of
commodities, provided employment for the masses, including also the
women. Capitalistic industry was born. Factories, railroads and
steamboats were built, mines and foundries, the manufacture of glass
and china, the textile industry in its various branches, manufacture
of tools and machinery, the building trades, etc., rapidly developed.
Universities and polytechnical institutes provided the intellectual
forces required by this evolution. The new class that had come
into existence, the capitalist class, the bourgeoisie, supported
by all those who favored progress, insisted upon the abolition of
conditions that had become untenable. What had been shaken by the
revolution from below during the movement of 1848 and 1849, was
finally abolished by the revolution from above in 1866. Political
unity, according to the desire of the bourgeoisie, was established,
and this was followed by the final overthrow of all the remaining
economic and social barriers. Freedom of trade, right of settlement
and emigration, and the repeal of laws restricting marriage followed,
creating those conditions that capitalism needed for its development.
Besides the workingman, woman was the one to profit chiefly by this
new development, since it opened up to her new avenues and brought
her greater freedom.

Even before the new order had been introduced by the transformations
of the year 1866, several German states had removed a number of
the old, rigid barriers, which caused pedantic reactionaries to
predict the destruction of decency and morality. In 1863 the Bishop
of Mayence, von Ketteler, lamented that “to abolish the existing
barriers to marriage meant the destruction of marriage itself, since
now married couples were enabled to leave each other at will.” This
lament contains the unintentional confession that in modern marriages
the moral bonds are so weak, that man and wife can be kept together
only by force.

Since marriages now were contracted much more frequently than before
this period, a rapid increase of population resulted. This fact, and
the fact that the new, rapidly developing industrial system created
social problems that had not previously existed, caused the fear of
over-population to spring up again, as it did in former periods. It
will be shown what this fear of over-population amounts to; we will
test its true value.

Woman at the Present Day.


Woman as a Sex Being.

1.--The Sexual Impulse.

In present-day bourgeois society woman holds the second place. Man
leads; she follows. The present relation is diametrically opposite
to that which prevailed during the matriarchal period. The evolution
from primitive communism to the rule of private property has primarily
brought about this transformation.

Plato thanked the gods for eight favors they had bestowed upon him.
The first was that he had been born a free-man instead of a slave,
and the second was that he had been born a man instead of a woman. A
similar thought is expressed in the morning prayer of the Jews. They
pray: “Be thou praised God our Lord and Lord of the earth, ~who hast
not created me a woman~.” In the prayer uttered by the Jewish women
the corresponding passage is worded: “~Who hast created me according
to thy will.~” The contrast in the respective positions of the sexes
could not be more forcibly expressed than in this utterance of Plato
and the prayer of the Jews. Man is the real human being according
to numerous passages in the Bible, and both the English and French
languages furnish proofs of this conception, since the word “man”
denotes both male and human being. When speaking of the people we
usually think of men only. Woman is a factor of slight importance,
and man is her master. Men generally consider this state of affairs
quite proper, and the majority of women still accept it as a divine
ordinance. In this prevailing conception the present position of
woman is reflected.

Regardless of the question whether woman is oppressed as a proletarian,
we must recognize that in this world of private property she is
oppressed as a sex being. On all sides she is hemmed in by restrictions
and obstacles unknown to the man. Many things a man may do she is
prohibited from doing; many social rights and privileges enjoyed by
him, are considered a fault or a crime in her case. She suffers both
socially and as a sex being. It is hard to say in which respect she
suffers more, and therefore it only seems natural that many women
wish they had been born men instead of having been born women.

Of all the natural desires that are a part of human life, beside the
desire for food in order to live, the sexual desire is strongest. The
impulse of race preservation is the most powerful expression of the
“will to live.” This impulse is deeply implanted in every normally
developed human being, and upon attaining maturity its satisfaction
is essential to physical and mental welfare. Luther was right when
he said: “He who would thwart the natural impulse, seeks to prevent
nature from being nature, fire from burning, water from moistening,
man from eating and drinking and sleeping.” These words ought to
be engraved above the portals of our churches in which the “sinful
flesh” is so vehemently denounced. No physician or physiologist
could more accurately express the necessity of satisfying the human
desire for love.

If the human organism is to develop normally and healthfully it is
essential that no portion of the human body should be neglected, and
that no natural impulse should be denied its normal satisfaction.
Every organ should perform the functions which it has been destined
by nature to perform, unless the whole organism is to suffer. The
laws of the physical development of man must be studied and observed
as well as the laws of mental development. The mental activity of a
human being depends upon the physiological condition of his organs.
Physical and mental vigor are closely linked. An injury to one has
a detrimental effect upon the other. The so-called animal instincts
are not inferior to mental requirements. Both are products of the
same organism and are mutually interdependent. This applies to both
man and woman. Hence it follows that knowledge of the nature of
the sexual organs is as necessary as that of all other organs, and
that the same attention should be bestowed upon their care. We ought
to know that organs and impulses implanted in every human being
constitute a very important part of our existence, that they as a
matter of fact ~predominate~ during certain periods of life, and
that therefore they must not be objects of secrecy, false shame and
complete ignorance. It follows furthermore that among both men and
women knowledge of the physiology and anatomy of the various organs
and their functions should be as widely diffused as any other branch
of human knowledge. Endowed with an exact knowledge of his physical
nature, man would take a different view of many circumstances. This
knowledge would lead to the removal of many evils that society at
present passes by silently, in solemn awe, but that nevertheless
claim consideration in almost every family. In regard to all other
matters knowledge is considered ~a~ virtue; it is regarded as the
loftiest, most desirable human aim. But we decry knowledge pertaining
to ~those~ matters that are most closely linked with our own “ego”
and are at the bottom of all social development.

Kant says: “Man and woman together form the full and complete human
being; one sex supplements the other.” Schopenhauer says: “The
sexual impulse is the most complete expression of the will to live,
it is the concentration of will”; and long before these Buddha thus
expressed himself: “The sexual impulse is sharper than the prod by
means of which wild elephants are tamed; it is hotter than flames;
it is like an arrow driven into the soul of man.”

Such being the intensity of sexual impulse, it is not to be wondered
at that with both men and women sexual abstinence frequently leads
to serious disorders of the nervous system, and in some cases even
to insanity and suicide. Of course, not all natures manifest an
equally strong sexual impulse. It can also be restrained to a great
extent by education and self-control, especially by avoiding the
stimulant of lewd conversation and literature, alcoholism, etc. It
is held that the sexual impulse is weaker among women than among
men, and that sometimes women even feel revulsion against sexual
contact. But these constitute a small minority whose physiological
and psychological dispositions are peculiarly constituted.

We may say that the manner in which the natural desires of the sexes
are expressed, both in their organic and physical development, in
form and in character, marks the degree of perfection of a human
being, be it man or woman. Each sex has attained its own highest
development. “Among civilized human beings,” says Klenke in his
essay on “Woman as a Wife,” “sexual intercourse is controlled by
moral principles dictated by common sense. But nothing could ever
fully subdue the instinct of race preservation, implanted by nature
in both sexes. Wherever healthy male or female individuals failed
to fulfill this ~duty~, it was ~not of their own free will~, though
they may deceive themselves into believing it, ~but was a result of
social hindrances and restrictions~. These hindrances have impeded
the laws of nature, have stunted the organs, and have transformed
the whole organism into an atrophied type both in appearance and
in character and have caused nervous disorders that bring about
abnormal, pathological conditions of body and mind. The man becomes
effeminate; the woman becomes masculine in form and character, because
the sexual contrast has not been realized; because such particular
human being remained one-sided, failing to attain his own integration,
the full height of his existence.” Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell says in
her essay on “The Moral Education of the Young in Relation to Sex”:
“Sexual impulse exists as an inevitable condition of life and the
foundation of society. It is the greatest power in human nature....
While undeveloped it is not an object of the thoughts, but it remains
nevertheless the ~central force of life~. This inevitable impulse is
the natural guardian against all possibility of destruction.”[44]
Practical Luther has positive advice to offer. He advises: “Let him
who has no desire for chastity look about him for work and turn to
matrimony; a boy at the latest when he is twenty, a girl when she is
fifteen or eighteen years of age. Then they are healthy and skillful
and trust to God to provide for them and their children. God gives
them the children and he will provide for them.” Unfortunately our
social conditions make it impossible to follow Luther’s good advice,
and neither the Christian state nor Christian society believes in
trusting to God to provide for the children.

Science, the views of the philosophers, and Luther’s sound common
sense, all are agreed that man is entitled to normal satisfaction of
those desires that are part and parcel of his very life. If social
institutions or prejudices make this impossible, his development
is hampered thereby. The results are well known to our physicians,
and can be met with in hospitals, insane asylums, prisons, and in
thousands of disrupted families. In a book published in Leipsic we
find the following thought expressed: “Sexual impulse is neither
moral nor immoral; it is simply natural like hunger and thirst.
Nature knows nothing of morality.” But organized society is very
far from recognizing the truth of this sentence.

[44] E. Blackwell, “Essays in Medical Sociology.” Page 177. London,

2.--Celibacy and the Frequency of Suicide.

Among physicians and physiologists it is generally assumed that even
an imperfect marriage is preferable to celibacy, and this assumption
is substantiated by experience. It is a striking fact that the rate
of mortality is lower among married than among unmarried people
(comparing about 1,000 married persons 30 years old with 1,000
unmarried persons of the same age). The difference is especially
marked in the case of men. During some periods of life the rate of
mortality among unmarried men is almost twice as great as that among
married men. Mortality is likewise very great among men who have
become widowers while still young.[45]

It is furthermore claimed that the number of suicides are increased
by unsound sexual relations. In all countries suicides are much more
frequent among men than among women. The following table shows the
ratio in various European countries:

                               Among 100,000      Ratio of
                     During    --suicides.--     female to
                   the years.  Male.  Female.  male suicides.

  Germany          1899–1902   33.0     8.4         25.5
  Austria          1898–1901   25.4     7.0         27.6
  Switzerland      1896–1903   33.3     6.4         19.2
  Italy            1893–1901    9.8     2.4         24.5
  France           1888–1892   35.5     9.7         27.3
  Netherlands      1901–1902    9.3     3.0         32.3
  England          1891–1900   13.7     4.4         32.1
  Scotland         1891–1900    9.0     3.2         35.6
  Ireland             1901      2.3     1.2         52.2
  Norway           1891–1900   10.0     2.5         25.
  Sweden           1891–1900   21.1     8.6         40.8
  Finland          1891–1900    7.8     1.8         21.1
  European Russia  1885–1894    4.9     1.6         32.7

During the years 1898 to 1907 we find the following ratio of suicides
in the German Empire:

  Year.  Total.  Male.  Female.

  1898   10,835  8,544   2,291
  1899   10,761  8,460   2,301
  1900   11,393  8,987   2,406
  1902   12,336  9,765   2,571
  1904   12,468  9,704   2,764
  1907   12,777  9,753   3,024

For each 100 male suicides there were female suicides: During 1898,
26.8; during 1899, 27.2; during 1900, 26.8; during 1904, 28.5;
during 1907, 31. But during the period of life from the fifteenth to
the thirtieth year, the rate of suicide is higher among women than
among men.

The following table shows the ratio between the 15th and 20th, and
between the 21st and 30th year:

                 During    15th to 20th year.  21st to 30th year.
               the years.    Male.  Female.      Male.  Female.

  Prussia      1896–1900      5.3    10.7        16.    20.2
  Denmark      1896–1900      4.6     8.3        12.4   14.8
  Switzerland  1884–1899      3.3     6.7        16.1   21.
  France       1887–1891      3.5     8.2        10.9   14.[46]

The following table shows the ratio of male and female suicides in
Saxony between the 21st and 30th year:

              Men.  Women.

  1854–1868  14.95  18.64
  1868–1880  14.71  18.79
  1881–1888  15.3   22.3

We find an increased number of suicides among widowed and divorced
persons also. In Saxony among divorced men the rate of suicide is
seven times as high, among divorced women three times as high, as
the average rate of suicide among men and women. Also suicide is
more frequent among those widowed or divorced men and women who
are childless. Among the unmarried women who are driven to suicide
between the 21st and 30th year, there are many who have been betrayed
in love or have “gone wrong.” Statistics show that an increase of
illegal births is generally accompanied by an increase of female
suicides. The rate of female suicides between the 16th and 21st year
is exceptionally high, which also points to the conclusion that
ungratified sexual impulse, love-sorrow, secret pregnancy or the
deceit of men constitute frequent causes.

In regard to the position of woman as a sex being, we find the
following thought expressed by Professor Krafft-Ebing[47]: “One source
of lunacy among women that should not be underrated, is their social
position. Woman is by nature more desirous of love than man, at least
in the ideal sense, and she has no honorable means of gratifying this
desire except marriage (Mandsley). Marriage is, furthermore, her only
means of livelihood. Through countless generations her character has
been developed in this direction. Even the little girl is mother
to her doll. Modern life with its increased demands is constantly
diminishing the prospects of satisfaction through marriage. This is
especially true of the upper classes where marriages are contracted
less frequently and later in life.

“While man owing to his greater physical and intellectual force and
his free social position, readily obtains satisfaction of his sexual
impulse, or at least finds an equivalent in some life’s work that
requires all his strength, these paths are barred to the unmarried
women of the upper classes. This leads, consciously or unconsciously,
to dissatisfaction with one’s self and the world and to morbid
brooding. For some time compensation is sought in religion, but in
vain. The religious fanaticism, with or without masturbation, leads to
a number of nervous disorders that frequently culminate in hysteria
or insanity. This explains the fact that unmarried women fall victims
to insanity most frequently between the 25th and 35th year of life.
It is that period when the bloom of youth fades and hope fades with
it; while among men insanity most frequently occurs between the 35th
and 50th year, the period during which the struggle for existence
makes its greatest demands upon their strength.

“It is not a mere coincidence that with the decline in the marriage
rate the question of the emancipation of women is becoming more and
more urgent. I regard it as a signal of distress showing that woman’s
position in modern society is steadily becoming more unbearable. It
is a just demand that woman should be given an equivalent for that
which has been assigned to her by nature and of which she is being
deprived by modern social conditions.”

In speaking of the effect of ungratified sexual impulse on unmarried
women, Dr. H. Ploss says: “It is a noteworthy fact, of interest
not only to the physician but to the anthropologist as well, that
an infallible remedy exists whereby the process of fading bloom,
so manifest in old maids, cannot only be arrested, but the already
vanished bloom of youth can even be reinstated, partly at least,
if not in its entire charm. Unfortunately our social conditions
rarely permit its application. This remedy is a regular, orderly,
sexual intercourse. We can often observe that when an elderly girl
is still fortunate enough to attain matrimony, a marked change in
her appearance takes place shortly after her marriage. Her shape
obtains its former roundness, the roses return to her cheeks, and
her eyes regain their former brightness. Marriage then is a real
fountain of youth to the ~female sex~. Thus nature has its fixed
laws that inexorably demand obedience, and every unnatural mode of
life, every attempt to adapt the organism to conditions of life
that are not in keeping with the laws of nature, inevitably leaves
marked traces of degeneration. This is true of both the animal and
the human organism.”

The question now presents itself: Does society fulfill the demands
for a rational mode of life, especially in the woman’s case? If it
does not, we are confronted by a second question: Can society fulfill
them? If this question also must be answered in the negative, a
third question ensues: How can they be fulfilled?

[45] Dr. G. Schnapper-Arndt: “Social Statistics,” Leipsic, 1908.

[46] H. Krose, “Causes of the Frequency of Suicide.” Freiburg, 1906.

[47] Text-book of Psychiatry--Stuttgart 1883.


Modern Marriage.

1.--Marriage as a Profession.

“Marriage and the family are the foundations of the state. Whoever,
therefore, attacks marriage and the family, is attacking society and
the state and undermining both.” Thus exclaim the defenders of the
present order. Monogamic marriage as has been sufficiently shown,
is the outcome of the system of gain and property that has been
established by bourgeois society, and therefore undoubtedly forms
one of its basic principles. But whether it is adapted to natural
needs and to a healthy development of human society is a different
question. We will show that this marriage, which depends upon the
bourgeois system of property, is a more or less forced relation,
having many disadvantages, and frequently fulfilling its purpose only
insufficiently or not at all. We will, furthermore, show that it is
a social institution which is and remains inattainable to millions
of persons, instead of being a free union founded on love, the only
union suited to nature’s purposes.

John Stuart Mill says in regard to modern marriage: “Marriage is the
only real bondage recognized by law.” According to Kant’s conception
man and woman together constitute the perfect human being. Upon
a normal union of the sexes the healthy development of mankind
depends. Satisfaction of the sexual impulse is essential to the sound
physical and mental development of both man and woman. But man has
gone beyond the animal stage, and so is not contented by the mere
physical satisfaction of his sexual impulse. He requires intellectual
attraction as well, and the existence of a certain harmony between
himself and the person with whom he enters into union. Where such
intellectual harmony fails to exist, the sexual intercourse is
purely mechanical and thereby becomes immoral. Men and women of
refinement demand a mutual attraction that extends beyond their
sexual relations, ~and that shall have an ennobling effect upon the
new beings which may spring from their union~.[48] The fact that
such a standard of ideals fails to exist in countless present-day
marriages caused Varnhagen von Ense to write: “Whatever we saw about
us both of marriages already contracted, and of marriages about to be
contracted, was not likely to implant in us a good opinion of such
unions. On the contrary; the entire institution which is supposed
to be founded on mutual love and respect and is instead founded on
anything but that, seemed coarse and despicable to us, and we fully
agreed with Friedrich Schlegel, whose opinion on this subject we
found expressed in the fragments of ‘Atheneum’: Almost all marriages
are concubinages; they are at best remote approaches to the true
marriage, which should be a blending of two persons into one.” This
is quite in keeping with the views of Kant.

The joy in having progeny and the responsibility toward same makes
the relation of love existing between two persons one of longer
duration. A couple desirous of entering marriage should therefore
carefully consider whether their respective traits of character are
suited to their union. The answer to this grave question ought to
be unbiased. But that is only possible by the exclusion of every
other interest that has no direct bearing on the purpose of the
union, satisfaction of the sexual impulse and propagation of one’s
own personality by means of propagation of the race, guided by a
certain measure of insight that controls blind passion. As these
conditions fail to be observed in a tremendous number of cases in
present-day society, it is evident that modern marriage frequently
fails to fulfill its true object and that we are not justified in
regarding it as an ideal institution.

~How many marriages are contracted on an entirely different basis
than the one described above~ cannot be demonstrated. The parties
concerned like to have their marriage appear different from what
it really is. Here a condition of hypocrisy presents itself, such
as no previous social period has known in a similar degree. The
state, the political representative of society, has no inclination
to institute investigations that would cast an unfavorable light
upon society. The state itself marries its officials and servants
according to maxims ~that cannot be measured by the standard that
should constitute the foundation of true marriage~.

[48] “The sentiments and feelings with which husband and wife approach
one another undoubtedly have a decisive influence upon the effects
of sexual intercourse and transmit certain traits of character upon
the being that is coming into existence.” Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell.
“The Moral Education of the Young in Relation to Sex.”--See also
Goethe’s “Affinity,” where he distinctly shows the effects of the
feelings that prompt two human beings to intimate intercourse.

2.--Decline of the Birthrate.

Marriage, in order to realize the purpose of nature, should be a
union founded on mutual love. But this motive is rarely met with
unalloyed under present conditions. To the great majority of women,
marriage is a means of livelihood that they must obtain at any cost.
On the other hand, a great many men regard marriage from a purely
commercial point of view, weighing and considering its material
advantages and disadvantages. Even those marriages that are not based
on selfish, sordid motives, are frequently marred and broken up by
the harsh realities of life. Only rarely those hopes are realized
that were held by a man and woman prior to their marriage. That is
only natural. For in order to lead a contented married life not
only mutual love and respect are required, but ~economic security~
as well; that is, a certain measure of the necessities and comforts
of life in order to satisfy the needs of man and wife and their
children. Material cares and the cruel struggle for existence are
destructive to marital contentment and happiness. But these material
cares increase with the increasing number of offspring; in other
words, ~the better marriage fulfills its natural object, the greater
become these cares~. The peasant, for instance, takes pleasure in
every new calf that his cow brings forth, he cheerfully counts his
suckling pigs and relates the good news of their arrival to his
neighbors. But he looks somber when a new baby is added to the number
of children that he feels able to support without care--not a large
number, forsooth--and he looks doubly somber if the newly-born babe
has the ill fortune of being a girl.

We may say then that both marriages and births are controlled by
economic conditions. This is especially evident in France where
agriculture is carried on by a division of the land into small lots,
the products of which are not sufficient to support a large family.
The famous, or notorious, French system of having no more than two
children, a system that has developed into a social institution in
France, is the result. In many provinces the population is accordingly
almost stationary, while in others there has been a marked decline.
The same results that the methods of farming have produced in the
rural districts, have been produced in the cities by industry. In
fact, the birthrate is declining even more rapidly in the cities.

The number of births is constantly decreasing in France, in spite of
the fact that the number of marriages is increasing. This is true
not only of France, but of the majority of civilized countries. This
fact points to a development produced by our social conditions that
should make the ruling classes think. In 1881, 937,057 children were
born in France; in 1906, 806,847, and in 1907, only 773,969. In 1907,
163,088 fewer children were born than in 1881. It is a noteworthy
fact that the number of illegitimate births did not decrease. There
were 70,079 of these in 1881; during the period from 1881 to 1890
they attained their highest figure, 75,754, and in 1906 there still
were 70,866. The decline of the birthrate then was confined entirely
to the legitimate births. During the entire century a decline of
the birthrate was noticeable. The following table shows the number
of births for every thousand inhabitants of France during more than
a century:

  1801–1810   332
  1811–1820   316
  1821–1830   308
  1831–1840   290
  1841–1850   273
  1851–1860   262
  1861–1870   261
  1881–1890   239
  1891–1900   221
  1905        206
  1906        206
  1907        197

This represents a decline of 135 births for every thousand inhabitants
from 1801 to 1907. It is natural that this symptom is a cause of
much concern to French statesmen and economists. But the problem is
not confined to France. Since a long time the same phenomenon may
be observed in Germany, especially in Saxony, where the decline of
the birthrate has been even more rapid. In Germany there were the
following number of births for every thousand inhabitants:

  1875   423
  1880   391
  1885   385
  1890   370
  1895   373
  1900   368
  1905   340
  1906   341
  1907   332

The majority of the other European countries present a similar
condition, as the following table shows:

                         For every 1,000 inhabitants.
                     1871     1881     1891     1901
                   to 1880  to 1890  to 1900  to 1905  1907

  England & Wales    35.4     32.5     29.9     28.1   26.3
  Scotland           34.9     32.3     30.2     28.9   27.
  Ireland            26.5     23.4     23.      23.2   23.2
  Sweden             30.5     29.1     27.2     26.1   25.5
  Italy              36.9     37.8     34.9     32.6   31.5
  Austria            39.      37.9     37.1     35.8   35.
  Hungary            44.3     44.0     40.6     37.2   36.
  Belgium            32.3     30.2     39.      27.7   25.7
  Switzerland        30.8     28.1     28.1     28.1   26.8
  Netherlands        36.2     34.2     32.5     31.5   30.

The decline of the birthrate then is a general one, and though France
and Ireland show the lowest figures, the decline is most rapid in
England, Germany and Scotland. We meet with the same phenomenon in
the United States and Australia. The fact presents itself still more
strikingly if we proceed to compare the number of births with the
number of married women between the 15th and 49th year of age:


                    |          DECADES
                    |   1876     1886     1896
                    | to 1885  to 1895  to 1905
  England and Wales |   250      259      203
  Scotland          |   271      255      235
  Ireland           |   250      245      264
  Denmark           |   244      235      217
  Norway            |   262      259      246
  Sweden            |   240      231      219
  Finland           |   259      246      244
  Austria           |   246      250      242
  Hungary           |   234      235      216
  Switzerland       |   239      230      225
  German Empire     |   268      258      243
  Prussia           |   273      265      250
  Bavaria           |   276      263      259
  Saxony            |   267      250      216
  Wurtemberg        |   288      259      262
  Baden             |   266      248      251
  Netherlands       |   293      286      272
  Belgium           |   264      236      213
  France            |   167      150      132
  Italy             |   248      249      232

The above enumerated facts go to prove that the birth of a human
being, “God’s image,” as religious persons say, is, on an average,
estimated below the value of a newly-born domestic animal.

In many respects our views differ but slightly from those of barbarian
people. Among the latter, newly-born children were often killed. This
fate especially befell the girls. Among some living savages the same
custom still prevails. We do not kill the girls; we are too civilized
for that, but frequently we treat them as parias. Man, being the
stronger, everywhere represses woman in the struggle for existence,
and if she still persists in the struggle, she is often persecuted
by the stronger sex as an undesirable competitor. Men of the upper
classes are especially bitter against female competition. Among
workingmen the demand to exclude women from the trades is voiced only
rarely. When a resolution formulating such a demand was presented
at a congress of French workingmen in 1876, it was voted down by
a large majority. Since that time the conviction that the working
woman is a fellow being entitled to equal rights and privileges, has
grown among the class-conscious workingmen of all countries. The
resolutions passed by international workingmen’s congresses prove
this. The class-conscious workingman knows that present industrial
conditions compel woman to enter into competition with man. He also
knows, that an attempt to exclude woman from industry would be as
futile as an attempt to forbid the use of machinery. Therefore he
endeavors to instruct woman in regard to her position in society ~and
to enlist her aid in the struggle for freedom of the proletariat
against capitalism~.

3.--Mercenary Marriage and the Matrimonial Market.

Modern society has undoubtedly advanced beyond any previous stage of
development, but our conceptions concerning the relation of the sexes
has in many respects remained unchanged. In 1876 Prof. L. v. Stein
published a book on “Woman in the Field of Political Economy,” that
is not suited to its title, since it merely draws a very poetically
tinted picture of marriage. But this picture clearly shows the
submissive position of woman in her relation to the “lion,” man.
Stein writes: “Man desires a being who not only loves him but also
understands him. He seeks one who is not only devoted to him, but
whose soft hand smoothes the wrinkles on his forehead; who brings
into his life peace, calm, order, gentle self-control, and all the
many little comforts of life to which he returns daily. He needs
some one to enhance all these things with the inexpressible charm
of womanliness, imparting warmth and joy to his home.”

Beneath this apparent praise of woman lurks her degradation and the
egotism of man. The professor depicts woman as a dainty creature,
endowed nevertheless with the needful knowledge of arithmetic to keep
the household accounts well balanced, caressing like a gentle spring
breeze the master of the house, the ruling lion, and with her soft
hand smoothing the wrinkles from his forehead, that perhaps have
appeared there from brooding over his own stupidity. The professor
depicts woman and marriage such as barely one among a hundred actually

About the many thousand unhappy marriages, about the great number
of women to whom it is never given to attain marriage, and about
the millions of women who must slave beside their husbands from
morning till night to earn their daily bread, he seems to see and
know nothing whatever. All these marriages are stripped of poetry
by the harsh reality of life, more quickly than a careless hand
strips the colored dust from a butterfly’s wing. One glance at those
countless women sufferers would have greatly marred the professor’s
poetically tinted picture. The women he observes only constitute a
small minority, and it is doubtful whether they represent an advanced

There is a frequently quoted saying, that the degree of civilization
attained by a nation may be measured by the position of its women. We
uphold the justice of this saying. But upon applying this standard we
find that our highly lauded civilization does not amount to much. In
his book on the “Subjection of Women”--the title shows the conception
of the position of woman held by the author--John Stuart Mill says:
“Men have become more domesticated. Increasing civilization has put
more fetters on man in regard to woman.” That is true to some extent
wherever an honest marriage relation exists between husband and wife.
But to a considerably large minority it does not apply. Intelligent
men will recognize, that it is to their own advantage, if women are
drawn out into the world from their narrow domestic sphere, and are
given an opportunity to become acquainted with the great problems
of the day. The “fetters” that are thereby placed on him, are not
hard to bear. On the other hand, the question arises whether modern
life has not brought new factors into the matrimonial relation that
are more apt to destroy marriage than any previously known.

Marriage has become an object of material calculation in a marked
degree. The man who wishes to marry, in seeking to obtain a wife, also
seeks to obtain property. That was the chief reason why daughters,
who were at first excluded from the right of inheritance when the
patriarchal system came into power, were at an early period reinstated
to this right. But never before was the marriage market as openly and
cynically displayed as to-day; never before was marriage regarded in
the same degree as a simple speculation, a mere financial transaction.
At present match-making is frequently carried on so shamelessly, that
the often-repeated phrase about the “sanctity of marriage” becomes a
farce. Still, for this fact, as for all others, an explanation can be
found. At no previous time was it so difficult for the great majority
of people to accumulate a modest fortune, as it is at present, and
at no previous time was the striving for a decent livelihood and the
enjoyment of life so general. Those who do not attain the aim they
have set for themselves feel their disappointment all the more keenly,
because all believe to have the same right to enjoyment. No formal
difference of class or caste exists. Everyone hopes to attain some
aim that seems attainable in accordance with his station in life.
But many are called and few are chosen. In order that one may live
in comfort, twenty others must live in want; and in order that one
may revel in luxury, hundreds or thousands must dwell in poverty.
But everyone is eager to be one of the favored few, and accordingly
resorts to all means that are likely to lead him to his goal. One
of the simplest and most accessible means of attaining a privileged
social position is a mercenary marriage. In this way the desire for
money, on the one side, and the desire for social rank and title,
on the other, obtain mutual satisfaction among the upper classes
of society. Here marriage is degraded to a business transaction.
It becomes a conventional union that both sides respect outwardly,
while secretly both all too often follow their own inclinations.[49]

In every large city there are certain places where upon definite
days members of the upper classes come together, chiefly for the
purpose of match-making. Rightly have these reunions been called the
“matrimonial market”; for just as on the stock market, speculation
and barter dominate, and not infrequently fraud and deception enter
into the dealings. Here we find officers of the army, over head and
ears in debt, but possessing some ancient title of nobility; roués,
weakened by a life of debauchery, who seek a wife to nurse them and
hope to mend their shattered health in marriage; manufacturers,
merchants and bankers, who are at the verge of bankruptcy, sometimes
at the verge of imprisonment and who wish to be saved, and public
officials who have prospects of promotion, but are in need of money;
here they come as customers and conclude the marriage bargain. In
these marriages it frequently is deemed quite immaterial whether
the future wife is young or old, pretty or ugly, well-built or
deformed, educated or ignorant, pious or frivolous, a Christian
or a Jewess, provided that she has money. Money redeems all faults
and compensates for the lack of anything else. According to the
German law, procurers are severely punished by imprisonment. But
when parents or guardians barter their children or relatives to
some unloved man or woman for life, for the sake of wealth, social
position or some other advantage, no public prosecutor may interfere,
and yet a crime has been committed. There are many well-organized
matrimonial agencies, and any number of procurers and procuresses
who are searching candidates for the “sacred wedded state.” These
transactions are especially profitable when performed in the interest
of members of the upper classes. In 1878 a procuress was tried in
Vienna who had been accused of being an accomplice in murder, and
was finally sentenced to fifteen years’ imprisonment. Among other
things the trial revealed that the former French ambassador to
Vienna, Count Banneville, had paid this woman 22,000 guilders for
procuring a wife for him. Other members of the aristocracy were also
involved in this trial. For years the authorities had permitted this
woman to ply her criminal trade unmolested. In the capital of the
German Empire similar occurrences were reported. They are met with
wherever there are persons seeking to contract mercenary marriages.
During the last few decades the daughters and heiresses of American
millionaires have become special objects of desire to the pauperized
European nobility. These American women, on the other hand, have
exchanged their millions for the rank and title that are unknown
in their own country. A number of communications, published in the
German press during the fall of 1889, contained some characteristic
information on this subject. According to this a German nobleman
living in California had offered his services as a match-maker by
advertising in German and Austrian papers. The offers he received
in return clearly show the conceptions prevailing in the circles
concerned, in regard to the sanctity of marriage and its ethical side.
Two Prussian army officers, members of an ancient nobility, sought
his services, and frankly stated as the reason of their doing so, the
fact, that together they owed over 15,000 dollars. In their letter
to the procurer they literally wrote: “It is self-understood that we
cannot pay anything in advance. You will receive your remuneration
immediately after the wedding journey. Only recommend ladies to us
whose families are in no wise objectionable. We would also consider
it very desirable to meet ladies who are particularly good-looking.
If required, we will give your agent our photographs, who can also
give us further details, show us the ladies’ photographs, etc. We
regard this whole transaction as an affair of ~honor~ (!) and expect
the same of you. We expect an early reply through your agent on this

                                              “Baron v. M........
                                              “Baron v. W........
               “Berlin, Frederick St. 107, Dec. 15, 1889.”

A young German nobleman, Hans v. H...... wrote from London that he
were five foot ten, of ancient nobility, and employed in diplomatic
service. He confessed that his fortune had been greatly diminished
by unsuccessful betting at the races, and that he was therefore
compelled to seek a rich wife. “I am prepared,” he wrote, “to come to
the United States immediately.” The German-American nobleman asserted
that besides a number of counts, barons, etc., he had counted among
his customers three princes and sixteen dukes. Some men who were not
the proud possessors of a title bargained for American heiresses
likewise. An architect, Max W. from Leipsic, asked for a fiancée who
must be rich, beautiful and cultured. A young manufacturer, Robert D.,
from Kehl on the Rhine, wrote that he would content himself with a
fiancée owning 100,000 dollars, and promised in advance that he would
make her happy. But we need not look far to find further instances
of this sort. We need but glance at the matrimonial advertisements
in many of our capitalistic papers to recognize them as the outward
signs of degrading views. The prostitute who plies her trade as a
result of bitter need is morally superior to these marriage seekers.
The editor of a Socialist paper who should venture to publish such
advertisements would be expelled from his party. The capitalistic
press does not hesitate to publish such advertisements, because they
pay. But that does not prevent this same press from railing against
the Socialistic principles as being destructive of marriage. No age
has been more hypocritical than ours. Most of these newspapers are
nothing more or less than matrimonial agencies. One might fill entire
pages with clippings taken from leading newspapers on a single day.
Sometimes the interesting fact is revealed, that even ministers are
sought in this way and that ministers also resort to this method
to seek wives. Sometimes the applicants even consent to overlook a
moral blemish, provided that the girl is rich. The moral degradation
of certain strata of society could not be more vividly exposed than
by this sort of marriage.

[49] For the sake of completeness we must also mention marriage for
political reasons as contracted in the highest circles. In these
marriages the right is also silently conceded to the man to follow
his own inclinations outside of his marriage. There was a time when
rulers considered it good form, a sort of royal attribute, to have
at least one mistress. Thus, according to Sherr, King Frederick
William I. of Prussia, otherwise noted for his temperate life,
maintained an intimate relation with the wife of a general. It is
well known that King August of Poland and Saxony had almost 300
illegitimate children, and that King Victor Emanuel of Italy left 32
illegitimate children. In the picturesquely situated little capital
of a German principality there still stood not many years ago about
a dozen beautiful villas that had been erected by the ruler for his
abdicated mistresses. One might write volumes on this subject; in
fact, an extensive collection of books exists that deal mainly with
these piquant occurrences. In view of these facts it is indeed very
necessary that sycophantical historians should strive to present the
various fathers and mothers of their countries as models of domestic
virtue, as faithful husbands and devoted mothers. The augurs are not
yet extinct, they fatten, as in the days of Rome, upon the ignorance
of the masses.


Disruption of the Family.

1.--Increase of Divorce.

The part played by church and state in this sort of “sacred marriage”
is not a worthy one. The state official or the officiating clergyman
whose task it is to perform the marriage ceremony, never pauses to
consider by what methods the couple he is about to join in wedlock
have been brought together. It may be quite evident, that the two
are in no wise mated either in regard to their ages or in regard to
physical and mental qualities; the bride may, for instance, be twenty
and the groom seventy, or vice versa; the bride may be beautiful and
full of vitality, the groom may be old, cross and inflicted with
infirmities, it makes no difference to the representative of state
and church. The marriage is consecrated, and the consecration is
most solemn in character where the monetary reward for this “holy
function” is most generous. But when such a marriage turns out to be
an exceedingly unhappy one, as could have been foreseen by anybody,
and frequently was foreseen by the unfortunate victim itself--the
woman generally being the victim--and when one or the other party
then seeks separation, both church and state place the greatest
difficulties in their way. Yet neither church nor state questioned
in advance whether love and moral sentiments, or shameless, coarse
egotism brought about the union. Moral revulsion is not considered
sufficient cause for separation; obvious proofs are demanded, proofs
that will degrade one or the other party in public opinion, to make
divorce possible. That the Catholic Church does not permit divorce
at all, except by special permission from the pope, which is very
hard to obtain, makes conditions particularly unfavorable among the
Catholic population. The German code of civil law has also made
divorce much more difficult. Thus divorce by mutual consent, that
had been permitted by Prussian law, was abolished. Many divorces
had been granted under this law, some for more serious reasons that
were concealed out of regard for the guilty party. In Berlin, for
instance, there were 5,623 divorces from 1886 until 1892; 1,400 of
these, approximately 25 per cent., were granted upon mutual consent.
In many cases divorce is granted only then, when the party seeking
divorce does so within six months after discovery of the cause for
divorce. According to Prussian law, the time limit is one year. Take,
for example, that a young wife discovers soon after her marriage, that
she is tied to a man who is no husband to her at all. It is asking a
great deal that she should determine on divorce within six months,
a step that requires a considerable amount of moral strength. To
justify the increased difficulty in divorce, the following argument
is advanced: “Only by making divorce increasingly difficult, can the
advancing disruption of the family be counteracted and the family
bonds be strengthened.” This argument is a contradiction in itself. A
disrupted marriage is not made bearable by forcing husband and wife
to continue living together in spite of their inward estrangement
and mutual aversion. A condition of this sort, maintained by law, is
profoundly immoral. The result is that in a large number of cases
adultery is made a cause for divorce, since this cause cannot be
ignored by the law; neither the state nor society are improved
by this process. It must also be regarded as a concession to the
Catholic Church, that in many cases separation takes the place of
divorce which was formerly not the case according to civil law. It
is no longer considered a cause for divorce, when through the fault
of the one party, a marriage remains childless. The new German code
of civil law contains the following paragraph: “The religious duties
in regard to marriage are not touched upon in the rules laid down
in this paragraph.” This likewise is a concession to the church. It
is merely ornamental in character, but it is characteristic of the
spirit still prevailing in Germany at the beginning of the twentieth
century. For our purposes the admission is important, that divorce
was made more difficult to counteract the advancing disruption of
the family.

Human beings then remain chained to one another for lifetime against
their will. One party becomes a slave to the other and is forced in
fulfillment of “matrimonial duties,” to endure intimate embraces
that perhaps seem more loathsome than harsh words and ill treatment.
Rightly Mantegazza says: “There is no greater torture than to suffer
the caresses of an unloved person....”[50] Is such marriage not
worse than prostitution? Even the prostitute has a certain degree
of liberty of withdrawing from her abominable trade, and if she is
not the inmate of a public brothel, she may refuse herself to a man
she does not wish for some reason or other. But a woman sold in
marriage must endure the embraces of her husband, even though she
have a hundred reasons to hate and despise him.

If the marriage has been contracted from the outset and by mutual
understanding, as a mere marriage of convenience, matters are not
quite as bad. Mutual obligations are considered and a bearable
mode of life is found. Scandal is avoided, especially out of
consideration for the children, where such exist; and yet it must
be said that the children are the ones to suffer most when their
parents lead a cold, indifferent life, devoid of love, even if it
does not deteriorate into a life of open hostility. More frequently
yet an agreement is accomplished to avoid material loss. Usually
the husband’s misbehavior is the cause of trouble in marriage; that
may be seen from the divorce cases. When a man remains dissatisfied
with his marriage his domineering position enables him to find
compensation elsewhere. The woman is far less inclined to go astray,
firstly because physiological reasons make a transgression much more
dangerous in her case, and secondly because when she is the one to
break the marital vow, it is considered a crime that society will
not condone. The woman alone--be she wife, widow or maiden--has
“fallen”; the man, when he commits the same sin, has, at the worst,
behaved with impropriety. The same action then is judged by entirely
different standards, according to whether it has been committed by
a man or by a woman, and the women themselves are often most bitter
and unmerciful in their condemnation of a “fallen” sister.[51]

As a rule, women will seek divorce only in cases of flagrant infidelity
or gross ill-treatment, because they are in a dependent position
and are obliged to regard marriage as a means of subsistence; also
because the social position of a divorced woman is not an enviable
one. She is regarded and treated more or less as a cipher. If in
spite of all this women constitute the majority of plaintives in
divorce cases, this goes to prove what moral tortures they must
endure. In France, even before the introduction of the new divorce
laws, by far the most proceedings for separation were instituted
by women. Until 1884 a woman in France could sue for divorce only
in case her husband brought the woman with whom he maintained an
intimate relation into the domicile of his wife against her will.
Thus proceedings for separation were instituted annually by:

             Women.  Men.

  1856–1861  1,729   184
  1861–1866  2,135   260
  1866–1871  2,591   330
  1901–1905  2,368   591

Not only were the majority of proceedings instituted by women, the
figures also show that their number steadily increased. By information
gathered from reliable sources it may be seen, that elsewhere also the
greater number of actions for divorce and separation are instituted
by women, as the following table shows:[52]



                     During                        Husbands
                   the years.  Husbands.  Wives.  and wives.

  Austria          1893–1897      4.4       5.0      90.6
  Roumania         1891–1895     30.6      68.9       0.5
  Switzerland      1895–1899     26.4      45.4       8.2
  France           1895–1899     40.0      59.1        ..
  Baden            1895–1899     36.0      59.1       4.9
  England & Wales  1895–1899     60.4      39.6        ..
  Scotland         1898–1899     43.3      56.7        ..


  Austria          1897–1899      4.9      16.6      78.5
  France           1895–1899     15.9      84.1        ..
  England & Wales  1895–1899      3.0      97.0        ..
  Scotland         1898–1899       ..     100.         ..

In the United States, where the divorce statistics cover a period
of forty years, we find the following ratio:

         1867–1886.  P. C.  1887–1906.  P. C.   1906.  P. C.

  Men     112,540    34.2    316,149    33.4   23,455  32.5
  Women   216,176    65.8    629,476    66.6   48,607  67.5
  Total   328,716     100    945,625     100   72,062   100

The above table shows that in more than two-thirds of all divorce
cases women were the plaintiffs.[53]

In Italy we find a similar ratio. During 1887 there were 1,221 divorce
cases; 593 of these were instituted by wives, 214 by husbands, 414
by both husbands and wives. In 1904 there were 2,103 cases; 1,142
by wives, 454 by husbands, and 507 by both.

Statistics teach us that the majority of divorces are sought by
women, and they furthermore teach us that the number of divorces is
rapidly increasing. Since the introduction of the new divorce law
in France in 1884, the divorces have increased from year to year,
as follows:

  Years     1884.  1885.  1890.  1895.  1900.   1905.   1906.   1907.
  Divorces  1,657  4,123  6,557  7,700  7,820  10,019  10,573  10,938

In Switzerland, too, the divorce-rate is increasing. From 1886 to 1890
there were 882 divorces. From 1891 to 1895 there were 898 divorces;
in 1897, 1,011; in 1898, 1,018; in 1899, 1,091; in 1905, 1,206; in
1906, 1,343. In Austria during 1899 there were 856 divorces and 133
separations. In 1900 there were 1,310 divorces and 163 separations.
In 1905 there were 1,885 divorces and 262 separations. The number
of divorces and separations have been doubled during a decade. In
Vienna there were 148 divorces in 1870 and 1871; they increased with
each succeeding year until in 1878 and 1879 there were 319 cases.
Vienna being a Catholic city, divorces are not easily obtained.
Nevertheless, a Viennese judge exclaimed during the eighties: “The
charge of broken marriage vows is as frequent as the charge of broken

The following shows the increasing divorce-rate in the United States:

  Years     1867.   1886.   1895.   1902.   1906.
  Divorces  9,937  25,535  40,387  61,480  72,062

If the number of divorces in relation to the population had remained
the same in 1905 as in 1870, the exact number of divorces in 1905
would have been 24,000, and not 67,791, as actually was the case. The
total number of divorces from 1867 to 1886 was 328,716; from 1887
to 1906, 945,625. The United States have the highest divorce-rate.
For every thousand marriages there were the following number of
divorces: In 1870, 81; in 1880, 107; in 1890, 148; in 1900, 200.
Why is divorce more frequent in the United States than in any other
country? Firstly, because in some of the states the divorce laws are
less rigorous than in most of the other countries, and, secondly,
~because women enjoy a freer, more independent position than in any
other country of the world, and are accordingly less willing to
submit to the tyranny~ of husbands.

The following shows the number of divorces in Germany from 1891 to

  Y: Years
  D: Divorces

  Y  1891.  1892. 1893.  1894.  1895.  1896.  1897.  1898.  1899.  1900.
  D  6,678  6,513 6,694  7,502  8,326  8,601  9,005  9,143  9,563  7,928

We see that from 1899 to 1900, the number of divorces have decreased
by 1,635, because on the first of January, 1900, the new code of civil
law went into effect which made divorce more difficult. But life is
stronger than law. After there was a decrease in the divorce-rate
from 1900 to 1902, there has been a rapid increase ever since, as
the following table shows:

  Years     1901.  1902.  1903.   1904.   1905.   1906.   1907.
  Divorces  7,964  9,069  9,933  10,868  11,147  12,180  12,489

In Saxony, too, in spite of various fluctuations, there has been a
steady increase, as may be seen from the following table:

                        For each 1,000
  Years.     Divorces.    marriages.

  1836–1840      356         121
  1846–1850      395         121
  1871–1875      581         122
  1891–1895      921         138
  1896–1900    1,130         151
  1901–1905    1,385         168

For each thousand marriages in Prussia there were the following
number of divorces: 1881 to 1885, 67.62; 1886 to 1890, 80.55; 1891
to 1895, 86.77; 1896, 101.97; 1905, 106; 1908, 121. That is a
tremendous increase. The increase of divorce is not a national but
an international symptom. For each thousand marriages there were
the following number of divorces in:

                                                        At the close
                   1876–1880.  1881–1885.  1886–1890.  of the century.

  Austria               ..        19.4        19.7           31.
  Hungary             31.6        30.4        30.5           58.
  Roumania            37.3        52.3        73.1           98.
  Italy               11.8        11.3        10.6           15.
  France              33.9        75.9        80.9          129.
  England & Wales      6.5         7.4         7.            10.6
  Scotland            12.3        13.         16.7           26.
  Ireland              0.6         0.4         1.1            1.
  Belgium             25.5        31.9        43.            72.
  Netherlands           ..          ..          ..           78.
  Norway              13.9        12.1        19.3           33.
  Sweden              28.5        28.6        31.6           45.
  Finland             16.1         7.8        10.0           29.
  Switzerland        220.        200.        188.           199.9

It would be a great mistake to draw conclusions from these widely
diverging figures about the moral status of the various countries
enumerated above. No one would claim, that cause for divorce is four
times greater among the Swedish people than among the English people.
The laws must be taken into consideration that make divorce more or
less difficult as the case may be.[54] The moral status, that is, the
causes making divorce appear desirable to either man or woman, are a
secondary consideration. But the figures show, that the divorce-rate
is increasing more rapidly than the population; that is ~increasing~,
in fact, ~while the marriage-rate is decreasing~. We will return
to this phase of the question later on. Great differences of age
between husband and wife play a considerable part in divorce. That
is shown by the following table gathered from official statistics
in Switzerland:


                                  1881–1890.  1891–1900.

  Man older; 26 years and more       271         328
  Man older; 11 to 25 years          189         198
  Man older; 1 to 10 years           193         181
  Husband and wife of same age       195         190
  Man younger; 1 to 10 years         226         226
  Man younger; 11 to 25 years        365         431
  Man younger; 26 years and more     759         870

The following statistics from Saxony during 1905 and 1906, and from
Prussia from 1895 to 1905, show the divorce-rate in its relation to
the various strata of society:


                                          Saxony.  Prussia.

  Agriculture                                59       34
  Industry                                  220      158
  Commerce                                  297      229
  Public service and learned professions    346      165

In Saxony divorces were most frequent among officials and professional
men. In Prussia they were most frequent among those employed in
commerce. In Saxony those employed in commerce came second; in Prussia,
officials and professional men. Men employed in industry come third;
220 in Saxony, and 158 in Prussia. Those employed in agriculture
furnished the lowest figures. When we compare the growing number of
divorces in the cities with those among the rural population, we
are led to the conclusion that the rapid development of industry,
accompanied by an increasing instability of public life, makes the
marriage relation more unfavorable, and adds to the factors that
make for the disruption of marriage. On the other hand, the growing
divorce-rate shows, that the number of women are increasing who
resolve to cast off a yoke that has become unbearable.

[50] The Physiology of Love.

[51] Alexander Dumas correctly says in “Monsieur Alphonse”: “Man
has created two standards of morality: one for himself, and one for
woman, one that permits him to love all women, and another that
permits woman as a compensation for her lost freedom, to be loved
by but one man.” See also Marguerite’s self-accusation in “Faust.”

[52] George v. Mayer: “Statistics and Social Science.”

[53] Marriage and Divorce. 1887–1906. Bureau of the Census,
Bulletin 96, p. 12. Washington, D. C., 1908.

[54] In England divorce is a privilege enjoyed by the rich. The cost
of a trial is so exorbitant, that divorce becomes almost impossible
to people of moderate means, especially as it necessitates a journey
to London. In the whole country there is only one divorce court,
which is situated in London.

2.--Bourgeois and Proletarian Marriage.

The corruption of marriage increases at the same rate at which the
struggle for existence grows more severe, making matrimony more
and more an object of mercenary speculation. As it is becoming
increasingly difficult to support a family, many men choose to
refrain from marrying, and so the declamations about it being woman’s
duty to practice her natural profession of wifehood and motherhood,
are just so many ~meaningless phrases~. On the other hand, these
conditions are bound to foster illegitimate relations and to increase
the number of prostitutes; they also increase the number of those
who fall victims to an unnatural satisfaction of the sexual impulse.

Among the ruling classes the wife is frequently degraded, just as she
was in ancient Greece, to the mere functions of bearing legitimate
children, acting as housekeeper, or serving as nurse to a husband
ruined by a life of debauchery. For his amusement, or to gratify
his desire for love, the man maintains courtesans or mistresses who
live in elegance and luxury. Others who do not have the means of
maintaining mistresses, associate with prostitutes during marriage
as before marriage, and a number of wives are sufficiently corrupted
to consider such relations quite proper.[55]

In the upper and middle classes of society the chief evil in marriage
is its mercenary character. But this evil is still heightened by
the mode of life that prevails among these classes. That applies
to the women as well as to the men, since they frequently lead
lives of idleness or devote themselves to corrupting occupations.
The society woman’s spiritual nourishment usually consists of the
following: Reading ambiguous novels, visiting frivolous plays,
enjoying sensuous music, resorting to intoxicating stimulants, and
indulging in scandal-mongering. Idleness and ennui frequently entice
her into love-intrigues, that are sought more eagerly still by the
men of her circles. In the mad pursuit of pleasure she rushes from
one banquet and entertainment to another, and in summer she goes to
watering-places and summer resorts to rest from the exertions of the
winter and to seek new amusement. Scandals are a daily occurrence
with this mode of life; men seduce and women allow themselves to be

Among the lower classes mercenary marriage is practically unknown.
The workingman generally marries for love, but nevertheless many
harmful and destructive influences exist in the proletarian marriage
also. Blessed with many children, cares and worries ensue, and all
too often bitter poverty prevails. Disease and death are frequent
guests in the proletarian family, and unemployment heightens the
misery. Many are the factors that lessen the workingman’s income and
frequently deprive him of that meagre income altogether. Hard times
and industrial crises throw him out of employment; the introduction of
new machinery or of new methods of production, makes him superfluous;
wars, unfavorable tariff and commercial treaties, the imposition of
new indirect taxes, or black-listing by his employers as a result
of his political convictions, destroy his means of subsistence or
gravely injure them. From time to time one or another thing occurs
that entails a longer or shorter period of unemployment with its
accompanying misery and starvation. Uncertainty is the mark of his
existence. Such vicissitudes are productive of ill temper and bitter
feelings that most frequently lead to outbursts in domestic life
where demands are made daily and hourly that cannot be satisfied.
This leads to quarrels and harsh words and eventually to a rupture
in the marriage relation.

Frequently both husband and wife must work for a living. The children
are left to themselves or to the care of older brothers and sisters,
who are still in need of care and education themselves. The noon-day
meal, usually of the poorest quality, is devoured in utmost haste,
provided that the parents have time to come home for this meal. In
the majority of cases this is impossible, owing to the distances
between homes and factories and to the brevity of the time allowed
for rest. Weary and worn, both parents return at night. Instead of a
cheerful, pleasant home to come to, theirs is only a small, unsanitary
dwelling, frequently wanting in fresh air and light and devoid of
the most elementary comforts. The scarcity of available lodgings
with all the resulting evils, is one of the darkest phases of our
social system that leads to countless vices and crimes. In spite of
all attempts at relief, the housing problem is becoming more serious
every year in all the larger centers of industry; and other strata of
society, such as professional people, clerks, officials, teachers,
small dealers, etc., are affected by it. The workingman’s wife who
returns to her “home” at night exhausted from a day’s hard labor,
must begin work anew. She must toil in feverish haste to attend to
the most necessary details of housekeeping. After the children have
been put to bed, she still continues to mend and sew until far into
the night. Rest and recuperation are unknown to her. The man often
is ignorant and the woman still more so, and the little they have to
say to one another is quickly said. The man goes to a saloon where
he at least finds some of the comforts that he lacks at home; he
drinks, and no matter how little he spends, he is spending too much
for his income. Sometimes he falls a victim to the vice of gambling,
that claims many victims in the upper strata of society also, and
then still loses more than he spends on drink. Meanwhile the woman
is brooding at home full of grudge. She must toil like a beast of
burden, there is no rest or recreation for her; but the man enjoys
the liberty that is his, just because he had the good fortune of
having been born a man. Thus discord arises. If the woman is less
conscientious; if she, too, seeks pleasure and diversion when she has
returned from a hard day of work, to which she is surely entitled,
her household goes to ruin and the misery becomes greater still.
Nevertheless, we are living in “the best of worlds.”

Thus marriage is constantly being disrupted among the proletariat
also. Even favorable periods of employment often have a detrimental
influence, for they involve over-time work and sometimes also work on
Sunday, thereby depriving the worker of the little time he is able to
devote to his family. Often the distances from the workingmen’s homes
to their places of employment are so great, that they must leave at
day-break, when the children are still soundly asleep, and do not
return until late at night when they are sleeping again. Thousands
of workingmen, especially those connected with the building trades,
remain away from home during the entire week and only return to
their families on Saturday night. How can family relations prosper
under such conditions?! At the same time the number of women workers
is constantly growing, especially in the textile industries, for
thousands of spinning-machines and power-looms are being tended by
women and children, whose labor is cheap. Here matrimonial relations
have been reversed. While the wife and the children go to the factory,
the unemployed man not infrequently, remains at home performing the
domestic duties. “In a number of cloth factories in Chemnitz we find
women who are employed there only during the winter months, because
their husbands who are road-builders, masons or carpenters, earn
little or nothing in winter. During the absence of the women, the
men attend to the housekeeping.”[56] In the United States, where
capitalism has developed so rapidly, that all its evils are manifest
on a much larger scale than in the industrial countries of Europe,
a characteristic name has been coined for this state of affairs.
Industrial centers where women are mainly employed while men remain
at home, have been called “she-towns.”[57]

At present it is generally conceded that women should be admitted to
all trades. Capitalistic society in its mad chase of profits has long
since recognized, that women can be more profitably exploited than
men, since they are by nature more pliant and meek.[58] Accordingly
the number of trades in which women may find employment are increasing
with every year. The constant improvement of machinery, the simplifying
of the process of labor by an increased division of labor, and the
competitive warfare among individual capitalists, as also among rival
industrial countries--all favor the steady increase of woman labor.
The phenomenon is common to all industrially advanced countries. As
the number of women in industry increases, the competition between
them and the male workers grows more severe. The reports of factory
inspectors and statistical investigations prove this.

The position of women is especially unfavorable in those trades in
which they predominate as, for instance, the clothing trades, and
particularly in those branches in which the workers perform the work
in their own home. Investigations concerning the condition of women
workers in the manufacture of underwear and the clothing trades,
were made in Germany in 1886. This investigation showed among other
things that the miserable pay these workers received frequently
drove them to prostitution.

Our Christian government, whose Christianity is sought in vain where
it is really needful, but is met with where it is superfluous--our
Christian government is like our Christian bourgeoisie, whose
interests it serves. This government finds it exceedingly difficult
to decide upon the enactment of laws which would limit the work of
women to a bearable degree and prohibit child-labor entirely. This
same government also fails to grant a normal work-day and sufficient
rest on Sundays to its own employees, thereby harming their family
relations. Frequently men employed in the mail and railroad service
and in prisons must work many hours overtime without receiving
adequate remuneration.

As the rents are also far too high in comparison with the incomes of
the workers, they must content themselves with the poorest quarters.
Lodgers of one sex or the other, sometimes of both, are taken into
the workingman’s home.[59] Old and young of both sexes live together
in a small space and frequently witness the most intimate relations.
How modesty and decency fare under such conditions, has been shown
by horrible facts. The increasing demoralization and brutalization
of the young that is being discussed so much, is partly due to these
conditions. Child-labor, too, has the worst possible influence on
children, both physically and morally.

The increasing industrial activity of married women has the most
detrimental effect during pregnancy and at child-birth and during the
early babyhood of the children, when they depend upon the mother for
nourishment. During pregnancy it may lead to a number of diseases
that are destructive to the unborn child and harmful to the organism
of the woman, and bring about premature births and still-births. When
the child has been born, the mother is compelled to return to the
factory as soon as possible, lest some one else take her place. The
inevitable result for the poor, little babes is neglect and improper
or insufficient nourishment. They are given opiates to be kept quiet;
and as a further result of all this, they perish in masses or grow
up sickly and deformed. It means race degeneration. Frequently the
children grow up without ever having experienced real parental love.
Thus proletarians are born, live and die; and society and the state
marvel at it that brutality, immorality and crime are increasing.

During the sixties of the last century the cotton industry in
England almost came to a standstill, as a result of the Civil War
that was being waged in the United States. Accordingly, thousands
of working-women were unemployed, and among them physicians made
the astounding observation, that in spite of the existing want,
infant mortality was ~decreasing~. The reason was that the babies
now were being nursed by their mothers and more care was bestowed
on them than ever before. During the crisis of the seventies of the
last century similar observations were made in the United States,
especially in New York and Massachusetts. Unemployment enabled the
women to devote more time to their children. The same fact was noted
during the general strike in Sweden in August and September of 1909.
The mortality in Stockholm and other large Swedish cities had not
been as low for many years as during the weeks of this giant strike.
One of the eminent medical authorities of Stockholm declared that
the low rate of mortality and the general state of good health was
in close connection with the great strike. He pointed out that the
out-of-door life which was being led by the army of strikers was
chiefly responsible for this satisfactory state of health, for no
matter how extensive the sanitary regulations might be, the air in
the factories and workshops was always more or less detrimental to
the health of the workers. The same medical authority pointed out,
furthermore, that the prohibition of the sale of intoxicating drinks
during the great strike, also tended to improve the state of health.

Domestic industry, which is depicted so alluringly by the romancers
among political economists, is not more favorable to the workers.
Here man and wife both toil from dawn to darkness and the children
are trained as helpers from their earliest childhood on. The entire
family and perhaps some assistants live together in closest quarters
among rubbish and disagreeable odors. The bedrooms are similar to the
workshop, usually small, dark spaces with insufficient ventilation,
detrimental to the health of the persons who are obliged to sleep
in them.

The struggle for existence that is growing increasingly difficult,
also sometimes compels men and women to commit acts that they would
loathe under different circumstances. It was shown in 1877 in Munich
that among the prostitutes entered on lists by the police, there
were no less than 203 wives of workingmen and mechanics. Many more
married women are driven to occasional prostitution by need, without
submitting to police control that deeply degrades all modesty and
human dignity.

[55] In his book on “The Woman Question in the Middle Ages,” that I
have frequently quoted, Buecher laments the dissolution of marriage
and the family. He condemns the employment of women in industry, and
demands that woman should return to her “particular sphere,” the
only one where she creates “real values,” the home and the family.
The aims of the modern woman movement appear “amateurish” to him,
and he expresses the hope that “a better way may be found.” But he
fails to point out a successful way. From his bourgeois point of
view it would be impossible to do so. The matrimonial conditions as
also the position of women in general, are not the result of wilful
creation. They are the natural product of social evolution, and this
social evolution is consummated in accordance with inherent laws.

[56] Technics and Political Economy.

[57] The following clipping taken from an American newspaper in
1893 gives an adequate description of a “she-town”: “A singularity
that is met with in the factory towns of Maine, is a class of men
who may rightly be called housekeepers. Any one visiting some of
these workers’ homes shortly after the noon hour, will find the
men, wearing an apron, washing dishes. At other hours of the day
they may be seen making the beds, dressing the children, scrubbing
or cooking.... These men do the housekeeping for the simple reason
that their wives can earn more in the factories than they, and it is
more economical for them to remain at home while the women work.”

[58] “Mr. E., a manufacturer, informs me that he employs only women
at his power-looms. He prefers married women and especially those
who have a family at home depending upon them. They are much more
attentive and docile than unmarried women, and are obliged to exert
themselves to the utmost in order to earn the necessary means of
subsistence. Thus the peculiar virtues of woman’s character are turned
to her own detriment, and the gentleness and decency of her nature
become a means of her enslavement.” From an address by Lord Ashley
on the ten-hour bill, 1844.--Karl Marx, “Capital,” second edition.

[59] The Prussian census of 1900 has shown that in Prussia there are
3,467,388 persons not related to the families in whose midst they
live. In the entire state about one-quarter of these non-related
members of the households consisted of strange boarders and lodgers;
in the rural districts they constituted only one-seventh, but
in the cities one-third, and in the capital, Berlin, more than
one-half.--G. v. Mayer, “Statistics and Social Science.”


Marriage as a Means of Support.

1.--Decline of the Marriage Rate.

When we consider the conditions enumerated above, it requires no
further proof to recognize that a growing number of persons do
not regard the wedded state as a desirable goal, but hesitate to
enter into it. This explains the phenomenon, that in most civilized
countries the marriage rate is stationary or declining. It was a
matter of old experience, that an increase in the price of grain
had a detrimental effect on both the marriage and birth rates. With
the growing industrial development of any country the marriage and
birth rates are influenced more and more by the ups and downs of
the market. Economic crises and a lowering of the general economic
standard have a lasting unfavorable influence. This may be seen
from the marriage statistics of various countries. According to the
latest census, 12,832,044 marriages were contracted in the United
States during the period from 1887 to 1906.

  1887   483,096
  1891   562,412
  1892   577,870
  1893  ~578,673~
  1894  ~566,161~
  1902   746,733
  1903   786,132
  1904  ~781,145~
  1905   804,787
  1906   853,232

These figures show that as a result of the crises during 1893 and
1894, the marriage rate declined by 12,512. The same phenomenon recurs
in 1904, during which year the marriage rate declined by 4987. The
following table shows marriage statistics gathered in France:

  1873–1877   299,000
  1878–1882   281,000
  1883–1887   284,000
  1888–1892   279,000
  1893–1897   288,000
  1898–1902   296,000
  1903–1907   306,000

The marriage rate attained its highest figure, 321,238, during the year
1873. From that time on the marriage rate declined only to increase
again with times of prosperity. In France the highest marriage rate
since 1873 was attained in 1907 when it reached 314,903. To some
extent this increase was due to a new law that went into effect on
June 21, 1907, by which the legal formalities required in order
to become married were simplified. This increase was especially
noticeable in the poorer districts. The following table shows the
number of marriages contracted for every thousand inhabitants in
various European countries:

                        1871   1876   1881   1886   1891   1896  1901
      COUNTRIES          to     to     to     to     to     to    to   1907
                        1875   1880   1885   1890   1895   1900  1905
  German Empire        18.84  15.68  15.40  15.68  15.88  17.83  16    16.2
    Prussia            18.88  15.86  15.92  16.32  16.40  16.86  16.2  16.4
    Bavaria            18.92  14.65  13.64  13.96  14.76  16.09  15.2  15.4
    Saxony             19.96  17.70  17.62  18.64  17.52  18.76  16.6  16.8
  Austria              18.30  15.52  15.88  15.40  15.76  16.04  15.8  15.8
  Hungary              21.51  19.30  20.24  17.72  17.92  16.05  17.2  19.6
  Italy                15.54  15.06  14.08  17.64  14.96  14.40  14.8  15.4
  Switzerland          16.06  14.90  13.80  14.00  14.72  15.59  15    15.6
  France               16.06  15.16  15.04  14.48  14.90  15.14  15.2  16
    and Wales          17.08  15.34  15.14  14.70  15.16  16.14  15.6  15.8
  Scotland             14.98  11.76  13.76  18.02  13.68  14.94  14    14
  Ireland               9.72   9.04   8.66   8.66   9.48   9.87  10.4  10.2
  Belgium              15.44  13.94  13.94  14.34  15.24  16.45  16.2  16.2
  Netherlands          16.64  15.76  14.28  14.04  14.48  14.88  15    15.2
  Denmark              15.88  15.54  15.38  13.94  13.84  14.79  14.4  15.2
  Norway               14.58  14.40  13.82  12.76  12.92  13.73  12.4  11.8
  Sweden               14.04  13.20  12.84  12.20  11.45  12.04  11.8  12
  Finland              17.68  15.72  14.90  14.40  12.98  15.34  13    13.6
  European Russia
    excl. the Vistula
    province           19.62  17.62  18.06  17.94  17.08  17.80   --    --
  Bulgaria               --     --   18.04  17.24  16.07    --    --    --
  Servia               22.80  23.32  22.14  21.76  19.84    --    --    --

That the marriage rate rises and sinks with the rise and decline of
national prosperity is most strikingly noticeable in Germany. The
largest number of marriages (423,900), were contracted in Germany
in 1872, the year after the close of the Franco-Prussian war. From
1873 on, the marriage rate declined until in 1879, the year when the
crisis was at its worst, it attained its lowest figure (335,133).
Then it gradually increased again until 1890, a year of prosperity,
to sink once more in 1892 and again to increase with the years of
returning prosperity until with the height of prosperity the highest
figures were attained (476,491 in 1900, and 471,519 in 1899). The
next crisis brought another decline. In 1902 the number of marriages
did not exceed 457,208 while in 1906 and 1907 it rose up again to
498,900 and 503,964.

But in general the statistics of most countries point to a decline
of the marriage rate. The highest numbers attained during the
seventies were attained only in exceptional instances at the close
of the nineties. But not only the earnings have a strong influence
on the marriage rate, the conditions of property have so likewise.
Statistics from the kingdom of Wurtemberg show, that with the
increase of large estates the number of ~married~ men between 25 and
30 years of age decreases and the number of ~unmarried~ men between
40 and 50 years of age increases. Small estates are favorable to
the marriage rate, because they enable a greater number of families
to maintain a decent though modest livelihood, while large estates
are, for obvious reasons, unfavorable to the marriage rate. With the
growing industrial development of a country, the number of marriages
in urban trades and professions increases. The following statistics
from Sweden during the years 1901 to 1904 show the relation of
marriage to occupation:

  Agriculture          per 1000  4.78
  Industry              “    “   7.17
  Commerce              “    “   7.75
  Learned professions   “    “   6.33

All these figures prove that not moral but economic causes are the
determining factors. ~The number of marriages like the moral status
of a social group depend upon its material foundation.~

2.--Infanticide and Abortion.

Fear of poverty and doubts as to whether it will be possible to
bring up the children suitable to their station in life, cause many
women of ~all~ classes to commit deeds that are averse to the laws
of nature and to the laws of organized society as well. Such deeds
include the various methods to prevent conception, and when this has
occurred nevertheless, artificial abortion. It would be a mistake
to assume that such methods are resorted to only by frivolous,
unscrupulous women. They are, on the contrary, frequently resorted
to by conscientious wives, who feel that they must limit the number
of offspring and rather submit to the dangers of abortion, than to
deny themselves to their husbands and thereby drive them to the
devious paths. Other women again take this step to conceal a “sin,”
or because they abhor the discomforts of pregnancy, child-birth and
motherhood, or because they fear that their physical beauty will
be impaired and that they will accordingly seem less attractive to
their husbands and to men in general. These women readily obtain
medical and surgical aid at high prices.

Artificial abortion seems to be practiced more and more. It was
frequently practiced among the ancients and is practiced to-day
among both civilized nations and savages. The old Greeks practiced
it openly, without any legal restraint. Plato regarded it as within
the province of the midwife, and Aristotle permitted it to married
people when a pregnancy that was not desired took place.[60]
According to Jules Ronyer, the women of Rome practiced abortion
for several reasons. In the first place they wished to conceal
the results of their illegitimate relations; secondly they wished
to indulge in uninterrupted excesses, and thirdly they sought to
avoid the detrimental effects of pregnancy and child-birth upon
their beauty.[61] Among the romans a woman was considered old when
she attained the thirtieth year, and the women therefore shunned
everything that was likely to make them age more quickly. During
the mediaeval ages abortions were punishable by severe penalties,
in some instances even by capital punishment, and a free woman who
had practiced it became a serf.

At the present time abortions are practiced chiefly in Turkey and in
the United States. “The Turks do not regard a foetus as being really
alive until after the fifth month, and have no scruple in causing its
abortion. Even at later stages, when the operation becomes criminal,
it is frequently practiced. In 1872 at Constantinople, more than
three thousand cases of abortion were brought before the courts in
a period of ten months.”[62]

More frequently yet it is practiced in the United States. In all the
large cities of the union institutions exist where women and girls
can go to bring about premature birth. Many American newspapers
contain advertisements of such places.[63] In some strata of American
society an artificial abortion is discussed as openly as a regular
confinement. In Germany and other European countries it is regarded in
a different manner, and according to German law both the perpetrator
and the accomplice may be punished by imprisonment. Abortion is
often followed by the worst results; not infrequently it results
in death, and in many cases it means the permanent destruction of
health. “Dangers from the most unfavorable pregnancy and child-birth
are less great than from artificial abortions.”[64] Sterility is
the most frequent result. Nevertheless the practice is becoming
more frequent in Germany also. The following number of persons were
convicted of criminal abortion: From 1882 to 1886, 839; from 1897
to 1901, 1565; from 1902 to 1906, 2236.[65] During recent years
several cases of criminal abortions created a sensation, because
distinguished physicians and prominent society women figured in these
cases. Judging by the advertisements in German newspapers, there
also is an increase of those places and institutions where married
and unmarried women are given an opportunity to await the results
of their wrong-doing in absolute secrecy.

The fear of a too numerous progeny in consideration of the economic
status and the cost of education has caused the introduction of
preventive measures among entire classes and nations and has gradually
developed into a regular system that threatens to become a public
calamity. It is a wellknown fact that almost all strata of French
society abide by the custom of limiting their offspring to two
children. Few civilized countries have as high a marriage rate as
France; but notwithstanding this fact, in no other country the birth
rate is as low and the increase of population as gradual. The French
bourgeoisie, the peasantry and the working class, all abide by this
custom. In some parts of Germany the conditions among the peasantry
seem to have lead to a similar state of affairs. In a picturesque
region in the south-western part of Germany, a certain species of
tree, which furnishes an ingredient for an abortive remedy, is grown
on every farm. In another region the peasants have long since followed
the custom of limiting their offspring to two children; they do not
wish to divide up their farms. Another noteworthy fact is the marked
increase in the publication and sale of literature discussing and
recommending means for optional sterility. Of course, these books
are always clothed in “scientific” garb and invariably point to the
threatening danger of excess of population.

Besides the prevention of conception and artificial abortion, crime
also plays a part. In France child exposure and infanticide have
increased as a direct result of French civil law, according to
which it is interdicted to investigate paternity. The “Code civil”
provides that “La recherche de la paternité est interdite,” but “la
recherche de la maternité est admise.” This law forbids to search for
a child’s father but permits to search for its mother. With brutal
frankness it thus proclaims injustice to the unfortunate girl who
has been seduced. The men of France may, by the provision of this
law, seduce as many girls and women as they please; they are freed
from all responsibility and do not have to contribute anything to
the support of their illegitimate children. This law was framed
under the pretext that women must be deterred from seducing men. We
see, everywhere it is the poor, feeble man,--although his is the
strong sex,--who never seduces but always is seduced. The result
of this paragraph of the “Code civil” was the framing of another
paragraph which provides that “L’enfant conçu pendant le marriage a
pour père le mari” (the husband is father to every child conceived
during marriage). While it is forbidden to search after a child’s
father, deceived husbands must regard children as their own, that
have sprung from illicit relations their wives may have maintained.
We must admit that the French bourgeoisie is at least consistent.
Until now all attempts to repeal these obnoxious laws have failed.
On the other hand the French bourgeoisie seeks to atone somewhat for
the cruelty of preventing women, who have been deceived, from seeking
financial aid from the fathers of their children, by establishing
foundling institutions. Thus the new-born babe is deprived not only
of its father but of its mother as well. According to the French
conception foundlings are orphans, and the French bourgeoisie thus
permits its illegitimate children to be reared as “children of the
nation” at the expense of the state. A wonderful institution!

Lately French methods have been copied in Germany. The new German civil
law contains provisions in regard to the legal status of illegitimate
children, that are in contradiction to the more humane laws that
were in force heretofore. One paragraph states that “an illegitimate
child and its father are not regarded as being related,” while
Emperor Joseph II had already decreed that legitimate and illegitimate
children should be equal before the law. Another paragraph states
that “an illegitimate child is fatherless if its mother maintained
relations with several men at the time of conception.” The child is
made to suffer for its mother’s frivolousness, weakness or poverty.
Frivolous fathers are not taken into consideration by the law. The
law concerning illegitimate children furthermore provides: “it is the
mother’s right and duty to care for the person of the illegitimate
child. The father of the illegitimate child is obliged to provide
for same until the completion of its sixteenth year, in accordance
with ~the social status of the mother~.” According to former Prussian
law, the seducer was obliged to provide for the child in accordance
with his own social status and wealth. If the woman had been seduced
with the promise of marriage, she was entitled to all the rights of
a divorced wife, and in those cases the illegitimate children were
regarded as legitimate before the law. These more just and humane
provisions have now been dispensed with. The tendency of German
legislation is a retrogressive one.

During the period from 1831 to 1880, 8568 cases of infanticide were
tried before the French court of assizes. This number increased
from 471 during the years 1831 to 1835 to 970 during the years 1876
to 1880. During the same period 1032 cases of criminal abortion were
tried, 100 of these during the single year 1880. It goes without
saying that only a small number of the artificial abortions actually
practiced ever come to the notice of the courts. As a rule only
such cases are brought to public attention that result in severe
illness or death. The rural population furnished 75 percent of the
infanticides, and the urban population furnished 67 percent of
criminal abortions. The women residing in cities have more means at
hand to prevent normal child-birth; therefore the cases of abortion
were numerous and the cases of infanticide relatively few. In the
rural districts the inverse ratio prevails. In Germany the following
number of persons were convicted of infanticide: from 1882 to 1886,
884; from 1897 to 1901, 887; from 1902 to 1906, 745.

This is the picture presented by present day society in regard to its
most intimate relations. It differs considerably from that picture
which is usually drawn for us by poetic visionaries, but it at least
has the advantage of being true. Yet the picture is incomplete; a
few characteristic features must still be added.

[60] Elie Metchnikoff--The Nature of Man.

[61] Jules Ronyer, Etudes médicales sur l’ancienne Rome. Paris 1859.

[62] Elie Metchnikoff--The Nature of Man.

[63] According to an official investigation, 200 persons were counted
in New York who made a profession of artificial abortions.

[64] Edw. Reich--History of Abortion and its Dangers.

[65] Criminal statistics of the German Empire for the year 1906.

3.--Education for Marriage.

All parties are agreed that at the present time the female sex is,
on an average, mentally inferior to the male sex. Balzac, who by
no means was an admirer of women, nevertheless declared, “a woman
who has obtained the education of a man, indeed possesses the most
brilliant and fruitful qualities for establishing her own happiness
and that of her husband.” Goethe, who was well acquainted with the
types of men and women of his day, uttered the following sharp remark
in “The Years of Travelling of William Meister” (Confessions of a
fair soul): “scholarly women were held up to ridicule, and educated
women were not popular either, probably because it was regarded as
impolite to disgrace so many ignorant men.” But that does not alter
the fact that women, as a rule, are mentally inferior to men. This
difference is bound to exist, ~since the mental status of woman is
but what man, her master, has made it~. The education of women has
always been pitifully neglected, even more than the education of
the proletariat, and even at the present time it is insufficient.
In our age the desire for the exchange of ideas is a growing one
among all classes of society, and accordingly we begin to recognize
the neglected mental training of women as a great mistake, one from
which not only women, but men also must suffer.

With men education is mainly directed upon the development of the
intellect; it is supposed to sharpen their reasoning powers, to expand
their knowledge and to strengthen their will-power. With women,
especially among the upper classes, education is mainly directed
upon the development of their sentiments; it chiefly consists of
attaining various accomplishments that only tend to heighten their
imaginative faculty and to increase their nervous irritability, such
as music, literature, art and poetry. That is the greatest error in
education that could possibly be committed. It shows that educators
have allowed themselves to be guided by their prejudices concerning
the nature of woman and her narrow sphere in life. The development
of sentiment and imagination in women should not be artificially
stimulated which only increases the tendency to become nervous. With
women, as well as with men, the mental faculties should be developed
and they should be acquainted with the practical facts of life. It
would be the greatest advantage to both sexes if women were less
sentimental and more rational; if they displayed less nervousness and
timidity, and more courage and will-power; if they possessed fewer
accomplishments, and a broader knowledge of the world and mankind
and the natural forces of life. Until the present time the spiritual
life of woman and her sentiments have been stimulated to the utmost,
while her intellectual development has been neglected, hampered and
repressed. As a result she literally suffers from spiritual and
sentimental hypertrophy, which makes her susceptible to all sorts
of superstitions and miracle-frauds, an easy victim of religious
and other swindles, a willing tool of bigotry and reaction. Men in
their short-sightedness frequently lament this fact; but they do
nothing to change it, because the great majority of them are still
deeply entrenched in their own prejudices. As a result of this false
education, women generally regard the world very differently from men,
and thereby another great source of differences and misunderstandings
between the sexes is established.

