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EAR SIRS: Allow me to congratulate you upon your

determination to interest yourself in Socialism, as that determination is made manifest by your criticisms of the movement. It has been said that "a superficial knowledge of political economy usually goes hand in hand with bad manners.” At the risk of being accused of both, I ad

dress you to suggest that, while your refutation of what you take Socialism to be is quite complete, nevertheless every Socialist will contend that you have not stated Socialism's case as fully as it deserves to be—as fully as it must be stated if its supposed fallacies are to be exposed.

May I present to you what Socialists generally will acknowledge to be the basic principle of Socialism as it is to-day?

Let us take what society has already done on the political field as a starting point, and prove what society might, and ought to do, for itself on the industrial field.

If I present to you as a political axiom this proposition:

"No people can truly say that they are politically free until they are masters of their means of government,” will you accept it?

You would not say that we were a FREE people, politically, if all the positions in the legislative, judicial and executive departments of our government were privately "owned" by our officials, would you, especially if those positions were hereditary, or could be bought and sold ?

Now, that great and impracticable citizen, Eugene V. Debs, the much maligned, has said:

No one can truly say that he is FREE until he is master of the means that support his life.”

Do you accept this aphorism of Debs as axiomatic? If you do, how can you justify private ownership beyond the reasonable needs of the individual ?

The intelligent Socialist will concede you that his party has not agreed to accept our present form of political government as its own, and has not, to date, proposed any other as a substitute therefor. He will also concede that his party has no official industrial program for the new system proposed by him. And further, he will frankly admit that Socialism, as a system, is all in the air ; that its past is the history of a vision, an "ideal,” if you will, and that its future no man can foretell, except—EXCEPT, that in the future the majority shall rule, both industrially and politically; and, quite likely, rule intelligently and in their own interests.


It is not likely that the majority of our people will long continue in the belief that it is right and just for any man, no matter what his services to society have been, to privately own another man's means of life.

Lincoln said:

“No man is good enough to govern another man without that other man's consent."

The Socialist makes this declaration include every form of government, social and industrial as well as political. If it is unjust to derive an income from ownership of the man himself, then it is equally, even though less apparently, unjust to derive a like income from any other form of ownership, which gives power to coerce the man as effectively as though he were a slave. The lash was the slave owner's means of "energizing" labor; hunger, or the fear of hunger, is capitalism's "incentive." And it is capitalism's incentive, hunger or the fear of hunger that the Socialist proposes to use in his system as “incentive," with this difference; under Socialism the worker to feed himself, will not be under the necessity, as at present, of first feeding someone else.

A stock "argument" against Socialism is the contention that Socialism takes no account of the law of population and its twin brother, the law of diminishing returns. Now, let us concede that men breed too fast, and that “labor applied to natural resources in constantly increasing amount must meet with a continually decreasing reward;" or, what amounts to the same thing, with continually decreasing natural resources. Does it follow, because the Socialist cannot show that these laws will be inoperative under his system, that they are any the less operative, perniciously operative, under capitalism?

Does it lessen the force of his assertion that society, as a whole, might easily decide, even under these laws, what is good for itself as a whole with as much certainty of deciding aright as the small minority who now presume to solve all of society's bread and butter problems, for the small consideration of all that society produces over and above bread and butter for the producers?

For him who believes that the future has for us majority rule, there is no escape from the conclusion that Socialism is inevitable, unless he professes to believe that the majority of mankind will indefinitely remain blind or indifferent to their own interests. The problem is not “how may

we stop an irresistible force,” but “how may we guide it into safe channels as speedily as possible.”

Let us hope that this upward growth of the race may not, like every other that has been made before it, be watered by the blood and fertilized by the bodies of martyrs. Let us fervently pray that, for once in the world's history, the trained intellects of the race may be found drawing the chariot of progress instead of becoming clogs upon its wheels or being crushed beneath them.

Carbon, Calif.

Capitalist production has divorced two functions which once were indissolubly united; on the one side it puts the manual workers, who become more and more servants of the machine, and on the other the intellectual workers, engineers, chemists, managers, etc. But these two categories of workers, however different and contrary they may be in their education and habits, are welded together, to the point that a capitalist industry can not be carried on without manual laborers any more than without intellectual wage-workers. United in production, united under the yoke of capitalist exploitation, united they should be also in revolt against the common enemy.

The intellectuals, if they understood their own real interests, would come in crowds to socialism, not through philanthropy, not through pity for the miseries of the workers, not through affectation and snobbery, but to save themselves, to assure the future welfare of their wives and children, to fulfill their duty to their class.Paul Lafargue, in “The Right to Be Lazy and Other Studies."


The Official Vote. The following table is as accurate as can be compiled from the data now at hand. It is taken from the Chicago Tribune of December 16, but a few manifest errors in the Socialist column have been corrected by using the figures credited to W. J. Ghent in the Chicago Daily Socialist. The table as printed in the Tribune presented us with 20,000 extra votes by an error in the footing, but omitted our Alabama vote and deprived us of several thousand in California, beside a few minor errors:

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38 439 274

289 1,057 1,005

43 89 332 164

87 804

61 248 46

Socialists and Radicals. What attitude shall we as socialists take toward the "radicals" who are now restlessly casting about for a new program? This is a question we are obliged to face, and it is for this reason that the editor of the Review has thought it worth while to give space to the “Call” on pages 516-518 of this issue. It is a vivid picture of the confusion in the minds of the little capitalists and their politicians, helpless as they are before the greater forces that have grasped the industries of the United States and the laws and constitutions along with them. The writer of the call seems to be unaware that political institutions inevitably conform to the mode of production, and will be modified as the mode of production changes. Billion-dollar trusts are too big to be dominated by granger legislatures; the extension of the powers of the Supreme Court was necessary if business is to be done in a large way by modern methods. And one must be very simple and trustful to imagine that the "money power" will let a new constitution be enacted by a combination of honest and progressive” citizens. But let the Radicals continue to agitate. Every rebuff will bring them nearer to the economic facts they can not yet see. When they come to see those facts, they will be recruits worth having. As for the constitution, when the wageworkers unite, they will go after the means of production, and when they get them they will write a new constitution to suit themselves if they think they need it.

Socialist Gains and Losses. The gains and losses of 1908 are a distinct encouragement to us of the "left wing," who prefer to say much of the class struggle and little of "immediate demands," who think it is more important to awaken the wage-workers to fact that it is to their interest to destroy the whole capitalist sysem, than to agitate for municipal ownership, scientific reforestation and tax reforms. Massachusetts is the state where "municipal socialism" arose in a blaze of glory a few years ago. Two cities were "captured,” the congressional vote of 1902 was about 35,000, a number of comrades were elected to office, and they did in office all that could reasonably have been expected of them. But they could not meet the unreasonable expectations raised by the wrong emphasis in our propaganda. The movement there has dwindled until it is weaker than in states of like population in which we have never elected a man to office. Here in Chicago our large vote of 1904 resulted in diverting the energies of our most experienced workers from the revolutionary propaganda in which Chicago had been foremost into elaborate schemes of precinct organization which have nothing to do with

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