« НазадПродовжити »
Relying upon the assurance that every transformation in the economic basis of society is accompanied by a transformation in the intellectual super-structure, Socialism maintains that once the economic question is settled, that once the lust of gain at the expense of our fellow men is no longer the paramount incentive, as it is today, peering into the baby's cradle, chilling the warmth of the hearth, turning awry the affection of husband and wife and breaking up the family into a camp of enemies—that once the economic pressure is removed, there will follow such a blossoming of all that is best in human nature as will be a veritable rebirth of the soul of man.
The Socialist ideal therefore rests upon a solid foundation.
The Socialist traces the development of the family, property and the state from ancient down to modern times. From a knowledge of the changes the form of the family has undergone in the past, he can more intelligently consider the problems of morality and ethics. In a like manner, a knowledge of the history of property and government enables him to explain ideas of justice and equity, duties and rights. Especially is this valuable in setting aside the evils that can be treated immediately from those that will only adjust themselves after the fundamental wrong is righted. The sociology of the Socialist 'therefore assumes the broadest diniensions.
The Socialist then directs his attention to the manner in which the human brain operates. He inquires into the process of thinking and ascertains the method by which the mind forms ideas and spins philosophies. He discovers that the material is the substance of the ideal; but that they complement each other in a universal conception. By so doing the Socialist exposes the false reasoning and undermines the last stronghold, the dualism. of his opponents; he establishes a monistic view of life growing out of historical materialism, and completes the synthetic philosophy of Socialism.
In thus dividing Socialism into a system of political economy, a theory of social evolution and an ideal, and showing its relation to modern science, sociology and philosophy, we are just as arbitrary as is Shakespeare in divid. ing the span of Man's life into seven ages. For, to the Socialist, Socialism is not a piece of mechanism, which can be decomposed into its parts, requiring only lubrication and the touch of some man's finger to start it agoing. To the thirty millions of men and women of all climes and complexions who constitute the international Socialist movement, Socialism is a compact whole, one and indivisable, striving for the freedom of the human race from economic bondage.
Because capitalism degrades woman even more so than man, and because the emancipation of society at large depends upon the emancipation of woman, woman takes her place by the side of man in the Socialist movement; because society is divided into two contending classes, the Socialist movement is a class movement; because economic questions are political questions, the Socialist movement is a political movement; because the working class are without a country, migrating from one end of the earth to the other in search of a master, because capitalism is international, the Socialist movement is international; because the source of the trouble is the contradiction between socialized production and capitalistic appropriation, not reform but a social rev. olution is the remedy; because the workers cannot free themselves without at the same time freeing all mankind, the Socialist movement has the grandest ideal of any movement in history.
Socialism is something more than the passing of one order in favor of another. It is born of the slavery, the anguish and the travail of the world's toilers. The story of labor's struggle upward out of bondage is written in tears and blood. It is a record of bold spirits who have been ostracised and exiled because of their convictions. It is a record of noble men who have gladly abandoned lives of ease and luxury to bend their genius to the cause of the oppressed. It is a record of a mighty host who have gone to their graves "unwept, unhonored and unsung," because of the unquench able fire of justice burning in their breasts. It is a record of the sublimest comradeship that ever encircled the earth.
With the coming of the Socialist movement, labor ceases to be an object of pity and charity. Conscious of its wrongs and how to right them, it no longer looks to the upper class for its salvation, but sounds the call for the solidarity of the workers of the world, to the end that all economic oppression may be abolished. Against the political economy, the science, the philosophy, the law, the morality, the art and the ideals of the masters, it submits its own political economy, science, pholisophy, law, morality, art and ideai. Against the present labor offers the future.
Finally, the Socialist recognizes that, while the revolutions have been fought and won by the lower classes without either they or the upper classes having a well-defined idea
of the outcome the benefits have, on that account, accrued to the upper classes; that the social revolution which it is the mission of the working classes as a class, to accomplish, because it is a movement for the benefit of the masses, requires the intelligence of the workers and particluarly a thorough familiarity with Socialist thought by those who ally themselves with the workers. The slogan of the Socialist therefore, “More light, more light!" His emblem is the arm and torch.
Through the labyrinths of darkness and gloom the seeker after truth must wend his way for the golden thread of knowledge. It is thus that the torchlight of truth is ever borne aloit by her apostles, 'now to flicker and wane among the crags, then to illuminate the sombre wilderness; now to be lost in the caverns, then to burst forth anew from the mouns tain peaks: ever forward, ever onward, ever upward !
JOS. E. COHEN. Philadelphia, Pa.
A COURSE OF READING. The following list of works is recommended to the student. They cover the subject touched upon by the above article, and it is suggested that they be read in the order named.-J. R. C.