For every man in present day society, participation in public life
is one of the most essential duties; that many men still fail to
recognize this duty does not alter the fact. But an ever widening
circle of men has begun to recognize that public institutions
~directly affect~ the private relations of each individual, and
that the welfare of individuals and families depends far more upon
the nature of public institutions than upon personal qualities and
actions. They have begun to recognize, that even supreme efforts on
the part of a single individual are powerless in combatting evils
that are rooted in social conditions, and influence his position
accordingly. Moreover the struggle for existence necessitates far
greater exertions to-day than formerly. Demands are made upon a man
to-day, that require more and more of his time and strength. But the
ignorant, indifferent woman is usually incapable of comprehending
his duties and interests. We may even say that the differentiation
between man and woman is greater to-day than it was formerly, when
conditions were more petty and narrow, and therefore more within
the range of woman’s understanding. Occupation with public affairs
to-day claims a greater number of men than formerly. This expands
their ideas, but it also estranges them from their domestic circle.
Thereby the woman feels neglected, and one more source of differences
has been created. Only in rare cases do men succeed in making
themselves understood by their wives and in convincing them. As a
rule the man holds the opinion that his aims and interests do not
concern his wife, and that she is unable to understand them. He does
not take the trouble to instruct her. “You don’t understand that,”
is the usual reply when a woman complains to her husband that he is
neglecting her. The lack of understanding on the part of the women
is still heightened by the lack of common sense on the part of the
men. Among the proletariat the relation between husband and wife is
more favorable, when both recognize that they must follow the same
path, since one, and one only leads to a better future for them and
their children: the complete reorganization of society that will
make all men and women free. As this recognition spreads among the
women of the proletariat, their wedded life becomes ~idealized~
in spite of misery and want. For now both husband and wife have a
common aim to strive for, and their common struggle furnishes an
inexhaustible source of inspiration in exchange of opinions. The
number of proletarian women who have awakened to this recognition
is growing with each year. Here a movement is expanding that will
be of vital importance to the future of mankind.

In other marriages the differences of education and conceptions, that
were overlooked in the beginning while passion was still strong, become
more and more noticeable with the advancing years. But as sexual
passion decreases, it ought to be replaced by mental conformity.
Quite disregarding the fact whether or not a man recognizes that he
has social and civic duties, and whether or not he fulfills these
duties, his business or profession alone suffices to keep him in
constant touch with the outside world, and to create an intellectual
atmosphere about him that broadens his views. Contrary to the woman,
he is usually in a state of intellectual moulting; but domestic
activities require the woman’s time and attention from morning till
night, and being deprived of opportunity for mental development,
she is apt to become dull and mentally stunted.

This domestic misery in which the majority of wives in present day
society are obliged to live, has been truly pictured by Gerhard
v. Amyntor in his book on “A Commentary to the Book of Life.” In
the chapter on “Fatal Stings” he says: “It is not the terrible
occurrences that no one is spared,--a husband’s death, the moral
ruin of a beloved child, long, torturing illness, or the shattering
of a fondly nourished hope,--it is none of these that undermine the
woman’s health and strength, but the little daily recurring, body
and soul devouring cares. How many millions of good housewives have
cooked and scrubbed their love of life away! How many have sacrificed
their rosy cheeks and their dimples in domestic service, until they
became wrinkled, withered, broken mummies. The everlasting question:
‘what shall I cook to-day,’ the ever recurring necessity of sweeping
and dusting and scrubbing and dish-washing, is the steadily falling
drop that slowly but surely wears out her body and mind. The cooking
stove is the place where accounts are sadly balanced between income
and expense, and where the most oppressing observations are made
concerning the increased cost of living and the growing difficulty
in making both ends meet. Upon the flaming altar where the pots are
boiling, youth and freedom from care, beauty and light-heartedness
are being sacrificed. In the old cook whose eyes are dim and whose
back is bent with toil, no one would recognize the blushing bride
of yore, beautiful, merry and modestly coquettish in the finery of
her bridal garb.--To the ancients the hearth was sacred; beside the
hearth they erected their lares and household-gods. Let us also hold
the hearth sacred, where the conscientious German housewife slowly
sacrifices her life, to keep the home comfortable, the table well
supplied, and the family healthy.” That is the only consolation that
bourgeois society is able to offer those women who slowly perish as
a result of the present order!

Those women who enjoy a freer position as a result of their more
favored social circumstances, usually have a narrow, superficial
education that is manifested in connection with inherited, female
characteristics. Most of these women are interested only in external
appearances; dress and personal adornment are their chief concern,
and the satisfaction of their depraved tastes and their unbridled
passions, form their object in life. They are not interested much in
the children and their education; that would mean too much trouble
and annoyance. Therefore they willingly turn over their children
to nurses and governesses and later on to boarding-schools. At the
most they regard it as their duty to make silly doll-women of their
daughters, and superficial, extravagant dandies of their sons.
This class of young men, who regard idleness and extravagance as a
profession, furnishes the seducers of the daughters of the people.

The conditions described above have lead to a number of traits of
character peculiar to women, that are more fully developed from
generation to generation. Men seem to find satisfaction in ridiculing
these traits, but they forget that they themselves are to blame for
them. The following are some of these frequently condemned female
traits of character: talkativeness and scandal-mongering; the
inclination to discuss the most insignificant things at the greatest
length; the exaggerated interest in outward display; the love of
dress and coquetry; envy and jealousy toward the members of her sex,
and the tendency of being dishonest and hypocritical. These traits
of character usually manifest themselves with the female sex at an
early age; they are general and only differ in degree. These traits
have developed under the pressure of social conditions, and they
have been further developed by heredity, example and education. One
who has been brought up unwisely is not likely to bring up others

In order to understand the origin and development of traits of
character common to an entire sex or to an entire people, we must
follow the same method that modern scientists apply to understand the
origin and development of living beings and their characteristics.
The material conditions of life to a great extent imprint upon every
living being its traits of character. It is compelled to adapt itself
to these existing material conditions, until the adaptation becomes
its nature.

Human beings form no exception to that which holds true for all living
beings throughout nature. Man is not exempt from natural laws. Viewed
physiologically, he is merely the most highly developed animal. Of
course, many persons refuse to admit this. Thousands of years ago
ancient peoples, although they knew nothing of modern science, held
more rational views in regard to many human problems, than a great
many of our contemporaries, and, what is more noteworthy still, their
views that were based on experience, were put into practice. We
praise and admire the strength and beauty of the men and women of
ancient Greece; but we forget that it was not the climate of this
beautiful country that had such a favorable influence upon the nature
and development of its population, but the educational maxims that
were consistently carried out by the state, and that were destined to
combine beauty, strength and skill with mental sharpness and vigor.
Indeed the mental development of woman was neglected even then, but
not so her physical development.[66] In Sparta where physical culture
of both sexes was most extensively practiced, boys and girls went
about naked until the age of puberty, and together they joined in
physical exercises, games and wrestling-matches. The display of the
nude human body, the natural treatment of natural things, prevented
the extreme sexual irritation that is mainly caused by an artificial
separation of the sexes from childhood on. The body of one sex was
no mystery to the other. No dallying with ambiguities could arise.
Nature was regarded as such. Each sex took pleasure in the beauty
of the other.

To a natural, untrammeled relation of the sexes must mankind return;
we must cast aside the unsound spiritualistic conceptions concerning
human affairs and create methods of education that shall bring about
a physical and mental regeneration. The prevailing conceptions in
regard to education, especially the education of women, are still
exceedingly reactionary. That a woman should possess such qualities
of character as strength, courage and determination, is decried as
unwomanly, and yet no one can deny that by means of such qualities
she will be better enabled to protect herself. But her physical
development is hampered, just like her mental development. This is due
in no small degree to the irrational mode of dress. Woman’s dress not
only interferes with her physical development, it frequently does her
direct bodily harm; and yet there are few, even among physicians,
who dare to oppose it. Fear of displeasing the patient causes them to
be silent or even to flatter her follies. The modern style of dress
prevents women from freely exercising their strength, hampers their
physical development, and creates a feeling of helplessness in them.
Moreover, woman’s dress endangers the health of her environment,
for at home and on the street she is a walking generator of dust.

The physical and intellectual development of women is furthermore
severely hampered by a rigorous separation of the sexes in school
and in social intercourse, that is quite in accordance with the
spiritualistic conceptions implanted by Christianity, and is still
sadly prevalent among us. The woman who is given no opportunity to
develop her abilities and talents, who is maintained within a narrow
sphere of ideas, and rarely permitted to associate with members of the
other sex, ~cannot~ rise above the commonplace and trivial. For her
ideas are centered in the occurrences of her immediate environment.
Verbose conversations over a mere nothingness and the tendency to
gossip are fostered by this narrow life, since the mental activities
that reside in every human being must find expression somewhere. Men
are frequently grievously annoyed and driven to despair by these
qualities which they roundly condemn, without pausing to consider
that they, “the lords of creation,” are chiefly to blame for them.
During recent years numerous attempts have been made to introduce
more rational conceptions of life; but they are merely a beginning,
and until now have been confined to a very small portion of society.

[66] Plato, in “The State”, demands that women should be given an
education similar to men, and Aristoteles in “Politics” declares
as a fundamental principle of education: “first let the body be
developed and then the mind.”

4.--The Misery of Present Day Marriages.

As a result of our social and sexual relations, woman is directed
toward marriage by every fibre of her existence, and naturally
marriage constitutes a chief topic of her conversation and thought.
As woman is physically weaker than man, and is subjected to him by
custom and law, her tongue is her chief weapon to be used against
him, and she naturally makes a liberal use of this weapon. In the
same way her much berated love of dress and personal adornment can
be explained, that leads to increasingly eccentric follies of fashion
and often causes financial troubles and unpleasantness to fathers
and husbands. To man, woman has chiefly been an object of enjoyment.
Being socially and economically dependent, she must regard marriage
as a means of support, and thus becomes subservient to man, becomes
his property. Her position is rendered more unfavorable still by
the fact that the number of women usually exceeds the number of
men; we will return to this phase of the question later on.--This
disproportion increases the competition of women among themselves, all
the more so because, for numerous reasons, many men fail to marry.
Woman is therefore compelled to enhance her personal charms, in order
to compete with the members of her own sex in the struggle for the
possession of a man. When we consider that this disproportion has
existed through many generations, it is not to be wondered at that
these characteristics have gradually assumed their present, extreme
form. We must consider moreover that at no time the competition among
women for the possession of man was as severe as it is at present,
owing to causes, some of which have already been, and others that
still are to be enumerated. The increasing difficulty of obtaining
a decent livelihood also directs woman more than ever to marriage
as a means of support.

Men do not object to these conditions, since they are favorable
to them. It flatters their vanity and serves their interest to
play the part of the ruler, and as all rulers they are not easily
accessible to reason. It is all the more important therefore that
women themselves should strive to bring about conditions that will
liberate them from their present, degraded position. Women can no
more rely upon the aid of men, than the workers can rely upon the
aid of the bourgeoisie.

When we furthermore consider what traits of character are developed
by competition along other lines, how, for instance, industrial
competition leads to hatred, envy and calumny, and how the competitors
resort to the basest means, we find an explanation for the fact that
similar traits of character have been developed in women by their
competition for the possession of a man. It is due to this permanent
competition that women, as a rule, cannot get along as well with
one another as men can; that even intimate friends are easily led
to quarrel when the favor of a man enters into consideration. This
competition also explains what may be frequently observed, that when
two women meet, even though they are utter strangers to one another,
they regard each other in a hostile way. With a single glance they
have summed up each other’s shortcomings in the manner and style of
their clothes, and in the looks of each the verdict may be read:
“I am better dressed than you are and am better able to attract
attention to myself.”

On the other hand woman is by nature more impulsive than man. She is
less given to reflection, is more unselfish and naive, and is more
controlled by passion. These traits of character are expressed in
their most beautiful form by the unselfish self-sacrifice with which
she serves her children and others who are near and dear to her and
cares for them during illness. But when angered, her impassionate
nature manifests itself in its ugliest form. Yet the fact remains that
both good and evil qualities are fostered, hampered or transformed,
by the social position. The same propensity that may be harmful under
unfavorable circumstances may, under favorable circumstances, become
a source of happiness to oneself and others. Fourier has ably shown
that the same human propensities may, under different circumstances,
lead to opposite results.[67]

Beside the improper mental education, the improper or insufficient
physical education in regard to the purposes of nature, remains to
be considered. All physicians are agreed that woman’s education
for her profession of motherhood is almost entirely neglected.
“Soldiers are trained in the use of their weapons, and mechanics
in the use of their tools. Every profession requires preliminary
study. Even the monk has his noviceship. Only the woman is not
educated for her serious maternal duties”.[68] Nine tenths of all
maidens who are given an opportunity to marry, enter matrimony in
complete ignorance of motherhood and its duties. The unpardonable
prudery that prevents mothers from speaking to their grown daughters
about the important functions of sex, leaves them in a state of
densest ignorance concerning their duties to their husbands and to
themselves. The entrance into marriage means to most women entrance
into an utterly strange world. Their conceptions of marriage are
purely imaginative, drawn from novels of doubtful value, and are
usually very foreign to reality.[69] Another source of differences
may be found in the lack of practical knowledge of housekeeping
that is still quite essential in present day marriage, though women
have been relieved of many domestic activities that were formerly
inevitable. Some women are deplorably ignorant of household duties
because they consider themselves superior to such work and regard it
as a task for servants only. Others, daughters of the proletariat,
are equally ignorant, because the struggle for existence compelled
them to toil in the factory from morning until night, and they found
no time to prepare for their future profession of housekeeper. It
becomes more and more evident that the trend of development makes
individual housekeeping unpractical, and that it can be maintained
only by an irrational sacrifice of time and money.

There is still another cause that to many men destroys the purpose
of marriage: the physical enfeeblement of women. The food we eat,
the manner in which we live, the conditions of our work and the
character of our amusements, all tend to act more destructively than
favorably upon our physical condition. Rightly is our age termed a
nervous age. But nervousness leads to physical degeneration. Anaemia
and nervousness exist in an especially marked degree among women.
This physical degeneration is fast becoming a social calamity, and
if it would continue to exist for several generations more, without
our being able to procure more normal conditions of development, it
would ultimately lead to race destruction.[70]

The female organism requires special care in consideration of
its special sexual functions. It requires good and sufficient
nourishment and at certain periods it requires rest. For the great
majority of women such care does not exist, nor can it be obtained
under present-day conditions. Women have so accustomed themselves
to self-denial that many women consider it a matrimonial duty to
give their husbands the best morsels and to content themselves with
insufficient food. It also frequently happens that the boys of a
family are better nourished than the girls. It is generally assumed
that women can content themselves with poorer and less nourishment
than men. Young girls are therefore often a sad sight to professional
authorities on hygiene and physical culture.[71] A great number
of our young women are weak, anaemic, and extremely nervous. The
results are suffering during menstruation and diseases of the sexual
organs that sometimes make it dangerous or impossible to give birth
to children or to nurse them. “If the degeneration of our women
continues to go on in the same manner as up to the present, it will
become doubtful whether civilized man may still be classified with
the mammals.”[72] Instead of being married to a healthy, cheerful
companion, a capable mother, a wife attending to her domestic duties,
the man is burdened with a sickly, nervous woman who cannot endure
the slightest draught or the least noise and requires the constant
attendance of a physician. We need not dwell longer on this subject.
Everyone knows of a number of such cases among his own friends and

Experienced physicians assert that the majority of married women,
especially in the cities, are in a more or less abnormal, physical
condition. According to the degree of the ailment and the characters
of husband and wife, such marriages must be more or less unfortunate.
In accordance with public opinion they entitle the men to take
liberties outside of their matrimonial relations, and the knowledge
of this fact must heighten the misery of the wives. Sometimes the
sexual requirements of husband and wife also differ widely and give
rise to profound disharmonies, yet the much desired separation is
not possible.

In connection with this, the truth must not be concealed that in a
great many cases ~the men are responsible for the severe physical
sufferings that befall their wives in marriage~. As a result ~of
their profligate lives, many men suffer from chronic sexual diseases
that they frequently treat lightly~, because they do not cause them
much trouble. But during sexual intercourse with their wives, these
fall victims to severe abdominal diseases that set in shortly after
marriage and frequently result in sterility. Usually the unfortunate
woman is ignorant of the true cause of the disease that mars her
life and destroys the purpose of marriage, and reproaches herself or
is reproached for the condition that her husband has caused. Many a
blooming young woman becomes a chronic invalid after she has barely
entered marriage,--neither she nor her relatives are able to explain
her condition, and the physician must maintain silence. Recent
investigations have shown that childless marriages are frequently
due to sexual diseases of men; while formerly the lords of creation
maintained the convenient theory that the woman was always to blame
when their marriages remained childless.[73]

Numerous are the causes that prevent present day marriage from being
what it ought to be. It is therefore a recommendation of doubtful
value when even learned men seek to oppose the woman movement by
pointing out to woman that marriage is their true vocation. As a
result of our social conditions marriage has become a carricature
foreign to its true purposes.

[67] A. Bebel--“Charles Fourier, His Life and His Theories.” Stuttgart,
1907. J. H. W. Dietz.

[68] Irma v. Troll-Borostyani--“The Mission of our Century. A Study
of the Woman Question.”

[69] In “Les Femmes qui tuent et les femmes qui votent,” Alexander
Dumas, jr., relates that an eminent Catholic clergyman had told
him that among hundred of his former female pupils who had become
married, at least eighty came to him after a few months had elapsed
and told him that marriage was a disappointment to them and that
they regretted having married. That seems very plausible indeed.
The French bourgeoisie find it compatible with their conscience to
have their daughters reared in convents. They are influenced by the
assumption that an ignorant woman is more easily guided than an
enlightened one. Conflicts and disappointments in marriage are the
inevitable result. Laboulaye even frankly advises to maintain the
women in moderate ignorance, for “notre empire est détruit si l’homme
est reconnu.” (Our rule will be destroyed if man is recognized.)

[70] Softening of the brain has increased more rapidly among women
than among men. Among every hundred patients admitted to asylums in
Prussia there were cases of softening of the brain:

             [Women]  [Men]

  1876–1879    17.0    3.7
  1880–1891    17.3    5.4
  1892–1894    17.7    6.8
  1895–1897    18.5    7.6
  1898–1901    16.2    7.5

[71] Further details on this subject may be found in “The Book of
Women,” by Mrs. H. S. Adams, M. D., Stuttgart.

[72] Dr. F. B. Simon, “The Care of the Health of Women.”

[73] Dr. F. B. Simon discusses this subject and the analogous subject,
why so many young women become ill after marriage without being able
to account for it, at length. His book is a glaring reflection upon
the wrongdoings and vices of men.


The Chances of Matrimony.

1.--The Numerical Proportion of the Sexes.

The usual advice to women to seek their salvation in marriage,
this being their true profession, is thoughtlessly approved of by
the vast majority of men. But it seems like mockery, that many of
those who give such advice and of those who applaud it, refrain
from marrying themselves. Schopenhauer, the philosopher, has only
the conception of a philistine concerning woman and her position.
He says: “woman is not called upon to perform great tasks. Her
characteristic is not doing but suffering. She pays her debt to life
by the throes of child-birth, care of her child and ~submissiveness
to her husband~. The supreme expressions of vitality and perception
are denied her. Her life should be more tranquil and insignificant
than man’s life. Woman is called upon to be the nurse and educator
of childhood ~because she is childish herself~; because ~throughout
life she remains a big child~, a sort of intermediary stage between
child and man, ~the true human being~.... Girls should be reared to
be domestic and ~submissive~.... ~Women are the most thoroughgoing,
incurable philistines.~”

The work by Lombroso and Ferrero, “Woman as a Criminal and Prostitute”,
is also written in the spirit of Schopenhauer. We have never met
with an equally extensive scientific book,--it consists of 590
pages,--that contains so little convincing material in regard to the
subject it deals with. The statistics from which the most daring
conclusions are drawn, are very inadequate. Sometimes a dozen
cases have sufficed the author to form a weighty opinion. It is a
noteworthy fact that the material contained in the book which may
be regarded as the most trustworthy has been furnished by a woman,
Dr. Mrs. Tarnowskaya. The influences of social conditions and social
development are almost entirely disregarded. All phenomena are
judged from a narrow physiological and psychological point of view
and much ethnological information concerning various peoples--is
interwoven with the argumentation, without any attempt being made to
investigate the nature of this information. According to the authors,
as according to Schopenhauer, woman is a big child, an incarnate
liar, weak in her judgment, fickle in love, incapable of any heroic
deed. The inferiority of woman,--so they claim,--has been proven by
a great many physical differences and characteristics. “Woman’s love
is, at the bottom, nothing but a secondary character of motherhood.
All the sentiments of affection that bind a woman to a man are not
derived from the sexual impulse but ~from instincts of devotion and
submission acquired by adaptation~.” But how these instincts were
acquired the authors fail to examine. If they did, it would imply an
investigation of the social position of woman during thousands of
years which has made her what she is to-day. The authors describe
the dependence and enslavement of woman among different nations
and during various periods of civilization, but being blinded by a
narrow conception of the Darwinian theory, they trace everything to
physiological causes, and disregard the social and economic causes
that have had the strongest influence on woman’s physiological and
psychological development.

Among other things the authors discuss the vanity of woman and
express the view that among people at a low stage of development
men are the vain sex, which may be observed even to-day on the
Hebrides, Madagascar and among the tribes about the Orinoco river,
as also on many islands of the Polynesian Archipelago and among a
number of African and South Sea Island tribes; while among nations
of high stage of development, women are the vain sex. But why is
this so? The answer is simple. Among peoples at a low stage of
development, matriarchal conditions prevail or have been abandoned
but recently. Here woman’s position is such that she is relieved of
the necessity of wooing man. The man woos her, and for this purpose
he adorns himself, he becomes vain. Among peoples at a higher stage
of development, especially among all civilized nations, man does not
woo woman, but woman woos man. It rarely occurs that woman takes the
initiative and literally offers herself to a man; modesty forbids
that. But the offer nevertheless is made by manner and dress, the
luxury of her personal adornment and her coquetry. Such conduct is
forced upon her by the fact that there are more women than men and
by the social necessity of regarding marriage as a means of support
and as the only institution by means of which she may satisfy her
sexual impulse and obtain social recognition. Here again we find
~purely economic and social causes~ bringing forth qualities, now
in the man and now in the woman, that we are accustomed to regard
as quite independent of social and economic causes. From this we
may draw the conclusion that when society has reached a state of
development in which every form of dependence of one sex upon the
other will cease, ~vanity and the follies of fashion will disappear
as will many other vices that we deem ineradicable to-day, because
we believe them to be inherent in human nature~.

In regard to Schopenhauer it must be said that he, as a philosopher,
is as biased in his judgment of women as the majority of our
anthropologists and medical men who regard her only as a sex being,
never as a social being. Schopenhauer had never been married. He
failed to contribute his share that one more woman might fulfill
the purpose in life that he prescribed to women. This leads us to
another, no more pleasant phase of the question.

It is generally known that many women remain unmarried because they
are given no opportunity to become married. Custom forbids the
woman to offer herself. She must allow herself to be chosen; she
may not choose. If she is not chosen she must join that great army
of unfortunate women who have missed their purpose in life and who
are frequently subjected to a life of poverty and want, sometimes
made more bitter still by ridicule. But what causes the numerical
disproportion of the sexes? Many are quick to reply: too many girls
are born. The persons who make this statement are misinformed, as
we shall see. Others draw the conclusion that if women are in the
majority in most civilized countries, polygamy ought to be permitted.
But polygamy is not only averse to our customs, it also entails the
degradation of woman; although that did not prevent Schopenhauer
from asserting that “to the female sex in general polygamy is a
boon.” Many men do not marry because they believe that they are
unable to support ~one~ woman and the children who are likely to
be born according to their station in life. Only few men are able
to support two women, and among these, many do have two or several
wives: one legitimate wife, and one or several illegitimate wives.
Those privileged by wealth allow nothing to prevent them from doing
as they choose.

Even in the orient where custom and law have suffered polygamy to
exist for thousands of years, relatively few men have more than one
wife. We speak of the degrading influence of life in Turkish harems.
But we overlook the fact that only ~very few men~ belonging to the
~ruling class~ can afford to maintain a harem, while the great mass of
men live in monogamic marriage. In the city of Algiers at the close
of the sixties of the last century, there were among 18,282 marriages
no less than 17,319 with only one wife; there were 888 marriages
with two wives, and only 75 with more than two. In Constantinople,
the capital of the Turkish empire, conditions are probably quite
similar. Among the rural population in the orient the conditions
favoring monogamic marriage are still more striking. In the orient,
as with us, material conditions come into consideration that compel
the majority of men to content themselves with one wife.[74] But if
conditions were equally favorable to all men polygamy could still
not be generally maintained because there are not enough women.
~Under normal conditions the numbers of persons of both sexes are
almost equal, which everywhere points to monogamic marriage.~ The
following table which has been published by Buecher in the “General
Statistic Records,” proves this assertion.[75]

                Number       Number       Entire       Number of
               of male     of female    population     women for
               persons      persons                 every 1000 men
  Europe     170,818,561  174,914,119  345,732,680       1,024
  America     41,643,389   40,540,386   82,183,775         973
  Asia       177,648,044  170,269,179  347,917,223         958
  Australia    2,197,799    1,871,821    4,069,620         852
  Africa       6,994,064    6,771,360   13,765,425         968
             399,301,857  394,366,865  793,668,722         988

The result of this compilation may, to many people, be a surprising
one. With the exception of Europe where there are, on an average,
1,024 female inhabitants for every 1000 male inhabitants, the male
population predominates. Even if we may assume that the information
is incomplete, especially in regard to the female sex, and that
especially in countries with a Mohammedan population the female
population surpasses the given figures, the fact remains that,
except in a few European countries, the female population nowhere
considerably exceeds the male population. In the meantime the imperial
bureau of statistics in Berlin has published a new compilation of
the census in European and non-European countries which includes
883,000,000 people. “When we take into consideration the census,
not included in this compilation, of Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Costa Rica, Argentine Republic, the Transvaal, Orange River Colony,
Cyprus, Formosa and Pescadores, the number of enumerated inhabitants
of the earth attains 882,000,000 with a general average of 991 female
persons for every 1000 male persons. For the enumerated population
of the earth we may therefore assume an almost equal representation
of both sexes with a slight preponderance of the male.”[76]

In Europe the conditions are different. With the exception of the
countries of South Eastern Europe, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Servia,
Bulgaria, Rumania and Greece, the female population predominates.
The proportion is least unfavorable in Hungary and Italy where there
are respectively 1,009 and 1,010 female inhabitants for every 1000
male inhabitants. Belgium comes next with 1013 female for every 1000
male inhabitants. Portugal and Norway show the most unfavorable
proportion; next to these Great Britain with 1063 female for every
1000 male inhabitants. France, Germany, Austria and Russia lie in the
middle having for every 1000 male inhabitants respectively 1,033,
1,032, 1,035 and 1,029 female inhabitants.[77] In Germany during the
last two decades each census has shown a more favorable proportion.
On Dec. 1, 1885, the female population exceeded the male population
by 988,376 persons. The census of Dec. 1, 1890, still showed an
excess of the female population of 966,806 persons. 1895--957,401;
1900--892,684, and according to the census of Dec. 1, 1905 the excess
of the female population had sunken to 871,916 persons (1029 female
for every 1000 male inhabitants). The decline of this difference
may be chiefly accounted for by the decline of emigration in which
the male sex is mainly concerned. This may be clearly seen from
the proportion of the sexes in the United States, into which the
stream of emigration is mainly directed, and where the dearth of
women is almost as great as the excess of women in Germany. In 1900
for every 1000 men there were only 953 women. This emigration from
Germany decreased from 220,902 persons in 1881 to 22,073 persons in
1901 and to 19,883 persons in 1908. The fact, that more men than
women emigrate, accounts in the first place then for the difference
between the numbers of persons of both sexes. Italy furnishes a good
example; for there the male population still predominated at the
beginning of the forties of the last century, while at present the
female population predominates, owing to the large emigration.

Furthermore, more men than women meet with accidents in agriculture,
industry, commerce and traffic. Also more men are temporarily absent
abroad as merchants, sailors, marines, etc. Another fact that has
been statistically proven and that constitutes an important factor
is that women on an average attain a higher age than men and that
therefore there are more old women than old men. According to the
census of 1900 the proportion of the sexes according to age in
Germany was the following:

                                              More     More     Excess
           AGE            Male      Female    male    female  of female
  Under 10 years       6,904,732  6,871,599  33,133    --         --
  From 10 to 15 years  2,925,918  2,912,573  13,345    --         --
    “  15  “ 21   “    3,179,813  3,162,448  17,365    --         --
    “  21  “ 30   “    4,251,204  4,293,775    --     42,571      --
    “  30  “ 40   “    3,669,656  3,731,556    --     61,900      --
    “  40  “ 50   “    2,770,451  2,923,228    --    152,777      --
    “  50  “ 60   “    2,053,085  2,320,273    --    267,188      --
    “  60  “ 70   “    1,300,637  1,545,808    --    245,171      --
    “  70 years up       681,751    868,671    --    186,920      --
                      27,737,247 28,629,931  63,845  956,527    892,684

This table shows that up to the twenty-first year the number of boys
exceeds the number of girls.[78] This excess of boys is due to the
fact that everywhere more boys than girls are born. The following
number of boys and girls, for instance, were born in the German

  During the year 1872 for 100 girls 106.2 boys
     “    “    “  1884  “  100   “   106.2   “
     “    “    “  1900  “  100   “   106.0   “
     “    “    “  1905  “  100   “   106.3   “
     “    “    “  1907  “  100   “   106.3   “

But the male sex dies younger than the female sex; especially during
infancy more boys than girls die. Our table shows that from the
twenty-first year on the female population exceeds the male. The
following figures show the death-rate of male and female inhabitants
in Germany:

  the years  Male  Female

  1872–1875  29.5   26.3
  1876–1880  27.8   24.5
  1881–1885  27.3   24.2
  1886–1890  25.8   23.1
  1891–1895  24.6   22.1
  1896–1900  22.6   20.0
  1901–1905  21.0   18.8

[79] Hygienic and ethnological conditions of the German Empire.
Berlin, 1907--During the year 1907 for every 100 female deceased
there were 109.3 male.

The table on page 159 furthermore shows that at the true marriageable
age, between the twenty-first and fiftieth year the female sex exceeds
the male sex by 257,248 persons (in the year 1890 by 422,519) and
between the fiftieth and seventieth year by 699,279 (in the year
1890 by 566,400). In Germany as in England the number of old women
increases each year. A great disproportion, that constantly increases,
is furthermore met with among widowed and divorced persons.

According to the census of 1890 and 1900 there were the following
numbers of widowed persons in Germany:

                          1890        1900

  Men                    774,967     809,238
  Women                2,157,870   2,352,921
                      ----------  ----------
  More women than men  1,382,903   1,543,683

These widowed persons were of the following ages:

                            1890                1900
                        Men      Women      Men      Women

  40 to 60 years      222,286    842,920  225,191    900,357
  60 years and older  506,319  1,158,712  537,116  1,299,905

The number of divorced persons were during 1890, 25,271 men and
49,601 women. During 1900, 31,279 men and 60,738 women. These were
of the following ages:

                           1890            1900
                        Men    Women    Men    Women

  40 to 60 years      13,825  24,842  16,976  30,385
  60 years and older   4,917   7,244   5,713   8,452

These figures show us that widowed and divorced women are excluded
from remarriage, even during the age best suited to marriage. For
during the years 1890 and 1900 there were respectively 46,362 and
46,931 widowed men up to the fortieth year of age, while during
the same years there were respectively 156,235 and 152,689 widowed
women. There were divorced men in 1890 and 1900 respectively 6519
and 8590 and divorced women 17,515 and 21,901. Here the disadvantage
of divorce to the women is proved by figures.

The following shows the proportion of unmarried persons during 1900:

                         Men         Women

  15 to 40 years      6,700,352  5,824,464
  40 to 60 years        426,388    503,406
  60 years and older    141,416    252,134[80]

Among the unmarried persons between the fifteenth and fortieth year
there are, as above table shows, 875,888 more men than women, which
appears to be very favorable to women. But men between the fifteenth
and twenty-first year of age,--at which age there are 3,175,453
men to 3,064,567 women,--are, with very few exceptions, unable to
marry. The same may be said of men between the twenty-first and
twenty-fifth year of age, the great majority of whom are unable to
support a family, while women of this age are all marriageable.
When we furthermore consider the fact that for diverse reasons a
great many men do not marry at all,--the number of unmarried men
over 40 years were 567,804,--we find that the position of women in
regard to marriage is a highly unfavorable one. A great many women
then, under present-day conditions, are compelled to deny themselves
the legitimate satisfaction of the sexual impulse, while men seek
and find satisfaction in prostitution. The position of women would
become a far more favorable one, as soon as a transformation of
social conditions would abolish the obstacles that at present prevent
hundreds of thousands of men from becoming married.

As already mentioned the disproportion in the numbers of the sexes
is due to a great extent to emigration. Obligatory service in the
army also drives many young men, frequently the strongest, to seek
their fortune abroad. According to official reports of the army,
135,168 men were convicted of illicit emigration, and 13,055 more
cases were being investigated. These figures include men up to the
forty-fifth year. This illicit emigration of men from Germany causes
a considerable loss. Emigration is especially large in the years
following great wars; that was seen after 1866 and during the years
1871 to 1874.

We furthermore have great losses of life among men by accidents. In
Prussia during the period from 1883 to 1905 no less than 297,983
persons were killed by accidents; of these there were, during the one
year 1905, 11,792 men and 2,922 women. From 1886 to 1907, 150,719
persons were killed by accidents in industry, agriculture and state
or municipal employment; only a small fraction of these were women.
Another considerable portion of persons employed in these occupations
become maimed or crippled for life and therefore unable to maintain
a family. (There were 40,744 of these from 1886 to 1907.) Others
die young leaving their families in the neediest circumstances.
Much loss of life among men is also connected with navigation. From
1882 to 1907, 2,848 sea-going vessels were sunk, entailing a loss
of life of 4,913 members of the crew,--almost all men,--and 1,275

Only when the highest valuation of human life has been established,--which
will be the case in a Socialistic community,--will society be enabled
to prevent a great majority of accidents on land and sea. At present
many persons are killed or maimed as a result of illapplied economy
of employers. In many other cases accidents are due to excessive
speed or over-fatigue of workers. Human life is cheap. When one
workingman has been killed there are many others to take his place.

Especially in navigation many preventable accidents occur. By
the revelations of Plimsoll in the English parliament during the
seventies, the fact became generally known that many owners of
unseaworthy vessels, impelled by criminal greed, insured these
vessels at a high rate and then sent them with their crew to almost
certain destruction, in order to obtain the amount of insurance.
These are the so-called death-ships that are not unknown in Germany
either. Every year the marine bureaus are called upon to pronounce
their verdicts in connection with a number of marine accidents, and
those verdicts usually show the accidents to be due to advanced age
or overloading or improper condition of the vessel or insufficient
equipment, or a number of these causes combined. In the cases of many
sunken ships the causes of their sinking can never be determined,
because the disasters occur in mid-ocean and no one survives to
tell the tale. Many crimes are committed in this way. The stations
for saving ship-wrecked persons established at the coasts, are also
very insufficient because they are chiefly maintained by private
charity. An organized society that will regard it as its highest duty
to provide equally for all its members, will succeed in making all
these accidents of extremely rare occurrence. But under the present
predatory system, where human lives are regarded as mere ciphers
and the sole aim is to attain the highest possible profit, a human
life is sometimes sacrificed in order that a dollar may be gained.

[74] Throughout India polygamy exists in only a moderate form.
According to the census of 1901 which includes all religions, there
were for every 1000 married men, 1,011 married women. According
to this the monogamic equilibrium is not seriously interfered
with.--D. v. Mayer.

[75] Karl Buecher, on the distribution of both sexes upon the
earth; lecture delivered on Jan. 6, 1892, before the Geographical
and Statistical Society of Frankfort on the Main. General Statistic
Records published by Dr. George v. Mayer. Vol. II. Tubingen, 1892.

[76] G. v. Mayer--Dr. G. Schnapper Arndt in his book of Social
Statistics arrives at the same conclusion. “Taken all in all the
proportion of both sexes is approximately equal.”

[77] According to G. Schnapper Arndt; founded on recent census
figures, around the close of the century.

[78] According to the census of 1890, there was an excess of boys
only up to the tenth year of age, and according to the census of
1895, up to the sixteenth year.

[80] Statistics of the German Empire. Census of Dec. 1, 1900.

2.--Obstacles to Marriage.--The Excess of Women.

There are still other causes that make marriage difficult or
prevent it entirely. A considerable number of men are prevented
from marrying by the state. People condemn the enforced celibacy of
the Catholic clergy, but they do not mention the fact that a far
greater number of soldiers are doomed to celibacy likewise. When
an officer of the army wishes to marry, he not only requires the
consent of his superiors, he is also denied the free choice of a
wife, since it is prescribed that he must possess a certain amount
of wealth. In Austria a captain of the army seeking to marry, must
give a security of 30,000 florins if he is under thirty years of
age, 20,000 florins if he is over thirty; minor officers must give
a security of 16,000 florins. In all cases the fiancée of an army
officer must have lead an immaculate life, and her standard of living
must be suited to his rank. In Germany, officers of the army may
seek permission to marry only when they can prove that they have
an additional income. The required size of this additional income
varies with the different ranks. These are striking proofs of the
materialistic conception of marriage maintained by the state.

Public opinion in general maintains, that men should not marry
until they have attained their twenty-fourth or twenty-fifth year
of life. This opinion is founded on the fact that few men are able
to support a family before they have reached this age. Only persons
who are fortunate enough not to be obliged to win an independent
position,--persons of princely rank, for instance,--form an exception.
In their case we regard it as quite proper that a man should become
married at eighteen or nineteen, and a maiden at fifteen or sixteen
years of age. Princes come of age when they are eighteen years old,
and are considered competent to rule the most numerous people. Common
mortals do not come of age until they are twenty-one years old.

This difference of opinion in regard to the age at which marriage
is desirable, shows that only social considerations are taken into
account, that have no bearing upon man as a sex being. But nature
will not be fettered by definite social conditions and the views
that have sprung from these conditions. As soon as a human being
has attained maturity, the sexual impulse manifests itself with all
its vigor.

The advent of puberty with the female sex differs according to the
individual, the climate and the mode of life. In the torrid zones it
sets in as early as the ninth or tenth year, and sometimes one meets
women of that age with their first babes in their arms; but they
are faded when they have attained their twenty-fifth or thirtieth
year.[81] In the temperate zones girls usually attain puberty at
fourteen or sixteen years of age, in some cases later still. The age
of puberty also differs with girls living in the country from those
living in cities. Among the healthy, robust country girls who work
hard, as a rule menstruation sets in later than among our poorly
nourished, effeminate, ethereal young ladies in the cities, who suffer
from over-excitement of the nerves. In the country puberty usually
developes in the normal way. In the city its normal development is an
exception, and not infrequently it is accompanied by various symptoms
of disease that drive physicians to despair. Often physicians are
obliged to say that the only certain cure would be marriage. But in
many cases this cure cannot be applied, owing to the unsurmountable

All these factors show where we must seek a change. To begin with,
we need a complete revolution in our educational methods. We need a
system of education that takes both the physical and intellectual
qualities into consideration. Furthermore, we need an entirely
different mode of living and working. But both cannot be brought
about except by a ~complete transformation of social conditions~.

Our social conditions have created a profound contradiction between
man as a sex being and man as a social being. This contradiction has
never been so noticeable as in the present age, and it leads to many
evils and diseases to which women especially are subjected. In the
first place the woman’s organism is far more influenced by her sex
mission than man’s organism (for instance, the regular recurrence of
menstruation); in the second place she is confronted by the greatest
number of obstacles that prevent her from satisfying her strongest
natural impulse in a natural way. This contradiction between natural
impulse and social constraint leads to anomalies, to secret vices
and excesses that are bound to undermine even strong constitutions.
Unnatural satisfaction is frequently aided in a most shameless
manner. In the advertisements of newspapers and periodicals, certain
manufactures are recommended in a more or less veiled manner. These
advertisements appeal to the wealthy classes of society, because
the price of the manufactures are so high that a person of moderate
means could not buy them. Besides we find advertisements of obscene
pictures, entire series of photographs, and poetry and prose of a
similar character, whose very titles are intended to produce sensual
excitement. These matters ought to claim the attention of the police
and public prosecutors. But these gentlemen are too busy persecuting
Socialism, “that will destroy the home and the family,” to give their
full attention to such doings. A part of our novels influence the
sentiments of the reading public in the same direction. It is really
not to be wondered at if sexual debauchery, artificially stimulated,
gradually becomes a social disease.

Many women of the wealthy classes lead an idle, self-indulgent life.
They stimulate their nerves by the most extraordinary means, and
indulge in a certain enjoyment of art that creates an exaggerated
sentimentality and heightens their nervous irritability. All this
increases the sensual passions and naturally leads to excesses.
Among poor people sexual irritability is frequently heightened by
certain kinds of hard work, especially such work that compels people
to lead a sedentary life which creates congestion of the blood in
the abdominal organs. One of the most dangerous occupations in this
respect is constant work at the sewing machine, an occupation in
which a great many women are employed at present. This work is so
detrimental to the health of women that ten to twelve hours of it daily
will shatter the strongest constitution in a few years. Excessive
sexual irritability is also brought about by long hours of work in
a high temperature, for instance in sugar refineries, laundries,
printing establishments, etc. The same may be said of night work
with artificial light in overcrowded work-shops, especially where
members of both sexes work together.

Here again we are confronted by a number of evils that clearly show the
unhealthful and irrational character of present-day conditions. But
these evils that are deeply rooted in our social conditions, cannot
be removed by moralizing or by resorting to palliative measures,
such as social and religious quacks always have in readiness. It is
necessary to strike the root of the evil. The only redemption will
be to bring about social conditions that shall enable all persons
to obtain a natural education, to lead a healthful mode of life and
work, and to find normal satisfaction of all natural and healthy

Many obstacles do not exist for the man that do exist for the woman.
Owing to his position of rulership, his free choice of a mate is in
no wise hampered, except by the social considerations enumerated
above. But the nature of marriage as a means of support, the numerical
superiority of women, and custom,--all prevent the woman from asserting
her wishes. She is obliged to wait until someone seeks her. As a
rule she gladly avails herself of the first opportunity of finding a
husband who will save her from the social disregard and indifference
that are the usual portion of that unfortunate being, the old maid.
Many women look down with disdain upon those of their sisters who are
possessed of sufficient human dignity not to sell themselves into
the prostitution of marriage to the first man who comes along, but
prefer to walk on life’s thorny path alone. Nevertheless the man who
wishes to marry for love has social obstacles to consider. He must
ask himself: can I support a wife and the children who are likely
to come, without being weighed down by financial cares? If the man
has an ideal conception of marriage, if he is determined to let his
choice be influenced by love only, this question becomes all the
more important. At present conditions of earning and property are
such, that many men must answer this question in the negative, and
they accordingly prefer to remain unmarried. Many men do not acquire
an independent position, suited to their demands, until late in
life, and are not able to support a wife according to her station
in life unless she has a considerable fortune of her own. It must
be admitted of course, that many young men have an exaggerated idea
of what constitutes living according to their station; but owing to
the false education of many women and their social habits, these
young men must indeed be prepared that their wives will make demands
upon them that will exceed their means. They frequently do not make
the acquaintance of the good, modest women who are simple in their
tastes, because they are modest in their manners also and are not met
with in society where men have accustomed themselves to seek wives,
while the women they do meet often are the kind who seek to fascinate
a man by outward appearances and to deceive him in regard to their
personal qualities and their material position. When this type of
woman has attained an age at which marriage becomes urgent, lures of
all sorts are resorted to all the more eagerly. When such a woman has
succeeded in capturing a man, she has become so accustomed to outward
show, extravagance in dress and costly enjoyments that she wishes to
maintain them in her married life. Here men find themselves on the
verge of an abyss, and many prefer to leave the flowers that bloom
at this abyss unplucked. They prefer to pursue their path alone and
seek entertainment and enjoyment while maintaining their freedom.
Deception and fraud are common practices in bourgeois society. It
is not surprising that they also play a part in the contracting of
marriages and entail severe suffering of both parties.

Statistics show that the educated and wealthy classes as a rule
marry later in life than the lower classes. According to Westergaard
the average age of marriage in Copenhagen was: among professional
people, merchants, manufacturers and bankers, 32.2 years; among
mechanics and small dealers, 31.2 years; among clerks and commercial
employees, 29.7 years; among waiters and domestic servants, 28, and
among factory workers, sailors and day-laborers, 27.5 years. In
Prussia from 1881 to 1886 the average ages at which men married were:
miners, 27.6; factory workers, 27.7; metal workers, 28; stone-masons,
28.2; building trades, 28.6; workers in wood, 28.7; machinists, 29;
teaching, 29.1; agriculture, 29.6; railway service, 30; commerce,
30.9; physicians, clergymen and officials, 31.8 to 33.4. According
to Ansell the average age at which the well-to-do and educated
classes married in England from 1840 to 1871, was 29.95 years; but
since then it has been raised. From 1880 to 1885, the average ages
at which men of different professions married, were as follows:


  Miners             23.56
  Textile workers    23.88
  Clothing trades    24.42
  Mechanics          24.85
  Day-laborers       25.06
  Clerks             25.75
  Merchants          26.17
  Farmers            28.73
  Professional men
    and capitalists  30.72

These figures show how marriage is influenced by social position.
The fact that the average age of marriage in most European states
has been somewhat lowered during the last decades, is due to the
general growth of industrialism. This may be seen in Germany, Austria
and Sweden where the increase of early marriages is in connection
with the growing number of persons employed in industry. In older
industrial countries, as France and England, the average age of
marriage has been raised. Russia forms an exception; here the rise
in the average age of marriage is due to the abolition of communal

The number of men who are prevented from marrying for numerous
reasons is constantly increasing. This applies especially to the men
of the upper classes and the higher professions; firstly because
they are more pretentious, and secondly because these men are best
enabled to find companionship and pleasure outside of marriage.
Conditions are especially unfavorable to women in places where there
are many pensioners with their families, and few young men. There
we find from twenty to thirty women among hundred who are unable to
marry. The lack of men seeking marriage is most severely felt by
those women, who have been accustomed by their social position to
require a certain standard of life but who have no dowery. This is
especially true of the young girls of those numerous families that
depend upon a fixed salary which leaves them socially respectable
but poor. These girls often become dangerous competitors to the
working girls who earn their living by embroidery, making underwear,
making artificial flowers, hats, gloves, etc.; that is, in all those
trades in which the employers prefer to have the work done in the
homes of the workers. These ladies often work for the lowest wages
because they are not obliged to earn their living entirely but only
wish to add to the family income or to earn enough to pay for their
clothes. Employers favor the competition of these ladies, because it
enables them to reduce the wages of the poor proletarian workers and
to drive them to the utmost exertion of their strength. Many wives
of government officials, whose husbands are poorly paid and cannot
maintain them according to their standard of living, also employ
their spare time in such sordid competition, which means increased
exploitation among large strata of female proletarians.

The agitation carried on by the bourgeois women’s clubs to elevate
women’s work and to gain admission for women into the higher
professions, is especially destined to improve the position of women
of the upper classes. In order to do this successfully, these clubs
seek the patronage of ladies of high rank. In this respect the
bourgeois women only follow the example of the bourgeois men, who
also seek such patronage and become interested in such endeavors
that only show small, never large results. In this way people waste
a tremendous amount of effort, and deceive themselves and others in
regard to the necessity of thorough-going reform. In these circles
no doubt is permitted to arise as to the justice and wisdom of our
present state and social order. The conservative nature of such
endeavors prevent clubs of this kind from being permeated by so-called
destructive tendencies. At a convention of women in Berlin during
the spring of 1894, a minority expressed the thought that it might
be well if the bourgeois women would co-operate with the proletarian
women, that is, the Socialist women; but with a majority of the
delegates this suggestion called forth a storm of protest. But the
conservative tendencies of the bourgeois women will not accomplish
the liberation of womankind.

How many women are excluded from marriage owing to the causes
previously stated, cannot be definitely determined. The numerical
superiority of women in Germany is distributed very unevenly, both
in regard to the different countries and districts and in regard to
age. The following table has been compiled from the census of 1900
(Statistic of the German Empire):

                                |  Number of women for every 1000 men
                                | under 15  15 to 40  40 to 60  over 60
  Berlin                        |   1012      1044      1191     1659
  Kingdom of Saxony             |   1015      1030      1107     1360
     “     “ Bavaria to the     |
             right of the Rhine |   1015      1024      1083     1163
     “     “ Bavaria to the     |
             left of the Rhine  |    986       997      1070     1157
     “     “ Wurtemberg         |   1015      1041      1134     1179
  Baden                         |   1000       974      1079     1173
  Hamburg                       |    999      1031      1038     1454
  Province of Brandenburg       |    993      1015      1089     1276
      “     “ Pomerania         |    989      1035      1099     1214
      “     “ the Rhine         |    991       954      1008     1120
  German Empire                 |    995      1008      1087     1218

At the true marriageable age, from 15 to 40 years, the numerical
superiority of women in the entire German Empire is 8 for every 1,000
men. The number of male inhabitants between 15 and 40 years of age is
11,100,673; the number of female inhabitants between 15 and 40 years
of age is 11,187,779. So we have a super-abundance of 87,106 women. In
1900 there were 11,146,833 German women of child-bearing age (18 to
45 years). Among these only 6,432,772 (57.71 percent) were married;
283,629 (2.54 percent) were widowed; 31,176 (0.28 percent) were
divorced, and 4,399,286 (39.47 percent) were single. The following
table shows the proportion of the sexes in other countries:

                           |  In  |  Number of women for every 1000 men
                           |  the +--------------------------------------
                           | year | under 15  15 to 40  40 to 60  over 60
  Germany                  | 1900 |    995      1008      1087      1218
  Austria                  | 1890 |   1005      1046      1079      1130
  Hungary                  | 1900 |    998      1029       982      1033
  Servia                   | 1896 |    969       952       925       804
  Italy                    | 1881 |    963      1021      1005       980
  Switzerland              | 1888 |    999      1059      1103      1148
  France                   | 1896 |    998      1012      1029      1108
  Louxembourg              | 1900 |    992       853       988      1063
  Belgium                  | 1890 |    992       984      1018      1117
  Netherlands              | 1899 |    986      1031      1031      1145
  Denmark                  | 1890 |    978      1080      1073      1179
  Sweden                   | 1899 |    971      1016      1146      1252
  England and Wales        | 1891 |   1006      1075      1096      1227
  Scotland                 | 1891 |    973      1073      1165      1389
  Ireland                  | 1901 |    968      1037      1103      1032
  United States of America | 1900 |    979       969       989       987
  Egypt                    | 1897 |    943       996       943      1015
  Japan                    | 1891 |    978       962       951      1146
  New South Wales          | 1891 |    978       827       679       665
  Queensland               | 1891 |    976       698       559       611
  Tasmania                 | 1891 |    977       877       898       632
  New Zealand              | 1891 |    979       927       661       654
  Cape of Good Hope        | 1891 |    989      1008       939      1019

This table shows that in all countries having a similar economic
structure, similar conditions exist in regard to the proportion of
the sexes. In all these countries then a great many women,--apart
from all other obstacles already mentioned,--have no prospect of
becoming married. In England in 1901 among 1,000 women over 15 years
only 496.4 were married; in Scotland, 442.8; in Ireland, 370.9; in
Sweden, 468.2; in Norway, 469.9.

How do these facts impress those persons who oppose the struggle
of women for independence and equal rights by relegating them to
marriage and the home? It is not due to ill will on the part of the
women if so many fail to marry.

But what becomes of these victims of our social conditions? That
nature has been sinned against is expressed in the peculiar features
and traits of character by which old maids and ascetic old bachelors
are distinguished from other persons in all countries and climates,
and goes to show the strong and harmful influence resulting from the
suppression of natural instincts. Many forms of hysteria among women
are due to this cause. Hysteria is also caused by dissatisfaction
in marriage, which sometimes results in sterility.

These are the general characteristics of modern marriage and its
results. From them we must draw the following conclusion: Present-day
marriage is an institution ~that is closely connected with existing
social conditions, with which it must stand and fall. But this
marriage is in a state of decline and dissolution as bourgeois society
itself~. Which are the salient points that we have determined in
regard to bourgeois marriage?

1.--The birth-rate is declining although the population is increasing,
which shows that the economic status of the family has deteriorated.

2.--Divorces are increasing more rapidly than the population is
growing, and in most cases women are the ones to seek divorce,
although they suffer most in consequence of it, both economically
and socially. This shows that the unfavorable factors in marriage
are increasing, that marriage is in a state of dissolution.

3.--The marriage-rate is declining, notwithstanding the fact that
the population is increasing; which proves that in the eyes of many
persons marriage no longer accomplishes its social and moral purpose
and is regarded as worthless or of doubtful value.

4.--In almost all civilized states there is a disproportion in the
number of the sexes, the female sex predominating. This is not due
to natural causes,--since ~more~ boys than girls are born,--but to
unfavorable social and political factors that are rooted in conditions
of state and society.

~As all these unnatural conditions that are especially harmful
to women are established by the nature of bourgeois society and
increase with the duration of its existence, this society proves
itself incompetent to abolish the evils and to liberate woman. To
accomplish this a different social order will be necessary.~

[81] Ely Metschnikoff--The Nature of Man.


Prostitution a Necessary Social Institution of Bourgeois Society.

1.--Prostitution and Society.

Marriage constitutes one phase of the sex relations of bourgeois
society; prostitution constitutes the other. If men fail to find
satisfaction in marriage, they, as a rule, seek it with prostitution;
and those men who for one reason or another refrain from marrying,
seek satisfaction with prostitutes also. To those men then, who
voluntarily or involuntarily lead an unmarried life, and to those who
do not find their expectations realized in marriage, opportunities
for satisfaction of the sexual impulse are far more favorable than
to women.

Men have always regarded it as their “just” privilege to employ
prostitution. But they are relentless in condemning a woman who
is not a prostitute, when she has “fallen.” That natural impulses
are implanted in women as well as in men and that these manifest
themselves particularly strongly at certain periods of a woman’s
life, does not alter their judgment. By means of his ruling position
man compels woman to suppress her most powerful instincts, and makes
chastity the condition of her social position and of marriage. Nothing
can prove the dependent position of woman in a more emphatic and
revolting way than these vastly differing conceptions in regard to
the satisfaction of the same natural impulse.

Man is especially favored by conditions. The results of sexual
intercourse have been assigned to the woman by nature, while man has
the enjoyment only without trouble or responsibility. This natural
advantage of men over women has fostered the unbridled lust which
characterizes a great many men. But as a great many causes prevent or
limit the legitimate satisfaction of the sexual impulse the result
is its illegitimate satisfaction.

~Prostitution thus becomes a necessary social institution of bourgeois
society, just as the police, the standing army, the church and the
capitalist class.~ This is no exaggeration; we can prove it. We have
shown how prostitution was regarded as a necessary institution in
ancient society and how it was organized by the state in both Greece
and Rome. We have also shown what views prevailed in regard to it
during the Christian middle ages. Even St. Augustin who was, after
Paul, the staunchest pillar of Christianity and ardently preached
asceticism, could not refrain from exclaiming: “Suppress the public
prostitutes and the force of passion will overturn everything.”
St. Thomas Aquin, who is still considered the greatest authority
on theology, has expressed the same opinion more forcibly still by
saying: “Prostitution in the cities is like the cess-pool in the
palace; if you remove the cess-pool the palace will become an unclean
and evil smelling place.” The provincial council at Milan in 1665
held the same view. But let us consult some modern opinions.

Dr. F. S. Huegel says: “Advancing civilization will gradually clothe
prostitution in more pleasing forms, but only with the destruction of
the world will it come to an end!”[82] That is a bold assertion, but
whoever cannot think beyond the form of bourgeois society, whoever
does not admit that society will transform itself to attain healthful
and natural conditions, must agree with Dr. Huegel. M. Rubner, an
authority on hygiene, professor at the University of Berlin, and
director of the Hygienic Institute, expresses a similar opinion. He
says: “Prostitution of women has existed at all times and among all
peoples. It is indestructable because it serves the sexual impulse
and springs from human nature and because in many cases the tendency
to prostitution is due to an innate vice of some women. Just as we
find in every population geniuses beside idiots, giants besides
dwarfs, and other abnormities, so we also find by the chance of
birth abnormities which must lead to prostitution.”[83]

None of the above-named conceive the thought that a different social
order might remove the causes of prostitution, and none seek to
investigate the causes. Some who take up this problem faintly recognize
that unfortunate social conditions, weighing heavily upon countless
women, might be the chief cause why so many sell their bodies. ~But
they do not draw the conclusion that if this be the case, it becomes
necessary to bring about different social conditions.~ Among the
few who recognize that economic conditions form the chief cause of
prostitution is Th. Bade.[84] He says: “The causes of the boundless
moral degradation from which the prostitute girls emerge are founded
on ~social~ conditions. They are especially due to the decline of
the middle classes, particularly the artisan class, among whom only
very few continue to ply their trade independently.” Bade concludes
his observations by saying: “Material need which has destroyed many
middle class families and continues to destroy them also leads to
their moral degradation, especially to that of the female sex.”[85]

But prostitution is not an institution of nature that, as R. Schmoelder
says: “Will remain a constant companion of humanity,”[86] it is a
social institution without which we cannot conceive bourgeois society.

The police physician of Leipsic, Dr. J. Kuehn, says: “Prostitution
is not only a bearable, but a necessary evil. It protects women from
adultery (which only men have a right to commit--the author) and guards
virtue (of course the virtue of women because men are not required
to be virtuous--the author) against assault and destruction.”[87]
These words grossly characterize the incarnate selfishness of men.
Kuehn maintains the correct position of a police physician, whose
duty it is to guard men against unpleasant diseases by the police
surveillance of prostitution. Only the man is taken into consideration
to whom celibacy is horrible and a torture, but the millions of
women doomed to celibacy must content themselves. What is considered
right in the man’s case, is considered wrong, immoral and criminal
in the woman’s.

Another interesting gentleman is Dr. Fock, who regards prostitution
as a “necessary correlation of our civilization.”[88] He fears an
overproduction of human beings if all persons should marry after
having attained maturity, and therefore considers it important that
prostitution should be regulated by the state. He considers police
surveillance of prostitution justifiable, and that the State should
furnish men with prostitutes who are free from syphilis. He declares
himself in favor of closest surveillance of all women who can be
convicted of leading a disorderly life. But can this surveillance
be carried out, if ladies leading a disorderly life belong to the
upper classes? It is the old story. Dr. Fock also recommends that
a tax should be levied upon prostitutes and that they should be
confined to certain streets. In other words, the ~Christian state~
should make prostitution a source of income by state organization
and protection of vice in the interest of men.

Dr. Henry Severus,[89] who also favors legal recognition of
prostitution maintains an original point of view. He regards it
as a useful institution, because it is a necessary correlation of
marriage, and that without it the free choice in marriage would be
impaired. According to him prostitution is a sort of safety-valve
of bourgeois society. He claims: “Much of the poverty that leads
to such deplorable social conditions may be traced to the fact,
that marriages are recklessly contracted, without questioning how
the necessary means of livelihood might be obtained. It is in the
interest of the state, that such marriages should not be contracted,
for the children that spring from them cannot be sufficiently provided
for by their parents, nor do they belong in the foundling hospital,
being legitimate children, and thus become ~a peril to society~.
Prostitution,” he goes on to say, “prevents that the force of natural
instinct should lead to the contracting of marriages that result in
an ~increase of those elements of the population~ who, owing to lack
of education and an unfortunate childhood, ~developes sentiments
that are hostile to the state and become enemies of society~.” So
according to this, state regulation of vice furnishes a protection
and a remedy against socialism--a view that may at least lay claim
to originality.

So we may reiterate our assertion, prostitution is a necessary social
institution of bourgeois society, just as the police, the standing
army, the church and the capitalist class.

[82] F. Huegel.--History, Statistics and Regulation of Prostitution
in Vienna, 1865.

[83] Max Rubner--Text Book of Hygiene. Leipsic, 1907.

[84] Th. Bade. Procurers and public dance halls.

[85] Statistics gathered by the Berlin police in 1871–72 concerning
the parentage of 2,224 enrolled prostitutes showed the following
figures: 1,015 equal 47.9 per cent. came from the artisan class;
467 equal 22.0 per cent. were daughters of factory laborers; 305
equal 14.4 per cent. of minor officials; 222 equal 10.4 per cent.
of merchants, etc.; 37 equal 4.1 per cent. of farmers, and 26 equal
1.2 per cent of military men. With 102 the father’s profession could
not be determined.

[86] R. Schmoelder, Punishment of fornication as a trade.

[87] J. Kuehn. Prostitution in the nineteenth century from the
standpoint of police sanitation.

[88] Dr. Fock--Prostitution in its ethical and sanitary aspect.

[89] Dr. H. Severus--Prostitution and the state.

2.--Prostitution and the State.

State supervision and organization of prostitution does not exist
in the German empire as it does in France; prostitution is merely
tolerated. Disorderly houses are prohibited by law and procurers may
be severely punished. But notwithstanding these laws in many German
cities, among others in Mayence, Magdeburg, Altona, Kiel, Nuremberg,
Worms, Freiburg, Leipsic, Regensburg, Hamburg, Augsburg, Wuerzburg,
disorderly houses exist that are tolerated by the police.[90] This
seems an incredible state of affairs and its contradiction to the
laws must be well known to our government officials. According to
German law, persons renting an apartment to a prostitute are subject
to punishment. On the other hand, the police are obliged to tolerate
thousands of prostitutes and to protect them in their trade if they
submit to the prescribed rules, for instance, to regular examination
by a physician. But if the state makes concessions to prostitutes
and supports them in the plying of their trade, it is necessary for
them to have a residence also; in fact, it becomes necessary to
public health and order that their trade should be carried on in
definite quarters. What contradictions! On the one hand the state
officially recognizes prostitution; on the other hand it persecutes
and punishes prostitutes and procurers. Moreover, this attitude
of the state confirms, that to modern society, prostitution is a
sphynx whose riddle it cannot solve. Religion and morality condemn
prostitution, the laws punish it, and yet the state tolerates and
protects it. In other words, our society that prides itself on its
morality, its piety, its civilization and culture must suffer itself
to be polluted by the slow poison of immorality and corruption. Still
another conclusion follows from these conditions: ~the Christian state
admits that marriage is insufficient and that the man is justified
in seeking illegitimate satisfaction of the sexual impulse~. The
woman is taken into consideration by this same state only, inasmuch
as she yields to the illegitimate satisfaction of male lust, that
is, becomes a prostitute. The police supervision and control of
enlisted prostitutes does not include the men who mingle with the
prostitutes, which ought to be a matter of course if the medical
surveillance were to be partly effective at least, quite disregarding
the fact that justice demands that the law should be equally applied
to both sexes.

This protection of the man from the woman by the state overturns
the nature of conditions. It appears as if men were the weaker, and
women the stronger sex, as if women were the seducer, and poor, weak
man the seduced. The myth of temptation of Adam and Eve in Paradise
continues to influence our conceptions and laws and sustains the
Christian assumption, that “woman is the great seducer, the source
of sin.” Men ought to be ashamed of the pitiable and unworthy part
they are playing, but it is pleasing to them to be regarded as “weak”
and as “victims of seduction” for ~the more they are protected the
more they may sin~.

Wherever men come together in great numbers, they do not seem to be
able to enjoy themselves without prostitution. That was seen among
other instances by the occurrences at the rifle match in Berlin during
the summer of 1890. These occurrences caused 2,300 women to sign a
petition to the mayor of the German capital, which read as follows:
“We beg your honor to permit our quoting what has been reported in
regard to this festival by the press and other sources. These reports,
which we read with the greatest indignation and disgust, among other
things thus described the entertainments provided at the festival:
‘First, German Herold, greatest Café Chantant of the world’; hundred
ladies and forty gentlemen; besides small variety shows and rifle
ranges from which exceedingly obtrusive women molested the men;
furthermore free concerts, where lightly garbed waitresses boldly
and unrestrained, with seductive smiles forced their attentions
alike on men and youths, on college boys and fathers of families.
But the ‘lady’ who was almost nude and who invited them to visit
the booths ‘The Secrets of Hamburg, or a Night in St. Pauli,’ might
at least have been removed by the police. But the worst, something
that plain men and women from the provinces can hardly accredit to
the far-famed capital of the empire, was the fact that the committee
on arrangements had permitted, that instead of waiters, young women
in great numbers were engaged as waitresses and bar-maids without
pay. We German women, as mothers, wives and sisters, frequently have
occasion to send our brothers, husbands, sons and daughters to Berlin
in service of the fatherland, and so we beg your honor, trusting
to your influence as chief executive of the national capital to
investigate these occurrences and to prevent a repetition of these
orgies, especially at the forthcoming celebration of the victory at

During all large festivals, including the national ones, when men
come together in great numbers, similar scenes occur.[91]

The German governments made frequent attempts to do away with the
contradiction that exists between the legal theories and actual
practice in regard to prostitution. They introduced bills among
other things, which authorized the police to assign definite places
of residence to the prostitutes. It was admitted that prostitution
could not be suppressed and that it would therefore be better to
limit it to certain places and to control it. Such a law--on this
all were agreed--would have reinstated the public brothels that had
been officially abolished in Prussia during the forties of the last
century. The introduction of these bills caused great excitement
and aroused much protest. It was stated that the state by extending
protection to vice spread the opinion that prostitution was not
averse to morality and was an officially sanctioned trade. These
bills that met with much opposition in Parliament, have until now,
remained unsettled. But their very introduction shows the predicament
of the state.

State regulation and control of vice not only create the belief
among men that the state favors prostitution, it also leads them
to believe that this regulation protects them from disease, and
this belief makes men more reckless and increases the employment of
prostitution. Public brothels do not diminish sexual diseases, they
promote them, because ~men become more reckless and careless~. To
what conceptions the official protection of brothels leads may be
seen from the term applied to the licensed prostitutes in England,
who were called “Queen’s women” because they had obtained official
recognition through a law enacted by the queen. Experience has
taught, that neither the introduction of public brothels under
police supervision nor regular medical examination insure safety
from contagion.

To an inquiry from the woman’s committee of Vienna for combatting the
state regulation of vice Dr. Albert Eulenburg wrote as follows: “In
regard to the question of police supervision of prostitutes I fully
share, as a matter of principle, the point of view set forth in your
petition, though, of course I recognize the practical difficulty of
its immediate application. I regard this practice which has been
introduced in most countries as unjust, unworthy, and moreover as
entirely unsuited to attain the object stated with any certain degree
of safety.” On July 20, 1892, the Berlin Medical Society declared
that the reinstatement of public brothels would be undesirable,
both from a hygienic and moral point of view.

The nature of these diseases is such that in many cases it cannot
be recognized easily, or at once, and to attain a certain degree of
safety several daily examinations would be necessary. But this is
impossible, owing to the great number of women in question and the
large expense it would entail. Where 30 to 40 prostitutes have to be
examined in one hour, the examination is nothing more than a farce,
and in the same way one or two weekly examinations are entirely
insufficient. Dr. Blaschko[92] says: “The belief, that control of
prostitutes furnishes protection against contagion, unfortunately
is a widespread and detrimental error. Rather can it be asserted
that everyone who associates with a prostitute or a frivolous girl
faces a grave danger each time.”

The success of these measures fails also because the men who carry
the germs of disease from one woman to another remain entirely free
from control. A prostitute who has just been examined and found
healthy may become infected by a diseased man in the very same hour,
and before the next examination takes place, or before she herself
has become aware of the disease, she may have infected a number
of other visitors. The control is an imaginary one. Besides the
obligatory examinations by male instead of female physicians deeply
injure the sense of modesty and help to destroy it completely. This
statement is confirmed by a great many physicians who perform such
examinations.[93] The same is admitted even in the official report
of the Berlin police department, where it says it must be admitted
~that official enrollment still increases the moral degradation of
those affected by it~.[94] ~The prostitutes do whatever they can to
escape this control.~

Another evil result of these measures is, that it is made very
difficult, indeed almost impossible to prostitutes, to return to
a decent means of livelihood. ~A woman who has fallen into police
control is lost to society; as a rule she miserably perishes after
a few years.~ The fifth congress for combatting immorality, held in
Geneva, thus expressed itself forcibly and correctly against the
state regulation of vice: “The obligatory medical examination of
prostitutes is a cruel punishment to the woman, for in those who are
subjected to it the last remnant of modesty that may still exist in
the most depraved, is forcibly destroyed. The state that seeks to
regulate prostitution by police control forgets that it owes equal
protection to both sexes, it degrades and demoralizes the woman.
Every system of official regulation of vice permits of arbitrary
police rule and leads to the infringement of personal safety against
arbitrary arrest and imprisonment, against which even the lowest
criminal is guarded. As these encroachments occur only at the expense
of the woman, they lead to an unnatural inequality between her and
the man. The woman is degraded to a mere object and is no longer
treated as a person. ~She is excluded from the law.~”

How little police and medical control avail has been strikingly shown
in England. Before the beginning of official regulation, in the year
1867, the number of venereal diseases in the army were, according
to a military report, 91 per 1,000. In 1886, after the regulation
had been in effect for nineteen years they were 110 per 1,000. In
1892, six years after the regulation laws had been repealed they were
only 79 per 1,000. Among civilians the cases of syphilis were 10 per
1,000 during the years 1879 to 1882, that was during the years of
public regulation. After the abolition of public regulation, from
1885 to 1889 they were only 8.1 per 1,000.

The prostitutes themselves were far more affected by the regulation
laws than the soldiers. In 1866 there were among 1,000 prostitutes,
121 cases of disease. In 1868 after the law had been in force for
two years there were 202 cases among 1,000. After that the number
gradually decreased, but in 1874 there still were 16 cases more per
thousand than in 1866. The death rate among prostitutes also increased
appallingly during the reign of that law. When at the close of the
sixties of the last century the English government attempted to
extend the regulation laws to include all English cities, a storm of
indignation arose among English women. They regarded the law as an
insult to their entire sex. The habeas corpus, they claimed, that
fundamental law which guaranteed protection to every English citizen,
was to be abolished for women; every brutal police officer impelled
by revenge or other base motives, would be permitted to attack the
most respectable woman if he suspected her of being a prostitute,
while the licentiousness of men would not be interfered with, but
would on the contrary be protected and fostered by law.

The fact that English women under the leadership of Josephine Butler
championed the most degraded of their sex, caused ignorant men to
misconstrue their intentions and to make insulting remarks about them.
But regardless of these attacks they opposed the extension of the
obnoxious law with utmost energy. In newspaper articles and pamphlets
arguments in favor of it and against it were fully discussed, until
its extension was prevented, and in 1886 is was repealed.[95]

The German police has a similar power, and sometimes cases have been
called to public attention in Berlin, Leipsic, Cologne, Hannover
and many other places, showing that abuses or “misunderstandings”
easily occur with the exercise of this power, but not much is heard
among us of an energetic opposition to such transgressions.[96] In
Norway, brothels were ~prohibited~ in 1888, and in the capital,
Christiania, the obligatory registration of prostitutes and the
medical examination connected with it was ~abolished~. ~In January,
1893, the same ordinance was enacted for the entire country.~ Very
correctly Mrs. Guillaume-Shack says in regard to state “protection”
for men: “To what purpose do we teach our sons to respect virtue
and morality if the state declares vice to be a necessary evil; if
young men, before they have even attained intellectual maturity,
are given women stamped like commodities by the public authorities
as playthings of their passions?”

A man inflicted with a sexual disease may indulge in unbridled
licentiousness and may infect any number of these unfortunate beings,
most of whom have been driven by seducers or by bitterest need into
this abominable trade. The law leaves him unmolested. But woe to the
poor, diseased prostitute who does not immediately submit to medical
treatment! The garrison towns, university towns and sea port towns,
where many strong, healthy men aggregate, are the chief centers of
prostitution and its dangerous diseases, which are disseminated
all over the land and everywhere spread suffering and destruction.
The moral qualification of a great number of our students is
described in the following manner in the “Gazette for Combatting
Public Immorality”[97]: “Among a majority of the students the views
concerning moral questions are appallingly base, almost depraved.”
From these circles that boast about their “German spirit” and “German
morals,” our public officials, prosecutors and judges are obtained.
How bad matters must be, especially among students, may be seen from
the following: In the fall of 1901, a large group of professors and
physicians, among them leading men in their professions, published
an appeal to German students, in which they called special attention
to the deplorable results of sexual debauchery, and also warned the
young men of excessive indulgence in alcoholic drinks, which in many
cases have a stimulating influence on sexual debauchery. At last
people are beginning to recognize that the policy of silence is a
mistaken one, and that we must call a spade a spade, if we would
check an immeasurable disaster. Among other classes of society also
this warning should not remain unheeded.

The Biblical utterance that the sins of the fathers shall be visited
upon their children applies in its fullest measure to the man afflicted
with a sexual disease; unfortunately also to his innocent wife.
“Apoplectic strokes among young men and women, forms of paralysis
of the spine and softening of the brain, various nervous diseases,
weakening of the eye sight, inflammation of the bowels, sterility
and general debility are frequently due to no other cause than a
neglected case of syphilis, that has, for good reasons been kept
secret. As conditions are to-day ignorance and carelessness transform
blooming daughters of the nation into weak and sickly creatures
who must pay with chronic diseases for the extravagances of their
husbands before and outside of marriage.”[98] Dr. A. Blaschko says
among other things: “Epidemics like cholera, small pox, diphtheria
and typhoid terrify the people, because the suddenness of the
results are clearly visible to everybody. But syphilis is regarded
by society with an appalling indifference. And yet syphilis is far
more widespread and much more terrible in its effects than any of
the above-mentioned diseases.”[99] The fact that we regard it as
“indecent” to discuss such matters, accounts for this indifference.
Even the German diet could not bring itself to provide legally for
the treatment of persons afflicted with sexual diseases by means of
the sick benefit funds, as in the case of other diseases.[100]

The poison of syphilis is the most tenacious and the hardest to
eradicate of all poisons. Many years after the disease has been
apparently cured the evil results frequently manifest themselves in
the wife of the diseased or in his new-born children, and countless
sicknesses of married women and children are due to the sexual
diseases of husbands and fathers. In a petition addressed to the
German Parliament in the fall of 1899 by the society “Jugendschutz”
(protection of the young) it was stated that there are about 30,000
children in Germany who are blind from birth due to contagion from
gonorrhoea, and that among 50 per cent of childless women, sterility
is due to the same cause.[101] As a matter of fact an alarmingly
large number of marriages is childless, and moreover the number of
childless marriages is increasing. Feeble-mindedness and idiocy among
children is also not infrequently due to the same cause, and many
instances have shown what disasters can be caused with vaccination by
a single drop of blood inoculated with the poison of syphilis. The
great number of persons suffering from a sexual disease has caused
several suggestions to be made for the enactment of a national law
providing special treatment for persons so afflicted. But until now
no such step was taken, probably because one feared the enormity of
the evil that would then become manifest. Medical authorities have
generally gained the conviction, that gonorrhoea, which was formerly
regarded as harmless, is one of the most dangerous of these diseases.
This disease continues to act upon the human system even after it
has been apparently cured. As Dr. Blaschko reported in a lecture
in Berlin on the 20th of February, 1898, the medical examinations
of prostitutes reveal only one-fourth, or at best one-third of the
actual number of cases. As a matter of fact, the overwhelmingly great
majority of prostitutes are afflicted with this disease, while only
a small percentage of the cases are properly diagnosed. Of those in
whom the disease is recognized it is again only a small percentage
with whom a permanent cure is effected. Here society is confronted by
an evil for which it has no remedy as yet, but which is an imminent
peril to mankind, especially to its female half.

[90] Paul Kampffmeyer--Prostitution as a social class phenomenon
and the social and political struggle against it.

[91] “When the Farmers’ Association convenes in the Circus Bush, or
large conventions are being held in Berlin, there is a rise in price
of human flesh.” Satyr--Life at Night in the Friedrich Strasse,
Berlin, 1907.

[92] Handbook of Hygiene, published by Th. Weyl, M. D. Hygiene of
Prostitution and Venereal Diseases, compiled by Dr. A. Blaschko,

[93] “As a matter of fact the system of regulation does not
successfully fight the venereal diseases, nor even noticeably diminish
them. The delusive feeling of safety given to men makes them more
reckless. The increase in the number of correlation heightens the
danger of contagion by at least as much as it has been diminished by
the removal of a few who were seriously diseased.” August Forel--The
Sex Question, Munich, 1907.

[94] Third report of the royal police department of Berlin for the
years 1881 to 1890.

[95] The most reliable supporters of the women were the English
workingmen. In her famous publication on “The History of a Crusade,”
Josephine Butler says: “We resolved to appeal to the nation. In the
fall of 1869 we sent personal letters to every member of Parliament
of both houses and to many other leaders of political and religious
parties. Of all the replies received only very few expressed
complete agreement with our point of view. As we obtained so little
encouragement from those circles whose interest we had hoped to
win, we turned to the working class population of the country. I am
conscious of the fact that the working class has its faults and is
no less devoid of egotism than other classes of the population. But
I am firmly convinced that when the people are appealed to in the
name of justice they almost invariably show a loyal and reliable

[96] In 1901 it occurred in Vienna that a French lady was abused
by the police agent, Newhofer, amidst the shouts of a mob, was
imprisoned among prostitutes and subjected to a forcible medical
examination. This case led to five interpellations in the diet. In
1902 in Hamburg and Kiel ladies were arrested as prostitutes and
were treated with brutality. These occurrences led to a gigantic
meeting of protest in Hamburg on September 8, that was attended by
members of all parties.

[97] August 15, 1893, Berlin.

[98] The detrimental results of prostitution. Dr. Oscar Lassar,
Berlin, 1892, August Hirschwald.

[99] Treatment of sexual diseases in sick benefit fund institutions
and hospitals, Berlin, 1890.

[100] The ordinance of the insurance laws which enabled communities to
refuse the payment of sick benefits in cases of sexual diseases was
repealed by a law on May 25, 1903, that went into effect January 1,

[101] Examinations in asylums for the blind showed that the
following number of persons were blind from birth through infection:
Berlin, 21.3; Vienna, 31; Breslau, 35.1; Budapest, 47.9; Munich,
73.8.--Th. Weyl, Social Hygiene, Jena, 1904.

3.--The White Slave Trade.

As the number of men increases who refrain from marriage, be it
by choice or under the pressure of circumstances, and who seek
illegitimate satisfaction of the sexual impulse, the temptations
and opportunities for illegitimate satisfaction increase likewise.
Because immoral enterprises yield high profits many unscrupulous
persons are engaged in them, and resort to the craftiest methods
to attract customers. Every requirement of the patrons according
to position and rank and means is taken into consideration. If the
public brothels could reveal their secrets, it would become known that
their inmates, who are of lowly birth, ignorant and uneducated, but
possessed of physical charms, have intimate relations with educated
and cultured men who occupy prominent social positions. Here they
freely come and go, public officials, military men, representatives
of the people, judges, the aristocracy of birth and finance, of
commerce and industry. Many of these men are regarded as upholders
of public morality and guardians of the sanctity of marriage and the
family, and some are leaders of Christian charitable undertakings
and members of organizations “to combat prostitution.” In Berlin,
the owner of one of these establishments serving immoral purposes
even publishes an illustrated gazette, in which the doings of his
patrons are described. In this establishment 400 persons can be
seated, and every evening a fashionable gathering assembles there,
among them (so the gazette tells us) many members of the aristocracy.
Frequently well known actresses and famed belles of the demi-monde
are present. The merriment reaches its height when in the wee hours
of the morning the proprietors arrange an eel-catching tournament.
Then the fair patronesses squat about the tanks with their clothes
tucked up and try to catch the eel, and so forth. The police is well
aware of these doings, but carefully refrains from interfering with
the amusements of fashionable society. The following circular, sent by
the management of a Berlin dancing establishment to fashionable men,
is another shameless form of pandering. It reads: “The undersigned
management of the hunting establishment to whom you, dear sir, have
been recommended as a passionate hunter, beg to call your attention
to a newly-opened hunting ground with a splendid stock of deer and to
invite you to the first chase on August 26th. Special circumstances
make our new hunting grounds particularly convenient and pleasant:
they are located in the heart of the city and the game-laws are not
enforced.” Our bourgeois society is like a great masquerade in which
all seek to deceive one another. Every one wears his official gown
with dignity, while inofficially he indulges his passions without
restraint. Yet, outwardly, all feign decency, religiousness and
morality. In no age was hypocrisy as widespread as in ours.

The supply of women for immoral purposes increases faster than the
demand. Unfavorable social conditions, poverty, seduction, and the fact
that many women are attracted by the outward glitter of an apparently
free life, help to furnish victims from all strata of society. In a
novel by Hans Wachenhusen[102] we find a characteristic description
of the conditions that prevail in the German capital. The author
thus describes the purpose of his novel: “My book especially tells
of the victims of the female sex and their increasing depreciation
as a result of our unnatural social conditions, partly through their
own fault, partly through a neglected education and the love of
luxury. It tells of the surplus of this sex that makes the lives of
those, who are born and grow up, more hopeless each day. I wrote
as a public prosecutor might write, who had gathered data from the
life of a criminal to determine his guilt. If a novel is supposed
to be drawn from imagination, then the following is not a novel,
but a faithful portrayal of life.” In Berlin conditions are neither
better nor worse than in other large cities. Whether orthodox
St. Petersburg or Catholic Rome, Christian Berlin, or heathenish
Paris, Puritan London or frivolous Vienna is more nearly like ancient
Babylonia, it is hard to determine. Similar social conditions bring
forth similar results. “Prostitution has its written and unwritten
laws, its resources, its various resorts from the lowliest, to the
glittering palace, its countless degrees from the lowest to the
most cultured and refined. It has its special amusements and its
special places of meeting, its police, its hospitals, its prisons
and its literature.”[103] “We no longer celebrate the festivals of
Osiris, the Bacchanalia and the Indian orgies in the spring month,
but in Paris and other large cities in the darkness of night behind
the walls of public and private houses, orgies and Bacchanalia take
place that beggar description.”[104]

Under such conditions the traffic in women assumes huge dimensions.
It is carried on in the midst of civilization on a large scale
and in a well organized manner, and is but rarely detected by the
police. An army of male and female jobbers, agents and transporters
carry on the trade in as cold-blooded a manner as if they were
bartering a commodity. Certificates are made out that contain an
exact description and qualification of the various “pieces” and are
handed to the transporters as a bill of lading for the customer. As
with all merchandise, the price varies according to the quality,
and the “goods” are assorted and shipped from different places and
countries according to the taste and requirements of the customers.
By skilful manipulations the traders seek to escape the pursuit
of the police, and sometimes large sums are employed to bribe the
guardians of law and order. A number of such cases have been revealed
in Paris.[105]

To Germany belongs the deplorable reputation of being a market for
women to half the world. The rambling spirit, which is innate in the
German people, also seems to affect a portion of the German women,
so that they furnish a larger quota to international prostitution
than the women of other nations, with the exception of Austria and
Hungary. German women populate the harems of the Turks and the
public brothels in the interior of Siberia and as far as Bombay,
Singapore, San Francisco and Chicago. In his book on travel “From
Japan, through Siberia to Germany,” the author, W. Joest, says the
following about the German white-slave trade: “In our moral Germany,
people often grow indignant over the slave trade carried on by some
negra sovereign in western Africa, or over conditions in Cuba or
Brazil, while we ought to consider the beam in our own eye. In no
other country of the world white slaves are bartered to the same
extent, from no other countries are such large quantities of this
living merchandise shipped as from Germany and Austria. The course
taken by these girls can be clearly traced. From Hamburg they are
shipped to South America, Bahie, Rio de Janeiro; the greater part are
bound for Montevideo and Buenos Ayres, while a few go through the
Straits of the Magellan to Valparaiso. Another stream is directed over
England to North America, but there competition with the domestic
product is unfavorable to the trade, so the girls are shipped down
the Mississippi to Texas and Mexico. From New Orleans the coasts down
to Panama are furnished. Other troops of girls are sent across the
Alps to Italy and on to Alexandria, Suez, Bombay, even to Hongkong
and Shanghai, Dutch India and eastern India, especially Japan are
poor markets, because Holland will not tolerate white girls of this
sort in its colonies, and because in Japan the native girls are far
too pretty and cheap. Moreover, the trade must reckon with American
competition from San Francisco. Russia is supplied by eastern Prussia,
Pomerania and Poland. The first station is Riga. Here the dealers
from St. Petersburg and Moscow assort their merchandise and send it
in great quantities to Nishny Novgorod across the Ural Mountains
to Irbit and Krestowsky and even into the interior of Siberia. In
Tschita, for instance, I met a German girl who had been traded in
this way. This trade is thoroughly organized--agents and traveling
salesmen carry on the negotiations. ~If the foreign office of the
German Empire would ask its consuls for reports on this trade
interesting tables might be compiled.~”

That this traffic is flourishing, has been repeatedly stated by
Socialist deputies in the German Parliament.

Other centers of the white-slave trade are Galicia and Hungary, from
where women are sent to Constantinople and other Turkish cities.
Especially many Jewesses, who are otherwise rarely met with in public
brothels are bartered to the Turks. The prices for the journey and
other expenses are usually paid to the agents in advance. In order
to deceive the public authorities, fictitious telegrams, that are
not likely to attract attention, are sent to the customer. Some of
these telegrams read: “Five kegs of Hungarian wine will arrive in
Varna to-morrow,” meaning five beautiful girls; or “Have shipped
three barrels of potatoes by S. S. Minerva.” This refers to three
less beautiful girls: “Common goods.” Another telegram reads: “Will
arrive next Friday per S. S. Kobra; have two bales of fine silk on

[102] “What the street engulfs.” Social novel in 3 vols., Berlin.
A. Hoffmann & Co.

[103] Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell--The Moral Education.

[104] Mantegazza--L’Amour Dans L’Humanitè.

[105] The relation of the police to prostitution is an interesting
one in more than one respect. In 1899 it was shown in a trial in
Berlin that a police commissioner employed a prostitute to watch
and question a student whom he suspected of being an anarchist. In
Prague the wife of a common policeman had her license for maintaining
a disorderly house revoked because her husband had ill-treated a
prisoner. So the police rewards its officers by giving them licenses
for the maintenance of disorderly houses. What lovely conditions!

4.--The Increase of Prostitution.--Illegitimate Motherhood.

It is difficult to estimate the number of prostitutes--impossible
to determine it exactly. The police may approximately determine the
number of women for whom prostitution is the sole or chief source
of income, but they ~can not~ determine the far greater number of
those who resort to prostitution as a partial support. Nevertheless
the numbers that have been determined are enormous. According to
Oettingen at the close of the sixties of the last century the number
of prostitutes in London was estimated to be 80,000. In Paris on
January 1, 1906, the number of enrolled prostitutes was 6,196, but
more than one-third of these manage to evade police and medical
control. In 1892 there were about 60 public brothels in Paris,
harboring from 600 to 700 prostitutes; in 1900 there were only 42.
Their number is constantly decreasing (In 1852 there were 217 public
brothels). At the same time the number of private prostitutes has
greatly increased. An investigation, undertaken by the municipal
council of Paris in 1889, estimated that the number of women who
sell their bodies had reached the enormous figure of 120,000. The
chief of police of Paris, Léfrine, estimates the number of enrolled
prostitutes at 6,000 and the number of private prostitutes at 70,000.
During the years 1871 to 1903 the police inhibited 725,000 harlots
and 150,000 were imprisoned. During the year 1906, the number of
those who were inhibited amounted to no less than 56,196.[106]

The following numbers of prostitutes were enrolled with the Berlin
police: In 1886, 3006; in 1890, 4,039; in 1893, 4,663; in 1897,
5,098; in 1899, 4,544, and in 1905, 3,287. In 1890 six physicians
were employed, who performed examinations for two hours daily. Since
then the number of physicians has been increased to twelve, and
since several years a female physician has been employed to perform
these examinations, notwithstanding the objections of many male
physicians. In Berlin, as in Paris, the enrolled prostitutes only
constitute a small fraction of the entire number, that authorities on
this subject have estimated to be at least 50,000. In the single year
1890 there were 2,022 waitresses in the cafés of Berlin, who, with
very few exceptions were given to prostitution. The yearly increase
in the number of harlots inhibited by the police also shows that
prostitution in Berlin is growing. The numbers of those inhibited
were: In 1881, 10,878; in 1890, 16,605; in 1896, 26,703: in 1897,
22,915. In the year 1907 17,018 harlots were brought to trial before
the magistrates, which was about 57 for each day the court was in

How large is the number of prostitutes throughout Germany? Some claim
that there are about 200,000. Stroehmberg estimates the number of
enrolled and private prostitutes in Germany to be between 75,000 and
100,000. In 1908 Kamillo K. Schneider attempted to determine the
exact number of enrolled prostitutes. His table for the year 1905
includes 79 cities. “As besides these there are other large places
in which a considerable number of girls may be found, he believes
15,000 to be a fairly correct estimate of the entire number. With a
population of approximately 60,600,000 inhabitants that means one
enrolled prostitute for 4,040 inhabitants.” In Berlin there is one
prostitute for 608, in Breslau for 514, in Hannover for 529, in Kiel
for 527, in Danzig for 487, in Cologne for 369, and in Brunswick for
363 inhabitants. The number of enrolled prostitutes is constantly
decreasing.[107] According to various estimates the ratio of the
number of public controlled prostitutes is to the number of private
prostitutes, as 1 to 5, or 1 to 10. We are, accordingly dealing with
a vast army of those to whom prostitution is a means of subsistence,
and conformably great is the number of victims claimed by disease
and death.

That the great majority of prostitutes grows thoroughly tired of
their mode of life, that it even becomes revolting to them, is an
experience on which all authorities are agreed. But very few of those
who have fallen victims to prostitution ever find an opportunity
to escape from it. In 1899 the Hamburg branch of the British,
Continental and General Federation undertook an investigation among
prostitutes. Although only few answered the questions put to them,
these answers are quite characteristic. To the question “Would you
continue in this trade if you could find some other means of support?”
one replied, “What can one do when one is despised by all people?”
Another replied, “I appealed for help from the hospital”; a third,
“My friend released me by paying my debts.” All suffer from the
slavery of their liabilities to the brothel keepers. One gave the
information that she owed her landlady $175. Clothes, underwear,
finery, everything is furnished by the keepers at fabulous prices;
they are also charged the highest prices for food and drink. Besides,
they must pay the keeper a daily sum for their room. This rent amounts
to $1.50, $2 or $3 daily. One wrote that she was compelled to pay
her procurer from $5 to $6 daily. No keeper will permit a girl to
depart unless she has paid her debts. The statements made by these
girls also cast an unfavorable light on the actions of the police,
who side more with the brothel keepers than with the helpless girls.
In short, we here behold in the midst of Christian civilization, the
worst kind of slavery. In order to better maintain the interests of
their trade, the brothel keepers have even founded a trade paper
that is international in character.

The number of prostitutes increases at the same rate at which the
number of working women increases, who find employment in various
lines of trade at starvation wages. Prostitution is fostered by
the industrial crises that have become inevitable in bourgeois
society, and to hundreds of thousands of families mean bitter need
and desperate poverty. A letter sent by the chief of police, Bolton,
to a factory inspector on October 31, 1865, shows that during the
crisis of the English cotton industry caused by the Civil War in the
United States, the number of young prostitutes increased more than
during the preceding twenty-five years.[108] But not only working
girls fall victims to prostitution. Its victims are also recruited
from the “higher professions.” Lombroso and Ferrero quote Macé,[109]
who says of Paris: “The certificate of a governess of a higher or
lower grade is far less an assignment to a means of support than to
~suicide, theft and prostitution~.”

Parent-Duchatelet has at one time compiled statistics which showed
the following. Among 5,183 prostitutes there were 1,441 who were
driven to prostitution by utmost need and misery. 1,225 were orphans
and poor. 86 had become prostitutes to support old parents, young
brothers and sisters, or their own children. 1,425 had been deserted
by their lovers; 404 had been seduced by officers and soldiers and
had been carried off to Paris. 289 had been servant girls who were
seduced by their employers and subsequently discharged, and 280 had
come into Paris to seek employment.

Mrs. Butler, the ardent champion of the poorest and most unfortunate
of her sex, says: “Accidental circumstances, the death of a father
or a mother, unemployment, insufficient wages, poverty, false
promises, seduction, the laying of snares may have driven her into her
misfortune.” Very instructive is the information given by Karl Schneidt
in a pamphlet on “The Misery of Waitresses in Berlin,”[110] in regard
to the causes that drive so many of them to prostitution. He says
that a surprisingly large number of servant girls become waitresses,
which means in nearly all cases that they become prostitutes. Among
the answers Schneidt received to his list of questions that he
circulated among waitresses are the following: “Because I became
pregnant by my employer and had to support my child”; “because my
book of references was spoiled”; “because I could not earn enough
by sewing and such work”; “because I had been discharged from the
factory and could not find other employment”; “because my father died
and there were four younger ones at home,” etc. That servant girls,
who have been seduced by their employers, constitute a large quota
of the prostitutes is a well known fact. Dr. Max Taube[111] makes
some very incriminating statements concerning the great number of
seductions of servant girls by employers or their sons. The upper
classes also furnish their quota to prostitution. Here poverty is
not the cause, but seduction, the inclination to lead a frivolous
life, the love of dress and enjoyment. A pamphlet on “Fallen Girls
and Police Control”[112] contains the following statement in regard
to the prostitutes from these classes: “Horror stricken many a worthy
citizen, minister, teacher, public official or military man learns
that his daughter is secretly addicted to prostitution. ~If all these
daughters could be named a social revolution would have to take place,
or the public ideas concerning virtue and morality would be seriously
impaired.~” The high class prostitutes, the smart set among them,
are drawn from these circles. A great many actresses also owing to a
glaring disparity between their salary and the cost of their wardrobe,
are compelled to resort to this vile means of support.[113] The same
is true of many other girls who are employed as salesladies and in
similar positions. Many employers are so infamous that they seek
to justify low wages by hinting at the assistance from “friends.”
Seamstresses, dressmakers, milliners, factory workers numbering
many thousands are subjected to the same conditions. Employers and
their assistants, merchants, landed proprietors, etc., frequently
regard it as their privilege to make female workers and employees
subservient to their lusts. Our pious conservatives like to point
to the rural conditions in regard to morality as a sort of ideal
compared to the large cities and industrial districts. But whoever
is acquainted with the conditions knows that they are not ideal. We
find this opinion confirmed by a lecture delivered by the owner of
a knightly estate in the fall of 1889, which newspapers in Saxony
reported in the following manner:

“Grimma. Dr. v. Waechter, owner of a knightly estate, at a meeting
of the diocese which was held here delivered a lecture on ~sexual
immorality in our rural communities~, in which local conditions were
depicted in no favorable light. With great frankness the lecturer
admitted that the ~employers~ themselves, even the ~married~ ones,
frequently maintained intimate relations with their female employees,
and that the results of such relations were either atoned for by
a payment of money or were hidden from the eyes of the world by a
crime. Unfortunately it could not be denied, that immorality was
introduced into the rural districts not only by country girls who
had been employed in the cities as wet nurses and by boys who had
become demoralized while serving in the army, but also by ~educated
men~, by managers of the large estates and army officers, who come
into the country during manoeuvres. Dr. v. Waechter claims that here
in the country there actually are ~few girls who have attained their
seventeenth birthday without having fallen~.” The honest lecturer
had to pay for his love of truth by being socially ostracised by the
offended officers. Reverend Dr. Wagner had a similar experience when
he ventured to say some disagreeable truths to the landed proprietors
in his book on “Morality in the Country.”[114]

The majority of prostitutes are driven into their unfortunate trade
at an age at which they cannot be regarded as competent to judge
their actions. Among the women who secretly prostituted themselves
arrested in Paris from 1878 until 1887, 12,615 equal 46.7 per
cent. were minors. Of those arrested from 1888–1898, 14,072 equal
48.8 per cent. were minors. Le Pilleurs gives the following resumé
of the prostitutes of Paris, which is as concise as it is pathetic:
“Defloured at 16, prostituted at 17, afflicted with syphilis at
18.”[115] Among 846 newly enrolled prostitutes in Berlin in 1898
there were 229 minors. There were:

   7 at the age of 15
  21  “  “   “   “ 16
  33  “  “   “   “ 17
  59  “  “   “   “ 18
  49  “  “   “   “ 19
  66  “  “   “   “ 20[116]

In September, 1894, a scandalous affair was revealed in Budapest,
where it became known that about 400 girls not more than fifteen
years of age had become the victims of rich libertines. The sons of
our “propertied and cultured classes” not infrequently consider it
their right to seduce the daughters of the poor and then to forsake
them. These confiding, inexperienced daughters of the poor, whose
lives are often devoid of all joy and who sometimes have no friend
or relative to protect them, easily fall victims to the art of the
seducer, who approaches them with all the temptations of pleasure and
affection. Bitter disappointments and despair and eventually crime
are the results. Among 2,060,973 children born in Germany in 1907
179,178 were illegitimate. One can imagine the amount of care and
heart-ache that the births of these illegitimate children mean to
their mothers, even if some of them are legally married later on by
the fathers of their children. ~Infanticide and the suicide of women
are in a great many cases caused by the misery and need of forsaken
women.~ The trials for infanticide present a sombre but instructive
picture. In the fall of 1894 a young woman was on trial in Krems,
Austria. Eight days after her confinement she had been discharged
from the lying-in hospital in Vienna, with her infant and penniless,
and being desperate she had killed her child. ~She was condemned to
death.~ In the spring of 1899 the following was reported from the
province of Posen: “On Monday last the 22-year-old working girl,
Katherine Gorbacki, from Alexanderruh, near Neustadt was on trial
for murder. During the years 1897 and 1898 the defendant had been
employed by the Provost Merkel in Neustadt. As a result of intimate
relations with her employer, she gave birth to a daughter in June
last. The child was placed with her relatives. The provost paid $2
for the child’s board during each of the first two months, but then
refused to meet any further expenses. As the girl could not meet
the expenses for the child’s maintenance, she decided to do away
with it. On a Sunday during September last she smothered the child
with a pillow. The jury convicted her of murder in the second degree
and admitted extenuating circumstances. The public prosecutor moved
to inflict the maximum penalty, five years imprisonment. The judge
sentenced her to three years in prison.”

Thus the seduced and forsaken woman, disgraced and desperate, is
driven to the utmost, and kills her own offspring. Then she is
brought to trial and is sentenced to long periods of imprisonment,
or even to death. But the real unscrupulous murderer is allowed to
go unpunished. Perhaps shortly after the tragedy he will marry a
girl from some good and righteous family, and will become a highly
honored and pious man. Many a man is held in great esteem who thus
polluted his honor and his conscience. ~If women had a voice in the
making and administration of the laws things would be different.~
Evidently many cases of infanticide are never discovered. In July,
1899, in Frankenthal on the Rhine a servant girl was accused of
having drowned her new-born, illegitimate child in the Rhine. The
public prosecutor asked all police departments along the Rhine from
Ludwigshafen to the boundary of Holland to report whether within
a definite time the body of a child had been washed ashore. The
surprising result of this inquest was, that the police departments
within the stated time reported no less than 38 bodies of infants
that had been fished from the Rhine, but whose mothers had not been

The most cruel system is resorted to, as previously stated, by the
French legislation, which forbids to seek the father, but instead
maintains foundling hospitals. The law framed at the convention of
June 28, 1793, reads: “La nation se charge de l’éducation physique
et morale des enfants abandonnés. Désormais, ils seront désignés
sous le seul nom d’orphelins. Aucune autre qualification ne sera
permis” (The nation undertakes the physical and moral education of
abandoned children. Henceforward they will be known only by the
name of orphans. No other designation will be permitted.). That was
a very convenient method to men, for thereby they could turn over
their individual obligations to the community and were spared from
being publicly exposed. National orphan and foundling asylums were
erected. In 1833 the number of orphans and foundlings amounted to
130,945. It was estimated that every tenth child was a legitimate
one that its parents wished to get rid of. As these children were
not properly cared for, their mortality was very great. At that
time 59 per cent. died during the first year; up to the twelfth
year 78 per cent. died; so only 22 from 100 children attained the
twelfth year. At the beginning of the sixties of the last century
there were 175 foundling asylums; in 1861 there were admitted into
these 42,934 enfants trouvés (foundlings), 26,156 enfants abandonnés
(abandoned children) and 9,716 orphans; together this made 78,066
children who were maintained at public expense. All in all the number
of abandoned children has not decreased during recent decades.

Foundling asylums maintained by the state were also established in
Austria and Italy. “Ici on fait mourir les enfants” (here children
are made to die); a monarch is said to have suggested these words
as a suitable inscription for foundling asylums. In Austria the
foundling asylums are gradually disappearing. At present only eight
remain, but at the close of the nineties of the last century these
still contained over 9,000 children, while more than 30,000 children
were placed outside of the asylums. During recent years the number
of foundlings has greatly decreased, for in 1888 there still were
40,865 children who were public charges in Austria; 10,466 were in
asylums; 30,399 were placed in private care. Their maintenance cost
1,817,372 florins. Mortality was not as great among the children
placed in asylums as among those privately cared for; this was
especially so in the province of Galicia. Here, during the year 1888
31.25 per cent. died in asylums--far more than in the asylums of
other countries; but of those who were privately cared for 84.21 per
cent. died; a wholesale butchery. It seems as if Polish mismanagement
endeavored to kill off these poor, little creatures as quickly as

In Italy 118,531 children were admitted into asylums from 1894 to 1896.
Annual average: 29,633; boys: 58,901; girls: 59,630; illegitimate,
113,141; legitimate, 5,390 (only 5 per cent.). How great the mortality
has been may be seen from the following table.[117]

                               1890–1892  1893–1896   1897

  Number of children admitted    91,549    109,899   26,661
  Died during first year         34,186     41,386    9,711
  Percentage                       37.3       37.6     36.4
  Mortality of illegitimate
    children in Italy              25.0       27.2     23.4
  Mortality of legitimate
    children                       18.0       17.5     15.9

The record was broken by the foundling asylum Santa Cosa
dell’Annunziata in Naples, where in 1896 of 853 infants 850 died. In
the year 1907 the foundling asylums admitted 18,896 children. During
the years 1902 to 1906 the mortality of these unfortunate little
ones was 37.5 per cent; that means that more than one-third of the
children maintained by the state die during the first year.[118]
It is a generally known fact, that the rate of mortality is always
higher among illegitimate children than among legitimate ones.
According to Prusian statistics the following number of deaths of
infants occurred for every 10,000 births.

                         1881–1885  1886–1890  1891–1895  1896–1900  1904

  Legitimate    City        211        210        203        195      179
                Country     186        187        187        185      172
  Illegitimate  City        398        395        385        374      333
                Country     319        332        336        336      306

“It is a striking fact which clearly shows the connection between
prostitution and the unfortunate condition of servant girls and menials
employed in the country, that of 94,779 illegitimate children born
in 1906, 21,164 were the children of servant girls and 18,869 were
the children of girls otherwise employed in the country. Together
this made 40,033 or 42 per cent. If servants employed in the country
and female farm hands are taken together, they constitute 30 per
cent., while girls industrially employed constitute 14 per cent

The difference in the rate of mortality between legitimate and
illegitimate children is especially marked during the first month,
when the mortality of illegitimate children is on an average ~three
times as great~ as that of legitimate children. Lack of care during
pregnancy and during the confinement and improper care of the
child after birth are the simple causes of this great mortality of
illegitimate children. Ill treatment and neglect help to increase
the number of the victims. The number of still-born children is
greater among the illegitimate than among the legitimate also. This
is probably chiefly due to attempts on the part of the mother to
bring about the death of the child during pregnancy.

To this must be added the cases of infanticide that are not found
out because the murdered child is counted among the still-born.
Bertillon claims, that to the 205 cases of infanticide recorded
in the legal documents of France, should be added at least 1,500
alleged still-births and 1,400 cases of intentional killing by

The following table shows the number of legitimate and illegitimate
children in various European countries for every 100 still-births.

                During the years  Legitimate  Illegitimate
  Germany           1891–1900        3.15       4.25
    Prussia         1900–1902        3.02       4.41
    Saxony          1891–1900        3.31       4.24
    Bavaria         1891–1900        2.98       3.61
    Wurtemberg      1891–1900        3.30       3.48
    Baden           1891–1900        2.62       3.35
  Austria           1895–1900        2.64       3.86
  Switzerland       1897–1903        3.40       6.14
  France            1891–1895        4.40       7.54
  Netherlands       1891–1900        4.38       8.13
  Denmark           1893–1894        2.40       3.20
  Sweden            1891–1895        2.46       3.30
  Norway            1891–1900        2.47       4.06
  Finland           1891–1900        2.54       4.43
  Italy             1891–1896        3.89       5.16[121]

The survivors revenge themselves on society for the ill-treatment
accorded them by furnishing an ~unusually high~ percentage of the
criminals of all grades.

[106] Dr. Licard de Planzoles--La Fonction Sexuelle. Paris, 1908.

[107] Kamillo Karl Schneider--The Prostitute and Society--a
Sociological and Ethical Study, Leipsic, 1908.

[108] Karl Marx, Capital.

[109] Ibid.

[110] Berlin, 1893.

[111] Max Taube, M. D.--Protection of Illegitimate Children, Leipsic,
1893, Veit & Co.

[112] Berlin, 1889, Wm. Iszleib.

[113] In a pamphlet on “Capital and the Press,” Berlin, 1891, Dr. F.
Mehring relates that a talented actress was employed at a well
known theatre at a monthly salary of $25, while the expenses for
her wardrobe amounted to $250 in a single month. The difference was
made up by a “friend.”

[114] At the conference of the purity societies on September 20,
1894, at the instance of Dr. Wagner an investigation was decided
upon. The results of this investigation have been published in two
volumes, entitled: The Sexual Morality of Protestant Country People
in the German Empire, 1895–1896.

[115] Prof. S. Bettman--Medical Supervision of Prostitutes. Handbook
of the social science of medicine, Jena, 1905.

[116] Ibid.

[117] S. Turcranji and S. Engel. The Foundling System in Italy.
Quarterly journal of public hygiene, 1903.

[118] Encyclopedia of Social Science; 3d edition, vol. iv., 1909.
Article: Foundling Asylums.

[119] Encyclopedia of Social Science, 1909.

[120] Schnapper Arndt.

[121] F. Prinzing--The Causes of Still-Births. General records of
statistics, 1907.

5.--Crimes Against Morality and Sexual Diseases.

We must still briefly dwell upon another evil that is often met with.
An excess of sexual enjoyment is far more harmful than the want
of same. An organism abused by excesses is eventually destroyed.
Impotence, sterility, idiocy, feeble mindedness and other diseases
result. Temperance in sexual intercourse is as necessary as temperance
in eating and drinking, and other human requirements. But young men
living in luxury seem to find it very difficult to be temperate.
Therefore we often find senility among young men of the upper classes.
The number of old and young roués is large, and because they are
satiated and dulled by excesses, they require special stimulants.
Beside those in whom love for their own sex (sodomy) is innate, there
are many who succumb to this perversity of the Greek age. Sodomy is
far more widespread than most of us imagine; the secret documents
of many police departments might reveal appalling facts.[122]
Among the women, too, the perversities of ancient Greece have been
revived. Lesbian, or Sapphic love is, so Taxel claims, prevalent to
an enormous degree among the fashionable ladies of Paris. In Berlin
about a quarter of the prostitutes indulge in this perverse passion
and it is not unknown among the fashionable women, either.

Another unnatural satisfaction of the sexual desire are the criminal
assaults upon children that have greatly increased during the last
decades. The following numbers of persons were convicted of crimes
against morality in Germany: In 1895, 10,239; in 1905, 13,432; in
1906, 13,557. Among those were 58 persons in 1902 and 72 in 1907,
who were convicted of criminal assaults upon children. The following
number was convicted of fornication with persons under fourteen: In
1902, 4,090; in 1906, 4,548; in 1907, 4,397. In Italy the number of
crimes against morality was: 1887 to 1889, 4,590; 1903, 8,461; which
is 19.44 per cent. and 25.67 per cent. for every 100,000 inhabitants.
The same fact has been observed in Austria. Very correctly H. Herz
says: “The rapid increase in crimes against morality during the
period 1880–1890 shows that the present economic structure with its
decrease in the marriage rate and its instability of employment is
in no small degree the cause of the low standard of morality.”[123]

In Germany members of the learned professions furnish about 5.6 per
cent of the criminals; but they furnish about 13 per cent. of those
convicted of criminal assaults upon children. This percentage would
be higher still if members of those circles would not have ample
means to conceal their crimes. The terrifying revelations made by
the “Pall Mall Gazette” at the close of the eighties of the last
century concerning the criminal abuses of children in England, have
shown the widespread existence of frightful conditions.

Concerning venereal diseases and their increase, the following table,
showing the number of cases treated in German hospitals, contains
valuable information:

             Gonorrhoea  Syphilis

  1877–1879    23,344      67,750
  1880–1882    28,700      79,220
  1883–1885    30,038      65,980
  1886–1888    32,275      53,664
  1889–1891    41,381      60,793
  1892–1894    50,541      78,093
  1895–1897    53,587      74,092
  1898–1901    83,374     101,225
  1902–1904    68,350      76,678

If we take the average annual number of persons afflicted we find
that within a period of 25 years the cases of gonorrhoea have
increased from 7,781 to 22,750 and those of syphilis from 22,583 to
25,559. The population has increased only by 25 per cent. while the
cases of gonorrhoea have increased by ~182~ per cent and those of
syphilis 19 per cent! We have another statistic that does not cover
many years, but just one single day which shows how many patients
afflicted with venereal diseases were under medical treatment on
April 30, 1900. The Prusian minister of public instruction has
caused this investigation to be made. A list of questions was sent
to every physician in Prussia. Although only 63.5 per cent. of these
replied, the investigation showed that on April 30, 1900, there were
about 41,000 persons in Prusia afflicted with venereal diseases.
11,000 were newly infected with syphilis. In Berlin alone there
were on this day 11,600 persons afflicted with venereal diseases,
among them 3,000 fresh cases of syphilis. For every 100,000 adult
inhabitants, the following number were under medical treatment for
venereal diseases.

                                                     Men.  Women.

  In Berlin                                          1419    457
   “ 17 cities having more than 100,000 inhabitants   999    457
   “ 42 cities having 30,000 to 100,000               584    176
   “ 47 cities having less than 30,000                450    169
   “ other cities and rural communities                80     27
  In the entire German Empire                         282     92

The cities mainly afflicted are those situated at harbors, college
and garrison towns and large industrial centers (In Koenigsberg for
every 100,000 inhabitants, 2,152 men and 619 women are diseased;
in Cologne 1309 men and 402 women; in Frankfort 1,505 men and 399

Of Berlin Dr. Blaschko says: “In a large city like Berlin annually of
1,000 young men between 20 and 30 years, almost 200, about one-fifth,
become diseased with gonorrhoea and about 24 with syphilis. But the
time during which young men are exposed to venereal infection is
much longer than one year. For some it is five years, for others
ten years and more. After five years of unmarried life then a young
man will become diseased with gonorrhoea once and twice in ten
years. After five years every tenth young man, after eight to ten
years every fifth young man would acquire syphilis. In other words,
of the men who marry after their thirtieth year every one would
have had gonorrhoea twice, and every fourth or fifth one would be
inflicted with syphilis. These figures have been compiled by careful
calculation, and to us physicians who learn of so many misfortunes
that are concealed from the eyes of the world, they do not appear

The results of the research of April 30, 1900, are confirmed by a
careful study of this problem in connection with the Prussian army
compiled in 1907 by the surgeon-major, Dr. Schwiening.[124] It was
shown that the various divisions of the army annually show about
the same number of recruits afflicted with venereal diseases. Some
divisions have a particularly large number of cases, especially
the division recruited from the province of Brandenburg. Berlin is
mainly to blame that 2 per cent. of these recruits are diseased.
Dr. Schwiening’s compilation of the percentage of diseased recruits
from the various government districts clearly shows the extension
of venereal diseases among civilians. Of 1,000 enrolled recruits
the following number was afflicted:

                                                  1903  1904  1905

  Berlin                                          40.9  37.2  45.2
  27 cities having more than 100,000 inhabitants  14.9  16.7  15.8
  26 cities having 50,000 to 100,000 inhabitants  11.6   9.6   9.5
  33 cities having 25,000 to 50,000 inhabitants    8.2   6.8   9.1
  Cities having less than 25,000 inhabitants and
    rural communities                              4.3   5.0   4.0
  State                                            7.6   8.1   7.8

The greatest number of diseased recruits came from Shoeneberg, having
58.4 for every 1,000 enrolled. In large cities outside of Prussia,
the following numbers were recorded: Hamburg, 29.8; Leipsic, 29.4;
Dresden, 19; Chemnitz, 17.8; Munich, 16.4. According to G. v. Mayer
the increase of venereal diseases for every 1,000 inhabitants from
1903 to 1904 was: Prussia, 19.6; Austria and Hungary, 60.3; France,
27.1; Italy, 85.2; England, 125; Belgium, 28.3; the Netherlands,
31.4; Russia, 40.5; Denmark, 45. The increase in venereal diseases is
especially great in the navy. In the German navy from 1905 to 1906
the number of cases were: On ship-board abroad, 113.6 per thousand;
in domestic waters, 58.8; on land, 57.8. In the English navy there
were in 1905 121.55 cases and in 1906 121.94 cases.

We have seen that our social conditions have produced all sorts
of vices, excesses and crimes that are constantly increasing. The
whole social organism is in a state of unrest by which the women are
most deeply affected. Women are beginning to realize this more and
more and to seek redress. They demand in the first place economic
independence. They demand that women, like men, should be admitted to
all trades and professions according to their strength and ability.
They especially demand the right to practice learned professions.
Are these endeavors justified? Can their aims be realized? Will they
bring relief? These are the questions we must seek to answer.

[122] The trials of Moltke, Lynar and Eulenburg have since revealed
a more revolting picture than one could suspect. They have shown how
widespread is this perversity among the higher strata of society,
especially among military men and in court circles.

[123] Dr. Hugo Herz--Crimes and Criminals in Austria, Tuebingen,

[124] Director general of the army medical department, Dr. Chumburg,
The Venereal Diseases, Their Nature and Dissemination.


Woman in Industry.

1.--Development and Extension of Female Labor.

The endeavor of women to earn their own living and to attain personal
independence is, to some extent at least, regarded as a just one by
bourgeois society. The bourgeoisie requires an unhampered release
of male and female labor power in order that industry may attain
its highest degree of development. The perfection of machinery and
the division of labor, whereby each single function in the process
of production requires less strength and mechanical training than
formerly, and the growing competition, not only between individual
manufacturers, but also between entire manufacturing regions, states
and countries--causes the labor power of woman to be sought more
and more.

The special causes which lead to an increased employment of female
labor in a growing number of trades have been set forth in a
previous chapter. One reason why employers resort more and more to
the employment of women beside men, or instead of men, is, that
women are accustomed to require less than men. Owing to their
nature as sex beings, women are obliged to offer their labor power
cheaper than men. They are, as a rule, more subjected to physical
derangements that cause an interruption of their work, and owing to
the complication and organization of modern industry, this may lead
to an interruption in the whole process of production. Pregnancy and
child-birth lengthen such periods of interruption.[125] The employer
makes the most of this fact and finds ~ample indemnification for
these occasional interruptions by the payment of considerably lower
wages~. Moreover the woman is tied to her particular abode or its
immediate environment. She cannot change her abode as men are enabled
to do in most cases. Female labor, especially the labor of married
women workers appears particularly desirable to employers in still
another way, as may be seen from the quotation from “Capital,” by
Karl Marx on page 129. As a worker the married woman is “far more
attentive and docile” than the unmarried one. Consideration for her
children compels her to exert her strength to the utmost in order to
earn what is needful for their livelihood, and she therefore quietly
submits to much that the unmarried working woman would not submit to,
far less so the working man. As a rule working women rarely combine
with their fellow workers to obtain better working conditions. That
also enhances their value in the eyes of the employers; sometimes
they even are a good means to subdue rebellious male workers. Women
moreover are more patient, they possess greater nimbleness and a
more developed taste, qualities that make them better suited to many
kinds of work than men.

These womanly virtues the virtuous capitalist appreciates fully; and
so, with the development of industry, the field of woman’s work is
extended each year, but--and this is the decisive factor--~without
materially improving her social condition~. Where female labor
power is employed, it frequently releases male labor power. But
the displaced male workers must earn their living; so they offer
their labor power at lower wages, and this offer again depresses
the wages of the female workers. The depression of wages becomes a
screw set in motion by the constantly revolving process of developing
industry, and as this process of revolution by labor-saving devices
also releases female workers, the supply of “hands” is increased
still more. New branches of industry counteract this constant
production of surplus labor power, but not sufficiently to create
better conditions of labor. In the new branches of industry also,
as for instance in the electrical, male workers are being displaced
by female workers. In the motor factory of the General Electric
Company most of the machines are tended by girls. Every increase in
wages above a certain standard causes the employer to seek further
improvement of his machinery, and to put the automatic machine in
the place of human hands and human brains. In the beginning of the
capitalistic era only male workers competed with one another on the
labor market. Now sex is arrayed against sex, and age against age.
Women displace men, and women in turn are displaced by young people
and children. That is the “moral regime” of modern industry.

This state of affairs would eventually become unbearable if the
workers, by organization in their trade unions, would not counteract
it with all their might. To the working woman, too, it is becoming
a sheer necessity to join these industrial organizations, for as
an individual she has still far less power of resistance than the
working man. Working women are beginning to recognize this necessity.
In Germany the following numbers were organized: in 1892, 4,355; in
1899, 19,280; in 1900, 22,884; in 1905, 74,411; in 1907, 136,929;
in 1908, 138,443. In 1892 women constituted only 1.8 per cent. of
all members of trade unions; in 1908 they constituted 7.6 per cent.
According to the fifth international report of the trade union movement
the numbers of female members were in Great Britain, 201,709; in
France, 88,906; in Austria, 46,401.

The endeavors of employers to lengthen the work day in order to extract
larger profits from their workers is met with little resistance
by women workers. That explains why in the textile industry, for
instance, in which more than half of the workers are women the
work day is ~longest~. It was necessary therefore that government
protection by limiting the hours of work should begin with this
industry. Women being accustomed to an endless work day by their
domestic activity, submit to the increased demands upon their labor
power without offering resistance.


  (Y) Year of Census
  Ger: German Empire
  Aus: Austria
  Hun: Hungary
  Rus: Russia
  Ita: Italy
  Swi: Switzerland
  Fra: France
  Bel: Belgium
  Net: Netherlands
  Den: Denmark
  Swe: Sweden
  Nor: Norway
  EnW: England and Wales
  Sco: Scotland
  Ire: Ireland
  GBI: Great Britain and Ireland
  USA: United States of America[126]

            |         Entire Population
  (C)   (Y) |    Male       Female        Both
  Ger  1907 | 30,461,100  31,259,429   61,720,529
  Aus  1900 | 12,852,693  13,298,015   26,150,708
  Hun  1900 |  9,582,152   9,672,407   19,254,559
  Rus  1897 | 62,477,348  63,162,673  125,640,021
  Ita  1901 | 16,155,130  16,320,123   32,475,253
  Swi  1900 |  1,627,025   1,688,418    3,315,433
  Fra  1901 | 18,916,889  19,533,899   38,450,788
  Bel  1900 |  3,324,834   3,368,714    6,693,548
  Net  1899 |  2,520,603   2,583,535    5,104,138
  Den  1901 |  1,193,448   1,256,092    2,449,540
  Swe  1900 |  2,506,436   2,630,005    5,136,441
  Nor  1900 |  1,066,693   1,154,784    2,221,477
  EnW  1901 | 15,728,613  16,799,230   32,527,843
  Sco  1901 |  2,173,755   2,298,348    4,472,103
  Ire  1901 |  2,200,040   2,258,735    4,458,775
  GBI  1901 | 20,102,408  21,356,313   41,458,721
  USA  1900 | 39,059,242  37,244,145   76,303,387

            |                                   | Persons gainfully
            |                                   |    employed in
            |         Gainfully employed        |   percentage of
            |                                   |     population
  (C)   (Y) |    Male      Female       Both    | Male  Female  Both
  Ger  1907 | 18,599,236  9,429,881  28,092,117 | 61.1   30.4   45.5
  Aus  1900 |  8,257,294  5,850,158  14,107,452 | 64.2   44.0   53.9
  Hun  1900 |  6,162,298  2,668,697   8,830,995 | 64.3   27.6   45.9
  Rus  1897 | 25,995,237  5,276,112  31,271,349 | 41.6    8.4   24.9
  Ita  1901 | 10,998,462  5,284,064  16,272,526 | 68.0   32.4   50.1
  Swi  1900 |  1,057,187    498,760   1,556,577 | 65.0   29.5   46.9
  Fra  1901 | 12,910,565  6,804,510  19,715,075 | 68.2   34.8   51.3
  Bel  1900 |  2,123,072    948,229   3,071,301 | 63.8   28.1   45.9
  Net  1899 |  1,497,159    433,548   1,930,707 | 59.4   16.8   37.8
  Den  1901 |    752,559    353,980   1,106,539 | 63.1   28.2   45.2
  Swe  1900 |  1,422,979    551,021   1,974,000 | 56.8   21.0   38.4
  Nor  1900 |    599,057    277,613     876,670 | 56.1   24.0   39.5
  EnW  1901 | 10,156,976  4,171,751  14,328,727 | 64.6   24.8   44.1
  Sco  1901 |  1,391,188    591,624   1,982,812 | 64.0   25.8   44.3
  Ire  1901 |  1,413,943    549,874   1,963,817 | 64.3   24.3   44.0
  GBI  1901 | 12,962,107  5,313,249  18,275,356 | 64.5   24.9   44.1
  USA  1900 | 23,956,115  5,329,807  29,285,922 | 61.3   14.3   38.4

[126] These figures include 91,219 persons of the army and navy who
were absent from the country while the census was taken.

In other trades, such as millinery, manufacture of artificial
flowers, etc.,[127] they reduce their own wages and lengthen their
own work day by taking home extra work. They frequently do not even
notice that thereby they become their own competitors and do not
earn more in a sixteen hour day than they might in a well regulated
ten-hour day.

The table on page 212 shows to what extent female labor has grown
among various civilized nations, both in relation to the other sex
and in relation to the entire population.[128] Our table shows that
the number of women employed in gainful occupations constitutes a
considerable percentage of the entire population. The percentage
is largest in Austria, France and Italy. This may be partly due to
the manner of census-taking, as not only those female persons are
counted, whose principal occupation is a gainful employment, but
also those who perform incidental work for wages. The percentage is
lowest in the United States. It is also important to compare the
growth of the laboring population with former periods. Let us begin
with Germany:

     Years  |                        |  Persons gainfully
   in which |    Entire Population   |       employed
    census  +------------------------+----------------------
  was taken |    Male       Female   |    Male       Female
     1882   | 22,150,749  23,071,364 | 13,415,415  5,541,517
     1895   | 25,409,161  26,361,123 | 15,531,841  6,578,350
     1907   | 30,461,100  31,159,429 | 18,599,236  9,492,881

            |    Persons gainfully   |
     Years  | employed in percentage |   Of 100 persons
   in which |      of population     | gainfully employed
    census  +------------------------+-------------------
  was taken |     Male     Female    |   Male    Female
     1882   |    60.57      24.02    |  71.24     28.76
     1895   |    61.13      24.96    |  70.25     29.75
     1907   |    61.06      30.37    |  66.21     33.79

This table shows firstly, that the number of persons gainfully
employed increases more rapidly than the population; secondly, that
the growth of female labor still exceeds this increase; thirdly, that
the male laboring population is relatively stationary, while the
female laboring population shows a relative and absolute growth,
and lastly, that female labor at an increasing rate displaces male
labor. The number of persons gainfully employed has increased from
1882 to 1895 by 16.6 per cent.; the number of men, by 15.8 per cent.
and 19.35 per cent.; the number of women by 18.7 per cent. from 1882
to 1895, and by ~44.44~ per cent. from 1895 to 1907. The increase of
the population from 1882 to 1895 was only 19.8 per cent., and from
1895 to 1907 only 19.34 per cent. So the entire number of persons
gainfully employed has increased; but as the growth of the number of
men gainfully employed has approximately kept pace with the growth
of the population, the number of women gainfully employed has grown
mostly. This shows that the struggle for existence requires greater
efforts than formerly.

From 1882 to 1895 and from 1895 to 1907 we find the following
increase (+) and decrease (−) among the population of Germany:

        From 1882 to 1895              From 1895 to 1907

                Female persons gainfully employed
  + 1,005,290 = 23.60 per cent    + 2,979,105 = 56.59 per cent

                 Male persons gainfully employed
  + 2,133,577 = 15.95 per cent    + 3,077,382 = 19.85 per cent

                         Female servants
  +    31,543 =  2.46 per cent    −    64,574 =  4.91 per cent

                          Male servants
  −    17,151 = 40.35 per cent    −     9,987 = 39.38 per cent

The following table shows the number of persons gainfully employed
in various trades:

  Agr: Agriculture, Forestry
  Ind: Industry and Mining
  Com: Commerce and Traffic
  Lab: Various kinds of wage labor
  Ser: Public service and learned professions
  Arm: Army and Navy

      |         1882         |         1895         |         1907
      |    Male      Female  |    Male      Female  |    Male      Female
  Agr | 5,701,587  2,534,909 | 5,539,538  2,753,154 | 5,284,271  4,598,986
  Ind | 5,269,489  1,126,976 | 6,760,102  1,521,118 | 9,152,330  2,103,924
  Com | 1,272,208    298,110 | 1,758,903    579,608 | 2,546,253    931,373
  Lab |   213,746    183,836 |   198,626    233,685 |   150,791    320,904
  Ser |   373,593    115,272 |   618,335    176,648 |   799,025    288,311
  Arm |   542,282      --    |   630,978      --    |   651,194      --

The following table shows the increase and decrease in various trades:

  Agr: Agriculture, Forestry
  Ind: Industry and Mining
  Com: Commerce and Traffic
  Lab: Various kinds of wage labor
  Ser: Public service and learned professions
  Arm: Army and Navy
  Tot: Total

      |        From 1882 to 1895         |        From 1895 to 1907
      |  Female     %      Male      %   |  Female     %      Male      %
  Agr |+  218,245  8.60 −  162,049  2.80 |+1,845,832 67.04 −  255,267  4.61
  Ind |+  394,142 35.00 +1,490,613 28.30 |+  582,806 38.31 +2,392,228 35.39
  Com |+  281,498 98.40 +  486,695 38.30 |+  351,765 60.69 +  787,350 44.76
  Lab |+   50,029 27.20 −   15,120  7.10 |+   87,039 37.22 −   47,835 24.08
  Ser |+   61,376 53.25 +  154,285 33.25 |+  111,663   --  +  180,690   --
  Arm |    --       --  +  179,153 39.65 |    --       --  +   20,216   --
  Tot |+1,005,290 23.60 +2,133,577 15.90 |+2,979,105   --  +3,077,382   --

Among the persons gainfully employed there were:

  Ind: Independent
  Emp: Employees
  Lab: Laborers, etc., excl. servants
  Tot: Total

     |              1895                |              1907
     | Female     %       Male       %  | Female     %       Male     %
  Ind|1,069,007  22.1   4,405,039   31.3|1,052,165   --    4,438,123  --
  Emp|   39,418   0.81    582,407    4.1|  159,889   --    1,130,839  --
  Lab|3,745,455  77.09  9,071,097   64.6|6,422,229   --   11,413,892  --
  Tot|4,853,880=100.00 14,058,543=100.00|7,634,283=100.00 16,982,854=100.00

The following shows the increase and decrease of women holding
~independent~ positions from 1895 to 1907:

                                 [1907]   [1895]             [%]

  Industry (domestic industry)  477,290  519,492 − 42,202 =  8.10
  Commerce and traffic          246,641  202,616 + 44,025 = 21.77
  Agriculture                   328,237  346,896 − 18,659 =  9.04

The greatest number of female persons were employed in the following

                                 1907.      1895.

  Agriculture                  4,585,749  2,745,840
  Clothing and cleaning          883,184    713,021
  Commercial lines               545,177    299,829
  Textile industry               528,235    427,961
  Restaurants and cafés          339,555    261,450
  Articles of food and luxury    248,962    140,333
  Metal works                     73,039     36,210
  Stone and pottery               72,270     39,555
  Paper industry                  67,322     39,222
  Wood and carving industry       48,028     30,346

The following are the trades in which more women than men are employed
in Germany:

                           Women.      Men.

  Agriculture            4,217,132  2,737,768
  Textile industry         466,210    390,312
  Clothing trades          403,879    303,264
  Cleaning trades           85,684     58,035
  Restaurants and cafés    266,930    139,002
  Domestic service         279,208     36,791
  Nursing                  129,197     78,520

These figures clearly show us the prevailing state of affairs in
Germany. Although the number of persons gainfully employed has
increased more rapidly than the population, the growth of female
labor still exceeds this increase. The employment of women is rapidly
growing in all lines of industry. While the male laboring population
is relatively stationary, the female laboring population shows a
relative and absolute growth. In fact the increase in female labor
constitutes the chief portion of the general increase of persons
gainfully employed in the entire population. The number of female
members of families supported by men rank from 70.81 per cent. in
1895 to 63.90 per cent. in 1907. Woman has become such a powerful
factor in industry that the Philistine saying, the woman’s place
is in the home, seems utterly void and ridiculous. In England the
following numbers of persons were industrially employed:

                                          For every 100 persons
                                            gainfully employed
          Total        Male      Female       Male      Fem.

  1871  11,593,466   8,270,186  3,323,280      --        --
  1881  11,187,564   7,783,646  3,403,918    69.59     30.41
  1891  12,751,995   8,883,254  4,016,230    68.09     31.91
  1901  14,328,727  10,156,976  4,171,751    70.09     29.91

Within thirty years the number of men gainfully employed increased
by 1,886,790 persons = 22.8 per cent.; the number of women gainfully
employed increased by 848,471 = 25.5 per cent. It is especially
noteworthy that during 1881, the year of a crisis, the number of men
emparent one, since most of the wives and daughters of number of
women employed increased by 80,638. The relative decrease of female
labor in 1901 is only an apparent one, since most of the wives
and daughters of farmers are now counted as having no profession.
Besides, during the last twenty years those industries have grown
mostly in which male labor is chiefly employed, while the textile
industry has relatively, and since 1891, positively declined.

                                                    Percentage     Female
                                                        of        workers
                                 1881     [1901]     increase   among these

  Stone and pottery industry    582,474    805,185      53          5,006
  Metal works and
    manufacture of machinery    812,915  1,228,504      52         61,233
  Building trades               764,911  1,128,680      47          2,485
  Textile trades              1,094,636  1,155,397       5        663,222

Nevertheless female labor has again increased at the expense of male
labor. Only the share in increase of female labor that was 12.6 per
cent. from 1851 to 1861 and 7.6 per cent. from 1871 to 1881 was
reduced to 1.8 per cent. from 1891 to 1901. In the year 1907 the
following numbers were counted in the textile industry: 407,360 men
= 36.6 per cent. and 679,863 women = 63.4 per cent. In the clothing
trades and in commerce female labor has increased much more. But it
is furthermore seen that older women are displaced by younger ones,
and as women under 25 are mostly unmarried and the older ones are
mostly married, or widowed, it is seen that women are displaced by

The following are trades in which more women than men are employed
in England:

                               Women      Men

  Domestic service           1,690,686  124,263
  Clothing trades              711,786  414,637
  Textile trades               663,222  492,175
  Among these cotton           328,793  193,830
              wool and yarn    153,311  106,598
              hemp and jute    104,587   45,732
              silk              22,589    8,966
              embroidery        28,962    9,587

In almost all the branches women receive considerable less pay than
men ~for the same amount of work~. A recent inquiry showed that
the average weekly wage in the textile industry was 28 shillings
1 penny for men, and only 15 shillings 5 pence for women.[129] In
the bicycle industry where female labor has rapidly increased as a
result of the introduction of machinery, women receive only from 12 to
18 shillings per week, where men received from 30 to 40 shillings.[130]
The same conditions are met with in the manufacture of paper goods
and shoes and in binderies. Women are paid especially low wages for
the manufacture of underwear; 10 shillings per week is considered
a good wage. “As a rule a woman earns half or one-third of a man’s
wage.”[131] A similar difference in remuneration between men and
women is met with in the postal service and in teaching. Only in the
cotton industry in Lancashire both sexes working an equal length of
time earned almost equal wages.

In the United States we find the following development of female

                          1880              1890              1900

  Agriculture             594,510           678,884           977,336
  Learned professions     177,255           311,687           430,597
  Domestic and
    personal service    1,181,300         1,667,651         2,095,449
  Commerce and
    transportation         63,058           228,421           503,347
  Manufacture             631,034         1,027,928         1,312,668
                                     %                 %                 %
  Total, women          2,647,157  14.7   3,914,571  17.4   5,319,397  18.8
    “    men           14,774,942  85.3  18,821,090  82.6  23,753,836  81.2
                       17,422,099   100  22,735,661   100  29,073,233   100

Here we see that the number of women gainfully employed has grown
from 3,914,571 in 1890 to 5,319,397 in 1900. It has increased more
rapidly than the population which increased from 62,622,250 persons
in 1890 to 76,303,387 in 1900; only by 21 per cent. In the same
inexorable way the number of employed men is decreasing, since they
are being displaced by women. Now for 100 persons gainfully employed
there are 18.8 women, while in 1880 there were not more than 14.7 per
cent. Of 312 occupations there are only 9 in which no women are
employed. According to the census of 1900, we even find among them 5
pilots, 45 engineers and firemen, 185 blacksmiths, 508 machinists,
11 well-borers, 8 boilermakers. “Of course these figures are not of
great sociological importance, but they show that there are very
few occupations from which women are absolutely excluded, either by
their natural capacity or by law.”[132] Women are especially numerous
in the following occupations: Servants and waitresses, 1,213,828;
dressmaking, 338,144; farm labor, 497,886; laundresses, 332,665;
teachers, 327,905; independent farmers, 307,788; textile workers,
231,458; housekeepers, 147,103; salesladies, 146,265; seamstresses,
138,724; nurses and midwives, 108,691; unqualified trades, 106,916. In
these 12 occupations 3,583,333 = 74.1 per cent. of all bread-earning
women have been counted. Besides there are 85,086 stenographers;
82,936 milliners; 81,000 clerks; 72,896 bookkeepers, etc., together
19 occupations, comprising over 50,000 women = 88.8 per cent. of
all women breadwinners. Women predominate in the following trades:

                            For every 100 persons employed.

  Manufacture of underwear    Women   99.4    Men    0.6
  Millinery                     “     98.0     “     2.0
  Dressmaking                   “     96.8     “     3.2
  Manufacture of collars        “     77.6     “    22.4
  Weaving                       “     72.8     “    27.2
  Manufacture of gloves         “     62.6     “    37.4
  Bookbinding                   “     50.5     “    49.5
  Textile trades                “     50.0     “    50.0
  Housekeeping                  “     94.7     “     5.3
  Nursing                       “     89.9     “    10.1
  Laundry work                  “     86.8     “    13.2
  Domestic service              “     81.9     “    18.1
  Boarding                      “     83.4     “    16.6
  Stenographers                 “     76.7     “    23.3
  Teachers                      “     73.4     “    26.6
  Music teachers                “     56.9     “    43.1

Of 4,833,630 women employed in gainful occupations aged 16 years
and more, 3,143,712 were single, 769,477 were married, 857,005 were
widowed, 63,436 were divorced. The American report says: “The increase
in the percentage of persons gainfully employed was greatest for
the married women, since it was by one-fourth greater in 1900 than
in 1890. In 1890 there was only one married working woman among 22;
in 1900 there was one among 18.” The number of widowed and divorced
women is very great, both relatively and actually. In 1900 among
2,721,438 widowed women 857,005 = 31.5 were earning their living, and
among divorced women the percentage was still greater. Of 114,935,
these 49 per cent. were earning their own living in 1890 and 55.3 per
cent. in 1900. Thus more women became self-supporting each year.
Among the 303 occupations in which women are employed there are:

   79 with less than         100 women
   59   “    “    “  100 to  500   “
   31   “    “    “  500 to 1000   “
  125   “  more   “         1000   “
   63   “    “    “         5000   “

Among 100 persons from 16 years up we find the following wage-scale:

               Men                           Women

  Less than  7 dollars   18      Less than  7 dollars  ~66.3~
       7 to  9 dollars   15.4         7 to  9 dollars   19.6
       9 to 20 dollars  ~60.6~        9 to 15 dollars   13.2
      20 to 25 dollars    4.8        15 to 20 dollars    0.8
  More than 25 dollars    2          20 to 25 dollars    0.1
                        ------                         ------
   Average weekly wage  $11.16                          $6.17

We see that 60.6 per cent. of the men earn more than $9, while
only 13.2 per cent. of the women earn more than $9, and more than
two-thirds (66.3 per cent.) earn less than $7.[133] The average
weekly wage for men is $11.16; the average weekly wage for women
$6.17, almost half of the man’s wages. Among government employes
the difference is equally great. Among 185,874 persons engaged in
civil service there were 172,053 men = 92.6 per cent., and 13,821
women--7.4 per cent. In the District of Columbia, the seat of the
national administration, the percentage of female labor amounts to
29 per cent. And yet 47.2 per cent. of the women earn less than $720,
while only 16.7 per cent. of the men earn less than $720.[134]

In France, according to the census of 1901, the laboring population
amounted to 19,715,075 persons, 12,910,565 men and 6,804,510 women.
They are distributed among various trades as follows:

                      Men.    Per Cent.    Women.   Per Cent.

  Agriculture      5,517,617     72      2,658,952     28
  Commerce         1,132,621     65        689,999     35
  Dom’tic service    223,861     23        791,176     77
  Learned prof.      226,561     67        173,278     33
  Industry         3,695,213     63.5    2,124,642     36.5

“The female laboring population amounts to one-half of the male
laboring population.”[135] As in all other countries, fewest women
are employed at those occupations that require greatest physical
strength (In mining 2.03 women for 100 men; in quarries 1.65; in
metallurgy, 1.06). The greatest number of women are employed in
the textile trades, 116 women for 100 men--in the clothing trades,
in laundries, 1,247 women for 100 men, and in the manufacture of
underwear 3,286 women for 100 men.[136] It generally holds true,
as Mme. C. Milhand states, that the greatest number of women are
employed in those industries where the hours of work are particularly
long and wages particularly low. “It is a sad fact that while the
industries, where the hours of labor are short, only employ a few
thousand women, those where the hours of work are long, employs
hundreds of thousands of them.”[137] In regard to the wage scale
E. Levasseur says that a woman’s wage rarely amounts to two-thirds
of a man’s wage and more frequently only to one-half.[138]

[125] A number of lists from sick-benefit funds, compiled by the
factory inspector Schuler, showed that female members were ill
7.17 days annually, while male members were ill only 4.78 days
annually. The duration of each illness was 24.8 for female members
and 21.2 for male members. O. Schwartz, The results of the employment
of married women in factories from the standpoint of public
hygiene.--German quarterly gazette for public hygiene.

[127] “This is especially the case in the clothing trade, but also
in other industries such as the manufacture of toys, underwear,
cigarettes, paper goods etc.” R. Wilbrandt--Protection of working
women and domestic industry.--Jena 1906.

[128] Encyclopedia of Social Sciences.--H. Zahn, Statistics of
professions and trades.

[129] Textile Trades in 1906. London, 1909.

[130] E. Cadbury, C. Matheson and C. Shaun--Women’s work and wages.
London, 1906.

[131] E. Cadbury and F. Shaun--Sweating. London. 1907.

[132] Statistics of women at work. Washington, 1908.

[133] Earnings of wage-earners. Bulletin 93, page 11. Washington,

[134] Executive civil service of the United States. Washington, 1908.

[135] C. Milhand--L’ouvrière en France. Paris, 1907.

[136] E. Levasseur--Questions ouvrières et industrielles en France
sous la troisième république. Paris, 1907.

[137] C. Milhand--L’ouvrière en France. Paris, 1907.

[138] E. Levasseur--Questions ouvrières et industrielles en France
sous la troisième république. Paris, 1907.

2.--Factory Work of Married Women.--Sweatshop Labor and Dangerous

Married women form a large percentage of working women and their
number is steadily increasing, which means a serious problem in regard
to the family life of the working class. In 1899, German factory
inspectors were instructed to investigate the work of married women and
to inquire into the causes which lead them to seek employment.[139]
This investigation showed that 229,334 married women were employed
in factories. Besides 1,063 married women were employed in mining
above the ground, as was shown by the report of the Prussian mining
authorities. In Baden the number of married working women increased
from 10,878 in 1894 to 15,046 in 1899, which is 31.27 per cent. of
all adult female workers. The following table shows the distribution
of married women factory laborers among the various trades:

  Textile industry              111,194
  Articles of food and luxury    39,080
  Stone and pottery industry     19,475
  Clothing and cleaning trades   13,156
  Paper industry                 11,049
  Metal works                    10,739
  Wood and carving industry       5,635
  Polygraphic trades              4,770
  Manufacture of machinery        4,493
  Chemical industry               4,380
  Various                         5,363
        Total                   229,334

Besides the textile industry, the manufacture of articles of food
and luxury, especially the manufacture of tobacco, gives many
married women employment. Then comes the paper industry, especially
employment in work shops for the assorting of rags, and employment
in brick yards. “Married women are mainly employed in difficult
occupations (quarries, brick yards, dyeing establishments, manufacture
of chemicals, sugar refineries, etc.), implying hard and dirty
work, while young working girls under twenty-one find employment in
porcelain factories, spinning and weaving mills, paper mills, cigar
factories, and in the clothing trade. The worst kinds of work, shunned
by others, are taken up by the elder working women, especially the
married ones.”[140]

Of the many replies in regard to the causes which lead married women to
seek work only a few need to be mentioned. In the district of Potsdam
the main reason given for the factory labor of married women was,
that the earnings of the men were insufficient. In Berlin according
to the reports of two inspectors 53.62 per cent. of the women who
helped to support their families stated, that the earnings of their
husbands were insufficient to support them. Similar information
was given by the factory inspectors for the districts of western
Prussia, Frankfort on the Oder, Franconia, Wurtemberg, Elsatia, etc.
The inspector for Magdeburg gives the same cause for the majority of
married working women, but also states that some married women must
work because their husbands are dissolute and spend all their earnings
on themselves. Others again, it was reported, worked as a matter
of habit and because they had not been trained to be housekeepers.
It may be true that these causes hold good in a minority of cases;
but the great majority of these women work because they must. The
factory inspector for Alsace states as the main cause for gainful
employment of married women in modern industry, ~the demand for cheap
labor~, created by the means of transportation and by unrestricted
competition. He furthermore states that manufacturers like to
employ married women because they are ~more reliable and steady~.
The factory inspector for Baden, Dr. Woerishoffer, says: “The low
wages paid to women workers is the main cause why employers resort
to female labor wherever it can be made use of. Ample proof of this
assertion can be found in the fact, that wages are lowest in those
industries in which the greatest number of women are employed. As
female labor can be employed to a great extent in these industries,
it becomes a necessity to the working class families that the women
should seek employment.” The factory inspector for Coblentz says:
“Women usually are more industrious and reliable than young girls.
Young working girls generally have an aversion against disagreeable
and dirty work, which is accordingly left to the more unassuming
married workers. Thus, for instance, dealers in rags frequently
employ married women.”

That the wages of working women are lower everywhere than those of
workingmen, even for equal work, is a well known fact. In this respect
the private employer does not differ from the state or community.
Women employed in the railroad and postal service receive less than
men for the same kind of work. In every community women teachers
receive a lower salary than men teachers. This may be explained by
the following causes: Women have fewer needs and are, above all,
more helpless; their earnings are in many cases only additional
to the incomes of fathers or husbands, the main supporters of the
families; the character of female labor is amateurish, temporary
and accidental; there is an immense reserve force of female workers
which increases their helplessness; there is much competition from
middle class women in dressmaking, millinery, flower and paper
goods manufactory, etc.; women are usually tied to their place of
residence. All these causes make the hours of work longest for women
unless they are protected by legislation.

In a report on the wages of factory laborers in Mannheim in 1893 the
late Dr. Woerishoffer divides the weekly wages into three classes.[141]
The lowest class comprises weekly wages up to 15 marks ($3.75), the
middle class from 15 to 24 marks ($3.75 to $6), and the high class
above 24 marks ($6). These wages were distributed among the workers
as follows:

                      Low class       Middle class     High class

  All the workers   29.8  per cent   49.8  per cent  20.4 per cent
  Male       “      20.9      “     ~56.2~    “      22.9    “
  Female     “     ~99.2~     “       0.7     “       0.1    “

The majority of the working women were paid starvation wages, as
the following table shows:

  A weekly
   wage of less than   5 marks      ($1.25)     was paid to  4.62 per cent
      “    from  5 to  6   “   ($1.25 to $1.50)  “    “   “  5.47  “    “
      “      “   6  “  8   “   ($1.50 “  $2.00)  “    “   “ 43.96  “    “
      “      “   8  “ 10   “   ($2.00 “  $2.50)  “    “   “ 27.45  “    “
      “      “  10  “ 12   “   ($2.50 “  $3.00)  “    “   “ 12.38  “    “
      “      “  12  “ 15   “   ($3.00 “  $3.50)  “    “   “  5.30  “    “
      “     more than 15   “        ($3.75)      “    “   “  0.74  “    “

An inquiry by the department of factory inspection of Berlin showed
that the average weekly wages of working women was 11.36 marks
($2.82); 4.3 per cent. received less than 6 marks; 7.8 per cent.
6 to 8 marks; 27.6 per cent. 12 to 15 marks; 11.1 per cent. 15 to
20 marks, and 1.1 per cent. 20 to 30 marks. The majority (75.7 per
cent) earn from 8 to 15 marks. In Karlsruhe the average weekly wages
of all working women amounts to 10.02 marks.[142]

Wages are lowest in the domestic industries for both men and women,
but especially for women, and the hours of work are unlimited. Also
domestic industry frequently implies the so-called sweating system.
A sub-contractor distributes the work among the workers and receives
for his remuneration a considerable amount of the wages paid by the
employer. How wretchedly female labor is paid in these sweated trades,
may be seen from the following reports on conditions in Berlin.
For men’s colored shirts, manufacturers paid from 2 to 2½ marks in
1889. In 1893 they obtained them for 1.20 mark. A seamstress of
medium ability must toil from dawn to darkness to finish from 6 to
8 shirts daily; her weekly wages amounts to from 4 to 5 marks. An
apronmaker earns 2½ to 5 marks weekly, a tiemaker 5 to 6 marks,
a ~skillful~ shirt-waist maker 6 marks, a ~very skilled~ worker
on boys’ suits 8 to 9 marks, a worker on coats 5 to 6 marks. An
experienced seamstress on fine men’s shirts can earn 12 marks per
week if the season is good, and if she works from 5 o’clock in the
morning until 10 o’clock at night. Milliners who can copy models
independently earn 30 marks ~monthly~; experienced trimmers who have
been working at their trade for years earn 50 to 60 marks per month
during the season. The season lasts five months. An umbrellamaker
earns 6 to 7 marks weekly with a twelve-hour day. Such starvation
wages drive working girls to prostitution, for even with the most
modest requirements no working girl can live in Berlin for less than
9 to 10 marks per week.

All these facts show that the modern development of industry draws
away women more and more from the family and the home. Marriage and
the family are being disrupted, and so from the standpoint of these
facts also it becomes absurd to relegate woman to the home and the
family. Only they can resort to this argument who go through life
blindly and fail to see the trend of development, or do not wish to
see it. In many branches of industry, women are employed exclusively;
in a great many they constitute the majority of workers, and in
most of the remaining branches women find more or less employment.
The number of working women is steadily growing and new lines of
activity are constantly being opened to them.

By the enactment of the German factory laws of 1891 the work day of
adult women workers in factories was limited to eleven hours, but a
number of exceptions were permitted. Night work for women was also
prohibited, but here too exceptions were made for factories that
run day and night, and for manufactures limited to certain seasons.
Only after the international convention at Bern on September 26,
1906, determined on a night’s rest of eleven hours for factory
workers, and after Socialists for many years energetically demanded
the prohibition of night work for women and the establishment of an
eight-hour day, the government and the bourgeois parties are yielding
at last. The law of December 28, 1908, limits the hours of work for
women to ten hours daily in all factories where no less than ten
workers are employed. On Saturdays and on days preceding holidays
the limit is eight hours. Women may not be employed for eight weeks
prior to and after their confinement. Their readmission depends upon
a medical certificate stating that at least six weeks have elapsed
since their confinement. Women may not be employed in the manufacture
of coke, nor for the carrying of building materials. In spite of
the energetic opposition of Socialists, an amendment was accepted
that the controlling officials may permit overtime work for 50 days
annually. Especially noteworthy is the clause which constitutes a
first interference with the exploitation by domestic industry. This
clause determines that women and minors may not be given work to take
home on days when their hours of work in the factory have been as
long as the law permits. Regardless of its imperfections the new law
certainly means progress compared to the present state of affairs.

But women are not only employed in growing numbers in those
occupations that are suited to their inferior physical strength, they
are employed wherever the exploiters can obtain higher profits by
their labor. Among such occupations are difficult and disagreeable
as well as dangerous ones. These facts glaringly contradict that
fantastic conception of woman as a weak and tender creature, as
described by poets and writers of novels. Facts are stubborn things,
and we are dealing with facts only, since they prevent us from
drawing false conclusions and indulging in sentimental talk. But
these facts teach us, as has been previously stated, that women are
employed in the following industries: The textile trades, chemical
trades, metallurgy, paper industry, machine manufacture, wood work,
manufacture of articles of food and luxury, and mining above the
ground. In Belgium women over 21 are employed in mining underground
also. They are furthermore employed in the wide field of agriculture,
horticulture, cattle-breeding, and the numerous trades connected
with these occupations, and in those various trades which have long
since been their specific realm--dressmaking, millinery, manufacture
of underwear, and as salesladies, clerks, teachers, kindergarten
teachers, writers, artists of all kinds, etc. Tens of thousands of
women of the poorer middle class are employed in stores and in other
commercial positions, and are thereby almost entirely withdrawn from
housekeeping and from the care of their children. Lastly, young, and
especially pretty women, find more and more employment as waitresses
in restaurants and cafés as chorus girls, dancers, etc., to the
greatest detriment to their morals. They are used as bait to attract
pleasure-seeking men. Horrible conditions exist in these occupations
from which the white slave traders draw many of their victims.

Among the above-named occupations there are many ~dangerous ones~.
Thus danger from the effects of alkaline and sulphuric fumes exists
to a great degree in the manufacture and cleaning of straw hats.
Bleaching is dangerous owing to the inhalation of chloral fumes.
There is danger of poisoning in the manufacture of colored paper, the
coloring of artificial flowers, the manufacture of metachromatypes,
chemicals and poisons, the coloring of tin soldiers and other tin
toys, etc. Silvering of mirrors means death to the unborn children
of pregnant workers. In Prussia about 22 per cent. of all infants
die during their first year of life; but among the babies of working
women employed in certain dangerous occupations we find, as stated
by Dr. Hirt, the following appalling death-rate: mirror makers,
65 per cent.; glass cutters, 55 per cent.; workers in lead, 40 per
cent. In 1890 it was reported that among 78 pregnant women who had
been employed in the type founderies of the government district of
Wiesbaden, only 37 had normal confinements. Dr. Hirt asserts that
the following trades become especially dangerous to women during the
second half of their pregnancy: the manufacture of colored paper and
flowers, the finishing of Brussels laces with white lead, the making
of metachromatypes (transfer pictures), the silvering of mirrors, the
rubber industry, and all manufactures in which the workers inhale
poisonous gases, such as carbonic acid, carbonic oxide, sulphide of
hydrogen, etc. The manufacture of shoddy and phosphoric matches are
also dangerous occupations. The report of the factory inspector for
Baden shows, that the average annual number of premature births
among working women increased from 1039 during the years 1882 to
1886 to 1,244 during the years 1887 to 1891. The number of births
that had to be preceded by an operation were on an average 1,118
from 1882 to 1886, and 1,385 from 1887 to 1891. More serious facts
of this sort would be revealed if similar investigations were made
throughout Germany. But generally the factory inspectors in framing
their reports content themselves with the remark: “Particular
injuries to women by their employment in factories have not been
observed.” How could they observe them during their short visits
and without consulting medical opinion? That furthermore there is
great danger to life and limb, especially in the textile trades,
the manufacture of explosives and work at agricultural machinery
has been shown. Moreover a number of enumerated trades are among
the most difficult and strenuous, even for men; that can be seen by
a glance at the very incomplete list. It is very easy to say that
this or that occupation is unsuited to a woman. But what can she do
if no other more suitable occupation is open to her? Dr. Hirt[143]
gives the following list of occupations in which young girls ought
not to be employed at all on account of the danger to their health:
Manufacture of bronze colors, manufacture of emery paper, making
of straw hats, glass cutting, lithographing, combing flax, picking
horse hair, plucking fustian, manufacture of tin plate, manufacture
of shoddy and work at flax mills.

In the following trades young girls should be employed only if
proper protection (sufficient ventilation, etc.) has been provided:
Manufacture of wall paper, porcelain, lead pencils, lead shot,
volatile oils, alum, prussiate of potash, bromide, quinine, soda,
paraffine and ultramarine (poisonous), colored paper (poisonous)
colored wafers, metachromatypes, phosphoric matches,[144] Paris green
and artificial flowers. Further occupations on the list are the
cutting and assorting of rags, the assorting and cutting of tobacco
leaves, assorting of hair for brushes, cleaning (with sulphur) of
straw hats, sulphurizing of India-rubber, reeling wool and silk,
cleaning bed-feathers, coloring and printing of goods, coloring of tin
soldiers, packing of tobacco leaves, silvering mirrors, and cutting
steel pins and pens. It is certainly no pleasant sight to behold
women, even pregnant women, working at the construction of railways,
together with men and drawing heavily loaded carts, or helping with
the building of a house, mixing lime and serving as hod-carriers.
Such occupations strip a woman of all womanliness, just as, on the
other hand, many modern occupations deprive men of their manliness.
Such are the results of social exploitation and social warfare. Our
corrupted social conditions turn the natural order upside down.