What's So and What Isn't. By John M. Work. Cloth, 50c. The Socialists. By John Spargo. Cloth, 50c; paper, 10c.
The Common Sense of Socialism. By John Spargo. Cloth, $1.00; paper, 25c.
Proletariat; Capitalist Class; Class Struggle. By Karl Kautsky. Appeal to Reason, Girard, Kansas.
Modern Socialism. By Charles H. Vail. Cloth, 75c; paper 25c.
Principles of Scientific Socialism. By Charles H. Vail. Cloth $1.00; paper, 35c.
Communist Manifesto. By Marx and Engels. Cloth, 50c; paper, 10c.
Socialism, Utopian and Scientific. By Frederick Engels. Cloth, 50c paper, 10c.
Socialism, Its Growth and Outcome. By Morris and Bax. Twentieth Century Press, London.
History of Socialism in the United States. By Morris Hillquit. Funk & Wagnalls Co., New York.
Recent Progress of the Socialist Movement in America. Ву Morris Hillquit. Paper, 10c.
(All of the books named above are published by Charles H. Kerr & Company; 153 Kinzie street, Chicago, and will be mailed promptly on receipt of price, except where the name of another publisher is given. We do not sell books of other publishers, nor
we undertake to answer questions about them. - Editor.)
HERE are two means of production in possession
of bourgeois society: the means of life and the means of death. The means of life consist of machines for the manufacture of clothing, food, everything, in short, which is necessary existence; the means of death are the weapons, the guns and cannons, with which it is possible
to wound and kill mankind. The possession of weapons and machines is the monopoly of bourgeois society; on this monopoly is based its overlordship.
The working class possesses nothing but its labor power; the power of which the bourgeoisie must make use in order to put into operation either the life-giving or the death-dealing machines. This fact determines the purpose and means of the struggle of the workers. The purpose is the seizure by society as a whole of all existing means of production; of the machines in order that they may be put to work for the good of all mankind; of the guns in order that all with equal right may see to it that they are not brought into use.
Until the means of production have finally been taken possession of by the community as a whole, it is necessary to dictate to the capitalist class what use it shall make of these means of production, to set limits to its despotism. The extent to which the machines are used as a means of exploitation must be limited; the bourgeoisie must be given to understand that weapons are not to be played with, that they must submit to limitations if they wish to use them to force workers into submission. And this will be done. In place of the decree, in place of the imposition of labor terms by masters bent on “running their own business,” we have now the labor contract. At first only a single factory would have its hours of labor, scale of wages, etc. settled by contract; later an entire branch of industry of a given city, and finally of the whole country, would be included. To be sure for the present the contract is between the workers, as one party, and the capitalist, as another; while what we are working for is that in settling the terms all individuals concerned co-operate as equal factors.
But we have much more inclusive enactments which affect the life of the individual quite as much as the labor contract; the laws of the state. These also at first are decrees of an absolute ruler, then of a ruling class--decrees in the making of which the worker has nothing to say. In the first place the worker is entirely without rights, but it is possible in ever increasing measure to put an end to this condition. Thus the nature of law is constantly changing: from being a decree of a particular class it tends more and more to become an agreement among all citizens. No longer a privileged class, but the majority of the people has the determining influence. To be sure not the exclusive one; for the minority does not receive concessions in proportion to its strength. It is coerced, and so feels itself no longer bound by law and can obstruct society in all its functions.
As in the factory, so in the state the worker is at first without rights; as he gains influence in the industrial world so will he finally in the political. Like the despotism of the individual capitalist, that of the capitalistic government is more limited by the organized working classs. What means are at the disposal of this class? In the final analysis it can depend only on the property which it actually possesses, of which it enjoys the free use; the life of the individual person and in particular his labor power.
The first weapon of the workers is thus the refusal to use their labor power, by the withdrawal of the means of production from service, i. e. the strike. This includes the means of life as well as the means of death: the idleness of machinery, which we experience every day, and the refusal to carry guns, which must finally come in decisive conflicts.
Further, the power of the working class, in the Socialistic sense, operates above all through the only machine which belongs to the proletariat.-through its organizing activity, that means to the production of power in the working class. In the other means of production Socialistic activity can only bear a part in so far as control has been wrested from the owning class. The work at the "machine" in our labor organizations is Socialist work. Finally the work done with the means of death, the guns, can also become Socialistic, for "the fate of the world depends on muskets."
Labor-power, and finally life itself, are the support upon which in the last analysis our entire struggle depends. In the conferences concerning labor contracts as well as in the conferences called parliaments, in which much more inclusive agreements are discussed, the achievements of our delegates, our representatives, depend entirely on the power of the workers who support them, on their number, on their willingness to make sacrifices, on their readiness to stake their labor power on the