It is not surprising that workingmen do not relish this tremendous
increase of female labor in all branches of industry. It is certain
that the extension of the employment of women in industry disrupts the
family life of the working class, that the breaking up of marriage
and the home are a natural result, and that it leads to a terrible
increase of immorality, degeneration, all kinds of disease and infant
mortality. According to the statistics of the German Empire, infant
mortality has greatly increased in those cities that have become
centers of industry. As a result infant mortality is also heightened
in the rural districts owing to the greater scarcity and increased
cost of milk. In Germany, infant mortality is greatest in Upper
Palatine, Upper Bavaria and Lower Bavaria, in some localities of the
government districts of Liegnitz and Breslau and in Chemnitz. In
1907 of every 100 infants the following percentage died during the
first year of life: Stadtamhof (Upper Palatinate) 40.14 per cent.;
Parsberg (Upper Palatinate) 40.06; Friedberg (Upper Bavaria) 39.28;
Kelheim (Lower Bavaria) 37.71; Munich 37.63; Glauchau (Saxony) 33.48;
Waldenburg (Silesia) 32.49; Chemnitz, 32.49; Reichenbach (Silesia),
32.18; Annaberg, 31.41, etc. In the majority of large manufacturing
villages conditions were still worse, some of which had an infant
mortality of from 40 to 50 per cent.

And yet this social development which is accompanied by such deplorable
results means ~progress~. It means progress just as freedom of trade,
liberty of choosing one’s domicile, freedom of marriage, etc., meant
progress, whereby capitalism was favored, but the middle class was
doomed. The workingmen are not inclined to support small trades
people and mechanics in their attempts again to limit freedom of
trade and the liberty of choosing one’s domicile and to reinstate
the limitations of the guild system in order to maintain industry on
a small scale. Past conditions cannot be revived; that is equally
true of the altered methods of manufacture and the altered position
of women. But that does not preclude the necessity of protective
legislation to prevent an unlimited exploitation of female labor and
the employment in industry of children of school age. In this respect
the interests of the working class coincide with the interests of
the state and the general humane interests of an advanced stage of
civilization. That all parties are interested in such protective
measures has frequently been shown during the last decades, for
instance, in Germany in 1893, when an increase of the army made it
necessary to reduce the required standard, because our industrial
system had greatly increased the number of young men who were unfit
for military service.[145] Our final aim must be to remove the
disadvantages that have been caused by the introduction of machinery,
the improvement in the means of production and the modern methods
of production, and so to organize human labor that the ~tremendous
advantages~ machinery gave to humanity and will continue to give
may be enjoyed by all members of society. It is preposterous and a
crying evil that human achievements which are the product of social
labor, should only benefit those who can acquire them by means of
their power of wealth, while thousands of industrious workingmen
and women are stricken by terror and grief when they learn of a new
labor saving device, which may mean to them that they have become
superfluous and will be cast out.[146] What should be joyfully
welcomed by all thereby becomes an object of hatred to some, that
in former decades frequently led workingmen to storm factories and
demolish the machinery. A similar hostile sentiment prevails to
some extent at present between working men and working women. This
sentiment is unnatural. We must therefore seek to bring about a
state of society in which all will enjoy equal rights regardless of
sex. That will be possible when the means of production become the
property of society, when labor has attained its highest degree of
fruitfulness by employing all scientific and technical improvements
and advantages, and when all who are able to work shall be obliged
to perform a certain amount of socially necessary labor, for which
society in return will provide all with the necessary means for the
development of their abilities and the enjoyment of life.

Woman shall become a useful member of human society enjoying full
equality with man. She shall be given the same opportunity to develop
her physical and mental abilities, and by performing duties she
shall be entitled to rights. Being man’s free and equal companion
no unworthy demands will be made upon her. The present development
of society is tending in this direction, and the numerous and grave
evils incidental to this development necessitate the introduction
of a new social order.

[139] Employment of married women in factories. Compiled from the
annual reports of factory inspectors, for the year 1899 in the Home
Department. Berlin, 1901.

[140] “In the centers of the weaving industry the percentage of
married women among factory workers rises far above the average
26 per cent; for instance, in Saxony-Altenburg to 56 per cent, and
in Reuss to 58 per cent.”--R. Wilbrandt, The weavers at the present
time. Jena, 1906.

[141] Woerishoffer--The social status of factory workers in Mannheim.

[142] Mary Baum--Three classes of women wage-earners in industry
and commerce of the city Karlsruhe. 1906.

[143] Industrial activity of women.

[144] By an international agreement between Denmark, Germany, France,
Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland on Sept. 26, 1906, the use
of white phosphorus in the manufacture of matches will be forbidden
from January 1, 1911. In Germany the manufacture of these goods has
been prohibited since Jan. 1, 1907, and since Jan. 1, 1908, they
may neither be sold nor otherwise distributed. In England a similar
law was enacted in 1909.

[145] The following percentage of men examined were found fit for
military service: 1902, 58.5; 1903, 57.1; 1904, 56.4; 1905, 56.3;
1906, 55.9; and 1907, 54.9. The following percentage had to be
discharged owing to disability after they had been enrolled: from
1881 to 1885, 2.07 per cent; from 1891 to 1895, 2.30 per cent; from
1901 to 1905, 2.47 per cent. W. Claassen--The decrease of military
efficiency in the German Empire.

[146] In December 1871, factory inspector A. Redgrave delivered a
lecture at Bradford in which he said among other things: “My attention
has recently been called to the changed appearance in the wool mills.
Formerly they were full of women and children; now the machines
seem to do all the work. Upon my inquiry a manufacturer gave me the
following information: ‘under the old system I employed 63 persons;
after the introduction of improved machinery I reduced my hands to
33; and recently, as a result of further great improvements, I was
able to reduce them from 33 to 13’.” Within a few years then the
number of workers was reduced by almost 80 per cent while the same
amount of goods were produced.--Further interesting information on
this subject may be found in Capital by Karl Marx.


The Struggle of Women for Education.

1.--The Revolution in Domestic Life.

Although the change in the position of women is obvious to all who
go through life with open eyes, we still continue to hear the idle
talk that the home and the family are woman’s natural sphere. This
cry is most loudly raised wherever women attempt to enter the learned
professions to become teachers at higher institutions of learning,
physicians, lawyers, scientists, etc. The most ridiculous objections
are resorted to and defended in the guise of scientific arguments. In
this respect, as in many others, supposedly learned men base their
arguments on science to defend what is most ridiculous and absurd.
Their main objection is, that women are intellectually inferior to
men; that in the realm of intellectual activity they cannot attain
any noteworthy achievements. Most men are so prejudiced in regard
to the professional abilities of women, that whoever resorts to
arguments of this sort is sure to meet with approval. As long as the
general status of culture and knowledge is as low as at present,
new ideas will always be met with rigorous opposition, especially
when it is in the interest of the ruling classes to limit culture
and knowledge to their own strata. Therefore new ideas are at first
upheld only by a small minority, and this small group is subjected
to ridicule, slander and persecution. But if the new ideas are good
and rational, if they have sprung up as a natural consequence of
existing conditions, they will be disseminated, and the minority
will eventually become the majority. It was thus with every new idea
in the course of human history, and the idea of obtaining woman’s
true and complete emancipation will meet with the same success. Were
not the believers in Christian faith at one time a small minority?
Was the reformation not ushered in by a small and persecuted group?
Did not the modern bourgeoisie contend with overwhelmingly powerful
opponents? Nevertheless they were victorious. Or was Socialism
destroyed in Germany by twelve years of persecution by exceptional
laws? The victory of Socialism was never more certain than when it
was thought to be destroyed.

The assertion that housekeeping and child-rearing is woman’s natural
sphere is as intelligent as the assertion that there must always be
kings, because there have been kings as long as there has been a
history. We do not know how the first king originated, just as we do
not know where the first capitalist appeared. But we do know that
monarchy has been greatly transformed in the course of thousands of
years, that it is the tendency of evolution to diminish the power
of kings more and more and that the time will come--and that time
is not far distant--when kings will be quite superfluous. Just as
monarchy, so every institution of state and society is subjected
to changes and transformations and ultimate destruction. In the
historical expositions of this book we have seen, that the present
form of marriage and the position of woman have by no means always
been what they are to-day. We have seen that both are the product of
an historical line of development that is still in progress. About
2,350 years ago Demosthenes could assert that woman had no other
vocation but to give birth to legitimate children and to faithfully
guard the house. To-day this conception has been overcome. No one
could dare to defend this standpoint to-day without being accused of
contempt of women. Indeed there are some even to-day who secretly
share the view of the ancient Athenian, but no one would dare to
express publicly what one of the foremost men of ancient Greece
asserted freely and openly ~as a matter of course~. Herein lies the

Now, although modern development has undermined millions of marriages,
it has on the other hand influenced the evolution of marriage
favorably. Only a few decades ago it was a matter of fact in every
citizen’s and peasant’s home, that women not only sewed, knitted,
washed, cooked, etc., but that they also baked the bread, spun and
weaved, and bleached, brewed beer and manufactured tallow candles
and soap. Running water, lighting and heating by gas--not to speak
of electricity--besides numerous other modern housefurnishings were
unknown in those days. Antiquated conditions persist even to-day,
but they are exceptions. The majority of women are relieved from
many occupations that were inevitable formerly, because many things
can be made better and cheaper industrially than by the individual
housewife. Thus, within a few decades a great revolution has taken
place in our domestic life to which we pay so little heed, only
because we take it for granted. People do not notice transformations
even when they take place under their very eyes as long as they are
not sudden and disturb the accustomed order, but they resent new
ideas that threaten to interfere with their treading of the beaten
path. This revolution in our domestic life that is still going
on, has considerably changed the position of woman in the family
in still another respect. Our grandmother could not and would not
think of visiting theatres, concerts and places of amusement even on
week days. Nor would any woman in the good old days have dared to
bother about public affairs as so many do to-day. At present women
organize and join clubs pursuing the most varied, aims, they found
newspapers, subscribe to them and edit them and hold conventions.
As working women they organize industrially and attend the men’s
meetings. In some localities of Germany they even possessed the
right to elect members to courts of trade, but of this right the
reactionary majority in the diet deprived them again in the year of
the Lord, 1890. Although these altered conditions have their dark
sides too, the bright sides predominate, and not even any reactionary
would wish to abolish them again. The women themselves, regardless
of the conservative character of most of them, have no inclination
either to return to the old, patriarchal conditions.

In the United States, society is organized along bourgeois lines
also, but it is not burdened with old European prejudices and
antiquated institutions, and is therefore much more inclined to
adopt new institutions and ideas if they hold promise of advantage.
There, since quite some time, the position of woman is regarded
differently than in Europe. Among wealthy circles women have been
relieved not only of baking and brewing, but of cooking as well,
and the one kitchen of an apartment hotel replaces many individual
kitchens. Our army officers, who are no Socialists or Communists, have
a similar method. In their casinos they form a sort of housekeeping
community, appoint a manager, whose business it is to purchase the
food wholesale, and to draw up the menus, and the food is cooked by
steam in the kitchen of the barracks. They live far more cheaply than
they could in a hotel, and their food is at least as good. Thousands
of wealthy families live in boarding houses or hotels all year or
part of the year without missing their domestic cooking. They, on
the contrary, regard it as a great comfort to be relieved of the
private kitchen. The general aversion of rich and wealthy women
against kitchen work does not seem to signify that this occupation
is a part of woman’s “natural sphere.” Indeed, the fact that rich
families and large hotels employ male cooks makes it appear as if
cooking were man’s work. Let these facts be noted by men who cannot
conceive woman except surrounded by pots and pans.

Nothing could be simpler than to combine a central laundry with a
central kitchen--as has already been done in all large cities by
wealthy private residents or speculators--and to make the institution
general. With the central kitchen, central heating, hot water supply,
etc., might be connected, and much troublesome work entailing a great
waste of time and effort would be abolished. Large hotels, many private
houses, hospitals, schools, barracks and other public buildings have
these and other modern improvements, as electric light, bathing
establishments, etc. The mistake is that only public institutions and
wealthy persons profit by these improvements. If made accessible to
all, they would save a tremendous amount of time, effort, labor and
expense, and would considerably heighten the general well being. In
the summer of 1890 German newspapers published reports of progress
being made in the United States in regard to central heating and
ventilation. In these reports, among other things, the following was
stated: “Experiments that have recently been made, especially in
North America, to heat entire blocks or portions of a city from one
centrally located place, have been successful in no small degree.
The construction has been so carefully planned and so practically
applied, that the favorable results and financial advantages will
undoubtedly lead to an extension of this system. Recently further
experiments have been made to provide not only the heating but also
the ventilation of entire districts from centrally located places.”

Many of these contemplated improvements have since been realized and
further improved. Narrow-minded philistines shrug their shoulders
when such and similar plans are discussed; and yet in Germany, too,
we are in the midst of a new industrial revolution, whereby the
individual kitchen and other housework will become as superfluous
as labor by manual tools became superfluous by the introduction of
modern machinery. As late as the beginning of the nineteenth century,
even a Napoleon could deride as a crazy idea the project of moving
a vessel by steam. People who were considered intelligent, regarded
the plan of building a railroad as an absurdity; they claimed that
no one could live in a vehicle travelling at such high speed. In the
same manner many new ideas are dealt with to-day. If some one had
told our women a century ago that they should get their water from a
faucet in the kitchen instead of drawing it from the well, he would
have been accused of seeking to encourage laziness in housewives
and servants.

But the great technical revolution along all lines is in full
swing. Nothing can stay its progress. It is the historical mission
of bourgeois society that has ushered in this revolution, to lead
it to its climax, and everywhere to bring to light the germs of
transformation, which a society organized on a new basis will merely
need to generalize and to make the common property of all.

The development of our social life does not tend to lead woman back
to the home and hearth, a state that fanatics on domesticity desire,
and for which they clamor as the Jews in the desert clamored for
the lost flesh-pots of Egypt. ~It demands the release of woman from
her narrow sphere of domestic life, and her full participation in
public life and the missions of civilization.~ Laveleye is right when
he says[147]: “With the growth of what we call civilization, the
feelings of piety toward family life decrease and its bonds become
looser and have less influence on the actions of men. This fact is so
general that it may be regarded as a law of social development.” Not
only has the position of woman in the family changed, but also the
position of son and daughter in their relation to the family. They
have gradually obtained a degree of independence that was unheard of
formerly. This is especially so in the United States, where young
persons are educated to become self-reliant and independent to a far
greater extent than in Europe. The dark sides that are incidental
to this form of development also are not necessarily connected with
it, but are rooted in the social conditions of our time. Bourgeois
society does not produce any new and pleasing phenomena that do
not have a dark side as well. As Fourier already pointed out with
much perspicacity, all its progress is double-edged. Like Laveleye,
Dr. Schaeffle also recognizes the changed nature of the modern family
as a result of social development. He says:[148] “Thruout history we
find the tendency of the family to return to its ~specific~ functions.
The family abandons one provisionally and temporarily maintained
function after another and, inasmuch as it only filled out the gaps
in social functions, it yields to the independent institutions of
law, order, power, divine service, teaching, industry, etc., as soon
as such institutions are developed.”

[147] Original Property. Chap. XX, Household Community. Leipsic,

[148] Structure and Life of the Body Social. Vol. I. Tuebingen, 1878.

2.--The Intellectual Abilities of Women.

Women are advancing, tho at present only a small minority strives to
advance, and of these again only a few are fully conscious of their
aims. They not only wish to measure their strength with that of men
industrially and commercially, they not only wish to hold a more
independent position in the family, they also wish to employ their
intellectual abilities in higher positions and in public life. They
are met time and again with the argument that they are unfit by nature
for intellectual occupations. The question of the practice of learned
professions only concerns a small number of women in present-day
society, but it is important as a matter of principle. The majority
of men seriously believe that women must remain subjected to them
intellectually also and that they have no right to seek equality;
therefore they are vehemently opposed to the intellectual ambitions
of women. The same men who do not object to women being employed in
difficult and dangerous occupations that threaten their womanliness
and injure their maternity, would bar them from professions that
are far less difficult and dangerous and far better suited to
their physical abilities. In Germany, the lively agitation for the
admission of women to universities, has called forth a great number
of opponents who especially oppose the admission of women to the
study of medicine. Among these are Pochhammer, Fehling, Binder,
Hegar, and others. J. Beerenbach seeks to prove that women are not
qualified for scientific study, by pointing out that no genius had
as yet sprung up among women. This argument is neither valid nor
convincing. Geniuses do not drop from the sky; they must have an
opportunity for development, and such opportunity women have been
lacking, for since thousands of years they have been oppressed and
deprived of opportunity for intellectual development, and thereby
their mental abilities have become atrophied. A considerable number
of distinguished women exist even to-day, and if one denies the
existence of potential geniuses among them, that is as far from
being true as the belief that there were no more geniuses among men
than those that were recognized as such. Every country schoolteacher
knows how many able minds among his pupils are never developed
because they lack opportunity for development. Indeed we all have in
our day met persons in whom we recognized rare ability and who, we
felt, would have become a credit to the community, if circumstances
had been more favorable to them. The number of talents and geniuses
among men is far greater than could be revealed until now. The same
is true of the abilities of women that have for thousands of years
been far more hampered, repressed and cramped than those of men. We
have no standard whereby we can measure the amount of intellectual
strength and ability among men and women, that would unfold if they
could develop under natural conditions.

To-day it is in human life as in plant life. Millions of precious
seeds never achieve development because the ground on which they are
cast is unfertile or is already occupied, and the young plant is thus
deprived of air, light and nourishment. The same laws that apply
to nature apply to human life. If a gardener or farmer would claim
that a plant could not be perfected without having made an attempt
to perfect it, his more enlightened neighbors would consider him a
fool. They would hold the same opinion of him if he would refuse to
interbreed one of his female domestic animals with a male of more
perfect breed to obtain more perfect stock.

There is no peasant to-day who is so ignorant not to recognize the
advantage of a rational treatment of his vegetables, fruit, and
cattle; whether his means allow the application of advanced methods
is another question. Only in regard to humanity even educated people
will not admit what they regard as an irrefutable law with the rest
of the organic world. Yet one need not be a scientist to derive
instructive observations from life. How is it that peasant children
differ from city children? How is it that children of the wealthier
classes are, as a rule, distinguishable from the children of the
poor by facial and bodily traits and by mental qualities? It is due
to the difference in their conditions of living and education.

The one-sidedness of training for a certain profession leaves its
particular imprint upon a person. As a rule a minister or a school
teacher can easily be recognized by his bearing and the expression of
his face, as also a military man, even in plain clothes. A cobbler
is easily distinguished from a tailor, a carpenter from a locksmith.
Twin brothers who greatly resembled each other in their youth, will
show marked differences in a more advanced age if their occupations
have been very different from one another; if, for instance, one
is a manual laborer, say a blacksmith, and the other has studied
philosophy. Heredity on the one hand and adaptation on the other,
are decisive factors in human development as well as in the animal
kingdom, and man, moreover, is the most adaptive of all creatures.
Sometimes a few years of a different mode of life and a different
occupation suffice to alter a person completely. External changes
are never more clearly seen than when a person is transplanted from
poor and narrow circumstances to greatly improved ones. His past
can perhaps be disavowed least in his mental culture. When people
have attained a certain age, they frequently have no ambition for
intellectual improvement, and often they do not need it either. A
parvenu rarely suffers from this shortcoming. In our day money is
the chief asset, and people bow far more readily before the ~man
with a great fortune than before the man of knowledge and great
intellectual abilities, especially if it is his ill fortune to be
poor~. The worship of Mammon was never greater than in our day. Yet
we are living in the “best of worlds.”

Our industrial districts furnish a striking example of the influence
of decidedly different conditions of life and education. Even
externally, workers and capitalists differ to such an extent as if
they were members of two different races. These differences were
brought home to us in an almost startling manner at the occasion of a
campaign meeting during the winter of 1877 in an industrial town of
Saxony. The meeting, in which a discussion with a liberal professor
was to take place, had been so arranged that an equal number of
both parties were present. The front of the hall was occupied by
our opponents, almost without exception healthy, strong, and some
stately figures. In the rear of the hall and on the galleries were
the workingmen and small traders, nine-tenths of them weavers, mostly
small, narrow-chested, hollow-cheeked figures whose faces bore the
imprints of care and need. The one group represented the well-fed
virtue and morality of the bourgeois world, the other represented
the worker--bees and beasts of burden on whose labor the gentlemen
waxed strong. If one generation were reared under equally favorable
conditions of life the differences would be greatly decreased and
would quite disappear among their progeny.

It is usually more difficult to determine the social position among
women than among men. They easily accustom themselves to altered
conditions and readily adopt more refined habits of life. Their
adaptability is greater than that of the more clumsy man.

What good soil, air and light are to the plant, that to man are
healthful social conditions, which enable him to develop his physical
and mental qualities. The saying that “man is what he eats” expresses
a similar thought somewhat too narrowly. Not only what a man eats,
but his entire standard of life and his social environment advance
or hamper his physical and mental development, and influence his
feelings, his thoughts and his actions favorably or unfavorably,
as the case may be. We see every day that persons living in good
financial circumstances go to ruin mentally and morally, because
outside of the narrow sphere of their domestic and personal relations,
unfavorable influences, ~social~ in character, were brought to bear
upon them and gained such control over them that they were driven into
evil ways. The social conditions under which we live are even more
important than the conditions of family life. But when the social
conditions of development will be the same for both sexes, when
there will be no restriction for either, and when the general state
of society will be a healthful one, ~woman will rise to a height of
perfection that we can hardly conceive to-day, because until now no
such conditions have existed in human evolution~. The achievements of
individual women justify our highest expectations, for these tower
above the mass of their sex just as male geniuses tower above the
mass of men. If we apply the standard of rulership, for instance, we
find that women have shown even greater talent for ruling than men.
To mention just a few examples: There were Isabella and Blanche of
Castilia, Elizabeth of Hungary, Katherine Sforza, Countess of Milan
and Imola, Elizabeth of England, Katherine of Russia, Maria Theresa,
and others. Basing his assertion on the fact that women have ruled
well among all nations and in all parts of the globe, even over the
wildest and most turbulent hordes, Burbach is led to remark that
~according to all probability women would be better qualified for
politics than men~[149]. When in 1901 Queen Victoria of England died,
a large English newspaper made the suggestion to introduce female
succession exclusively in England, because the history of England
showed that its queens ruled better than its kings.

Many a great man of history would shrivel considerably if we always
knew how much was due to his own efforts and how much he owed to
others. As one of the greatest geniuses of the French Revolution,
German historians regard Count Mirabeau. Yet research has revealed the
fact, that he owed the preparation of almost all his speeches to the
willing assistance of a few learned men who worked for him secretly
and whose labor he skillfully made use of. On the other hand, women
like Sappho, Diotima, at the time of Socrates, Hypatia of Alexandria,
Madame Roland, Mary Wollstonecraft, Olympe de Gouges, Madame de Staël,
George Sand, and others, merit our highest admiration. Many a male
star pales beside them. The influence of women as mothers of great
men is also well known. Women have accomplished as much as they could
accomplish under ~exceedingly unfavorable~ circumstances, and that
entitles us to great expectations for the future. As a matter of
fact, women were admitted to competition with men in various realms
of activity only during the second half of the nineteenth century.
The results obtained are very satisfactory.

But even should we take for granted that women, as a rule, are not
as capable of development as men, that there are no geniuses and
philosophers among them, we are nevertheless led to ask whether this
factor was considered among men when they, according to the wording
of the laws, were given complete equality with the geniuses and
philosophers. The learned men who deny the intellectual ability of
women, are inclined to do the same in the case of workingmen. When
persons of nobility pride themselves on their “blue” blood and their
pedigree, they smile and contemptuously shrug their shoulders; but in
the presence of the man of lowly birth they consider themselves an
aristocracy that have achieved their favored position, not through
their more advantageous circumstances, but only by their own peculiar
talents. The same men, who are unprejudiced in one respect and have a
poor opinion of persons who are not as liberal-minded as they, become
incredibly narrow-minded and fanatical when their class interests
or personal conceit are involved. Men of the upper classes judge
men of the lower classes unfavorably, and in the same way almost
all men judge women unfavorably. The majority of men regard women
only as a means to their comfort and enjoyment. To regard them as
beings endowed with equal rights is repugnant to their prejudiced
minds. Woman should be modest and submissive; she should confine her
interests to the home, and leave all other domains to the “lords of
creation.” Woman should check every thought and inclination, and
wait patiently for what her earthly providence, father or husband,
may decide. If she lives up to this standard she is praised for her
good sense, modesty and virtue, even tho she may break down under
the burden of physical and moral suffering. But if we speak of the
equality of all human beings, it is preposterous to wish to exclude
half of humanity.

Woman has the same right as man to develop her abilities and to
employ them freely. She is a human being as well as man and should
have the freedom of disposing of her own body and mind and be her
own master. The chance of having been born a woman, must not affect
her human rights. To exclude woman from equal rights because she
has been born a woman and not a man--a fact of which both man and
woman are innocent--is as unfair, as to make rights and privileges
depend upon religious or political opinion; and it is as irrational
as the belief that two persons are innate enemies because, by the
chance of birth, they belong to different races or nationalities.
Such views are unworthy of a free human being. Progress of humanity
consists in removing whatever keeps one human being, one class or
one sex in slavery and dependence upon another. ~No difference is
justified except those differences established by nature to fulfill
its purpose. But no sex will overstep the natural limits, because
it would thereby destroy its own purpose in nature.~

[149] Dr. Havelock Ellis.--Man and Woman.

3.--Differences in Physical and Mental Qualities of Man and Woman.

One of the chief arguments of the opponents of equal rights is, that
woman has a smaller brain than man and is less developed in other
respects, and that therefore her lasting inferiority is proven. It
is certain that man and woman are two human beings of different
sex, that each has different organs adapted to the sexual purpose,
and that, owing to the fulfillment of the sexual function, a number
of differences in their physiological and psychological conditions
exist. These are facts that no one can nor will deny; ~but they do
not furnish any cause for social or political inequality between man
and woman~. Humanity and society consist of ~both~ sexes; ~both~
are ~indispensable~ to their maintenance and development. Even
the greatest man was born by a mother to whom he may owe his best
qualities and abilities. By what right, then, can woman be denied
equality with man?

According to the opinion of eminent authorities, the most marked
differences in physical and mental qualities between man and woman
are the following: In regard to stature, Havelock Ellis considers
170 centimeters the average height for men and 160 centimeters for
women. According to Vierordt, it is 172 and 160, and in northern
Germany, according to Krause, 173 and 163 centimeters. The proportion
of man’s stature to woman’s is as 100 to 93. The average weight of
adult persons is 65 kilograms for men and 54 for women. The greater
length of the trunk in a woman’s body is a well-known difference;
yet this difference is not as great as has been generally assumed,
as careful measurements have shown. The legs of a woman of medium
size are only by 15 millimeters shorter than those of a man of medium
size, and Pfitzner doubts that this difference is noticeable. “The
differences in the lengths of body and legs are influenced by the
stature, and are independent of sex.” But the female arm is decidedly
shorter than the male arm (as 100 to 91.5). The male hand is broader
and larger than the female hand, and with men the ring-finger is
usually longer than the index, while the opposite is the case with
women. By this the male hand becomes more ape-like, as the long arm
also is a pithecoid (ape-like) characteristic.

In regard to the size of the head, the proportion of the absolute
height of male and female heads may be set down as 100 to 94. But
the relative sizes (in proportion to the size of the body) are
100 to 100.8. So actually woman’s head is somewhat smaller, but
in proportion to the size of her body, it is somewhat larger than
man’s. The bones of woman are smaller, finer, and more delicate in
form and have a smoother surface, for the weaker muscles require
less rough surface to fasten upon. The weaker muscular development
is one of the most striking characteristics of woman. Each separate
muscle of a woman’s body is finer, softer, and contains more water.
(According to v. Bibra the quantity of water contained in the
muscles is 72.5 per cent. with man, and 74.4 per cent. with woman.)
In regard to the adipose membrane the opposite proportion exists;
it is much more amply developed with woman than with man. The chest
is relatively shorter and narrower. Other differences are directly
connected with the sexual purpose. The statements of various authors
in regard to relative and absolute weight of the intestines, are very
contradictory. According to Vierordt the proportion of the weight of
the heart to the weight of the body is as 1 to 215 with men, and
as 1 to 206 with women. According to Clendinning it is as 1 to 158
and as 1 to 149. Taken all in all, we may assume that the female
intestines are absolutely smaller, but relatively, in proportion to
the weight of the body, heavier than the male.

The blood of women shows a larger percentage of water, a smaller
quantity of blood-globules, and a smaller quantity of hemachrome.
With woman the smaller size of the heart, the narrower vascular
system, and probably also the larger percentage of water in the
blood, cause a less intense assimilation of matter and an inferior
nutrition. This may also account for the weaker jaws. “It may thus be
explained that even civilized man in many respects is more closely
connected with the animal world, especially the ape, than woman,
that he possesses pithecoid traits which may be seen in the shape
of the skull and the length of the limbs.”

In regard to the differences of the skull of both sexes, let it be
stated that, according to Bartels, there is no absolute indication
whereby we could determine whether a skull belonged to a male or
female person. Absolute comparison shows that the skulls of men are
larger in all dimensions. Accordingly the weight is greater, too,
and the interior space is larger.

As a medium weight of normally developed brains of adult persons,
Grosser states 1388 grammes for the man and 1252 grammes for the
woman.[150] The great majority of male brains (34 per cent.) weigh
between 1250 and 1550 grammes, and the great majority of female
brains (91 per cent.) weigh between 1100 and 1450 grammes. But
these weights are not subject to direct comparison since woman is
smaller than man. It is, accordingly, necessary to determine the
weight of the brain in proportion to the body. When we compare the
weight of the brain with the weight of the body we find that with
the man there are 21.6 grammes of the brain for every kilogram of
the weight of the body, and with the woman there are 23.6 grammes.
This outweighing is explained by the fact that woman’s stature is

Different results are obtained by a comparison of equally large
individuals of both sexes. According to Marchand the weight of the
female brain is, without exception, lighter than that of men of the
same size. But this method is as incorrect as a comparison with the
size of the body. It takes for granted what remains to be proven: a
direct relation between the size of the body and the weight of the
brain. Blakeman, Alice Lee and Karl Pearson have determined on the
basis of English data and measurements, that there is no noticeable
relative difference in the weight of the brain between man and woman;
that is, a man of the same age, stature and skull measurements as
the average woman, would not differ from her in regard to the weight
of his brain.[152]

Even Marchand points out that the smaller size of woman’s brain may
be due to the greater fineness of her nerves. Grosser says: “Indeed,
this has not yet been determined by means of the microscope, and
would be difficult to determine. But we must point to the analogy
that the eye-ball and the cavity of the ear are also somewhat smaller
with woman than with man, yet these organs are no less fine and
serviceable. Another, perhaps the chief reason, for the lighter
weight of the woman’s brain may be found in her weaker muscular

Inasmuch as the differences are rooted in the nature of sex, they
can, of course, not be altered. But to what extent these differences
in blood and brain can be changed by a different mode of life
(nourishment, physical and mental culture, occupation, etc.) cannot
be definitely determined for the time being. ~That modern woman
differs from man to a greater extent than primitive woman or the woman
of inferior races, seems to be established, and when we consider
the social development of woman’s position among civilized nations
during the past 1000 or 1500 years, it seems only too obvious.~

The following shows the capacity of the female skull according to
Havelock Ellis (assuming the capacity of the male skull to be 1000):

  Negro              984
  Hottentot          951
  Hindu              944
  Eskimo             931
  Dutch              913
  Russian            884
  German             838 to 897[154]
  Chinese            870
  English            860 to 862
  Parisian, 19 yrs.  858

[154] According to five different authors: 838, 864, 878, 883, 897.
For Prussia (Kupfer), 918; for Bavaria (Rause), 893.

The conflicting statements among the Germans show that the measurements
have been taken among greatly differing material, both in regard to
quality and quantity, and that therefore they are not absolutely
reliable. But the figures clearly show one thing: that Negroes,
Hottentots and Hindu women have a considerably larger capacity of
the skull than the German, English and Parisian women; and yet the
latter are far more intelligent.

A comparison of the brain-weights of well-known deceased men
shows similar contradictions and peculiarities. According to
Professor Reclam, the brain of the scientist Cuvier weighed
1830 grammes; that of Byron, 1807; that of the famous mathematician
Gauss, 1492; of the philologist Hermann, 1358; of the Parisian prefect
Hausmann, 1226. It is said that the weight of Dante’s brain also was
below the average weight of the male brains. Havelock Ellis gives us
similar information. He reports that the brain of an unknown person,
weighed by Bischoff, had a weight of 2222 grammes, while the brain
of the poet Turgeniew weighed only 2012 grammes; the third largest
brain was that of an imbecile; the brain of a plain workingman that
was also examined by Bischoff, weighed 1325 grammes. The heaviest
female brains weighed between 1742 and 1580 grammes; two of these
were taken from women who had suffered from mental derangement. On
the congress of German anthropologists, which was held in Dortmund
in August, 1902, Professor Waldeyer stated that an examination
of the skull of the philosopher Leibnitz, who died in 1716, had
shown that its contents only measured 1450 cubic centimeters,
which corresponds to a brain weight of 1300 grammes. According to
Hausemann, who examined the brains of Mommsen, Bunsen and Adolph
v. Menzel, Mommsen’s brain weighed 1429.4 grammes; it accordingly did
not exceed the average brainweight of an adult man. Menzel’s brain
weighed only 1298 grammes and Bunsen’s less still--1295 grammes,
below the average male brainweight and not much above the brainweight
of a woman. Those are striking facts that completely overthrow
the old assumption that intellectual abilities could be measured
by the capacity of the skull. After an examination of the English
data, Raymond Pearl comes to the following conclusion: “There are
no proofs of a close relation between intellectual abilities and
brainweight.”[155] The English anthropologist, W. Duckworth, says:
“There is no proof that a heavy brainweight is accompanied by great
intellectual ability. Neither the brainweight, nor the capacity
of the skull, nor the circumference of the head, where they could
be determined, have been of any use as a measure of intellectual
abilities.”[156] Kohlbruegge, who has during recent years published
the results of the examinations of human brains of many races, says:
“Intelligence and brainweight are entirely independent of one another.
Even the greater brainweight of famous men is not sufficient proof,
since it exceeds the general medium weight, but not that of the
upper classes to which these men belonged. But by these statements
I do not seek to deny that brainweight can be increased, especially
by excessive study during youth, which may account for the heavier
brainweights and the greater skull capacity of the upper classes
and of scholarly persons, especially when--as is usually the case
among the well-to-do--excessive nourishment is added. This increase
in weight by mental over-exertion has its dark sides also, as is
well known. Lunatics often have very heavy brains. The main point
is that it cannot be proven that intelligence (something entirely
different from productiveness) has any relation to weight. It is
true of the external formation also, that until now, no connection
could be shown between certain forms and higher mental development,
intelligence, or genius.”[157]

It is established, then, that we cannot draw conclusions from
the brainweight as to mental qualities, as little as we can draw
conclusions from the size of the body as to physical strength.
The large mammals, such as elephant, whale, etc., have larger and
heavier brains; yet in regard to proportional brainweight they are
excelled by most birds and small mammals. We have some very small
animals (ant, bee) that are far more intelligent than much larger
ones (for instance, sheep, cow), just as people of large stature
often are mentally inferior to persons of small and insignificant
appearance. According to all probability the mass of the brain is
not the determining factor, ~but its organization and the practice
and use of its powers~.

“In my opinion,” says Professor L. Stieda, “the difference in
psychic functions can doubtlessly be accounted for by the finer
construction of the gray matter, the nerve cells, the white matter,
the arrangement of the blood-vessels, the construction, form, size
and number of nerve-cells, and last but not least, their nutrition,
their metabolic assimilation.”[158]

If the brain is to attain the full development of its faculties,
it must be exercised regularly, and the brain must be properly
nourished, just as every other organ; if this is left undone, or
if the training is a faulty one, the normal development will be
hampered, even crippled. One faculty is developed at the expense of

There are some anthropologists, as Manouvrier and others, who even
seek to prove that woman is morphologically more highly developed
than man. That is an exaggeration. Duckworth says: “When we compare
the two sexes, we find that there is no constant difference that
lets one sex appear morphologically superior to the other.”[159]
Havelock Ellis only admits of one limitation. He believes that female
characteristics show fewer variations than the male. But, in an
anticritique, Karl Pearson has explicitly shown that this is only
a pseudo-scientific superstition.[160]

No one who is acquainted with the history of the development of woman
can deny, that woman has been sinned against. If Professor Bischoff
asserts that woman was enabled to develop her brain and her
intelligence as well as man, this assertion merely shows an incredible
degree of ignorance upon the subject. The description we have
given in this book of the position of woman during the course of
civilization, makes it appear quite natural, that thousands of years
of male rule have brought about the difference in the physical and
mental development of the sexes.

Our scientists ought to recognize that the laws of their sciences
apply fully to man also. Heredity and adaptation prevail with man as
with every other living creature. But if man constitutes no exception
in nature, the law of evolution must apply to him also, whereby that
becomes clear what otherwise remains wrapped in darkness, and then
becomes an object of scientific mysticism or mystic science.

The brain formation of the sexes has developed in accordance with
their different educations. Indeed during a great portion of the
past, the word education could not be applied to woman at all.
Physiologists are agreed that those parts of the brain which influence
the intellect are situated in the fore-part of the head, while
those that specially influence feeling and sentiment, are situated
in the middle part. ~The conception of beauty for man and woman has
developed accordingly.~ According to the Greek conception, which
still prevails, ~woman is supposed to have a low forehead, while man
is supposed to have a high and broad forehead~. This conception of
beauty, which is a symptom of her degradation, has been so impressed
upon our women, that they consider a high forehead unbeautiful and
seek to improve upon nature by combing their hair over their forehead
to make it appear lower.

[150] The following average weights of male and female brains have
been determined by the following scientists:

                      Male brain.  Female brain.

  Bischoff (Bavaria)      1362          1219
  Boyd (England)          1325          1183
  Marchand (Hessia)       1399          1248
  Retzius (Sweden)        1388          1252

[151] “Men of genius as a rule are small of stature with a massy
brain. These are also the chief characteristics of the child, and
their general facial expression as also their temperament resemble
the child’s.”--Havelock Ellis, Man and Woman.

[152] J. Blakeman, Alice Lee & K. Pearson--A Study of the biometric
constants of English Brainweights. Biometrica, 1905.

[153] Dr. Otto Grosser--The structure of the female body in “Man
and Woman.” Stuttgart, 1907.

[155] Raymond Pearl--Variation or Correlation in Brainweight.
Biometrika, vol. IV. June, 1905.

[156] W. Duckworth--Morphology and Anthropology. Cambridge, 1904.

[157] Kohlbruegge--Investigations of the furrows of the brain of
human races. Journal of Morphology and Anthropology. Stuttgart, 1908.

[158] L. Stieda--The Brain of the Philologist. Journal of Morphology
and Anthropology, 1907.

[159] Duckworth (as above).

[160] K. Pearson--Variation in Man and Woman in Chances of Death.
London, 1897.

4.--Darwinism and the Condition of Society.

It has accordingly not been proven, that women are inferior to
men as a result of the quantity of their brain; yet the present
intellectual status of women is not surprising. Darwin is surely
right in saying, that if a list of the ablest men on the subjects
of poetry, painting, sculpture, music, science and philosophy were
placed beside a list of the ablest women on the same subjects, the
two could not compare with one another. But could it be otherwise?
~It would be surprising if it were not so.~ Very correctly Dr. Dodel
(Zurich)[161] says, that it would be different if for a number of
generations men and women would be similarly educated. As a rule,
woman is physically weaker than man also, which is by no means the
case among many uncivilized peoples.[162] How much can be attained
by practice and training from childhood on, may, for instance, be
seen with ladies of the circus and female acrobats, who achieve most
astounding things in regard to courage, daring, skill and strength.

As all these things are conditioned by the mode of life and education,
as they are--to use a scientific term--due to “breeding,” it may
be assumed as certain that the physical and intellectual life of
man will lead to the best results, as soon as man will ~consciously
and expediently influence his development~.

As plants and animals depend upon conditions of existence, as they
are fostered by favorable and hampered by unfavorable ones, and
as compulsory conditions force them to change their nature and
character--provided that their influence does not destroy them--thus
it is also with man. The manner in which a human being obtains his
means of subsistence not only affects his external appearance, but
also his feelings, his thoughts and his actions. If unfavorable
conditions of existence--that is, unfavorable social conditions--are
the cause of insufficient individual development, then it follows
that by a change of his conditions of existence--that is, his social
condition--man himself will be changed. The point in question, then,
is, so to organize social conditions that every human being will
be given an opportunity for the untrammelled development of his
nature; that the laws of development and adaptation--called Darwinism
after Darwin--may be consciously and expediently applied to all
human beings. But that will only be possible under Socialism. As a
rational being, capable of judgment, man must so alter his social
conditions and everything in connection with them, that equally
favorable conditions of existence prevail for all. Every individual
shall be enabled to develop his talents and abilities to his own
advantage as well as to the advantage of society, but he must not
have the power to harm other individuals or society at large. His
own advantage and the advantage of all shall coincide. Harmony of
interests must supercede the conflict of interests that dominate
present-day society.

Darwinism, like every true science, is an eminently democratic
science.[163] If some of its representatives claim that the opposite
is true, they fail to recognize the range of their own science. Its
opponents, especially the clergy, who are always quick to perceive
any advantage or disadvantage to themselves, have recognized this,
and therefore denounce Darwinism as being Socialistic or atheistic.
In this respect Professor Virchow agrees with his most vehement
opponents, for at the congress of Scientists, held in Munich in 1877,
he asserted in opposition to Professor ~Haeckel~: “The Darwinian
theory leads to Socialism.”[164] Virchow tried to discredit Darwinism
because Haeckel demanded, that the theory of evolution should be
introduced into the school curriculum. The suggestion to teach
science in the schools according to Darwin, and the results of modern
scientific investigations, is vehemently opposed by all those who
wish to maintain the present order. The revolutionary effect of these
doctrines is well known; therefore it is deemed ~wiser to propagate~
them only among the chosen few. But we contend that if the Darwinian
theories lead to Socialism, as Virchow claims, that is no argument
against these theories, but an argument in favor of Socialism.
Men of science should not question whether the consequences of a
science lead to one form of the state or another, whether one social
condition or another is justified by them; it is their sole duty to
investigate whether the theories are in accordance with truth, ~and
if they are, to accept them with all their consequences~. Whoever
acts otherwise, be it for personal gain or favor or to serve class
or party interest, commits a despicable action and is no credit to
science. The representatives of corporate science, especially at
our universities, can indeed only rarely lay claim to independence
of character. The fear of financial loss, or the fear of being
discredited with the powers that be and of being thereby deprived
of title and rank and the opportunity of advancement, causes most
of these representatives to bow down and either to conceal their
conviction, or to say publicly the opposite of what they believe and
know. At a ceremony of homage to the ruler held at the University
of Berlin in 1870, Dubois-Reymond exclaimed: “The universities are
institutions where the intellectual body-guards of the Hohenzollern
are trained.” If a Dubois-Reymond could express himself in this
manner, we can imagine what conceptions in regard to the object of
science are held by the majority of the others, who are very inferior
to this eminent scientist.[165] Science is degraded to serve the
purposes of the ruling powers.

It is only natural that Professor Haeckel and his adherents,
Professor O. Schmidt, v. Hellwald and others, remonstrate energetically
against the terrible accusation that Darwinism leads to Socialism.
They claim that the opposite is true, that Darwinism is aristocratic,
since it teaches that everywhere in nature the more highly organized
and stronger living beings suppress the inferior ones; and since,
according to their conception, the propertied and educated classes
constitute these more highly organized and stronger living beings
in human society, they consider the rule of these classes a matter
of course, since it is justified by the laws of nature.

These, among our evolutionists, are ignorant of the economic laws
which dominate bourgeois society. Otherwise they would know that
the blind rule of these laws does not raise to social pre-eminence
either the best or the ablest or the most competent, but frequently
the worst and the most cunning, who thereby are placed in a position
of making the conditions of life and development most favorable
to their progeny, without the least effort on their part. Under
no economic system did persons, possessing good and noble human
qualities, have so little opportunity of attaining and maintaining
an elevated position, as under the capitalistic system. Without fear
of exaggeration it may be said, that this state of affairs increases
with the development of this system. Lack of consideration for
others and unscrupulousness in the choice and application of means
to attain one’s end, prove far more effective than all human virtues
combined. Only one who is ignorant of the nature of this society or
who is so dominated by bourgeois prejudices that he cannot reason
properly or draw correct conclusions, could regard a social system
based upon such conditions as a society of the “fittest and best.”
The struggle for existence is always present with all organisms. It
goes on without any knowledge on their part of the laws and conditions
that shape it. This struggle for existence prevails among men also
and among the members of each social group from which solidarity has
disappeared, or where it has not yet been developed. This struggle
for existence changes its form according to the various relations of
men to one another in the course of human development. It assumes
the character of class struggles on an ever higher scale. But these
struggles--and thereby man is distinguished from all other human
beings--lead to a growing understanding of the nature of society, and
finally to a recognition of the laws which determine its development.
~Eventually man will but need to apply these laws to his social
and political institutions and to transform them accordingly.~ The
difference is that man may be called a reasoning animal, but the
animal is not a reasoning human being. This many Darwinists fail
to see, owing to their biased conceptions, and therefore arrive at
false conclusions.[166]

Professor Haeckel and his adherents also deny that Darwinism leads to
atheism. Thus, after they have done away with the “creator” by all
their scientific arguments and proofs, they make desperate efforts
to re-introduce him. To attain this purpose a new sort of individual
“religion” is formed, that has been termed “higher morality,”
“moral principles,” etc. In 1882 at the congress of scientists
in Eisenach, in the presence of the Grand-duke of Weimar and his
family, Professor Haeckel endeavored not only to save religion but
also to represent his master, Darwin, as being a religious man. The
attempt failed, as anyone can affirm who read the lecture and the
letter from Darwin that was quoted in it. Darwin’s letter expresses,
though in careful terms, the opposite of what Professor Haeckel
claimed it to express. Darwin was obliged to consider the piety of
his fellow-countrymen, the English, therefore he never dared to
express publicly his true views in regard to religion. But he did so
privately, as became known shortly after the congress in Weimar, for
he told Dr. L. Buechner ~that he had not believed since his fortieth
year--since 1849--because he had not been able to obtain proofs
to justify belief~. During the last years of his life Darwin also
supported an atheistic newspaper, which was published in New York.

[161] The Newer History of the Creation.

[162] Proofs of this may be found in the previously quoted book by
Dr. Havelock Ellis. He relates that among many savage and semi-savage
tribes woman is not only man’s equal in regard to size and strength,
but even his superior. Ellis is agreed with others that the differences
of brain between the sexes have increased with the development of

[163] “The hall of science is the temple of democracy.” Buckle--History
of Civilization in England. Vol. II.

[164] Ziegler denies that this was the sense of Virchow’s remarks, but
his own report of Virchow’s speech only confirms it. Virchow said:
“Now, just picture how the theory of evolution is conceived even
to-day by the brain of a Socialist! (Laughter) Yes, gentlemen, that
may seem amusing to some of you, but it is a very serious matter, and
I only hope the theory of evolution may not bring us such horrors
as similar theories have brought about in our neighboring country.
If this theory is consistently followed out it is very hazardous,
and you cannot have failed to observe that Socialism is in sympathy
with it. We should make this perfectly clear.”--Well, we have done
what Virchow feared, we have drawn the conclusions of the Darwinian
theories that Darwin himself and many of his followers either failed
to draw or drew incorrectly, and Virchow warned against the dangers
of these doctrines because he perceived that Socialism would draw
and would have to draw the conclusions that are involved in them.

[165] In reference to former attacks upon him, Dubois Reymond repeated
the sentence quoted above in February, 1883, during the commemoration
of the birthday of Frederick the Great.

[166] Enrico Ferri published a book on “Socialism and Modern Science,
Darwin--Spencer--Marx,” in which he proves, especially in answer
to Haeckel, that Darwinism and Socialism are in complete harmony
and that it is a grave error on Haeckel’s part to characterize
Darwinism as being #aristocratic#. We do not agree with Ferri’s book
in every respect. We especially do not share his point of view in
judging the qualities of women, which is, in the main, the point of
Lombroso and Ferrero. Ellis has shown in “Man and Woman” that an
existing difference in the qualities of man and woman does not imply
the inferiority of one--a confirmation of Kant’s utterance, that
only man and woman #together# constitute the complete human being.
Nevertheless Ferri’s book is a welcome one.

5.--Woman and the Learned Professions.

Women are justified in entering into intellectual competition with
men, instead of waiting until it pleases the men to develop their
intellectual faculties and to clear the path for them. The woman’s
movement is providing for this. Already women have removed many
barriers and have entered the intellectual arena--in some countries
with marked success. The movement to obtain admission to the higher
institutions of learning and to the practice of learned professions
is, in accordance with the nature of our conditions, limited to the
circles of bourgeois women. The proletarian women are not directly
concerned since, for the time being, these studies and the resulting
positions are closed to them. Nevertheless, this movement and its
success is an object of general interest. In the first place, it
is a matter of principle, since it affects the general position
of woman; in the second place, it is destined to show what women
can accomplish even at present, under conditions that are highly
unfavorable to their development. Moreover, all women are interested,
for instance, in being able, in case of sickness, to be treated by
physicians of their own sex, if they so choose, since many feel that
they can confide with less reserve in a woman than in a man. To a
great many of our women female physicians are a blessing, for the
fact that they must turn to male physicians in the case of diseases
or ailments connected with their sex functions, frequently prevents
them from seeking medical aid in time. This leads to many troubles
and serious results, not only to the women themselves, but to their
husbands also. There is hardly a physician who has not had some
experience with this reticence of women, that may sometimes be called
almost criminal, and their aversion against confessing to their
ailments. That is readily understood. But it is inconceivable that
the men, and especially many physicians also, will not recognize
how justifiable it is, therefore--indeed how necessary--for women
to study medicine.

Female physicians are no novel factor. Among most of the ancients,
especially among the ancient Germans, women practiced the art of
healing. There were female physicians and surgeons of note during the
ninth and tenth centuries in the kingdom of the Arabs, especially
in Spain, under the rule of the Arabs (Moors), where they studied
at the University of Cordova. The study of women at various Italian
universities, as Bologna and Palermo, was also due to Moorish
influence. When the “heathen” influence ceased in Italy, these
studies were prohibited. In 1377 the faculty of the University of
Bologna issued the following decree: “As woman is the source of
sin, the devil’s tool, the cause of the expulsion from paradise,
and the cause of corruption of the old law, and as therefore every
conversation with her should be carefully avoided, we distinctly
forbid and interdict any one to venture to introduce any woman, no
matter how respectable she may be, into this college. Should some
one do so nevertheless, the rector shall punish him severely.”

One good result of the study of women is, that female competition has
a very stimulating influence on the studiousness of the male students,
which has left much to be wished for, as has been affirmed by various
sources. That alone would be a great gain. It would furthermore
considerably improve their habits. The drunkenness, pugnacity, and
beer-saloon habit of our students would become greatly checked.
Those places from which our statesmen, judges, public attorneys,
police officials, ministers, representatives of the people, etc.,
are chiefly recruited, would become more worthy of the objects for
which they were founded and are being maintained. According to the
impartial opinions of those competent to judge, such an improvement
is exceedingly needful.

The number of states that admit women to their high-schools and
universities are rapidly increasing since a few decades. None that
lays claim to being a civilized state can offer continued resistance
to this demand. The United States took the lead and Russia followed,
two states that are diametrically opposed to one another in every
respect. In the North American Union women have been admitted to
high-schools and universities in all the states; in Utah since 1850;
in Iowa since 1860; in Kansas since 1866; in Wisconsin since 1868;
in Minnesota since 1869; in California and Missouri since 1870, and
in Ohio, Illinois and Nebraska since 1871. Since then all the other
states followed. Quite in accordance with their opportunity for
study, the women in the United States have achieved their positions.
According to the census of 1900 there were: 7399 female physicians
and surgeons, 5989 writers, 1041 architects, 3405 ministers, 1010
lawyers, and 327,905 teachers.

In Europe, Switzerland took the lead in opening its universities to
women. The following shows the number of male and female students
at Swiss universities:

                    Enrolled  Total number of
             Total   female   women attending
                    students      courses

  1896–1897   7676    1502          2757
  1900–1901   8521    1904          3156
  1905–1906   4181     391           728
  1906–1907   5301     854          1429

During the term 1906 to 1907 the female students were distributed
as follows among the various faculties: law, 75; medicine, 1181;
philosophy, 648. According to nationality there were 172 Swiss women,
and 1732 foreigners. The number of German women students in Switzerland
has decreased, since they are admitted to German universities now,
although not without restrictions. During the term 1906 to 1907
the number of regularly enrolled female students constituted about
30 per cent. of all the students. In England women are admitted
to lecture at the universities, but at Oxford and Cambridge they
are still barred from taking degrees. In France in 1905 there were
33,168 students, among these 1922 women (774 foreigners). They were
distributed as follows: Law, 57; medicine, 386; sciences, 259;
literature, 838; miscellaneous, 382. The following are the countries
in which women have been admitted to universities: United States,
England, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Russia, Germany,
Austria, Hungary, Italy, Switzerland, France, Turkey and Australia.
Female physicians are admitted to the practice of their profession
in India, Abyssinia, Persia, Morocco, China, etc. Especially in the
Oriental countries female physicians are constantly gaining ground.
The restrictions that custom and religion place upon women in these
countries make female physicians an especially great boon.

After long struggles and great exertions, Germany, too, has at last
taken a new course, though timidly at first. By a decision passed
by the Federal Council on April 24, 1899, women have been admitted
to examinations for the practice of medicine and dentistry, as well
as pharmacy, upon the same terms as men. By another decision of
the Federal Council of July 28, 1900, German women physicians who
studied abroad are admitted to practice in Germany, and studies
commenced abroad were accredited to them. Even since 1898 some German
universities, as Heidelberg and Goettingen, had opened their doors
to women. During the term 1901 to 1902, 1270 women attending courses
were already enumerated in the registers of the universities. In
a number of German cities girls’ high-schools and colleges were
founded; thus in Karlsruhe, Stuttgart, Hannover, Koenigsberg, Hamburg,
Frankfort on the Main, Breslau, Berlin, Schoeneberg, Mannheim, etc.
But in the spring of 1902, the senate of the University of Berlin
again declined a request by female students, to be matriculated upon
presentation of a certificate of admission from a German college. The
opposition by very influential circles in Germany against the study of
women had not yet been overcome. During March of 1902, the Prussian
minister of public instruction delivered a speech in the Prussian
diet, in which he said among other things, that the girls’ colleges
are an experiment that must be declined by the ministry of public
instruction. He feared, so he said, that the differences between man
and woman established by nature and developed by civilization, would
be impaired by the study of girls at colleges and universities, and
that the characteristics of the German woman ought to be maintained
for the welfare of the German family. That is quite in keeping with
the old conception. Many German professors also continue to oppose
study for women, though others admit that many of the female students
are well, some even excellently qualified, to meet the demands
made upon them. What some of the students, perhaps a majority of
them, thought in regard to the study of women, may be seen from the
following protest of the clinical students at Halle, addressed to the
medical students of Germany generally during March of 1902. After it
states that the protest has been caused by the agitation, carried on
by the “Society for Furthering the Education of Women in Berlin,”
to admit women to the study of medicine, it goes on to say: “Since
this question has been called to public attention, the clinical
students of Halle turn to those circles to whom the decision is of
prime importance, the clinical students and physicians at German
universities. They either know the resulting unpleasantness from
personal experience, or can picture to ~what unwholesome situations,
devoid of all modesty, this common clinical instruction must lead,
situations that are too revolting to be described~. The medical
faculty of the university of Halle was one of the first to admit
women to the study of medicine, and the innovation may be regarded as
a complete failure. ~Into these halls of earnest endeavor cynicism
has entered with the women~, and scenes frequently occur that are
equally obnoxious to instructors, students and patients. ~Here the
emancipation of woman becomes a calamity, conflicting with morality,
and should be checked.~ Colleagues, who would dare, in the face of
these facts, to oppose our just demands? ~We demand the exclusion
of women from clinical instruction~, because experience has taught
us that a common clinical instruction of male and female students
is incompatible with a thoroughgoing study of medicine, as well as
~with the principles of decency and morality~. This question taken
up by us is no longer a local one. Already it has been stated in
government circles, that women are to be definitely admitted to the
study of medicine. You all now are equally interested in our cause,
and therefore we appeal to you: Express your opinion on this question
and join with us in a common protest!”

This protest is a striking proof of the narrow-mindedness of the
clinical students and also of their envy, for petty envy is at the
bottom of most of their moral considerations. How can an institution
that has existed for years in other civilized countries, without
injuring the morals and the sense of decency of male and female
students, be considered a peril to Germany? The German students are
not famed for their morality and ought to refrain from a moral
outburst that seems like a jest.[167] If it is not incompatible with
decency and morality for female nurses to be present and to render
assistance to the physicians during all kinds of operations upon
male and female patients, if it is decent and proper for dozens
of young men to surround, for the purpose of study, the bed of a
woman in the throes of child-birth, and to witness operations upon
female patients, then it is ridiculous to seek to exclude the female

Very different from the reasons given by the clinical students of
Halle, was an argument advanced against the admission of women to the
study of medicine by the late Professor Bischoff. The reason he gave
was ~the brutality of the male students~, which he was well qualified
to judge. But, regardless of the narrow-mindedness or envy of men,
the question has been decided in favor of the women. On August 18,
1908, an edict was published, decreeing the regular enrollment of
female students at the universities of Prussia, where until then
they had been admitted to the lectures. The only restriction is,
that for the purpose of immatriculation German women require the
consent of the minister in one case, and foreigners require it in all
cases.[168] The entire number of women students enrolled at German
universities was, during the term of 1908–1909, 1077, as against 377
during the summer of 1908, and 254 in 1906. They were distributed
among the various universities as follows: Berlin, 400; Bonn, 69;
Breslau, 50; Erlangen, 11; Freiburg, 67; Giessen, 23; Goettingen,
71; Greifswald, 5; Halle, 22; Heidelberg, 109; Jena, 13; Kiel, 2;
Koenigsberg, 17; Leipsic, 44; Marburg, 27; Munich, 134; Tuebingen,
6; Wuerzburg, 7. Only the universities of Strassburg, Rostock and
Muenster had no female students. The entire number of women attending
courses was 1787 during the summer of 1908, and 1767 during the
term 1908 to 1909. They were distributed as follows: Berlin, 313;
Strassburg, 249; Breslau, 168; Munich, 131; Bonn, 120; Koenigsberg,
116; Leipsic, 95; Giessen, 93; Goettingen, 73; Tuebingen, 67; Halle,
54; Freiburg, 50, and in all others less than 50. Of the regularly
enrolled women students 3 studied theology; 31, law; 334, medicine,
and 709, philosophy.

The admission of women to the universities necessitated a thoroughgoing
reform of girls’ high-schools. According to the provisions of May 31,
1899, a nine years’ course had been set down as the rule for girls’
high-schools, while a ten years’ course was the exception. But
development necessitated the regular introduction of a tenth class.
According to statistics there were in 1901, 213 public high-schools
for girls; among these 90 had a nine years’ course and 54 a ten
years’ course. In October, 1907, the number of schools having a nine
years’ course had decreased from 90 to 69, and the number of schools
having a ten years’ course had increased from 54 to 132. Among the
private schools for girls, too, there were, besides 110 with a nine
years’ course, 138 with a ten years’ course. It only remained to add
the bureaucratic seal to this actual development, and to preserve as
much as possible of the “characteristics of German women.” According
to the reform of August 18, 1908, girls’ high schools shall consist
of ten grades. To “complete her education in regard to the future
life’s work of a German woman,” it is planned to found a lyceum with
a course from one to two years. In order to prepare young girls of
the upper classes for academic training, colleges are being planned,
which are to be under the same management as the girls’ high-schools.

Thereby an experiment, which the board of education still refused to
consider in March 1902, is now, six years later, under the pressure
of economic development, being introduced by that same board on a
national scale. Let us consider the official argumentation! It reads
as follows:

“The rapid development of our civilization and the resulting changes
in social, economic and educational conditions, have brought about
that, especially in the middle and upper classes, many girls remain
unprovided for, and much ability reposing in woman, that may be
valuable to the community, remains unapplied. The numerical superiority
of the female population and the increasing bachelorhood of men of
the upper classes, compel a large percentage of educated girls to
renounce their natural profession of wifehood and motherhood. It
becomes necessary to open professions to them that are suited to their
education, and to give them an opportunity to earn their living,
not only by teaching, but also by other professions attainable by
a university education.” This almost reads like an extract from my

Be this as it may, the higher education of women can no longer be
halted. There are female physicians in all civilized countries of the
world, and even in some that are not yet regarded as civilized. The
late Li Hung Chang had appointed as his family physician a Chinese
woman doctor who practiced at the woman’s hospital of her native
town, Futchang. The late Sonia Kowalewska, the noted mathematician,
was professor of mathematics at the University of Stockholm from
1889 until her death in 1891. There are many women professors in
the United States, and some also in Italy, Switzerland, England
and France. In France the famous Marie Curie, who together with
her husband discovered radium and polonium, was, after the death
of her husband in 1906, appointed his successor at the university.
We see women acting as physicians, dentists, lawyers, chemists,
physicists, geologists, botanists, teachers at higher institutions
of learning, etc., and it is up to the women themselves to prove by
their achievements, that they are as competent to fill the positions
entrusted to them as men. In Switzerland, during the summer of 1899,
a majority of voters in the Canton of Zurich, favored the admission
of women to the practice of law. The decision was passed by 21,717
against 20,046 votes. In the United States women are admitted to
the bar in 34 states. They are also admitted in France, Holland,
Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Russia, Canada and Australia.

Many men, especially learned men, are opposed to the higher education
of women, because they believe that the sciences will become degraded
if even women can practice them. They regard scientific study as a
privilege reserved for the chosen few of the male sex.

Unfortunately our universities, as our entire educational system,
still leave much to be wished for. As the children in the public
schools are frequently robbed of the most valuable time to cram
their brains with a lot of things that are not in conformity with
reason and scientific knowledge, as they are burdened with a lot of
learning that will prove useless in life and will rather hamper than
help their development, thus it is also with our higher institutions
of learning. In the preparatory schools the pupils are crammed with
a lot of useless stuff, mostly learned by rote, that absorbs most
of their time and strength, and in the universities the same method
is generally pursued. Besides good and useful things, many that are
antiquated and superfluous continue to be taught. Most professors
repeat the same lectures term after term even down to the interspersed
jokes. To many the noble profession of teaching becomes a mere trade,
and it does not require much intelligence on the part of the students
to perceive this. The prevailing conceptions concerning college
life also prevent the young people from taking their studies too
seriously, and some who would like to take them seriously are repulsed
by the pedantic and uninteresting methods of many professors. It is
generally admitted that students at high-schools and universities
are becoming less studious, a fact that has caused some alarm among
the authorities. Alongside of this we find toadyism and patronage
playing an important part at our institutions of learning in this
age, which is marked by a lack of character. To be of good family
and to have “sound principles,” is regarded as being of greater
importance than knowledge and ability. A patriot--that is, one who
has no convictions of his own, but takes his cue from his superiors
and fawns upon them--is considered more than a man of character,
wisdom and ability. When examinations come around, men of this type
cram for a few months what is needful to attain the passing mark,
and when the examinations have been passed successfully, and they
have attained an official or professional position, many of these
“scholars” merely continue to work in a mechanical way. Yet they are
very insulted if a man, who is not a “scholar”, does not treat them
with utmost respect and fails to regard them as a superior species of
human being. The majority of our professional men, lawyers, judges,
physicians, professors, public officials, artists, etc., ~are merely
mechanics in their line, and their sole object is personal gain~.
Only the industrious man discovers later on how much superfluous
knowledge he assimilated and how often he failed to learn that which
he requires most, and then begins to learn anew. During the best
part of his life he has been bothered with much that was useless
or harmful; he requires a second part of his life to cast what is
useless or harmful aside and to attain the heights of the views of
his time, and then only can he become a useful member of society.
Many do not surpass the first stage, others come to a standstill
in the second, and only few have the energy to struggle on to the

But decorum demands that the mediæval trash and superfluous learning
should be maintained, and as women have been until now, and in many
cases still are, excluded from the preparatory institutions, this fact
furnishes a convenient excuse for excluding them from the lecture
halls of the universities. In Leipsic, during the seventies, one
of the most noted professors of medicine made the following frank
confession to a lady: “~A classical education is not essential to
an understanding of medicine, but it must be made a condition of
entrance to maintain the dignity of science.~”

Opposition against an obligatory, classical education as being
essential to the study of medicine, is gradually manifesting itself
in Germany also. The tremendous advance of the sciences and their
great importance to life in general, necessitates a scientific
training. But the classical education, with its special preference of
Greek and Latin, considers science unimportant and neglects it. It
therefore frequently happens that young students are wanting in the
most elementary scientific knowledge, that is of decisive importance
for a study like medicine. Even teachers themselves are beginning to
oppose this one-sided method of education. In other countries, for
instance, in Switzerland, the study of science has long since been
held as being of prime importance, and all who possess sufficient
preliminary knowledge in the natural sciences and mathematics are
admitted to the study of medicine, even without having had a so-called
classical education. The same is true of Russia, the United States,
and other countries.

In Russia, where suppression and persecution of the Jews is
considered one of the maxims of government, an imperial ukase, in
1907, prescribed that in the newly established school of medicine
for women, only 5 per cent. of the students might be of other than
Christian faith. Of these only 3 per cent. might be Jewesses, and
the remaining 2 per cent. were to be reserved for students of Moslem
origin. This is one of the retrogressive measures which are daily
occurrences in Russia. The Russian government certainly had no cause
for such provisions, because there is quite a dearth of physicians in
that tremendous realm, and because the Russian women practitioners,
regardless of their faith or origin, have been noted for the most
unselfish devotion in the practice of their profession. Dr. Erismann,
who practiced in Russia for many years, delivered a lecture at the
54th annual convention of the Medical Society in Olten, in which
he said: “Very favorable were the experiences gathered during the
first years in regard to the activity of the female physicians. From
the very beginning they were enabled to win the confidence of the
people. In the noble competition with their male colleagues they
even carried off the laurels. It was soon observed that the female
physicians, on an average, treated more patients annually than the
male physicians, although the latter proved very efficient and
unselfish, likewise. Female patients especially, in great numbers,
sought aid with the women doctors.”[169]

On the other hand, female competition, so much feared by men,
especially in regard to the practice of medicine, has not been in
evidence. It seems that female physicians obtain a circle of patients
from their own sex who apply to male physicians rarely, or only in
cases of extreme necessity. It has, moreover, been observed that
a great many women physicians abandon their profession as soon as
they enter into marriage. It seems that in present-day society the
domestic duties of married women are so numerous, especially where
there are children, that many women find it impossible to have two
professions simultaneously. A physician must be constantly prepared,
by day and by night, to practice her profession, and to many that
becomes impossible.[170]

After England,[171] the United States and France took lead in employing
women as factory inspectors--an innovation that has become all the
more necessary because, as has been shown, the number of women in
industry is rapidly increasing, and the industries employing women,
chiefly or exclusively, are increasing likewise--a number of German
states have also followed their example. Baden, Bavaria, Hessia,
the Kingdom of Saxony, Weimar, Wurtemberg, and others have added
women assistants to their factory inspectors, and some of these have
already achieved much recognition by their activity. In Prussia
there are three women factory inspectors in Berlin, and one each
in Duesseldorf, Breslau and Wiesbaden. This proves again how the
progress of Prussia has been retarded compared with other German
states. There is not a single woman assistant in districts like
Potsdam (with 32,299 working women), Frankfort on the Oder (with
31,371), Liegnitz (with 31,798), and others, where their presence is
extremely needful. Here, too, it has been seen that working women
confide more readily in members of their own sex, and that female
factory inspectors have been able to obtain much information that was
denied to their male colleagues. One shortcoming of this institution
is that the assistants frequently are not given the autonomy that
is needful in their position, and their pay is not what it ought to
be, either. The new institution is being tried out carefully and

In Germany the prejudice and aversion against employing women in public
offices is particularly strong, because so many retired military men
annually seek appointments to all kinds of offices in the state and
municipal administrations, that there is hardly any room left for
applicants from other circles. When women are employed, nevertheless,
their salary is considerably lower, whereby they immediately appear
as being worth less than men, and whereby they also become a means
to keep down wages and salaries.

The great variety of female ability could be observed especially well
at the World’s Fair in Chicago, in 1893. The splendid woman’s building
had been entirely planned by female architects, and the articles
displayed that had been designed and made by women exclusively,
were much admired for their tasty and artistic execution. In the
realm of invention, too, women have achieved much and will achieve
still more. An American trade-journal published a list of inventions
by women; among them were: An improved spinning machine; a rotary
loom, which produces three times as much as the usual kind; a chain
elevator; a connecting-rod for a propeller; a fire-escape; an
apparatus for weighing wool, one of the most delicate machines that
have ever been invented, of immeasurable value to the wool industry;
a fire extinguisher; a process of employing petroleum as a fuel for
steam-engines instead of wood or coal; an improved spark-catcher for
locomotives; a signal for grade-crossings; a system of heating cars
without fire; a lubricating felt to diminish friction (on railroads);
a typewriter; a signal-rocket for the navy; a deep-sea telescope; a
system for subduing the noise of the elevated trains; a smoke-consumer;
a machine for folding paper bags, etc. Many improvements on sewing
machines have been made by women; for instance, an appliance for
sewing canvas and coarse cloth; an apparatus for threading the needle
while the machine is running; an improvement of machines for sewing
leather, etc. The last-named invention was made by a woman who was
a harness-maker in New York. The deep-sea telescope, invented by
Mrs. Mather and improved by her daughter, is an invention of great
importance, since it makes it possible to examine the keel of the
largest vessel without bringing same into a dry-dock. With the aid
of this telescope sunken wrecks may be examined from ship-board,
obstacles to navigation and torpedoes may be located, and so forth.

A machine famed in America and Europe for its complicated and ingenious
construction, is one for the manufacture of paper bags. Many men,
among them noted mechanicians, had tried in vain to construct a
machine of this sort. It was invented by a woman, Miss Maggie Knight.
The same lady has since invented a machine for the folding of paper
bags, which performs the labor of thirty persons. She personally
conducted the construction of this machine in Amherst, Massachusetts.

[167] A statistic compiled by Blaschko gives the following information
in regard to the extension of sexual diseases among the various
occupations. First come the secret prostitutes with 30 per cent; then
the students with ~25~ per cent; merchants with 16, and workingmen
with 9 per cent.

[168] In special cases women may be excluded from certain lectures
with the consent of the minister of education.

[169] The organization of free clinical treatment of patients in
the large cities of Russia.--German Quarterly of Public Hygiene.

[170] What difficulties are entailed for women who have a family
and at the same time wish to, or have to, practice a trade or
profession, has been ably shown in the book by Adele Gerhard and
Helen Simon: “Maternity and Intellectual Occupations” (Berlin, 1901,
George Reimer). It contains the personal experiences and opinions
of writers, artists, singers, actresses, etc., and these opinions
prove that society must be completely reorganized to give full play
to the great amount of female intelligence that exists and strives
for expression, since it is in the interest of society itself that
it should be given full play.

[171] According to the last report for 1908, England has 16 female
factory inspectors, Miss A. M. Anderson and 15 assistants.

[172] The first woman factory inspector was appointed in Bavaria in
1897. From then until 1909 the number of woman factory inspectors
rose to 26. Fourteen states had until then not appointed any.


The Legal Status of Women.

1.--The Struggle for Equality Before the Law.

The social dependence of a race, class, or sex, always finds expression
in the laws and political conditions of the country in question.
The laws of a country are the formulated expression of its ruling
interests. ~Women, being the dependent and oppressed sex, find
their legal status mapped out to them accordingly.~ Laws are both
negative and positive. They are negative by failing to take notice
of the oppressed in the distribution of rights. They are positive
inasmuch as they point out his dependent position and denote whatever
exceptions there may be.

Our common law is founded on the Roman law, which considers the human
being solely in his quality as a propertied being. The old German law,
that dealt more favorably with women, has maintained its influence
only to a slight extent. In the French language, as in the English
language, human being and the male are denoted by the same word,
“l’homme”--man. In the same way, the French law only recognizes the
man as a human being, and, until a few decades ago, this was true
also of England, where women were maintained in abject dependence.
It was the same in ancient Rome. There were Roman citizens and wives
of Roman citizens, but no Roman citizenesses.

In Germany the legal status of women has been somewhat improved,
inasmuch as the great variety of existing laws have been replaced
by a uniform law, whereby rights enjoyed by women here and there
have been made general. Thereby, unmarried women were admitted to
guardianship; women were permitted to act as witnesses, to sign
contracts, and to carry on a business independently. Both husband and
wife are entitled to the common ownership of each other’s property,
unless the demands made by either party may be regarded as an abuse
of his or her rights. If there are conflicting opinions between them
on this subject, the decision rests with the ~husband~, who also
is entitled to determine the place of residence. If the husband
should abuse this right, the wife is exempt from obedience. The sole
management of the household rests with the wife. She has the so-called
power of the keys, which empowers her, within her domestic sphere,
to attend to her husband’s affairs and to represent him. The husband
is liable for his wife’s debts. But the wife’s power of the keys
may be restricted, or entirely abolished, by her husband. Should
he abuse his power, this limitation may be annulled by the courts.
The wife is obliged to do the housework and to perform tasks in her
husband’s business, but only where such occupations are customary,
in accordance with the husband’s standard of living. A demand to
establish, as the rule, separate rights of ownership by husband
and wife, was declined by the Diet. This can only be obtained by
means of the marriage contract, which is usually neglected, and may
lead to disagreements later on. Instead, community of management
was established. The husband is thereby entitled to dispose of his
wife’s property, while she is limited to her dowry. On the other
hand, the wife has unrestricted control over whatever she may earn
during marriage, by personal labor or in business. The husband has no
right to deprive the wife of her earnings or her dowry. The wife may
also demand security, in case she has good reason to fear that her
property is endangered, which she may sometimes learn too late. She
may also enter a complaint to have the common ownership abolished,
if her husband should fail to provide for her and her children. The
husband is liable for damage resulting from mismanagement.

The wife may be grievously wronged by the existing divorce laws. For,
in case of divorce, the joint earnings of husband and wife belong
to the husband, ~even if he is the guilty party~, and if most of
their common property has been earned by the wife. But the woman is
entitled to alimony, according to her station, only if it can be
shown that she is not able to maintain her standard of living by
means of her own property or earnings.

Paternal control has been replaced by the joint control of both
parents, but in case of disagreement between the parents, the decision
rests with the father. In case of the father’s death, parental
control, including the management and use of the child’s property,
devolves on the mother. A divorced woman has no right to represent
her children legally, or to control their property, even if the
children have been awarded to her, while the father continues to
enjoy full parental rights.

In England, until 1870, according to the common law, a husband was
entitled to all the personal property of his wife. Only real estate
remained her property by law, but even this the husband was entitled
to manage and to use. The English woman was a mere cipher before the
law. She could not sign any legal document, not even a will. She was
her husband’s chattel. If she committed any crime in her husband’s
presence, he was held responsible for it, since she was regarded as a
minor. In case she damaged any one’s property, the damage was viewed
as if done by a ~domestic animal~; her husband was answerable for
it. In 1888 Bishop J. N. Wood delivered a lecture in the chapel at
Westminster, in which he said, among other things, that as late as
a century ago English women had not been permitted to eat at their
husbands’ table, nor to speak until they were spoken to. As a symbol
of his marital power, a whip hung above the bed, that the husband
was permitted to wield when the wife was not as docile as her lord
desired her to be. Only her daughters were obliged to obey her. By
her sons she was regarded as a servant.

By the laws of 1870, 1882 and 1893, the woman is not only entitled to
all the property brought into marriage by her, she is also entitled
to everything she may obtain during marriage by her earnings, by
inheritance, or by gift. This legal relation can be modified only by
special agreement between husband and wife. In this respect English
legislation has followed the example set by the United States. By
the Custody of Infants’ Act, of 1886, in case of the father’s death,
parental control devolves on the mother. The Intestate Estates Act,
of 1890, still gives the man a privileged position. Both husband and
wife are free to dispose of their property by their last will and
testament. But if the wife dies intestate, all her personal property
belongs to her husband; while, if the husband dies intestate, his
widow is entitled to only one-third of his personal property and
income on real estate; the remainder belongs to his children. Many
remnants of the old mediaeval law remain in force that greatly impair
the legal status of married women. As we have seen, the divorce laws
are still highly unfavorable to women. If a man commits adultery,
that alone is no ground for divorce for the woman, but only in
connection with cruelty, bigamy, rape, etc.[173]

The civil law is especially unfavorable to women in France, and in
all those countries--mostly Romanic countries--that are strongly
influenced by the French “code civil,” or where it has been adopted
in full, with some modifications. This is the case in Belgium, Spain,
Portugal, Italy, Russian Poland, the Netherlands, and in most of
the cantons of Switzerland. There is a saying by Napoleon I. that
is characteristic of his conception of the position of women, and
that still holds true; it is: “One thing is not French, a woman who
may do as she pleases.”[174] As soon as a French woman marries she
is placed under the guardianship of her husband. According to the
Code Civil, she may not appear in court without the consent of her
husband, not even if she is connected with a lawsuit. The husband
shall protect his wife, and the wife shall obey her husband. He
controls the property brought into marriage by his wife; he may sell,
rent, or mortgage same, without being obliged to ask her consent.
The result is, that women frequently live in a condition of absolute
servitude. A man may spend his wife’s earnings on drink, or on
frivolous women; he may gamble and run into debt, leaving his wife
and children in want; he is even entitled to demand from an employer
the wages his wife has earned. Under such circumstances it is not
to be wondered at that many women prefer to desist from marriage,
as was frequently seen in France.

In most Romanic countries women cannot act as witnesses to legal
documents, contracts, wills, etc. In France this was the case until
1897. But they are permitted--by a strange inconsistency--to act
as witnesses at court in all criminal cases, where their testimony
may perhaps lead to the execution of a human being. ~In criminal
law woman is everywhere regarded as man’s equal, and crimes and
transgressions committed by her are measured by the same standard as
those committed by man.~ Our law-makers seem blissfully unconscious
of this glaring inconsistency. As a widow, a woman may make her
will, but in a great many states she is not admitted as a witness
to a will, yet she may be appointed as executrix. In Italy women
are admitted as witnesses in civil law since 1877.

The privileged position of men is especially manifest in the divorce
laws. According to the “Code Civil,” in France a man might obtain a
divorce if his wife committed adultery; but a woman could not obtain
it, unless her husband had brought his concubine into their home.
This article has been changed by the divorce law of July 27, 1884,
but in French criminal law the distinction has been maintained, which
is very characteristic of the French law-makers. If a woman has been
convicted of adultery she is punishable by imprisonment of from
three months to two years. But the man is punishable only if he has
maintained a concubine in his own household, as per the former article
of the “Code Civil.” If found guilty, his only punishment is a fine
of from 100 to 2000 francs. Such inequality before the law would be
impossible if there were women in the parliament of France. Similar
laws are in force in Belgium. The penalty for adultery when committed
by a woman is the same as in France. The man goes unpunished, unless
adultery has been committed by him in his and his wife’s domicile;
in that event he may be punished by imprisonment of from one month
to one year. In Belgium the injustice is not quite as glaring as in
France, but in both countries we find one standard of law for the
man and another one for the woman. Under the influence of French law
similar provisions have been made in Spain and Portugal. According
to the civil law of Italy, enacted in 1865, a woman cannot obtain
a divorce on the ground of adultery, unless her husband maintains
his concubine in his own home, or in a place where her presence
appears as a particular insult to the wife. In 1907, together with
the enactment of June 21, which has modified a number of articles
of the Code Civil in regard to marriage, both chambers finally
adopted the law of July 13, whereby the wife became the sole owner
of property earned by her, or obtained by inheritance or gift. The
husband has been deprived of his former control over the personal
property of his wife. That is the first breach in French law, and
thereby French women have obtained the same legal status that was
obtained for English women by the law of 1870.

Much more advanced than the “Code Civil” and more advanced also
than German civil law, is the new civil law of Switzerland that was
adopted on December 10, 1907, and will come into force on January 1,
1912. Until now the various cantons of Switzerland had their own
laws. In Geneva, Waadt, and Italian Switzerland they were partly
founded on the “Code Civil.” In Bern and Lucerne they were founded
on Austrian law, and in Schwytz, Uri, Unterwalden, etc., the old
common law prevailed. Now Switzerland is to have a uniform code of
laws. The freedom of the wife and the children is assured. The new
law provides that the wife is entitled to one-third of her husband’s
income, even if she is only occupied as his assistant or housekeeper.
In regard to inheritance, also, the laws are more favorable to
women than the German laws. When a man dies, his wife is not only
entitled to one-half of his property, but also, together with the
man’s parents, to the lifelong use of the income from the other half.
If people owe money to a man who fails to provide for his wife and
children, the judge may instruct them to pay these debts, not to the
man himself, but to his wife. The law no longer forbids a divorced
person to marry the person with whom he has committed adultery. The
property rights of married persons are mainly determined by the
marriage contract that may be drawn up by both before and during
marriage. Illegitimate children--in cases where the mother had been
given a promise of marriage--are not only entitled to alimony from
their father, as according to the new German law, but they are also
entitled to their father’s name, and thereby obtain the full rights
of legitimate children.

Swedish women are given full control over their own earnings by a
law of Dec. 11, 1874. In Denmark a similar law was enacted in 1880.
According to Danish law no claims may be made on a woman’s property
for the payment of her husband’s debts. The Norwegian law of 1888
and the Finnish law of 1889 are quite similar. The married woman
has the same control over her property as the unmarried woman; only
some exceptions are provided for that are stated in the law. In
the Norwegian law it is clearly stated, ~that the woman becomes a
dependent by marriage~.

“In the Scandinavian countries, as elsewhere, this universal movement
to extend the property rights of women originated in the same way as
it did in England: through the ~gainful employment~ of married women.
The ruling classes were far more willing to abandon the patriarchal
superiority of the common man over his working wife, than that of
the man from their own ranks over his propertied wife.”[175]

In the law of May 27, 1908, Danish legislation advanced still another
step. If a husband and father fails to provide for his family, the wife
and children may have the sum, awarded to them by the authorities,
advanced out of the public funds.

In most countries the father has the sole control over the children
and the right to determine their education. Only in some countries
the mother is given joint control with the father in a more or less
subordinate way. The old Roman principle, whereby the father had
complete power over his children, everywhere forms the key-note of

In Russia married women have some control over their property, but as
bread-winners they remain utterly subservient to their husbands. No
pass--which is absolutely essential for any change of residence--is
ever issued to a married woman without her husband’s consent. In
order to accept a position or to practice any trade or profession,
she must also have her husband’s permission. Divorce is made so
difficult, that it can be obtained only in very rare cases. The
position of Russian women was much more independent formerly in the
old peasant communities, which was due to the remaining communistic
institutions or to the reminiscences of these institutions. The
peasant woman was the manager of her own estate. Communism is the
most favorable social condition for women. We have seen this from
our exposition of the matriarchal period.[176]

In the United States the women have succeeded in winning almost
complete equality before the law; they have also prevented the
introduction of English and other laws regulating prostitution.

[173] A. Chapman and M. Chapman--The Status of Women under the
English Law. London, 1909.

[174] L. Bridel--La puissance maritale. Lausanne, 1879.

[175] Marianne Weber--Wife and Mother in the Evolution of Law.
Tubingen, 1907.

[176] The correctness of this conception may be seen from the comedy
by Aristophanes, “The Popular Assembly of Women.” In this comedy
Aristophanes depicts how the Athenian state was so mismanaged that
no one knew what to do. In the popular assembly of the citizens of
Athens the prytanes submit the question how the state is to be saved.
A woman, disguised as a man, moves to entrust the government to the
women, and this motion is carried without resistance, “because it was
the only thing not yet tried in Athens.” The women proceed to steer
the ship of state and immediately introduce communism. Of course,
Aristophanes ridicules this condition, but the characteristic part
of his play is, that he has the women introduce communism as the
only rational social organization from their point of view, as soon
as they come into power. Aristophanes had no idea of how much truth
was in his jest.

2.--The Struggle for Political Equality.

The evident inequality of women before the law has caused the more
advanced among them to demand political rights, in order to attain
their equality by means of legislation. The same thought has also
led the working class to direct their agitation toward the conquest
of political power. What is right for the working class, cannot be
wrong for the women. Being oppressed, devoid of rights and, in many
instances, disregarded, it is not only their right, but their duty
to defend themselves and to adopt any method that appears good to
them, so that they may win an independent position. Of course these
endeavors are opposed by the usual reactionary croakings. Let us
see to what extent these are justified.

Women possessing eminent intellectual abilities have influenced
politics at all times and among all peoples, even where they were
not endowed with the power of sovereigns. Even the papal court was
not exempt from this. If they could not exert any influence by means
of the rights conceded to them, they did so by their intellectual
superiority, even by intrigues. For many centuries their influence was
particularly strong at the court of France, as also at the Spanish and
Italian courts. At the close of the seventeenth century, at the court
of Philip V. of Spain, Marie of Trémonille, Countess of Bracciano
and Princess of Ursins, was the prime-minister of Spain for thirteen
years, and during this time very ably conducted Spanish politics. As
the mistresses of rulers, many women have succeeded in obtaining a
great political influence; we need but mention the well-known names
of Maintenon, the mistress of Louis XIV., and Pompadour, the mistress
of Louis XV. The great intellectual awakening of the eighteenth
century, that produced men like Montesquieu, Voltaire, d’Allembert,
Holbach, Helvetius, La Mettrie, Rousseau, and many others, did not
fail to affect the women. This great movement, which questioned the
justification of the fundamental principles of the state and feudal
society and helped to undermine them, may have been joined by some
women to follow the fashion, to satisfy their love of intrigue, or for
other unworthy motives. But a great many women were impelled to take
part in this movement by their profound interest and enthusiasm for
its noble aims. Decades before the outbreak of the great revolution,
which swept over France like a purifying cloud-burst, tore the old
order asunder and cast it down, causing jubilation among the most
advanced minds of the age, women had thronged into the scientific
and political clubs, where philosophical, scientific, religious,
social and political problems were discussed with unwonted daring,
and had taken part in the discussions. When at length, in July, 1789,
the storming of the Bastille ushered in the great revolution, women
of the upper classes and women of the common people participated
actively and exerted a very noticeable influence both for and against
it. They participated excessively in both good and evil wherever an
opportunity presented itself. The majority of historians have taken
more notice of the excesses of the revolution than of its great and
noble deeds. These excesses, by the way, were only too natural, for
they were the result of tremendous exasperation at the unspeakable
corruption, the exploitation, the imposition, the baseness and
villany of the ruling classes. Under the influence of these biased
descriptions, Schiller wrote the lines: “And women there become hyenas
and mock at horror and despair.” And yet in those years women have
set so many noble examples of heroism, magnanimity, and admirable
self-sacrifice, that to write an impartial book on “the women in
the great revolution,” would mean the erection of a noble monument
in their honor.[177] According to Michelet, women even were the
van-guard of the revolution. The general poverty and want from which
the French people suffered under the predatory and disgraceful rule
of the Bourbon kings, especially affected the women, as is always
the case under similar conditions. Being excluded from almost every
decent means of support, tens of thousands of them fell victims to
prostitution. To this was added the famine of 1789, which increased
the suffering of women and children to the utmost. This famine led
them to storm the town-hall in October and to march in masses to
Versailles, the seat of the court. It also caused a number of them
to petition the national assembly “that the equality between man and
woman be reinstated, that work and employment be opened to them and
that they be given positions suited to their abilities.” As the women
recognized that they needed power to win their rights, but that they
could attain power only by organizing and by standing together in
great numbers, they organized women’s clubs throughout France, some
of which had a surprisingly large membership, and also took part
in the men’s meetings. While brilliant Madame Roland preferred to
play a leading political part among the “statesmen” of the French
Revolution, the Girondistes, passionate and eloquent Olympe de Gouges
took the leadership of the women of the people and espoused their
cause with all the enthusiasm of her fervent temperament.

When the assembly proclaimed “the rights of man” (les droits de
l’homme), in 1793, she promptly recognized that they were only rights
of men. In opposition to these, Olympe de Gouges, together with
Rose Lacombe and others, wrote “The rights of Women,” in seventeen
articles. On the 28 Brumaire (November 20, 1793), she defended the
rights before the Paris Commune, with arguments that are still fully
justified. In her argumentation the following sentence, characteristic
of the situation, was contained: “If a woman has the right to mount
the scaffold she must also have the right to mount the platform.”
Her demands remained unfulfilled. But her reference to the right of
woman to mount a scaffold met with bloody confirmation. Her defence
of the rights of women on the one hand, and her struggle against the
atrocities of the assembly on the other, made her appear ripe for the
scaffold to the assembly. She was beheaded on the 3d of November, of
the same year. Five days later Madame Roland was beheaded, also. Both
went to their death heroically. Shortly before these executions, on
October 17, 1793, the assembly had shown its attitude of hostility
toward women by deciding to suppress all the women’s clubs. Later on,
when the women continued to protest against the wrong perpetrated
against them, they were even forbidden to attend the assembly and
the public meetings, and were treated as rebels.

When monarchical Europe marched against France, and the assembly
declared “the fatherland to be in danger,” Parisian women offered to
do what was done twenty years later by enthusiastic Prussian women,
to bear arms in defence of the fatherland, thereby hoping to prove
their right to equality. But they were opposed in the commune by the
radical Chaumette, who addressed them thus: “Since when are women
permitted to deny their sex and to make men of themselves? Since
when is it customary for them to neglect the tender care of their
households, to forsake the cradles of their children, to come into
public places, to speak from platforms, to enter the ranks of the
army, with one word, to perform those duties which nature has destined
man to perform? Nature has said to the man: ‘Be a man! The races, the
hunt, agriculture, politics, all exertions are your ~privilege~.’
She has said to the woman: ‘Be a woman! The care of your children,
the details of the household, the sweet restlessness of motherhood,
these are your ~tasks~.’ Foolish women, why do you seek to become
men? Are human beings not properly divided? What more do you ask? In
the name of Nature, remain what you are, and far from envying us our
stormy lives, make us forget them in the midst of our families by
letting our eyes rest upon the lovely sight of our children, happy in
your tender care.” Undoubtedly the radical Chaumette expressed the
opinion held by most men. It is generally considered an appropriate
division of labor that men defend the country and women care for
hearth and home. For the rest the oratorical effusion of Chaumette
consists of mere phrases. It is not true that man has borne the
burdens of agriculture. From primeval days down to the present woman
has contributed a large share to agriculture. The exertions of the
hunt and the races are no “exertions,” but a pleasure to men, and
politics entails dangers only for those who combat current opinions,
while to others it offers at least as much pleasure as exertion.
Nothing but the egotism of man finds expression in this speech.

Aims similar to those pursued by the Encyclopedists and the great
revolution in France found expression in the United States, when,
during the seventies and eighties of the eighteenth century, the
colonists won their struggle for independence from England and
established a democratic constitution. At that time, Mercy Ottis
Warren and the wife of the second president of the United States,
Mrs. Adams, together with a few other women, favored political
equality. It was due to their influence that the State of New Jersey
bestowed the right of suffrage upon women, of which it deprived them
again in 1807. In France, even before the outbreak of the revolution,
Condorcet, later a Girondist, published a brilliantly written essay
in favor of woman’s suffrage and the political equality of both

Inspired by the great events in the neighboring country, it was
brave Mary Wollstonecraft, born in 1759, who proclaimed woman’s
cause at the other side of the channel. In 1790 she wrote a book in
opposition to Burke, one of the most vehement opponents of the French
Revolution, in which she defended the rights of man. Soon after
she proceeded to demand the rights of man for her own sex. In her
book, published in 1792, “A Vindication of the Rights of Women,” she
severely criticised her own sex, but demanded and bravely defended
complete equality for women in behalf of the common welfare. She
met with vehement opposition and was subjected to severe and unjust
attacks. Heart-broken by bitter inward struggles, she died in 1797,
misunderstood and ridiculed by her contemporaries.

At the same time, when the first serious endeavors to obtain political
equality for women were being made in France, England, and the United
States, even in Germany, which was particularly retrogressive then,
a German writer--Th. G. v. Hippel--anonymously published a book
in Berlin, in 1792, on the “Civic Improvement in the Condition of
Women,” in which he defended the equal rights of women. At that time
a book on the civic improvement in the condition of men would have
been equally justified. We must therefore doubly admire the courage
of this man, who, in his book, ventured to draw all the logical
conclusions from social and political sex equality and defended same
very ably and intelligently.

Since then the demand for political rights of women has remained
dormant for a long time; but gradually it has been taken up again
by the woman’s movement in all countries and has become realized
in a number of states. In France the St. Simonists and Fourierists
favored sex equality, and, in 1848, the Fourierist Considérant moved
in the constitutional committee of the French parliament to bestow
equal political rights upon women. In 1851, Pierre Leroux repeated
the motion in the chamber, but likewise unsuccessfully.

At present matters have an entirely different aspect. The development
of our social conditions and all social relations have undergone a
tremendous transformation and have at the same time transformed
the position of women. In all civilized states we find hundreds
of thousands and millions of women employed in the most varied
professions, just like men, and every year the number of women
increases, who must rely on their own strength and ability in the
struggle for existence. The nature of our social and political
conditions, therefore, can no longer remain a matter of indifference
to women. They must be interested in questions like the following:
Whether or not the control of domestic and foreign affairs favor
war; whether or not the state should annually keep hundreds of
thousands of healthy men in the army and drive tens of thousands
from the country; whether or not the necessities of life should be
raised in price by taxes and duties at a time when the means of
subsistence are very scarce to a great majority, etc. Women also pay
direct and indirect taxes from their property and their earnings.
The educational system is of the greatest interest to women, for
the manner of education is a determining factor in the position of
their sex; it is of special importance to mothers.

The hundreds of thousands and millions of women employed in hundreds
of trades and professions are personally and vitally concerned in
the nature of our social legislation. Laws relating to the length
of the work-day, night-work, child labor, wages, safety appliances
in factories and workshops, in one word, all labor laws, as also
insurance laws, etc., are of the greatest interest to working
women. Workingmen are only very insufficiently informed about the
conditions existing in many branches of industry in which women
are chiefly or exclusively employed. It is to the interest of the
employers to conceal existing evils that they have caused; and in
many instances factory inspection does not include trades in which
women are exclusively employed; yet in these very branches of industry
protection is most needful. We need but point to the workshops in
our large cities, where seamstresses, dressmakers, milliners, etc.,
are crowded together. We hardly ever hear a complaint from their
midst, and there is no investigation of their condition. Women as
bread-winners are also interested in the commerce and custom-laws
and in all civil laws. There can no longer be any doubt, that it is
as important to women as it is to men, to influence the nature of
our conditions by means of legislation. The participation of women
in public life would give it a new impetus and open new vistas.

Demands of this sort are briefly set aside, with the reply: “Women
don’t understand politics; most of them do not wish to have a vote
and would not know how to use it.” That is both true and false. It
is true that until now, in Germany, at least, not very many women
have demanded political equality. The first German woman to proclaim
the rights of women, as early as the sixties of the last century,
was Hedwig Dohm. Recently the Socialist working women have been the
chief supporters of woman’s suffrage and have undertaken an active
agitation for the winning of the ballot.

The argument that women have until now shown only a very moderate
interest in politics, does not prove anything at all. If women have
failed to care about politics formerly, that does not signify that
they ~ought~ not to care about them now. The same arguments that
are advanced against woman suffrage were, during the first half of
the sixties, advanced against universal manhood suffrage. In 1863
the writer of this book himself was among those who ~opposed~ it.
Four years later it made possible his election to the Diet. Tens
of thousands experienced a similar development. Nevertheless there
still are many men who either fail to make use of their political
right, or do not know how to use it. Yet that would be no reason to
deprive them of it. During the parliamentary elections usually from
25 to 30 per cent. of the voters fail to vote, and among these are
members of all classes. While among the 70 to 75 per cent. who do
vote, the majority, in our opinion, vote as they ought not to vote
if they understood their own advantage. That they do not understand
is due to a lack of political education. But political education is
not obtained by withholding political rights from the masses. It is
obtained only by the practice of political rights. Practice alone
makes perfect. The ruling classes have always known it to be in their
own interest to keep the great majority of the people in political
dependence. Therefore it has been the task of a determined, class
conscious minority to struggle for the common good with energy and
enthusiasm, and to arouse the masses from their indifference and
inertia. It has been thus in all the great movements of history,
and therefore it need not surprise or discourage us that it is the
same with the woman’s movement. The success that has been obtained
so far shows, that work and sacrifice are not in vain and that the
future will bring victory.

As soon as women shall have obtained equal rights with men, the
consciousness of their duties will be awakened in them. When asked
to vote they will begin to question “why” and “for whom.”

Thereby a new source of interest will be established between man and
woman that, far from harming their mutual relation, will considerably
improve it. The inexperienced woman will naturally turn to the more
experienced man. Therefrom an exchange of ideas and mutual instruction
will result, a relation that until now has been very rare between man
and woman. This will give their life a new charm. The unfortunate
differences in education and conception between the sexes that
frequently lead to disputes, breed discord in regard to the various
duties of the man and injure the public welfare, will be adjusted
more and more. A congenial and like-minded wife will support a man
in his endeavors, instead of hindering him. If other tasks should
prevent her from being active herself, she will encourage the man
to do his duty. She will also be willing to sacrifice a fraction of
the income for a newspaper and for purposes of agitation, because
the newspaper will mean instruction and entertainment to her, and
because she will understand that by the sacrifices for purposes of
agitation, a more worthy human existence can be won for herself,
her husband and her children.

Thus the common service of the public welfare, that is closely linked
with the individual welfare, will elevate both man and woman. The
opposite of that will be attained which is claimed by short-sighted
persons or by the enemies of equal rights, and this relation between
the sexes will develop and become more beautiful as improved social
conditions will liberate both man and woman from material care and
excessive burdens of toil. Here, as in other cases, practice and
education will help along. If I do not go into the water I will never
learn to swim; if I do not study and practice a foreign language, I
will never learn to speak it. That is readily understood by everyone;
but many fail to understand that the same holds true of the affairs of
the state and society. Are our women less capable than the inferior
Negro race that was given political equality in North America? Or
shall a highly cultured, educated woman be entitled to fewer rights
than the most coarse and ignorant man, only because blind chance
brought the latter into the world as a male being? Has the son a
greater right than the mother from whom he has perhaps inherited
his best qualities and who made him what he is? Such “justice” is
strange, indeed.

Moreover, we are no longer risking a leap into the dark and unknown.
North America, New Zealand, and Finland have paved the way. On the
effects of woman suffrage in Wyoming, Justice Kingman, from Laramie,
wrote to “The Woman’s Journal,” on November 12, 1872, as follows: “It
is three years to-day that women were enfranchised in our territory
and were also given the right to be elected to office, as all other
voters. During this time they have taken part in the elections and
have been elected to various offices; they have acted as jurors and
as justices of the peace. Although there probably still are some
among us who oppose the participation of women, on principle, I do
not believe any one can deny that the participation of women in our
elections has exerted an ~educational~ influence. The elections
became more quiet and orderly, and at the same time our courts were
enabled to punish various kinds of criminals who had been allowed
to go unpunished until then. When the territory was organized, for
instance, there was hardly a person who did not carry a revolver and
make use of same upon the slightest provocation. I do not remember
a single case where a person had been convicted of shooting by a
jury composed entirely of men; but, with two or three women among
the jurors, they always followed the instructions of the judge.”

The prevailing sentiment in regard to woman suffrage in Wyoming,
twenty-five years after its introduction, was expressed in a
proclamation by the legislature of that state to all the legislatures
of the country. It read:

  “~Whereas~, Wyoming was the first State to adopt woman suffrage,
  which has been in operation since 1869, and was adopted in the
  constitution of the State in 1890; during which time women have
  exercised the privilege as generally as men, with the result that
  better candidates have been elected for office, methods of election
  purified, the character of legislation improved, civic intelligence
  increased, and womanhood developed to a greater usefulness by
  political responsibility; therefore,

  “~Resolved~, by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring,
  that, in view of these results, the enfranchisement of women in every
  State and Territory of the American Union is hereby recommended
  as a measure tending to the advancement of a higher and better
  social order.”

It is certain that the enfranchisement of women has shown many
advantageous results for Wyoming, and not one single disadvantage.
That is the most splendid vindication of its introduction. The example
set by Wyoming was followed by other states. Women were given full
parliamentary suffrage in Colorado in 1894, in Utah in 1895, in
Idaho in 1896. Women have municipal suffrage in Kansas, and school
suffrage, tax-paying suffrage, etc., in a number of other states
in the Union. In 1899, after the innovation had been in force in
Colorado for five years, the legislature decided upon the following
resolution, by 45 against 3 votes:

  “~Whereas~, equal suffrage has been in operation in Colorado for
  five years, during which time women have exercised the privilege as
  generally as men, with the result that better candidates have been
  selected for office, methods of election have been purified, the
  character of legislation improved, civic intelligence increased
  and womanhood developed to greater usefulness by political
  responsibility; therefore,

  “~Resolved~, by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring,
  that, in view of these results, the enfranchisement of women in every
  State and Territory of the American Union is hereby recommended
  as a measure tending to the advancement of a higher and better
  social order.”

In a number of states the legislatures have passed woman suffrage
bills, but these decisions were annulled by the vote of the people.
This was the case in Kansas, Oregon, Nebraska, Indiana, and Oklahoma.
In Kansas and Oklahoma this proceeding has been twice repeated, and
in Oregon even three times. The noteworthy fact is that each time
the majorities against the political emancipation of women became

“The municipal rights obtained by women are very varied, but, taken
all in all, do not amount to much. As a matter of course, women
enjoy the full municipal rights of citizenship in those four states
in which they have been given national suffrage. But only one other
state, Kansas, has given women municipal suffrage, which also includes
school and tax-paying suffrage and makes them eligible to school
boards. A limited municipal suffrage, founded upon an educational
qualification, has been exercised by the women of Michigan since
1893. Louisiana, Montana, Iowa, and New York give women the right to
vote on municipal questions of taxation. The women have not obtained
as much influence in the general administration of municipal affairs
as they have in regard to the administration of schools. They have
school suffrage and are eligible to school boards in the following
states: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York,
New Jersey, Delaware, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North and
South Dakota, Nebraska, Montana, Arizona, Oregon and Washington. In
Kentucky and Oklahoma they have school suffrage, but are not eligible
to office; in Kentucky the school suffrage is limited by certain
restrictions. In Maine, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Iowa
and California, women are eligible to school boards, but only to
certain offices.”[179]

In New Zealand, women have had full parliamentary suffrage since
1893. They have actively participated in the parliamentary elections,
more actively than the men, but they are not eligible to office. Only
men may be elected. In 1893, of 139,915 women of voting age no less
than 109,461 registered; 785 for each 1000; 90,290--645 for each
1000--took part in the elections. In 1896 108,783 (68 per cent.) of
the women voted; in 1902, 138,565; in 1905, 175,046.

In Tasmania, women were given municipal suffrage in 1884 and national
suffrage in 1903. In South Australia, women have had national suffrage
since 1895, in West Australia since 1900, in New South Wales since
1902, in Queensland since 1905, in Victoria since 1908. Federated
Australia introduced parliamentary woman’s suffrage in 1902. The
parliamentary suffrage implies the eligibility of women to parliament,
but until now no woman has been elected. Women who are of age may
vote for members of parliament and be voted for on the same terms as
men. The municipal administration is less democratic. The right of
participation in the administration of municipal affairs is connected
with military service. Since 1889, tax-paying women are eligible
to the charity-boards of town and rural communities. They may also
be elected as directors of charitable institutions and members of
school boards.

The grand general strike of October, 1905, and the victory of the
Russian revolution made possible the restoration of the constitution
in Finland. The working class, by bringing pressure to bear upon
the National Diet, succeeded in obtaining the passage of a law that
provided for the introduction of universal suffrage, including the
women. Only such persons were excluded who received aid from public
funds, or who owed their personal tax to the state, 50 cents for men
and 25 cents for women. In 1907, 19 women, and in 1908, 25 women
were elected to the parliament of Finland.

In Norway, women participate in the administration of schools since
1889. In cities, the city councils may appoint them to school boards,
and women having children of school age take part in the election of
school inspectors. In the rural districts all who pay school taxes,
regardless of sex, are entitled to take part in the school meetings
of the communities. Women may hold the office of school inspector.
Gradually women were given a voice in other municipal matters also.
In 1901, municipal suffrage was extended to all Norwegian women who
had attained their twenty-fifth year, who were Norwegian citizens,
having been in the country at least five years, and who paid taxes
on an income of at least 300 crowns, in the rural districts, and
400 crowns in the cities, or whose husbands paid the required amount
of taxes. Women answering these requirements were also made eligible
to municipal offices. By this law 200,000 women were enfranchised,
30,000 of them in Christiania alone. During the first election in
which the women participated, 90 women were elected as members of
town and city councils, and 160 as alternates. In Christiana, 6
women councillors and one alternate were elected. On July 1, 1907,
the Norwegian women were given parliamentary suffrage, but not upon
the same terms as men. Parliamentary suffrage was extended to women
on the same terms on which they had been given municipal suffrage;
250,000 proletarian women still remain excluded from political rights.

In Sweden, unmarried women take part in municipal elections since
1862, on the same terms as men; that is, they must be of age and must
pay taxes on an income of at least 140 dollars. In 1887 only 4000
women among 62,000 voted. At first, women were not eligible to any
municipal office, but in 1889 a law was enacted which declared them
eligible to school boards and boards of charity. In February, 1909,
Swedish women were declared eligible to all town and city councils.
In 1902 parliamentary woman suffrage was rejected by the lower
house by 114 against 64 votes; in 1905 by 109 against 88 votes.

In Denmark, after many years of agitation, women were given municipal
suffrage in April, 1908, and were also made eligible to municipal
offices. All those women are enfranchised who have attained their
twenty-fifth year and who have an annual income of at least 225 dollars
in the cities (less in rural districts), or whose husbands pay the
required amount of taxes. Moreover, servant girls are enfranchised,
in whose case board and lodging are added to the wages they receive.
During the first election in which women participated, which took
place in 1909, seven women were elected to the city council of
Copenhagen. In Iceland, women have municipal suffrage and are eligible
to municipal offices since 1907.

The struggle for woman suffrage in England has a considerable history.
According to an old law, in the mediaeval ages, ladies of the manors
had the right of suffrage and also exercised judicial power. In the
course of time they were deprived of these rights. In the election
reform acts of 1832, the word “person” had been employed, which
includes members of both sexes. Yet the law was construed not to
refer to women, and they were barred from voting wherever they made
an attempt to do so. In the election reform bill of 1867, the word
“person” had been replaced by the word “man.” John Stuart Mill moved
to reintroduce the word “person” instead of “man,” explicitly stating
as the object of his motion that thereby women would be given the
suffrage on the same terms as men. The motion was voted down by 194
against 73 votes. Sixteen years later, in 1883, another attempt was
made in the house of commons to introduce woman suffrage. The bill
was rejected by a majority of only 16 votes. Another attempt failed
in 1884, when a much larger membership of the house voted down a
suffrage bill by a majority of 136 votes. But the minority were not
discouraged. In 1886 they succeeded in having a bill providing for
the introduction of parliamentary woman suffrage passed in two
readings. The dissolving of parliament prevented a final decision.

On November 29, 1888, Lord Salisbury delivered an address in
Edinburgh, in which he said, among other things: “I sincerely hope
that the day may not be distant when women will participate in
parliamentary elections and will help to determine the course of the
government.” Alfred Russell Wallace, the well-known scientist and
follower of Darwin, expressed himself upon the same question in the
following manner: “When men and women shall be free to follow their
best impulses, when no human being shall be hampered by unnatural
restrictions owing to the chance of sex, when public opinion will
be controlled by the wisest and best and will be systematically
impressed upon the young, then we will find that a system of human
selection will manifest itself that will result in a transformed
humanity. As long as women are compelled to regard marriage as a
means whereby they may escape poverty and neglect, they are and
remain at a disadvantage compared to men. Therefore the first step
in the emancipation of women is to remove all the restrictions which
prevent them from competing with men in all branches of industry and
in all occupations. But we must advance beyond this point and permit
women to exercise their ~political rights~. Many of the restrictions
from which women have hitherto suffered would have been spared them
if they had had a direct representation in parliament.”

On April 27, 1892, the second reading of a bill by Sir A. Rollit
was again rejected by 175 against 152 votes. On February 3, 1897,
the house of commons passed a suffrage bill, but, owing to various
manœuvres of the opponents, the bill did not come up for the third
reading. In 1904 the same scene was re-enacted. Of the members of
parliament elected to the house of commons in 1906, a large majority
had declared themselves in favor of woman suffrage prior to their
election. On June 21, 1908, a grand demonstration was held in Hyde
Park. On February 28, a bill providing that women should be given
parliamentary suffrage on the same terms as men, had been passed by
271 against 92 votes.[180]

In regard to municipal administration, woman suffrage in Great Britain
is constantly expanding. In the parish councils tax-paying women have
a voice and vote as well as men. Since 1899, women in England have
the right to vote for town, district and county councils. In the
rural districts all proprietors and lodgers--including the female
ones--who reside in the parish or district are entitled to vote. All
inhabitants who are of age may be elected to the above-named bodies,
regardless of sex. Women vote for members of school boards, and,
since 1870, are eligible to same on the same terms as men. But in
1903 the reactionary English school law has deprived women of the
right of being elected to the school board in the county of London.
Since 1869 independent and unmarried women have the right to vote for
the privy councils. Two laws enacted in 1907 made unmarried women
in England and Scotland eligible to district and county councils.
But a woman who may be elected as chairman of such a council, shall
thereby not hold the office of justice of peace that is connected
with it. Women are also eligible to parish councils and as overseers
of the poor. The first woman mayor was elected in Aldeburgh on
November 9, 1908. In 1908 there were 1162 women on English boards
of charity and 615 women on school boards. In Ireland, tax-paying
women have had municipal suffrage since 1887, and since 1896 they
may vote for members of boards of charity and be elected to same.
In the British colony of North America, most of the provinces have
introduced municipal woman suffrage on similar terms as in England.
In the African colonies of England, municipal woman suffrage has
likewise been introduced.

In France the first slight progress was brought about by a law
enacted on February 27, 1880. By this law a school board was
created consisting of women school principals, school inspectors,
and inspectors of asylums. Another law of January 23, 1898, gave
women engaged in commerce the right to vote for members of courts of
trade, and, since November 25, 1908, women may be elected as members
of courts of trade themselves.

In Italy women may vote for members of courts of trade and be elected
as such since 1893. They are also eligible to boards of supervisors
of hospitals, orphan asylums, foundling asylums, and to school boards.

In Austria women belonging to the class of great landowners may vote
for members of the Diet and the imperial council, either personally
or by proxy. Taxpaying women, over 24, may vote for town and city
councillors; married women exercise the suffrage indirectly through
their husbands, others through some other authorized agent. All the
women belonging to the class of great land-owners have the right
to vote for members of the Diet, but, with the exception of Lower
Austria, they do not exercise it personally. Only in the one domain
referred to, the law of 1896 provides that the great landowners,
regardless of sex, must cast their vote in person. Women may also
vote for members of courts of trade, but may not be elected to same.

In Germany women are explicitly excluded from voting for any
law-making bodies. In some parts of the country women may vote for
town-councillors. In no city or rural community are women eligible to
municipal offices. In the cities they are also excluded from the right
to vote for any office. The exceptions to this rule are some cities
in the Grand-duchy of Saxony-Weimar-Eisenach, in the principalities
of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, and Schwarzburg-Sondershausen, in Bavaria,
and the little town of Travemuende, in Lubeck.

In the Bavarian cities all women who are house-owners, and in the
cities of Saxony-Weimar and Schwarzburg, all women citizens are given
the suffrage, but only in Travemuende are they permitted to exercise
it in person.[181] In most of the rural communities where the right
of suffrage depends upon a property or tax-paying qualification,
women are included in this right. But they must vote by proxy and are
not eligible to any office themselves. This is the case in Prussia,
Brunswick, Schleswig-Holstein, Saxony-Weimar, Hamburg, and Lubeck.
In the Kingdom of Saxony a woman may exercise the suffrage if she be
a landowner and ~unmarried~. When she becomes married, her suffrage
devolves upon her husband. In those states in which municipal suffrage
depends upon citizenship, women are generally excluded. This is the
case in Wurtemberg, in the Bavarian Palatinate, in Baden, Hessia,
Oldenburg, Anhalt, Gotha, and Reuss. In Saxony-Weimar-Eisenach,
Coburg, Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, and Schwarzburg-Sondershausen, women
can become citizens on the same terms as men, and they have the
suffrage, not limited by any property qualification. But here, too,
they are prohibited from exercising this right in person.

In those Prussian districts where a limited form of woman suffrage
exists, the enfranchised women participate directly or indirectly in
the elections for members of the dietines. In the electoral groups of
great landowners and the representatives of mining and manufacturing
establishments, the women vote for members of the dietines directly;
but in the rural communities they vote indirectly, since here the
town council does not elect the representatives themselves, but
only their electors. As the local dietines elect representatives to
the provincial diets, the small number of enfranchised women are
enabled to exert a very modest influence on the administration of
the provinces.

During recent years women have been admitted to boards of charity,
and have been made overseers of the poor and of orphan asylums in
growing numbers and with marked success. (Bavaria constitutes the only
exception.) In some cities (in Prussia, Baden, Wurtemberg, Bavaria
and Saxony), they have also been admitted to school boards, and in
one city (Mannheim), they have been made members of a commission for
the inspection of dwellings. Insurance against sickness is the only
public institution in connection with which women may vote and be
voted for. They remain excluded from voting for members of courts
of trade.

The above-quoted instances show that suffrage in Germany and Austria
is determined, almost without exception, not by the person, but by
property. Politically, human beings are mere ciphers if they have no
money and no possessions. Neither intellect nor ability, but property
is the determining factor. It is very instructive to note this fact
in regard to the morality and justice of the present state.

We see that a number of exceptions have already been made to the theory
that women are in the same class with minors and that the franchise
must accordingly be withheld from them. And yet people vehemently
oppose the endeavor to give women full political equality. Even
progressive people argue that it would be dangerous to enfranchise
women because they are conservative by nature and are susceptible to
religious prejudices. But these arguments are true to some extent
only, so long as women are maintained in ignorance. Our object must
therefore be to educate them and to teach them where their true
interest lies. Incidentally it may be stated that the religious
influence on elections has been overestimated. The ultramontane
agitation was so successful in Germany only because it wisely combined
the religious interests with social interests. For a long time the
ultramontane chaplains vied with the Socialists in revealing social
deterioration. It was this that caused them to become so influential
with the masses. But with the end of the struggle between church and
state this influence gradually declines. The clergy are obliged to
abandon their struggle against the power of the state; at the same
time the increasing class differences compel them to show greater
consideration for the Catholic bourgeoisie and the Catholic nobility
and to be more reticent in regard to social questions. Thereby they
lose their influence upon workingmen, especially if consideration
for the ruling classes compels them to favor or to tolerate actions
and laws that are directed against the interests of the working
class. The same reasons will eventually also destroy the influence
of the clergy upon women. When women learn in meetings, or from
newspapers, or by personal experience, where their true interests
lie, they will emancipate themselves from clerical influence just
as men.[182]

In Belgium, where ultramontanism still predominates among large
circles of the population, a number of the Catholic clergy favor
woman suffrage because they deem it an effective weapon against
Socialism. In Germany, too, a number of conservative members of the
Diet have declared themselves in favor of the woman suffrage bills
introduced by Socialist members and have explained their position
by asserting that they consider woman suffrage a weapon against
Socialism. Undoubtedly there is some truth in these opinions, taking
into consideration the present political ignorance of women and the
strong influence exerted over them by the clergy. But still this is
no reason to disfranchise them. There are millions of workingmen,
too, who vote for candidates of bourgeois and religious parties
against their own class interest and thereby prove their political
ignorance, yet no one would propose to disfranchise them for this
reason. The withholding or the rape of the franchise is not practiced
because the ignorance of the masses--including the ignorance of
women--is feared; for what these masses are, the ruling classes have
made them. It is practiced because the ruling classes fear that
the masses will gradually become wise and pursue their own course.

Until recently the various German states were so reactionary that
they even withheld from women the right of political organization.
In Prussia, Bavaria, Brunswick, and a number of other German states,
they were not permitted to form political clubs. In Prussia they
were not even permitted to participate in entertainments arranged
by political clubs, as was distinctly set down by the supreme court
in 1901. The rector of the Berlin University even went so far as to
forbid a woman to lecture before a social science club of students.
In the same year the police authorities of Brunswick forbade women to
take part in the proceedings of the social congress of Evangelists.
In 1902 the Prussian secretary of state condescended to give women
the permission to attend the meetings of political clubs, but under
the condition that they had to take their seats in a part of the
hall specially set aside for them, like the Jewish women in their
synagogues. Nothing could have better characterized the pettiness
of our conditions. As late as February, 1904, Pasadowsky solemnly
declared in the Diet: “Women shall keep their hands off politics.”
But eventually this state of affairs became unbearable even to the
bourgeois parties. The new national law on assembly and organization
of April 19, 1908, brought the only marked improvement by establishing
equal rights of women in regard to political organization and public

The right to vote must of course be combined with the right to be
elected to office. We hear the cry: “How ridiculous it would be to
behold a woman on the platform of the Diet!” Yet there are other
states where women have ascended to the platforms of parliaments, and
we, too, have long since become accustomed to see women on platforms
in their meetings and conventions. In North America women appear on
the pulpit and in the jury-box; why not on the platform of the Diet?
The first woman to be elected to the Diet will know how to impress
the other members. When the first workingmen were elected to the
Diet they, too, were the objects of cheap wit, and it was asserted
that workingmen would soon recognize the folly of electing men of
their type. But the working-class representatives quickly succeeded
in winning respect, and at present their opponents fear that there
may be too many of them. Frivolous jesters exclaim: “But picture a
pregnant woman on the platform of the Diet; how shocking!” Yet the
same gentlemen consider it quite proper that pregnant women should
be employed at occupations which shockingly degrade their womanly
dignity and decency and undermine their health. That man is a wretch,
indeed, who dares to ridicule a pregnant woman. The very thought
that his mother was in the same condition before she gave him birth
must drive the blood to his cheeks in shame, and the other thought,
that his wife’s being in the same condition may mean the fulfillment
of his fondest hopes, must silence him.[183]

~The woman who gives birth to children is serving the community
at least as well as the man who risks his life in defence of the
country.~ For she gives birth to and educates the future soldiers,
far too many of whom must sacrifice their lives on the battlefield.
Moreover, every woman ~risks her life~ in becoming a mother. All
our mothers have faced death in giving us life, and many of them
have perished. In Prussia, for instance, the number of deaths in
child-birth--including the victims of puerperal fever--by far exceeds
the number of deaths from typhoid. During 1905 and 1906 0.73 and
0.62 per cent. of typhoid patients died. But among 10,000 women 2.13
and 1.97 per cent. died in child-birth. “How would conditions have
developed,” Professor Herff rightly remarks, “if men were subjected
to these sufferings to the same extent? Would not the utmost measures
be resorted to?”[184] ~The number of women who die in child-birth, or
are left sickly as a result of same, is far greater than the number of
men who die or are wounded on the battlefield.~ From 1816 to 1876, in
Prussia alone, no less than 321,791 women fell victims of puerperal
fever; that is an annual average of 5363. In England, from 1847 to
1901, 213,533 women died in child-birth, and still, notwithstanding
all hygienic measures, no less than 4000 die annually.[185]

That is a far greater number than the number of men killed in the
various wars during the same time. To this tremendous number of
women who die in child-birth must furthermore be added the still
greater number of those who become sickly as a result of child-birth
and die young.[186] This is another reason why woman is entitled
to full equality with man. Let these facts be especially noted by
those persons who advance the military service of men as an argument
against the equal rights of women. Moreover, our military institutions
enable a great many men to escape the performance of this duty.

All these superficial objections to the public activity of women would
be impossible if the relation of the sexes was natural, instead of
there being an artificially stimulated antagonism between them. From
their early childhood on the sexes are separated in their education
and their social intercourse. It is especially the antagonism we
owe to Christianity that keeps the sexes apart and maintains one in
ignorance about the other, whereby free social intercourse, mutual
confidence and the ability to supplement each other’s traits of
character are prevented.

One of the first and most important tasks of a rationally organized
society must be to remove this detrimental discord and to restore
the rights of nature. We begin by making even the little children in
school unnatural, firstly, by separating the sexes, and secondly,
by failing to instruct our children as to the sex nature of human
beings. In every fairly good school natural history is being taught
at present. The child learns that birds lay eggs and hatch them.
He learns when birds mate and that both the male and female bird
build the nest, hatch the eggs and feed the young. He also learns
that mammals bring forth their young alive. He hears of the mating
season and that the male animals fight one another for possession of
the females. Perhaps he even learns how many young one or another
species of animal usually brings forth and how long the female is
pregnant. But profoundest secrecy is maintained in regard to the
origin and development of the human being. When the child seeks to
satisfy its natural curiosity by questioning his parents, especially
his mother--he rarely ventures to question the teacher--he is told
the most ridiculous fairy tales that cannot satisfy his thirst for
knowledge and that must exert an all the more harmful influence
when, some day, he nevertheless learns the true nature of his
origin. There are few children who have not learned of it by the
time they are twelve years old. In every small town, and especially
in the country, even very young children have occasion to observe
the pairing of poultry and domestic animals at close range in the
yards, in the streets and on pasture. They hear that the pairing of
domestic animals and the birth of the young is discussed without a
sense of shame by their parents, their elder brothers and sisters
and the servants. All this causes the child to doubt the truth of
what his parents told him in regard to his own coming into the world.
Finally the child learns the truth, but not in the manner in which
he ought to learn it if his education were a natural and rational
one. The fact that the child keeps his knowledge a secret leads to
an estrangement between him and his parents, especially between him
and his mother. The parents have accomplished the opposite of what
they sought to accomplish in their ignorance and short-sightedness.
Those who recall their own childhood and the childhood of their
playmates know to what this may lead.

An American woman[187] tells us that in order to satisfactorily
answer the constant questions of her eight-year-old son as to his
origin, and because she did not wish to tell him fairy tales, she
revealed to him the truth about his birth. The child, she says,
listened to her with utmost attention, and from the day upon which he
had learned how much suffering he caused his mother, he had treated
her with unwonted tenderness and respect and had also transferred
these feelings to other women. The writer upholds the correct view
that only by means of a natural education men can be led to treat
women with more respect and self-control. Every unprejudiced person
is bound to agree with her.

Whatever starting-point one may choose in the criticism of present-day
conditions, one is bound always to reiterate the following: ~A
thorough reorganization of our social conditions~, and thereby a
thorough transformation in the relation of the sexes, is needful.
Woman, in order to attain her aim more quickly, must look about
for allies, and she naturally finds such allies in the proletarian
movement. The class-conscious proletariat has long since commenced
to storm the fortress of the state that is founded on class rule,
which includes the rule of one sex over the other. The fortress must
be surrounded on all sides, and, by arms of all calibers, it must
be forced to surrender. The beleaguering army finds its officers
and suitable arms on all sides. The social sciences, the natural
sciences, historical research, pedagogics, hygiene and statistics
furnish the movement with arms and munition. Philosophy comes forward,
too, and, in Mainlaender’s “Philosophy of Deliverance,” proclaims
the early realization of the “ideal state.”

The conquest of the class-state and its transformation is made easier
by dissension in the ranks of its defenders, who, notwithstanding
their community of interests against the common enemy, fight one
another in the struggle for the spoils. The interest of one group is
opposed to the interest of another. Another point in our favor is the
growing mutiny in the ranks of the enemy. To a great extent their
soldiers are blood of our blood and flesh of our flesh, but, owing to
ignorance, they, until now, fought against us and against themselves.
More and more of these join our ranks. We are, furthermore, helped
by the desertion of honest men of intellect, who were hostile to us
at first, but whose superior knowledge and profound insight impels
them to rise above their narrow class interest, to follow their ideal
desire for justice, and to espouse the cause of the masses that are
longing for liberation.

Many still fail to recognize that state and society are already in a
state of decay. Therefore an exposition of this subject also becomes

[177] Emma Adler--Famous Women of the French Revolution. Vienna,

[178] At present suffrage amendments are pending in Washington and
Oklahoma. (Tr.)

[179] Clara Zetkin--Woman Suffrage. Berlin, 1907.

[180] A similar bill, known as the “conciliation bill,” drawn up by
a committee consisting of members of all parties, passed its second
reading in July 1910 by 299 against 189 votes. Prime Minister Asquith
prevented the third reading and final vote upon the bill during that
session of Parliament. (Tr.)

[181] Political Manual for Women. Berlin, 1909.

[182] That this danger exists the clergy themselves have soon
recognized. Since the woman movement has grown and developed even
in bourgeois circles, the leaders of the Catholic party recognized
that they could no longer oppose it, and they accordingly completely
reversed their attitude. With that subtlety which has always
characterized the servants of the church, they favor at present
what they opposed until quite recently. They not only favor higher
education for women, they also declare themselves in favor of
unrestricted right of assembly and organization for women. Some of
the more far-sighted even support woman suffrage, hoping that the
church may derive the greatest gain from the introduction of same.
In the same way the industrial organization of women is supported
by the Catholic clergy, even the organization of servant girls. But
all these social endeavors are fostered, not from an innate sense
of justice, but to prevent the women from flocking to the camp of
religious and political opponents.

[183] “Half of the women members of Parliament in Finland are wives
and mothers. Three of the Socialist married women members became
mothers during their parliamentary activity without any other
disturbing results except that they remained away from the sessions
for a few weeks. Their pregnant condition was regarded as something
natural that was neither wonderful nor noteworthy. It may rather
be said that this factor was of educational value to the assembly.
In regard to the parliamentary activity of these women members it
should be noted that their parties elected them to the special
committees also, which proves that they were convinced of their
ability. The committee on labor where the laws for workingmen’s
protection, workingmen’s insurance, and the new trade laws were
drawn up, consisted of twelve men and four women, and three women
had been chosen as alternates. The legislative and constitutional
committees each had two women members, and for each there was one
woman alternate, and the women have ably maintained their place
in these committees.”--Miss Hilda Paerssinen, member of the diet
of Finland--“Woman Suffrage and the Participation of Women in the
Parliamentary Work of Finland.”--Documents of Progress. July, 1909.

[184] Professor Dr. Otto v. Herff--The struggle against puerperal
fever. Leipsig, 1908.

[185] W. Williams--Deaths in Child-bed. London, 1904.

[186] “For every woman who dies in child-birth we must assume from
fifteen to twenty who are more or less seriously infected with
resulting diseases of the abdominal organs and general debility from
which they frequently suffer for the remainder of their lives.”
Dr. Mrs. H. B. Adams--The Book of Woman. Stuttgart, 1894.

[187] Womanhood, Its Sanctities and Fidelities by Isabella
Beecher Hooker. New York, 1874. Lee, Shepard & Dillingham.

The State and Society.


The Class-State and the Modern Proletariat.

1.--Our Public Life.

The development of society has been a very rapid one in all civilized
states of the world during recent decades, and any new achievement
in any realm of human activity still hastens this development.
Thereby our social conditions have been put into a state of unrest,
fermentation and dissolution, the like of which had never been known
before. The feeling of security of the ruling classes has been
shaken, and the institutions are losing their old stability whereby
they might resist the attacks that are made upon them from all
sides. A feeling of discomfort, insecurity and dissatisfaction has
taken possession of all strata of society, the highest as well as
the lowest. The tremendous exertions made by the ruling classes to
remove this unbearable state of affairs by patching and mending the
body social, prove useless because they are insufficient. They only
increase their sense of insecurity and heighten their discomfort and
unrest. They have scarcely inserted one beam into the dilapidated
structure in the form of some legislation, when they discover a dozen
other decayed spots that require repairs still more urgently. At
the same time they have constant quarrels and serious differences
of opinion among themselves. A measure introduced by one party to
appease the growing dissatisfaction of the masses, is condemned by
the other party as an unpardonable weakness and leniency that is
bound to stimulate a desire for still greater concessions. That is
clearly seen by the endless discussions in all parliaments, whereby
new laws and institutions are constantly being introduced without
attaining any state of rest and satisfaction. Among the ruling
classes themselves certain extreme differences exist, some of which
are insurmountable, and these still intensify the social conflict.

The governments--and not only those in Germany--sway to and fro like
reeds shaken by the wind. They must lean on something, for they
cannot exist without a support, and so they incline first toward one
side and then toward another. There is hardly a progressive state in
Europe in which the government can count upon a permanent majority in
parliament. Social extremes break up the majorities; and the constant
fluctuations of the market, especially in Germany, undermine the
last remnant of confidence that the ruling classes still placed in
themselves. To-day one party is in control and to-morrow another.
What the one has constructed with much difficulty is torn down by
the other. The confusion increases, the dissatisfaction becomes more
lasting, the struggles multiply and wear out more human strength in
a few months than formerly in an equal number of years. Besides,
the material demands, in the form of various taxes, are constantly
increasing, and there is no limit to the public debts.

The modern state is by its very nature a class-state. We have seen how
it became necessary to protect private property and to regulate, by
means of laws and institutions, the relations of the proprietors to one
another and to the non-possessors. Whatever forms the appropriation
of property may assume in the course of historical development,
it is established by the very nature of private property that the
greatest proprietors are the most powerful persons in the state and
shape it in accordance with their interests. It is, furthermore,
established by the nature of private property that an individual
can never obtain enough of same and employs all available means in
order to increase it. He therefore endeavors so to shape the state
that it may best enable him to attain his ends. Thereby laws and
institutions of the state naturally develop into class laws and
class institutions. But the powers of the state, and all who are
interested in maintaining the present order, would not be able to
uphold it long against the mass of those who are not interested in
its maintenance, if this mass would recognize the true nature of
existing conditions. This recognition must therefore be prevented at
any cost. The masses must be maintained in ignorance concerning the
nature of existing conditions. They must be taught that the present
order has always existed and will always continue to exist, that
seeking to overturn it, means to rebel against the institutions of
God himself. That is why religion is made to serve this purpose. The
more ignorant and superstitious the masses are, the more favorable
are the circumstances to the ruling classes. To maintain them in
ignorance and superstition is in the interest of the state; that
is, in the interest of those classes who regard the state as an
institution to protect their class privileges. These are, besides
the propertied class, the hierarchy of church and state, who all
unite in the common task of protecting their interests.

But, with the endeavor to win possessions and with the increased
number of possessors, the general status of civilization is raised to
a higher level. The circle of those increases who seek to participate
in the fruits of progress and who succeed in so doing to a certain
degree. A new class arises on a new basis. It is not regarded by
the ruling class as being entitled to equal rights, but is prepared
to venture anything in order to attain equality. Finally new class
struggles arise and even violent revolutions, whereby the new class
obtains recognition and power. Especially by espousing the cause
of the mass of the oppressed and exploited, it attains the victory
with their aid.

But as soon as the new class has come into power it unites with
its former enemies against its former allies, and after some time
class struggles begin anew. The new ruling class has meanwhile
imprinted the entire body social with the character of its means of
subsistence; but as it can increase its power and its possessions
only by letting a part of its achievements fall to the share of
the class that it oppresses and exploits, it thereby heightens the
ability and understanding of that class. By so doing, the ruling
class furnishes the oppressed class with the weapons that shall
achieve its own destruction. The struggle of the masses now becomes
directed against all class rule, in whatever form it may exist.

This last class is the modern proletariat, and its historical
mission will be not only to achieve its own liberation, but also the
liberation of all who are oppressed, which includes the liberation
of woman.

The nature of the class state not only involves the political
oppression of the exploited classes, it also involves that they are
made to bear the heaviest burdens for the maintenance of the state.
That is made easy when the burdens are imposed in such a manner
that their true character is concealed. It is obvious that high
direct taxes must foster a rebellious spirit if the income of those
on whom they are imposed is a small one. Wisdom therefore bids the
ruling classes to be moderate in this respect, and to introduce a
system of indirect taxation instead by placing a tax on the most
necessary commodities. Thereby the taxes are paid for in the price
of the commodities in an invisible way, and the majority remain
ignorant as to the amount of taxes that they actually pay. To what
extent the consumer is taxed on bread, salt, meat, sugar, coffee,
beer, oil, etc., is difficult to calculate, and most persons have no
idea to what extent they are fleeced. These taxes weigh heaviest on
large families; they are therefore the most unjust form of taxation
imaginable. On the other hand, the possessing classes pride themselves
on the direct taxes that they pay, and by the height of these taxes
they measure the political rights that they enjoy and that they
withhold from the non-possessing classes. Moreover, the possessing
classes provide aid and assistance from the state for themselves by
means of the tariff and other institutions that amount to millions
of dollars annually at the expense of the masses. The masses are
furthermore exploited by the increased cost of living as a result
of capitalistic organization and the formation of trusts; these the
state either favors by its policy or suffers to exist, and in some
cases it even supports them by actual participation.

As long as the masses can be kept in ignorance concerning the nature
of all these measures, they in no way endanger the state or the
ruling social order. But as soon as the exploited classes become
conscious of their exploitation--and the growing political education
of the masses enables them to become so--the glaring injustice of
these measures arouses bitterness and indignation. The last spark of
confidence in a sense of justice of the ruling powers is destroyed.
The true nature of the state that resorts to such measures, the
true nature of the society that favors them, become recognized. The
struggle for the ultimate destruction of both is the result.

In their endeavor to do justice to the most conflicting interests,
state and society organize one institution upon another, but no old
one is thoroughly removed and no new one is thoroughly carried out.
Half measures are resorted to that fail to satisfy anyone. The new
requirements of civilization that have grown up among the people
require some consideration, if the powers that be are not to risk
everything. To meet these requirements even insufficiently entails a
considerable expense, all the more so because there are a number of
parasites everywhere. But alongside of these new institutions all the
old institutions that are averse to the purposes of civilization are
maintained. As a result of social extremes they are even expanded and
become all the more troublesome and oppressive, because increasing
knowledge and judgment loudly proclaim them to be ~superfluous~.
The police department, the army, the courts, the prisons, all are
extended and become more expensive; but thereby neither the outward
nor the inward security is strengthened; rather the contrary takes

A highly unnatural condition has gradually developed in regard
to the international relations of nations to one another. These
relations increase with the growing production of commodities, with
the increased exchange of commodities that is constantly made easier
by improved methods of distribution, and by the fact that economic
and scientific achievements are becoming the common property of all
nations. Trade and customs treaties are made, and, with the aid of
international means, expensive thoroughfares are constructed. (The
Suez Canal, the St. Gothard Tunnel, etc.) Individual states support
steamship lines that help to increase the traffic between various
countries of the globe. The Postal Union was formed--a marked
progress in civilization--international congresses are held for
various practical and scientific purposes; the mental products of
the several nations are disseminated among all the civilized nations
of the world by translation into their respective languages, and by
all these international activities the ideal of the ~brotherhood
of man~ is fostered and increased. But the political and military
condition of Europe and the rest of the civilized world forms a
striking contradiction to this development. Jingoism and national
hostilities are artificially fostered here and there. Everywhere
the ruling classes seek to maintain the belief that the people are
brimful of hostile feeling toward one another and are only waiting
for an opportunity to attack and destroy each other. The competitive
struggle of the capitalist classes of the various countries among
themselves, becomes international, and assumes the character of a
struggle of the capitalist class of one country against the capitalist
class of another country. This struggle, supported by the political
blindness of the masses, causes the nations to vie with one another
in warlike preparations the like of which the world has never seen
before. This rivalry created armies of a prodigious size; it created
tools of murder and destruction for warfare on land and sea of such
perfection, as could be made possible only by our age of advanced
technical development. This rivalry creates a development of the
means of destruction that finally leads to self-destruction. The
maintenance of the armies and navies necessitates an immense expense
that grows with every year and is ultimately bound to ruin the
wealthiest nation. During the year 1908 Germany alone spent over
15 million marks ($3,750,000) for its army and navy, including the
expenses for pensions and the interest on the national debt as far
as same had been contracted for military purposes, and this sum is
increasing annually. The following list, compiled by Neymarck, shows
the combined military expenses of the European states:

                   1866.   1870.   1887.      1906.

  Army and navy    3,000   3,000    4,500    6,725
  National debts  66,000  75,000  117,000  148,000
  Interest         2,400   3,000    5,300    6,000[188]

As shown by this list, Europe spends 6,725 million francs
($1,362,000,000) annually for armies and navies, and 6,000 million
francs ($1,215,000,000) interest on debts that have mostly been
incurred to serve warlike purposes. A fine state of affairs, indeed!

America and Asia have begun to follow the example set by Europe.
The United States spent $967,000,000 in 1875, and $3,592,250,000 in
1907 and 1908. In Japan the expenses for army and navy, including
the pensions, amounted to $51,250,000 in 1875 and to $551,000,000
in 1908 and 1909.

As a result of these expenses objects of education and civilization are
grievously neglected. The expenses for external defense predominate
and undermine the true purpose of the state. The growing armies
comprise the healthiest and strongest elements of the nation, and
for their education and training all physical and mental forces are
employed, as if training for wholesale murder were the most important
mission of our age. At the same time the tools of warfare and murder
are constantly being improved. They have attained such a degree of
perfection in regard to speed, range, and force of destruction,
that they have become a terror alike to friend and foe. If this
tremendous apparatus should be set in motion--which would imply that
the warring European forces would take the field with from 16 to
20 million men--it would be seen that it has become ~uncontrollable~
and ~indirigible~. No general can command such masses; no battlefield
is large enough to draw them up; no administration can provide for
their maintenance during any length of time. In case a battle had
taken place there would not be sufficient hospitals to care for the
wounded, and to bury the dead would become almost impossible. If we
furthermore take into consideration what disturbances and devastations
would be wrought by a European war on the field of economics, we may
say, without fear of exaggeration: ~The next war will be the last
war.~ The number of failures in business would exceed all previous
records. The export trade would come to a standstill and thousands
of factories would accordingly be forced to shut down. The supply
of provisions would run short, whereby the cost of living would be
enormously increased. It would require millions of dollars to support
the families whose bread-winners had gone to war. But whence should
come the means to meet all these prodigious expenses? At present the
German empire alone spends from eleven to twelve million dollars
daily to maintain its army and navy in readiness for war.

The political and military status of Europe has taken a trend of
development that may easily end with a catastrophe by which bourgeois
society will be engulfed. On the height of its development this
society has created conditions which make its own existence untenable.
Itself the most revolutionary society that has hitherto existed, it
has furnished the means for its own destruction.

In a great many of our municipalities a desperate state of affairs
gradually begins to prevail, since it becomes almost impossible to
satisfy the annually increasing demands. These demands are especially
heavy in our rapidly growing large cities and industrial centers,
and most of them cannot meet the demands made upon them in any other
way than by raising the taxes and by borrowing. Schools, building
of streets, illumination, water-works, sanitation, educational and
wellfare work, police and administration entail constantly increasing
expenses. Besides, the well-to-do minority makes very heavy demands
on the community. Higher institutions of learning are demanded, the
building of museums and theatres, the laying out of fine residential
districts and parks, with appropriate illumination, pavement, etc.
The majority of the population may object to these privileges, but
they are an innate part of the nature of conditions. The minority
are in power and they use this power to satisfy their requirements
of civilization at the expense of the community. These increased
requirements are justified, too, for they represent progress. Their
only shortcoming is that they are mainly enjoyed by the possessing
classes alone, while they ought to be for the common enjoyment of all.
Another evil is that the administrations are often expensive without
being good. Not infrequently the officials are incompetent and lack
proper understanding; while town or city councillors are generally so
much engaged with the care for their private existence that they are
unable to make the sacrifices that a thorough performance of their
duties would require. Often public positions are used to further
private interests to the detriment of the community. The tax-payers
must bear the consequences. A thorough and satisfactory reform of these
conditions cannot be attained by present-day society. In whatever
form the taxes may be levied, the dissatisfaction increases. In a
few decades most of the municipalities will be unable to satisfy
their demands by the present form of taxation and administration.
In the municipalities, as in the state, the need of a thoroughgoing
transformation becomes manifest. In fact, the greatest demands for
purposes of civilization are made upon them; they form the nucleus
from which the social transformation will proceed as soon as the
will and power for such transformation exist. But how shall this
be attained while private interests control everything and public
interests are of secondary importance?

This is, briefly stated, the condition of our public life, which is
but a reflection of the social condition of society as a whole.

[188] A. Neymarck--La Statistique international des valeurs mobilières.
Bulletin de l’institut international de statistique. Copenhagen,

2.--Aggravation of Social Extremes.

In present-day life the struggle for existence is becoming
increasingly difficult. The war of all against all is raging and is
waged relentlessly, often without any discrimination in the methods
employed. The French saying: “Ote-toi de la, que je m’y mette” (get
out of there that I may take your place), is practiced in actual
life. The weak must make way for the strong. If the material force
of money, of property, does not suffice, the meanest methods are
resorted to that a desired aim may be attained. Lies, fraud and
deception, forgery and perjury, the worst crimes are committed for
this end. As one individual is arrayed against another in this
warfare, thus we find class against class, sex against sex, age
against age. Advantage is the only arbiter of human relations; every
other consideration is set aside. As soon as advantage requires it,
thousands upon thousands of workingmen and women are cast out into the
street, and become public charges or enforced vagabonds. In masses
workers wander from place to place through the length and breadth
of the land, and society fears and despises them more and more as
the duration of their unemployment makes their external appearance
more shabby, and, eventually, also demoralizes their character.
Respectable society does not know what it means to do without the
simplest requirements of order and cleanliness for months, to wander
about with an empty stomach, and to reap nothing but ill-disguised
disgust and contempt from those who are the upholders of this system.
The families of these unfortunates suffer the hardest privations and
become dependent on public charity. Sometimes despair drives parents
to awful crimes against their children and themselves, to murder and
suicide. Especially during hard times these deeds of despair increase
to an appalling degree. But the ruling classes are not perturbed by
such occurrences. The same editions of the daily papers that report
such deeds, caused by poverty and despair, also contain reports of
festive revelries and glittering official pageants, as if there were
joy and abundance everywhere.

The general need and the increasingly difficult struggle for existence
drive more and more women and girls into lives of degradation and
ruin. Demoralization, brutality and crime increase, while the prisons,
the penitentiaries and the so-called reformatories can hardly contain
the mass of their inmates.

Crime is closely connected with social conditions. Society does not
wish to admit this fact. Like the ostrich, that conceals its head
in the sand not to see approaching danger, we deceive ourselves in
regard to these conditions that should lead to self-accusation. We
try to persuade ourselves that it is all due to laziness, love of
pleasure and lack of piety on the part of the workingmen. This is
self-delusion and hypocrisy of the worst kind. As social conditions
grow more unfavorable for a majority of the population, crimes become
more numerous and more severe. The struggle for existence assumes
its most cruel and violent form and creates a condition in which
men regard one another as mortal enemies. Social bonds are severed
and human beings treat each other with hostility.[189]

The ruling classes who do not see, nor wish to see, to the bottom of
things, seek to remedy these evils in their own way. When poverty and
need increase, and, as a result, demoralization and crime increase
likewise, the source of the evil is not sought out in order to plug
up this source, but the products of these conditions are punished. As
the evils grow and the number of evil-doers increases, persecutions
and penalties are made more severe. The belief seems to be that
the devil can be driven out by Satan. Even Professor Haeckel deems
it justifiable to punish crime with severe penalties and to resort
to capital punishment.[190] On this point he is fully agreed with
reactionaries of all shades who otherwise are his mortal enemies.
Haeckel holds the opinion that incorrigible criminals and wrong-doers
should be exterminated like weeds that rob the plants of air, light
and the soil to grow in. If Haeckel had devoted himself partly to the
study of social sciences instead of devoting himself to the natural
sciences exclusively, he would know that these criminals could be
transformed into useful members of human society, if society would
offer them the needful conditions of existence. He would know that
the extermination of individual criminals would no more prevent the
perpetuation of new crimes, than weeds could be prevented from growing
while their roots or their seeds remained. Man will never be able
to prevent absolutely the formation of harmful organisms in nature.
~But he will be able so to improve the social order that he himself
has created, that the conditions of existence shall be favorable to
all, that each individual shall be enabled to develop freely, and
shall no longer be compelled to satisfy his hunger, his desire for
possessions, or his ambitions, at the expense of others.~[191]

They who seek to remove crime by removing its causes cannot favor
violent methods of repression. They cannot prevent society from
protecting itself in its own way against criminals whom it can, of
course, not give free scope, but they demand all the more urgently
a transformation of society that would mean a removal of the causes
of crime.

The connection between social conditions and misdemeanors and
crimes has frequently been shown by statisticians and political
economists.[192] One of the most frequent misdemeanors, that is
regarded as a misdemeanor by our society, in spite of all its
Christian teachings about charity--is mendicancy. In connection
with this subject the statistics of the Kingdom of Saxony teach
us that the increase of the great crisis that began in Germany
in 1890 and attained its height from 1892 to 1893, the number of
persons punished for mendicancy increased likewise. During 1890 the
number of persons punished for this misdemeanor was 8,815; during
1891, 10,075, and during 1892, 13,120. Similar facts were observed
in Austria, where, during 1891, 90,926 persons were convicted of
mendicancy and vagrancy, and 98,998 persons during 1892.[193] This
is a considerable increase.

Pauperization of the masses on the one hand and increasing wealth
on the other is the stamp of our period. The trend of present-day
development may be well judged from the fact that in the United States
five men--John D. Rockefeller, the late Harriman, J. Pierpont Morgan,
W. K. Vanderbilt, and G. J. Gould--in the year 1900, owned together
over 800,000,000 dollars, and that they possessed sufficient influence
to control the economic life of the United States and partly also
that of Europe. In all civilized countries the large combinations of
capitalists form the most noteworthy phenomenon of the recent period
and are constantly gaining more social and political importance.

[189] Plato already recognized the results of such conditions. He
wrote: “A state in which classes exist is not one single state but
two. The poor form one, and the rich form the other. Both dwell
together, but always way-lay one another. Finally the ruling class
becomes unable to wage a war, for then it depends upon the masses
whom, when armed, it fears more than the enemy.”--Plato, The State.
Aristotle says: “Widespread poverty is an evil, for it can hardly
be prevented that such persons become promoters of disorder.”

[190] Natural History of the Creation.

[191] A similar thought is expressed by Plato in his “State”: “Crimes
are caused by ignorance, by bad education and institutions of the
state.” Plato was better acquainted with the nature of society than
many of his learned followers two thousand and three hundred years
later. That is not very encouraging.

[192] M. Sursky--New facts concerning the economic causes of crime.
“New Era.”

[193] H. Herz--Crime and Criminals in Austria. The author says: “The
prevailing economic status must be taken into consideration in the
judgment of crime. The organization of production and consumption
and the distribution of wealth has a marked influence on crime in
many ways.”


The Process of Concentration in Capitalistic Industry.

1.--The Displacement of Agriculture by Industry.

The capitalistic system of production not only dominates the social
organization but also the political organization. It influences and
controls the thoughts and sentiments of society. Capitalism is the
ruling power. The capitalist is lord and master of the proletarian,
whose labor power he buys as a commodity to be applied and made
use of, at a price that oscillates according to supply and demand
and the cost of production, as with every other commodity. But the
capitalist does not buy labor power “to please God,” or to render a
service to the workingman--as he sometimes seeks to present it--but
to obtain surplus value by it, which he pockets in the form of
profit, interest and rent. This surplus value squeezed out of the
workingman--inasmuch as it is not spent by the employer for his
personal enjoyment--is crystallized into capital, and enables him
steadily to enlarge his plant, to improve the process of production,
and to employ more labor power. Thereby again he becomes enabled
to encounter his weaker competitor, as a horseman, clad in armor,
might encounter an unarmed pedestrian, and to destroy him.

This unequal struggle is developing more and more in all domains,
and woman, furnishing the cheapest labor power, beside the child,
plays an important part in this struggle. The result of these
conditions is, that the line of demarcation becomes sharper between
a relatively small number of powerful capitalists and the great mass
of non-possessors of capital, who depend upon the daily sale of
their labor power. With this development the position of the middle
classes is becoming more and more unfavorable.

One line of industry after another, where until recently the small
manufacturers predominated, are being taken hold of by capitalistic
enterprise. The competition of the capitalists among themselves
compels them constantly to seek new realms to be exploited. Capital
goes about “like a roaring lion seeking something to devour.” The
small men are ruined, and if they do not succeed in finding some other
field of activity--which is becoming increasingly difficult--they
sink down into the class of wage-workers. All attempts to prevent
the decline of handicraft and the middle class by means of laws and
institutions that have been taken from the shelves of the past, prove
useless. They may deceive one or another for a little while in regard
to his true position, but soon the delusion is dispelled by the
force of facts. The process of absorption of the small ones by the
great ones is becoming clearly evident to all with the unrelenting
force of a natural law.

In what manner the social structure of Germany has been transformed
during the brief period of twenty-five years--from 1882 to 1895 and
from 1895 to 1907--that may be seen by a comparison of the census
figures from these years, as shown by the following table:

  Agr: Agriculture
  Ind: Industry
  Com: Commerce and Traffic
  Dom: Domestic service
  Pub: Public service and learned professions
  Noo: No occupation
  Tot: Total

      |     Persons gainfully employed     |   Increase (+) or
      |        in principal calling        |     decrease (−)
      +------------------------------------+      since 1882
      |    1882        1895        1907    |
  Agr |  8,236,496   8,292,692   9,883,257 | + 1,646,761 =  19.89
  Ind |  6,396,465   8,281,220  11,256,254 | + 4,859,789 =  75.98
  Com |  1,570,318   2,338,511   3,477,626 | + 1,907,308 = 121.46
  Dom |    397,582     432,491     477,695 | +    74,113 =  18.63
  Pub |  1,031,147   1,425,961   1,738,530 | +   707,383 =  68.56
  Noo |  1,354,486   2,142,808   3,404,983 | + 2,050,497 = 151.40
  Tot | 18,986,494  22,913,683  30,232,345 | +11,245,851 =  53.95

      |     Persons gainfully employed     |   Increase (+) or
      |      including their families      |     decrease (−)
      +------------------------------------+      since 1882
      |    1882        1895        1906    |
  Agr | 19,225,455  18,501,307  17,681,176 | − 1,544,279 =  18.18
  Ind | 16,058,080  20,253,241  26,386,537 | +10,328,457 =  64.25
  Com |  4,531,080   5,966,836   8,278,239 | + 3,747,159 =  82.69
  Dom |    938,294     886,807     792,748 | −   145,546 =  15.57
  Pub |  2,222,982   2,835,014   3,407,126 | + 1,184,144 =  53.33
  Noo |  2,246,222   3,327,069   5,174,703 | + 2,928,481 = 130.36
  Tot | 45,222,113  51,760,284  61,720,528 | +19,878,066 =  34.27

These figures show that during the twenty-five years referred to, a
considerable shifting of the population and its occupations has taken
place. The population employed in industry, commerce and traffic
has increased at the expense of the agricultural population. Almost
the entire increase in population--6,548,171 from 1882 to 1895,
and 9,950,245 from 1895 to 1907--has been absorbed by the former.
Although the number of persons gainfully employed in industry as
their principal calling has increased, this increase has not kept
pace with the general growth of the population, and the number of the
members of the families of persons so employed has even decreased
by 1,544,279 = 8 per cent.

Industry (including the building trades and mining), commerce and
traffic, present a different aspect. Here the number of persons
gainfully employed and their families have considerably increased;
in fact, they have increased more rapidly than the population. The
number of persons employed in industry exceeds the number of persons
employed in agriculture by 1,372,997 = 15 per cent. The number of
the members of their families exceeds the number of the members of
families of persons employed in agriculture by 8,705,361 = 49 per
cent. The numbers of persons employed in commerce and traffic,
together with their families, show a still greater increase.

~The result is that the agricultural population, which is the real
conservative portion of the population and forms the mainstay of the
old order of things, is being repressed more and more and overtaken
by the population engaged in industry, commerce and traffic.~ That
the number of persons engaged in learned professions and their
families have increased likewise, does not alter these facts. The
strong increase in the number of persons having no occupation and
their families is due to the growing number of persons living on
their rents, including accident, invalid and old-age insurance, the
greater number of persons dependent on charity, students of all sorts,
and inmates of poorhouses, hospitals, insane asylums and prisons.

Another characteristic fact is the slight increase in the number
of persons employed in domestic service and the direct decrease in
the number of servants. This shows, firstly, that fewer persons can
afford to employ domestic help; it shows furthermore that proletarian
women who strive for greater independence, like this profession less
and less.

In 1882 the number of persons engaged in agriculture as their principal
calling constituted 43.38 per cent. of persons gainfully employed;
in 1895, 36.19 per cent., and in 1907 only 32.69 per cent. The
agricultural population--including the families of those gainfully
employed in agriculture--in 1882 constituted 42.51 per cent. of
the entire population; in 1895, 35.74 per cent., and in 1907 only
28.65 per cent. Those employed in industry as their principal calling
constituted, in 1882, 33.69 per cent. of the entire population; in
1895, 36.14 per cent., and in 1907, 37.23 per cent. Including their
families, they constituted 35.51 per cent. in 1882; 39.12 in 1895,
and 42.75 in 1907. The following figures show the percentage of
persons employed in commerce and traffic:

        Persons employed.  Including their families.

  1882         8.27                  10.02
  1895        10.21                  11.52
  1907        11.50                  13.41

We see, then, that in Germany, at present, 56.16 per cent. of the
population (in Saxony even 74.5 per cent.) depend upon industry and
commerce, and that not more than 28.65 per cent. (in Saxony only
10.07 per cent.) are engaged in agriculture.

2.--Increasing Pauperization.--Preponderance of Large Industrial

It is also important to state how the population employed in gainful
occupations is divided among independent workers, employes and
laborers, and what proportion of each of these is furnished by
either sex. This information may be gathered from the table on the
following page.

  Agr: Agriculture
  Ind: Industry
  Com: Commerce
  Alt: Altogether
  M  : Male
  F  : Female
  T  : Total

       |       Independent Persons       |          Employees
       |    1882       1895       1907   |   1882     1895      1907
  Agr: |                                 |
    M  | 2,010,865  2,221,826  2,172,740 |  60,763   78,066     82,548
    F  |   277,168    346,899    328,234 |   5,881   18,107     16,264
    T  | 2,288,022  2,568,725  2,500,974 |  66,644   96,173     98,812
       |                                 |
  Ind: |                                 |
    M  | 1,621,668  1,542,272  1,499,832 |  96,807  254,421    622,071
    F  |   579,478    519,492    477,290 |   2,269    9,324     63,936
    T  | 2,201,146  2,061,764  1,978,122 |  99,076  263,745    686,007
       |                                 |
  Com: |                                 |
    M  |   550,936    640,941    765,551 | 138,387  249,920    426,220
    F  |   150,572    202,616    246,641 |   3,161   11,987     79,689
       |   701,508    843,557  1,012,192 | 141,548  261,907    505,900
       |                                 |
  Alt: |                                 |
    M  | 4,183,469  4,405,039  4,338,123 | 295,957  582,407  1,130,839
    F  | 1,007,218  1,069,007  1,052,165 |  11,311   39,418    159,889
    T  | 5,190,685  7,474,046  5,390,288 | 307,268  621,825  1,290,728

       |           Wage-workers
       |   1882        1895        1907
  Agr: |
    M  | 3,629,959   3,239,646   3,028,983
    F  | 2,251,860   2,388,148   4,254,488
    T  | 5,881,819   5,627,794   7,283,471
  Ind: |
    M  | 3,551,014   4,963,409   7,030,427
    F  |   545,228     992,302   1,562,698
    T  | 4,096,243   5,955,711   8,593,125
  Com: |
    M  |   582,885     836,042   1,354,482
    F  |   144,377     365,005     605,043
       |   727,262   1,201,047   1,959,525
  Alt: |
    M  | 7,763,858   9,071,097  13,694,160
    F  | 2,941,455   3,745,455   4,161,961
    T  |10,705,324  12,816,552  17,856,121

This table shows that the number of persons independently engaged in
agriculture increased by 280,692 from 1882 to 1895, an increase of
12.5 per cent.; but that from 1895 to 1907 it decreased by 67,751,
so that from 1882 to 1907 the number of independent persons in
agriculture has increased by only 212,941 = 9.2 per cent. On the
other hand the number of workingmen that had decreased by 254,025
= 4.3 per cent., from 1882 to 1895, has, since 1895, increased by
1,655,677 = 29.4 per cent. Upon examining this increase more closely
we find that it is mainly due to female members helping to support the
families. (Among the total increase of 1,990,930 are 170,532 male and
1,820,938 female.) When we take only the rural day-laborers and help
into consideration, we find that the male workers have ~decreased~
by 381,195 persons, while the female workers have increased by
45,942 persons. Altogether this shows the considerable decrease of
335,253 persons among agricultural laborers. In agriculture, then,
not only the number of independent persons, but also the number of
help and day laborers has decreased. The increase in the agricultural
occupation, compared to the previous census, is due to the greatly
increased assistance from members of the families, especially the
female members.

The industrial occupation presents a different picture. In a term
of 25 years the persons independently employed decreased by 234,024
= 10.6 per cent., while the population increased by 36.48 per cent.
Mechanics, working alone or working with two assistants, have mainly
disappeared. The number of wage-workers has increased by 1,859,468
from 1882 to 1895, and by 2,637,414 from 1895 to 1907. When we count
only the wage-workers proper, not including the members of their
families who assist at their work, we find that their number has
increased from 5,899,708 in 1895 to 8,460,338 in 1907. Three-quarters
of all persons employed in industrial occupations are wage-workers
(75.16 per cent.).

In commerce and trade we find the opposite ratio. Here the number of
persons independently engaged has greatly increased, but the number
of employes and workers has increased likewise. The number of women
independently engaged in commerce has increased especially; they
chiefly are either widows who seek to make their living as small
dealers, or married women who endeavour to increase their husbands’
income. The number of persons independently engaged in commerce
increased by 310,584 = 44.3 per cent., from 1882 to 1907. But the
number of employes and wage-workers has increased still more (by
364,361 = 258.8, and by 1,232,263 = 169.4 per cent.). This shows
how tremendously commerce and trade have developed, particularly
from 1895 to 1907. There are almost twice as many employes as prior
to that period, and among these almost six times as many female

During the period from 1882 to 1907 the entire number of persons
independently engaged in the three occupations increased by 5.7 per
cent.; it did not keep pace then with the increase in population
(36.48 per cent.). The number of employes increased by 325.4 per
cent., and the number of wage-workers by 39.1 per cent. We must
furthermore take into consideration that among 5,490,288 independent
persons, many lead an entirely proletarian existence. Among the
2,086,368 manufactories enumerated there were no less than 994,743
small producers who worked alone and 875,518 who did not employ
over five assistants. In commerce there were, in 1907 among 709,231
establishments, no less than 232,780 maintained by the owners without
assistance. There were, besides, 5240 porters, errand-boys, etc.,
and thousands of insurance agents, book agents, etc.

Another point to be considered is that the number of independent
persons in the three occupations does not coincide with the number
of establishments. If a firm, for instance, has dozens of branch
establishments, as is frequently the case in the tobacco trade, or
if a concern runs a number of stores, each branch is enumerated
as an individual establishment. The same is true of industrial
enterprises, when, for instance, a machine factory also runs an
iron foundry, a carpenter shop, etc. The figures then do not convey
sufficient information regarding the concentration of capital on
the one hand and the standard of living on the other. And yet, in
spite of all these deficiencies, the results of the latest census of
June 12, 1907, present a picture of the most powerful concentration
of capital in industry, commerce and traffic. They show that, hand
in hand with the industrialization of our entire economic system,
a concentration of all the means of production into a few hands is
rapidly progressing.

The independent small manufacturers and traders working alone, of
whom there still were 1,877,872 in 1882, have become fewer again
since 1895. In 1895, 1,714,351 were enumerated, and in 1907 only
1,446,286; a decrease of 431,586 = 22.9 per cent. The number of small
producers and dealers has rapidly decreased from census to census.
In 1882 it was 59.1 per cent.; 1895, 46.5, and, 1907, only 37.3 per
cent. of all persons gainfully employed. At the same time the number
of large manufacturing and commercial enterprises has grown from
22.0 to 29.6, and (1907) to 37.3 per cent. From 1895 to 1907 the
number of persons employed by small concerns increased by 12.2 per
cent.; the number of those employed by concerns of medium size, by
48.5 per cent., and the number of those employed by large concerns,
by 75.7 per cent. Among 5,350,025 persons industrially employed
in 1907, the by far largest group is employed by large concerns,
while, in 1882, a greater number of persons were small, individual
producers. In the seven following branches of industry the large
concerns predominate, employing more than half of all persons engaged
in these industries. Of each 100 persons the following percentage
were employed by large concerns:

  Mining                               96.6 per cent.
  Machine manufacture                  70.4     “
  Chemical trades                      69.8     “
  Textile trades                       67.5     “
  Paper trades                         58.4     “
  Industry of pottery and earthenware  52.5     “
  Industry of soaps, fats and oils     52.3     “

In the other groups industry on a large scale already predominated
in 1895, and everywhere its predominance has been still further
increased. (In the malleation of metals, 47.0; in the polygraphic
trades, 43.8; in traffic, 41.6, and in the building trades, 40.5 per
cent. of all persons were employed by large concerns.) We see, then,
that in almost every branch development has favored industry on a
large scale.

The concentration of manufacture and the concentration of capital,
which are one and the same thing, take place particularly rapidly
wherever capitalistic production obtains full control. Let us, for
instance, consider the brewing industry. In the German brewery-tax
district, excluding Bavaria, Wurtemberg, Baden and Alsace-Lorraine,
there were:

        Number of                    Producing 1000
        breweries.  [Commercial]  hectolitres of beer.

  1873    13,561       10,927           19,655
  1880    11,564       10,374           21,136
  1890     8,969        8,054           32,279
  1900     6,903        6,283           44,734
  1905     5,995        5,602           46,264
  1906     5,785        5,423           45,867
  1907     5,528        5,251           46,355

So the number of breweries decreased, from 1873 to 1907, by 8033
= 59.3 per cent.; that of breweries decreased by 5676 = 51.9 per
cent., but the production of beer increased by 26,700,000 hectolitres
= 135.7 per cent. This signifies a downfall of the small concerns and
a tremendous growth of the large concerns, whose productivity has been
multiplied. In 1873, 1450 hectolitres and in 1907 8385 hectolitres
were produced by each brewery. It is the same wherever capitalism

Similar results are shown by the German coal-mining industry and other
mining industries of the German Empire. In coal mining the number
of concerns that amounted to an average of 623, from 1871 to 1875,
dwindled down to 406, in 1889. But at the same time the production of
coal rose from 34,485,400 tons to 67,342,200 tons, and the average
number of persons employed increased from 127,074 to 239,954. The
following table illustrates this process of concentration in the
mining of mineral coal and brown coal, until 1907:

                   Mineral Coal                      Brown Coal
         Number                             Number
  Year     of      Average No.  Quantity      of     Average No.   Quantity
        Concerns    Employed    1000 tons  Concerns    Employed   1000 tons

  1900     338       413,693    109,290.2     569       50,911     40,498.0
  1905     331       493,308    121,298.6     533       54,969     52,512.1
  1906     322       511,108    137,117.9     536       58,637     56,419.6
  1907     313       545,330    143,185.7     535       66,462     62,546.7

We see, then, that, in the production of mineral coal since the
seventies, the number of concerns has decreased by 49.8 per cent.,
while the number of wage-workers employed has increased by 216.9 per
cent., and the output even by 420.6 per cent. The following table
shows the development in the entire mining industry:

    Year   Number of  Average number   Quantity
            concerns     employed     1000 tons

  1871–75    3,034        277,878      51,056.0
  1887       2,146        337,634      88,873.0
  1889       1,962        368,896      99,414.0
  1905       1,862        661,310     205,592.6
  1906       1,862        688,853     229,146.1
  1907       1,958        734,903     242,615.2

Here the number of concerns has decreased by 35.5 per cent., while
the number of wage-workers employed increased by 164.4 per cent.,
and the output, 374.5 per cent. The number of employers had grown
smaller but wealthier, and the number of proletarians had greatly

In the industrial districts of the Rhine and Westphalia there still
were 156 mines in 1907, but 34 of these controlled more than 50 per
cent. of the output. Although the census enumerates 156 mines, the
coal trust, which controls the mines with but a few exceptions, had
only 76 members. To such extent the process of concentration has
developed. According to the reports of February, 1908, the output
of the coal trust amounted to 77.9 million tons of coal.[194]

In 1871 there were 306 blast-furnaces, employing 23,191 laborers and
producing 1,563,682 tons of crude iron. In 1907, 303 blast furnaces,
employing 45,201 laborers, produced 12,875,200 tons. In 1871 crude
iron was produced at the rate of 5,110 tons for every blast-furnace;
in 1907 at the rate of 42,491 tons for every blast-furnace. According
to a list published in “Steel and Iron,” in March, 1896, only one
blast-furnace in Germany was able to produce crude iron at the rate
of 820 tons in 24 hours. But in 1907 there were 12 blast-furnaces
that could, within 24 hours, produce 1000 tons, and more.[194]

In 1871–1872, 311 factories in the beet sugar industry consumed
2,250,918 tons of beets. In 1907–1908, 365 factories consumed
13,482,750 tons. The average consumption of beets per factory was
7,237 tons during 1871–1872, and 36,939 tons during 1907–1908. This
mechanical revolution does not take place in industry alone, but also
in commerce and traffic. The following table shows the development
of German maritime trade:

         Year         Sailing vessels  Regist’d tonnage  Number of crew

         1871              4,372              900,361           34,739
         1901              2,272              525,140           12,922
         1905              2,294              493,644           12,914
         1908              2,345              433,749           12,800
         1909              2,361              416,514           12,844
  Less than in 1871        2,011         less 483,847      less 21,895

Sailing vessels, then, are considerably diminishing, and among those
still existing the registered tonnage and the number of the crew
is decreasing. In 1871 there were, for each sailing vessel, 205.9
registered tonnage and 7.9 members of the crew. In 1909 each sailing
vessel had an average of but 176.4 registered tonnage, and only
5.4 members of the crew German maritime trade by steam navigation
presents a different aspect, as the following table shows:

         Year         steamships  Regist’d tonnage  Number of crew

         1871             147            81,994          4,736
         1901           1,390         1,347,875         36,801
         1905           1,657         1,774,072         46,747
         1908           1,922         2,256,783         57,995
         1909           1,953         2,302,910         58,451
  More than in 1871     1,806         2,221,006         53,715

Not only had the number of steamships greatly increased, their
tonnage had increased more still, but, in proportion to this increase
the number of the crew had decreased. In 1871 a steamship had an
average tonnage of 558 tons and a crew of 32.1 men. In 1909 it had
an average freight capacity of 1230 tons and a crew of only 29 men.

The rapid increase of motor power employed is another symptom of
capitalistic development. In the territory of the German “Zollverein,”
according to Viebahn, 99,761 horse-power were used in 1861.[195]
In 1875, in Germany, factories employing more than five persons,
used, 1,055,750 horse-power, and in 1895, 2,933,526 horse-power,
almost three times the number used in 1875. Railroads, street cars
and steamboats are not contained in this list.

The following list shows the amount of horse-power used in Prussia:

         Stationary    Movable boilers and
        steam engines    traction engines

  1879      888,000           47,000
  1896    2,534,900          159,400
  1900    3,461,700          229,600
  1905    4,684,900          315,200
  1906    4,995,700          334,400
  1907    5,190,400          363,200

So the amount of horse-power employed in Prussia in 1907 is six
times greater than in 1879. How tremendously industry has developed
since the census of 1895 can be seen by the fact that the number of
stationary engines in Prussia has increased by 35 per cent. from
1896 to 1907. The productiveness of the machines has increased by
105 per cent. during this period. While, in 1898, 3,305 steam engines
of 258,726 horse-power served to run dynamos, there are 6,191 of
954,945 horse-power in 1907. That is an increase of 87 and 269 per
cent.[196] The following figures show the increased application of
steam-power in the most important industries (expressed in horsepower):

        Industry          1879      1897         1907

  Mining and foundries  516,000  1,430,000  2,284,000
  Masonry and bricks     29,000    132,000    255,000
  Metallurgy             23,000     57,000    113,000
  Machines               22,000     61,000    329,000
  Textile                88,000    243,000    323,000[197]

Notwithstanding this fabulous development of the productive powers
and the immense concentration of capital, attempts are still being
made to deny these truths. Such an attempt was made at the eleventh
session of the International Institute of Statistics in Copenhagen in
August, 1907, by the French economist, Ives Guyot. On the basis of
careless statistics, he moved to abolish the word “concentration” from
statistics. Among others, Carl Buecher answered him as follows: “An
absolute increase in the number of manufactories may easily coincide
with a concentration of same. Wherever the census enumerates individual
establishments, it is unavoidable that many should be counted twice.
A bank with 100 trust-funds is counted as 101; a brewery that has
opened and fitted out 50 saloons, is counted as 51 establishments. The
results of such statistics prove nothing in regard to the phenomenon
in question. Investigation so far shows that agriculture alone does
not ~seem~ to be subjected to the process of concentration. It is
evident in mining, commerce, transportation, building trades and
insurance. In industry it is difficult to recognize, because every
civilized nation in a healthy state of development must present an
extension of industrial production, for the following four reasons:
1. Because occupations that were formerly domestic in character have
been taken over by industry. 2. Because natural products have been
replaced by industrial products (wood by iron; woad, madder and indigo
by tar-colors, etc.). 3. Because of new inventions (automobiles).
4. Because of the possibility of exportation. For these reasons
concentration on a large scale takes place in industry without any
diminution in the number of establishments, even with an increase
in same. Wherever industry creates commodities ready for use of a
typical character, the destruction of the independent small concerns
is inevitable. The capitalistic forms of production are accordingly
rapidly developing in the most important lines of industry. It is
not wise to oppose the Socialists where they are right, and they
are undoubtedly right in their assertions in regard to increasing

The same aspect presented by the economic development of Germany
is presented by all the industrial states of the world. All the
civilized states endeavour to become industrial states more and
more. They not only seek to manufacture articles of industry to
supply their own demand, but also to export them. Therefore we not
only speak of a national market, but also of the ~world market~. The
world market regulates the prices of countless articles of industry
and agriculture and controls the social status of the nations. That
industrial realm which has attained the greatest importance in
regard to the relations of the world market, is the North American
Union. Here the main impetus is given whereby the world market and
bourgeois society are revolutionized. The census of the last three
decades showed the following figures:

Amount of capital invested in industry.

  1880   2,790,000,000 dollars
  1890   6,525,000,000    “
  1900   9,813,000,000    “

Value of Industry.

  1880   5,369,000,000 dollars
  1890   9,372,000,000    “
  1900  13,000,000,000    “

The United States, accordingly, is the leading industrial country of
the world. Its exportation of products of industry and agriculture
increase with each year, and the tremendous accumulations of capital
that are a natural result of this development seek investment beyond
the boundaries of the country, and influence the industry and
trade of Europe to a marked degree. It is no longer the individual
capitalist who is the motive power underlying this development. It
is the group of captains of industry, the trust, that is bound to
crush the most powerful individual enterprise, wherever it chooses
to turn its activities. What can the small man amount to in the face
of such development, to which even the great must yield?

[194] Otto Hué--History of the development of the mining industries.

[195] A. Hesse--Statistics of Trade.

[196] A. Hesse--Statistics of Trades.

[197] Prof. Dr. S. Reyer Kraft--Economic, Technical and Historical
Studies in the Development of the Power of States.

[198] Bulletin de l’institut international de statistique. Copenhagen,

3.--Concentration of Wealth.

It is an economic law that, with the concentration of industry and
its increased productivity, the number of workers employed relatively
decreases, while the wealth of a nation, in proportion to the entire
population, becomes concentrated in fewer hands. That can be clearly
seen by the distribution of the income in various civilized countries.

Of the larger German states, Saxony possesses the oldest and best
statistics on the income tax. The present law is in force since 1879.
But it is advisable to take a later year, because during the first
years the assessments were, on an average, too low. The population
of Saxony increased by 51 per cent. from 1880 to 1905. The number of
persons assessed increased by 160 per cent. from 1882 to 1904; the
assessed income by 23 per cent. Until the beginning of the nineties
an income up to 300 marks per annum was exempt from taxation, after
that up to 400 marks. In 1882 the number of persons exempt from taxes
were 75,697 = 6.61 per cent.; in 1904, 205,667 = 11.03 per cent. It
must be noted that, in Saxony, the incomes of wives and of members
of the family under 16 are added to the income of the husband and
father. The taxpayers having an income from 400 to 800 marks formed
48 per cent. of those assessed in 1882; in 1904 only 43.81 per cent.
A part of them had advanced into a class with a higher income. The
average income of the taxpayers of this class had increased by 37 per
cent--from 421 to 582 marks--during this period, but still remained
behind the average of 600 marks. The taxpayers having an income from
800 to 1250 marks formed 12 per cent. of those assessed in 1882,
and 24.38 per cent. in 1904. But those with an income from 1250 to
3300 marks formed 20 per cent. in 1882 and only 16.74 per cent. in
1904. In 1863 Lassalle computed that only 4 per cent. of all incomes
in Prussia were over 3000 marks annually. When we consider that, in
the meantime, rents, taxes and the cost of living have increased,
and that the demands in regard to the standard of living have grown,
it becomes evident that the position of the masses has relatively
scarcely improved. The medium incomes of from 3,400 to 10,000 marks
in 1904 formed only 3.24 per cent. of those assessed, and the incomes
of over 10,000 marks less than 1 per cent. The number of taxpayers
with incomes from 12,000 to 20,000 marks, 0.80 per cent. The number
of incomes of over 12,000 marks has increased from 4,124, in 1882,
to 11,771, in 1904; that is, by 188 per cent. The highest income in
1882 was 2,570,000 marks; in 1906, 5,900,600 marks. These figures
show the following facts: The lower incomes have increased somewhat,
but in many cases this increase has been more than equalized by the
increased cost of living. The middle classes experienced the least
improvement; but the number and the income of the richest people
show the greatest increase. Accordingly the class extremes became
more marked.

In his investigations of the distribution of income in Prussia from
1892 to 1902, Professor Adolf Wagner has ascertained the following
facts. He divides the population of Prussia into three large groups:
The lower group (lowest up to 420 marks; medium, 420 to 900; highest,
900 to 2,100); the middle group (lowest, 2,100 to 3,000; medium,
3,000 to 6,000; highest, 6,000 to 9,500 marks); the upper group
(lowest from 9,500 to 30,500; medium, 30,500 to 100,000, and highest
over 100,000). The entire income is divided almost equally among
these three groups. The 3.51 per cent. of the upper group control
32.1 per cent. of the entire income. The lower group, including
the 70.66 per cent. of those exempt from taxation, also controls
an income of 32.9 per cent. of the entire income; and the middle
group, with 25.83 per cent. controls 34.9 per cent. of the entire
income. If we take into consideration only those incomes that are
subject to taxation, we find that all those having an income from
900 to 3000 marks, who formed 86.99 per cent. of those enumerated
in 1892, and 88.04 per cent. in 1902, controlled over half of the
assessable income, 51.05 per cent., in 1892, and 52.1 per cent.
in 1902. Incomes of over 3000 marks, which formed, respectively,
13 and 12 per cent. of those enumerated, controlled about 49 per
cent. of the entire assessable income in 1892 and 48 per cent. in
1902. The average income of the small taxpayers throughout Prussia
amounted to 1374 in 1892 and to 1348 in 1902; it had, accordingly,
diminished to 1.89 per cent. On the other hand the average income
of the large taxpayers has increased from 8,811 marks, in 1892, to
9,118 marks, in 1902, or by 3.48 per cent. Upon the upper group,
which formed only 0.5 per cent. of all those enumerated in 1892
and 0.63 per cent. in 1902, 15.95 percent. of the entire income
devolved in 1892, and 18.37 per cent. in 1902. The increase is
slightest with the lowest and medium class of the middle group. It
is somewhat greater with the highest class of the lower group. But
it is greatest and increasingly great from class to class, with the
highest class of the middle group and with the entire upper group.
The greater the income of a group of those enumerated, the richer
they are; the more, accordingly, their number relatively increases.
The number of those having high and highest incomes increases, who,
on an average, also attain increasingly large incomes. In other
words, a growing concentration of incomes takes place, not only
among particularly rich individuals, but among the economically
high and highest group of the population, that is rapidly growing
and yet comprises a relatively small number. “This shows that the
modern economic development has indeed been favorable to the entire
population by increasing the income and by increasing the number of
members of each economic-social class, but that the distribution
has been a very uneven one, the rich being mostly favored, then the
lower classes, and the middle class least. It shows, accordingly,
that the social class differences, inasmuch as they depend upon the
size of the income, have increased.”[199]

The Prussian income-tax assessments of 1908 show that there were
104,904 taxpayers with an income of more than 9,500 marks, representing
a total income of 3,123,273,000 marks. Among these were 3,796 with
an income of more than 100,000 marks, representing a total income
of 934,000,000 marks; 77 were enumerated with an income of more
than a million. The 104,904 taxpayers, or 1.78 per cent., with an
income of more than 9,500 marks, represented the same total income
as the 3,109,540 (52.9 per cent.), with an income of from 900 to
1,350 marks.

In Austria about 24 per cent. of the assessed net income devolved
upon approximately 12 to 13 per cent. of the taxpayers having incomes
of from 4,000 to 12,000 crowns. If the incomes up to 12,000 crowns
are taken together, this group comprises over 97 per cent. of the
taxpayers and 74 per cent. of the income. ~The remaining 3 per cent.
of the taxpayers control 26 per cent. of the assessed income.~[200]
The minimum exempt from taxation is higher in Austria than in
Prussia--1,200 crowns, or 1,014 marks. The small taxpayers having an
income of from 1,200 to 4,000 crowns formed 84.3 per cent. of all
taxpayers in 1904. The number of richest persons having an ~income
of more than 200,000 crowns was 255 in 1898, and in 1904 it was 307,
or 0.032 per cent. of all taxpayers~.

In Great Britain and Ireland, according to L. G. Chiozza Money,
half of the national income (over 4,150,000,000 dollars) belongs to
one-ninth of the population. He divides the population into three
groups: The rich, with an income of more than 700 pounds sterling;
the wealthy, with an income of from 160 to 700 pounds sterling; and
the poor, with an income of less than 160 pounds sterling.

                       Including      Income in
   Class    Persons    families   pounds sterling

  Rich       250,000   1,250,000    585,000,000
  Wealthy    750,000   3,750,000    245,000,000
  Poor     5,000,000  38,000,000    880,000,000

According to these figures, more than one-third of the national income
belongs to one-thirtieth of the population. The investigations of
Booth for London, and of Rowntree for York, have shown that thirty
per cent. of the entire population lead an existence of direst
life-long poverty.[201]

For France, E. Levasseur compiled the following figures, on the basis
of the statistics of inheritance: “Two-fifths of the national wealth
are owned by 98 per cent. having less than 100,000 francs; about
one-third is owned by a small group of 1.7 per cent., and a quarter
of the entire national wealth belongs to a wee minority--0.12 per

All these figures show how great are the numbers of the non-possessing
masses, and how thin the strata of the possessing classes.

“The growing inequality,” says G. Schmoller, “is undeniable. It
cannot be doubted that the distribution of wealth in Central Europe,
from 1300 to 1900, became increasingly unequal, though of course the
inequalities varied in the different countries. Recent development,
with its growing class distinctions, has greatly increased the
inequalities in income and wealth.”[203]

This capitalistic process of development and concentration, that
takes place in all civilized countries, combined with the prevailing
anarchy in the methods of production, that so far was unable to
prevent the formation of trusts, inevitably leads to overproduction
and to an overstocking of the market. We enter upon the crisis.

[199] Adolf Wagner--A contribution to the method of statistics
of the national income and national wealth and further statistic
investigations of the distribution of the national income in Prussia,
founded on the new income statistics, 1892–1902. Gazette of the
royal Prussian bureau of statistics, 1904.

[200] F. L.--The distribution of the income in Austria. Leipzig,

[201] L. G. Chiozza Money. Riches and Poverty. London, 1908.

[202] E. Levasseur.

[203] G. Schmoller--Principles of Economics. Vol. II.


Crisis and Competition.

1.--Causes and Effects of the Crises.

The crisis arises because no standard exists whereby the real demand
for a commodity may at any time be measured and ascertained. There
is no power in bourgeois society that is enabled to regulate the
entire production. In the first place, the consumers of a commodity
are scattered over a wide area, and the purchasing ability of
the consumers, who determine the consumption, is influenced by a
number of causes that no individual producer is able to control.
Moreover, every individual producer must compete with a number of
other producers whose productive abilities are unknown to him. Each
one seeks to defeat his competitors by every means at his command:
by a reduction in prices, by advertising, by giving credit for
prolonged periods, by sending out drummers, and even by cunningly
and insidiously disparaging the products of his competitors, the
latter means being especially frequently resorted to during critical
times. The entire realm of production accordingly depends upon the
subjective discretion of the individual. Every manufacturer must
dispose of a certain quantity of goods in order to subsist. But
he seeks to sell a far larger quantity, for this increased sale
determines not only his larger income, but also the probability of
his triumphing over his competitors. For a while sales are insured,
they even increase; this leads to more extensive enterprises and
to increased production. But good times and favorable conditions
tempt not only one but all manufacturers to multiply their efforts.
Production by far exceeds the demand. Suddenly it becomes manifest
that the market is over-stocked with goods. The sales slacken, the
prices fall, production is limited. To limit production in any branch
means to decrease the number of workers employed in this branch, and
a reduction in wages, whereby the workers in turn are compelled to
limit their consumption. The inevitable result is, that production
and consumption in other branches slacken likewise. Small dealers of
all kinds, shopkeepers, bakers, butchers, etc. whose chief customers
are workingmen fail to dispose of their goods and also suffer want.

The effects of such a crisis may be seen from the statistics of the
unemployed that were compiled by the trade-unions of Berlin at the
close of January, 1902. In Berlin and suburban towns there where
over 70,000 persons who were entirely unemployed, and over 60,000
who were partly unemployed. On February 13, 1909, the trade-unions
of Berlin took another census of the unemployed and found that there
were 106,722 unemployed persons (92,655 men and 14,067 women).[204]
In England there were 750,000 unemployed persons during September
1908. These figures represent workingmen and women who were willing
and eager to work but unable to find work. The deplorable social
conditions of these human beings may be easily imagined!

Since one industry furnishes the raw material to another and one
depends upon the other, the ills that befall one must affect the
others. The circle of those affected widens. Many obligations that
had been entered upon in the hope of prolonged favorable conditions
cannot be met, and heighten the crisis that grows worse from month
to month. A heap of accumulated goods, tools and machines becomes
almost worthless. The goods are frequently sold underprice and
this often leads to the ruin of the owners of such goods as well
as to the ruin of dozens of others who in turn are compelled to
sell their goods underprice also. But even during the crisis the
methods of production are constantly improved in order to meet the
increased competition, and this means again forms a cause for new
crises. After a crisis has lasted for years and over-production
has gradually been removed by selling the products underprice, by
limiting production and by the ruin of smaller manufacturers, society
slowly begins to recuperate. The demand increases again, and promptly
the production increases also, slowly and carefully at first, but
more rapidly with the prolonged duration of favorable conditions.
People seek to reimburse themselves for what they have lost and
seek to secure their portions before a new crisis sets in. But as
all manufacturers are guided by the same impulse, as they all seek
to improve the means of production in order to excel the others,
a new catastrophe is ushered in more rapidly and with still more
disastrous results. Countless lives rise and fall like bubbles, and
this constant reciprocal action causes the awful conditions that we
experience during every crisis. The crises become more frequent as
production and competition increase, not only among individuals, but
among entire nations. The small battle for customers, and the great
battle for markets becomes increasingly severe and is bound to end
with enormous losses. Meanwhile goods and supplies are stored away
in masses, but countless human beings who wish to consume but are
unable to buy, suffer hunger and privation.

The years 1901 and 1907–08 have proven the correctness of this
representation. After years of business depression, during which
capitalistic development nevertheless continued to progress
uninterruptedly, the upward course set in, stimulated to no slight
extent by the changes and new equipments that the army and navy
required. During this period a tremendous number of new industrial
enterprises sprang up, and a great many others were increased and
expanded to attain the development made possible by their technical
means and to heighten their productivity. But in the same way the
number of enterprises increased that were transferred from the hands of
individual capitalists to capitalistic associations (stock companies),
a transformation that is always accompanied by an enlargement of the
manufactory. Many thousands of millions of marks represent the newly
formed stock companies. Moreover, the capitalists of all countries
seek to form national and international agreements. Trusts spring
up like mushrooms from the ground. These endeavour to determine the
prices and to regulate production on the basis of exact statistical
research to avoid over-production and reduction in prices. Entire
branches of industry have been monopolized in this way to the advantage
of the manufacturers and to the disadvantage of the workers and the
consumers. Many believed that thereby capital had obtained the means
that would enable it to dominate the market in all directions. But
appearances are deceiving. The laws of capitalistic production prove
stronger than the most cunning representatives of the system, who
believed to have regulated it. The crisis came, nevertheless, and it
was seen again that the wisest calculation proved faulty and that
bourgeois society cannot escape its fate.

But capitalism continues in the same manner since it cannot change
its substance. By the way in which it is bound to act, it upsets all
laws of bourgeois economics. Unrestricted competition--the alpha and
omega of bourgeois society--is supposed to place those most capable
at the helm of all enterprises. But experience shows that as a rule
it places those at the helm who are most shrewd and cunning and least
troubled by a conscience. Moreover, stock companies set aside all
individuality. The trust goes further still. Here not only does the
individual manufacturer cease to be an independent person, the stock
company too becomes a mere link in a chain that is controlled by a
board of capitalists whose main purpose is to plunder the public. A
hand full of monopolists become the masters of society; these dictate
the prices to be paid by the consumers for commodities, and to the
workers their wages and standard of living.

This development shows how superfluous private enterprise has become,
and that production conducted on a national and international scale
is the goal toward which society is bent. The only difference will
ultimately be that organized production and distribution ~will
benefit the entire community instead of benefiting the capitalistic
class only, as is the case to-day~.

The economic revolution above described, which is rapidly driving
bourgeois society to the heights of its development, is constantly
intensified by new, important events. While Europe is being more
threatened each year, both in its foreign and domestic markets, by
the rapidly growing North American competition, new enemies are
arising in the far East who make the economic conditions of the
entire world still more critical.

Competition drives the capitalist around the globe, as the Communist
Manifesto expresses it. He is constantly seeking new markets, that
is, countries and nations where he can dispose of his goods and
create new demands. One side of this endeavour may be seen from the
fact that since a few decades the various states are eagerly engaged
in colonization. Germany was foremost among these and succeeded in
taking possession of large tracts of land, but these possessions are
chiefly occupied by people of a very primitive degree of civilization
who have no demand worth speaking of for European products. The other
side of this endeavour is directed toward carrying capitalistic
civilization to nations who have already attained a higher degree
of civilization, but who until recently were rigorously opposed to
modern development. Such are the East Indians, the Japanese, and
especially the Chinese. These are nations that comprise more than
one third of the entire population of the earth. When once given an
impetus they are well able--as the Japanese have already demonstrated
during the war with Russia--to develop the capitalistic method
of production quite independently, and to do so, moreover, under
conditions that will be accompanied by disastrous results to the more
advanced nations. The ability and skill of these nations is well
known, but it is equally well known that their wants are few--due
to a great extent to the warm climate--and that, when compelled to
do so, they rapidly adapt themselves to changed conditions. Here
the old world, including the United States, is being confronted by
a new competitor who will demonstrate to the whole world that the
capitalistic system is untenable. In the meanwhile, the competing
nations, especially the United States, England and Germany, seek
to outdo one another, and all means are resorted to in order to
obtain the largest possible share in the control of the world’s
market. This leads to international politics, to interference in
all international events of importance, and in order to interfere
successfully, the navies especially are developed and increased as
never before, whereby the danger of great political catastrophes is
heightened anew. Thus the political realm grows with the realm of
economic competition. The contradictions grow on an international
scale, and in all countries that have undergone a capitalistic
development they bring forth similar phenomena and similar struggles.
Not only the method of production but also the manner of distribution
is responsible for these unbearable conditions.

[204] Unemployment and Statistics of the Unemployed in the Winter
of 1908 to 1909. Berlin, 1909.

2.--Intermediate Trade and the Increased Cost of Living.

In human society all individuals are linked to one another by a
thousand threads that become more complicated and interwoven with
increasing civilization. When disturbances occur they are felt by all
members. Disturbances in production affect distribution and consumption
and vice versa. A marked characteristic of capitalistic production is
the concentration of the means of production in increasingly large
factories. In distribution the opposite trait becomes manifest.
Whoever has been driven by competition out of the ranks of independent
producers, in nine cases out of ten seeks to win a place as dealer
between producer and consumer to obtain a living.[205] This accounts
for the surprising increase of persons engaged in intermediate
trade, dealers, small shopkeepers, hucksters, agents, jobbers, etc.
as has been statistically proven in a previous chapter. Most of
these persons, among whom we find many women independently engaged
in business, lead a precarious existence. Many, in order to subsist,
must cater to the basest fashions of their fellow-men. This accounts
for the tremendous prevalence of advertising especially in regard
to everything in connection with the gratification of the love of

Now it cannot be denied that in modern society the desire for the
enjoyment of life is very noticeable, and viewed from a higher
standard this fact is gratifying. People begin to understand that
in order to be human they must lead lives ~worthy of human beings~,
and they seek to gratify this desire in the manner in which they
conceive the enjoyment of life. In the display of wealth society
has become much more ~aristocratic~ than in any former period. The
contrast between the richest and the poorest is greater than ever.
On the other hand, society has become more democratic in its ideas
and laws.[206] The masses demand greater equality, and since in
their ignorance, they do not yet recognize the means to achieve true
equality, they seek it in trying to ape those in superior social
positions and to obtain every enjoyment within their reach. Various
stimulants serve to gratify this desire and the results are frequently
detrimental. A desire that is justified in itself leads to devious
paths in many cases; it even leads to crimes, and society punishes
the perpetrators without changing matters in the least.

The growing number of persons engaged in intermediate trade has
led to many evils. Though the persons thus engaged work hard and
are frequently burdened with care, most of them form a class of
parasites who are unproductive and live on the products of the labor
of others as well as the employing class. An increased cost of
living is the inevitable result of intermediate trade. The price of
provisions is thereby raised to such extent that they sometimes cost
twice and three times as much as is obtained by the producer.[207]
But if provisions can not be raised in price any more, because a
further raise would limit the consumption, they are diminished in
quantity and quality, adulteration of food and the use of incorrect
weights and measures is resorted to. The chemist Chevalier reports
that among various articles of food he found the following number
of methods of adulteration: coffee, 32; wine, 30; chocolate, 28;
flour, 24; whiskey, 23; bread, 20; milk, 19; butter, 10; olive oil,
9; sugar, 6, etc. A great deal of fraud is practiced in the grocery
stores with goods that have been previously measured or weighed and
packed. Frequently only 12 or 14 ounces are sold for a pound, and
in this way the lower price is made up for. Workingmen and other
persons of small means suffer most from these fraudulent methods,
because they are obliged to buy on credit and must therefore hold
their peace even where the fraud is perfectly evident. In the bakery
trade also incorrect weight is frequently resorted to. Swindle
and fraud are inevitably linked with our social conditions, and
certain institutions of the state, for instance high indirect taxes
and duties, favor swindle and fraud. The laws enacted against the
adultery of food accomplish but little. The struggle for existence
compels the swindlers to resort to more cunning methods, and a
thoroughgoing and severe control rarely exists. Serious control is
also made impossible because it is claimed that in order to detect
every adultery, an expensive and extensive organization would be
required and that legitimate business would also be damaged thereby.
But wherever the control does interfere successfully, a considerable
increase in prices ensues, because the low prices were possible only
by means of adulteration.

In order to diminish these evils from which the masses always and
everywhere suffer most, cooperative stores have been established. In
Germany especially army and navy stores and civil service stores have
been developed to such an extent, that many commercial enterprises
were ruined by them. But the workingmen’s cooperative stores have also
developed tremendously during the last decade and have partly even
undertaken the manufacture of certain commodities. The cooperative
stores in Hamburg, Leipsic, Dresden, Stuttgart, Breslau, Vienna, etc.,
have become model establishments and the annual sales of the German
cooperative stores amount to hundreds of millions of marks. Since a
few years the German cooperative stores have central establishments
in Hamburg where the goods are purchased wholesale on the largest
scale; this enables the various branch stores to obtain these goods
at the lowest possible price. These cooperative stores prove that
the scattering methods of intermediate trade are superfluous. That
is their greatest advantage beside the other advantage that they
furnish reliable goods. The material advantages to their members
are not very great nor do they suffice to bring about any marked
improvement in their social status. But the establishment of these
cooperative stores proves the existence of a widespread recognition
that intermediate trade is superfluous. Society will ultimately
achieve an organization that will do away with commerce, since the
products will be turned over to the consumers without the aid of
other intermediate agents than are required by transportation from
one place to another and by distribution. When the common purchase
of food has been achieved, the common preparation of food on a large
scale appears to be the next logical step. This again would lead to
a tremendous saving in labor power, space, material and many other

[205] “The decline of ancient handicraft is not the only cause
that accounts for the great increase in the small retail trade.
The growing industrialization and commercialization of the country
notwithstanding its tendency toward manufacture on a large scale
always furnishes new ground for small businesses. Inventions that
create new branches of industry also cause the rise of new small
establishments for the distribution of these products. But the main
cause of the great increase in retail trade is,--as expressed in a
report submitted to the government of Saxony by the Dresden chamber
of commerce,--that trade on a small scale has become the rallying
place of many persons who despair of making their living in any other
way.” Paul Lange--Retail Trade and Middle Class Politics. “New Era.”

[206] In his first adaption of Rau’s “Text Book of Political Economy,”
Professor Adolf Wagner expresses a similar thought. He says: “The
social struggle is the conscious contradiction between the economic
development and the social ideal of freedom and equality as expressed
in political life.”

[207] In his book on “Domestic Industry in Thuringia,” Dr. E. Sax
tells us that in 1869 the production of 244½ million slate pencils had
yielded 122,000 to 200,000 florins in wages to the workingmen, but
their final sale had yielded 1,200,000 florins, at least six times
as much as the producers had received. During the summer of 1888,
5 marks were paid for 5 hundred-weights of haddock by the wholesaler.
But the retailer paid 15 marks to the wholesaler, and the public
paid the latter 125 marks. Large quantities of food moreover are
destroyed because the prices do not make their transportation worth
while. For instance, during years when the catch of herrings has
been an over abundant one, loads of them have been used as manure,
while there were thousands of persons in the interior who could not
afford to buy herrings. The same occurred in California in 1892 when
the crop of potatoes was too abundant. When in 1901 the price of
sugar was very low, a trade paper seriously suggested to destroy a
greater part of the supplies so that the price could be raised. It
is well known that Charles Fourier was inspired to his ideas of a
social system because while he served as apprentice in a commercial
house in Toulon, he had been ordered to throw a load of rice over
board to raise the prices. He reasoned that a society which resorts
to such barbarous and irrational methods must be founded on a false
basis, and so he became a socialist.


The Revolution in Agriculture.

1.--Transatlantic Competition and Desertion of the Country.

The economic revolution in industry and trade has also largely
affected agricultural conditions. The commercial and industrial
crises affect the rural population likewise. Hundreds of thousands
of members of the families of farmers are temporarily or permanently
employed in industrial establishments of various kinds. This manner
of employment constantly expands, firstly, because the great number
of small farmers do not have enough work on their own farms to keep
themselves and the members of their families usefully employed, and,
secondly, because the large farmers find it profitable to have an
important portion of the products of their soil transformed into
industrial commodities right on their own farms. In this manner they
save the heavy expense of shipping the raw material, for instance,
potatoes and grain for the manufacture of alcohol, beets for sugar,
cereals for flour or for brewing beer, etc. They, furthermore, are
enabled to establish a mutual relation between agricultural and
industrial production and can employ the labor power on hand to better
advantage. The wages are lower and the workers are more willing too
than those in cities and industrial centers. Expenses of buildings
and rents as well as taxes are considerably lower too, for the large
land owners in the rural districts are both the makers and executors
of the law; they furnish many representatives from their midst and
control the administration and police force. That is why the number
of factories in the country increases each year. Agriculture and
industry are becoming more and more closely linked, and the large
agricultural establishments mainly profit from this fact.

The capitalistic development that the large estates have undergone,
in Germany as elsewhere, has created conditions similar to those in
England and the United States. We no longer meet with those ideal
conditions in the country that still existed a few decades ago. Modern
civilization has gradually taken possession of the country, too, in
the remotest places even. Militarism especially has unintentionally
exercised a revolutionary influence. The great increase in the standing
army has made itself especially severely felt in the open country.
A great portion of the troops for the standing army is drawn from
the rural population. But when the peasant’s son, or day laborer or
farm-hand, returns to the country, after an absence of two or three
years, from the city and the barracks, where the atmosphere has not
been an exactly moral one, he has become acquainted with many new
ideas and requirements of civilization that he seeks to satisfy
at home as he did away from home. To make this possible his first
demand is for higher wages. The old modesty and contentedness have
been shattered in the city. In many cases he prefers to stay away
from the country altogether, and all endeavours, supported by the
military authorities, to lead him back, remain unsuccessful. Improved
means of traffic and communication also tend to raise the standard
of requirements in the country. By his associations with the city
the farmer becomes acquainted with the world in an entirely new and
tempting way; he is influenced by ideas and learns of requirements of
civilization that have been entirely foreign to him until then. That
causes him to become dissatisfied with his position. The increased
demands made upon the population by state, county, community, etc.,
affect the peasant as well as the rural worker and make them more
rebellious still. To this other most important factors must be added.

European agriculture, and especially German agriculture, has entered
upon a new phase of its development since the close of the seventies
of the last century. While, until then, the nations depended upon
the farm products of their own agriculture, or, as England, upon that
of the neighboring countries--France and Germany--the situation now
began to change. As a result of the tremendously improved means of
transportation--navigation and the construction of railways in North
America--provisions began to be shipped from there to Europe and
lowered the prices of grain, so that cultivation of the chief kinds of
grain in Middle and Western Europe became far less profitable, unless
the entire conditions of production could be changed. Moreover, the
realm of international grain production greatly expanded. Besides
Russia and Roumania, who made every endeavour to increase their
export of grain, products from Argentine Republic, Australia, India
and Canada appeared upon the market. In the course of development
another unfavorable factor was added. Influenced by the causes above
enumerated, the small farmers and rural workers began to desert the
country. They either emigrated beyond the seas or scores of them
moved from the country to the cities and industrial centers, so that
labor power in the country became scarce. The antiquated, patriarchal
conditions, especially in Eastern Europe, the ill-treatment and
almost servile status of the farm-hands and servants still heightened
this desertion of the country. To what extent this shifting of the
population has affected the rural districts from 1840 until the
census of 1905, may be seen from the fact that during this period the
Prussian provinces--East-Prussia, West Prussia, Pomerania, Posen,
Silesia, Saxony and Hannover--lost 4,049,200 persons, and Bavaria,
Wurtemberg, Baden and Alsace-Lorraine had a loss of 2,026,500, while
Berlin increased by migration by about 1,000,000 persons, Hamburg
by 402,000, the Kingdom of Saxony by 326,200, the Rhine provinces
by 343,000, and Westphalia by 246,100.[208]

[208] Quarterly Gazette for Statistics of the German Empire.

2.--Peasants and Great Landowners.

As a result of all these changes, agriculture began to suffer from
a want of capital. Accordingly the former line of development,
whereby the great landowner bought up the small and medium-sized
farmers and made them part of his property, gave way to the opposite
tendency. But this pressure also brought about, that the clumsy
character of agricultural enterprises was gradually modified, because
people recognized that it would no longer do to follow the beaten
path, but that it had become necessary to adopt new methods. The
national government, as well as the state governments, endeavored
to relieve agriculture from its exigency by appropriate trade and
tariff policies and by direct expenditures for various improvements.
Recently the medium and great landowners are quite successful again
wherever the farms are conducted in keeping with modern technical
development, as may be gathered from the fact that the prices of
farms have greatly increased.

If agriculture is to prosper in capitalistic society, it is necessary
that it should be conducted by capitalistic methods. Here, as in
industry, it is important that human labor should be replaced or
aided by machinery and technical improvements. That this is being
done may be seen from the following: During the period from 1882 to
1895 the number of steam-ploughs employed in agriculture in Germany
has increased from 836 to 1696, and the number of steam-threshing
machines has increased from 75,690 to 259,364. Compared to what might
be done in the way of agricultural machinery, these figures are still
exceedingly low and prove the undeveloped state of agriculture; they
also prove that lack of means and the small size of the individual
farms have so far made the application of machinery impossible. The
machine, in order to be truly advantageous, requires application
on a large area of land devoted to cultivation of the same kind of
crop. The great number of small and medium-sized farms, the scattered
fields and the great variety of crops have prevented a successful
application of machinery. The tables on page 351 show how the farming
area is distributed in the German Empire.[209]

Among the 5,736,082 farms counted in 1907 there were no less than
4,384,786 of less than 5 hectares = 76.8 per cent., that can furnish
but a poor existence to their owners, unless the soil is particularly
good, or unless devoted to horticulture. A great many of them could
not even be used in this way, since there are 2,731,055 farms among
them of one hectare, and less, in area.

                |         Number of Farms         | Increase or Decrease
       Farms    |                                 | From 1882  From 1895
                |    1882       1895       1907   |  to 1895    to 1907
  Less than     |                                 |
    2 hectares  | 3,061,831  3,236,367  3,378,509 |  +174,536   +142,142
   2 to   5 ha. |   981,407  1,016,318  1,006,277 |  + 34,911   − 10,041
   5  “  20  “  |   926,605    998,804  1,065,539 |  + 72,199   + 66,735
  20  “ 100  “  |   281,510    281,767    262,191 |  +    257   − 19,576
  Over  100  “  |    24,991     25,061     23,566 |  +     70   −  1,495
                | 5,276,344  5,558,317  5,736,082 |  +281,973   +177,765

                |      Farming area in hectares      | Increase or Decrease
       Farms    |                                    | From 1882  From 1895
                |    1882        1895        1907    |  to 1895    to 1907
  Less than     |                                    |
    2 hectares  |  1,825,938   1,808,444   1,731,317 |  − 17,494   − 77,127
   2 to   5 ha. |  3,190,203   3,285,984   3,304,872 |  + 95,781   + 18,888
   5  “  20  “  |  9,158,398   9,721,875  10,421,565 |  +568,477   +699,690
  20  “ 100  “  |  9,908,170   9,869,837   9,322,106 |  − 38,333   −547,731
  Over  100  “  |  7,786,263   7,831,801   7,055,013 |  + 45,538   −776,788
                | 31,868,972  32,517,941  31,834,873 |  +648,969   −683,068

But even among the farms of more than 5 hectares there are many that
yield only a poor product, notwithstanding hard and long labor, owing
to poor soil, unfavorable climate, bad location, lack of proper means
of transportation, etc. It may be said without exaggeration that
fully nine-tenths of the farmers lack the means and the knowledge
to cultivate their soil as it might be cultivated. Neither do the
small peasants receive a fair price for their products, since they
depend upon the intermediate trader. The dealer who traverses the
country on definite days or in definite seasons and usually trades
off his merchandise to other dealers again, must obtain his profit.
But to gather in the many small quantities means much more trouble
to him than to procure a large quantity from a great landowner. The
peasants owning small and medium-sized farms therefore receive less
for their products than the great landowners, and if their products
are of inferior quality, which is frequently the case owing to their
primitive methods, they must accept almost any price. Sometimes they
cannot even wait for the time when their product will bring the
highest price. They owe money on rent, interest and taxes, they must
repay loans, or must settle bills with tradespeople and mechanics,
therefore they are obliged to sell no matter how unfavorable the time
may be. In order to improve their property, or to satisfy joint-heirs
or children they have mortgaged their farms. As they have few lenders
to choose from, the conditions are not very favorable. A high rate
of interest and definite dates of payment weigh heavily on them. A
poor harvest or a faulty speculation in regard to the kind of product
that they expected to sell at a good price often drive them to the
verge of ruin. Sometimes the products are bought and the capital is
loaned by one and the same person, and in that event the peasant is
entirely in the hands of his creditor. In this manner the peasants
of entire villages and districts are sometimes in the hands of a
few creditors. This is the case with the peasants who raise hops,
wine, tobacco, and vegetables in Southern Germany, and on the Rhine,
and with small farmers in Central Germany. The creditor fleeces the
peasants mercilessly. He allows them to remain on their farms as
apparent owners, but as a matter of fact they no longer own them.
Frequently the capitalistic exploiter finds this method far more
profitable than to cultivate the land himself, or to sell it. In
this manner thousands of peasants are recorded as owners of farms
who are virtually not the owners. As a matter of fact, many great
landowners, too, who managed badly or were unfortunate or took the
property under unfavorable conditions, fell victims to capitalistic
extortioners. The capitalist becomes master of the soil, and, in
order to increase his profits, he divides up the farm into lots,
because in this way he can obtain a far higher price than if he sold
it undivided. With a number of small proprietors he furthermore has
the best prospect to continue his usurious trade. As is well known,
in the city, too, those houses yield the highest rents that contain
the largest number of small apartments. A small number of farmers
take the opportunity and buy portions of the divided estate. The
capitalistic benefactor is willing to turn over larger portions to
them also upon a small payment. The remainder of the price he takes
as mortgage at a high rate of interest, and there the difficulty
begins. If the small farmer is fortunate and succeeds in making his
farm pay he escapes; otherwise his lot will be as described above. If
the small farmer loses some of his cattle, that is a great misfortune
for him; if he has a daughter who marries, the purchase of her
outfit increases his debts and he loses a cheap labor power; if a
son marries, the latter demands his share of the farm, or a payment
in money. Frequently he cannot afford even necessary improvements.
If his stock does not provide sufficient manure--as is often the
case--his soil becomes poorer in quality, because he cannot afford
to buy manure. Sometimes he is too poor to buy good seed even; the
use of machinery is denied him, and a change of crop adapted to the
chemical nature of his soil is frequently unfeasible. Neither can
he apply advantageous methods offered by science and experience in
the improvement of his stock. Lack of proper fodder, lack of proper
stalls, lack of other necessary appliances, prevents it. So there
are many causes that make existence difficult to the small farmer.

It is quite different with the large estates, where a comparatively
small number of farms cover a large area. We see from the statistics
that 23,566 farms, having an area of 7,055,013 hectares of cultivated
soil, cover 2,019,824 hectares more than the 4,384,786 farms having an
area of less than five hectares. But the numbers of the farms and the
numbers of the owners do not coincide. In 1895 there were no less than
912,959 leased farms of all sizes, 1,694,251 farms that were partly
owned and partly leased, and 983,917 farms that were cultivated in
different ways, as farms loaned to officials, as part of communal
property, etc. On the other hand, single individuals own a number
of agricultural estates. The greatest German landowner is the King
of Prussia, who owns 83 estates, with an area of 98,746 hectares;
other great German landowners are:

  Prince of Pless             owning 75 estates of 70,170 hectares
  Prince Hohenzollern-Sigmar     “   24    “    “  59,968     “
  Duke of Ujest                  “   52    “    “  39,742     “
  Prince Hohenlohe-Oehringen     “   --   ------   39,365     “
  Prince of Ratibor              “   51    “    “  33,096     “

In 1895 the entailed estates in Prussia comprised an area of
2,121,636 hectares, or 6.09 per cent. of the entire area of the land.
The 1045 entailed estates were owned by 939 proprietors, and their
common property was by 206,600 hectares larger than the entire Kingdom
of Wurtemberg, which covers an area of about 1,915,000 hectares. The
large landowners are naturally interested in maintaining the present
conditions. Not so the small proprietors, who would draw great
advantages from a rational transformation of the conditions. It is
an innate characteristic of large ownership of land that it seeks to
enlarge its possessions more and more, and to take possession of all
the farms within reach. It is so in Silesia, Lausitz, the Dukedom
of Hessia and in other districts from which purchases of peasants’
estates on a large scale are frequently reported.

In Austria the large estates predominate far more than in Germany,
or particularly in Prusia. Here, besides the nobility and the
bourgeoisie, the Catholic Church has succeeded in taking possession
of a lion’s share of the soil. The expropriation of peasants is in
full swing in Austria also. In Styria, Tyrol, Salzburg, Upper and
Lower Austria, etc., all means are applied to drive the peasants
from their native soil and to turn their farms into gentlemen’s
estates. The same scenes that were at one time enacted in Scotland
and Ireland may now be observed in the most picturesque parts of
Austria. Individuals, as well as societies, purchase enormous tracts
of land, or rent what they cannot purchase, and transform them into
hunting grounds. Trespassing on the valleys, hills and hamlets is
prohibited by the new masters, and the stubborn proprietors of some
estates, who refuse to comply with the demands of the gentlemen,
are annoyed so long in various ways that they yield and sell
their property. Soil that has been cultivated for ages, where for
thousands of years many generations made a living, are transformed
into a wilderness where deer may roam about, and the mountains
that have been taken possession of by the capitalistic nobility or
bourgeoisie are the hunting grounds of the chamois. Poverty spreads
over entire communities because they are denied the right of driving
their cattle on the Alpine pastures. And who are these persons
who are robbing the peasant of his property and his independence?
Besides Rothschild and Baron Meyer-Melnhof, the Counts of Coburg
and Meiningen, Prince Hohenlohe, the Duke of Liechtenstein, the
Count of Braganza, the Duchess Rosenberg, the Duke of Pless, the
Counts Schoenfeld, Festetics, Schafgotsch, Trauttmannsdorff, the
Baron Gustaedt Hunting Club, the Count Karoly Hunting Club, the
Noblemen’s Hunting Club of Bluehnbach, etc. Everywhere the great
landowners are extending their property. In 1875 there were only 9
persons in Lower Austria who owned more than 5000 yokes each, with
an area of 89,490 hectares; in 1895 there were 24 persons who owned
an area of 213,574 hectares. Throughout Austria the great landowners
control an area of 8,700,000 hectares, while 21,300,000 hectares
belong to the small landowners. The proprietors of entailed estates,
297 families, own 1,200,000 hectares. Millions of small landowners
cultivate 71 per cent. of the entire area, while a few thousand
great landowners control more than 29 per cent. of the entire area
of Austria. There are few land-revenue districts in which there are
no great landed proprietors. In most of the districts there are
two or several landowners who exert a determining political and
social influence. Almost half of the great landowners hold property
in several districts of the country, a number of them in several
crown-lands of the empire. In Lower Austria, Bohemia, Moravia, and
Silesia there is no district without them. Only industry succeeded in
dislodging them to some extent; for instance, in Northern Bohemia
and at the boundary of Bohemia and Moravia. In all other parts of the
country the large estates are increasing: In Upper Austria, where,
of all crown-lands, we still find a class of peasants that is fairly
well off; in Goerz and Gradiaska, in Styria, Salzburg, in Galicia
and Bukovina. They are increasing less rapidly in those countries
that already are the domains of the great landowners--Bohemia,
Moravia, Silesia and Lower Austria. In Lower Austria, of the entire
ground comprising 1,982,300 hectares, 393 great landowners owned
540,655 hectares, and the Church owned 79,181 hectares; 13 estates
comprise 425,079 hectares = 9 per cent. of the entire area; among
these, Duke Hoyos-Sprinzenstein owns 33,124 hectares. The area
of Moravia covers 2,181,220 hectares. Of these the Church owned
81,857 hectares, and 116 estates of more than 1000 hectares each
comprised a larger area than the 500,000 estates up to 10 hectares,
that form 92.1 per cent. of all estates. The area of Austrian Silesia
covers 514,677 hectares. Of these the Church owned 50,845 hectares,
and 79 proprietors together owned 204,118 hectares. Bohemia, with an
area of 5,194,500 hectares, has about 1,237,085 great landowners.
The distribution of property is characterized by an unusual number
of estates of smallest dimensions, and by extensive large estates.
Almost 43 per cent. of all the estates are smaller than ½ hectare,
and more than four-fifths do not exceed 5 hectares. These 703,577
estates (81 per cent.) only cover 12.5 per cent. of the area of
Bohemia. On the other hand, 776 persons own 35.6 per cent. of the
entire area, while they only form 0.1 per cent. of all estates. The
unequal distribution of property is more striking still when we
analyze the larger class, those over 200 hectares. We then obtain
the following result:

  380 persons own each  200 to  500 hectares together   116,143 hectares
  141    “     “    “   500  “ 1000     “       “       101,748     “
  104    “     “    “  1000  “ 2000     “       “       150,567     “
  151    “     “    “  over    2000     “       “     1,436,084     “

Of the last-named group, 31 persons own 5,000 to 10,000 hectares
each; 21 persons own 10,000 to 20,000 hectares each, and the
Princes Mor. Lobkowitz, Ferdinand Kinsky, Karl Schwarzenberg,
Alfred Windischgraetz, the Dukes Ernst Waldstein, Johann Harrach,
Karl Buquoy own 20,000 to 30,000 hectares each. Clam-Gallas and
Lar. Czernin own over 30,000 each. The Prince of Lichtenstein owns
36,189 hectares; Prince Max Egon Fuerstenberg, 39,162 hectares;
Prince Colloredo Mannsfeld, 57,691 hectares, and the Prince of
Schwarzenberg, 177,310 hectares = 3.4 per cent. of the entire area
of Bohemia. The Church owns 150,395 hectares = 3 per cent. of the
area of Bohemia.[210] These figures were compiled in 1896; since
then matters have grown still worse. According to the agricultural
census of 1902 there were 18,437 estates (0.7 per cent. of the entire
number) that covered 9,929,920 hectares, or one-third of the entire
area. In the district of Schwaz seven Alps and in the district of Zell
sixteen Alps that had hitherto served as pastures to the cattle, were
shut off by the new landlords and transformed into hunting grounds.
Pasturing of cattle is prohibited along the entire Karwendel range.
The leading nobility of Austria and Germany, besides rich bourgeois
parvenus, purchased areas up to 70,000 yokes, and more, in the Alpine
regions and had them fenced in as game preserves. Entire villages,
hundreds of farms disappear, the inhabitants are driven from their
native soil, and the place of human beings and of animals intended
for human food, is taken by deer and stags and chamois. Not a few
of these men who have devastated entire provinces in this manner,
afterwards speak on the needy condition of the peasants in the
parliaments, and abuse their power to employ the aid of the state in
the form of taxes on grain, wood, live stock, meat, whiskey, etc.,
at the expense of the propertyless classes.

In the most advanced industrial states it is not the love of luxury
of the privileged classes that dislodges the small estates, as is the
case in Austria. Here the increasing demands of a rapidly growing
population make it necessary to organize farming along capitalistic
lines, in order to produce the required amount of food. This may be
observed in a country so highly developed industrially as Belgium.
According to the “Annual Statistics,” quoted by Emile Vandervelde
in an article, “Landed Property in Belgium During the Period from
1834 to 1899,” it says: “Only farms of less than 5 hectares, and
especially those of less than 2 hectares, have diminished in number.
But the farms of more than 10 hectares have increased to 3,789. The
concentration of landed property that is in keeping with modern
industry and cattle breeding on a large scale, may here be clearly
observed. Since 1880 a development has set in that takes the opposite
course of the one that took place from 1866 to 1880. While, in 1880,
there still were 910,396 farms, only 829,625 remained in 1895; that
means a decrease by 80,771 farms = 9 per cent., in fifteen years.
As a matter of fact, this decrease has affected only farms of less
than 5 hectares. On the other hand, farms of from 5 to 10 hectares
increased by 675; those of from 10 to 20 hectares by 2,168; from 20
to 30 hectares by 414; from 30 to 40 hectares by 164, from 40 to
50 hectares by 187, and those of over 50 hectares by 181.”

[209] Karl Kautsky--The Agrarian question and temporary results of
the agricultural census of June 12, 1901. Quarterly Gazette for
Statistics of the German Empire, 1909.

[210] The Propertied and Propertyless Classes in Austria.--T. W.
Teifen. Vienna, 1906.

3.--The Contrast Between City and Country.

The condition of the soil and its cultivation is of the greatest
importance to the advancement of our civilization. The existence of
the population primarily depends upon the soil and its products. The
soil cannot be increased at will; the manner of its cultivation is
therefore the more important. The population of Germany, which grows
by about 870,000 persons annually, requires a considerable import
of bread and meat, if the prices of the most necessary articles of
food are still to be within reach of the masses. But here we are
confronted by sharp-contrasting interests between the agricultural
and industrial population. That part of the population that is
not engaged in agricultural pursuits, is interested in obtaining
articles of food at low prices, since their wellfare, both as human
beings and as individuals engaged in industry and commerce, depends
upon it. Every increase in the cost of articles of food leads to
a deterioration in the standard of living of a large portion of
the population, unless the wages of the population depending
upon agricultural products should be raised also. But an increase
in wages usually implies an increase in the prices of industrial
products, and that may result in a decline of sales. But if wages
remain stationary, notwithstanding the increased cost of articles of
food, the purchase of other commodities must be limited, and again
industry and commerce suffer.

Matters have a different aspect for those engaged in agriculture.
Just as persons engaged in industry, they seek to obtain the greatest
possible advantage from their occupation, and it does not matter to
them from which particular product they obtain it. If the import of
foreign grain prevents their obtaining the desired profit from the
cultivation of grain, they devote their soil to the cultivation of
other products that are more profitable. They cultivate beets for
the manufacture of sugar, and potatoes and grain for the manufacture
of whiskey, instead of wheat and rye for bread. They devote the most
fertile fields to the cultivation of tobacco, instead of to the
cultivation of vegetables and fruit. Others use thousands of hectares
of land for pastures for horses, because horses bring high prices
for military purposes. Moreover, great stretches of forest land,
which could be employed for agricultural purposes, are reserved as
hunting-grounds for sportsmen of rank. This is sometimes the case in
regions where a few thousand hectares of forests might be cut down
and transformed into fields, without any harmful results ensuing,
due to a decrease in humidity by the cutting down of the forest. In
this manner thousands of square miles of fertile soil might still be
won for agricultural purposes in Germany. But this transformation
is contrary to the material interests of a part of the bureaucracy,
the forest- and game-keepers, as well as to the interests of the
great landowners, who do not wish to give up their hunting-grounds
and to deny themselves the pleasures of the chase. It is a matter
of course that such clearing of forests could take place only where
it would be truly advantageous. On the other hand, large areas of
mountain and waste land might be planted with forests.

Recently the great influence of forests on the formation of moisture
has been denied, as it appears, unjustly so. To what marked degree
the forest influences the moisture of the land, and thereby the
fertility of the soil, is shown by some striking facts given in
the book by Parvus and Dr. Lehmann, “Starving Russia.” The authors
assert, on the ground of their own observations, that the boundless
and desultory devastation of forests in the most fertile provinces
of Russia, was the chief cause of the failure of crops from which
these at one time fertile regions suffered severely during the last
few decades. Among many other facts, they pointed out that during
the course of time five little rivers and six lakes disappeared in
the government district of Stawropol; in the government district of
Busuluk four rivers and four lakes disappeared; in the government
district of Samara six small rivers, and in the government district of
Buguruslan two small rivers disappeared. In the government districts
of Nikolajewsk and Novousensk four rivers are barely maintained by
the construction of dams. Many villages that formerly had running
water in their vicinity are robbed of this advantage, and in many
places the depth of wells is 45 to 60 yards. As a result of this
dearth of water the soil is hard and cracked. With the cutting down
of the forests the springs dried up and rain became scarce.

Capitalistic cultivation of the soil leads to capitalistic conditions.
For a number of years a portion of our farmers derived enormous
profits from the cultivation of beets and the manufacture of sugar
connected with it. The system of taxation favored the exportation
of sugar, and in such a manner that the revenue of the taxes on
sugar-beets and on the consumption of sugar was to a considerable
extent employed as bounties for exportation. The reimbursement
granted to the sugar manufacturers per hundred-weight of sugar was
considerably higher than the tax paid by them on the beets, and
placed them in a position to sell their sugar at low prices to
foreign countries, at the expense of the domestic taxpayers, and to
develop the cultivation of sugar-beets more and more. The advantage
gained by the sugar manufacturers under this system of taxation
amounted to over 31 million marks annually. Hundreds of thousands of
hectares of land that had formerly been devoted to the cultivation
of grain, etc., were now employed to raise beets; countless factories
were erected, and the inevitable result was the panic. The high
profit obtained from the cultivation of beets also caused a rise
in the price of property. This led to a wholesale purchase of the
small farms, whose owners were tempted to sell by the high prices
they could obtain for their property. The soil was made to serve
industrial speculation, and the raising of grain and potatoes was
relegated to soil of inferior quality, which heightened the demand
for the importation of products of food. Finally the evils that
had arisen from the allowance on export of sugar and had gradually
assumed an international character, compelled the governments and
the parliaments to abolish this system and thereby to revert to
somewhat more natural conditions.

Under present-day conditions the small farmers cannot attain the
social status to which they are entitled as citizens of a civilized
state, no matter how hard they may work and how much they may deny
themselves. Whatever the state and society may do to uphold these
classes that form a considerable basis of the existing form of
state and society, their endeavours remain patch-work. The agrarian
taxes harm this portion of the agricultural population more than
they benefit them. Most of these farmers do not produce as much
as they need for the maintenance of their own families. They must
purchase part of their supplies, the means for which they obtain
by industrial or other additional labor. A great many of our small
farmers are more interested in a favorable status of industry and
commerce than in agriculture, because their own children make their
living by industry or commerce, since the farm offers no employment
and no income to them. One failure of crops increases the number of
farmers who are obliged to purchase agricultural products. So how
can agrarian taxes and prohibition of importation benefit those who
have little to sell and must occasionally buy much? At least 80 per
cent. of all agricultural establishments are in this position.

How the farmer cultivates his soil is his own affair in the era of
private property. He cultivates whatever seems most profitable to
him, regardless of the interests and requirements of society; so
“laissez faire!” In industry the same principle is applied. Obscene
pictures and indecent books are manufactured, and factories are
established for the adulteration of food. These and many other
activities are harmful to society; they undermine its morals and
heighten corruption. But they are profitable, more so than decent
pictures, scientific books and unadulterated food. The manufacturer,
eager for profits, must only succeed in escaping the notice of the
police, and he may ply his trade in the knowledge that society will
envy and respect him for the money he has made.

The mammon character of our age is most forcibly expressed by the
stock exchange and its dealings. Products of the soil and industrial
products, means of transportation, meteorological and political
conditions, want and abundance, disasters and suffering of the masses,
public debts, inventions and discoveries, health or disease and death
of influential persons, war and rumors of war often invented for
this purpose, all these and many other things are made the object
of speculation and are used to exploit and cheat one another. The
kings of capital exert the most decisive influence on the weal and
woe of society, and, favored by their powerful means and connections,
they accumulate boundless wealth. Governments and officials become
mere puppets in their hands, who must perform while the kings of
the stock exchange pull the wires. The powers of the state do not
control the stock market, the stock market controls the powers of
the state.

All these facts, which are becoming more evident every day because
the evils are daily increasing, call for speedy and thoroughgoing
reforms. But society stands helpless before these evils and keeps
going about in a circle like a horse in a treadmill, a picture of
impotence and stupidity. They who would like to act, are still too
weak; they who ought to act, still lack understanding; they who
might act, do not wish to. They rely upon their power and think,
as Madame Pompadour expressed it: “Après nous le déluge!” (May the
deluge come after we are gone!) But what if the deluge should overtake

The Socialization of Society.


The Social Revolution.

1.--The Transformation of Society.

The tide rises and undermines the foundation of state and society.
Every one feels that the pillars are swaying and that only powerful
props can support them. But to erect such props means great sacrifices
on the part of the ruling classes, and there the difficulty lies.
Every proposition, the realization of which would seriously damage
the material interests of the ruling classes and would threaten to
question their privileged position, is bitterly opposed by them and
roundly condemned as a measure destined to overturn the present
order of state and society. But, without questioning and ultimately
removing the privileges of the ruling classes, the diseased world
cannot be cured.

“The struggle for the liberation of the working class is not a struggle
for privileges, but one for equal rights and equal duties and for
the removal of all privileges.” This declaration of principles is
contained in the Socialist platform. It follows that nothing can be
attained by half measures and small concessions.

But the ruling classes regard their privileged position as natural
and self-understood; they will admit of no doubt in its permanence
and justification. So it is quite natural that they oppose and combat
every attempt to shatter their privileges. Even proposed measures and
laws that do not change their privileged position and the present
order of society in the least, cause the greatest excitement among
them, if their purse-strings are loosened thereby or likely to be
loosened. In the parliaments mountains of paper are printed with
speeches until the laboring mountains bring forth a ridiculous mouse.
The most self-understood demands of workingmen’s protection are met
with as much opposition as if the existence of society depended upon
it. When, after endless struggles, some concessions are won from the
ruling classes, they act as if they had sacrificed a part of their
fortune. They show the same stubborn opposition when called upon to
recognize the oppressed classes on a basis of formal equality; for
instance, to discuss questions of labor agreements with them as with
their equals.

This opposition to the simplest things and the most self-understood
demands confirms the old experience that no ruling class can ever
be convinced by ~reason~, unless the force of circumstances compels
discretion and compliance. But the force of circumstances may be found
in the growing measure of understanding created in the oppressed by
the development of our conditions. The class extremes are constantly
becoming more severe, more noticeable and more evident. The oppressed
and exploited classes begin to recognize that existing conditions are
untenable; their indignation increases, and with it the imperious
demand to transform and humanize conditions. As this perception
grows and reaches ever widening circles, it finally conquers the
vast majority of society, which is most directly interested in this
transformation. But to the same extent in which this perception
of the untenableness of existing conditions and the need of their
transformation grows among the masses, ~the power of resistance of
the ruling classes declines, since their power is founded upon the
ignorance and the lack of understanding of the oppressed and exploited
classes~. This reciprocal action is evident, and therefore everything
that advances it must be welcomed. The progress of capitalism on the
one hand is balanced on the other by the growing perception that the
existing social order is adverse to the wellfare of the vast majority
of the people. Although the solution and removal of social extremes
will require great sacrifices and many exertions, a solution will
be found as soon as the extremes have attained the height of their
development, toward which they are rapidly advancing.

What measures are to be resorted to at the various stages of
development, depends upon circumstances. It is impossible to predict
what measures will be necessitated by circumstances in particular
instances. No government, no prime-minister, be he the most powerful
person, can predict what circumstances will compel him to do a year
hence. It is all the more impossible to predict measures that will
be dictated by circumstances unknown to us at present. The question
of measures is a question of tactics to be observed in a struggle.
The tactics are influenced by the opponent and also by the resources
at the command of both parties. Means that are splendid to-day may
be harmful to-morrow, because the circumstances that justified
their employment may have changed. It is but necessary always to
keep our aim before us; the means for attaining same depend upon
time and circumstances. ~But the most effective means that time and
circumstances permit of should be resorted to.~ In depicting future
developments we must therefore resort to hypothetical methods; we
must surmise certain conditions.

~Proceeding from this point of view, we surmise that, at a given
time, all the depicted evils will have developed to such extremes
and will have become so evident and tangible to the great majority
of the population, that they come to be regarded as unbearable; that
a general, irresistible demand for a thoroughgoing transformation
will manifest itself, and that, accordingly, the quickest help will
be considered the most appropriate.~

All social evils, without exception, spring from the present social
order, which, as has been shown, is founded on capitalism, on the
capitalistic method of production. This method of production enables
the capitalist class--the owners of all the means of production,
the ground, mines, raw materials, tools, machines, means of
transportation--to exploit and oppress the masses, which leads to
insecurity of existence and to the degradation of the exploited
classes. Accordingly the most rapid and direct way would be to
transform capitalistic property into common, or social property by
a general expropriation. ~The production of commodities will be
socialized; it will become a production for and by society. Manufacture
on a large scale and the increasing productivity of social labor,
until now a source of misery and oppression for the exploited classes,
will then become a source of well-being and harmonious development
for all.~

2.--Expropriation of the Expropriators.

The transformation of all means of production into common property
forms the new basis of society. The conditions of life and work for
both sexes in industry, agriculture, traffic, education, marriage,
science, art and social intercourse become radically different.
Human life is given a new purpose. Gradually the organization of
the state also loses ground; ~the state disappears~; it, so to say,
abolishes itself.

In the first part of this book we have shown why the state had to
arise. It is the product of development from primitive society,
founded on communism, that becomes dissolved as ~private property~
develops. With the rise of private property antagonistic interests
are formed within society. Differences of class and caste arise
that necessarily lead to class struggles among the different groups
and threaten the maintenance of the new order. To keep down the
opponents of the new order and to protect the threatened proprietors,
an organization is required that opposes such attacks and declares
property to be “righteous” and “sacred.” ~This organization, which
protects and maintains private property, becomes the state.~ By laws
the state secures the proprietor’s right to his property, and upon
those who would attack the order laid down by law it turns as judge
and avenger. By their innermost nature, then, the interests of the
ruling, possessing class, and of the powers of the state, always are
conservative. The organization of the state only changes when the
interest of property demands it. Thus the state is the ~indispensable~
organization of a society founded on class rule. As soon as class
extremes have been removed by the abolition of private property, it
becomes ~unnecessary~ and ~impossible~. The state gradually ceases
to exist with the passing away of class rule, as surely as religion
ceases to exist when belief in superior beings and occult powers is
no longer met with. Words must have a purport; when they lose same
they cease to convey a meaning.

Here a reader who is capitalistically minded may object and may ask
on what legal ground can society justify these overthrowing changes?
The legal ground will be the same that always was found, when similar
changes and transformations were needful: ~The common wellfare~.
Society, not the state, is the source of law. The state is only clerk
to the society, whose duty it is to measure and dispense the law.
Until now, ruling society was always but a small minority, but this
small minority acted in behalf of the entire nation and represented
itself as being society, just as Louis XIV. represented himself as
being the state: “L’état c’est moi.” (I am the state.) When our
newspapers report: “The season has begun, society is returning to
town;” or: “The season is over, society is hastening to the country,”
they do not mean the people, but the upper ten thousand who constitute
society as they constitute the state. The masses are the “plebs,”
the vile multitude. In the same way, everything undertaken by the
state for society in behalf of “the common welfare,” has, first
and foremost, served the interests of the ruling classes. “~Salus
reipublicae suprema lex esto~” (the welfare of the republic shall
be the supreme law), is the well-known legal principle laid down by
the ancient Romans. But who formed the Roman republic? The subjected
peoples, the millions of slaves? No! The comparatively small number
of Roman citizens, above all the Roman nobility, who permitted the
slaves to support them.

When, during the middle ages, nobility and princes robbed the communal
property, they did so on the legal ground of “the common welfare,”
and in what manner they disposed of the communal property and the
property of the helpless peasants, the history of the middle ages,
down to recent times, has amply shown. The agrarian history of the
past thousand years is a history of uninterrupted robbery of communal
and peasant property, practiced by the nobility and the Church in
all civilized states of Europe. When the great French Revolution
then proceeded to expropriate the property of the nobility and the
Church, it did so “in behalf of the common welfare,” and the greater
part of the eight million of property holders who form the chief
stay of Bourgeois France, owe their existence to this expropriation.
In behalf of the “common welfare,” Spain took possession of much
Church property, and Italy confiscated it entirely, applauded by the
most ardent defenders of “sacred property.” The English nobility for
centuries robbed the Irish and English nations of their property, and
from 1804 to 1832 legally presented itself--“in behalf of the common
welfare”--with no less than 3,511,710 acres of communal property.
When, after the great North American civil war, millions of slaves
were emancipated, who had been the lawfully acquired property of
their masters, without reimbursing the latter, this was done “in
behalf of the common welfare.” Our entire bourgeois development is
an uninterrupted process of expropriation and confiscation. In this
process the mechanic is expropriated by the manufacturer, the peasant
by the great landowner, the small dealer by the large merchant, and,
finally, one capitalist by another. To judge by the declamations of
our bourgeoisie, all this is being done to serve “the common welfare,”
in the “interest of society.” On the 18 Brumaire and December 2, the
followers of Napoleon “saved” “society” and “society” congratulated
them. When society will save itself by taking back the property it
has created, it will perform the most noteworthy deed. ~For then
its actions will not purpose to suppress one to the advantage of
another, but to obtain equality of opportunity for all and to enable
each and every one to lead an existence worthy of a human being.~
It will be the grandest measure, morally, ever enacted by society.

In what forms this great process of social expropriation will be
consummated and under what conditions, is of course quite impossible
to predict.

In his fourth social letter to v. Kirchmann, entitled “Capital,”[211]
Rodbertus says: “A confiscation of all private property in land, is
not a chimera, but quite possible from the standpoint of political
economy. It would also be the most radical help for society. For
society suffers from the increase of rent in land and capital. With
the abolition of private property in land, traffic and the progress
of national wealth would not be interrupted for one moment.” What do
the Agrarians say to this opinion of one who was formerly a member
of their party?

The further course of events, after such a measure has been resorted
to, cannot be definitely laid down. No human being is able to foresee
how coming generations will shape the details of their social
organizations, and in what manner they will best succeed in satisfying
their requirements. In society, as in nature, there is constant
change. One thing appears while another disappears; what is old and
wasted is replaced by what is new and full of vitality. Inventions
and discoveries along varied lines are made whose significance cannot
be foreseen, and when applied, such inventions and discoveries may
revolutionize human life and the entire social organization.

In the following, therefore, we can only discuss the development of
general principles. They may be laid down as a logical outcome of the
prior explanations, and to some extent it is possible to overlook
in what manner they will be carried out. Even heretofore society
could not be guided and directed by single individuals, although
it sometimes appeared so. But appearances are deceiving; presuming
to direct, we are being directed. Even heretofore society has been
an organism that developed in accordance with definite, inherent
laws. In the future the guidance and direction, according to the
will of individuals, will be entirely out of the question. Society
will then be a democracy that will have unravelled the secrets of
its nature. It will have discovered the laws of its development and
will consciously apply them to its further growth.

[211] Berlin, 1884.


Fundamental Laws of Socialistic Society.

1.--Duty to Work of All Able-bodied Persons.

As soon as society has become the owner of all means of production,
the duty to work of all able-bodied persons, regardless of sex,
becomes a fundamental law of socialized society. Society cannot exist
without labor. It therefore is justified in demanding that all who
seek to satisfy their requirements, should also serve to the best
of their physical and mental abilities in producing the commodities
that are needful to satisfy the requirements of all. The silly
assertion that the Socialists wish to abolish work is an absurdity.
Lazy persons, shirkers of work, are met with in bourgeois society
~only~. Socialism is agreed with the Bible in asserting that “he
who will not work neither shall he eat.” But work shall be useful,
productive activity. The new society will therefore insist that
everyone choose some definite industrial, agricultural, or other
useful activity, whereby he performs a certain amount of labor for
the satisfaction of existing requirements. ~No enjoyment without
labor, without labor no enjoyment.~

Since all are obliged to work, all have the same interest in
having three conditions of labor complied with. Firstly, that the
work-day shall not be too long and that the work shall not require
over-exertion; secondly, that the work shall be varied and as agreeable
as possible; thirdly, that it shall be as productive as possible,
since on this the length of the work-day and the number of obtainable
enjoyments depend. But these three conditions again are determined
by the number and the nature of the means of production and the
workers; they are furthermore determined by the required standard
of living. Socialistic society does not establish itself in order
to lead a proletarian existence, ~but to abolish the proletarian
manner of living of the great majority of people~. It seeks to grant
to everyone the fullest measure of the comforts and joys of life,
and so the question arises: To what extent will the requirements of
society grow?

In order to determine this an administration will be necessary that
comprises all fields of social activity. Here our municipalities
will form an appropriate foundation. If they are too large to permit
of obtaining an insight, they may be divided into districts. As in
primitive society, all members of the communities who are of age,
~regardless of sex~, will participate in the elections and choose
the persons who are to take charge of the administration. At the
head of all local bodies there will be a central administration.
This--let it be noted--will not be a government with ruling powers,
but an executive board of managers. Whether this board of managers
is to be elected by the entire population or by the local boards is
not essential. These questions will not be as important then as they
are now, for election to these offices will not mean greater power
and influence and a higher income. They will be positions of trust
to which the fittest, ~be they men or women~, will be elected, and
they can be recalled or re-elected, as conditions may demand, or as
it may seem desirable to the voters. All offices are temporary. The
persons who hold these positions, therefore, cannot be regarded as
officials. Their function is not a permanent one, nor is a hierarchical
order of advancement provided for. Viewed from this standpoint, it
also becomes a matter of indifference whether there will be any
intermediate bodies between the central administration and the local
administrations, as provincial administrations, etc. If considered
necessary they will be instituted; if not, they will be omitted. All
that will be determined by experience. If progress in the development
of society should make old institutions superfluous, they will be
abolished without any ado and without any conflict, since no one is
personally interested in their maintenance, and new ones will be
instituted instead. ~This thoroughly democratic administration is
very different from the present.~ At the present time--what battles
in the newspapers, what a warfare of tongues in the parliaments,
what piles of documents in the government offices, to accomplish an
insignificant change in the administration or government!

To begin with, the main task will be to determine the existing
forces, the number and kind of means of production, factories,
workshops, means of transportation, area of land, and the previous
productivity. Further it will be necessary to determine the supply
on hand and the number of articles and products required to supply
the demand in a given length of time. As at present the state and
the various municipalities annually determine their budgets, this
will in future be done for the entire social demand, and changes
made necessary by new or increased demands can be fully taken into
consideration. Statistics here become the main factor. They are the
most important auxiliary science in the new society, since they
furnish the standard whereby all social activity may be measured.
Statistics are being used for similar purposes at present on a large
scale. The budgets of nation, state, and municipality are founded
on a great number of statistical investigations that are annually
undertaken by the various branches of administration. Experience of
long duration and a certain stability in current demands simplify
them. Under ~normal~ conditions every manufacturer and every merchant
is also enabled to determine his requirements for the coming quarter
of a year and in what manner he must arrange his production and his
purchases. Unless excessive changes occur he can meet them readily
and without much difficulty.

The experience that the crises are brought on by blind, anarchistic
production; that is to say, because goods are produced without any
knowledge of the stock on hand, the sales, and the demand for the
various articles on the world market, has caused the captains of
industry in various branches--as already stated--to form trusts. The
object of these trusts is to determine prices on the one hand, and on
the other to regulate production. By the producing ability of each
individual concern and by the sales it is likely to make, the amount
of goods to be produced for the coming months is determined. Failure
to comply with these rules is punished by a fine and by proscription.
The manufacturers form these agreements not to benefit, but to harm
the public, and solely for their own advantage. Their purpose is to
use the power of co-operation to insure the greatest advantage for
themselves. By regulating production it becomes possible to exact
the payment of prices that can never be obtained as long as the
individual manufacturers compete with one another. So the manufacturer
enriches himself at the expense of the consumer, who must pay the
fixed price for the article that he needs; and, as the consumer is
injured by the trusts, so also the worker. Regulation of production
by the manufacturers releases a number of workers and employes, and
these, in order to live, must underbid their fellow-workers. Moreover,
the social power of the trust is so great that the labor unions,
too can rarely cope with them. The employers, accordingly, enjoy a
double advantage; they receive higher prices and pay lower wages.
This regulation of production by associations of employers ~is the
opposite of that which will take effect in Socialistic society~.
To-day the interest of the employers is the determining factor; in
the future it will be the interest of the general public. But in
bourgeois society even the best organized trust cannot overlook and
compute all the factors. Competition and speculation on the world
market continue to rage, in spite of the trust, and suddenly it
becomes manifest that the calculation is faulty, and the artificial
structure breaks down.

Like industry, commerce also possesses far-reaching statistics. Every
week the large centers of commerce and seaport towns publish lists
of the supplies on hand of kerosene, cotton, sugar, coffee, wheat,
etc. Sometimes these statistics are not exact, because the owners of
the goods occasionally have a personal interest in preventing the
truth from becoming known. But, taken all in all, these statistics
are pretty reliable and enable those interested to judge the
probable aspect of the market in the near future. But here, too,
speculation enters into consideration that frequently deceives and
upsets all calculations and often makes it impossible to carry on
an honest business. Just as a general regulation of production is
made impossible in bourgeois society by the conflicting interests of
the countless private producers, so the regulation of distribution
is made impossible by the speculative nature of commerce and by the
conflicting interests of the great number of persons engaged in it.
But what has been accomplished so far gives an idea of what can be
accomplished as soon as private interests disappear and the common
interest predominates. An example of this is, for instance, the
harvest statistics compiled annually by various states, that make
it possible to calculate the crops, the amount needful to supply
the domestic demand, and the probable prices.

But in a socialized society conditions will be perfectly orderly, since
the solidarity of society will have been established. Everything is
carried out, according to plans, in an orderly way, and so it will
be easy to determine the amounts required by the various demands.
When some experience has been gained, everything will run smoothly.
When the average demand for meat, bread, shoes, garments, etc., has
been statistically determined, and when the output of the respective
establishments of production is known, ~the average daily amount of
socially necessary labor can be established. It, furthermore, can be
determined whether more establishments of production are needed, or
whether some can be dispensed with as superfluous and can be fitted
out for other purposes.~

Every individual chooses the branch of industry in which he wishes to
be employed. The great number of very different realms of activity
makes it possible to take the most varied wishes into consideration.
If there is an excess of workers in one branch and a lack of workers
in another, it will be the duty of the administration to make the
necessary arrangements and to bring about an equalization. To organize
production and to give opportunity to the various forces to be
employed at the right place, will be the chief task of the elected
administrations. As all perfect themselves in their particular tasks
the wheels run more smoothly. The different branches of industry
and sub-divisions elect their managers, who must control the work.
But these are no slave-drivers, as overseers and foremen are
to-day, but fellow-workers who simply practice the administrative
function entrusted to them, in place of a productive one. It is not
impossible that at a more advanced stage of organization and with
a more perfect education of all its members, these functions will
become alternating and will, in definite rotation, be overtaken by
all persons concerned, ~regardless of sex~.

2.--Harmony of Interests.

Labor, organized on a basis of complete freedom and democratic
equality, with one for all and all for one, will call forth a
rivalry and a desire to create that are nowhere met with under the
present industrial system; and this joy of creation will enhance
the productivity of labor.

~Since all work for one another~, they are interested in having all
objects well made and with as little waste of time and strength as
possible, be it to save labor, or to gain time for the manufacture
of new products destined to satisfy higher demands. ~This common
interest will cause all to seek to improve, simplify and hasten
the process of work. The ambition to discover and invent will be
stimulated to the highest degree, and people will endeavour to outdo
each other in new ideas and suggestions.~[212] So the opposite of
what is claimed by the opponents of Socialism will be true. How many
discoverers and inventors perish in bourgeois society! How many
are exploited and cast aside! If intelligence and talent were to
hold the foremost place in bourgeois society, instead of property,
~the greater part of the employers would have to make way for their
workingmen, foremen, mechanics, engineers, chemists, etc.~ These
are the men who, in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, have made
the discoveries, inventions, and improvements that are applied by
the man with the full purse. How many thousands of discoverers and
inventors have failed because they could not find a man who would
furnish the money to carry out their discoveries and inventions,
and how many meritorious discoverers and inventors are crushed by
the social misery of daily life, is quite beyond our calculation.
Not the persons endowed with a quick intelligence and a clear brain
are masters of the world, but those endowed with ample means, which
does not imply that a clear brain and a full purse cannot belong to
the same person.

Everyone engaged in practical life knows with how much suspicion the
workingmen regard every improvement, every new invention that is
introduced to-day; and their suspicion is entirely justified. For, as
a rule, not the workers but the employers are the only ones to derive
any advantage from it. The worker must fear that the new machine,
or the improvement, will make him superfluous and turn him out into
the street. Instead of joyfully acclaiming a new invention that is a
credit to humanity and ought to be a boon to him, he curses it. Many
an improvement in the process of production invented by workingmen has
never been introduced. The inventor keeps his invention to himself,
because he fears that it will harm him, instead of benefiting him.
Such are the natural results of conflicting interests.[213]

In Socialistic society the conflict of interests will be removed.
Everyone will develop his abilities to serve himself and will thereby
serve society. At present, satisfaction of personal egotism and
service of society usually are extremes that exclude each other.
In the new society these extremes will not exist. ~Satisfaction of
personal egotism and service of society will be harmonious; they
will coincide.~[214]

The splendid influence of such a status of morals is obvious. The
productivity of labor will rapidly increase. Especially will the
productivity of labor grow, because the dissemination of forces
among hundreds of thousands of tiny manufacturers with imperfect
tools and insufficient means, will cease. It has been previously
shown among how many small, medium-sized and large manufactories
German industry is disseminated. By gathering in all the small and
medium-sized manufactories into manufacture on a large scale in
great establishments that will be furnished with all the most modern
technical improvements, a tremendous waste of effort, time, material
of all kinds (light, heat, etc.), and space will be removed, and
the productivity of labor will be heightened. The difference that
exists between the productivity of small, medium-sized and large
manufactories, may be illustrated by an example from the industrial
census of Massachusetts of 1890. There the factories in ten chief
branches of industry are divided into three classes. Those that
produced less than 40,000 dollars’ worth were placed in the lower
class; those that produced between 40,000 and 150,000 dollars’ worth
in the middle class, and those that produced over 150,000 dollars’
worth, in the upper class. This division presented the following

                                  Percentage                 Percentage of
                   Number of        of all        Value of   entire Value
                Establishments  Establishments   Production  of Production
  Lower class       2,042            55.2        51,660,617       9.4
  Middle class        968            26.2       106,868,635      19.5
  Upper class         686            18.6       390,817,300      71.1
                    3,696           100.--      549,346,552     100.--

Twice the number of small factories, compared to the large and
medium-sized ones, turned out only 9.4 per cent. of the entire
production, while the large factories, which formed only 23 per cent.
of the total number, produced almost 2½ times the quantity of all
the others. But even the large establishments could be organized
much more rationally still, so that the total production might yield
a still far greater quantity.

How much time can be gained by placing production on a rational basis?
That has been shown by interesting calculations made by Th. Hertzka,
in his book on “The Laws of Social Evolution,” published in 1886. He
calculated how much time and labor power would be needful to satisfy
the demands of the population of Austria, which was 22 millions
strong at the time. For this purpose, Hertzka investigated the
productivity of the large establishments in the various lines of
industry and based his calculations on the results. This calculation
includes the farming of 10½ million hectares of cultivated soil and
3 million hectares of pasturage, which should suffice to supply said
population with meat and the products of agriculture. Furthermore,
Hertzka included in his calculation the building of homes, in such
a manner that every family might have their own house, with a space
of 150 square meters, for a period of fifty years. It was found
that, for agriculture, building, the production of flour and sugar,
coal-mining, iron and machine industry, the clothing industry, and
the chemical industry, 615,000 workers would be needed, who would
have to work throughout the year for the present average number of
hours daily. But these ~615,000~ workers formed only ~12.3 per cent.
of the able-bodied population of Austria, not counting the women,
nor the male inhabitants under 16 or over 50~. If the 5 million
men available at the time of the calculation were employed like
the 615,000, each of them would have to work only 36.9 days, about
six weeks annually, to supply the most needful requirements for
22 million human beings. But, if we assume 300 work-days annually,
instead of 37, we find that, under the new organization it would be
necessary to work only ~1⅜ hours daily to supply the most necessary

Hertzka also takes the requirements of luxury of the better situated
classes into consideration and finds that the manufacture of such
articles, to supply the demands of 22 million people, would require
315,000 more workers. According to Hertzka, then, about 1 million
workers, 20 per cent. of the able-bodied male population of Austria,
excluding those under 16 and over 50, would be needed ~to supply the
entire needs of the population~ in sixty days. If we again take the
entire able-bodied male population into consideration, we find that
they would have to perform only about ~2½ hours of work daily~.[215]

This calculation will not surprise anyone who is well acquainted with
existing conditions. If we furthermore assume that, with such a short
work-day, only the sick and the invalids must be excluded, while men
over 50 might still work, and youths under 16 might be active to some
extent, and that the women might also serve in industry, except those
who are engaged in child-rearing, the preparation of food, etc., we
find that the hours of work might be shortened still more, or that
the demands might be greatly increased. Nor will any one deny that
tremendous, incalculable progress may still be made in perfecting the
process of production, a factor that will create further advantages.
On the other hand, many requirements will be satisfied that only a
small minority can satisfy to-day, and, with the higher development
of civilization, new requirements will arise that will also have to
be satisfied. It must be iterated and reiterated: ~The new society
will not elect to lead a proletarian existence. It will demand the
existence of a highly civilized people for all its members from the
first to the last. But it shall not only satisfy all the material
requirements, it shall also grant to all ample opportunity and time
for the study of science and art, and for recreation.~

[212] “The force of rivalry that leads to supreme efforts to win
the praise and admiration of others, has been shown by experience
to be a useful one wherever persons compete with one another, even
in regard to frivolous matters and such matters from which the
public derives no benefit. But a rivalry as to who can best serve
the common welfare, is a sort of competition that Socialists do not
repudiate.”--John Stuart Mill, “Political Economy.” Every society,
every organization of persons having the same aims and a common
cause, also furnishes many examples of a nobler endeavor that leads
to no material success but to a purely ideal one. The persons vieing
with each other are indeed impelled by the ambition of serving the
common cause and of winning recognition. But this sort of ambition is
a virtue since it serves the common good and at the same time gives
satisfaction to the individual. Ambition is harmful only when it is
satisfied at the expense of others or to the detriment of society.

[213] v. Thuenen--“The Isolated State,” says: “The conflicting
interests are the reason why proletarians and possessors are hostile
to one another and will remain unreconciled as long as the discord in
their interests has not been removed. Not only by the wealth of the
employer, but also by invention in manufactory, by the building of
roads and railways, and by the opening of new markets, the national
income may be greatly increased. But in our present social order the
workingman derives no benefit from this increase. His status remains
the same, and _the entire increase in income falls to the share of
the employers, capitalists and landlords_.” This last sentence is
an almost verbal anticipation of a declaration by Gladstone in the
English parliament, in 1884. He said: “This intoxicating growth of
wealth and power (experienced by England during the last twenty
years) has been limited exclusively to the possessing classes;” and
v. Thuenen says: “_in the separation of the worker from his product
the evil lies_.”--Morelly says in his “Principles of Legislation”:
“Property divides us into two classes, the rich and the poor. The
former love their property and do not care to defend the state. The
latter can not love their fatherland for it gives them nothing but
misery. But under Communism every one loves his fatherland for by
it everyone obtains life and happiness.”

[214] In weighing the advantages and disadvantages of Communism,
John Stuart Mill says in his “Political Economy”: “No field can be
more favorable to this conception (that public interest and private
interest are identical) than a communistic association. All the
ambition as well as the physical and mental activity, that is at
present directed upon the pursuit of sporadic and selfish interests,
would demand a different sphere of activity, and would find it in
the service of the common good of society.”

[215] In his “False Doctrines,” Eugen Richter ridicules the enormous
shortening of the hours of work predicted by us that would result
if all were obliged to work and if the process of production were
organized in accordance with the highest technical development.
He tries to belittle the productivity of large manufacture and to
enlarge the importance of small manufacture, in order to assert that
it would not be possible to produce the required amount. To make
Socialism seem impossible the upholders of the present “order” must
try to discredit the advantages of their own social system.

3.--Organization of Labor.

In a number of other very essential points the socialistic co-operative
system will differ from the bourgeois individualistic system. The
cheap and poor goods that make up a large portion of bourgeois
production, and necessarily must make up a large portion of it,
because a majority of the customers can afford to purchase only
cheap goods that wear out quickly, will be eliminated. Only the
best will be produced that will last long and will not have to be
renewed as often. The fads and follies of fashion that only favor
extravagance and bad taste will disappear. Doubtless our wearing
apparel will be better suited to its purpose and more tasty than
to-day--for the fashions of the last century, especially those of
the men, have been conspicuous by their bad taste--but new fashions
will no longer be introduced every few months. The present follies
of fashion are caused, on the one hand, by the competition of women
among themselves, and on the other by conceit and ostentation and
the desire to display one’s wealth. Moreover, a great many persons
depend upon these follies of fashion to-day, and it is to their
interest to encourage and stimulate them. Together with the follies
of fashion in dress, the madness of fashion in the style of dwellings
will disappear. Here eccentricity is rampant to-day. Styles that
have required centuries to become evolved among various nations--we
are no longer satisfied with European styles, but turn to those of
the Japanese, Indians, Chinese, etc.--are used up in a few years and
set aside. Persons engaged in mechanical arts hardly know what to do
with all the designs and models. They have barely adapted themselves
to one style, trusting to recover their expenses, when a new style
appears that necessitates further sacrifices of time and money and
of physical and mental forces. In this mad rushing from one fashion
to another and from one style to another the nervousness of our age
is vividly reflected. No one would claim that there is any sense
or reason in this rush and haste, or that it might be regarded as
a healthful state of society.

Socialism will give greater stability to the habits of life. It
will make rest and enjoyment possible and will liberate us from the
present haste and excitement. Nervousness, the scourge of our age,
will disappear.

Work will be made as agreeable as possible. To accomplish this, the
places where production is carried on will be furnished practically
and tastily, every means will be resorted to that danger may be
eliminated, and that evil smells, smoke, etc., and all unpleasant
and harmful factors will be done away with. At first the new society
will produce with the means of production taken over from the old
society. But these are insufficient. The workshops are scattered and
are not properly constructed or furnished, and tools and machinery do
not come up to the demands of the great number of persons employed
and their desire for safety and comfort. To create a great many
large, light, airy, well-equipped workshops becomes an imminent
necessity. The arts and crafts, genius and skill, are immediately
given a vast realm of activity. All branches of machine manufacture
and the manufacture of tools, the building trades and the trades of
interior decoration find ample opportunity for occupation. Whatever
the human mind is able to invent in the way of convenient and
agreeable buildings, appropriate ventilation, lighting and heating,
and technical and mechanical improvements, will be instituted. To
save motor-power, light and heat, as well as time and labor, and
to insure the comfort of the workers, it will become desirable to
concentrate the workshops in definite places. The dwellings will
be separated from the workshops and freed from the unpleasantness
of industrial activity; and the unpleasantness will be diminished
and finally abolished by all sorts of institutions and appliances.
Even the present status of technical knowledge gives us sufficient
means to deprive the dangerous occupations, like mining, the chemical
trades, etc., of their dangers ~entirely~. But these means are not
applied in bourgeois society, because they entail a heavy expense
and because no one is duty bound to do more for the protection of
the workingman than is absolutely necessary. The dangers of mining,
for instance, could be removed by working the mine in a different
manner, by a thorough system of ventilation, by the installation of
electric light, by a considerable shortening of the hours of work,
and by a frequent change of shifts. It does not require special
ingenuity to find safety appliances that will make accidents in the
building trade next to impossible and to make this sort of work
particularly agreeable. For instance, ample contrivances might be
made to shield the workers at large buildings and at all out-of-door
work from the sun and the rain. In socialistic society, which will
control an abundance of labor power, it will also be a simple matter
to have frequent relays of new workers and to concentrate certain
tasks upon definite seasons or definite hours of the day.

The problem of abolishing dust, smoke, grime and unpleasant odors,
can also be solved entirely even to-day by chemistry and mechanics.
But it is not done, or insufficiently done, because the private
employers do not care to meet the heavy expense. The future places
of production, wherever they may be, below the earth or above, will
differ most favorably from the present ones. In private industry
improved appliances are mainly a question of money. If they pay they
will be established. If they do not pay, the health and life of the
workingman are of no concern.[216]

In socialistic society the question of profits will have ceased
to exist. This society will recognize no other consideration ~but
the welfare of its members~. What is to their advantage must be
established. What is likely to harm them must be refrained from. No
one will be compelled to enter into dangerous undertakings. If tasks
are undertaken that entail dangers one may be assured that there
will be many volunteers, all the more so because the undertakings
will not serve destruction but the advancement of civilization.

[216] “Capital,” says the “Quarterly Reviewer,” “flees tumult and
quarrel and is of a timid nature. That is true, but it is not the
whole truth. Capital abhors the absence of profits or very small
profits as nature abhors empty space. With appropriate profits,
capital becomes bold. If ten percent. are insured, it can be applied
everywhere; 20 percent., and it becomes aggressive; 50 percent.,
positively reckless; for 100 percent. it tramples all human laws
under foot; 300 percent., and there is no crime it will not risk even
at the peril of the gallows. If tumult and quarrel bring profit, it
will encourage both.” Karl Marx--Capital.

4.--The Growth of the Productivity of Labor.

A far-reaching appliance of motor-power, and of the most perfect
machines and tools, a detailed division of labor and a skillful
combination of the various forces, will so heighten the productivity
of labor that the necessary quantities of all commodities can be
produced, notwithstanding ~a considerable shortening of the hours
of work~. Increased production will be to the common advantage of
all. ~The share of each individual increases with the productivity
of labor, and the increased productivity of labor again makes it
possible to reduce the time required for the performance of socially
necessary labor.~

Among the motor powers that will be applied, electricity will most
likely hold the foremost place. Bourgeois society everywhere presses
it into service, and the more this is done the better it is for
general progress. The revolutionizing effect of the most powerful of
all natural forces will only ~hasten~ the overthrow of the bourgeois
world and help to usher in Socialism. But only in socialistic society
will the force be generally applied and turned to the best advantage.
Both as a motor-power and as a source of light and heat it will
contribute largely to the improved standard of living of society.
Electricity is distinguished from every other force by the fact that
it exists in nature in abundance. Our streams, high and low tide of
the sea, wind and sunlight will furnish countless horse-powers when
we shall thoroughly understand how to apply them.

“A wealth of energy that by far exceeds all demands is furnished by
those parts of the surface of the earth that are so regularly subjected
to the heat of the sun that it might be applied to regular technical
operations. Perhaps it would not be an exaggerated precaution if a
nation would even now secure a share in such places. The required
areas need not even be very large; a few square miles in Northern
Africa would suffice for the requirements of a country like the German
Empire. By concentrating the heat of the sun a high temperature can
be produced, and thereby everything else--portable mechanical work,
charging of batteries, light and heat, and, by electrolysis, even
fuel.”[217] The man who opens up these vistas is not a dreamer, but
an appointed professor at the Berlin University and president of the
Royal Physical and Technical Institute, a man who ranks high in the
scientific world. At the 79th congress of the British Association in
Winnipeg (during August, 1909), the famous English physicist, Sir S.
Thompson, said: “The day is not too far distant when our life will
be revolutionized by applying the rays of the sun. Man will liberate
himself from his dependence upon coal-and-water power, and all large
cities will be surrounded by immense apparatus, real sunbeam traps,
into which the heat of the sun will be gathered, and the obtained
energy will be stored away in tremendous reservoirs. It is the force
of the sun, stored away in coal, in waterfalls, in nourishment, that
performs all the world’s work. How great is this tribute of force
that the sun pours down upon us becomes evident when we consider the
fact that the warmth received by the earth when the sun is high and
the sky is clear, according to the researches of Langley, equals an
energy of 7000 horse-powers per acre. Although our engineers have
not yet found the way to apply this gigantic source of power, I do
not doubt that they will ultimately succeed in finding it. When the
supply of coal in the bowels of the earth has been exhausted, when
the water-powers will no longer suffice to meet our requirements,
then we will obtain from this source all the energy needed to
complete the work of the world. Then the centers of industry will
be removed to the glowing deserts of Sahara, and the value of the
land will be measured by how well it is suited to the erection of
the great ‘sunbeam traps.’”[218] According to this, our anxiety that
we might at some time lack fuel, is removed. The inventions of the
accumulators would make it possible to store a large quantity of
force away for future use at any time and place; so that, besides
the power furnished by sun and tide, the power furnished by the wind
and by mountain torrents, which can be obtained only periodically,
might be stored and applied. So there may finally be no human task
for which motor power cannot be supplied if necessary. Only by the
assistance of electricity has it become possible to employ water-power
on a large scale. According to T. Koehn, eight European states have
the following supply of water-power at their disposal.

                                        Per 1000
                       Horse-powers  inhabitants

  Great Britain            963,000         23.1
  Germany                1,425,900         24.5
  Switzerland            1,500,000        138
  Italy                  5,500,000        150
  France                 5,857,000        169
  Austria and Hungary    6,460,000        454.5
  Sweden                 6,750,000       1290
  Norway                 7,500,000       3409

Of the German states, Baden and Bavaria control the largest amount
of water-power. Baden alone can obtain 200,000 horse-powers at the
Upper Rhine. Bavaria has at its disposal 300,000 horse-powers that
have so far not been applied, besides 100,000 that are applied.
Professor Rehbock estimates that the theoretical energy of the entire
amount of water flowing upon the surface of the earth amounts to eight
thousand million horse-powers. If only the sixteenth part of this
could be efficiently applied, 500 millions of permanently serviceable
horse-powers could still be won, an amount of energy ten times as
great as the energy obtained by the mining of coal during the year
1907, approximately calculated at 1000 million tons. Although such
calculations are of a purely theoretical character at present, they
still show what achievements we may anticipate in the future from
the use of “white coal.” The Niagara Falls alone, which flow from
lakes covering an area of 231,880 kilometers--about 43 per cent.
of the entire area of Germany--might furnish more water-power than
exists in England, Germany and Switzerland combined.[219] According
to another calculation quoted in an official report, the United
States have water-power at their disposal of no less than twenty
million horse-powers, which represent an equivalent of three hundred
million tons of coal annually.[220] The mills that will be driven by
means of this white or “green” coal, with the force of the gushing
mountain streams and waterfalls, will have no smokestacks and no

Electricity will also make it possible to more than double the speed
of our railroads. At the beginning of the nineties of the last
century, Mr. Meems, in Baltimore, declared it to be possible to
construct an electric car that would make 300 kilometers an hour, and
Professor Elihu Thomson, in Lynn, believed that electric motors could
be constructed that would make it possible to cover 260 kilometers
in an hour. These expectations have nearly been realized. The
trial-rides made on the military railway Berlin-Zossen, during 1901
and 1902, showed the possibility of speed up to 150 kilometers an
hour. During experiments made in 1903, the Siemens car attained a
speed of 201 kilometers, and that of the General Electric Company,
208 kilometers. In the succeeding years steam locomotives have also
attained a speed of 150 kilometers an hour, and more. The present
aim is to attain 200 kilometers per hour. Already, August Sherl
has entered the arena with his new project of rapid transit, which
relegates the existing railway lines to freight service and proposes
to connect the large cities by monorail train service, with a speed
of 200 kilometers.[221]

The question of transforming railroad service from steam into
electricity is a current topic in England, Austria, Italy, and
America. Between New York and Philadelphia an electric train is to
run at a speed of 200 kilometers an hour.

The speed of ocean vessels will increase in the same manner. Here the
determining factor is the steam turbine.[222] “It holds the foremost
place in technical interest at present. It seems destined to displace
the piston. While most engineers still regarded the steam turbine
as a task of the future, it had become a present-day problem that
attracted the attention of the entire world of technics by its success.
It remained for electrotechnics, with its rapidly running machinery
to create a large field for the practical application of this new
power engine. The by far greatest number of all steam-turbines in
use to-day serves to drive dynamos.”[223] The turbine has especially
proved its superiority over the piston in navigation. The English
steamship “Lusitania,” which is equipped with steam-turbines, during
August, 1909, made the journey from Ireland to New York in 4 days
11 hours and 42 minutes,[224] with an average speed of 25.85 knots
an hour. The steamship “America,” constructed in 1863, the fastest
vessel at the time, made 12.5 knots an hour.[225] The day is not
distant when the problem of electric propellers for large vessels
will be satisfactorily solved. They are already in use with smaller
vessels. Simplicity, safety, good self-regulation, and absence of
shaking make the steam-turbine the ideal power for the creation of
electric energy on board. Electricity will eventually be generally
applied to both railway and steamship service.

By electricity the technics of moving loads has also been
revolutionized. “Steam-power, having made it possible to construct
lifting-engines with natural force, electric transmission of power
led to a complete revolution in the construction of lifting-machines
by giving these machines freedom of motion and constant readiness
for use.” Electric power has, among other things, led to a complete
transformation in the construction of the cranes. “With its massive
curved beak of rolled iron, resting upon a heavy foundation of
stone-masonry, with slow motions and the hissing noise of the
puffed-out steam, the steam-crane conveys the impression of resembling
a gigantic, prehistoric monster. When it has grasped a load it
exhibits a tremendous power for lifting, but it needs the assistance
of human beings, who, by means of chains, fasten the weights to its
hook. Owing to its clumsiness and slow motions it is serviceable
only for the lifting of very heavy loads, but not where quick action
is needed. Even externally the modern electric crane presents an
entirely different aspect. We behold graceful steel trellis-work
stretched above the hall, and from this is stretched out a slender
pair of tongs, which is movable in all directions. The whole mechanism
is controlled by a single man. By means of a gentle pressure on the
levers, he directs the electric currents and drives the slender steel
limbs of the crane to rapid action. Unaided, they grasp the glowing
steel and whirl it through the air, while no other noise is heard
but the low buzzing of the electro-motors.”[226] Without the aid of
these machines the steadily increasing transportation of masses of
goods would not be possible. By a comparison of the wharf-crane at
Pola and that at Kiel, the development, in regard to the increase of
lifting-power from the middle to the end of the nineteenth century,
may be judged. The lifting-power of the former was 60 tons, that
of the latter, 200 tons. The manufacture of Bessemer steel only is
possible when rapidly working lifting-machines are at hand, for
otherwise the tremendous quantities of liquid steel that are produced
in a short time could not be transported in the casting-moulds. In
the iron-works of Krupp, in Essen alone, 608 cranes are in action,
having an aggregate lifting-power of 6513 tons, equal to a freight
train of 650 cars. The low cost of freight, which is a condition of
present-day international commerce, would not be possible, could not
the capital invested in vessels be put to such intense use by the
rapid process of unloading. The equipping of a vessel with electric
cranes led to a reduction in the annual cost of traffic from 23,000
to 13,000 marks, almost by one-half. And this comparison takes into
consideration only the progress of a single decade.

The technics of navigation and transportation present new achievements
almost daily along all lines. The problem of aerial navigation,
which seemed insoluble but two decades ago, is practically solved.
At present the dirigible balloons and flying machines do not serve
the easier and cheaper transportation of the masses, but only sport
and military purposes. But later on they will enhance the productive
forces of society. Great progress has also been made by wireless
telegraphy; its industrial value grows each day. In a few years,
accordingly, traffic will be placed on a new basis.

Mining, too, is in a state of transformation at present that still
seemed inconceivable ten years ago. Electricity has been introduced
and has revolutionized the machines, the pumps, and the winding-engines.

Marvelous are the prospects revealed by the former French minister
of public instruction, Professor Berthelot (died March 18, 1907),
in an address on the future significance of chemistry, delivered
at a banquet of the syndicate of manufacturers of chemicals. In
this address, Mr. Berthelot depicted the possible achievements of
chemistry in the year 2000, and, though his description contains
some humorous exaggerations, it also contains much that is true,
of which the following is a brief synopsis. Mr. Berthelot gave a
resumé of what chemistry had accomplished in a few decades and
enumerated, among other things: The manufacture of sulphuric acid,
of soda, bleaching and dyeing, beet-sugar, therapeutic alcaloids,
gas, gilding and silvering, etc. Then came electro-chemistry, which
completely transformed metallurgy, the chemistry of explosives, which
provided mining and warfare with new engines, and the marvels of
organic chemistry in the manufacture of colors, perfumes, therapeutic
and antiseptic remedies, etc. But all this, said the lecturer, was
only a beginning. Far greater problems would soon be solved. In the
year 2000, agriculture and peasants would have ceased to exist, as
chemistry would have made cultivation of the soil superfluous. There
would be no coal-mines and, accordingly, no miners’ strikes. Fuel
would be replaced by chemical and physical processes. Tariff and
warfare would be abolished; aerial navigation, employing chemicals
as a means of locomotion would have done away with these antiquated
institutions. The problem of industry consists in finding sources
of power that are inexhaustible and can be renewed with the least
possible amount of labor. Until now we have generated steam by
the chemical energy of burned coal. But the coal is difficult to
obtain, and the supply is diminishing daily. It becomes necessary
to utilize the heat of the sun and the heat inside the earth. There
is good reason to hope that both these sources will find unlimited
application. Thereby the source of all heat and of all industry
would be made accessible. If water-power were also applied, all
imaginable machines might be run on the earth. This source of power
would barely diminish in centuries. By means of the warmth of the
earth many chemical problems might be solved, among others the
chemical production of food. Theoretically this problem is already
solved. The synthesis of fats and oils is long since known, sugar
and the hydrates of carbon are known also, and the synthesis of
the nitrogen-compounds will soon become known. The problem of food
is a purely chemical one. As soon as the necessary cheap power
could be obtained, by means of carbon from carbonic acid, oxygen
and hydrogen from water, and nitrogen from the atmosphere, food of
all kinds would be produced. What had heretofore been done by the
~plants~ would henceforth be done by ~industry~, and the products of
industry would be more perfect than those of nature. The time would
come when every one would carry a box of chemicals in his pocket
from which he would satisfy his need of nourishment in albumen, fat
and hydrates of carbon, regardless of time and seasons, of rain and
drought, of frost, hail and destructive insects. This would lead to
a transformation that was as yet beyond our conception. Orchards,
vineyards and pastures would disappear. Man would become more gentle
and humane, because he would no longer live upon the murder and
destruction of living beings. Then the difference between fertile
and unfertile regions would also disappear, and perhaps the ~deserts
would become the favorite resorts~ of man, since they are healthier
than the damp and marshy plains where agriculture is carried on at
present. Then art and all the beauties of human life would attain their
fullest development. The earth would no longer be disfigured by the
geometrical figures drawn on its surface by agriculture, but would
become a garden in which grass, flowers, shrubs and forests might be
grown at will; all humanity would dwell in plenty, in a golden age.
But man would not fall a victim to laziness and corruption. Work is
needful to happiness, and man would work as ever, since he worked
for his ~own~ welfare, for the development of his mental, moral and
æsthetic possibilities.

The reader may accept as true from this address of Berthelot whatever
he chooses. The fact remains that future development will lead to
a tremendous improvement in the quantity, quality and variety of
products, and that the comforts of life of coming generations will
increase to a degree that we can barely conceive to-day.

Professor Elihu Thomson agrees with Werner Siemens, who declared
at the convention of scientists in Berlin, in 1887, that it would
become possible by means of electricity to ~transform the elements
directly into food~. Werner Siemens held the opinion that it might
be possible, at a remote time, to produce artificially a hydrate of
carbon, as grape-sugar or starch, whereby the possibility would be
given “to make bread of stones.” The chemist, Dr. H. Meyer, declared
that it would be possible to make ligneous fibre a source of human
nourishment. In the meantime (1890), Emil Fisher has actually produced
grape-sugar artificially, and has thereby made a discovery that
Werner Siemens considered possible only “at a remote time.” Since
then chemistry has made still further progress. Indigo, vanilla and
camphor have been artificially produced. In 1906, W. Loeb succeeded
in achieving the assimilation of carbonic acid, outside of the plant
up to the production of sugar by means of electric tension. In 1907
Emil Fisher obtained one of the most complicated synthetic bodies
that is closely related to natural protein. In 1908 Willstatter and
Benz produced pure chlorophyl and proved it to be a compound of
magnesium. Thereby the main problem of organic chemistry--to obtain
albumen--may find its solution in a future not too far distant.

[217] “The Energy of Labor and Appliance of the Electric Current”
by Fr. Kohlrausch. Leipsic, 1900.

[218] As early as 1864, Augustin Mouchot made an attempt to make the
heat of the sun serve industrial purposes directly and constructed
a sun-machine that was improved by Pifré. The largest sun-machine
(heliomotor) is in California and serves as an apparatus for pumping.
The water in the well is pumped up at the rate of 11,000 litres a

[219] T. Koehn--Some Large European Water-Power Plants and Their
Economic Significance.

[220] Supply and Distribution of Cotton. Washington, 1908.

[221] In 1908, the Prussian department of public works decided to
transform the steam-railways Leipsic-Bitterfeld, Magdeburg and
Leipsic, Halle into electric railways.

[222] While the old steam-engine turns the driving-wheels in a
round-about way (by the transmission of the motion of the piston
rods), the steam-turbine produces a direct rotary motion, like the
wind turns the wind-mill.

[223] C. Matchoss--The Evolution of the Steam-Engine.

[224] During September, 1910, the Mauretania broke this record by
hour and one minute.--Tr.

[225] During the fifties of the last century, the sailing vessels
took about six weeks to reach New York. The steamers crossed in two
weeks. During the nineties, the voyage was made in a week, and now it
is made in 5½ days. As a result of this progress, the two continents
are brought nearer to each other now than Berlin and Vienna were a
century ago.

[226] O. Kammerer--The Technics of Moving Loads, Formerly and at
the Present Time. Berlin, 1907.

5.--Removal of the Contrast between Mental and Manual Work.

A need, deeply rooted in human nature, is the desire for freedom of
choice and for the opportunity of a variation of occupations. Just
as the best food becomes disgusting if the same thing is constantly
placed before us, so an occupation repeated daily in treadmill
fashion weakens and dulls. Man performs his task mechanically and
does what he must do, but without enthusiasm or joy. A number of
talents and abilities are innate in every human being that need but
to be awakened in order to find expression and produce favorable
results. Only thereby man becomes a perfect human being. Socialistic
society will offer ample opportunity for the satisfaction of this
desire for variation. The immense increase in productive forces,
combined with a simplified process of work, will not only make it
possible to limit the hours of work considerably, it will also make
it easy ~to master a number of varied accomplishments~.

The old system of apprenticeship has already been abandoned. It
still exists, and is possible only among undeveloped and antiquated
forms of production, as represented by small manufactures. But as
these will completely disappear in the new society, all forms and
institutions peculiar to them will disappear also. New ones will take
their place. Even at present it can be seen in any factory how few
workingmen have learned and practice a definite trade. The workingmen
employed in some line of production or other may have learned the most
varied trades. Usually a short time is sufficient for them to gain
experience in one detail of the process of production, and to this one
detail they are tied down then, according to the prevailing system
of exploitation, for long hours, without the slightest variation,
and without any regard for their personal tastes and inclinations.
At the machine they become machines.[227] This state of affairs,
too, will be removed by the new social order. There will be ample
time to practice manual skill and to develop the mechanical arts.
Large, splendidly equipped polytechnical schools will make it easy
for both young and old to learn an occupation. Chemical and physical
laboratories, in keeping with the standards of these sciences, will
be erected, and capable teachers will be on hand. Only then will
people fully recognize what a wealth of talent and ability has
been suppressed or wrongly developed by the capitalistic system of

Not only will it be possible to satisfy the desire for variation, it
must be regarded as ~the purpose of society~ to satisfy this desire,
since ~the harmonious development of man depends upon it~.

The professional types that we meet with in present-day society--be
these types the product of a definite, one-sided occupation or of
laziness--will gradually disappear. There are exceedingly few persons
to-day who possess the possibility of a variety of occupations. Rarely
one finds persons so favored by special circumstances, that they can
escape the monotony of their daily task and can, after the performance
of physical work, recuperate by mental work. On the other hand, we
sometimes find mental workers who devote part of their time to some
manual work, gardening and the like. The beneficial effects of an
occupation founded on a variation of mental and physical work are
obvious. Such occupation is ~the only one adapted to natural needs~.
It is taken for granted, of course, that every occupation must be
practiced with moderation and according to individual strength.

In his book on “The Significance of Science and Art,” Count Leo
Tolstoi condemns the hypercritical and unnatural character that
art and science have assumed as a result of our unnatural social
conditions. He roundly condemns the fact that present-day society
holds physical labor in contempt and advises a return to natural
conditions. He asserts that every human being who wishes to live
naturally and to enjoy life should spend his day--firstly, at physical
work in agriculture; secondly, at some manual trade; thirdly,
at some mental occupation, and fourthly, in intellectual social
intercourse. No human being should perform more than eight hours of
physical work. Tolstoi himself lived up to this ideal and claimed
that he has only become truly human since he adopted this mode of
life. But Tolstoi overlooks that what is possible for him, the man of
independent means, is not possible for the vast majority of people
under present-day conditions. A man or woman who must work ten or
twelve hours daily, and sometimes longer, to make a bare living,
and who has grown up in ignorance, cannot adopt Tolstoi’s mode of
life. Neither can all those adopt it who are in the midst of the
struggle for existence and must conform with its requirements; and
of the few who might live in this manner, many would not wish to. It
is one of the illusions in which Tolstoi indulges, to believe that
exhortations and examples might transform societies. The experience
made by Tolstoi, in regard to his mode of life, proves it to be a
rational one. But to make this mode of life general, different social
conditions, a new society, will be needed.

~The coming society will establish such conditions. It will produce
countless scientists and artists, but all of these will devote a
part of the day to physical labor, and the remainder of the day they
will devote to their studies, their arts and to social intercourse,
according to their tastes and wishes.~[229]

The present contrast between mental and manual work, a contrast that
is intensified by the ruling classes, who are anxious to secure their
mental superiority also, will, accordingly, have to be removed.

[227] “The great mass of workingmen in England, as in most of the other
countries, have so little free choice in regard to their occupation
and place of residence, they depend so absolutely upon fixed rules
and the will of others, as could be possible under any system with
the exception of real slavery.” John Stuart Mill--Political Economy.

[228] A French workingman, who has returned home from San Francisco,
writes: “I would have never believed that I would be able to
practice all the trades that I have practiced in California. I had
been firmly convinced that I was good for nothing except printing.
But in the midst of these adventurers who change their trade more
readily than their shirt, I did as the others. Since mining was not
sufficiently remunerative, I left and moved into the city. Here I
successively became typographer, slater, plumber, etc. As a result
of this experience of being fit for all tasks, I feel less of a
mollusc and more of a human being.” Karl Marx--Capital. Vol. I.

[229] What people may achieve under favorable conditions of development
is shown, for example, by the life of _Leonardo da Vinci_. He was a
splendid artist, a famous sculpturer, an able architect and engineer,
a military engineer, a musician and an extemporizer. _Benvenuto
Cellini_ was a famous goldsmith, an excellent modeller, a recognized
military engineer, a good soldier and a capable musician. _Abraham
Lincoln_ was a wood-cutter, a farmer, a boatsman, a clerk and a
lawyer, before he became president of the United States. It may be
said without exaggeration that most people are engaged in occupations
that are _not_ suited to their abilities because their career has
been shaped, not by choice, but by the force of circumstances. Many
a poor professor might make a very competent shoemaker, and many a
good shoemaker might become a good professor also.

6.--Increase of Consumption.

The above enumerated facts prove that panics, crises, and unemployment
will be impossible in future society. Crises arise because capitalistic
production, incited by the desire for profit, and without any reliable
means of estimating the true demand, leads to over-production and to
over-stocking of the market. Under capitalism the products assume
the character of goods that their owners indeavor to exchange, and
the consumption of goods depends upon the consumer’s ~purchasing
ability~. But this purchasing ability is very limited among a vast
majority of the population who are not paid the full value of their
labor and whose services are not wanted if their employers cannot
squeeze profits out of them. ~Purchasing ability and the ability to
consume are two entirely different matters in bourgeois society.~ Many
millions are in need of new clothes, shoes, furniture, linens and
articles of food, but they have no money, and so their needs, their
ability to consume, remains unsatisfied. The market is over-stocked,
but the masses are hungry; they wish to work, but cannot find anyone
willing to purchase their labor-power, because the employers can
derive no profits from employing them. Perish, become a vagabond, a
criminal, I, the capitalist, cannot help it, because I cannot use
goods that I cannot sell at a profit. In his position the capitalist
is entirely justified in taking this attitude.

In the new society this contradiction will be removed. The new
society will not produce “goods” to be “bought” and “sold,” ~it will
produce commodities for consumption, not for any other purpose~. The
ability to consume will not be limited by the purchasing ability of
each individual, but by ~the common ability to produce~. If there is
sufficient labor-power and sufficient means of production, ~every~
want can be satisfied. The social ability to consume knows no bounds
except ~the satisfaction of the consumers~.

If there will be no “goods” in the new society there will ultimately
be no money, either. Money appears to be the counterpart of goods,
but is goods itself. Yet, at the same time, money is the social
equivalent, the standard of value for all other goods. But the new
society will not produce goods, it will produce commodities whose
manufacture will require a certain measure of social working-time.
The average time required to produce a given commodity is the only
standard by which it will be measured for social consumption. Ten
minutes of social working-time at one commodity equal ten minutes
of social working-time at another commodity, no more and no less.
Society will not wish to “earn,” it will merely wish to bring about
the exchange of commodities of the same quality and of the same value
among its members, and eventually it will not even be necessary to
determine the value. Society will simply produce what it needs. If
it should become evident, for instance, that three hours of work
daily are necessary to produce all the required products, three hours
will be the fixed time.[230] If the means of production should be
improved to such extent that the supply can be furnished by two hours
of work, it will be two hours. If, on the other hand, the demands
should grow and the increased productivity of the process of work
would not suffice to satisfy these demands, the working-time would
be lengthened.

It can easily be calculated how much social labor will be necessary
for the manufacture of each product.[231] Thereby the relation of
this portion of work to the entire working-time can be calculated.

Any kind of certificate, a printed piece of paper, gold or tin, enables
the holder to exchange same for various kinds of commodities.[232]
If he finds that his wants are less than what he receives for his
services, he can work less, accordingly. If he wishes to give away
what he does not use, nobody will prevent him from so doing. If he
~voluntarily~ chooses to work for another, so that the other one may
idle, or if he wishes to divide his share of the social products,
no one will restrain him. But no one can compel him to work for
another person’s advantage, no one can deprive him of a part of the
share he is entitled to for his services. Everyone will be able to
satisfy all desires and requirements possible of fulfillment, but not
at the expense of others. He receives from society the equivalent
of what he produces, no more and no less, and remains free from

[230] It must be noted again and again that production will be
organized according to the highest scale of technical development
and that _all_ will be engaged in it, so that, under favorable
circumstances, a working-day of three hours may still prove too long.
Owen, who was a large manufacturer and was therefore competent to
judge, estimated--in the early part of the nineteenth century--that
a working-day of two hours would be sufficient.

[231] “The amount of social labor represented by a given product
need not be determined in a round-about way; daily experience will
show directly how much on an average will be required. Society
will be able to calculate how many hours of work are represented
by a steam-engine, a hectolitre of wheat of the last harvest, or a
hundred square yards of cloth of a certain quality. Society will
accordingly not think of expressing the quantities of work contained
in the products--that will then be directly known--in the relative,
fluctuating, uncertain manner of a third product, inevitable at
present, instead of expressing them by their natural, adequate,
absolute measure-time. It will be necessary to arrange the plan of
production in accordance with the means of production, including
labor-power. The usefulness of the various commodities, balanced
with one another and with the amount of work necessary for their
production will ultimately determine the plan. Everything will be
adjusted in a very simple way without the intercession of the famous
‘value’.” Fr. Engels--Mr. Eugen Duehring’s Transformation of Science.

[232] Mr. Eugen Richter in his “False Doctrines” is so amazed by the
fact that in socialistic society the use of money will be dropped (it
will not be abolished outright but will simply become superfluous
because the products of labor will no longer have the character of
goods), that he devotes a special chapter to this incident. The thing
that especially puzzles him is that it will be immaterial whether
the working certificate will be a printed piece of paper, gold or
tin. He says: “With gold the demon of the present world order would
enter the socialistic state again” (Mr. Richter obstinately overlooks
that eventually there will be only a socialistic society, not a
socialistic “state,” for a great deal of his argumentation would
then loose ground), “for gold has independent value as a metal and
can easily be hoarded, and so the possession of pieces of gold would
make it possible to accumulate values to escape the duty to work
and even to loan out money on interest.”--One must consider one’s
readers very stupid to place such bosh before them. Mr. Richter who
cannot free himself from the conception of capital, cannot see that
where there is no capital, no goods, there can be no money, and that
where there is neither capital nor money there can be no interest.
We should like to know how a member of socialistic society could
“hoard” his golden working certificate or could even loan it on
interest, when all the others also own what the one offers and--_on
which he lives_.

7.--Equal Duty to Work for All.

“But how will you discriminate between thrifty and lazy, intelligent
and stupid persons?” That is one of the questions most frequently
asked by our opponents, and the answer we give them puzzles them
greatly. But these wise questioners never stop to think that, among
our hierarchy of officials, the distinction between thrifty and lazy,
intelligent and stupid persons is not made, but that the length of
service usually determines the salary and promotion. Teachers and
professors--many of whom are the most naïve questioners--have their
salaries determined by the position they fill, not by the value of
their services. In many cases officials, military men and scientists,
are not promoted according to their abilities, but according to
rank, relationship, friendship, and the favor of women. That wealth
is not measured either by intelligence and thrift, may be seen by
the three-class-electoral-system of Prussia. We find saloon-keepers,
bakers and butchers, many of whom are not able to speak grammatically,
enrolled in the first class, while men of intelligence and science,
the highest officials of the state and the nation, are enrolled
in the second or third class. There will be no difference between
thrifty and lazy, intelligent and stupid persons, because that which
we understand by these terms will have disappeared. Society, for
instance, calls some people “lazy” because they have been thrown out
of employment, have been driven to a life of vagabondage, and have
finally become real vagabonds. We also apply this term to people who
are the victims of a bad education. But whoever should venture to call
lazy the man of means who spends his time in idleness and debauchery
would commit an insult, for the rich idler is a “respectable” man.

Now what aspect will matters assume in the new society? All will
develop under similar conditions of life, and everyone will perform
the task assigned to him by ability and inclination. Therefore
the differences in achievements will be slight.[233] The social
atmosphere that will incite each to excel the others will help
to level the distinctions. If a person should realize that he is
unable to accomplish in one line of work what others accomplish,
he will choose some other line better suited to his strength and
his abilities. Everyone who has worked together with a great many
persons knows that people who were inefficient at one task have proved
very efficient when given another. By what right can anyone ask for
privileges? If some person is so incapacitated by nature that it
is quite impossible for him to accomplish what others accomplish,
~society cannot punish him for the shortcomings of nature~. On the
other hand, if some one has been endowed by nature with abilities
that elevate him above the others, ~society need not reward him
for that which is not his personal merit~. It must, furthermore,
be remembered that in Socialistic society all will have the same
opportunities for education, so that all can develop their knowledge
and ability in accordance with their talents and inclinations. As
a result, knowledge and ability will be far more developed than in
bourgeois society. It will be ~more evenly distributed~ and yet
~more varied~.

When Goethe, during a journey along the Rhine, studied the Cathedral
of Cologne, he discovered, by perusal of the architectural deeds that
the architects of old had paid all their workingmen alike by time;
they did so because they desired good workmanship conscientiously
carried out. To bourgeois society this seems an anomaly. Bourgeois
society has introduced the piece-work system, by means of which
the workingmen compel one another to overwork and make it all the
easier for the employer to under-pay and to resort to a frequent
reduction in wages. What is true of material productivity is equally
true of the mental. Man is the product of time and circumstances.
If Goethe had been born in the fourth instead of in the eighteenth
century, under equally favorable circumstances, instead of becoming
a great poet and scientist he would probably have become a great
~father of the Church~ who might have outshone St. Augustine.
Again, if Goethe had not come into the world as the son of a rich
patrician of Frankfort, but as the son of a poor shoemaker, he would
hardly have become minister to the Grand-duke of Weimar, but would
have lived and died a respectable master-shoemaker. Goethe himself
recognized of what great advantage it was to him to have been born
in a materially and socially favorable position which helped him
to attain his development; he thus expresses himself in “Wilhelm
Meister.” If Napoleon I. had been born ten years later he would
never have become Emperor of France. Without the war of 1870 to
1871, Gambetta would never have become what he has been. If a gifted
child of intelligent parents should be placed among savages it would
become a savage. ~Men are what society has made them.~ Ideas are
not the product of higher inspiration sprung from the brains of a
single individual, but they are a product, created in the brains of
the individual by the social life and activity amidst which he lives
and by the spirit of his age. Aristotle could not have the ideas
of Darwin, and Darwin had to reason differently from Aristotle. We
all reason as the spirit of our age--that is, our environment and
its phenomena--compels us to reason. That explains what has been
frequently observed, that different people sometimes follow the same
line of reasoning ~simultaneously~; that the same inventions and
discoveries are made at the same time at places situated far apart.
That also explains that an idea expressed fifty years ago may have
found the world indifferent, but the same idea expressed fifty years
later, may agitate the whole world. In 1415 Emperor Sigismund could
dare to break the promise given Huss and to have him burned at the
stake in Constance. In 1521, Charles V., although a far greater
fanatic, had to permit Luther to go in peace from the diet at Worms.
Ideas are the product of social co-operation, of social life. What is
true in regard to society in general, is especially true in regard
to the various social classes that compose society at any given
epoch of history. Because every class has its peculiar interests, it
also has its peculiar ideas and views. These conflicting ideas and
interests have led to the class struggles that filled the annals of
history and have attained their culmination in the class extremes
and class struggles of the present day. The feelings, thoughts and
actions of a person are, therefore, determined not only by the ~age~
in which he lives, but also by the ~class~ to which he belongs.
Without modern society no modern ideas could exist. This is clear to
everyone. In the new society--let it be remembered--the means that
each individual will employ for his education and development will
be ~the property of society~. Society cannot feel obliged to reward
particularly what it alone has made possible, its own product.

So much in regard to the qualification of physical and mental labor.
From this the further conclusion may be drawn, that no distinction
will be made between higher and lower grades of work; as, for
instance, at present mechanics consider themselves superior to
day-laborers who perform work on the roads, etc. Society will have
only such work performed as is socially useful, and so every kind
of work will be of equal social value. Should it not be possible
to perform some kinds of dirty and disagreeable work by means of
mechanical or chemical devices--which will undoubtedly be the case,
to judge by the present rate of progress--and should there be no
volunteers, it will be the duty of each worker to perform his share
of such work when his turn comes. No false pride and no irrational
disdain of useful labor will be recognized. These exist only in our
state of drones, where idleness is considered enviable, and where
those workers are the most despised whose tasks are the hardest
and most unpleasant ones, and often the most needful to society.
To-day the most disagreeable tasks are the ones most poorly paid.
The reason for this is that we have a great many workers who have
been maintained at a low level of civilization, whom the constant
revolution in the process of production has cast out into the
street, as a reserve force, and who, in order to live, must perform
the lowest kinds of work, at wages that even make the introduction
of machinery for such work “unprofitable.” The crushing of stone,
for instance, is notoriously one of the most disagreeable and most
poorly paid employments. It would be a simple matter to have this
crushing of stones done by machinery, as is generally being done
in the United States. But in Germany there is such an abundance of
cheap labor, that the introduction of the stone-crusher would not
“pay.”[234] Street-cleaning, the cleaning of sewers, collecting ashes
and garbage, work in shafts and caissons, etc., might, even at the
present time, with the aid of proper machinery, be performed in such
a manner that most of the unpleasantness connected with them for the
laborers, would disappear. But, as a matter of fact, a workingman who
cleans sewers, to guard human beings against the dangers of germs
of disease, is a very useful member of society, while a professor
who teaches falsified history in the interest of the ruling classes,
or a theologian who seeks to mystify the minds by the teaching of
supernatural doctrines, are very harmful individuals.

A great many of our present-day scientists and scholars represent a
guild that is employed and paid to defend and vindicate the dominance
of the ruling classes, by means of the authority of science, to let
this dominance appear just and necessary, and to maintain existing
prejudices. In truth, this guild, to a great extent, poisons the
minds, and performs work hostile to the advancement of civilization,
in the interest of the bourgeoisie and its clients.[235] A social
condition that will henceforth make the existence of such elements
of society impossible, will perform a liberating deed.

On the other hand, true science is often connected with very
disagreeable and revolting work. For instance, when a physician
dissects a corpse in a state of decomposition, or operates upon a
purulent part of the body, or when a chemist examines fæces. These
tasks are often more revolting than the most disagreeable work
performed by unskilled laborers. Yet no one will admit that this is
so. The difference is that the performance of the one work requires
profound study, while the other work can be performed by anyone
without previous preparation. This accounts for the great difference
in their estimation. But in future society, where, by means of equal
opportunities of education for all, the distinctions of educated
and uneducated will disappear, the distinction between skilled and
unskilled labor will disappear also. This is all the more so because
the possibilities of technical development are unlimited, and
much that is manual work to-day will be performed by machines and
mechanical processes. We need but consider the present development
of our mechanical arts; for instance, engraving, wood-cutting, etc.
As the most disagreeable tests often are the most useful ones, so
our conceptions, in regard to pleasant and unpleasant work, like
many other conceptions in the bourgeois world, are superficial and
founded entirely on outward appearances.

[233] “All normal well developed human beings are born _with
approximately the same degree of intelligence, but education, laws
and circumstances make them differ from one another_. Individual
interest, properly understood, is identical with the common or
public interest.” Helvetius--Man and His Education. In regard to
the _great_ majority of men, Helvetius is right; what does differ
are the talents for various occupations.

[234] “If one had to choose between Communism with all its chances
and the present social order with all its suffering and injustice; if
it were a necessary result of private property that the products of
labor should be divided as we see them to-day, almost in a reverse
ratio to the work performed--_that the largest shares fall to those
who have never worked at all, the next largest to those whose work is
almost nominal, and so on along the line, the remuneration becoming
smaller as the work becomes more difficult and disagreeable, until
at last the most wearing and exhausting labor cannot even be certain
of earning the most needful means of existence; if, we say, the
alternative would be: this or Communism, all scruples in regard
to Communism, both great and small, would be like chaff in the
scales_.”--John Stuart Mill--Political Economy. Mill has honestly
tried to “reform” bourgeois society and to “make it listen to reason;”
of course, in vain; and thus like every rational human being capable
of recognizing the true nature of conditions, he finally became a
Socialist. He did not dare to confess to this during his life-time,
but caused his autobiography, containing his socialistic confession
of faith, to be published after his death. His position was similar
to Darwin’s, who did not wish to be regarded as an atheist during
his life-time. Bourgeois society drives thousands to such hypocrisy.
The bourgeoisie feigns loyalty, piety and submission to authority,
because their rule depends upon the recognition of these virtues by
the masses, but inwardly they jeer at them.

[235] “Learning often serves ignorance as much as progress.”
Buckle--“History of English Civilization.”

8.--Abolition of Trade.--Transformation of Traffic.

As soon as the new society will have placed production on the basis
sketched above, it will--as we have already noted--cease to produce
“goods,” and will only produce commodities to supply the social
demand. As a result of this, trade will also cease to exist, as trade
is needful and possible only in an organization of society founded on
the production of goods. By the abolition of trade a great army of
persons of both sexes will be mobilized for productive activity. This
great army becomes one of producers; it brings forth commodities and
enables society to increase its demands, or makes possible a still
further reduction of the hours of work. To-day these persons live
more or less like parasites on the products of the toil of others.
Still they often work very hard and are burdened with cares, without
earning enough to supply their wants. In the new society commercial
men, agents, jobbers, etc., will be superfluous. In place of the
dozens, hundreds and thousands of stores of all kinds that we find
in every municipality to-day, according to its size, there will be
large municipal store-houses, elegant bazaars, entire exhibitions,
that will require a comparatively small number of persons for their
administration. The entire bustle of trade will be transformed into
a centralized, purely administrative activity. The discharge of its
duties will be simple and will become still more simplified by the
centralization of all social institutions. Traffic will experience
a similar transformation.

Telegraph and telephone lines, railroads, mail service, river and
ocean vessels, street-cars, automobile cars and trucks, air-ships
and flying machines, and whatever all the institutions and vehicles
serving traffic and communication may be called, will have become
~social~ property. In Germany many of these institutions, like the
mail, the telegraph, the telephone system, and most railroads, have
already been made state institutions; their transformation into
public property is a mere matter of form. Here private interests
can no longer be injured. If the state continues to operate in
the present direction, so much the better. But these state-owned
institutions are ~not~ socialistic institutions, as is erroneously
assumed. These institutions are exploited by the state, according to
the same capitalistic principles as if they were privately owned.
Neither the officials nor the workingmen are particularly benefited
by them. The state does not treat them differently from a private
employer. When, for instance, in the bureaus of the national navy and
the railroad administration orders are issued not to employ workingmen
who are over forty years of age, that is a measure which proves the
class character of the state as a state of exploiters, and is bound
to rouse the indignation of the workers. Such and similar measures
resorted to by the state in its capacity of employer, are much worse
than when resorted to by private employers. The latter is always a
small employer compared to the state, and the employment that he
refuses may be granted by another. But the state, monopolizing certain
branches of employment, may, by such maxims, with one blow drive
thousands into poverty. These are not socialistic but capitalistic
actions, and Socialists have every reason to protest against the
assumption that the present state-owned institutions are socialistic
in character and may be regarded as a realization of socialistic

As large, centralized institutions will replace the millions of
private dealers, and agents of all kinds, so the entire system of
transportation will also assume a different aspect. The millions
of small shipments that are sent out daily to an equal number of
owners, and entail a great waste of work, time and material, will be
absorbed by shipments on a large scale, sent out to the municipal
store-houses and the large centers of manufacture. Here, too, work
will become greatly simplified. As it is much simpler to ship raw
material to a factory employing 1000 workingmen than to ship it to
hundreds of scattered small factories, so the centers of production
and distribution for entire municipalities, or for parts of same,
will mean a considerable saving. This will be to the advantage of
society, but also to the advantage of each individual, for public
interest and personal interest will then be identical. The aspect
of our places of production, of our means of transportation, and
especially also of our residences, will thereby become entirely
changed. They will obtain a much more cheerful aspect. We will be
freed, to a great extent, from the nerve-racking noise, speed and
confusion of our large cities, with their thousands of vehicles of
all kinds. The building of streets, street-cleaning, the manner
of living, the intercourse of people with one another--all will
experience a great transformation. It will then be possible to
carry out hygienic measures easily, which to-day can be carried out
only at a great expense and insufficiently, and often only in the
residential quarters of the wealthy classes.

Under such conditions traffic and transportation must attain their
highest development. Perhaps aerial navigation will be the favorite
means of transportation then. The means of transportation are the
veins that conduct the exchange of products--the circulation--through
the entire body social, and are therefore particularly adapted to
the dissemination of an ~equal standard~ of comfort and culture. To
provide for the extension and ramification of the most perfect means
of transportation to the remotest portions of the provinces will
become a ~necessity to the public welfare~. Here the new society
will set tasks for itself that by far exceed those of present-day
society. This highly perfected system of communication will also
decentralize the masses of humanity that at present congest our large
cities and centers of industry, and will scatter them broadcast over
the land. This will not only be of the greatest benefit to public
health, it will also have a decisive influence on the material and
intellectual progress of civilization.


Socialism and Agriculture.

1.--Abolition of the Private Ownership of Land.

Land, being the prime raw material for all human labor and the basis
of human existence, must be made the property of society, together
with the means of production and distribution. At an advanced stage
of development society will again take possession of what it owned
in primeval days. At a certain stage of development all human races
had common ownership of land. Common property is the foundation of
every primitive social organization; it is essential to its existence.
Only by the rise and development of private property and the forms
of rulership connected with it, has common property been abolished
and usurped as private property, as we have seen, not without severe
struggles. The robbery of the land and its transformation into private
property formed the first cause of oppression. This oppression has
passed through all stages, from slavery to “free” wage-labor of the
twentieth century, until, after a development of thousands of years,
the oppressed again convert the soil into common property.

The great importance of the soil to human existence was the reason
why the ownership of the soil constituted the chief cause of conflict
in all social struggles of the world--in India, China, Egypt, Greece,
Rome, the Christian middle ages, the realms of the Aztecs and Incas,
and in the social struggles of modern times. Even at the present day
men like Adolf Samter, Adolf Wagner, Dr. Schaeffle, Henry George,
and others, who do not believe in other forms of common property,
favor the common ownership of land.[236]

The welfare of a population depends primarily upon the cultivation
of the soil. To develop this cultivation to the highest degree
is eminently to the interest of all. That this highest degree of
development cannot be attained under the rule of private property,
has been shown. To obtain the greatest possible advantage from the
soil, not its cultivation alone must be taken into consideration.
Other factors must be considered to which neither the largest private
owner nor the most powerful association is equal, factors that may
exceed even the jurisdiction of the state and require international

[236] During the centuries when common ownership of land still
predominated, but the robbery of land assumed ever greater portions,
fathers of the church, popes and bishops have also preached communistic
doctrines. Of course, the syllabus and the encyclical letters of
the nineteenth century no longer contain references of this sort,
and the popes too have become subservient to bourgeois society and
rise to defend it against the Socialists. Bishop Clemens I (died
102 A. D.) said: “The use of all worldly things should be common
to all. It is wrong to say: This is mine, this belongs to me, and
that to someone else. It is this which has caused dissention among
men.” Bishop Ambrosius of Milan, who lived around 374, exclaimed:
“Nature gives all blessings to all men in common; for God has created
all things for the common enjoyment of all, that _the earth should
be common property_. Nature accordingly has created the right of
common ownership, and only unfair usurpation creates the right of
private property.” In his Book of Homilies directed against the
wickedness and depravity of the people of Constantinople, St. John
Chrysostomus (died 408) wrote: “_Let no one call anything his own._
From God have we received everything for common enjoyment, and _mine
and thine are words of falsehood_!” St. Augustin (died 430) said:
“Because we have private property, we also have law suits, hostility,
dissention, wars, rebellion, sin, injustice, murder. Whence come all
these scourges? Only from property. So, my brethren, let us refrain
from owning things, or let us, at least, refrain from loving what
we own.” Pope Gregory the Great (about 600) exclaimed: “Let them
know that the earth whence they come and of which they are made _is
common to all men_, and that the fruits which the earth brings forth
should therefore _belong to all without distinction_.” Bossuet, the
famous bishop of Meaux (died 1704), says in his “Politics of the
Holy Scripture:” “Without the governments the earth and its products
would belong to all men in common, just as air and light. According
to the prime right of nature, no one may lay claim to anything. All
things belong to all. From bourgeois government property derives its
origin.” The last sentence might be more clearly expressed in the
following manner: because common property became private property,
we have obtained bourgeois governments that must protect it. One of
the moderns, Zachariae, says in his “Forty Books on the States:”
“All sufferings of civilized nations _may be traced to the private
ownership of land_.” All the men quoted above have more or less
correctly recognized the nature of private property. As St. Augustin
says: Since its existence it has brought into the world law suits,
hostility, dissention, war, rebellion, sin, injustice, murder,--evils
that will disappear again by its abolition.

2.--The Amelioration of Land.

Society must consider the land in its totality, its topographical
condition, its mountains, plains, forests, lakes, rivers, ponds,
heathers, swamps and moors. Besides the geographical location,
which is unalterable, this topographical condition exerts a certain
influence upon the climate and the nature of the soil. This is a vast
field of activity, where much experience is still to be gained and
much experimentation still to be performed. Until now the state has
accomplished but little along these lines. Only moderate means have
been applied to such tasks of civilization, and even if the state
desired to adopt effective measures, the large landed proprietors,
who have a decisive voice in legislation, would prevent the carrying
out of such measures. Without interference with private property
nothing effectual could be done. But since the state is founded on
the “sanctity” of private property, and since the large owners of
private property are its chief supporters, it is prevented from
proceeding in the manner that has been designated. It would be
necessary to undertake the amelioration of land on a grand scale,
to plant forests here and cut down forests there, to irrigate and
to drain; to mix different kinds of soil, to break ground and to
plant, in order to attain the highest degree of fertility.

A highly important factor in the amelioration of the land would be
an extensive system of rivers and canals, to be conducted according
to scientific principles. The question of cheap transportation
by water, so important to present-day society, would be of minor
importance to the new society. Nevertheless transportation by water
will be regarded as a very convenient means of transportation,
requiring the least expenditure in strength and material. But of the
greatest importance an extensive system of rivers and canals will
be for purposes of irrigation and drainage, for the transportation
of manure and other materials for the amelioration of the land, and
for the distribution of the crops.

It has been determined by experience that countries where water is
scarce, suffer much more from cold winters and hot summers than
countries having an abundant water supply. For this reason maritime
countries rarely suffer from extremes of temperature. Such extremes
of temperature are neither advantageous nor agreeable to plants or
human beings. An extensive system of canals, combined with measures
for the preservation of forests, would have a beneficial influence.
Such systems of canals and large basins, to collect and preserve
masses of water, would prove especially beneficial, when the melting
ice and snow, in spring, or heavy rain-falls cause rivers and streams
to rise and to overflow their banks. The construction of similar
canals and basins would be required for the mountain torrents. Floods,
with their ravaging effects, would then become impossible. Extensive
surfaces of water and the increased evaporation would probably also
cause rain to fall more regularly. These improvements would also
make it possible to establish pumps and lifting apparatus for an
extensive irrigation of the land whenever necessary.

Wide stretches of arid land might be made fertile by artificial
irrigation. Where at present the grazing sheep barely find sufficient
nourishment and where, at best, only emaciated looking trees stretch
their lean branches skyward, an abundance of crops might be raised
and a dense population might obtain nourishment and enjoyment. It is,
for instance, only a question of the amount of labor employed, to
transform the stretches of sandy soil of the March, humorously called
“the sand-box of the German Empire,” into an Eden of fertility. This
was pointed out by one of the lecturers at the German agricultural
exhibition, in Berlin, during the spring of 1894.[237] But the
landowners of the March do not have sufficient means to undertake
the building of canals, irrigation, amelioration of the land, etc.,
and so, just beyond the walls of the national capital wide stretches
of land remain in a condition that will seem incredible to coming
generations. On the other hand, by means of canalization, wide
stretches of swamps, moor-land and marshes might be drained and won
for cultivation; thus, in northern and southern parts of Germany,
the canals might further be used for the breeding of fish, and small
communities that are not located near rivers might use them to
erect bathing establishments.[238]

A few examples will suffice to show the influence of irrigation.
In the vicinity of Weissenfels, 7½ hectares of irrigated meadows
yielded 480 cwt. of hay, while 5 hectares, located beside these,
that were not irrigated, yielded only 32 cwt. The former produced
more than ten times as much as the latter. Near Riesa, in Saxony,
65 acres of irrigated meadows increased the net proceeds from 5,850
to 11,100 marks. By an investment of 124,000 marks for irrigation
of the arid lands at the right bank of the Lippe, an annual gain of
approximately 400,000 marks was obtained. The amelioration of the
land undertaken in Lower Austria cost about one million crowns and
increased the value of the produce by about six million crowns. The
expensive improvements paid. Other parts of Germany, besides the
March have an exceedingly sandy soil, and here the harvests are only
fairly satisfactory, after a rainy summer. If these vicinities could
be furrowed with canals, properly irrigated and ameliorated, they
would shortly bring forth five and ten times their present amount.
Examples are at hand in Spain, showing that well-irrigated soil brought
forth 37 times as much as soil that had not been irrigated. So water
is all that is needed to bring forth fresh masses of nourishment
from the soil.

Hardly a year passes in which not one or the other of the German
states and provinces is ravaged by floods. Large tracts of the most
fertile land are carried away by the force of the water; others are
littered with stones, sand and rubbish, and are made unfertile for
years to come. Entire orchards that have required decades to be
grown are uprooted. Houses, bridges, streets and dams are washed
away, railroads are ruined and human lives are sacrificed, flocks
perish and crops are destroyed. Wide stretches of land that are
exposed to frequent ravages from floods are not cultivated at all,
or only slightly, since their owners do not wish to suffer constant
loss. Devastation of the forests, especially on the mountains, and
particularly by private owners, increases the danger from floods.
The mad devastation of the forests, prompted by a desire for profit,
has led to a diminution of the fertility of the soil in the German
provinces of Russia and Pomerania, in Corinthia and Styria, as also
in Italy, France, Spain, Russia, and other countries.

Frequent floods are the result of the devastation of forests on the
mountains. The inundations of the Rhine, the Oder, and the Vistula
are ascribed mainly to the devastation of forests in Switzerland,
Galicia, and Poland. The same causes lead to the frequent inundations
in Italy, especially of the River Po. As a result of the same causes,
Madeira, large portions of Spain, the most fertile provinces of
Russia, and stretches of land in Asia Minor, which were at one time
fertile and blooming, have lost much of their fertility.[239]

At last even bourgeois society has begun to recognize that, in this
respect, it will no longer do to maintain the policy of “laissez
faire,” and that, by sensible measures, applied on a large scale,
the destructive forces can be transformed into constructive ones.
So the construction of large dams was undertaken to collect immense
quantities of water and to utilize the water-power to supply electric
power to industry and agriculture. The Bavarian state especially has
undertaken to dam the mountain streams on a grand scale to obtain
power for the running of electric railways and other industrial
undertakings. Agrarian old Bavaria is thereby rapidly becoming a
modern industrial state.

[237] An official report on the world’s-fair in Chicago contained the
following: “The utilization of water to raise fruit and vegetables
becomes increasingly desirable. Water companies established for this
purpose might transform deserts into edens.”

[238] “In a highly cultivated part of the Austrian monarchy--in
Bohemia--656,000 hectares of farm land are in want of drainage.
174,000 hectares of meadows are either too moist or too dry. Of
course, matters are much worse in those vicinities that are less
developed agriculturally, as especially in Galicia.” Dr. Eugene
v. Philippovitch--Political Economy.

[239] According to Schwoppach, the forest is of immeasurable value by
preventing of washing away the soil on the mountains and preventing
the soil from becoming sandy in the plains. The devastation of forests
in Russia is a chief cause why the cultivated land is becoming
increasingly sandy.

3.--Changed Methods of Farming.

It is self-understood that these great tasks cannot be accomplished
at once; but the new society will devote all its strength to these
and similar undertakings, since it will be the avowed purpose of
this new society to perform tasks in ~the interest of civilization~
and to permit ~nothing to interfere with their performance~. In the
course of time it will accomplish works the very thought of which
would make present-day society dizzy.

Measures and institutions like the ones described above will make
agriculture much more favorable. Still other points are to be
considered in connection with the improved methods of farming. At
present many square miles of land are planned with potatoes to be
used mainly for the distilling of whiskey, which is consumed almost
exclusively by the poor and needy portion of the population. Whiskey
is the only stimulant they can obtain, the only banisher of care. But
among the truly civilized people of the new society the consumption
of whiskey will disappear; the soil and the labor power will be
employed to raise wholesome food. We have already pointed to the
cultivation of sugar-beets and the manufacture of sugar for export.
In Germany more than 400,000 hectares of land, best suited to the
raising of wheat, are devoted to the cultivation of sugar-beets, to
supply England, Switzerland, the United States, etc., with sugar. Our
standing army, the scattered methods of production and distribution,
the scattered methods of farming, etc., make it necessary to breed
millions of horses, and large areas of land are required to pasture
them. The thoroughly transformed social and political conditions will
enable the new society to utilize most of this land for agricultural
purposes. Recently areas of many square kilometers have been withdrawn
from agriculture, entire villages have been wiped out, because the
new long-range firearms and the new methods of combat necessitate
drilling-grounds on which whole troops may manœuvre. Such use will
never be made of the land in the future.

The great realm of agriculture, forestry and irrigation has already
been made the subject of discussion, and a considerable literature
exists on the subject. No particular field has remained unconsidered.
Forestry, irrigation and drainage, the raising of grain, the
cultivation of vegetables, fruit, berries, flowers and ornamental
plants, the raising of fodder for domestic animals, cattle-breeding,
raising of poultry, fish and bees, the preparation of dung and manure,
the use of waste materials in farming and in industry, chemical
examinations of the soil, and its preparation for one or another kind
of crop, the nature of seeds, rotation of crops, farm implements
and machinery, proper construction of farm-buildings, conditions of
climate, etc.--all these things have been made subjects of scientific
discussion and investigation. Almost daily new discoveries and
experiences lead to improvements along one line or another. Since
the researches of Thaer and J. v. Liebig agriculture has become a
science. Indeed it has become one of the first and foremost sciences
and has attained a degree of importance that few realms of productive
activity can equal. But if we compare this tremendous progress along
all lines with the true status of agriculture, it must be admitted
that, so far, only a small fraction of the private owners have been
able to make use of this progress, and all only pursue their private
interest, regardless of the public welfare. The great majority of our
farmers, we may say about 99 per cent. of them, are quite unable to
make use of the progress and the advantages offered by science and
by technical improvements, because they lack the necessary means,
or knowledge, or both. Here the new society will find a field that
has been well prepared, both theoretically and practically, and that
it will only need to organize to attain the grandest results.

4.--Agriculture on a Large and Small Scale.--Electric Appliances.

While even among Socialists some persons still hold the opinion,
that small farmers are able to compete with the large agricultural
enterprises by means of their own thrift and that of their families,
experts have come to hold a different opinion. By over-exertion
the peasant may achieve his utmost, but from the standpoint of a
civilized human being his position is a deplorable one. No matter
how much he may achieve, the modern technical development and the
science of agriculture can achieve more. But, above all, only by
the appliance of science and technique does the peasant attain the
full development of a civilized human being, while to-day he is the
slave of his property and the helot of his creditor.

The advantages of farming on a large scale are immense. To begin
with, the area that can be utilized is considerably enlarged,
because the numerous paths and roads and ridges necessitated by the
disjointed properties, disappear. Fifty persons, working on a large
farm--regardless of the more rational implements used by them--can
accomplish much more than 50 persons working on scattered farms.
Only farming on a large scale makes it possible to combine and
direct the forces so as to obtain the best results. To this must
be added the immense advantage derived from the application of all
kinds of machinery, the use of the produce for industrial purposes,
the more rational methods of cattle and poultry breeding, etc.
Electric appliances especially furnish advantages to agriculture
that overshadow every other method of cultivation. P. Mack[240] has
ascertained that the introduction of machinery led to a saving of
over 5000 days’ labor by horses, and that a single investment of
40,000 marks’ capital led to a cheapening of the product of over
12,000 marks or 48 marks per hectare. This computation did not even
take into consideration the increase in produce from the introduction
of deep ploughing, or the more exact cultivation by machinery.[241]

Deep ploughing led to an increase of from 20 to 40 per cent. in the
cultivation of grain, and up to 50 per cent. in the cultivation of
potatoes, turnips, and the like. Taking an average of only 20 per
cent., Mack showed that, on the farm under consideration, this meant
a gain of 55.45 marks per hectare; together with the saving referred
to above, this made a gain of 103.45 marks per hectare. Mack pointed
out that it was necessary to establish a sufficient number of power
plants, whereby not only all the machinery employed could be set in
motion, but heat and light could also be supplied. By means of the
electric plants, the dwellings, streets, stables, barns, store-houses
and factories can be lighted, and if it should become necessary,
crops can be reaped at night. Mack calculated that, by the general
introduction of electricity, two-thirds of the animals employed for
drawing and carrying loads (1,741,300 heads) might be dispensed with,
which would imply an annual net profit of 1,002,989,000 marks.

The application of electricity makes agriculture more and more a
purely technical, industrial process. The following compilation shows
the manifold applicability of electricity in agriculture:[242] The
following can be run by electric motors: 1. Machines that heighten
the gross proceeds: A. for tilling: seed-assorter and electric
ploughs. B. for the harvest: mowing-machines with binders; machines
for reaping potatoes; irrigation-works. 2. Machines for reducing
the cost of production: A. lifting machines, unloading machines
in barns, grain elevators, pumps for liquid manure. B. means
of transportation: groves, straps and bellows, field-railways,
spindles and cranes. C. for utilization: straw-presses, corn-mills,
chaff-cutters. 3. Machines of agricultural industry: A. distillery
machines and machines for the manufacture of starch; water-pumps for
various purposes. B. dairy implements: refrigerators, centrifuges,
churners, kneaders, presses, etc. C. saw-mills, circular-saws and
saw-frames. D. drills, turning-lathes, machines for wheel-making.
4. Food-chopping machines, for cattle-breeding: chaff-cutters,
turnip-choppers, meal, potato and oat-grinders, etc.; squeezers,
water-pumps. Investigations have shown that about 15 per cent. of
all farm-labor can be performed in this economical way, by the aid
of electric motors.

The amount of manual labor power required for the threshing and
preparation of 1000 kilograms of grain was ascertained:

                                                     Number of
                                                  hours required.

  1. When all the work was done by hand                104
  2. When small thrashing-machines and riddling
     machines were employed                             41.4
  3. When an electric thrashing-machine of
     20 horse power was employed                        26.4
  4. When a giant electric thrashing-machine
     with winnowing and riddling machine,
     elevators, etc. was employed                       10.5

There is nothing to prevent the general introduction of electric
ploughs. Like the electric railway, the electric plough has already
attained a high degree of development. The heavy and expensive
steam-plough can be rationally employed only on large areas and for
deep ploughing. It is especially serviceable for heightening the crops
of potatoes, etc. But the electric plough can be used equally well
for deep and shallow ploughing. It makes it possible to cultivate
the soil on steep inclines, where it is difficult to plough with
horses, or oxen even. It is a great labor-saving device, as may be
seen from the following comparison of expenses for ploughing, when
horses, oxen, a steam-plough and an electric plough were used:

                                  |    Cost per acre for ploughing
                                  | number of inches of medium depth
                                  |    4     6     8     11    14
  Horses                          |  2.50  3.00  4.20   7.70  13.30
  Oxen                            |  3.65  4.65  5.80   7.90  10.20
  Steam-plough, rented, from      |  6.00  6.70  7.60   9.15  10.70
    “      “      “     to        |  7.50  8.40  9.35  11.00  12.55
    “      “    owned,  from      |  4.50  5.00  5.85   7.30   8.85
    “      “      “     to        |  6.00  6.70  7.60   9.15  10.70
  Electric-plough, horse power 40 |  2.70  3.55  4.60   6.25   7.95
     “       “       “     “   60 |  2.65  3.40  4.30   5.70   7.10
     “       “       “     “   80 |  2.50  3.15  3.90   5.20   6.50

The simple supply and distribution of electric energy, the ease
and simplicity with which electric machines can be run and kept in
order, make their advantages to agriculture paramount, especially as
a thin wire suffices to supply the power to extensive areas. As the
employment of electric machines would necessitate a network of electric
wires across the country, electric motor-power in agriculture could
easily be combined with electro-cultivation, the direct influence
of electricity on the growth of plants.

During recent years plant physiologists, as also practical
agriculturists, were eagerly engaged in studying the influence of
electricity on the growth and fructification of plants, especially
the various kinds of grain. The task was accomplished by the late
Professor R. S. Lemstroem (died 1906). He spread a net of wire across
a large area of cultivated ground which, by means of a battery, he
charged with positive electricity, while the negative pole remained
on the ground, and subjected a field, or part of one, to an electric
current during its entire period of vegetation, while an adjacent
field, which was under observation also, remained uninfluenced. The
experiments were tried upon various areas of different size, and,
wherever carried out properly, they all showed the same favorable
results. Firstly, the crop increased from 30 to over 100 per
cent.; secondly, it ripened in a shorter time, and thirdly, the
quality was considerably improved. There were still a few practical
short-comings connected with this method, which Newman, an English
agriculturist, succeeded in removing. He succeeded in interesting
a famous English physicist, Oliver Lodge, in Lemstroem’s method.
According to recent reports from Lodge these experiments have been
successively tried from 1906 to 1908; the area under observation has
been extended to ten hectares, and it was satisfactorily proven that
the charged wire net may be spread as high as five meters above the
ground, without lessening the favorable influence of the electric
current on the harvest. This altitude makes it possible to drive
loaded wagons beneath the wire net and to perform all agricultural
tasks without interference, while Lemstroem’s net was not to be
more than 40 centimeters above the plants to be influenced by the
electric current.[243] Several millers instituted comparative baking
experiments, and the electrified wheat was found to make better flour
than that which had not been electrified. So the new method is ripe
for being successfully introduced into agriculture and horticulture.

Fowler’s steam-plough, with two compound locomotives, requires an
area of 5000 hectares for its satisfactory application, which is
larger than the cultivated area of most peasant communities. It has
been calculated that, if the soil under cultivation in 1895 had been
cultivated with the application of all available machinery and all
other modern advantages, a saving of 1600 million marks would have
been realized. According to Ruhland[244] the successful combating
of the diseases of grain alone would make the import of grain into
Germany superfluous. In his book on “Our Meadows and Produce of the
Fields,” Dr. Sonnenberg informs us, that Bavarian agriculture suffers
a loss of 30 per cent. annually, owing to the spread of weeds in the
fields. On two areas of 4 square meters each, one of which was full
of weeds, while the other had been kept clear of weeds, Nowatzki
attained the following results:

                               Stalks.  Grains.  Crop of straw.

  On the area with weeds         216      180      239 grammes
  On the area free from weeds    423      528     1077 grammes

Dr. v. Ruemker, Professor at the Agricultural Institute of the
University of Breslau, declares that a careful economy of the
nourishment of the soil is almost entirely wanting in Germany. The
cultivation of the soil and the sowing are done in such a thoughtless
manner, according to old, acquired habits, and by means of such
insufficient and imperfect tools, that the returns of all the labor
must remain poor and unsatisfactory. He claims that the German
farmers do not even perform the easy task of rationally assorting
their seed. Professor v. Ruemker showed by the following table how
the harvest can be increased per hectare by assorting the seed:

                         Not assorted   Assorted       Number of
  Wheat furnished          kilograms    kilograms    kilogr’s more
                          per hectare  per hectare  from ass’d seeds

  Entire crop                8,000       10,800          +2,800
  Grain                      1,668        2,885          +1,217
  Straw and chaff            6,332        7,915          +1,583
  Weight in hectoliters
    of crop                   77.2         78.7          +  1.5

So, according to this table, 1200 kilograms more of corn might be
obtained per hectare by properly assorting the seed, which, valued
at 15 marks per cwt., represents a gain of 180 marks. Estimating the
cost of assorting 4.40 marks per hectare at the most, there still
remains a clear cash profit of 175.60 marks per hectare for the grain
alone, not counting the additional gain in straw and chaff. By a
number of experimental cultivations, Ruemker furthermore ascertained
that by selecting that kind of grain best suited to each particular
vicinity, the harvests might be increased and the gross receipts
improved, on an average, as follows:

  Rye     by 300– 700 kilogr’s of grain or by 42– 98 marks per hectare
  Wheat    “ 300– 800     “     “   “    “  “ 45–120   “    “     “
  Barley   “ 200– 700     “     “   “    “  “ 34–119   “    “     “
  Oats     “ 200–1200     “     “   “    “  “ 26–156   “    “     “

The gain obtained from assorting the seed and from a proper selection
of the kind of wheat taken together, would, in the raising of wheat
alone, increase the harvest by ~1500 to 2000 kilograms of grain, or
by 220 to 295 marks per hectare~.

In a paper on “The Future of German Agriculture,” it has been shown
how tremendously all agricultural products could be increased by
sufficient and appropriate fertilization, by supplying mineral manure,
as hypophosphate, phosphoric acid, etc. The German harvest of wheat
might be increased on an average of 36 cwts. per hectare, and the
harvest of rye by 24 cwts. per hectare. Moreover, a considerable
portion of the land used for the cultivation of rye at present,
might, by proper manuring, be used for the cultivation of wheat, so
that the average harvest of grain for bread--two-fifths of wheat,
three-fifths of rye--might amount to 28.8 cwts. per hectare. After
the deduction of seed and of grain of inferior quality, there
would still remain 26 cwts. per hectare to feed the nation. The
7.9 million hectares that are planted with wheat and rye at present
might be increased by an additional 1.5 million hectares of pasture,
fallow-ground, heaths and moor-land, so that, with an average crop of
26 cwts. per hectare and a cultivated area of 9.4 million hectares,
a production of 251.92 million cwts. of grain for bread might be
obtained. With an annual consumption of 175 kilograms for every
person, ~enough grain for bread could be raised to supply the needs
of 144 million persons~. At the time of the census of 1900, Germany
had a population of approximately 56,345,000 inhabitants, and even
at that time science and technics were sufficiently far advanced
that the German soil might have supplied a population two and a half
times as large with bread. Under the present agricultural system,
with the scattered private ownership of land, Germany is obliged to
import annually about one-ninth of its requisite supply of wheat and
rye. If, under the present agricultural system, similar quantities
were to be raised, it would mean so great an increase in the cost
of articles of food, that a majority of the people could not afford
to buy them, and that would not answer the purpose. These results
can be obtained only by communistic methods, when carried out on
the largest scale; but of course the authors quoted above do not
think of that possibility. According to calculations made by them,
by means of an intensified cultivation of the soil, the products of
German agriculture might be increased as follows:

  Rye and wheat                 by 145.1 million cwts.
  Potatoes                       “ 444.0    “      “
  Oats, barley, peas and beans   “  78.7    “      “
  Hay                            “ 146.2    “      “
  Fodder                         “ 110.0    “      “
  Turnips (for cattle)           “ 226.0    “      “

If we furthermore take into consideration the suggestions by Mack,
quoted above, showing that a very great number of animals for drawing
and carrying loads might be dispensed with by the introduction of
electric power, we find that the breeding of cattle for nourishment
might be considerably increased, or that much of the land used for
pasture might be planted with food for man.

Another field of agricultural activity that might be developed to a
far greater extent, is poultry breeding. The value of eggs imported
by Germany annually amounts to 149.7 million marks (1907), and
that of live poultry to over 40 million marks. The institutions
for raising and breeding poultry are still sadly undeveloped. The
concentrated methods of agriculture on a large scale will lead
to the concentration of farming establishments, such as stables,
store-houses, ice-houses, fodder and feeding; much time, labor and
material will be saved, and practical advantages will be obtained
that are inaccessible to small and medium-sized establishments, and
are but rarely enjoyed by large ones. How insufficient, for instance,
are the hygienic institutions in most stables, how inadequate are the
provisions made for the feeding and care of the cattle and poultry!
That cleanliness, air and light are as necessary to animals as to
human beings and have a favorable influence on their condition, is
a fact known but little among peasants of the twentieth century. It
is self-understood that, by a general dissemination and application
of this knowledge, milk, butter, cheese, eggs, honey, meat, etc.,
will be obtained under far more sanitary and favorable conditions
than at present. By a skillful combination and application of human
labor power and machinery, not only the cultivation of the fields,
but also the reaping of the harvest will be done by ways and means
unknown to us to-day. The erection of great halls for shelter will
make it possible to gather in the crops during any kind of weather,
and, by bringing them in quickly, the enormous losses will be avoided
that are so frequent now. According to v. d. Goltz, during one single
unfavorable harvest-time, 8 to 9 million marks are lost on crops in
Mecklenburg, and in the government district of Koenigsberg, from 12
to 15 million marks.

[240] P. Mack Althof-Ragnit Cavalry-Captain and Owner of Manorial
Estate--The Development of Agriculture by Cheapening of the Cost of
Production. An Investigation of the Service rendered Agriculture by
Machines and Electricity. Koenigsberg, 1900.

[241] The packing into subterranean pits (Campbell) has become a
very significant factor in recent years. In some regions of North
America where rain is scarce, marvelous results have been obtained
by this method.

[242] Kurt Krohne--The Expanded Application of Electricity in
Agriculture. Journal of Electrotechnics, 1908.

[243] M. Breslauer--The Influence of Electricity on the growth of
plants. Journal of Electrotechnics, 1908. A small plant for purposes
of demonstration is being erected near Berlin under the direction
of Breslauer.

[244] Dr. G. Ruhland--Fundamental Principles of Actual Agrarian
Politics. Tuebingen, 1893.

5.--Vine-Culture of the Future.

The cultivation of fruit and berries and horticulture will also
attain a degree of development in the future that hitherto seemed
almost impossible. To what extent the cultivation of fruit is still
neglected in Germany, although the German climate is particularly
favorable to the cultivation of orchards, especially apple-orchards,
may be seen from the fact that more than 40 million marks’ worth of
fresh fruit and more than 20 million marks’ worth of dried fruit are
imported annually. One look at the poor condition of our fruit-trees
in the greater part of Germany, even in countries like Wurtemberg,
which are famed for their orchards, makes this easily understood.
Here a wide field presents itself to agricultural and horticultural
activity. The cultivation of berries is just begun and presents a
no more favorable aspect.

By applying artificial heat and moisture in large, sheltered halls,
it becomes possible to raise vegetables, fruit and berries in large
quantities during any season of the year. The florists’ show-windows
in our large cities present as gorgeous an array of flowers in
mid-winter as they do in summer. Wonderful progress in the line
of artificial cultivation of fruit, is marked by the artificial
“vineyard” of Garden-Director Haupt, in Brieg in Silesia, which has
since been imitated elsewhere, and already had been tried in other
countries; for instance, in England. Its equipment and the results
achieved were so enticingly described in the “Vossishe Gazette,” of
September 27, 1890, that an extract of this description follows:

“The glass-house is situated upon an approximately square field of
500 square meters. It is from 4.5 to 5 meters high, and its walls
face exactly north, south, east and west. It contains twelve rows of
double fruit-walls, running from south to north, 1.8 meters apart,
which at the same time serve as supports to the flat roof. In a bed
1.25 meters deep, resting on a bank of earth 25 centimeters strong,
which contains a net of pipes for drainage and ventilation of the
soil, a bed, whose heavy ground has been made loose and fertile by
the introduction of chalk, rubbish, sand, manure, bone-dust and
potash, Mr. Haupt planted 360 grapevines of the kinds that yield
the best grape-juice in the Rhine Province: White and red Riessling
and Traminer, white and blue Moscatelle and Burgundy.

“The ventilation of the place is effected by several apertures in
the side walls and by slats 20 meters long attached to the roof,
which can be opened and closed by a lever, and afford protection from
the storm in any position. Twenty-six showers serve to water the
vines. They are attached to rubber pipes 1.25 meters long that are
suspended from a tank above. But Mr. Haupt has introduced still another
truly ingenious contrivance for quickly and thoroughly watering his
‘wine-hall’ and his ‘vineyards’: ~an artificial generator of rain~.
Under the roof four long copper tubes are attached that contain
fine perforations half a meter apart. Through these perforations
fine streams of water are driven upward, strike small round sieves
made of gauze, and, by being filtered through them, are scattered
in fountains of a fine spray. It takes several hours to water the
place thoroughly by means of the rubber tubes; but one need open only
one faucet, and throughout the building a gentle, refreshing rain
falls down evenly upon the vines, the ground and the granite walks.
Without any artificial heating, only by the neutral qualities of the
glass-house, the temperature can be raised from 8 to 10 degrees R.
above the outside air. In order to protect the vines from their most
dangerous and destructive enemy, the vine-louse, in case one should
appear, it will suffice to close all the drain-pipes and open all the
faucets. Thereby an inundation of the vines will be caused which, as
is well known, this enemy cannot resist. The glass walls and roof
protect the vineyard from storm, cold, frost and superfluous rain.
A fine wire netting, spread over roof and walls, affords protection
from hail. The artificial rain contrivance is a safeguard against
drought. The wine-grower in such a vineyard makes his own weather and
can mock the dangers of all the incalculable whims and treacheries
of indifferent or cruel nature that threaten with ruin the fruit of
the wine-grower’s toil and care.”

Mr. Haupt’s expectations were fully realized. The vines thrived
splendidly in the even temperature. The grapes ripened to their
fullest perfection, and in the fall of 1885 yielded a juice that
was not inferior in richness and sweetness to any obtained along the
Rhine. The grapes thrived equally well in the following year, and
in that most unfavorable year, 1887. When the vines have attained
their full height of five meters and bear an abundance of grapes to
their very top, in this establishment about 20 hectoliters of wine
can be produced annually, and the cost of wine per bottle to the
producer will not exceed 40 “pfennige” (10 cents).

There is no reason why this new and most favorable system of
vine-culture should not be introduced on a large scale. Glass-houses
like this one, covering one-fifth of an acre, can without doubt
also be erected on areas of one acre, or more, equipped with the
same contrivances for ventilation, drainage and artificial rain.
Here the vegetation will set in some weeks earlier than in the open
air, and during the time of bloom the young vines will be protected
from May-frosts, rain and cold; while the grapes ripen they will be
protected from drought, from pilfering birds and thieves and excessive
moisture; during the entire year they will be protected from the
vine-louse, and the berries will remain safely on the vine until
November or December. In an address delivered before the Society for
the Advancement of Horticulture, in 1888, from which I have taken
several technical terms in this description of Haupt’s “vineyard,”
the inventor and founder of same closed with the following alluring
perspective of the future: “Since this vine-culture can be carried
on throughout Germany, also on otherwise barren, sandy or stony soil
(as, for instance, in the March), after it has been made arable and
watered, it becomes evident that vine-culture under glass becomes
a matter of national interest. I would like to call this method
the vine-culture of the future.” The author then described how the
wine obtained form the grapes had met with the highest approval of
experts, and added: “The vineyard also left sufficient room for
the cultivation of other plants. Thus Mr. Haupt, between every two
vines raises one rose-bush, which presents a wealth of bloom during
April and May. On the eastern and western walls he also raises
peaches, and during April their luxuriant blossoms must impart to
this glass palace a fairy-like appearance.” Recently Belgium has
bestowed special attention upon this method of fruit-culture. But
in Germany also it is being extensively applied, for instance,
in raising pineapples. Nothing will prevent the establishment of
similar hot-house plantations for various kinds of plants, so that,
with many products of the soil, we may enjoy the luxury of a double
or threefold harvest. At present these undertakings are primarily
a question of profit, and their products are enjoyed only by the
favored few. But in Socialistic society the only question will be
whether sufficient labor-power is obtainable. This being the case
the task will be accomplished to the common advantage of all.

6.--Measures to Prevent Exhaustion of the Soil.

So we see that, even under present-day conditions, a thorough
transformation in the methods of procuring food is taking place.
~But the utilization of all these discoveries is extremely slow,
because powerful classes--the agrarians and their social and political
supporters--are profoundly interested in suppressing them.~ Although
in spring weekly prayers are offered up in all churches for a good
crop, individual members of the congregations may feel like that
pious man who implored his patron saint: “St. Florian, protect my
house, set others on fire!” For if the crops turn out well in all
countries the prices are lowered, and this possibility is dreaded
by agrarians. What is advantageous to others is harmful to him, and
therefore he is a silent opponent of every discovery or invention
that benefits others besides himself. Our society dwells in constant
discord with itself.

In order to maintain the soil in a fertile condition and to improve
it, sufficient manure is essential. To obtain same will be an
important task for the new society also.[245] Manure is to the
fields what food is to man, and just as not every kind of food is
equally nourishing to man, so not every kind of manure is of equal
value to the soil. The ground must be given exactly the same chemical
substances that have been withdrawn from it by the reaping of a crop,
and such chemical substances, as are required for the cultivation
of a certain kind of plant, must be introduced in large quantities.
Therefore the study of chemistry and its practical application will
develop to an extent unknown to-day.

Now animal and human excrements contain the very chemical substances
that are suited to the cultivation of human food. Therefore it is
important to obtain and properly distribute them. Little is done in
this respect at present. Especially the cities and industrial centers,
which receive large quantities of food, return very little of the
valuable offal to the soil. As a result the farms that are situated
far from the cities and industrial centers and that annually ship
the greater part of their products into these, suffer from want of
manure. Often the offal obtainable on the farms does not suffice,
because the human beings and animals from which it is obtained have
consumed only a small portion of the crops. So an exhaustion of the
soil would be sure to take place, unless the want of natural manure
were made up for by artificial manure. All countries that export
agricultural products and receive no manure in return, will sooner
or later be ruined by the impoverishment of their soil. This is
the case with Hungary, Russia, the Danubian principalities, etc.

In the middle of the last century, Liebig solved his theory of the
reproduction of substance for arable soil, which led to the use of
concentrated manure. Schultze-Lupitz proved that certain plants,
although not given manure containing nitrogen, still added nitrogen
to the soil, a phenomenon that was explained later by Hellriegel. He
showed that the millions of bacilli, acting on certain leguminous
plants, obtain the nitrogen for the nourishment of the plant directly
from the air.[246] Chemistry constitutes one phase of modern,
scientific agriculture, and bacteriology constitutes the other. In
its deposits of potash, Thomas-slag, hypophosphate and phosphoric
acid, Germany possesses a number of inexhaustible sources of mineral
manure. A proper application of these, combined with an appropriate
tilling of the soil, makes possible a production of enormous quantities
of food.

An idea of the importance of the various kinds of artificial manure
may be gained from the following figures: During 1906 Germany consumed
about 300 million marks’ worth of artificial manure. Among these
were sulphate of ammonia for 58.3 millions; nitrate of soda for 120,
and the rest was expended for Thomas-slag, hypophosphate, potash,
guano, etc. The most important of these fertilizers are the ones
containing nitrogen. The great importance of this substance may be
seen from the following: Investigations made by Wagner showed that
crops of oats from a field in Hessia diminished by 17 per cent. when
there was a dearth of phosphoric acid; by 19 per cent. when there
was a dearth of potash, and by 89 per cent. when there was a dearth
of nitrogen. The net profits for one year per hectare were: When the
fertilizer contained all the needful ingredients, 96 marks; when
the potash was omitted, 62 marks; when phosphoric acid was omitted,
48 marks; when nitrogen was omitted, 5 marks. It has been calculated
that if Germany would double its nitrogen-manure, it could produce
not only sufficient grain and potatoes to supply the demands of its
own population, but could also export considerable quantities. And
the chief sources of this valuable manure, the deposits of nitrate
soda in Chili, like the deposits of guano, are rapidly being used
up, while the demand for nitrogen preparations constantly increases
in Germany, France, England, and, during the last ten years, in the
United States of America also. As early as 1899 the English chemist,
William Crookes, propounded this question and designated it as one
of greater importance than the possibility of proximate exhaustion
of the British coal mines. He therefore regarded it to be one of the
most important tasks of chemistry to manufacture nitrogen fertilizers
from the tremendous nitrogen reservoir of the atmosphere. It must be
remembered that the quantity of air covering one square centimeter
of ground, weighs approximately 1 kilogram, and that four-fifths
of it are nitrogen. From this may be calculated that the nitrogen
contained in the atmosphere of the earth, amounts, in round figures,
to 4000 million tons. The present annual consumption of nitrate of
soda is, in round figures, 300,000 tons. So even if the nitrogen
in the atmosphere were not replaced, it would suffice to supply
the demand of the entire earth during 14,000 million years. This
problem has been practically solved. In 1899, A. Frank and N. Caro
produced cyanide of potassium that contains from 14 to 22 per cent.
of nitrogen. The new fertilizer has been introduced upon the market
under the name of calcareous nitrogen. But Frank’s and Caro’s method
is not the only one. In 1903 the Norwegians, C. Birkeland and
S. Eyde, succeeded in transforming the atmospheric nitrogen into
nitric acid by combustion, by means of electricity. This second
method furnishes a product that is equal to Chili nitrate of soda in
every respect and even superior to it for certain kinds of soil. In
1905 Otto Schoenherr succeeded in finding a method still superior to
that of Birkeland and Eyde. For, besides the electric power, only
the cheapest materials are required, i. e., water and limestone. So
agriculture has been given a new fertilizer that can be obtained by
a purely technical industrial process, and has an unlimited supply
at its disposal.[247]

According to A. Mueller, a healthy adult secretes annually on an
average of 48.5 kilograms of solid and 43.8 kilograms of liquid
matter. Estimated by the present prices of manure, these materials
represent a value of about 5.15 marks. The great difficulty in
fully utilizing this material lies in the establishment of large
and appropriate contrivances for collecting same and in the high
cost of transportation. A great portion of the excrements from the
cities is conducted into our rivers and streams and pollutes them.
In the same way, the offal and refuse from kitchens and industrial
establishments that might also be used for manure, are usually
carelessly wasted.

The new society will find ways and means to prevent this waste.
It will solve the problem more easily, because the large cities
will gradually cease to exist owing to the decentralization of the

[245] There is a recipe for the fertility of fields and the eternal
duration of their crops; if properly applied it will prove more
remunerative than any that has ever been resorted to by agriculture.
It is the following: Every farmer who takes a bag of grain or a
hundred-weight of rape, carrots, potatoes, etc. to market shall, like
the Chinese coolie, bring back with him as much, if possible more,
of the ingredients of his products of the soil and shall give them
back to the field from which he has taken them. He shall not despise
a potatoe peal or a blade of straw, but shall remember that one of
his potatoes needs the peal and one of his ears of corn the blade.
His expense for this import is slight and the investment is sure;
no savings bank is safer, and no capital will bring a higher rate
of interest. The surface of his field will bring forth the double
amount in ten years. He will produce more corn, more meat and more
cheese without spending more time or performing more labor, and he
will not be in constant anxiety seeking new and unknown means to
keep his field fertile by other methods. Old bones, soot and ashes,
the blood of animals and all kinds of offal should be collected in
establishments erected for this purpose and prepared for shipment.
The administrative and police officials in the cities should see to
it that by an appropriate arrangement of drains and cess-pools this
waste of material is avoided. Liebig--“Chemical Letters,” Leipsic
and Heidelberg, 1865.

[246] German Agriculture at the Close of the Century. Address
delivered by Dr. Max Delbrueck at the Royal Academy of Agriculture,
on January 12, 1900.

[247] According to Prof. Bernthsen on sulphuric acid of the
atmosphere. Lecture delivered at the seventh international congress
in London.--Journal of Applied Chemistry, 1909.

7.--Removal of the Contrast between City and Country.

No one can adjudge our modern large cities a healthy product. The
prevailing economic and industrial system constantly attracts great
masses of the population to the cities.[248] They are the chief seats
of industry and commerce, and there all the highways of traffic
converge. There the owners of great fortunes reside, and there the
civil, judicial and military authorities are located. In the cities
are found the great institutions of learning, the academies of
art, the places of enjoyment and recreation, exhibitions, museums,
theatres, concert-halls, etc. Thousands are attracted by their
occupations, thousands by pleasure, and thousands of others by the
hope of greater gain and a more pleasant life.

But this formation of great cities, figuratively speaking, reminds
one of a man whose girth is constantly increasing while his legs are
constantly growing leaner, until they can no longer carry the load.
In the immediate vicinity of these cities all the villages assume
an urban character also, and here the proletarians flock together.
These usually poor municipalities must tax their members to the
utmost and still are unable to meet all demands. When they have
finally extended close to the large city they are swallowed up by
it, as a planet that has come too close to the sun. But thereby the
conditions of life are not improved. On the contrary, they become
more unfavorable by the crowding of masses in congested dwellings.
These gatherings of masses are necessary in present-day development
and, to a certain degree, form the centers of revolution; but in
the new society they will have accomplished their purpose. Their
gradual dissolution will be inevitable, for then the contrary will
take place. ~The population will migrate from the large cities to the
country, will form new communities adapted to the changed conditions,
and will combine industrial and agricultural activity.~

As soon as the urban population, as a result of the development
of the means of transportation, methods of production, etc., is
enabled to transfer to the country all its accustomed requirements
of culture, its institutions of learning, museums, theaters,
concert-halls, libraries, social centers, etc., the migration will
begin. Life will offer all the advantages of the former large city
~without its disadvantages~. The dwellings will be far more sanitary
and pleasant. The rural population will participate in industry,
and the industrial population will participate in agriculture and
horticulture, a variety of occupations that only a few persons can
enjoy at present, and only by excessively long and hard labor.

As on all other fields, the bourgeois world is paving the way for
this development, as each year a greater number of industrial
establishments are transferred to the country. The unfavorable
conditions prevailing in the large cities, high rents and high
wages, compel many manufacturers to transfer their establishments
to rural districts. On the other hand, the large landowners are
becoming industrialists (manufacturers of sugar, distillers, brewers,
manufacturers of cement, earthenware, bricks, woodwork, paper, etc.)
Even to-day tens of thousands of persons who work in the large
cities have their homes in the suburbs, because the improved means
of transportation enable them to live in this manner.

~By the decentralization of the population the present contrast
between urban and rural population will be removed.~ The peasant,
this modern helot, who, until now, in his isolation in the country,
has been excluded from all modern cultural development, will then
become a civilized being[249] in the fullest sense of the word. The
wish once expressed by Prince Bismarck, that he might see the large
cities destroyed, will be fulfilled, but in a different sense than
he anticipated.[250]

[248] According to the census of June 12, 1907, Germany had 24 large
cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants each. In 1816, there were
only two cities in Germany having more than 100,000 inhabitants.
In 1871, there were only 8 of them. The population of Berlin was,
approximately, 826,000 in 1871; 1,880,000 in 1900; 2,040,148 in 1905.
So its population had increased by 147 per cent. in 34 years. “Greater
Berlin” had 875,328 inhabitants in 1871, and 2,469,009 inhabitants in
1900. In 1907, 42 large cities had 11,790,000 inhabitants, and their
proportion to the entire population now amounts to, approximately,
19 per cent. A number of these large cities found it necessary to
admit into their municipalities a number of the suburban factory
towns that, according to their population, were cities in themselves,
and so they grew in leaps and bounds. During the period from 1895
to 1905, Leipsic increased from 170,000 to 503,672 inhabitants;
Cologne from 161,000 to 428,722; Magdeburg from 114,000 to 240,633;
Munich from 270,000 to 538,983; Breslau from 299,000 to 470,904;
Frankfort on the Main from 154,000 to 334,978; Hannover from 140,000
to 250,024; Duesseldorf from 115,000 to 253,274; Nuremberg from
115,000 to 294,426; Chemnitz from 111,000 to 294,927; Essen from
65,074 to 239,692, etc.

[249] Professor Adolf Wagner says in his “Text-book of Political
Economy by Rau” that has been previously quoted: “The small farms
constitute an economic basis that cannot be replaced by any other
institution for a very important part of the population, an
independent, self-sustaining peasantry and its peculiar socio-political
position and function.” If the author would not idealize the small
farmer “à tout prix” to please his conservative friends, he would
have to recognize the small farmer as the poorest of beings. Under
existing conditions the small farmer is almost inaccessible to a
higher culture. He works hard from dawn till darkness and lives like
a dog. Meat, butter, eggs, milk that he produces are not consumed
by him; he produces for others. Under existing conditions he cannot
attain a higher status of life and so becomes an element detrimental
to the progress of civilization. He who likes retrogression because
it serves his own ends, may desire the continued existence of this
social stratum, but human progress demands that it should cease to

[250] In the Union Parliament at Erfurt, in 1850, Prince Bismarck raged
against the large cities because they were “hot-beds of revolution”
and should therefore be demolished. He was right. In the modern
proletariat bourgeois society produces its own “grave-diggers.”


Abolition of the State.

When we review what has been set forth so far, we find that, with
the abolition of the private ownership of the means of production,
and their transformation into social property, those evils gradually
disappear that bourgeois society presents on all sides, and which are
becoming more and more unbearable. Class rule will cease. Society
will apply all its activities according to its own plans, and will
guide and control itself. By abolition of the wage system, the
exploitation of man by man, deception and fraud, adulteration of food,
speculation, etc., will be eradicated. The halls of the Temples of
Mammon will be empty, for stocks, bonds, promissory notes, mortgages,
etc., will have become waste-paper. The words of Schiller: “All old
scores shall be erased and the world shall make its peace,” will
be realized, and the scriptural saying: “In the sweat of thy brow
shalt thou eat thy bread,” will then prevail with the heroes of the
stock-exchange and the drones of capitalism, also. The employers
and capitalists will be relieved forever of that worry about their
property which, so they pathetically assure us, is often even harder
to bear than the workingman’s lot of uncertainty and privation. The
excitements of speculation, that give so many of our stock-jobbers
heart-diseases and apoplexy, and cause them to be the victims of
nervous prostration, will be spared them in the future. ~Freedom
from care~ will be their lot and that of their descendants, and they
will not deplore this lot.

With the abolition of private property and class antagonism, the
state, too, will gradually pass out of existence. “As the capitalistic
method of production converts ever greater numbers of the population
into proletarians, it creates the power that, under penalty of its
own destruction, is destined to bring about the transformation. Since
its tendencies are to convert into state property the socialized
means of production, it blazes the trail for the achievement of this

“The state was the official representative of society as a whole, its
unification in a visible body; but it was this only ~in so far as
it was the state of that particular class~ which itself represented
society as a whole at its time; in antiquity, the slave-owning
citizen; in mediæval days, the feudal nobility; in our own day,
the bourgeoisie. By finally becoming the actual representative of
society as a whole, ~it renders itself superfluous~. As soon as there
will be no social class that needs to be repressed, as soon as the
conflicts and excesses will be removed that are rooted in the present
anarchistic methods of production and the individual struggle for
existence, there will be nothing to necessitate a special power of
repression, a state. The first act wherein the state will appear as
the true representative of the whole body social--the act of taking
possession of the means of production in behalf of society--will at
the same time be its last independent act as state. State interference
with social relations will become superfluous in one domain after
another and will finally fall into disuse. Instead of a government of
persons, there will be an administration of things and a direction
of the processes of production. The state will not be ‘abolished,’
it will die out.”[251]

Together with the state will vanish its representatives: ministers,
parliaments, standing armies, police, courts, lawyers and district
attorneys, prison officials, collectors of taxes and duty; in short,
the entire political apparatus. Armories and other military buildings,
palaces of justice and administration, prisons, etc., will then serve
better purposes. Tens of thousands of laws, decrees and regulations
will become just so much waste-paper; their only value will be an
historical one. The great and yet so petty parliamentary struggles,
during which the men of the tongue imagine that by their orations
they rule and guide the world, will disappear. They will make room
for colleges of administration and administrative delegations, whose
purpose will be to consider and determine the best means and methods
of production and distribution, to decide how large a quantity of
supplies is required, to introduce and utilize new appliances and
improvements in art, science, education, traffic, etc., to organize
and direct industry and agriculture. All these are practical, visible,
tangible objects that will be objectively viewed by all, because no
one will have any personal interests hostile to the interests of
society. It will be to the common interest of all to have everything
provided for and arranged in the most effective and advantageous

The hundreds of thousands of former representatives of the state will
enter various professions, and by their intelligence and strength
will help to increase the wealth and comforts of society. Neither
political nor common crimes will be known in the future. Thieves will
have disappeared, because private property will have disappeared, and
in the new society everyone will be able to satisfy his wants easily
and conveniently by work. Nor will there be tramps and vagabonds, for
they are the product of a society founded on private property, and,
with the abolition of this institution, they will cease to exist.
Murder? Why? No one can enrich himself at the expense of others,
and even the murder for hatred or revenge is directly or indirectly
connected with the social system. Perjury, false testimony, fraud,
theft of inheritance, fraudulent failures? There will be no private
property against which these crimes could be committed. Arson? Who
should find pleasure or satisfaction in committing arson when society
has removed all cause for hatred? Counterfeiting? Money will be but
a chimera, it would be “loves labor lost.” Blasphemy? Nonsense! It
will be left to good and almighty God himself to punish whoever has
offended him, provided that the existence of God is still a matter
of controversy.

Thus all the fundamental principles of the present “order” become a
myth. In later days parents will tell their children about them like
about legends of days gone by; and, when told of the persecutions to
which men of the new ideas were subjected, they will be impressed
by these accounts just as we are impressed by the accounts of the
burnings of heretics and witches. All the names of those “great” men
who distinguished themselves by their persecutions of the new ideas
and were applauded for it by their narrow-minded contemporaries, will
be forgotten. At best they will only attract the attention of the
historians engaged in the research of old documents. Unfortunately
we are not yet living in that happy age when humanity may breathe

[251] Fr. Engels--Mr. Eugen Duehring’s Transformation of Science.
Stuttgart, 1894.


The Future of Religion.

As with the state, so it will be with religion. It will not be
“abolished,” God will not be “dethroned,” people will not be “robbed
of their faith,” as all the foolish arguments are worded that are
directed against atheistic Socialists. Such follies Socialists leave
to bourgeois idealists who attempted such measures during the French
Revolution and, of course, failed utterly. Without any forcible
attack or expression of opinions, of whatever nature they may be, the
religious organizations will gradually disappear and the churches
with them.

Religion is the transcendental reflection of the social condition of
every age. In the measure in which human development progresses and
society is transformed, religion is transformed likewise. “Religion,”
says Marx, “is the striving of the people for an imaginary happiness;
it springs from a state of society that ~requires an illusion~,[252]
but disappears when the recognition of true happiness and the
possibility of its realization penetrates the masses.” It is to the
interest of the ruling classes to prevent this recognition, and so
they seek to uphold religion as a means for preserving their rule.
This is clearly expressed in the well-known saying: “Religion must
be preserved for the people.” This business of preserving religion
for the people becomes an important official function in a society
founded on class-rule. A caste is formed that assumes this function
and concentrates all its ingenuity upon maintaining and expanding
the structure, for this means the maintenance and expansion of their
own power and authority. At the lowest stages of civilization, among
primitive social conditions, religion is mere fetichism. With a higher
development religion becomes polytheism, and at a still higher stage,
it becomes monotheism. It is not the gods who have created man,
but man who has created the gods, or God. “In the image of himself
(man) he created him (God)”; not vice-versa. Even now monotheism has
dissolved itself into an all-comprising, all-penetrating pantheism
that is constantly becoming more volatile. Science has reduced the
doctrine of creation of the earth in six days to a myth. Astronomy,
mathematics and physics make heaven a phantom. They make of the
stars in heaven on which angels are enthroned, suns and planets that
preclude angelic existence.

The ruling class, seeing its existence threatened, clings to religion,
the support of all authority, as every ruling class has done.[253] The
bourgeoisie itself does not believe, and by its entire development
and by modern science that sprang from its lap, it has destroyed the
faith in religion and in all authority. Their belief is hypocrisy,
but the Church accepts the support of this false friend, because it
is sorely in need of aid itself. “Religion must be preserved for
the people.”

For the new society no considerations will exist. Uninterrupted human
progress and unadulterated science will be its device. If some one
should have religious needs, he may satisfy them with those who share
his belief. Society will pay no attention to them. Even the priest
must work to live, and as he will improve his mind by work, the
time will come when even he will recognize that ~it is our highest
destiny to be human~.

Ethics and morality exist even without religion. Only fools or
hypocrites would assert the contrary. Ethics and morality are the
expression of conceptions that regulate the actions and mutual
relations of men, while religion comprises the relations of men to
supernatural beings. But, like religion, our moral conceptions, too,
arise from prevailing social conditions.[254] The cannibal considers
it moral to eat human flesh. Greeks and Romans regarded slavery as
a moral institution. Serfdom seemed moral to the feudal lords of
the middle ages, and the modern capitalist deems wage-slavery, the
exploitation of women and the demoralization of children by industrial
labor, a highly moral condition.[255] These four stages of social
evolution present four different conceptions of morality, but in
none of them does the highest moral conception prevail. The highest
moral condition is one in which all human beings will be ~free~ and
~equal~; it is one in which the principle, “do unto others as you
would have others do unto you,” will dominate all human relations.
In the middle ages a man’s pedigree was the decisive factor; at the
present time his social status is determined by his wealth; in the
future every human being will be valued for his own true worth, and
the future lies with Socialism.

[252] Karl Marx--“Critic of the Philosophy of Law by Hegel.”

[253] The following utterance by Aristotle shows the opinion of
the ancients on this subject: “The tyrant (in ancient Greece every
autocrat was called a tyrant) must _appear_ to take religion very
seriously. For if the subjects believe their ruler to be pious and
God-fearing they do not expect unlawful treatment at his hands;
on the other hand they will not readily turn against him for they
believe that he has the support of the gods.” Aristotle--“Politics.”

“The Prince must possess noble human qualities or, at least, _must
seem to possess them_.... _He must especially appear very pious,
extremely religious_.... Though some will penetrate his guise,
they will maintain silence on the subject; for the majesty of the
state protects the Prince and by means of this protection he may
betray the opposite qualities _if his advantage should require it_.
Because he appeared pious whenever his piety _did not interfere with
his interests_, the majority of his subjects will consider him an
honorable man, even when he acts contrary to the maxims of faith and
religion. Therefore the Prince shall carefully cultivate worship and
church affairs.” Macchiavelli in his famous book, “The Prince.”

[254] See K. Kautsky--Ethics and the Materialistic Interpretation
of History. Stuttgart, 1905.

[255] Whenever a bourgeois is in want of arguments to justify what
is injustfiable, it is a thousand to one that he will make his
appeal to “morality.” In the spring of 1894, at a meeting of the
Evangelical Synod, a “liberal” member of the Berlin Court of Justice
even declared it to be “moral” that only taxpayers should have a
vote at church meetings.


The Socialist System of Education.

The late member of the German diet, Dr. Lasker, delivered a lecture in
Berlin, during the seventies, in which he arrived at the conclusion
that it is possible for all members of society to have an equal
standard of education. But Dr. Lasker was an anti-Socialist, a rigid
upholder of private property and capitalism, and the question of
education under present-day conditions is pre-eminently a question
of money. Therefore an equal standard of education for all is
~impossible~ at present. Some may attain a higher education even
under unfavorable circumstances, by overcoming many difficulties and
by applying an amount of energy that few possess. But the masses
can never attain it so long as they must live in a state of social
dependence and oppression.[256]

In the new society the conditions of existence will be the same
for all. The requirements and inclinations will differ and will
always continue to differ, since these differences are rooted in the
nature of man. But each individual will be able to develop under
conditions equally favorable to all. The uniform equality, imputed
to Socialism, is like so many other imputations, sheer nonsense. It
would be useless, indeed, if Socialism should strive for uniform
equality, for it would then come into conflict with human nature
itself and could not hope to see society develop in accordance with
its principles.[257] Indeed, if Socialism should succeed in forcing
society into unnatural conditions, these new conditions would soon
make themselves felt as shackles that would be torn asunder, and
Socialism would be doomed. Society develops by innate laws and acts

A proper education of the young must be one of the chief tasks of the
new society. Every child that is born will be a welcome addition
to society. In the child society beholds the possibility of its own
continuity, its own further development. Therefore it will also
recognize the duty of amply providing for the new being. The first
object of its care must, accordingly, be the child-bearing woman,
the mother. Comfortable homes, pleasant environment, institutions
of all kinds suited to this stage of motherhood, considerate care
for her and for the child--these are the first requirements. It is
self-understood that women will be enabled to nurse their children
as long as necessary and desirable. Moleschott, Sonderegger, all
hygienists and physicians are agreed that no other nourishment can
fully substitute the mother’s milk. Those who, like Eugen Richter,
grow indignant at the suggestion that young mothers shall give
birth to their children in a lying-in-hospital, where they will be
surrounded by every care and comfort that only wealthy persons can
afford to-day, and that even they cannot obtain as perfectly as it
can be provided in institutions especially equipped for the purpose,
should remember that at present at least four-fifths of all children
who come into the world are born under the most primitive conditions
that mock civilization. Of the remaining one-fifth of our mothers
again only a small minority are able to enjoy the care and the
comforts that should be bestowed upon every woman in this condition.
Even to-day some cities have ~splendid provisions for child-bearing
women, and many women gladly make use of these institutions when
they feel their time approaching. But these institutions are so
expensive that only few women are able to make use of them~; others,
of course, are prevented by prejudice. ~Here again we have an example
how the bourgeois world everywhere contains the germs for future

Motherhood among women of wealth and fashion becomes rather peculiar
by the fact that these mothers transfer their maternal duties as
soon as possible to a ~proletarian wet-nurse~. It is well known that
the Lausitz (Spreewald) is the region that supplies the bourgeois
women of Berlin, who do not or cannot nurse their infants, with
nurses. “The breeding of nurses” is carried on as a trade, since
country girls do not hesitate to become pregnant, because they
find it profitable, after the birth of their babies, to hire out as
nurses to rich families in Berlin. It is not an unusual occurrence
that girls have three or four illegitimate children in order to hire
out as nurses, and if they earn enough money by this trade they
are regarded as desirable wives by the young men of the Spreewald.
Regarded from the view-point of bourgeois morality, such actions are
despicable; but regarded from the view-point of the family interests
of the bourgeoisie, they become praiseworthy and desirable.

As soon as the child will have outgrown infancy it will join companions
of its age in common play under common care and direction. Everything
needful or desirable for the child’s physical and mental development
will be supplied. Every observer of children knows ~that they can
be most easily educated in the company of other children~. This
quality can be successfully applied to the system of education.[259]
The play-halls and the kindergarten will be succeeded by a playful
introduction into the rudiments of knowledge and the various industrial
tasks. They will be succeeded by appropriate mental and physical
work, combined with gymnastic exercises and unrestricted motion
on the playground and in the gymnasium, the skating-rink and the
swimming-pool. There will be exercises, drills and wrestling-matches
for both sexes, for the aim will be to bring up a healthy, hardy race
that will be normal both physically and mentally. Step by step the
children will be initiated into the various practical activities,
horticulture, agriculture, manufacture, the technics of the process
of production. Mental education in the various realms of knowledge
will not be neglected.

The system of education will be purified and improved, just like
the system of production. Many antiquated, superfluous methods and
subjects, which only serve to hamper the child’s mental and physical
development, will be dropped. The knowledge of natural things, adapted
to the child’s understanding, will incite a far greater desire for
study than a system of education where one subject conflicts with and
contradicts another; for instance, when, on the one hand, children
receive religious instruction as taught by the Bible, and, on the
other, are taught science and natural history. The equipment of the
schools and the methods and means of education will be in keeping with
the advanced stage of civilization of the new society. All the books
and objects required for education and study, food and clothing, will
be furnished by society; no pupil will be at a disadvantage with the
others.[260] This is another chapter that causes indignation among
our bourgeois “men of order.”[261] They claim that Socialists seek
to turn the school into barracks, and to deprive the parents of all
influence over their children. Socialists do not aim at anything of
the sort. In future society, parents will have far more time at their
disposal than the great majority of parents have to-day. We need but
point to the fact that at present many workingmen are employed ten
hours daily, and even longer, and that many employees in the postal
and railroad service, prison and police officials, etc., as well
as mechanics, small farmers, merchants, military men, physicians,
etc., must devote an equal length of time to their occupations. In
future parents will be able to devote themselves to their children
in a measure that is quite impossible to-day. Moreover, the parents
will control the educational system and will determine the measures
and methods that are to be adopted and introduced. For then society
will be thoroughly democratic. There will be boards of education
consisting of parents--men and women--and of the educators. Does
anyone presume that these will act contrary to their sentiments and
interests? That is done in present-day society, where the state
carries out its ideas of education contrary to the wishes of most

Our opponents pretend that it is one of the most agreeable things
to parents to have their children about them all day and to be
constantly occupied with their education. As a matter of fact, this
is not so. Every parent knows that the education of a child is no
easy task. Several children facilitate education, but they cause so
much work and worry, especially to the mother, that she is thankful
when they are old enough to attend school, and she is relieved of
their care for a part of the day. Moreover, most parents can educate
their children but insufficiently, because they have no time. The
fathers are engaged in their trades or professions and the mothers in
their household tasks, and sometimes the mothers are breadwinners,
also. But even those parents who have sufficient time usually lack
the ~ability~. How many parents are able to follow up the mental
development of their children at school and to assist them? Mighty
few. The mother, who, in most cases, might be best enabled to render
such assistance, rarely has the ability, because she has not been
properly trained herself. Moreover, the methods and subjects are
changed so often that they are foreign to most parents. For most
children the facilities at home are so insufficient that they have
no proper order, comfort or peace for doing their home-work, nor
are they helped by anyone. Often the home is small and overcrowded;
the entire family are huddled together in a few small rooms, the
furniture is scanty, and the child wishing to study lacks every
comfort and convenience. Not infrequently light, air and heat are
wanting. The books and school supplies are either wanting entirely
or are of the poorest quality. Frequently also the little ones
are tortured by hunger, which destroys all inclination for study.
Hundreds of thousands of children are put to work at all kinds of
domestic and industrial occupations that rob their childhood of its
joy and incapacitate them for mental work. Sometimes children must
contend with the opposition of narrow-minded parents, who object to
it that the children devote time to their studies or to play. In
short, there are so many obstacles that it is to be wondered at that
the young are so well educated. This is a proof of the health of
human nature and of its innate desire for progress and perfection.

Bourgeois society itself recognizes a number of these evils and
facilitates the education of the young by introducing free public
instruction and, here and there, by also furnishing the school
supplies. As late as the middle of the eighties the then Minister
of Education of Saxony, designated both these institutions as
“~Socialistic demands~.” In France, where public education had long
been neglected and then progressed all the more rapidly, progress
has advanced still further; at least, this is the case in Paris.
Here ~the public-school meal, at the expense of the municipality,
has been introduced~. Poor children are given the meals free of
charge, and the children of parents who are in better circumstances
must pay a nominal sum into the municipal treasury. Here we behold
a communistic institution that has proved entirely satisfactory to
parents and children.

The insufficiency of our present educational system--it often fails to
accomplish the moderate aims it has set for itself--becomes evident
from the fact that ~thousands upon thousands of children are unable
to get along at school on account of insufficient nourishment~.

~Every winter there are thousands of children in our cities who
come to school without breakfast. Hundreds of thousands of others
are chronically underfed.~ To all these children public feeding and
clothing would be a blessing. In a community that will, by proper
care and nourishment, teach them what it means to be human, they
will not become acquainted with a house of “correction.” Bourgeois
society cannot deny the existence of this misery, and so compassionate
souls unite to found free-lunch establishments and soup-kitchens,
to perform, as a ~charity~, what ought to be performed by society
as a ~duty~. Recently a few municipalities have undertaken to feed
poor children at public expense. But all this is insufficient and
must be accepted as a charitable gift, while it should be demanded
as a right.[262]

It is well that the amount of home-work is being reduced in our
schools, since the insufficiency of home facilities has been
recognized. The child of wealthy parents is at an advantage over
his poorer schoolmate, not only because he is privileged by outward
circumstances, but also because he is helped at home by a governess
or a tutor. On the other hand, laziness and carelessness are fostered
in the child of wealthy parents, because their wealth makes study
appear superfluous to him, and because demoralizing examples are
frequently placed before him and he is approached by many temptations.
He who learns daily and hourly that rank, position and wealth count
for everything, acquires a peculiar conception of human duties and
of the institutions of state and society.

When we examine this question more closely we find that bourgeois
society has no reason to become indignant over the communistic
methods of education aimed at by Socialists, for it has itself
introduced such methods for privileged classes, but ~in a distorted
manner~. We need but point to the cadet schools, the seminaries and
colleges for the clergy. Here thousands of children, some of them
belonging to the upper classes, are trained in the most ~absurd~
and ~one-sided~ way and in ~strict monastic seclusion~ for certain
occupations. Many members of the better classes, like physicians,
clergymen, officials, manufacturers, large farmers, etc., who live
in small towns where there are no higher institutions of learning,
send their children to boarding-schools in large cities, and do not
see them during the entire year, except at vacation time. It is a
contradiction, then, when our opponents decry a communistic system
of education and estrangement between parents and children, and at
the same time introduce a similar system of education, only ~in a
wrong, insufficient and distorted manner, for their own children~.
Only too frequently are the children of the rich not educated by
their parents at all, but by nurses, governesses and tutors. A
special chapter might be written on this subject that would not cast
a favorable light on the family relations of these classes. Here,
too, hypocrisy prevails and conditions are anything but ideal, both
for the educated and the educators.

In accordance with the entirely altered system of education that aims
at the physical and mental development and culture of the young,
the teaching force must be increased. The training of the rising
generation should be provided for in the same way as the training of
the soldiers is provided for in the German army. Here one officer
has charge of from 8 to 10 men. If in future a similar number of
pupils will be placed under the guidance of one teacher, the desired
aims will be attained. Introduction into mechanical activities
in the splendidly equipped workshops, and into horticultural and
agricultural activities, will also constitute an important factor in
the future education of the young. Everything will be taught with a
proper variation of occupations and without over-exertion, in order
to educate harmoniously developed human beings.

Education must be the same for both sexes and must be given in
common to both. Separation of the sexes is justifiable only in
cases where the differences of sex make it absolutely necessary.
In this manner of education the United States is far advanced over
Europe. Here education has been introduced from the primary school
to the university. Not only is education furnished free, but the
school supplies also, inclusive of the tools for manual training,
lessons in cooking, and articles used by the pupils in the study of
chemistry and physics. Many schools are equipped with gymnasiums,
swimming-pools and playgrounds. In the higher schools the girls are
trained in gymnastics, swimming, rowing, running, etc., as well as
the young men.[263]...

The Socialistic system of education will attain still higher results.
Properly regulated and ordered and placed under able control, it will
continue until the age at which society declares its young men and
women to be of age. Then the members of both sexes will be fully
prepared to perform all duties and to enjoy all rights. Then society
will be certain of having educated capable, fully developed members,
human beings to whom nothing human is foreign, who are as familiar
with their own nature as they are with the nature and condition of
society, into which they forthwith enter, enjoying full equality.
So the excesses of our modern youth that are daily increasing, and
that are a natural product of our disintegrating social conditions,
will disappear. Unruliness, lack of self-control, immorality and
brutal sensuality, which characterize the modern young men at our
higher institutions of learning, our colleges and universities, and
that are the result of domestic demoralization and unrest and of
the baneful influences of social life, will not mark the young men
of the future. The evil influences of the factory system and the
congested dwellings, that cause young people to be self-assertive and
unbridled at an age when human beings are in the greatest need of
education and of being trained to exercise self-control, will also
disappear. Future society will avoid all these evils without being
obliged to resort to compulsory measures. The social institutions
and the resulting intellectual atmosphere that will dominate society
will simply make the existence of such evils impossible. In society,
as in nature, diseases and the destruction of organisms take place
only where a process of decay has set in.

None will deny that our present system of education is afflicted
with great and serious defects, and, as a matter of fact, these
defects are more marked with the higher schools and institutions of
learning than with the lower ones. A village school is a model of
moral healthfulness compared with a college; a sewing school for poor
girls, a model of morality compared with a number of fashionable
boarding schools. It is not hard to find the reason for this. Among
the upper classes of society every striving after higher aims has
been smothered; ~they are devoid of ideals. Owing to the lack of
ideals and loftier aspirations, the unbounded love of enjoyment and
the inclination to excesses are disseminated, with their resulting
physical and moral deterioration.~ How can young persons, growing up
in such an atmosphere, be different? A purely material enjoyment
of life, carried to extremes, is all they see and know. Why should
they strive after higher aims when the wealth of their parents
makes every endeavor appear superfluous? The maximum education of
the great majority of sons of the German bourgeoisie, consists in
their passing the examination for one year’s voluntary service in
the army. When they have attained this aim, they believe that they
have absorbed all knowledge worth knowing and regard themselves as
demi-gods. If they have obtained a reserve-officer’s certificate,
their conceit and arrogance knows no bounds. The influence exercised
by this generation, most of whose members are weak in character and
knowledge, but strong in servility, characterize the present period
as the “age of reserve officers.” Its peculiarities are: Ignorance,
lack of character, and a servile disposition. Men fawn on their
superiors, and are arrogant and brutal to their inferiors. Most of
the daughters of the upper classes are trained to be society ladies,
walking fashion plates and silly dolls. They rush from one enjoyment
to another, until they grow weary with the boredom of their empty
lives, and fall victims to many real and imaginary diseases. When
they grow old they become religious fanatics, spiritualists and
faith healers, who turn up their eyes at the wickedness of the world
and preach asceticism. In regard to the lower classes, efforts are
being made to further diminish their standard of education. The
fear prevails that the proletarian might become too wise, that he
might tire of his subjection and rebel against his earthly gods. The
more ignorant the masses are, the more easily can they be governed
and controlled. Large landowners from the East-Elbe province have
repeatedly declared in their meetings: “The most stupid workingman
is the one most welcome to us.” An entire program is contained in
this one sentence.

So present-day society is as helpless and aimless in regard to the
question of education as it is in regard to all other questions.
What methods, then, does it resort to? It calls for punishment and
preaches religion; that is, it preaches submissiveness and contentment
to those who are far too submissive and contented already; it
teaches abstinence, where poverty compels people to abstain from
the very necessities of life. They who brutally rebel against this
state of affairs are placed in so-called “reformatories” that are
generally controlled by religious influences. That is the limit of the
pedagogical wisdom of our society. The vicious methods of education
applied to neglected and demoralized proletarian children become
manifest by the frequent cases of abuse and ill-treatment committed
by the directors, overseers, etc., in these “homes”(!) Here it has
been shown time and again how religious fanatics of the deepest dye
have, with a perverted pleasure, ill-treated poor, helpless children
with unspeakable brutality; and how many of these horrors may never
become known!

[256] “A certain degree of culture and well-being is a necessary
external condition for the development of the philosophic spirit....
We, therefore, find that only such nations begin to philosophize
who had attained a considerable degree of well-being and culture.”
Tenneman, quoted by Buckle.--“Material and intellectual interests
go hand in hand. One cannot exist without the other. There is a
connection between them as between body and mind. To separate them
means destruction.” v. Thuenen, “The Isolated State.”--“The best
life, both for the individual in particular and for the state in
general, is one in which virtue is sufficiently endowed with external
possessions, that participation in good and virtuous deeds becomes
possible,” Aristotle, “Politics.”

[257] Mr. Eugen Richter, in his “False Doctrines,” reiterates the
worn-out phrase: the Socialists wish a coercive state. That there
will eventually be no state ought to be clear to the readers of our
book. He assumes that society would introduce a state or a social
order that would be _averse to its own interests_. But no new social
order or state differing fundamentally from the preceding one could
be _arbitrarily created_. That would be in opposition to all the
laws according to which state and society develop. Mr. Eugen Richter
and those who share his views may find consolation in this: if
Socialism really pursues the foolish aims that they impute to it, it
will die off without any effort on their part.--Equally untenable
is Richter’s remark that for a social condition like the one aimed
at by Socialists, men must be angels. To begin with, there are no
angels, and we do not need any. Man is influenced by circumstances,
but circumstances are also influenced by man, and the latter will
be the case more and more, as men become better acquainted with
the nature of society, _which they constitute_, and apply their
experiences _consciously to their social organization_. We do not
need different human beings, but we do need _more intelligent and
rational human beings than the majority are to-day_, and to make
them more intelligent and rational, we agitate and publish books
like this one.

[258] When we consider the boundless stupidity of our opponents, it
seems marvelous that no one has as yet asserted that under Socialism
all would be given the same quantity of food and underwear and
clothing of the same size to crown the system of “uniform equality.”

[259] Fourier has accomplished this brilliantly, even though in
carrying out his ideas, he approached the utopia. Bebel, Chas. Fourier,
His Life and His Theories, 3d ed. Stuttgart, 1907.

[260] Condorcet postulates in his educational plan: “Education must be
general, free of charge, equal to all, physical, mental, industrial
and political, and must aim at true equality.” Likewise Rousseau
in his “Political Economy:” “Especially must education be public,
equal and common, to educate human beings and citizens.” Aristotle
also demands: “Since the state has but one object, it must give all
its members one and the same education, and the care for them must
be a public, not a private, matter.”

[261] Thus Eugen Richter in his “False Doctrines.”

[262] “At present 20 districts of Paris have established
school-kitchens, where the children are given a noon-day meal
consisting of meat and vegetables. Only this meal is obligatory,
but in several districts the children can obtain breakfast and
afternoon-tea also.” Helene Simon--School and Bread. Hamburg, 1907.
It is due to the initiative of the Labor Party that a bill providing
for the feeding of school children in England was turned over to a
committee in 1906.

[263] Professor Dr. Emil Hausknecht--“The American Educational


Literature and Art in Socialistic Society.

When, in the new society, the young generation has come of age, the
further education will be every person’s own concern. Every one will
do whatever his inclinations and talents prompt him to do. Some will
devote themselves to one or another branch of the natural sciences
that will be more and more fully developed: Anthropology, zoology,
botany, mineralogy, geology, physics, chemistry, the prehistoric
sciences, etc. Others will take up history, etymology, or the history
of art. Some will become musicians, others artists, sculptors,
actors. In the future there will be neither “corporate” artists and
scientists nor corporate mechanics. Thousands of brilliant talents
that have so far been suppressed will develop and will prove their
knowledge and ability wherever an opportunity presents itself. There
will no longer be ~professional~ musicians, artists, actors and
scientists, but these will be all the more inspired by enthusiasm,
talent and genius. Their achievements are likely to excel present-day
achievements on these fields as vastly as the industrial, technical,
and agricultural achievements of future society will excel those of
modern society. An era of art and science will arise such as the
world has never known, and the achievements that will have created
it will be correspondingly great.

The coming renaissance of art that will result from the introduction
of conditions more worthy of human beings, has been foreseen by
no less a man than Richard Wagner, who expressed himself on this
subject as early as 1850, in his book on “Art and Revolution.” This
book is especially noteworthy because it was published right after
a revolution that had been beaten down and in which Wagner himself
participated. In this book, Wagner predicts what the future will
bring. He directly turns to the working class, who must help the
artists to establish true art. Among other things, he says: “When,
for ~the free human beings of the future~, it will no longer be
~the purpose of life~ to obtain the means of subsistence, but, as a
result of a new belief, or rather, ~knowledge~, they will be ~certain
of obtaining the means of subsistence in return for an appropriate
natural activity, when, in short, industry will no longer be our
mistress, but our servant, the true purpose of life will become the
enjoyment of life, and by education we will endeavor to make our
children capable of its real enjoyment. An education founded on the
exercise of strength and the care of physical beauty, will, owing to
the love for the child and the joy at the development of its beauty,
become a purely artistic one, and every human being will, in some
way, be a true artist. The diversity of natural inclinations will
develop the most manifold tendencies in an unthought of wealth.~”
This is a thoroughly Socialistic conception and coincides with our

In the future, social life will become ever more public. Its trend of
development can be best judged by the completely altered position of
woman. Domestic life will be limited to what is absolutely essential,
while the desire for sociability will be given the widest field. Large
meeting halls for lectures and the discussion of public affairs--that
will in future be decided upon by the people at large--dining-halls,
reading-rooms, libraries, playgrounds, concerts, theaters, museums,
gymnasiums, public baths, parks and promenades, institutions of
education and learning, laboratories, etc., all splendidly equipped,
will afford ample opportunity for entertainment and sociability,
and will enable science and art to attain the highest degree of
development. In the same way the institutions for the care of the
sick, the infirm and the aged will meet the highest demands.

How petty will our present age seem in comparison! This fawning for
favors and good-will from above, this servile disposition, this
envious struggle against one another for the best place, carried
on by the lowest and most spiteful means, and, at the same time,
suppression of one’s true convictions, concealing of good qualities
that might displease those whose favor it sought, emasculation of
character, the feigning of opinions and feelings that one does
not possess--all these qualities that may be termed cowardice and
hypocrisy, are daily becoming more pronounced. Qualities that are
truly ennobling, self-confidence, independence and incorruptibility
of one’s opinions, are usually turned into faults and short-comings
under present-day conditions. Persons who cannot suppress these good
qualities are often ruined by them. Many are so accustomed to their
degradation that they do not even perceive it. The dog regards it as
a matter of course that he has a master who is sometimes ill-tempered
and whips him.

The altered conditions of social life will also thoroughly
revolutionize our literature. The theological literature, which
furnishes the largest number of works in the annual catalogues of
literary productions, will be eliminated, together with the judicial
literature. For the one there will be no more interest, and for the
other no need. The products that have reference to the struggles over
institutions of the state, will also be eliminated, because these
institutions will no longer exist. They will assume the character
of historical studies. The numerous literary products of a highly
superficial nature, which are just a proof of bad taste and sometimes
are made possible only by a sacrifice of the author’s pride, will
be dropped. Even from the present point of view, we may say that
four-fifths of all literary products might disappear from the market
~without a loss to one single interest of civilization~, so great
is the mass of superficial or harmful products and obvious trash on
the field of literature.

Fiction and the press will be affected in an equal measure. There is
nothing more superficial and insipid than the greater part of our
journalistic literature. If our standard of civilization were to be
estimated by the contents of our newspapers, it would be deemed a
low one, indeed. People and conditions are judged by the opinions
of past centuries that have long since been proven untenable by
science. A great many of our journalists are persons who, as Bismarck
correctly said, have missed their vocation, but whose standard of
education and salary are in keeping with the bourgeois interest in
their trade. Moreover, the newspapers, as well as a majority of the
magazines, have a very unworthy mission in their advertising sections,
and their reports of the money-market serve the same interests on a
different field. The material interest of the publishers determines
the contents. Modern fiction is, on an average, not much better
than journalistic literature. It cultivates the excesses of sexual
relations. It either renders homage to superficial enlightenment,
or to antiquated prejudice and superstition. The purpose is to let
the bourgeois world appear as the best of worlds, regardless of the
numerous short-comings that are, to some extent, admitted.

On this wide and important realm future society will have to clear
up thoroughly. Science, truth, beauty and the conflict of opinions
as to what is best, will alone control it. Every person of talent
and ability will be enabled to participate. The writer will no
longer depend upon the favor of the publisher, financial interest or
prejudice; he will depend upon the judgment of impartial experts whom
he will help to select and against whose decisions he may appeal to
the community--all of which is impossible to-day with a publisher or
the editor of a newspaper, who only take their private interest into
consideration. The naïve conception, that a difference of opinions
would be suppressed in a Socialistic community, can be maintained
only by those who consider the bourgeois world a perfect state of
society, and, out of hostility to Socialism, seek to slander and
belittle it. A society founded upon perfect, democratic equality,
will bear no oppression. ~Only perfect freedom of thought makes
uninterrupted progress possible, which is the principle of life for
society.~ It is a gross misrepresentation to depict bourgeois society
as a defender of real freedom of thought. Parties that represent the
interests of the ruling classes will only publish that in the press
which is not adverse to class interests, and woe to him who would
do otherwise! His social ruin is certain, as every one knows who
is acquainted with conditions. The writers know how the publishers
treat literary works that do not suit them. Finally, the press and
criminal laws betray what spirit dominates the ruling classes. True
freedom of thought appears to them as the most dangerous of all


Free Development of Individuality.

1.--Freedom from Care.

Man should be given an opportunity for perfect development. That
is the purpose of human association. So he must not remain tied
down to the spot where he has been placed by the chance of birth.
One should become acquainted with the world and people not only
through books and newspapers, but also by personal observation and
practical experience. So future society must enable all to do what
many are able to do even in present-day society, though at present
the force of want usually forms the motive. ~The desire for change
in all human relations is deeply rooted in human nature.~ This is
due to the impulse of seeking perfection that is innate in every
living being. The plant that is placed in a dark room extends and
stretches, as if conscious of the ray of light that penetrates some
crevice. It is the same with man. An instinct, that is innate in
man, must find rational satisfaction. The desire for change will
not be opposed by the conditions prevailing in the new society; the
satisfaction of this desire will, on the contrary, become possible
to all. The highly developed system of communication will make it
easy, and the international relations will demand it. In the future
far more persons will travel through the world, for the most varied
purposes, than heretofore.

Society will require an ample supply of all the necessities of life
to meet all demands. Society will therefore regulate its hours of
work according to the needs. It will lengthen or shorten them, as
the demands or the season of the year make this appear desirable.
During one season it will devote more time to agriculture, and
during another it will devote more time to industry and to artistic
crafts. It will direct the labor forces as the needs may let it
appear desirable. By combining various labor forces with the most
perfect technical appliances, it will be able to carry out large
undertakings playfully, that seem practically impossible to-day.

As society provides for the young, so also will it provide for the
old, the sick and invalid. If any one has, by some misfortune,
become incapacitated for work, society will provide for him. This
will not be an act of charity, but a simple performance of duty.
The assistance will not be a morsel graciously given, but support
and care provided with every possible consideration, bestowed as
a matter of course upon him who performed his duty toward society
as long as he was able to do so. The evening of life will be made
beautiful by all that society has to offer. For every one will
hope himself to receive some day what he bestows upon other aged
persons. No old person will be harassed by the thought that others
are awaiting their death to inherit their possessions. They are also
freed from the terror of being cast aside like a squeezed lemon when
they have become old and helpless. They must neither depend on the
kindness and support of their children, nor on public charity.[264]
How unfortunate is the position of most parents who in old age must
depend upon the support of their children, is a well-known fact.
And how demoralizing to children and to relatives is the hope of
inheriting! What degrading passions are aroused and how many crimes
are caused thereby--murder, suppression, legacy-hunting, perjury
and blackmailing!

The moral and physical condition of society, the nature of its
work, homes, food, dress, its social life, all will tend to prevent
accidents, sickness and debility. Dying a natural death, the normal
decline of the vigor of life, will become the rule more and more. The
conviction that heaven is upon earth and that death means the end,
will cause people to lead a rational life. He who enjoys longest,
enjoys most. The clergy themselves, who prepare people for “the
hereafter,” know how to value a long life. Their care-free existence
enables them to attain the highest average age.

[264] “The person who has worked hard and honestly until old age,
should not depend upon the benevolence of his children or that of
bourgeois society. An independent, easy and care-free old age is the
natural reward for continuous exertions during the days of health
and strength.” v. Thuenen--The Isolated State. But how are the aged
treated in bourgeois society? Millions look forward with dread to
the time when they will be cast out into the street because they
have grown old; and our industrial system makes people age before
their time. The much boasted old age and invalid pension in the
German Empire is only a very scanty substitute; even its most ardent
supporters admit that. The assistance rendered is still much more
insufficient than the pensions allowed by the municipalities to the
majority of their pensioned officials.

2.--Changes in the Methods of Nutrition.

Food and drink are prime necessities of life. People who believe in
the so-called “natural manner of living” frequently ask why Socialists
remain indifferent to vegetarianism. Everyone lives as best he may.
Vegetarianism, that is, the doctrine of an exclusive vegetable diet,
found its chief supporters among the persons who are so comfortably
situated that they are able to choose between a vegetable and an
animal diet. But the great majority of persons have no choice. They
must live according to their means, and the scantiness of their
means compels them to live on a vegetable diet almost exclusively
and often on one of the poorest quality. For the German laboring
population in Silesia, Saxony, Thuringia, etc., the potato is the
principal article of food; even bread comes only second. Meat only
rarely appears on their tables, and then it is meat of the poorest
quality. The greater part of the rural population, although they
raise cattle, also rarely eat meat; for they must sell the cattle,
and, with the money obtained, must satisfy other needs. To these
numerous people who are obliged to live as vegetarians, a solid
beefsteak or a good leg of mutton would mean a decided improvement
in their nourishment.[265] If vegetarianism opposes the ~overeating~
of an animal diet, it is right. If it combats the partaking of meat
as harmful and detrimental, mainly for sentimental reasons, it is
wrong; when it is claimed, for instance, that natural feelings forbid
to kill an animal and to partake of a “corpse.” The desire to live
in peace compels us to wage war upon and destroy a great many living
creatures, such as vermin, and, in order not to be devoured ourselves,
we must kill and exterminate wild beasts. If we could allow “the
good friends of man,” the domestic animals, to live undisturbed,
these “good friends” would multiply to such a degree that they would
“eat” us by robbing us of nourishment. The assertion that vegetable
diet creates a gentle disposition is false, too. Even in the gentle,
vegetarian Hindoos the “beast” was aroused, when the severity of the
English drove them to rebellion. The nutritive value of an article
of food cannot be estimated only by the amount of albumen that it
contains. It must be taken into consideration how large a quantity
of the albumen consumed remains undigested. Considered from this
view-point, we find, for instance, meat and rice, or potatoes, as
2.5 to 20 or 22. In other words, of 100 grammes of albumen consumed
with meat, 2.5 grammes will pass out of the system undigested. Of
100 grammes consumed with rice or potatoes, respectively, 20 and
22 grammes will pass out. The famous Russian physiologist, Pawlow,
and his scholars have shown that, with the digestion of bread, there
is much more ferment than with the digestion of meat. Pawlow has
furthermore shown that the gastric juices produced by the pancreas
glands are of two kinds. They are produced through stimulation of
the mucous membrane by the food itself, and are also produced as
“appetite juices” by stimulation of the senses. The quantity of
our appetite juice depends upon our psychic condition for the time
being; for instance, on hunger, grief, annoyance, joy, etc., and it
also depends upon the nature of the food. But the importance of the
appetite juice differs with different articles of food. Some foods,
as, for instance, bread, boiled albumen, as contained in eggs, or
pure starch, cannot be digested at all, unless the digestion is
introduced by the appetite juice, as has been directly proved by
experiments. They can only be digested when they are eaten with
an appetite, or together with other food. But meat, as Pawlow has
shown, can be partly digested without appetite juice, although, with
the aid of appetite juice, meat is digested much more rapidly (five
times as fast). “~We must therefore take factors into consideration
that depend upon the psychology of man. Here a connection has been
established between facts of the physiology of nutrition and social
conditions. The modern residents of large cities, especially the
masses of the working class, live under social conditions that are
bound to destroy their normal appetite. Work in the squalid factory,
the constant worry over their daily bread, absence of mental repose
and pleasant impressions, complete physical exhaustion, all these
are factors that are destructive of appetite.~ In this psychological
condition we are unable to furnish the appetite juice required for
the digestion of vegetable food. But in meat we possess an article of
food that--if we may thus express it--provides for its own digestion.
A considerable quantity of meat can be digested without appetite;
it also acts as a stimulant and a creator of appetite. So meat aids
the digestion of vegetables consumed at the same time, and thereby
insures a better assimilation of the consumed matter. This appears
to be the great advantage of an animal diet to modern man.”[266]

Sonderegger hits the nail on the head when he says: “There is no
order of rank among articles of food, but there is an immutable law
regarding the combination of their nutritive qualities.” It is true
that no one can live on an animal di